Eva’s Final Impression
We’re finally at the end of the season, and boy has it been a ride!
It’s really too bad this episode was rushed, which is unfortunate because as a whole, they absolutely killed it this season! But I’m not really sure if it would have helped or not to have one more episode to maybe pace things out a bit better, but we’re lucky enough as it is have even gotten thirty episodes this season. I think it mostly just has to do with how this season ended in general. The outcome of MOP was kind of predictable, and if I may be so frank: even a bit boring with it only being between Trigger and Idolish7 again (RIP the Hearty Wings band that filled in for Re:Vale and ZOOL that wasn’t even mentioned among the announcements. Honestly I don’t know why they even bothered to include them in the shot for the announcements). The results were as expected because I honestly didn’t think Idolish7 would win again after their previous wins (JIMA and Black and White), and not to mention, it was important to show how Trigger’s unwavering focus of their end goal helped them weather through the storm. That said, they still managed to hit me in the feels when Tenn let out that breath he had been holding in anticipation of the results. He put on a confident face, but he was just as nervous as the rest of them!
But this is precisely why this finale feels more “unresolved” compared to previous seasons. We have been left off with a number of ominous cliffhangers, and if that isn’t a sign to buckle up for the next season, I don’t know what is. With Kujo and Ryo going off the rails, and the consequences and fall-out that will follow Nagi’s departure from Idolish7, it’s bound to be an even more intense ride.
IDOLISH7: Irony at it’s Finest
Speaking which, as Idolish7 has been largely been given a breather this half of the season (in terms of overall disasters in comparison to what Trigger and Re:Vale has gone through, they’ve already gone through the Yamato crisis in the first half), unfortunately they are about to find themselves in absolute shambles next season. There were certainly a number of incredibly ironic lines that came out of this episode, starting with Yamato’s comment on how they almost disbanded, and then Iori’s desire to “keep dreaming the same dream together”, Nanatsurio REAliZE’s freaking song lyrics, I mean… “When seven I’s come together…” and the bit where “We want to show that we have become a rainbow that won’t disappear” oh man… YEAHHHHHH, ABOUT THAT…
The Sibling Squabble
Then there was the whole sibling squabble (as Ryu and Gaku put it), between Riku and Tenn. Unfortunately of all the scenes in this episode, I felt like they really botched this one. It was like they were trying to cram everything in within such a short window of time. But apart from my gripe with that, there were some important things that were brought up.
Riku saw this as an opportunity invite Tenn home to see their parents again, and much to his disappointment, Tenn refused claiming that they are no longer family. So Riku thought, well if he couldn’t get him to agree to it through request, he’d try to set up a bet so that if he wins, Tenn will have to do what he says. Oh boy… Sorry, but I’m not a fan of Riku when he starts acting like this. There’s ways to be cute, but this isn’t one of them. Honestly this is something I hope he’ll grow out of… Thankfully Tenn quickly stomped that nonsense out by making a solid case as to why that was such a stupid thing to say by saying: If he wins, then Riku will have to quit being an idol. He knew Riku wouldn’t agree to it, so it served as a perfect example as to why Riku shouldn’t recklessly jump into making bets, and why they should never mix any other significance into it.
But here’s the thing, honestly I’m not really sure how to feel about Tenn refusing to go home for a visit, mainly because it’s complicated. Sure Riku might think it’s a great idea, but who’s to say whether that will bring about needless pain for both Tenn and their parents? It’s not something so simple where he could just walk into the door saying, ‘Hi! I’m back for a visit!’ There are reasons why Tenn left, and I don’t think he will or want to return home until he finishes what he has set out and agreed to do. So as difficult as it is, Riku needs to be patient.
There was also the whole thing about how Riku performed during Friends Day. Tenn tried to explain how obvious it was that Riku was thinking about Trigger instead of the fans, and that was not the right way to go about it. In hopes to help him see the bigger picture, Tenn did bring up a number of examples, such as asking Riku how would he have performed if he had an audience when he was little. Would he have shown that he was sad and sick? Tenn’s point is that they shouldn’t distress their fans with their own feelings, their jobs are to make them happy, not agitate them. Unfortunately Riku can’t wrap his head around it, mainly because he thought his intentions of wanting to help Tenn and Trigger was a good thing. So it looks like the only way Riku is ever going to learn why Tenn warned him that is only after he sees what happens if he agitates the audience too much. This is the exact time bomb that we’re worried about, and it’s up to Riku or someone else (because chances are, he’ll be more receptive to their criticism than it coming from his brother) to see how that can backfire on them.
