PriPara 131

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Welcome to the final show!

A few weeks into the new year, and PriPara pulls out one more OP. And it’s i☆Ris, as it should be. Their music has nearly defined this show. The song itself is pretty good, even if the animation for it is made up of reused clips and character models from across all three seasons. There’s a very good reason for this that was revealed in the past week.

At three seasons, the cast has ballooned tremendously. What was originally six idols and a smattering of mascots and side characters has quickly become so big that the screen showing them all off in the OP is packed in a way you’d normally only get with a Shonen Jump-esque battle series. Because aside from Lala, most of them will probably drop off the radar once the next movie and this season are over.

Idol Time PriPara was revealed in the past week, and it switches up everything. A complete change of cast, of mascots, even of setting. The only element tethering it to the past three years is Lala. Like Dear My Future, it’s still in the same world as this show – the PriPara brand is too big to drop at this point – but I understand the need to refresh and have a new set of characters with a new set of dynamics and a new set of stories to tell. I’ll keep covering it, of course, but it will be sad to say goodbye to Dorothy and Fuwari and Aromageddon and all of the other idols we’ve come to know. The time for that is in the future, though.

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This episode was done in a way that kept things easy. All the action was set in one room as Meganii laid out the rules for the tournament, allowing everyone to pick their place by lottery. As with most tournament brackets, it turned into a sort of metagame. Non wanted to go up against her sister. Nobody wanted to go up against Ajimi. And if the last two slots were chosen, one less battle would have to be done to make it to the top.

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Non Sugar vs Solami Smile, Tricolore vs Ucchari Big Bangs, Galumageddon vs Dressing Pafe

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There’s also a small subplot about Hibiki filming a war movie(?!) and trying to rush back to pick her spot in the tournament. By the time she gets there, Fuwari has already chosen and they’re up against the Big Bangs – the one group Hibiki least wanted to go against. I enjoyed her turn from antagonist to subject of ridicule this season.

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It was a simple episode, setting the stage for the tournament and final ascendancy to idol godhood in the next few months. The new opening let it sink in that we’re in the home stretch for these characters, even ones who we only got to know recently like Pepper and Chiri.

Let the tournament begin!

NEXT WEEK

Galumageddon prepares to go against Dressing Pafe. Who will stand victorious?

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