PriPara 126

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Pri-mas.

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There’s a rule of thumb in the fansub translation community that applies mostly to long running kids’ shows. If it’s a one-shot episode, it’s a lot tougher to translate, because those can go outside the show’s usual formula with abandon. If it’s a plot episode, then it’s much easier, because Japan has their storytelling beats, like the rest of the world, so consistent that aside from some terminology, it can be done a lot quicker. I think that applies to talking about them, but in reverse. A one-shot episode is a lot easier to write about, because it gives so much strange new material at times.

While a plot episode is either only part of a puzzle or, in the case of PriPara, a competition. While the show does go out of its way to have at least one musical performance per episode, major competitions fill out the episode with more songs, meaning the actual amount of new story content is only a fraction of the usual running time. So it better be worth talking about. This episode has performances from Galumageddon, Dressing Pafe and Solami Smile, with the A-plot cutting back to the members of Non Sugar. That’s where the meat of the episode lies.

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Chiri refuses to go, since, while she wants to win, she doesn’t want to get involved in the goddess sisters’ battles, much less steal Jewlie’s staff. As soon as Non finds out about this, she and Pepper have no problem with telling Janice off to her face, but Chiri… can’t. She lacks the self-confidence outside of the city-state of idols, and needs some encouragement from her friends to tell her that she can say no, and that’s okay. Pepper of all people driving home the lesson that having a moral compass and the ability to say “no” is a good thing is a nice lesson for the target audience, and for a lot of people. Holding people accountable is a must, even when it’s over something like idols.

It also shows how far Non Sugar has come in the span of a few episodes, and draws a direct comparison between the many pairs of sisters that inhabit this show. Non and Usacha may be overly focused on their rivalry with the main characters at times, but they also play by the rules and want to win in a fair fight. (Kotae wa shinken shoubu no naka… Wait, that’s Agari again.) It also shows that you don’t have to have an aggressive personality to have agency. Chiri just asserted herself, both inside and outside the idol world.

It’s a good central lesson to wrap the episode around, but we have a little over a cour to go. So Janice still finds a way to tag along without the rest of the cast noticing so she can move ahead with her plans anyway. And the scene where she does…

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I can only imagine Aki Toyosaki in the recording booth, giving the most dramatic performance she can to a grumpy baby.

The show is going to be changing its time slot a little near the end of this month, but it’s only moving back half an hour. It’s staying on the same day, in the same general time block, and the time when I review it will remain roughly the same. Though I wouldn’t mind if it moved back to Fridays/Saturdays – it would pair nicely with Appmon.

NEXT WEEK

Non Sugar takes the stage and has to come up with a new Making Drama with moments to spare. Janice continues to scheme.

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