Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
Hello, MT readers, and welcome to this series of reviews for this season’s sole male idol anime, IDOLiSH7! I have actually been a big fan of the franchise for about a year now, so I want to introduce you to some trivia and motifs that may be of some interest.
Idolish7 is a smartphone game produced by Bandai Namco Online and first released in August 2015. At its core, it is a rhythm game with card-collecting elements, but surely owes much of its popularity to the long-running story and its charming cast of colorful characters. In addition, the game has an absolutely wonderful ensemble of young voice actors that are very popular, and I admit that it is actually the reason I started playing the game in the first place (that and the fact that you cannot escape i7 here in Japan- the merchandise is EVERYWHERE). The story is currently split into 3 parts, with the 3rd and final part currently updating every few weeks. The anime adaptation will most likely cover the entirety of the first part, which is about the formation and rise to fame of a 7-person idol group named IDOLiSH7. I won’t go too much into the details regarding the story here, but I WILL introduce some themes and trivia that may make this fun anime a little more enjoyable!
The lucky number seven is one of the most prominent numbers in the story. It’s the number of boys in the titular group, the number of colors in the rainbow… the number of deadly sins, oh my! Within events in the game, users who rank 7th, 77th, 777th, or even 7777th place get special prizes and special edition CDs, DVDs. Even the entry to the recent Idolish7 exhibition has been priced 7777 yen! Even more specifically, the number seven is often paired with the letter ‘i’. Idolish7 is often shortened to i7 (pronounced ‘ainana’), and you can even see it in the official capitalization of the group, IDOLiSH7. This is also the reason the series is 17 episodes (because i looks like a 1, geddit?) and why the first episode to broadcast on TV (other than the episode 1&2 special) began on 7 January (which can be written 1/7…i7!).
It is very common for Japanese idol groups (both 2D and 3D), to assign a color to each member. One of the reasons for this is so that fans can wear items or wave glowsticks representing each of the members. IDOLiSH7 is no exception, and in addition to the colors, each member also had a musical motif and a number assigned to them. If you pay attention to the opening sequence to the anime, you will see their number in the background! I will introduce each of the main characters and their motifs here, and for funsies, I will also add in their moe charm point (i.e, the part of their personality that makes fans squee!). Please bear in mind that the moe charm points are subjective, and just my personal opinion!
VA: Masuda Toshiki
Profile: A cool and intelligent high-schooler, Iori may seem very aloof but deep down he has a love for all things cute. He is the younger brother of fellow group member Mitsuki, although the two differ greatly in both appearance and personality.
Image color: Black (sometimes represented with indigo)
Image number: One (His name, 和泉一織, contains the kanji for ‘one’: 一)
Musical motif: Double flat
Idol appeal point: His perfection
Moe Charm: The token tsundere! I’m an absolute sucker for tsundere characters, so Iori is actually the character who sets my moe senses off the most. Usually very cool to the point of rudeness (the ‘tsun tsun’ part), just give him something cute and he’ll be trying his hardest not to coo all over it (the ‘dere dere’ part).
VA: Yusuke Shirai
Profile: The eldest member of the group. He jokes that he is there for revenge, but is hiding something from the rest of the members. He is a very talented actor.
Image color: Green
Image Number: Two (His name, 二階堂大和, contains the kanji for ‘two’: 二)
Musical motif: Sharp
Idol appeal point: His expressiveness
Moe Charm: I love the way he wants to be the ‘big brother’ character despite his love for beer and dislike of all things troublesome. For me, I love how he has sanpaku-gan (irises so small you can see the whites underneath) as well as being a glasses-character.
VA: Tsubasa Yonaga
Profile: Iori’s elder brother. He is very bright and bubbly but very reliable and has come to the rescue of the others with his quick-thinking on multiple occasions. Mitsuki entered the industry in order to become more like his idol- the legendary Zero. I can’t help but always read his name in Nagi’s accent (MiTSUki~)
Image Color: Orange
Image Number: Three (His name, 和泉三月, contains the kanji for ‘three’: 三)
Musical motif: Flat
Idol appeal point: His energy
Moe Charm: The tsukkomi character of the group, he is very quick-witted and makes funny comebacks at the rest of the guy’s silliness. Looks great in a dress, much to his own chagrin. His obsession with Zero is really adorable.
Profile: A very straightforward and naturally-talented dancer who wants to become an idol to search for a specific someone. His honesty often ends up getting him into serious trouble, but he doesn’t have a bad bone in his body.
