Her eyes are sparkling like a Lisa Frank catalog.
Moving beyond the premiere, things take a sharp right turn and become The Great Escape. I’ll give Idol Time credit, it’s certainly not letting up on the weirdness that makes PriPara what it is. This episode also answered a lot of my questions about the state of the idol world in this soft reboot. Apparently Lala’s not doing this solo. Mirei and Sophie are also going to cities that don’t have a love for idols yet and spreading the word. We even got a brief cameo from Mirei this week! As long as the old characters aren’t entirely forgotten, I’m cool with that. A balance must be struck between playing on the love for the previous series and letting the new characters get a chance to breathe and come into their own.
In the beginning, the scene with Yui thinking Lala had to have gone through some tragic circumstances to get here was amusing, especially for the watercolor way it was presented. I also noticed that Punicorn stays with her outside the city-state of idols. Since the mascots are newly born this time around, they’re closer to a traditional cute magical girl mascot rather than the ones Lala had to deal with.
So to make up for that, the new Principal Okanda looks very militaristic. With the green color scheme on her outfit and the way she wields the broom, it’s clear she’s enforcing a rule over the school very similar to the one her relative had. Except in this case, it’s more the belief that being an idol is a male thing only. I have been thinking of some things I want to say about male idols and the way anime fandom as a whole has this weird thing about gender and demographics that at times feels like a completely arbitrary barrier even when the shows are mostly similar, but. We haven’t seen enough of the male idols in PriPara to really get a feel for them just yet. The only representative is Yui (I keep wanting to call her Yume. C’mon fingers, get it right.)’s brother Shogo, who’s not exactly pleasant.
Though his weakness is the same as Haru from Appmon, oddly enough. These TV Tokyo shows can blend together at points.
The weirdest part of the episode is when the cheerleading squad reveals sheep costumes – a la Ando’s goat costume – that they use for sneaking into DanPri, and then assist Lala and Yui with tunneling out of the school and towards the Prism Stone. It’s a fairly intense sequence that almost seems to come out of nowhere. I’m surprised Lala has the energy to perform after that.
Once she does, she’s able to revert to her usual character model and prove to Yui that she really is a Divine Idol. Her power will remain nerfed for the most part, but it’s good to know that the old Lala isn’t gone forever. Plus we got a new performance of “Make it!” out of it, which is welcome.
As is the case with these year-long shows, I’m giving the show a bit of time for it to find itself. This week proves that the show’s still got the same combination of wacky comedy and strong character work I’m looking for in a PriPara series. It just needs to smooth out the edges and establish the new cast.
Yui tries to create her first Making Drama.