PriPara 140 (S3+Series Finale)

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To one and all, a happy kashikoma!

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Is something over if there’s still a movie attached to it? Is something over if a spinoff, partially featuring the previous cast, is set to begin immediately after it concludes? Especially in these franchise-driven days, the idea of something being over feels like little more than an illusion, but the truth of the matter is, as of this episode, the mainline PriPara is over. 140 episodes spread across three seasons and a smattering of movies, live shows, video games and other miscellany. Technically the fourth entry in its franchise, it’ll probably be more remembered than either of its three predecessors (though I still hold that Rainbow Live is worthy of much respect.)

A lot’s changed over the course of writing about it. I started covering this show on GAF, brought my thoughts here because I wanted to keep writing them down, and just as the show wraps up, I returned to GAF. For the Power Rangers marathon, but still. It’s been a long journey, so let’s see what the show decides to do for its final episode.

I like what it does. Instead of the mundane world providing a contrast to the city-state of idols, the world of PriPara is left for our world, as something I’ve been speculating about since she first appeared finally comes to pass. Jewlie, benevolent goddess that she is, offers Falulu a chance that’s been a long time in the making. She’s become a “real girl,” but she’s never been able to leave the confines of PriPara. Until now.

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The show really commits to this, too. The eyecatches are reversed, and the show even includes a brief gag where Meganee says that Falulu leveled up to a “shining new student.”

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Her day is short and filled with speeches about friendship, but it works. Every major and minor character has at least a cameo, if not a speaking line, and the show ends with a medley of songs performed by much of the main cast, beginning with a sequence of Jewlie flying over Japan and giving people PriTickets. She may not be part of the system anymore, but she’s become something greater. Perhaps she was the one offering tickets the whole time. One thing is certain, though. The show’s already preparing for a spinoff.

The episode ends with Principal Okanda informing Lala that she’s going to be transferring, and one of the people who Jewlie gives a ticket to is Yui, the protagonist of Idol Time. I am prepared for that, but I don’t want the episode number counter to reset and the stories to begin anew. I’ve grown really attached to these characters, and while their voice actors will go on to work on other projects – Lala and Mirei’s seem to be rising – it’s not the same without a pop, step and a kashikoma. A lot of the cast was defined by one or two quirks, but Moriwaki knew how to play them off each other in new and increasingly crazy variations for comedy and even pathos, all while building up a lore and something of a world around this idol theme park.

When the show started, even its creators weren’t expecting it to become so popular it’d dethrone Aikatsu, forcing its competition to reboot with Stars. In the end, though, I think it’s good to have multiple idol shows and ways of looking at things. Be they for younger or older audiences, merchandise driven or otherwise, be the kind of person who listens to what your favorite shows say. Take it to heart. Be a good person.

Everyone’s friends. Everyone’s an idol.

NEXT WEEK

The 140 winds itself all the way back to 1 as Yui Yumekawa becomes the Yume Nijino of PriPara. What will these new idols bring? Will Lala guide them well? Stay tuned, because I’m going to keep covering Idol Time PriPara!

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