REVIEW: ‘Idoly Pride,’ Episode 3 – “Everyone’s Looking for the Answer”

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Idoly Pride Episode 3

Idoly Pride (stylized as IDOLY PRIDE) is a brand new Winter 2021 idol anime.  The show combines idols with a touch of the supernatural to spin a pretty realistic story about idols trying to reach the top. Last episode introduced Nagase Kotono along with the rest of the idols in her new unit members. Idoly Pride Episode 3, “Everyone’s Looking for the Answer”, continues to develop all of the idols, as well as grow the beard on the plot by pushing the girls as they formally start their training.

Immediately, one of the best part of Idoly Pride Episode 3 is seeing the dynamic between all of the girls. They all have distinctly different personalities, all of which have the potential to clash and butt up against each other. Idoly Pride could even sink to cat fights and petty arguments, especially with it’s nearly 100% female cast. 

Thankfully, that doesn’t really happen in Idoly Pride Episode 3. Instead, the girls clash with Kouhei, their manager. While the girls are dedicated to being idols, they’re also teen girls, and they quickly get tired of training, training, and more training. So, Kouhei comes up with a solution: their first song, which means dance lessons and brand new music. Everyone seems pretty excited… except Kotono, who’s still quite serious about her career.

It’s here that I thought about Kotono’s original goal of becoming a solo artist just like her sister. Idoly Pride Episode 3 makes it clear that Kotono still isn’t happy being in a unit. In many ways, Kotono planned to map her goals and career directly onto her sister’s path. She’d debut as a solo idol and claw her way to the top, no matter what. This comes to a head in Idoly Pride Episode 3 when Kouhei patiently confronts Kotono, who’s still chafing at the idea of being in a group. She asks, once more, if she can’t go solo. The answer is a kind but clear no.

It’s the right answer too. After all, Kouhei is a manager, and after three years of working, understands the system and the Venus Program, which grades idols and ranks them. He knows that Kotono most likely wouldn’t be able to succeed on her own. 

Mana was a once in a lifetime kind of idol. Her ability to rocket to the top is extremely rare. If Kotono’s going to succeed, she’s going to have to be in a group. Moreso, she’s going to have to be a team player. Kotono seems to be aware of that as well, and slowly comes to terms with that during Idoly Pride Episode 3.

One thing I haven’t mentioned up to this point is the animation, which honestly, looks really nice. I like the character designs a lot. They’re distinct enough not to blend into the background, but not so outlandish that anyone looks silly or like The Protagonist. Additionally, Kotono looks enough like her sister without being a copycat. It’s clear that they’re related without Kotono just being Mana Version 2.0. 

This can be said of all the girls’ designs. They’re cute enough to stand out from the crowd, but not so outlandish that they look out of place. Really, only two of the girls have “noticeable” traits, but I get the feeling future episodes will explain them once we get into character backstories. 

It would be easy to call Idoly Pride a copycat of Love Live, but I really think it’s more than the sum of its parts. In fact, I think it would be a disservice to both Love Live and Idoly Pride to compare them like that. Rather, I think it’s important to look at Idoly Pride as being its own thing. And honestly?  I’ve really enjoyed my watch of Idoly Pride, including Idoly Pride Episode 3. Fans of Love Live who are hungry for more after Fall 2020’s newest season should absolutely check Idoly Pride out.

I’m still not sure how Mana’s legacy -and her ghost- will factor into the show, but I do think it’s interesting having her spectre watching over the girls as they seek new heights. I’m rooting for these girls, and while there’s a long road ahead, I think there’s lots of potential for them. Hopefully, over the course of Idoly Pride’s cour, the girls will chart their own course. Mana’s legacy is important, but… I really wanna see them grow into their.

Idoly Pride is now streaming on Funimation.

 

Idoly Pride Episode 3 - "Everyone’s Looking for the Answer"
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    Rating - 8/10
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TL;DR

I’m still not sure how Mana’s legacy -and her ghost- will factor into the show, but I do think it’s interesting having her spectre watching over the girls as they seek new heights. I’m rooting for these girls, and while there’s a long road ahead, I think there’s lots of potential for them. Hopefully, over the course of Idoly Pride’s cour, the girls will chart their own course. Mana’s legacy is important, but… I really wanna see them grow into their.