REVIEW: ‘Idoly Pride,’ Episode 4 – “Raise the Volume More and More”

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Idoly Pride Episode 4

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, the girls of Hoshimi Production .They also saw a practice performance by LizNoir, a high-ranking idol group who’s leagues above the girls. LizNoir, a group of powerful idols. It’s time for the girls of Hoshimi Production to rise to the occasion. But.. can they? In Idoly Pride Episode 4, “Raise the Volume More and More”, the girls start to confront that question as well own abilities. They also start to hone in the disparity between their humble beginnings and other idol groups. They’re well aware that they need to surpass LizNoir. Now, they need to get down to brass tacks and sweat until they’re strong enough to achieve their goal.

Post-OP, the girls get to it… by watching a video of Mana’s performance. It’s actually a really sweet scene where all the girls gush about how inspirational Mana is. It really drives home the simple fact that Mana, like a lot of musicians and performers, passed before her time. She was on track to be a superstar. It really is a shame that she died, though her impact continues to resonate throughout Idoly Pride as a whole.

Mana’s shadow continues to haunt the show, but slowly, she’s fading into the background. She’s more of a passive viewer than an active . While Mana remains the goal that the girls strive to surpass, she’s less of a looming specter and more of a friendly ghost, for lack of a better phrase. In fact, in Idoly Pride Episode 4, I noticed that she’s faded into the background even more. While I don’t think she’ll completely disappear, I do think she’ll continue to make space for the girls to have their time in the limelight as well.

I need to return to the animation again because Idoly Pride Episode 4 features a dance sequence that is really, really fluid. I gasped when it started, in large part because the camera work and animation is so slick. It’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into Idoly Pride, despite it being “just an idol anime.” I really love the effort put into the girls’ movements. It heightens the fact that they’re both dancers and musicians.

It’s here that I need to say that new character Hayasaka Mei is probably the weakest part of the plot and Idoly Pride Episode 4. At base, her personality is fine. She’s an airhead who’s quite sweet, with a somewhat oddball personality. The issue comes from her being a young girl that the plot can’t help but make into the fan service character. 

The camera likes to linger on Mei’s thighs and butt which is completely unnecessary. And while it doesn’t happen constantly, it’s enough that it’s just exhausting, especially since she’s a teenager girl. I hope that the show will lean further away from any shots like this. However, I’m a seasoned idol anime viewer: I know the show won’t.

Idoly Pride Episode 4 was yet another solid entry into the series. There’s lots of good moments, even though this is a bit of a “slower” episode. With the addition of another new member to Hoshimi Production, we’ve grown the cast, further developing the story as well as introducing some fresh personalities. Hopefully we’ll get some performances and new songs once all the idols have assembled in the dormitory. I expect that’ll happen in the back half of the series.

It feels really, really good to watch the girls of Hoshimi Production work together. Now that they have a solid challenge, they’re pooling all their skills with one goal. Surpassing LizNoir and shining as brightly as they can. As a viewer, I really believe they can, whether or not that’s in the cards. The girls all come off as incredibly authentic and earnest. Four episodes in, I’m still rooting for them to rise to the occasion and hopefully, surpass even Mana.

Idoly Pride is now streaming on Funimation.

 

Idoly Pride Episode 4 - "Raise the Volume More and More"
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

It feels really, really good to watch the girls of Hoshimi Production work together. Now that they have a solid challenge, they’re pooling all their skills with one goal. Surpassing LizNoir and shining as brightly as they can. As a viewer, I really believe they can, whether or not that’s in the cards. The girls all come off as incredibly authentic and earnest. Four episodes in, I’m still rooting for them to rise to the occasion and hopefully, surpass even Mana.