Score: A+

Season 2 is going to be amazing! This episode of course was an excellent way to cap off the first season. But it also did a great job setting up the drama that will be unleashed in the next season. The dynamic between Akane and Kana will be incredible alongside Aqua’s continued efforts to get his ultimate revenge. And I’m sure we’ll continue to see the development of Ruby’s idol career now that she’s finally gotten started. And of course, there’s going to be big surprises that I can’t possibly guess at right now. The first season built up extremely well and I don’t see the show just resting on what it has established here. Hopefully the show will be able to maintain the standard it’s set for itself here.

Loved seeing her freak out over the realization!

I want to give Miyako a standing ovation. This woman utterly saved the day! Of course, she picked up what was going on with Aqua and Kana. I choose to think she let them be for a while in hopes that one of them would bring up Akane and they could work things out from there. But even when they returned to being on speaking terms…it wasn’t happening. So, she took on the very essential task of clearing the air so that things could get back to normal.

MEM-cho’s awkward situation wasn’t something I thought about until now. But she really is in quite the position during all this. She’s at least close enough to Aqua to have conversations with him. But that’s nothing compared to how involved she is with the love rivals here. There’s plenty of reason for her to care about Akane and want to support her. But she’s also in the same group now with Kana and they will only get closer with time. It took a while for her to get what is going on here, but now she’s not going to be able to ignore it. Who the heck does she end up fully supporting here? At the very least I look forward to her reaction when she finds out about the casting for the big project coming up!

Kana is back on her game!

It was downright adorable how immediate the switch was flipped for Kana when Miyako cleared things up. We are talking absolutely immediately. Once she knew that presently the relationship with Akane is (mostly) work related she was on Cloud 9. She was teasing, playing around, and just absolutely in the best mood she’d been in for weeks. The smiles she had when she thought no one was looking were utterly adorable.

And it just carried right on to their next conversations. Kana is at her best when she’s willing to take shots at Aqua, but ones that he can return fire with. The harsh “don’t come near me” attitude before was one that would have killed anything between them soon enough. But even with Aqua having a dark aura while coming back at Kana there was no sign of actual malice. Both know where the line is and can have fun with it. Honestly, I needed that scene. Things were looking so bleak that I wasn’t sure if they would get back on good terms before the season was over.

This rivalry is set to take off!

Now I really get why Kana was so destroyed by what happened with Aqua. Not only did she lose a person she really thought there was a chance with, but she lost him…to Akane. Kana clearly has been suffering through the past decade as her career has been in tough shape. None of that was Akane’s fault, but her rise during the same time did give a very clear representation of what was going wrong for her. Losing the guy she liked to Akane of all people just made it hurt even more. Not that Aqua is a thing or possession. But it had to have felt like yet another loss for her. That once again Akane swooped in and took everything Kana once had.

It was good though to see Akane’s side of it and how she perceived Kana as a rival. So far, the issue and rivalry has been wholly on Kana’s side. Though I will say that Akane’s side feels a bit petty. I mean the past decade things have been going remarkably better for Akane. Isn’t it a bit much to be holding a grudge over Kana getting all the best roles when they were children? I guess the point is that actors and entertainers are as prideful as anyone. And it’s kind of necessary to set up this idea that they want to overcome each other professionally…and romantically. Setting up their professional rivalry will make the romantic rivalry even spicier when Akane clues in that Kana is in love with Aqua.

She will be going after Aqua!

One thing I liked was how Kana did find her will to stand before finding out about the situation with Akane. She was talking to Aqua more even if things were still a bit awkward. And she made her personal declaration during that concert. Of course, it still required Aqua to make that show of himself, but in the end that did help pull Kana back into the light. Her mindset was getting extremely dark even with Ruby’s attempt to shake her out of it. The moment she saw him carrying her light (even if soon he was waving all of them) it was enough to get Kana to brighten up. And it was nice seeing her look so revived by the end of the second song. No matter how understandable it is for Kana’s mind to drift to the negative, it’s great seeing her looking positively fired up.

Ruby put in the work during this concert

Ruby deserves huge credit. I do think Kana is right that she is the type that will become big. Her singing still needs huge work, but her stage presence and energy is enough right now. Those that were fans of Ai will probably see that similar aura in her. She was even paying enough attention to see how Kana wasn’t smiling and didn’t look alive out there. In her own way she tried to remind Kana to smile and cheer her up even while wowing the crowd. This was Ruby’s big moment. She had dreamed of this for so long and finally has it. She’s out there with the same unit name as Ai and is leaving a mark on people. They will absolutely gain fans through this. I fully expect the guys we saw at the concert to partly represent the fans they’ll have going forward.

The revenge story will go on

Final Thoughts

Honestly, this show was just a fantastic ride from start to finish. I’m kind of amazed at how consistently good it was. There’s always a show each year that I don’t have any real expectations for that completely blows me away. That is absolutely the case here. This show hit the ground with a theatrical opening “episode” and just kept going from there. Even when it had moments that left me a bit unsure about Aqua’s motivations, it kept the quality level extremely high. Things never quite reached a level where I was going to start rooting against the lead since, he has just enough good qualities/motivations. This is the kind of show where if there wasn’t an announcement for a second season then I would have been extremely disappointed.

The hostility was amazing here!

The great thing is that the show in a way has only really gotten started here. The love triangle situation for Aqua/Kana/Akane has only really started to get serious with the three parties not quite aware of how serious each side is here. Aqua’s efforts to find and “deal with” his own father has only started to gain some traction. And Ruby’s just had her debut performance as an idol. There is so much runway left for this group and I’m sure season two will make good use of that.

It does make me wonder about the endgame for the story itself. Aqua is going to find out who is father is at some point. There is going to be some sort of conflict once he does. The big thing is that he’ll have two girls going after him that would either get dragged into it or may try to stop him from going too far. How things play out on that front will decide the futures of Kana and Akane as much as who Aqua ends up falling for in the end. Ruby as well is bound to face some trials as she chases her dream. Aqua has mostly kept her out of it, but will that last? Not everything is going to unfold in the second season, but I’m curious how far along it will go.

I didn’t realize Akane had this in her

This show managed to walk the line of showing the darker side of entertainment while also trying to keep some comedy and life in it. If it was all bleak and awful then it would be hard to relate to anyone that is part of it. But there’s enough there that you can see why characters like Kana have hung around or why someone like Ruby is chasing her dreams so intensely. Plus, there is something to be said about the relationships between the characters. I couldn’t have guessed during that first huge episode how important the relationship between Aqua and Kana would end up being. Kana herself provided a nice balance between being worn down by her past but also being a source of light that’s disconnected from Aqua’s revenge. She allows him to act more like a version of himself free from hate.

Bring on the next season!

I’m glad season 2 is already announced and that there is something to look forward to. This is a show I will miss until the second season arrives. There just aren’t many shows where every single week the show is easy to talk about. It’s the kind of show that keeps me writing about anime each week. Hopefully people had a good time reading my ramblings about this one XD.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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