Idol Jihen

July 14, 2017

OMG! How did Donald Trump win the recent American elections?! How can this happen?! The world is coming to an end!!! It is time to return to our safe space and propagate and assure ourselves that there is still hope. Because in a time of darkness, there will be a light that will rise and shine above it all to bring us hope. To fight the evil and corrupted politicians and greedy congressmen and power hungry assemblymen. That is why we have idols running as legislators! I’m not kidding. At least this is according to Idol Jihen. If AKB0048 is to sci-fi and Love Live is too irrelevant and only for high school, this series might be the timely appropriate. I guess people are just fed up of typical corrupted policymakers that they decide to give idols the chance to run for office. What do idols know about politics and governance? Who cares? As long as we get to enjoy their concerts. Hey. My drain is clogged since last week and it stinks. Somebody care to come clean it up? I can’t. I have to attend that idol’s concert…

Episode 1
A shady bribery is going on between these old guys… Then the politician chokes and dies on his snack. Now with the Niigata seat vacant, Sachie Kondou and her assistant Kamishiro are looking around for local girls to represent the Heroine Party. Then she sees Natsuki Hoshina revving up the farmers by singing in their paddy fields. Feeling she is the right candidate, she asks Natsuki to join the idol election audition at Tokyo. So the audition is to run up a hill so high that goes past the clouds? Isn’t that more of a mountain? And what is this about idols needing to reach the top? For real? Apparently only Natsuki passed as she is the only one who managed to complete the run. Kamishiro is sceptical if she is the right candidate because right now Japan has no president and they can do without jokers. Don’t worry. Everything will somehow work out… That’s what they all say. Natsuki being the rookie and noob, stutters in her speech and when confronted with rival Rougai Party who is more accustomed with their typical political speech, how does Natsuki overcome this? She blurts out for the men to make her a woman! Wait. What?! Can idols say that? Well, all those old men are definitely interested in her now… Then Shizuka Onimaru (a twice elected idol dietwoman) arrives as requested by Sachie to help out. She is supposed to sing a duet with Natsuki in a live concert. However Shizuka doesn’t believe Natsuki is up to her par yet and will train her. Despite Natsuki bloopers a lot and doesn’t give up, Shizuka decides she is not up to mark. She doesn’t have what it takes to be on stage with her. Natsuki feels down but nothing but a little farming to help bring her motivation back. Shizuka also remembers Sachie removing her from the team. Despite having exceptional talent, her aura hurts others. Natsuki only appears on stage. Some of the crowd is displeased since Natsuki is nervous and Shizuka isn’t around. Well, she’s at the backstage. If she is having whatever doubts, leave it to Sachie to change her mind on that. So the crowd returns once Shizuka appears. Before they could start singing, Rougai Party starts their deafening speech on their usual propaganda. Natsuki then starts singing to drown out the interference. Such beautiful flowery aura. Safe to say we know who the people will vote next. Yeah, even this Rougai Party candidate. Now that Natsuki is elected in, she is still nervous but will do her best. Despite Rougai Party still have the clear majority in the house, a few shady old politicians won’t let these idol dietwomen gain momentum.

Episode 2
The Heroine Party is at a local dumpsite that is legal by law. They see Chinatsu Ryuusekidou of Sunlight Party and a few other idol dietwoman trying to stop the dumping and save the environment. But the local politician tells them off this is his land is graciously offering for garbage to be dumped. Don’t tell me you want to be selfish and dump it in other districts, do you? No choice, they let them through. When Shizuka confronts Chinatsu, immediately the latter slaps her! Whatever history they had, Chinatsu still won’t forgive her. Later that night, Natsuki returns to the dumpsite to find Chinatsu trying to clean up. She learns Chinatsu was raised in this area and often played here a lot. Natsuki offers to help but Chinatsu will not accept any help especially from Heroine Party. When Natsuki tells Sachie about this, she believes Shizuka did something to prevent hurting others but because she never explained it well and left, the others viewed it as betrayal. Natsuki isn’t one to let this drag on so she again pleads to Chinatsu for help. Instantly shot down. With Shizuka and other idol dietwomen wanting to give this a chance, Chinatsu relents but with a condition: A bungee jump challenge at different heights! What is this about idols need to be brave and face the crowd? Anyway if Natsuki falters, Shizuka must apologize to Mizuki Fudou, the chairwoman of Sunlight Party. But it seems Natsuki has no qualms about jumping and does so without hesitation unlike Chinatsu who is barely hiding her fear. On the final and highest jump, Chinatsu faints! Natsuki is a little scared but manages to summon her courage since they will lose their chance to help the villagers. Then the bungee rope snaps… I know there is a river below but how can she survive at that height?! Anyway, while diving, Natsuki has an idea on what to do with the dump. The next day, lots of people have gathered and turning the dump into pieces of art! A free voucher for an idol handshake for every garbage you refurbish! The politician doesn’t like this and sends his boys to beat them up?! How could they? How do you stop rampaging mobsters? You hold an idol concert to turn them into fan boys! OMFG! And so the dumpsite is saved but Natsuki is sad that the newspaper only reported on Sunlight Party. No Heroine Party was mentioned. Welcome to politics. Meanwhile the Rougai Party guys heard one of their guys have resigned but aren’t going to press the panic button yet. Losing a member or two won’t hurt they party. Unless the masses demand change, their regime is safe…