Image Color: Cyan
Image Number: Four (His name, 四葉環, contains the kanji for ‘four’: 四)
Musical motif: Mezzo Piano
Idol appeal point: His dance skills
Moe Charm: Tamaki is one of the fan favorites due to his pure straightforwardness. His lack of social skills and inability to hold back on his emotions are so rare in a work like this, and I’m sure many of the players relate to Tamaki the most. His love for pudding is also so pure, yet unhealthy.
VA: Atsushi Abe
Profile: A well-mannered young man with a strong sense of responsibility and a very good head on his shoulders. He has had to give up a lot to pursue his dreams, although it takes him a while to work out what his dreams actually are. He can eat insanely spicy food with an angelic look on his face. He can NOT handle his alcohol.
Image Color: Purple
Image number: Five (His name, 逢坂壮五, contains the kanji for ‘five’: 五)
Musical motif: Mezzo Forte
Idol appeal point: His ability to do a bit of everything
Moe charm point: He is very kind and gentle, but it’s his (spoiler – highlight to see) yandere tendencies that make me love him so much.
VA: Takuya Eguchi
Profile: An insanely beautiful half-Japanese man with an obsession with Japanese anime- especially his beloved Magical Kokona. Although his loudness can be a little in-your-face, he loves every member of the group and cannot stand to see them fighting.
Image Color: Yellow
Image number: Six (His name, 六弥ナギ, contains the kanji for ‘six’: 六)
Musical motif: Natural
Idol appeal point: His charm and grace
Moe charm point: Although I usually hate over-the-top foreign characters in anime, Nagi’s crazy Japanese is quite endearing thanks to his true heart of gold. The gap between him being a gorgeous charming ladies man and an otaku with similar obsessions is definitely a moe charm point.
VA: Kensho Ono
Profile: The typical hardworking yet slightly naive center of the group. Riku has clear ambition and doesn’t want anything, not even his health, to stop him. He loves to lose himself in books and deeply cares about his team.
Image Color: Red
Image number: Seven (His name, 七瀬陸, contains the kanji for ‘seven’: 七)
Musical motif: Double sharp
Idol appeal point: His beautiful voice
Moe Charm Point: The bright sunshine of the group with adorable puppy dog eyes. My personal moe point when it comes to Riku is when he gets upset….I don’t know…my heart just splits in two and I love it. You cannot say no to him…
An interesting tidbit that may be useful later on… Riku’s name literally means ‘land’ (as in the continent) in Japanese… (why is this useful? You’ll find out very soon)
Although we have friendly rival group TRIGGER, I will leave their trivia for a later review. Instead, I will quickly introduce the members of the management agency to which IDOLiSH7 belongs.
VA: Satomi Sato (anime only)
Profile: Tsumugi is the game’s protagonist, so the player of the game can choose her name. She is gentle and kind, but incredibly hard-working. I’m a big fan of hers, and I will let you know what I think of her anime version in the Episode 1&2 review!
Moe charm: Although she is optimistic, she works very hard to make plans a success. Ahhh, she is so cute!
Interesting point: Tsumugi’s name means ‘to put together’.
VA: Susumu Chiba
The very handsome father of Tsumugi and president of Takanashi Productions. He’s hiding something. I know he is.
Moe charm: Seemingly a sweet, gentle father with his eyes always closed and a smile on his face. He only opens his eyes when he gets serious. Believe me when I say my heart has jumped every single time his eyes opened
Interesting point: His name contains the kanji for ‘sound’ or ‘music’: 音
VA: Kazuyuki Okitsu
Profile: The reliable office worker at the Takanashi Productions headquarters. Banri is always there to support Tsumugi and IDOLiSH7, and holds a lot of respect out of gratitude for Otoharu. Also, BANRI IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER in the whole franchise! I’m kind of in love with him, and I have him set as my home screen in-game so he can greet me every day! Unfortunately, I cannot talk about many of the reasons I love him here due to spoilers, and I am not sure if the anime will even get far enough into the story for you to find out…
Image Number: Ten thousand (His name, 大神万里, contains the kanji for ’10,000’: 万)
Moe charm point: His reliability, his slightly teasing attitude, and his gorgeous long blue hair.
That’s all for the motifs and trivia for now. There is another main group, TRIGGER, but I will bring up their motifs a little later in the reviews. I hope this article helped you get just a little bit of a grasp on the boys, and you can sit back and enjoy the series. Before you start I have just one thing to ask of you: don’t take it too seriously. Although Idolish7 DOES tread into very serious issues that other idol anime do not usually cover, the game, and therefore the anime, is supposed to be a bit of fun. Let me know if you find a favorite character!
See you in the review of the Episode1&2 special!
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!