- Genre: CBDCT, School, Slice of life, brothers, idol, comedy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Bandai Namco Pictures
Being an idol is an underappreciated art. It’s a lot more work than people think it is. Gruelling workouts and rehearsals to keep your voice and body in top physical shape. Constant promotion to get your name out there. Spotless record and a personal life beyond reproach. All of these are absolutely essential just to get your foot in the door, and there’s still no guarantee you’ll ever make it. But for those who have tasted the tender pleasure of an adoring fandom, it’s all worth it. Kanade, never even thought about becoming an idol until he got scouted but now, it’s his most precious dream and he is willing to do anything to reach it!
I have to be in a certain mood to review CBDCT shows. I fact I have to be in a certain mood to watch them as well. I will call that mood “unicorn crack”. I think that sums it up decently. Among the very many shows I watch, CBDCT (which are very often idol shows as well) is the genre I drop the most by far. In fact, it may be the only genre in which I drop shows. A lot of them are just not very good. But when the stars align and I find that special gem that balances out cheesy with self-aware, unintentionally hilarious with pleasantly fluffy and shallow with unabashed – I know I’ve hit pure gold. You have no idea how excited I am about binging the second season of IdoLish7! After more than a couple false starts with random cute boy idol shows, I finally settled on Dream Festival, did it make my dreams come true?
I’m sorry, that was bad… I won’t do it again!
Ok, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. Dream Festival is, in fact, an extended commercial for a mobile game. A lot of these shows are. And it kind of looks exactly like that. There’s a lot of stills to make up for lack of animation. And I mean A LOT. All the most animated parts (the performances) are scary CG, but not the scariest I’ve seen. You can see some obvious game mechanics in the cards the boys catch to “collect” their stage costumes and in general, it’s a show that looks like a cute boy show. Nothing special about the designs. In fact, those collectible costumes are often really ugly (in my opinion) which I found sort of hilarious.
Now the important part, for reasons only meant to be understood by creatures greater than I, this show includes super frequent magical boy transformation sequences. You know the type… The background goes all galaxy and you have naked boys with strategically placed flashes of light as clothes materialize on them. There’s at least a couple per episode. And if that wasn’t enough, every other episode or so, the boys choose to have some important business discussion in the shower room…while showering. Let’s not mince words, this show is a masterpiece.
All of this said, despite the ever-present nudity, so much so that I didn’t even choose it as a drinking queue for fear of killing someone, it’s oddly wholesome. The camera never really focuses on anything other than the boys’ faces. there’s no accidental nudity or humiliation and no groping whatsoever. It’s sort of just there and weird and that makes it special.
So the story is almost entirely contained in my summary. That’s how you know a story is good. When someone who delights in writing the most obscure and disjointed series summary possible can resume it without trouble in a few sentences. Intricate stuff there!
In many ways, Dream Festival is a Slice of Life with the concept of an idol group trying to win a competition as a framing device. Also, that is the exact plot of every single idol show I have watched. Like all of them. OK so admittedly if you change the words idol group to sports team and competition to tournament you have 99% of every Sports! anime I’ve watched… Huh wait, is anime repetitive?
Sorry about that, I had to get one of those spatula thingies to scrape the bits of my brain of the walls. Explosive realizations hurt you guys!
But back to Dream Festival. Ok, let’s try an actual review. I still don’t exactly know what makes me enjoy some CBDCT shows while I’m unable to watch so many. I think that it helps when they are not reverse harems as I find the “romance” parts of such shows very boring but it’s not a hard rule. Some have been fun to watch as well. The best guess I have so far is that I enjoy those that have a sort of joyful understanding and embrace of their own kitschy nature. As soon as they attempt grandstanding or serious drama, I’m out!
Dream Festival is that type of show. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not but it’s also not ashamed of what it is. It a show that celebrates the silly fluff that often gets maligned in general society without the slightest trace of embarrassment. I guess I find that a little charming.
Don’t get me wrong, like all these shows it also completely whitewashes the unreasonable pressures and conditions of celebrity and more specifically idol culture but let’s not think about that… look pretty boys…in the shower!
Dream Festival isn’t for everyone. It’s a long commercial for a game that also isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like cute anime boys, there’s not much left here. If you do like cute anime boys it’s a joyful little series with some honestly funny moments. Funnier than most of the shows I’ve seen in this style.
I had a really fun time with Dream Festival and was bummed that the game is no longer available. I will watch the second season. Eventually!
Favourite character: Ritsu! He’s the best!
What this anime taught me: You can buy mini cheesecakes that finish baking in the microwave!
Why limit your happy to an hour?
Suggested drink: Golden Dream
- Every time there are Dorika – take a sip
- Every time Chizuru is eating – get a snack
- Every time there are exclamation points – get psyched!
- Every time anyone warns Kanade that being an idol is hard work – lazily take a sip
- Every time there’s a transformation sequence – squint
- Every time the great Ritsu is on screen – cheer!
- Every time Haruto eats something not quite cooked – get some water
- Every time anyone is in the shower alone – be confused
- Every time there’s a training montage – take a sip
- Every time someone wants to surpass the ultimate – take a sip
Of course, I took more screencaps. Who do you take me for! I put them on Pinterest too.