That said, I do understand where Riku’s frustration is coming from. He has been on the recieving end for so long, and now that is able to, he wants to be able to give back in any way he can. So whether Tenn likes it or not, this is something that will keep hanging over his head until Riku’s able to fulfill it. So really, I think the best way they really could resolve this bit is for Tenn to provide ways for Riku to give back in a way that doesn’t mix with their work, and doesn’t put himself in danger. But considering how stubborn these two are, I doubt we’ll see that anytime soon.
Gaku VS Kujo
And then there’s the case with Gaku, who almost made a really bad slip-up on stage with ‘thanking’ them for their help, LIKE HOLY SHIT YOU IDIOT! THIS IS NOT THE TIME, NOR THE PLACE TO SAY SUCH THINGS!!!! It was definitely a facepalm worthy moment that made me want to shake him. Thank god for Yamato being as smooth as he is for cutting into stop him and told him to smarten up. Gaku please, you gotta be more careful!
But apparently ‘careful’ isn’t in his vocabulary, because turns out that visit with Kujo last week was a declaration of war. That doesn’t surprise me, as I kind of figured that was going to happen, but whether he should have done that, let alone whether that was even a good idea is bound to be something that will be hotly debated.
Gaku could sense something was off about Kujo’s obsession with Tenn, and he got to see it first hand just how much of a mess this man is. His fixation to create an idol that would fulfill his dreams and surpass Zero has hurt so many people along the way, and the worst part is that the man himself never even thought about it until Tenn told him what he did was wrong. That’s why Gaku refused to just stand by and watch any longer.
Gaku’s absolutely right to be concerned about Tenn’s well being, because Kujo perceives Trigger as the ones keeping Tenn trapped, not the other-way around. He is so deluded by this idea that Tenn is only sticking around with Trigger because he’s “too kind” and “can’t abandon them because they are second-rate”. But just as Gaku says, they aren’t second-rate, that only applies to Kujo’s standards. What Kujo fails to see and understand is that Tenn loves Trigger, and we even got to hear that come right out of his mouth today. It was so freaking sweet, I actually cried. Gosh, I love these guys so much!!!!
Now that’s easy to say in regards to Riku, but as for Kujo… well… it’s a lot more complicated since the guy literally has nobody else to depend on apart from Tenn and Aya. On top of that, the main reason why Tenn is determined to “become Zero” by putting an end to this cycle by helping give Kujo the closure he needs. This also has to do with protecting Aya as he had promised to Tamaki to ensure that nobody else would get hurt the way Haruka had. So ditching Kujo is not something as simple as Gaku would hope for it to be.
who then disappeared with a trace), was being called second-rate by the very one he perceives as such. He firmly believes he “made Tenn”, he’s “his idol”, and he is fixated on having Tenn realize the dream that Zero failed to achieve.
But at the same time: How do you go about it without setting Kujo off? This was something Kujo was going to have to face at some point or another. I feel like, no mater who said it (take Ryu for example), the outcome and the consequences would still be the same. On top of that, as it stands, there’s no guarantee that Kujo will actually ever attain his dream. What is even a dream that never ends? Memories are fleeting and can be forgotten, so the only thing that can transcend time are the songs. So what is Kujo really trying to achieve? And can Tenn really fulfill that dream of his? Kujo helped make Zero reach legendary status, you’d think that is the highest you could go, but apparently not. It feels to me that Kujo’s dream is the sort that is actually unattainable because it’s as Gaku said, it has been been long dead, and all that is left is the experience, the knowledge and clinging to the ashes of his obsession, thus has trapped himself in a vicious cycle with no end in sight. And they show us just that, but having him standing in the middle of the circle as he deliriously declares that Tenn will sing Haruki’s final song. (Gotta love this show’s symbolism game!)
A Moment of Enlightenment
Oh man, can’t tell you how relieved I am to see the fog of misguided angry, grief and frustration has finally cleared from Toma’s head. Now he is able to see and accept what makes Trigger successful despite being simultaneously skilled and clumsy. It’s even better that through this acceptance, he was able to acknowledge what he really wants. Toma wants to earnestly sing, and experience those cheers from the crowds to the point he’d get so overwhelmed, he’d cry again. Those were his favourite days, and ever since the disbandment of NO_MAD, he has been missing that. But while Toma can see where he has gone astray, there still poses one major problem: Ryo. Ryu’s was everyone’s lucky charm last week, as it was thanks to his intervention that Ryo can’t pin the blame on Toma for telling Yuki what had happened.
