- Titles: Kami Kuzu☆Idol
- Genre: Comedy, Music, Idol, Cute Ghosts
- Episodes: 10
- Studio: Studio Gokumi
Niyodo is an idol, kinda. When you think Idol, you think of a handsome, energetic, and optimistic ball of sunshine that warms your days. Idols are synonymous with hard work and pleasant dreams. Niyodo is the other type, the type that doesn’t like people and hates working even more. Also, the type that has no interest in idols and knows nothing about them. He thought it would be easy money and every day he gets more bitter that it’s money but not easy. I guess you could say Niyodo isn’t a real idol. But you know who is? Ayashi. She just naturally oozes charisma and motivation and she doesn’t have to fake a single smile. She loves everything about being an idol. She should be the one on that stage. Unfortunately, she’s dead. But that’s not going to stop her and Niyodo is going to help whether he wants to or not!
Is my synopsis clear? A deadbeat idol can see the ghost of a recently deceased legendary idol and she uses his body to relive her glory days. That’s more or less it. Only the expression “uses his body” makes it sound seedy. It’s not. I mean it in the mechanical sense… This is just getting worse and worse.
Look, let’s not beat around the bush. Phantom of the Idol is a fairly generic production in the lower budget tier. It’s not bad by any means but you know what you’re going to get. You’ve seen this exact production before.
However, there are two little things that stand out.
The CG is unexplainably good. Ok, wait, that’s not exactly correct. The CG isn’t good, it’s bad but it fits really well in the show. At least when compared to other idol shows I have watched. For those of you that may not know, one of the tropes of the idol genre is to have the onstage performances rendered in full CG. And anime idol CG is my sleep-paralysis demon. If it’s not your sleep paralysis demon, then I have to assume you have never seen anime idol CG.
But in Phantom of the Idol, the CG is a softer render with a more cartoonish look to it. It reminded me a lot of The Duke of Death and His Maid. As a result, the final product is the least nightmare-inducing anime idol CG that I have ever seen. And that really surprised me.
I also absolutely insist on pointing out the ED. This show has a different ED for almost every episode. And I mean completely different. New music and different visuals featuring and even completely different ED styles if you will. Like one week it’s a cute animated scene of the main characters interacting in the background, the next week it’s a photo album with still images of supporting characters we rarely see, another week it’s pencil sketches of just Ayashi then it’s a still image of lightsticks in the corner of the screen with a stylized font for the credits.
I don’t know if I’m explaining it well. There are different inherent styles of how EDs are put together. When it’s done well, those styles complement the mood of the show or reinforce the production. Well, Phantom of the Idol explores all those styles and honestly, I was obsessed with it. The show also features after-credits scenes which often annoys me since I can’t just skip to the next episode, but in this case, I didn’t mind at all since I wanted to see what new ED each episode had to offer.
I’m not sure anyone but me cares about these types of productions flourishes but I have to say, I was absolutely delighted by it!
Story & Characters
As you may have figured this out already. Phantom of the Idol has a fantastic premise. At least I think so. It’s probably the best premise for an idol show that I have ever seen. And it has a lot of potential. To make it clear, even though the main pot is about a young woman who tragically died in an accident, it’s treated very lightly. There is no drama here, it’s pure comedy.
This may be an issue for those that dislike comedy. On the other hand, I have to admit, I caught myself thinking that I wish the show was even more comedic at times. There is a group of completely obsessed fangirls that we follow around quite a bit and some of their secnes just didn’t land for me. I liked the characters well enough, but their slapstick was just a bit too repetitive and exaggerated for my tastes.
For the most part, though, I thought the show was pleasant and I got a few honest laughs out of it.
Wait, I’m not explaining it right.
Ok, here’s the deal. It’s like a slice-of-life paranormal idol show. And I think that sentence is a huge selling point. Objectively speaking, I can tell it’s not a brilliant anime, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of you told me your dropped it or were generally unimpressed. But there was something that charmed me about the show and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Even scenes that were not my jam didn’t annoy me or make me want to skip them. It was such a deeply easy watching experience for me that I found it soothing.
Phantom of the Idol did exactly what it needed to for my personal enjoyment. I found it funny enough to giggle here and there, actually touching in certain moments, sweet at times but with a nice little dose of sarcasm from Niyodo’s generally bad attitude that stopped the whole thing from becoming cloying. It wasn’t a show that revolutionaized anything but it was the perfect show to just drift along with.
Which makes it a strange pick for a Halloween viewing, doesn’t it? I guess so. If you wanted something light and easy to watch while everyone else is sleeping with the lights on, I got you covered.
You might like this anime if:
You want a different type of idol show!
My favourite character:
Tsugiko – she was awesome in a scary way!
- Every time Niyodo’s fan club go out drinking – join them
- Every time Niyodo talks about money – take a sip
- Every time there is CG – be impressed
- Every time Asahi gets an evil aura – hide
- Every time Niyodo is a bit of a dirtbag – get used to it
- Every time Zing’s popularity rises – cheers!
- Every time Niyodo is being decent – maybe you drank too much?
- Every time Yoshino worries – take a sip
- Every time Tsugiko shows up – Yay!
- Every time there is a Zing promo event – take a sip
- Every time Kasenjiki hurts herself – take a sip
- Every time Hikaru blogs – take a sip
- Every time Asahi is see-through – oh no…
- Every time Hikaru says something nice to Niyodo – you definitely drank too much!
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.