Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…
Beach episodes don’t have to mean fanservice, though I know it’s an association they have a tough time avoiding. This is the third pool/beach episode in PriPara’s history, though I think it’s the first one that explicitly takes place inside the city-state of idols. Meganee reconfigures the system so that everyone’s usual outfits are replaced with swimsuits, including Jululu. I get that the show has moved more and more of its plot elements to the actual PriPara as it’s gone on, but I feel that at least one scene outside of the park may have done some good.
The reason for all this is an idol swimming competition, because it’s not back to school just yet. At the start of the episode, Fuwari and Falulu tried to goad Hibiki into participating, but she was more content to watch it on the TV in her office rather than go outside and actually play with the rest of the main cast. At least Hibiki didn’t try to sabotage it, so that’s an improvement over before. Also one of a few subplots running through the episode.
The main episode plot has the Red Team (led by Mirei) and the White Team (led by Shion) get into a heated competition. Mirei and Shion, both being the thinkers of their group, have had their rivalries before, but thanks to third parties intervening, this one gets particularly crazy. For one, there’s the Pig/Pizza Manjuu team, which is basically Galumageddon declaring themselves a third party for the jewel-diving competition, which they nearly would’ve won had it not been for Ajimi interfering and bringing a shark to the event. Not a mascot shark, but seemingly an actual shark. One that pulls the boat the main characters were in off to a deserted island in the middle of the pool, which is also a thing. This area just keeps getting new wrinkles the further along it goes. Just how much land do the owners of this park have? The Prism Stone store doesn’t look that big, but the park is ginormous.
The episode does introduce a new mascot, though. A singing seal who basically tells Mirei and Shion they have to play nice or they’re never getting off the island. In song. Which is how all messages should be delivered. I hope we see more of this seal later. Then there’s Non’s subplot, where she’s trying to find teammates for her new unit. I know they were already revealed on Anime News Network and similar sites – and they’ve both been in the show before – but I’ll hold off on commenting on them until the unit is actually formed in the series.
Love, Chanko and the kyupikon girl aren’t really what Non is looking for in a teammate. There’s also a gag in this episode where Aroma, Shion and Mirei get so heated that they catch on fire about the swimming competition… and the flames are put out by Jululu peeing on them. That’s one of the less sanitary uses of toilet humor the show’s done. Not its best moment.
The performances are nice, though. Getting to see “CHANGE! MY WORLD” again is always welcome, and Solami Smile performs a new Making Drama related to all the fruits Shion and Mirei brought back from the island. It’s a goofy little episode, but it does mark the first time we saw the Super Cyalumes outside of the Divine Grand Prix. They don’t seem to confer any special dancing abilities, but they do look shiny. Maybe they do in the arcade game.
I like episodes like this sometimes. Where I can just sit back and absorb whatever crazy thing this show throws at me. Yet, the overplot must return at some point.
Hibiki becomes Phantom Thief Genius once more and kidnaps Jululu. I don’t think holding the goddess hostage will get her to play nice with you.