- Titles: IDOLiSH7 2
- Genre: Idol, comedy, mystery, music
- Episodes: 15
- Studio: TROYCA
Getting your career off the ground when you’re in a brand new idol group is not an easy feat. You have to practice day and night, get your name out there by doing media appearances and taking acting jobs. You have to be in perfect shape, always cheerful and have the voice of an angel. Not to mention that you have to compete with all the other idols out there. Is IDOLiSH7 really up to the task or will internal pressures rip them apart? And who is trying to stop them from singing their songs?
I really liked the first season of IDOLiSH7. In fact, it was possibly my favourite boy idol show and I was a bit sad that I didn’t see anyone else talking about it. That’s not really surprising though, I never see anyone talking about boy idol shows in general. Imagine my delight when I found out it had been quite successful and remained very popular in Japan. YAY! I was primed for the second season and then… delays happened. But here we are now and I can tell you all about it.
Look, let’s not kid each other. IDOLiSH7 is not and will probably never be a prestige animation. The production is serviceable. It works for what it is but it’s not going to blow you away. I will give it two major props though. For one, the character models are generally consistent. Lately, I have been noticing frequent inconsistencies in art that make characters look super weird or derpy on a regular basis in a lot of very hyped shows. I appreciate that this was not an apparent problem in IDOLiSH7.
Second, most idol animes use completely CG characters for live performances as I assume the dancing animation is just too laborious to animate by hand. I kind of like this because it’s often hilariously bad but I also kind of hate it because it’s equally nightmare-inducing. IDOLiSH7 second BEAT! very smartly opted for a blend of CG, traditional animation and detailed stills for the performances so that closeups of the characters were almost always animated and blended well with the rest. It’s not seamless by any means but it’s possibly the best CG integration I have seen in idol anime so far.
To be honest, I don’t know if a dub of the series is available. However, you should watch at least one episode in Japanese regardless. Because: Nagi! I believe I described this character’s performance in the first season as the Swedish chef as a Japanese pop star. and I had forgotten just how amazingly accurate that description is. You have to hear it at least once for yourself. It’s amazing.
To be perfectly upfront with you, I liked season 1 just a bit more. And I think it’s because IDOLiSH7 second BEAT! tries to be a bit too serious on too many plot threads. There were some more dramatic elements in season 1, but that is ramped up in Second Beat! with each of the 7 boys having to deal with some deep, important personal issue and a sort of dramatic mystery in the background as well.
And we are talking in-band jealousy, long-lost siblings reunited and then torn apart, evil step-parents, secret haters, toxic fandoms, twins no longer considering each other family, a mega pop star losing their voice, 2 separate health issue… If this is starting to sound like a soap opera, it’s because it is. And sometimes that works great, other times, I think they didn’t quite nail the tone.
Although, I would like to point out that IDOLiSH7 second BEAT! probably did the best exploration I have seen so far of how fandoms can become unpleasant and harmful both to the people within the fandom and to the subject of the fandom itself. It was a measured representation that didn’t put blame on anyone but showed the organic progress of passion to defensiveness and aggression. Good job IDOLiSH7.
Despite the main cast already having 7 characters, plus the manager, this season also put a lot more emphasis on friendly rival idol groups Trigger and Re:Vale, which means the total of main characters for the second season was 12 plus another 6 or so important supporting characters. It’s no surprise that they didn’t have time for any grand character arcs. This said, they never felt shallow or underdeveloped. I mean, they were, but they didn’t feel that way.
I believe this is due mainly to the good performances. The actors seem to have a handle on their characters and to really know them so that sort of communicates through to the audience. It gives the impression that the character is simply someone you don’t know much about rather than someone who doesn’t have much about them. But there’s also the fact that they all have pretty different and very obvious personalities. Those would come out as exaggerated in another genre but for a soap opera, it’s perfect and gives the illusion of a character way more fleshed out than the limited runtime could afford.
For all my little nitpicks, I still really liked Second BEAT! I was genuinely surprised when I realized I had finished the last episode as the season seemed to have breezed by before I even knew it. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that the last episode announced a season 3 in the works and I cheered. Like out loud. Without even realizing it I was loudly going Yes! in my living room. I’m saying I’m gonna watch season 3. I’ll try to make a more ridiculous review when I do!
Favourite character : Yukito Orikasa this guy is such a huge dork when you get to know him
Suggested drink: Feel the Beet!
- Every time anyone does an air punch or fist pump – take a sip
- Every time Iori is a Riku fanboy – awwwww
- Every time Tamaki is bored – brace yourself
- Every time anyone mentions “Zero” – switch to some nice pure zero-calorie water!
- Every time Mitsuki gets super excited – take a sip
- Every time anyone is “charming” – make sure you haven’t drunk too much
- Every time Tenn is being weirdly mean – take a sip
- Every time you hear random English – make sure you haven’t switched to dub, if not take a sip
- Every time the guys in Mezzo bicker – take a sip
- Every time any of the boys are sad – get some kleenex
- Every time we see the rabbit – take a sip
- Every time there’s a concert – Dance! I dare you to really do it.
- Every time there is King pudding – get a snack
- Every time anyone says it wouldn’t be IDOLiSH7 without so and so – try to figure out what an Idolish is.
- Every time we see Aya chan – call Tamaki
- Every time anyone asks if someone’s stomach hurts – put down the snacks
- Every time anyone drinks – join them!
In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!
4 thoughts on “IDOLiSH7 Second BEAT! – I Still Don’t Know What an Idolish Is”
You know, the screenshots are growing on me. Maybe I’ll try the show one day (season one, first, of course).
It’s mostly harmless but for some reason it’s probably my favourite in the genre
Just curious… does anyone in anime use live models with motion capture suits for dance and such? Or would it be too expensive?
I have no clue – it’s a good question though. I’ll see if I can find out