This episode did a good job setting up where the story is going from here and dealing with some aftermath of the previous arc. Some elements of course weren’t fully dealt with. The situation with Kana and Aqua could get worse before it gets better. Even more so with both sides not really understanding where the other person is coming from. This episode did a good job with pulling the focus away from Aqua directly and focusing more on B Komachi. I wouldn’t even say it transitioned to focusing on Ruby since she was still more a supporting character in this episode. But it did keep the focus on her group and helping set their starting point.
I will say it was nice diving into Mem-Cho’s history. That she was in her mid 20s wasn’t something I honestly predicted. I just treated her “missing her chance” as being in her late teens and having missed out on chances to make it as an idol a few years earlier. That a few years…was more like a decade wasn’t what I would have bet on! It does make her easy to feel for. She tried her best to fulfill her dreams and even was getting close. But family tragedy just forced her to change course. It makes me feel for her mother as well. She had to feel such immense failure when Mem-Cho did start taking on jobs. There was so much effort put in to let her daughter try and follow her dreams…but she couldn’t support them long enough for that.
In that sense I like that she’s getting her chance here. This really is the last chance she could have too. So I get why she’ll do everything possible to make this group succeed. In a few years it will be tough to keep going with how fickle the public can be. I’d say it’s cruel that 30 is kind of the death of an idol (if not younger than that). But a lot of professional athletes are considered dinosaurs and done in their late 30s. Different industries have different ideas of what a person’s prime is. The nice thing for Mem-Cho is that she’s accepted here and will have her chance. It could really be a dream come true for her.
No surprise that Kana ends up being the best singer of this group and probably will end up the center. And I’m not even talking about the OP showing Kana being in the middle of that trio while walking out on stage! She kind of has to be the center of B Komachi for things to work out. Right now, Kana has limited motivation to even be an idol. If left on the edges of the group, she could easily just completely lose interest and leave at some point. But if she’s the center then it further sets off her feeling of responsibility and professionalism. She’ll stick with it because she’s already come this far. And she might find love for it along the way because of the perks of being the center. She’s the troublesome leader that Ruby and Mem-Cho have to support if they want to go anywhere.
It did surprise me that both Ruby and Mem-Cho weren’t particularly great singers. Ruby was set up earlier, but I half expected Mem-Cho to be the best singer. I also was wondering when the show would tackle the singing side of this. If no one can sing how far can this group really go as idols? Thankfully Mem-Cho is just kind of ok so that can work. Ruby’s dancing is top tier so that can help support her flaws. But they needed a focal point of the vocals. And thankfully Kana absolutely has that! She’s hard on herself as she always is, but there’s no denying her ability. Her solo singing in another room absolutely blowing the scores away of the other two! If she can find the motivation to do this…then she’ll be just fine.
The big thing though is how rough things are for Kana right now. She’s barely hanging in there emotionally. No shock that she was so hard on herself and didn’t even consider fighting for the center spot. Seeing herself as someone without many real fans. That she threw herself all over the place to stay in the industry and ended up not being attached to many successful projects. It’s hard for her to see the positives…because she’s just that heartbroken over things with Aqua. He manipulated her into joining B Komachi in the first place. That positive motivation of being able to work near (and potentially with) Aqua has turned into a knife constantly being twisted. She still clearly loves the guy, but is also immediately reminded why she’s so upset. Things with Akane just happened so it’s not like she’s had time to work through it.
What makes it truly agonizing though is how neither side understands what the other person is thinking. For Aqua, Kana is a comfort that he can rely on without focusing on his revenge plot. She’s unrelated and fun to be around. But right now, she’s just constantly rejecting him and visibly angry. And he doesn’t have a clue why! Somehow this relatively clever guy has completely missed how that public relationship with Akane might rile up Kana. He hasn’t really tried or had much chance to explain things either. And that just frustrates Kana even more. That he doesn’t have a clue why she’s upset hurts along with him being able to say things like how her rejecting him will even hurt him after a while. She doesn’t want to hurt Aqua, but it must feel unfair when she feels like he started this.
I legitimately don’t know how this is going to play out in the couple of episodes we have left here! It feels like Kana will almost have to reach out and bring up the subject of Akane herself. Because I don’t see Aqua figuring out what she’s upset about. Somehow Kana has managed to keep Ruby in the dark about her feelings too so it isn’t like Ruby is going to seek out some information from Aqua. She might question him about if he’s trying to fill the loss of Ai with someone that can mimic her, but who knows. Not like this relationship impacts Aqua’s search for revenge and it could theoretically be shelved for a while longer. But I’m just not sure how long this prickly situation between Kana and Aqua can hold up when they are going to interact quite often.
Speaking of revenge though, there is some progress made on Aqua’s journey. I honestly expected the Producer to have some names to deliver to Aqua. Not saying he made it sound like he knew more than he did…but it almost feels that way. He doesn’t know who Ai was involved with, just where she probably ran into him. Great turn for Aqua that he decided to forge close ties to Akane though. She’s even more valuable for getting him information now. And if it’s about people she’s at least interacted with then she might be able to produce some suspects. At the very least she should be helpful to have around when he wants to investigate Lala Lai.
The only downside is how useful this place will be for Aqua. Ai ran into whoever the father (probably) is over a decade ago. There’s no certainty that he’ll be there. Especially since we don’t know if he worked there or simply visited. His career might have brought him in contact with that place, but that might not be the case now. And in that case he’ll have to go through the tricky activity of trying to find out who Ai was close to in that place over a decade ago. That’s a tough one. But he’s determined enough that you can expect him to do it!
I did want to make a good note on Kana’s music video. That was a beautiful way to end an episode. There’s a good reason that even with all these great characters that Kana really has established herself as my favourite in the cast. It’s just so easy to like this girl. She’s got the right kind of negative streak to her that is easy to empathize with while also being incredibly hard working. And yet she can also just produce beautiful performances like the one in that music video. Kana is hard on herself, but she also has a drive to truly be great. The nice thing of being in a group is that she’ll have Ruby and Mem-Cho supporting her. She might be hard on herself, but can be pushed forward regardless.
This was honestly another good episode. I liked little moments such as Mem-Cho getting openly welcomed by Ruby. Because you must respect Ruby’s positivity and passion. Doesn’t matter how old her new companion is. She’s got the dream to be an idol and that’s something Ruby can strongly relate to. So, I am looking forward to the future of this new B Komachi. This group has a lot of potential honestly. Ruby and Mem-Cho have the passion and idol knowledge. Mem-Cho has the social media experience while Ruby has truly inherited Ai’s dancing. Kana brings the music and a somewhat jaded perspective with how troubled her entertainment career has been. That group could turn out to be great. I hope we get to see them at the Japan Idol Festival (JIF) before seasons end.
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