Hello guys! The IDOLiSH7 boys have come to visit Osaka! Home to Tsutenkaku, Osaka castle, okonomiyaki and…me! This isn’t the first time the IDOLiSH7 guys have been to Osaka though, as their visual board tour came here around this time last year.
Anyway, this episode has some real drama. So get your popcorn (or takoyaki) at the ready.
Japanese title: ５人と2人
IDOLiSH7 have debuted!!! However, after having their song stolen by TRIGGER, Nagi is especially angry. He says something very interesting, ‘I wanted you to sing it’. Luckily, there is good news when Tsumugi gets the call that IDOLiSH7 have been offered their own TV show. 5 of the boys head to Osaka and enjoy the city before work. Sogo and Tamaki make it to Osaka, but Sogo spots a very familiar car…
MEZZO are busy. Extremely busy. The duo is traveling across the country, and with no manager of their own, are having to do a lot of the work themselves. Sogo especially, who is still finding his raison d’etre when it comes to being an idol, is taking the full brunt of the workload.
Things go from bad to worse when they discover that their new TV show has been axed, which we later find out is due to the group being blacklisted by FSC, which is a very powerful sponsor. Tamaki is especially finding this hard to take as his whole reason for becoming an idol was to get his face on TV to help find his sister, Aya. This is not helped when a fan approaches Tamaki claiming to have information on his sister. This turns out to be a rouse as she wanted to get him alone. After missing work he is in a LOT of trouble. This affects not just him, but Tsumugi as well. Later, as Riku goes to check on Sogo, he finds him collapsed on the floor of his room….
Nagi is 80% face, 20% body.
Iori’s love for cute things is becoming clearer! Just be honest with yourself Iorin~!
Tamaki actually writes his schedule on his hand…
It’s easy to miss, but when the group is riding the Shinkansen, Riku has his head and hands pressed up against the window. Riku = puppy confirmed. (Oh, and Yamato has yet another beer)
The dark side of the industry has started to slip through the cracks. For example, the producer was clear in saying ‘you are just replaceable’ and it was also made clear that you really don’t want to make enemies of the sponsors i.e. the people with the money.
One of my favorite scenes was after Tamaki screwed up. At first, he begins to claim that he hates the fans and the rest of the group are angry at him. However, after the members of the group (particularly Yamato and Iori) were able to get him to explain clearly what happened, they began to understand him, and in turn, make him understand what he did wrong. It’s a very touching scene, and Tamaki is very lucky to be surrounded by such understanding people who will guide their youngest member however they can.
The black-and-white title screen at the end made it really hit home just how grave MEZZO’s situation is.
Ohhhhhhh boy! This is my time to shine! The IDOLiSH7 boys went to Osaka this week. Not only have I been living in Osaka for a few years now, but the MANGA.TOKYO office is just a 15-minute walk from where the boys visited! I always walk past the area on my way home, so I thought I’d talk a few photographs so you can compare the real places to the versions in the anime!
The area the 5 guys hung out was the Minami area of Osaka, specifically around Dotonbori. The crab Mitsuki and Riku took a photograph in front of was a famous crab restaurant called ‘Kani Douraku’.
The mechanical crab actually moves! The restaurant is so popular that there are 3 of them along Dotonbori alone.
The boys sat down and ate Takoyaki on one of these benches.
The shopping arcade we could see when Mitsuki shouted ‘We’re in Osaka!’ was likely Ebisubashi-suji or Shinsaibashi-suji but without the heaving tourists.
The big sign the boys took a photograph in front of was based on the Glico man sign. Perhaps you’ve heard of Glico. Although they are most known overseas for Pocky, their flagship products are actually caramel candies simply called ‘Glico’ that supposedly have the same amount of energy in one candy as it takes to run 300 meters- hence the logo being a running man. As you can see in my photo below, plenty of people recreate the pose for photographs.
Interestingly, the bridge they are standing on at this point is called ‘Ebisu-bashi’, but it is also commonly called ‘hikkake-bashi’ (or sometimes ‘nampa-bashi’). Both these words mean ‘pick-up bridge’ and comes from the fact there are many fashionable young men who try to pick up girls along here. If you wonder why….well, there are a lot of bars and host bars very nearby so they are often trying to get the girls into their establishment…..
When Sogo and Tamaki are rushing to their job, they come out of a subway station exit. The exit is clearly based on the Osaka Municipal Subway and the station is called ‘Shokubutsuen-mae’ (literally ‘in front of botanical gardens’) and is a playful take on Osaka’s ‘Doubutsuen-mae’ (literally ‘in front of zoo’), which is the train station in front of Tennoji Zoo.
While in Osaka, the boys play an arcade game called ‘Taiko Tatsujin’, which means something like ‘Expert at Taiko (Japanese drums)’. The game is actually having a collaboration with Idolish7, hence it appearing in the anime. It’s a fun game!
One of the foods the boys eat is a popular street food called takoyaki. It is basically battered octopus, with the batter shaped into balls then topped with a Worcestershire sauce-based sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and ground seaweed. It’s delicious! Both Nagi and Mitsuki had moments where they popped a takoyaki in their mouth and screamed in pain. Common rookie mistake. Takoyaki are always hotter on the inside than the outside, so be careful!
After Sogo and Tamaki arrived in Osaka, a very expensive car pulled passed the pair and we learn that Sogo’s father is probably involved. In fact, even before Sogo mentions his father, there were two clues that gave this away. Firstly, the car license plate said ‘Roppongi’, which is in Tokyo. Secondly, the number on the plate was simply ‘5’. Yes, this is Sogo’s motif number!
Although the ending credits are a little unusual in that they are scrolling down rather than up, you probably noticed some gorgeous illustrations of MEZZO. These were drawn by Arina Tanemura. Not only is she known for such manga as Full Moon wo Sagashite, she is also the original character designer for the game! She has such a stunning use of color!
During the montage near the middle of the episode, a disco song called ‘Fly Away’ began to play. This is Iori and Riku’s duo unit! The outfits they were wearing as they locked arms is very cute and is also used in the game. The song that played after is called ‘Pythagoras Fighter’ and is by Mitsuki, Yamato, and Nagi! Again, the cute outfits they were wearing are cards in the game.
Rain of Love
This was probably my favorite episode of the series. No, I’m not just biased because I got to talk about Osaka. This was the episode where we truly start to see the real, and less brilliant, side to the idol industry, from being helpless after having a track stolen to feeling the absolute power of a sponsor. We even got to see one of the worst and scariest aspects: overwork. Despite this, we still got some cute moments and honestly very funny jokes, so it was a very easy episode to watch. This was the point in the story during the game where I really start to get emotionally invested in the characters, so maybe you are too! See you next week!