PriPara 113

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Things are getting really Japanese up in here.

When a show has as many characters built up over this many episodes, there’s precious little room to waste them. They’re either brought back or kept around for recurring gags, but rarely ever discarded. At the start of this season, Chiri felt more like a sounding board, a character meant to serve as exposition and an audience surrogate, a blank slate so the show could reintroduce itself to new viewers. And she was.

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Until we rejoin several months later. If Hibiki is this show’s prime example of Westernized wealth, something Japan values a lot in its shows. Look at how Karen’s mansion fromĀ Yes! Precure 5 was designed, for example. Chiri, however, comes from a more traditional Japanese family. She’s still fairly shy, but when she steps into the city-state of idols and explains her backstory, that she was granted a Celebrity-type jewel during The Great God Awakening, it becomes clear that there’s another side of her personality that’s both more and less friendly than Hibiki’s aloof prince persona.

That of a silk hiding steel Japanese matriarch. With her golden fan and traditional kimono, if Shion was the samurai in an old period drama, then Chiri would be the influential town noble that Shion works to protect. If anything, Chiri’s idol persona reminds me quite a bit of Princess Hitei fromĀ Katanagatari, and other characters like her. The Japanese-ness is an essential part of why I find it interesting. Ordinary is ordinary, for the most part, no matter where you are in the world, but seeing Chiri take on such a mask is quite amusing, and one of the biggest changes in personality in and out of the park since the original members of Solami Smile (Lala excepted).

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All of this gets Non riled up because she feels that if anyone is going to challenge her sister and declare themselves her rival, that’s family only. It’s enough to make her transform into Kanon and bring out Triangle for one more song performance. I already know where this is going, and the way they’re building up to it is working out nicely enough. The third Grand Prix is approaching, and given the amount of episodes they’re using and how they’re using them, I think that Non’s new team is going to take this round. Largely because Hibiki still can’t say “friendship”, preventing Tricolore from being an official thing and even having a shot at winning.

Adding two new characters to the already crowded roster would be a tough task for anybody, but I like what I see of Chiri so far. It all depends on how she interacts with the rest of the cast. She can make Solami Smile and Dressing Pafe bow down before her easily, but will Aromageddon cave? Will Hibiki? Will it even work on Falulu? I know that Dorothy is the only one actively questioning it.

It may be a running gag, but this is a show where running gags are at least half of everyone’s personality. The third season hasn’t hit as high a height as the second one yet, but it’s still moving along at a fairly steady pace.

NEXT WEEK

The Grand Prix starts its third round as Fuwari tries to figure out how to make Tricolore into a team that can actually perform.

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