PriPara 121

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Let’s put on a (fashion) show!

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It’s coincidence and nothing else, but I find it highly amusing that this week’s episode of PriPara involves the main characters waiting to get into a booth to do something. Though what it is, that’s another matter entirely. Cosmo’s feeling down about her ability to design new outfits, and at just the same time, Meganii reveals the dress design cabinet, which is probably a real thing. A real thing that plays into one of the main appeals of more recent video games in the first place. Character customization. Everyone in this episode will get to show off their outfits, the winner will get to perform a special song.

It’s a standard episode of PriPara. Lessons are learned. Food metaphors are used, and there’s some wonderful Leona moments tying the whole thing together. Every main character gets to show off, even if it’s for only one or two lines. It’s the kind of low-key yet status-quo shaking kind of episode that’s perfect for a day like today.

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The main conflict of the episode concerns Dorothy and Shion, and I can relate to how they’re divided. Though in my case it’s more when it comes to how to decorate a house rather than fashion. Shion, like her Go style, prefers simple things with lots of high-contrast black and white. No frills, no problem. As for Dorothy, the first time she gets her hands on one of those cabinets, this is the first thing she produces.

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It’s something that makes New Mew’s weird dress thing look reasonable by comparison. She’s throwing everything she can onto the screen at once – and I notice they already have parts for Chiri and Pepper even though they only recently became prominent idols – because Dorothy is all about being a flashy, colorful showoff. As a fellow flashy, colorful showoff, I know that feeling. Though it should still result in something practical that can exist outside a computer program.

Leona manages to fix this by comparing himself to the soy sauce that holds Shion’s plain noodles and Dorothy’s colorful tempura together. Japan loves their food metaphors. And their food in general. Not all food metaphors this work, but this one isn’t dwelled on for too long and lets us see the Hojo family apartment again.

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My favorite moment of the episode is right here. During the fashion show, Galulu and Falulu come out with a surprise. Their outfits are the Paprika Academy school uniforms. They may not be able to leave the park, but if they ever did transfer to Lala’s school, this is probably what they’d look like. Those uniforms match really well with their style, and it’s a super feelgood “what if” moment. Maybe they can throw Janice and Jewlie into a pair of uniforms at some point – we know they can exist outside the idol world, so them actually transferring isn’t out of the question.

Other great little moments: The return of the members of Triangle and Tricolore briefly.

This is the kind of stuff that makes watching PriPara enjoyable. I’ve spent so long with these characters that even a relatively low-stakes episode like this one still feels like time well spent. They’re growing and changing, if in subtle ways.

NEXT WEEK

Lala wants to perform a duet with her sister for her birthday. Non is so caught up in her idea of being Lala’s rival that she doesn’t want to.

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