Needless to say, we have yet to see exactly how Toma will be have around Ryo going forward. It would be an understatement to say Toma will likely be walking on eggshells for a while, and it certainly won’t go unnoticed by Minami and Torao (who was present when Toma had partially mentioned Ryo had threatened his family and friends). Haruka probably won’t notice until looks up from that phone of his as he has been doing for the past few episodes, though that might be better for him to be quite honest…
In fact, I am very curious how Torao will respond in light of the recent events. I think it was SUPER important that Torao was there to see Toma coming to terms with his true feelings when they were watching the broadcast together. I have noticed that Torao has kind of been glued to Toma’s side lately, and honestly that’s really encouraging to see. This was the guy who in the beginning of the season had no interest of spending more time than necessary with the others, much less interested in getting to know them further. But ever since Yuki’s confrontation, and now this, Torao has witnessed the vulnerable side of Toma that Minami and Haruka have yet to see. It will be interesting to see how seeing that will affect him going forward, perhaps prompting him to start reflecting more on what he wants as well. We haven’t really seen enough of him to get a good idea on why he agreed to join ZOOL in the first place. Similarly to how Minami this season, Torao has been this enigma of mystery. The only points of vulnerability we have seen of him so far was when Ryu shook him with his words and unwavering resolve, and when Yuki pushed him into a corner where he lost control and flow of the conversation, and lashed out in response, only to almost get stabbed by pen. (Though supposedly Momo really DID stab him in the story though HAHA!)
Will he think about what Toma had said about his friends and family and connect the dots on his own? It was rather rich of him to go on about the law to Yuki last week when Ryo was boasting about how he was going to kidnap Trigger to prevent them from performing (which he DID, and even used their phones for it to do it), and among other illegal and questionable things. So depending on how Toma behaves around Ryo, and whether Torao can connect the dots on his own, it will be interesting to see how he will react once he, (or if he ever) learns Ryo had attempted to murder Momo.
That said, I do believe in light of the recent events, I do think this marks as the first major turning point for ZOOL both individually and as a group. From the start, ZOOL has been a fragmented bunch who– apart from Toma being the sole one to make the effort– were not particularly interested in getting to know each other. They all have their own reasons for joining with the expectations that their time together will expire in three years.
But now the situation has changed, in many ways. Figuratively speaking, Toma’s the first to reach the end of the dark tunnel. His eyes have been opened, to not only what he really wants, but the fact that he is not magically immune to the danger Ryo poses to others. So now you could say Toma’s next obstacle is more of a game of minefield, figuring out the best route to his ultimate goal while avoiding Ryo’s wrath.
Then we have Minami, who ever since the whole debacle and confrontation with Nagi, it does feel like the mask has finally been ripped off, and a bit of the weight regarding Haruki’s situation has been lifted off his shoulders now that Nagi knows what has happened.
As for Haruka, he’s pretty much immersing himself in his own world at the moment, but while in some cases it would be better to keep him out of Ryo’s affairs, he definitely needs to know that he shouldn’t press Ryo’s buttons when he gets petty with his jealousy. He did get a taste of it when Ryo lashed out at him for bitching about his attention to Riku instead of him, but he has yet to be personally threatened like Toma has.
That said, he did have his own moment of enlightenment– to an extent. He’s still lost and astray, but Toma and Minami have both prompted him to start thinking about things he probably otherwise tries to avoid thinking about. Today Minami put into words that contrary what he says, what Haruka feeling isn’t actually hatred, but rather jealousy. Of course this is something that I think many of us could see as plain as day from the get-go. After-all, Tenn himself hasn’t done anything wrong, the blame solely falls onto Kujo. But what frustrates Haruka the most right now is simply Tenn’s strength to stand up and keep going strong when the world had turned against Trigger. It’s difficult for him to wrap his head around how Tenn could possibly keep smiling in this situation to the point, and even said Tenn should be feeling hurt– just like he has been.
FINAL VERDICT: 9/10
I’m going to rate both this cour and season as a whole as solid 9/10. I think it goes without saying Idolish7: Third Beat has been hands down the strongest and most exciting season to date! It’s crazy to think what we’re in store for the next one whenever it comes out. We’ll have to bear with the waiting game until then. I can go on, but this entry is already long enough as it is, and I’m sure Shadow will be able to fill in the bits I didn’t cover!
Shadow’s Final Impression
This season has been an incredible ride and just as Eva said, I think this had to be the strongest season so far even if the last few eps felt a lot more rushed compared to seasons 1 and 2. It definitely needed a few more episodes to pace the situations better, but considering we got 30 episodes worth for this season, I feel like I can’t complain too much because wow, we were SPOILED. Aside from the last few episodes, this season was paced really well and all of the arcs were really engaging. And while I have complained in the past how most of the performances were just still frames, I see where all the budget went lol. The performances this episode were great with the choreography to the almost seamless transitions from 2D to CG. Not to mention the CG this episode felt A LOT better compared to the past performances besides season 1. I also appreciated that they definitely went all out with the 2D parts of their dances this time around.
