I was actually going to post something else today, but decided to switch it out last minute because I have a surprising amount of thoughts on male idol anime. There’s two almost interchangeable shows airing this season, plus I recently got into kpop, so I thought this might be a good time to try my hand at a legit review (even if it’s based on only two episodes each).
I feel like it’s inevitable that Tsukiuta and B-Project are going to be compared to each other because they have the same concept and are airing during the same season. Slightly unfair to both shows, but what can you do?
First up, B-project! The plot is fairly standard- the female main character somehow becomes a staff member/close to the idols and they have to work together. There’s also some industry drama going on, and there’s pretty much all the standard character archetypes for the idols. I mean, there’s three different groups within the larger B-Project group for a total of ten guys, so all the common character types are covered. The first episode is mostly an introduction to the characters and setting up the story. Main female (I already forgot her name, to be honest) goes off with the two-member group for their recording session.
Despite having zero experience doing any part of her supposed job as A&R, she makes a suggestion that saves the day (or at least their song). In the second episode, she deals with an uncooperative group member (of another group this time) on a photoshoot and establishes closer relationships with new guys. Off the top of my head, that’s literally all I remember from watching these two episodes.
I actually intend on dropping this show. I wasn’t very interested in the first episode, and I could barely focus on the second one. (Of course, that might also have something to do the day that the show airs.) It’s just so… boring. I haven’t watched all the male idol anime, but I have watched a few (because of voice actors I like), plus I’ve watched quite a bit of other reverse harem anime that doesn’t feature idols. This shows feels like pretty much every other reverse harem show out there. Like an UtaPri knock-off, if you will. I mean, yeah, the main girl not knowing about her job presents the perfect opportunity to introduce it to the viewers, most of whom probably don’t know what A&R is (it’s Artists & Repertoire, which is a department responsible for scouting and artist development).
I’m not knowledgeable about the music
industry in Japan, but based on the first two episodes, it seems she’s also supposed to be a manager and a PA as well? I can’t believe that these guys don’t have a small army of staff trailing them, though that could be explained by how they’re not that popular. But damn, if their company can afford such nice apartments for the artists, at least get them a more experienced manager too.
One plus point that I like about this anime is
the whole “inside the industry” sort of thing. You get to see them recording over and over
again. All the work that gets put into releasing a song is something that most people (including me) tend to not think about too much. But the first episode shows the boys recording their parts and harmonies over and over again to get it perfect.
There’s also a semblance of a plot that’s pretty believable- they’re not that popular, so they get cut from shows and only get short features in magazines. It’s a plot I feel like has been done before (duh), but I do appreciate the effort. The problem I have is that I’m just not all that interested. There’s a k-pop idol group who I like, and they are a new group, so the fans don’t really get to see them on a lot of shows yet because their fanbase isn’t that big. So I get that in real life already. I don’t need or want to be worrying about this fictional idol group who I’m much less invested in.
In summary, B-Project just doesn’t catch or hold my attention. While I like the animation, the voice actors, and the inside peek into the music industry, these just aren’t appealing enough that I’d watch any more of the show. I’ve gotten tired of reverse harem anime, plus I don’t have the patience to sit through watching idols’ personal conflicts.
Now on to Tsukiuta! The biggest difference from B-Project is that Tsukiuta is not a reverse harem (yet). The focus is on the two idols groups: Six Gravity and Procella-something, each with six members. (Think EXO at their debut.) It looks like each episode is going to be featuring one individual member every time. The first episode centered around Kakeru and his interactions with this kid who was at an event in place of his older sister. The second episode was with someone whose name I already forgot, despite watching the episode just half an hour ago, but he runs track as well as being an idol.
One thing that I like about Tsukiuta
over B-Project is that it’s not a reverse harem anime. Instead, the episodes seem to be one-off stories about a member and what they’re like. The second episode was pretty standard idol life vs. real life sort of thing, but it wasn’t too terrible. I also like the character designs over B-Project, and the plot (if it can even be called that) involves very minimal conflict, and that was the tipping point that ultimately led me to favor Tsukiuta. The first episode was super light-hearted, and the second was still pretty chill. It’s generally just a chill show, which doesn’t appeal to a lot of people, but after seeing the real life drama involved with k-pop, I like the chill a lot more. Plus, there’s more funny tidbits scattered in there that those familiar with idol fangirls can appreciate. Like how all of the boys already come pre-shipped and assigned family roles. Fangirls do that a lot, and most idols tend to indulge them in making pairings or little families out of their group, so I thought that was really funny.
The most unbelievable aspect of Tsukiuta is probably the complete lack of staff around these guys. I get that they’re not huge idols or anything (nowhere near the scale of EXO at least), but there was a manager shown like once for two seconds, and then nothing. No assistants, stylists, or anything. They even go to their schedules by taxi and they run around like normal people. I’m so confused. At least B-Project had that girl who is supposed to be their staff. I also don’t like the 3D animation they used for the performances. I generally don’t like 3D animation in general (though Ajin has done a lot to warm me up to it), so that’s just personal taste.
In summary, Tsukiuta is just more low-key and that’s closer to my personal tastes in idol anime right now. Plus, I appreciate the lack of romance. Now, if only they could make an anime for the girl versions too…
For both shows, I’m not a huge fan of their songs (when will idols sing about things other than romantic love…) Otherwise, I’m still holding final judgment until further on into the season, though I’ll be depending on episode summaries for B-Project since I don’t want to watch all of it. I’ve already planned an update on what summer anime I’m watching in a couple of weeks when I settle more on what shows I want to keep up with.
Leave a comment below! What shows are you watching this season? If you’ve checked out B-Project or Tsukiuta, what are your thoughts?
Cheers ฅ( ͒ᵕ̳ωᵕ̳ ͒)｡o○