REVIEW: ‘Idoly Pride,’ Episode 11 – “A Place That Cannot Be Reached Alone”

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Idoly Pride Episode 11 - But Why Tho?Last time on Idoly Pride, viewers spent some time with the lead of TRINITYAiLE, Tendo Rui. A serious idol, Rui also has struggled under Mana’s legacy. Yet her desire and passion weren’t strong enough to defeat the rival group, Sunny Peace. We also saw Sunny Peace claim a spot in the finals of the Next Venus Grand Prix. In Idoly Pride Episode 11, we’ll see how Moon Tempest fairs and if they’re able to rise to the occasion and face off against Sunny Peace in the finals too.

Episode 11, titled “Burn the Sound of Life,” flips the script to focus on Moon Tempest. We also focus on Mana, who has started to fade away now that Sakura is singing with her own voice and will. Thus far, Mana has sat on the sidelines, watching over the new members of Hoshimi Productions. In many ways, she’s been a cute character that pops in a few times an episode for some heartfelt scenes. This helped to reduce any chances of her legacy overwhelming the show, which I was worried about early on.

Viewers may not have thought much about her ghost…until episode 9. That’s when the show started to question Mana’s presence and why she was still here so late into the cour. Then, in episode 8, viewers learned the truth: Mana’s only existence was because Sakura had relied on her transplanted heart and voice. With Sakura moving on to find her own path, Mana’s time is done. It’s time for this legendary idol…to move on.

This starts a really delicate dance between Kotono and Mana in Idoly Pride Episode 11. Both girls are reaching for the same goal. Yet only Kotono can achieve it. Mana says it best: she’s dead. She can’t be an idol any longer. But Kotono can, and she can guide Moon Tempest to greatness… if she can cope with her own relationship with Mana.

Thankfully, Mana isn’t alone in her pain.

Just like Sakura, Kotono finds solace in a fellow rival group. This time, it’s LizNoir’s lead Igawa Aoi. Just like Tendo Rui, Aoi dreamed of becoming a revolutionary idol who could move hearts. She, too, has been chasing after Nagase Mana. Truth be told, all the idols in the series have been chasing after Mana in one way or another. They’ve all been fixated on her legacy and their shared desire to overtake it. Seeing them move past Mana’s literal ghost and legacy feels cathartic in a big way.

In the back half of Idoly Pride Episode 11, we’re treated to a pair of performances, just like episode 10. This time, it’s LizNoir -who we got a taste of in episode 4 – and Moon Tempest. Both are really bombastic. I’m a big fan of how LizNoir sounds. They combine a lot of electronic sounds with a classic idol sound that’s a bit more downrange.

On the other hand, Moon Tempest song is powerful in a different way. It’s bright, optimistic, and powerfully hopeful. In fact, I’d argue that it kind of matches the entire vibe of Idoly Pride Episode 11 and the show’s message overall. I’ll be honest. I sobbed during the song. I suppose that’s the wonderful power of idols.

Idoly Pride Episode 11 is a deeply emotional episode and the best out of the entire cour. I cried a lot during this episode. You really get a good feeling for just how much Mana loved Kotono and how painful things were in the end. Seeing Kotono come into her own and move through the trauma of losing her sister and her own heartache feels cathartic too.

Additionally, seeing both Sunny Peace and Moon Tempest rise to idol greatness over the past ten episodes feels wonderful. 

Next week is Idoly Pride’s grand finale, in more ways than one. We’ll see who will come out as the next champion in the Grand Prix. Privately, I know who I’m secretly cheering for, though I’m not sure if my wish will come true. That being said, I’m hyped for the finale. However, it’ll be hard to see this series come to an end, though I sense it’ll go out on a high note. But… I guess that’s the mark of a fantastic cour.

Idoly Pride is now streaming on Funimation.

Idoly Pride Episode 11
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Next week is Idoly Pride’s grand finale, in more ways than one. We’ll see who will come out as the next champion in the Grand Prix. Privately, I know who I’m secretly cheering for, though I’m not sure if my wish will come true. That being said, I’m hyped for the finale. However, it’ll be hard to see this series come to an end, though I sense it’ll go out on a high note. But… I guess that’s the mark of a fantastic cour.