Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

8 December 2015: So many Aikatsu! episodes remaining

Idol activities are no joke.

Following up on this entry, I've started watching Aikatsu! again, starting over from the initial 2012 episodes but also jumping ahead to the current new season. Aikatsu! is a children's show about girls at some sort of magic middle school for idols. One significant characteristic of Aikatsu! that distinguishes it from, say, THE iDOLM@STER, Love Live! School Idol Project, AKB0048, or Wake Up, Girls! is that the show is nearly always incredibly upbeat and everyone seems to have a fantastic time doing idol activities. I can easily imagine 6-year-old girls watching these episodes every week and thinking, "Aww, I wish I were an idol." Hell, I can easily imagine 36-year-old salarymen watching these episodes every week and thinking, "Fuuuck, I wish I were an idol."

It's possible Juri is practicing a martial art.

The current crop of episodes features a different generation of characters than the show started with, although apparently the original lead character, Ichigo, appears on occasion to bump the current lead, Akari, out of the spotlight every once in a while. (This is the sort of thing I always wished Pretty Cure would do during the television series instead of only during the All Stars movies.) With over 160 episodes, naturally there are a lot of characters. I'm nowhere near knowing all of them, but my clear favorite right now is the lanky redhead who won't stand still.

The CG in these early song and dance numbers got a lot better later.

All of them seem pretty good, actually, at least when they get an opportunity to shine. For example, Ichigo's friend at the start of the series, Aoi, is a straightforward infodump source who knows all about idols, but she presents herself in pretty amusing ways, such as the quick gag showing off her remarkable handshaking prowess. Unfortunately, the early episodes don't have enough of this sort of thing, and some parts are downright dull. It's no wonder I dropped the show so early back in 2012. On the plus side, the current episodes are really good. In fact, based on the last 10 episodes, I consider Aikatsu! second only to One Punch Man this season.

I'm still not convinced Johnny Bepp isn't totally sketchy.

This is not to say the early episodes aren't any good, but rather I was just impatient to get to the goddamn idol activities instead of learning about how the school and the cards and all the bureaucracy worked. There are still good lessons in those early episodes, such as Ichigo learning the hard way not to let task-oriented goals interfere with people-centric idol engagement. Nevertheless, Aikatsu! is at its best when its idols are performing absurd idol activities. I can't wait until Ichigo gets a hold of her axe and starts going to town on every tree in reach.

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