It’s not supposed to look like this.
I don’t have a problem with showing more international PriPara locations. I know the movie showed quite a few of them – including an American one located in Area 51 that I really hope shows up in the TV series at some point. The absurdity of Japanese style idols sprinkled all over the world allows for more storytelling possibilities in theory. Plus, I’ve always liked world tour style episodes. Digimon Adventure 02‘s small story arc being the first example that comes to mind.
The thing with Africa, though… Writing from a Western perspective, I’m well aware of what the rest of the world has done to Africa. There’s an entire musical about it, Book of Mormon. That one’s just as much about Mormons as it is Africa, but PriPara’s version of Africa looks inspired by Tarzan and The Jungle Book and the like, though it plays it better than I was expecting. The biggest problems with the episode are the way Meganee and Meganii end up being. I’ll get to that in a bit.
It’s a simple episode – Lala and company find a message in a bottle and the six main characters plus Fuwari hop on a boat piloted by another Meganee that gets them from Japan to Africa at a much quicker rate than should be possible. When they arrive, it’s the picture above. The Savanna PriPara has been consumed by the jungle, making it look more like the later episodes of Kiruminzoo. Or the apocalypse.
Most of the episode revolves around Panana and Amiya – African counterparts of Hanana and Amamiya, respectively. All the African characters have unusually light skin, though. They look more like they got a tan. Fortunately, Panana reveals that their PriPara wasn’t always like this. It used to be well kept, but something happened and the jungle took over, and now people don’t believe in idols.
One running gag about this episode is Fuwari’s love of animals extending to all animals. She’s able to stop a herd of wild buffalo in their tracks and tame a lion through the sheer power of love. Girl’s not just aces at singing, she’s a regular Dr. Dolittle. No wonder they decide to give her the one full-length singing performance this week.
No, the real tricky part of this episode comes from Meganee and Meganii. Mirei has to… teach them how to speak. That is, speak the idol language that keeps the system working, about tickets and such. It is funny that she ends up getting Meganii to add “~puri” to the end of his sentences, but the slight colonialist nature of the joke kind of sours it. The rest of the episode is alright, but I could do without this part.
There’s also a girl with a bow and arrow looking out over the horizon during the course of the episode, who has no speaking lines but looked at the plane heading back to Japan in a curious way. This episode may be more than just a strange little detour. Gonna have to see where this leads.
It’s the annual summer pool episode! Mirei and Shion start getting competitive once again.