PriPara 114

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The angriest fluffy pink unicorn you’ll ever see.

Looks like this problem wasn’t going to last the whole show. It’ll be resolved before the end of this cour! The third round of the Divine Grand Prix has begun, but the episode spends most of its time in Hibiki’s room, where Tricolore is dealing with the fact that they missed being able to enter because of Hibiki’s latent friendship problems. (Fitting that an alicorn ends up helping her with those.) Though Unicorn’s methods of dealing with friendship problems are less gentle prodding and writing letters and more a long, passionate rant that calls out Hibiki as “useless” several times. “Uselessness” doesn’t only come from a lack of self-confidence, too much of it can be just as damaging. Trying to play the lone wolf (an archetype that doesn’t even really exist) ends up not only hurting yourself, but the people around you.

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Luckily, Hibiki is able to find a loophole for this and be blessed by the goddess, even in the middle of another singing competition. While she doesn’t believe in being friends with everyone just yet, Hibiki’s friendship with Fuwari and Falulu is genuine, and at least that is enough for the system to consider the ceremony a go-ahead. Tricolore is formed, and all is well. Even if it hadn’t, Falulu is oddly calm about the whole thing. She may be/have been the personification of everyone’s dreams of stardom, but as it turns out, she really has no such dreams for herself. The connections she’s made with the members of Tricolore (and her pride in Galulu for being part of an official unit herself) are bigger than winning a prize. There’ll be more competitions another day, but friends stick around for much longer.

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All of this results in a new song.

 

“Mon chou chou” (“My Darling”) is a great number. Hibiki may be self-important and generally unpleasant even in the best of times, but the songs she has are some of the show’s best. I’m still a big fan of the CelePara Opera’s number (Hibiki even tries to revive CelePara in a fit of desperation this episode before Fuwari puts a stop to it), and this one is really charming. The European style of it reminds me of Ashita no Nadja. Plus the choreography, with all that jumping and spinning, is really fun to watch. This is one worth buying this season’s complete album for.

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Speaking of jumping and spinning, a brief shoutout to Cirque de Meganee, which is run as a distraction while Tricolore does their ceremony. I’ve accepted by now that Meganee is some form of AI/goddess, but wow, she is multi-talented. This reminds me, I need to watch Kaleido Star at some point. Should probably get on that.

Before this week wraps up, I want to mention that Reina Ueda is not only a major player in PriPara, she’s also starring in the show’s biggest competition over in Aikatsu Stars! (which Meganee was also in.) Ueda is playing a silver-haired aloof foreign exchange student like Hibiki, only much friendlier. Lily Shirogane is about as far removed from Ajimi as you can get. Ueda really does have a lot of range.

Glad to see Hibiki’s team formed. I take back what I said – they may just be the ones to win this round. An international celebrity, the personification of idols themselves, and the farm girl. A most unlikely talented trio.

NEXT WEEK

“Hibike! Eupho- Divine Idol Grand Prix!” The battle is on for a particularly sparkly pair of shoes.

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