PriPara is now a sports anime.
We’re in for a two parter. Nino’s still warming up to the idea of being an idol, and places high priority on her sporting activities first. So, aside from a few brief cuts back to the city-state of idols, most of this episode is spent on the baseball field. Though a series of circumstances that let nearly the entire main cast participate.
The baseball team only has the two members, so Yume, Nino and the entire cheer squad fill out the remainder of the ranks. Also, the opposing team got trapped in a bus by a herd of bulls. Animals are at the center of all kinds of weirdness in this world, and by this point, it just seems normal.
I liked Lala having the foresight to question Mirei and Sophie about the members of Dressing Pafe, and the answer matches up with what we saw last week. Shion is “on a journey”, and the West siblings are looking for her. Though they don’t have to go very far, because Dorothy and Leona end up setting up their monja stand right outside the very baseball field where the episode is taking place, and Shion ends up walking past them several times, going unrecognized because of the headgear. They could have a Dressing Pafe reunion right there, if only the others were aware of it.
For what little we saw of PriPara, Meganii was still in his Boys’ PriPara “macho” persona, which confused the largely female audience. Though maybe a few were into it, who knows? It’s not like their facial expressions moved during that scene. If Meganii can return to PriPara, it makes me wonder if integrating the two sides will become a subplot later in the season. Idols are idols. It’d be like expecting the members of 765 Pro to show up in the forthcoming Side M anime, which I’m not entirely ruling out.
The baseball game goes about as one would expect. Shion imparts some heartful advice, Yui’s eccentricities end up saving the day (those angel wings on her glove are useful), and Yui ends up spraining her ankle, introducing a bit of drama for next week’s first Grand Prix in the Idol Time timeline. It’s an unusual episode, but only because it’s half of the story.
I’m liking the idols more than the school cast, but of the idols I do like, Nino has gotten comparatively little screentime thus far. It means she’s getting fleshed out and getting a life outside of being an idol, but on the other hand the amount of idol stuff she’s done really only exists in one episode. The early days of any long-running show are kinda rough like this, even if they’re super important.
The last innings and the start of the Grand Prix.