REVIEW: ‘Idoly Pride,’ Episode 9 – “Embrace the Courage You’ve Been Given”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Idoly Pride Episode 9

Last time on Idoly Pride, viewers got to spend time with Kotono and Sakura, the leaders of Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace respectively. Both girls face a huge task ahead of them: leading their idol units through the finals of the Next Venus Grand Prix. However, they’re not alone: in fact, there are loads of amazing idols. This includes competition LizNoir and TRINITYAiLE, two groups who are almost as legendary as Nagase Mana. Now in Idoly Pride Episode 9, “Embrace the Courage You’ve Been Given”, viewers are back in action with Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace as both units look towards winning the Next Venus Grand Prix.

Both Kotono and Sakura continue to struggle in the shadow of Nagase Mana. The former for being her sister, the latter for having an uncannily similar voice. It’s been an underpinning of the series since episode 2 and even episode 3. Mana’s legacy and notoriety are so thoroughly entangled in the lives of every idol: moreso with Kotono and Sakura.

Yet now it’s become clear that Moon Tempest, Sunny Peace, and Kotono and Sakura are all things separate from Mana. While her legacy does influence them, the girls of Hoshimi Production are starting to shine as themselves. Mana’s presence is fading more and more, letting Kotono and Sakura be individuals.

This has been a trend for the past few episodes. As the girls grow and come into their own, Mana has faded into the background, reappearing far more sparsely as her role in the series and the lives of the Hoshimi Production idols diminishes. In fact, as Kotono and Sakura grow and become more professional, Mana’s taken the backseat. Until Idoly Pride Episode 9. In truth, Mana’s legacy isn’t completely forgotten, especially not when Kotono implores Sakura to sing her sister’s unreleased song in the finals. In fact, Mana’s legacy comes crashing back in. While Mana might be deceased, she’s still a girl with feelings. She still has unfinished business and still has desires. 

Thus we have the “meat” of the episode. Idoly Pride Episode 9 also returns to a question I had since episode 4: why is Mana here? Why has she manifested, and why is she still around? While I’ll leave you to watch the episode and come to your own conclusions, I will say that I’m even more invested in the series. I just hope we get answers before the end of this season. I say that because I’m not expecting a season 2 for the show.

Part of why Idoly Pride is so good is that the show has a genuine heart. It doesn’t shy away from painful moments, and it doesn’t “sweeten” heavy moments either. The series also takes a hard look at living up to the legacy, and how difficult it can be to surpass someone who revolutionized an industry. It doesn’t shy away from rumors and gossip and the ramifications of being in the spotlight. If anything, this series takes a quite critical lens to the idol industry and its expectations, sidestepping the supernatural elements of the show for a genuine look at how the young women in the industry feel about the expectations heaped on them. All of these elements make it easy to love Idoly Pride, especially as it continues to build towards the ending.

Ultimately, Idoly Pride Episode 9 was deeply satisfying, offering deep character building for both Kotono and Sakura. Both girls grow dynamically as individuals, as well as the leaders of Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace. As I sit here crying, all I can think is how proud of these girls I feel. I really, really want them to come into their own by the end of this series. In the end, I feel genuinely hyped up for the last three episodes. While I’m not sure which unit will win, I know that I’m cheering for both Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace to make it to the end.

Idoly Pride is now streaming on Funimation.

 

Idoly Pride Episode 9 - “Embrace the Courage You’ve Been Given”
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, Idoly Pride Episode 9 was deeply satisfying, offering deep character building for both Kotono and Sakura. Both girls grow dynamically as individuals, as well as the leaders of Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace. As I sit here crying, all I can think is how proud of these girls I feel. I really, really want them to come into their own by the end of this series. In the end, I feel genuinely hyped up for the last three episodes. While I’m not sure which unit will win, I know that I’m cheering for both Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace to make it to the end.