And we’re the Game Grumps.
With all the late night sneaking out and tunnel building, fighting against the system to become an idol feels a mite higher stakes this time around. Lala may have had to outsmart Gloria on several occasions, but she never had to do the kind of hard labor that building a tunnel requires. Yui, of course, is totally on board with this idea, and her dream sequences are a bit more outlandish than usual this episode. The show is settling into a fairy tale motif, however.
Specifically, Cinderella. The idea of changing into fancy clothes for only a limited time and escaping someone who’s keeping your dreams down fits in perfectly with the motifs being established this season, and Yui, being prone to fantasizing, rolls with it. Her sequence where she played the role of “fairy godmother” and turned all the animals of the forest into idols was amusing, but in light of the smash success of Kemono Friends, not that unlikely.
One scene in the episode that really stands out is Yui’s collection of drawings. A whole closet’s worth that she’s been working on since she was 3. It provides a nice contrast – Lala sort of stumbled into the idol business, while Yui’s planned for every potential scenario and already has an idea to go with it.
All the familiar beats of a Making Drama episode are here, though the idea doesn’t come from food this time. While escaping to Prism Stone, Lala and Yui end up dressing in bird costumes, which gives Yui the idea for a cuckoo clock. It’s not as bombastic as some of the ones from last season. With the slate wiped clean, that’s to be expected. The world is starting to build itself up to the point where there might be a thriving park, like in the original series, once more. After finishing her performance, a cafe sprouts up in the middle of Paparajuku’s PriPara as if it was one of those city-building mobile games. Hopefully less addictive.
There were a couple threads in this episode building towards future plot developments, now that Lala and Yui’s rapport is largely settled. While escaping, they briefly run into Nino, who introduces herself before walking away. We know from promotional material that she’s one of Yui’s future unit mates, so it’s only a matter of time until she’s dragged into the fold of the main characters. The other element was Meganee announcing the Idol Time Grand Prix, the next major tournament arc for the series. She also specified that Lala, as a Divine Idol, cannot enter. She’s already at the highest level and supremely overpowered, and this is a brand new PriPara franchise. It would be unfair to the other prospective contestants.
I’m sure Lala will continue to offer guidance and cheer Yui on from the sidelines, but she has a higher calling than winning tournaments these days. Not that everyone from the old series is irrelevant, as we’ll see next week. Idol Time is a little slow to start at the moment – Lala and Yui have a fun dynamic, but they need more characters to play off to really bring out that PriPara magic.
The old cast is sticking around in ways subtle (Azuki Shibuya, aka Dorothy is Yui’s homeroom teacher) and outright blatant. Mirei returns to the show next week to give Lala a helping hand with a pop, step and a jump! Got you!