Unlike Utapri where Starish ALWAYS wins. In any case, it was still a satisfying conclusion to MOP as Trigger definitely deserved it the most this season. Though I was kinda hoping to see Trigger go against ZOOL at some point. Maybe another time.
Also RIP Heart Wings… Didn’t even stand a chance…
To which I am honestly surprised that Ryo didn’t end up at least attempting to pull his “Twin Scandal Reveal” that was constantly being threatened in the last few episodes. Made it feel a bit anticlimactic that nothing really came of it. Maybe that confrontation with Ryu shook him up enough to not try anything this time. But whatever the reason, he’s definitely going to come back with a vengeance next season with him most likely pulling out all the stops to make ZOOL the winners in everything they enter. But gosh, he really was terrifying this season especially with the attempted murder on Momo. If anyone in this series deserves jail, it’s definitely him. I can only wonder how and when this guy will be brought to justice because he NEEDS to be stopped. And I can’t help but wonder if ZOOL will turn on him at one point and leave him with nothing. What would he do then? Would he view it as yet another idol betrayal?
Also I love how they keep showing those two cops who helped out Yamato and the others back in Vibrato. They’re still doing their part in supporting them on the sidelines and I find that so heart-warming.
Let’s talk characters. While I want to punch all of the members in the face, ZOOL was a great addition to the cast. At first I absolutely despised them and refused to call them by their names. Instead opting to call them nicknames. However, as time passed, I started becoming intrigued by them as characters since there are reasons why they’re the way that they are. And while I appreciate that the majority of groups are all buddy buddy with each other, I do like how they mixed it up with this group of petty jerks and they did make great antagonists that rivaled at least one other character in some aspect. However, from how things are going, they are going to end up going through some well needed development. We already see Toma finally realizing the error of his ways, but he still needs to actually work to get himself out of this situation for me to finally start liking him again.
Torao was actually a big surprise for me. For the longest time he was just bottom of the barrel in terms of characters for me after what he did to set up Ryu, but as time went on, we’re slowly starting to see different sides of him and it intrigues me, making me want to see more. He comes across as this egotistical, rich playboy, but there’s something else under the surface and I have to wonder what drove him to be like this. Especially since last episode showed him to be incredibly naive and ignorant. He was actually a lot more childish than I expected. Hopefully we get to know him a bit better in season 4
whenever that comes out. Color me intrigued sir. Especially with him seemingly more attached to Toma these days.
Aside from ZOOL, Yaotome papa definitely surprised me with his development this season. He was an absolute monster in the first season and seeing how he slowly came to appreciate the things around him a lot more was honestly something I never expected to see from him. So seeing him genuinely proud of Trigger showed just how big of a turnaround the guy has done. Even before this, he had shown signs of being a decent guy underneath all of his abrasive behavior with him wanting to commemorate the school he went to when it burned down and him agreeing to meet with Sumire when she threatened suicide, knowing full well that it was a trap but didn’t want to risk someone’s life. And it was honestly so surprising to see him make peace with Takanashi papa while also being supported by his ex wife. Things are starting to turn around for him and I’m glad that he finally let his bitterness go and even acknowledge his faults. He’s definitely become a more worthy president for Trigger to eventually return to.
Honestly it’s just so funny how my feelings for Tenn went from “BE NICE TO YOUR BROTHER” to “Ah, yes, I understand.” XD
And then there’s Nagi… Oh Nagi. Nagi has slipped down my personal rankings a bit with how little he has been doing this season while also being a bit hypocritical when it comes to opening up to others. But despite my personal gripes with him, it still hurt to see him slowly spiral to desperation and depression after the news about Haruki. But man, did they really punch us in the feels when Tamaki noticed something off about Nagi and pleaded him to just “DON’T”. Tamaki has always been emotionally receptive to others and is almost always the first person to notice if something is bothering someone. And just as Eva said, Tamaki is extremely sensitive to the possibilities of someone he cares about leaving him behind and I don’t even want to see how Tamaki would react to Nagi disappearing on them. Which is going to happen but UGH, I’m not ready. But goodness, when he was telling Riku about how his name technically has six in it as well, that was basically him going: So it’s fine if I just leave! NO IT’S NOT FINE, NAGI. All of these guys love and appreciate you, it’s not going to be the same without you. And while Tsumugi took a severe back seat this season, I haven’t forgotten her promise to go looking for them if one of them happened to disappear. I just wish he would talk to the others about this rather than being all secretive about his plans. Come on Nagi, don’t do what Yamato did! DX