REVIEW: ‘Idoly Pride,’ Episode 12 – “The Story That Begins With Goodbye

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Idoly Pride Episode 12Last time on Idoly Pride, the plot focused on Moon Tempest and LizNoir, following their trials and tribulations as they sang their hearts out. In the end, Moon Tempest proved to be the stronger idol group, soundly defeating LizNoir and locking in a place in the finals and the finale episode. Now, In Idoly Pride Episode 12, Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace take the stage to face off against one another for the title of Champion of the Next Venus Grand Prix.

Idoly Pride Episode 12, “The Story That Begins With Goodbye,” marks the finale and the final episode of the show, and boy howdy, was I hyped. The girls of Moon Tempest return to their stage where they first became idols. The moment is touching, playing the OP in the background as the girls reminisce about their journey and how far they’ve come. The sun rises, and Idoly Pride Episode 12 begins in full.

Back at the competition, the girls are getting ready. However, one person is missing: Makino, their director. Well, two people are missing: Makino and Mana. In episode 9, we saw what happened when Mana wasn’t receiving energy from Sakura’s voice. She began to fade. That happened because Sakura wanted to sing with her soul and voice.

Yet, the girls haven’t given up the ghost quite yet. In fact, both Sakura and Kotono send their prayers to Mana’s spirit, promising her that they’ll give their all. Then, it’s time for the girls to take the stage and show Mana—and the world—what they’ve got. 

Sunny Peace takes the stage first with “Sunny Peace Harmony,” the song they sang in episode 6. It’s a powerful callback, especially seeing how far the girls have come as a viewer. Half a season ago, they were absolute beginners with a small crowd. Now, they look out and see, as Sakura says, a vortex of stars, which are actually lightsticks from their fans and supporters.

Moon Tempest also sings their song “Gekka Hakanabi” or “Daylight Moon” from the same episode. Just like Sunny Peace’s performance, it’s a strong song. However, I’ll be honest: their performance is better than Sunny Peace. Kotono’s strength shines through thanks to her voice actress, Tachibana Mirai. Tachibana’s performance as Kotono has been stellar throughout the cour. Still, in Idoly Pride Episode 12 it transcends and becomes a tearful, powerful performance that really made me realize just how much I love Idoly Pride.

Finally, after struggling and training and giving it their all, we circle back to the beginning, to the girls in their idol finery. They’re not performing as Sunny Peace and Moon Tempest. Instead, they’re the girls of Hoshimi Production, and they’re showing all their hard work in one final animated performance that absolutely rocks.

As an idol fan, I found all the performances in Idoly Pride Episode 12 deeply moving. I was brought to tears repeatedly, not just because of the music, but because this really, truly is the end of this series. I’m going to miss spending time with these girls so much. They’re all really brilliant performances, thanks in large part to their voice actresses. And while there will be a mobile game released in Summer 2021, I couldn’t help but feel a similar pang of sadness as the episode ended and faded to the credits. I want more Idoly Pride. Then again, don’t impactful anime like this leave you hungry for more? I think that’s their job.

Idoly Pride Episode 12 is a touching finale to a series that tackles grief, legacy, and the notion of living for others. When I started Idoly Pride, I was quite reluctant about its beginnings. I didn’t like how Mana was killed off by The Plot, and I wasn’t sure if I would like the new members. Yet, I found myself eagerly awaiting Idoly Pride episodes week to week and found my heart opening up to these wonderful kids as they all moved through their struggles to become idols in their own right.

There’s so much to love about Idoly Pride Episode 12. Seeing Moon Tempest and Sunny Peace rise to idol stardom feels so good. Returning to the beginning with a young Makino and Mana feels so sweet and tender. Seeing them banter as old friends makes me smile and want to cry at the same time. Additionally, seeing Mana finally find peace in her sister’s new legacy feels cathartic and powerful. I could name so many things that I love about this series. 

I know that Idoly Pride, and idol anime, aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Either they’re too moe, too generic, or just generally not “interesting” enough for most viewers. Yet I can’t help but recommend watching Idoly Pride ahead of the Spring 2021 season, which will be packed.

Ultimately, Idoly Pride is one of Winter 2021’s strongest shows, offering up a heartwarming, genuinely human story about grieving and healing. I would argue that it’s one of the best new anime to come out this season. That says a lot considering there are shows like So I’m a Spider, So What?, Wonder Egg Priority, and Horimiya airing this season. 

Even if you’re not into music-themed anime, especially idols, I think Idoly Pride is worth spending a weekend or a week with. I think you’ll find a truly special story. Give it a try, and hey, once you’ve finished, feel free to tell me what you think.

Idoly Pride is now streaming on Funimation.

Idoly Pride Episode 12
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    Rating - 10/10
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TL;DR

Even if you’re not into music-themed anime, especially idols, I think Idoly Pride is worth spending a weekend or a week with. I think you’ll find a truly special story. Give it a try, and hey, once you’ve finished, feel free to tell me what you think.