Episode 3
Heroine Party is at Nekonoshima, an island filled with cats cohabitating with humans. They are here for a request to find missing cats and if you think that is tough, all the cats on the island are missing! The only cat on the island is Boss, the sacred leader of all. Oddly, the local assemblywoman hates cats but she looks like one. Also on this island to help out are the Starlight Party members, Sakurako Iizuka (chairwoman), Isuzu Narukami and Shirayuki Arai. They go around looking for clues. Starlight Party visit and pray at all the shrines (a million yen donation?) and find alphabets on stones. Heroine Party on the other hand are doing finding a needle in a haystack as well as asking residents. One of them relates one night he saw all the cats being lured to some ship by some smoke. Someone was feeding them. When he accidentally made a sound, the cat monster reared its ugly head. Doesn’t she look like the assemblywoman? Natsuki tries to tease boss with cattails until he can’t stand it anymore and starts chasing her. It leads them to a spot where they find the assemblywoman’s glasses with catnip smell. Definitely it’s her. With everyone taking a break at the udon store, the old lady tells them about the island’s legend. When cats disappear, 4 maidens shall come from beyond the sea and dance upon the stone stages of cats. Want to guess who are those maidens? And so our idol dietwomen each stand on those stones and start singing. Such beautiful beam of light that it turns the assemblywoman into a cat lover! Get this. A wave of cats is seen swimming from across the ocean back to the island! I thought cats hate water? Just in time for some grand cat festival too. People pour catnip everywhere on the street and let a huge tidal wave of cat rampage through. Yeah, who wouldn’t love the feeling of being drowned by cats.

Episode 4
A bratty politician tries to tick off the idol dietwomen about their fancy idol dress in the diet hall. But they got the last laugh when they say something on the lines to each his/her own. Because of that, he and his secretary try to concoct a plan to embarrass them especially with the upcoming swimsuit competition. Last year’s defending champion, the Bishoujo Party (wait, what?) gives their opening speech and Natsuki can’t help go with the flow and let out her own excitement. It may be embarrassing but at least she is bursting with honesty energy. Isn’t it no surprise all the spectators are men? As the water competitions kick off, it is obviously rigged and some of the girls suspect Rougai Party is behind this as many get eliminated too early and there is one whereby you get naughty octopi all over you if you fall into the water (sorry, no tentacle rape). So our evil politicians think they have got the last laugh but our dietwomen is the one having them because they turn around this mishap and turn those octopi into takoyaki! They’re selling well! Natsuki makes friends with the chairwoman of Bishoujo Party, Ume “Momo” Momoi. She loves the sea and her dream is to check out all the beaches in the world. The game continues as the girls are suspicious they need to put on certain swimsuits. Their worst fear comes true because in the next game where they have to take out their opponents via water gun, their swimsuits disintegrate when soaked. Before more wardrobe malfunction could happen, Momo leads the pack to stay calm and give the right timing for them to counterattack and win the game. If you think that wasn’t cheesy enough, in the last game where they must climb a tower to grab a microphone at the top to sing and win it, the scaffolding is obviously tampered as it starts collapsing. How can they survive that? Because Bishoujo Party starts singing and that is what keeps them afloat! WTF???!!! At the same time turning their evil counterparts into their biggest fans! In the end, Bishoujo Party wins the overall and they take a group photo together. Hey. Did the Rougai Party big boss just Liked their post?

Episode 5
Shizuka is on her day off as she meets her father. He tells her to stop this idol business and return to him. She is smart enough to know this won’t last forever. Of course she isn’t going to listen to him. Meanwhile Natsuki becomes a police chief for a day. Yeah, the chief inspector just became her biggest fan. So you think it is easy being a police chief? Apparently yeah. As long as you’re as cute as her. Then the biggest incident to happen: A hostage situation at a day care. It seems members of the Wakaba Party are taken hostage by… Children of the day care?! It is learnt that this day care will be closing down soon and the kids who have nowhere to go are against this. Yeah, drastic times call for drastic measures. Natsuki thinks she can talk to them but instead got captured. Way to go. But to her shock she learns the Wakaba Party members (are they lolis?!) are in cohorts with the kids. They heard their story that they have both parents who work. This is where they hangout until their parents get home so if this place goes, will they be considered homeless then? The local politician is here and he makes things worse by blaming the mothers of those kids. He believes a woman’s place is at home taking care of children. Easily triggered people shouldn’t be watching this episode. So how to solve this problem? When the day care is torn down, a business centre will be built. This means more income and revenue and thus mothers don’t have to work anymore and can better look after their children. Great plan. When this hostage drama gets dragged out, the politician decides to storm in. Seriously? They’re just kids. Anybody who take hostages are as good as terrorists! Well, I can see the equality there. Luckily Shizuka relays this to Natsuki so everyone starts preparing traps like Home Alone style. I mean, it makes the police force look so silly when they storm in only to slip on marbles, thrown used diapers, fall into pitfalls and blasted with pepper balloons. When the politician gets worked up over this farce, little does he know he stirred a mini beehive. He gets stung. Mothers of those kid quickly administer aid and help remove the beehive. Shortly Shizuka lectures him about those mothers being professionals in various areas and since they are invaluable to society, is it alright to keep them confined at home? You know everything is okay and over when the kids return to their moms, Wakaba Party starts singing and the politician turning over a new leaf apologizing to the mothers and tearing up the business centre proposal. Oh yeah, he quit his Rougai Party too. Starting to get worried you’re losing more men, eh?

Episode 6
Mika Kozuru of New Subculture Party loves astronomy but she is too shy to articulate her proposal to use the diet building’s observatory to launch bottle rockets and stimulate the people’s interest in space so this pesky old politician shoots it down with ease. Later Mika explains her scientific proposal perfectly to Heroine Party and hope they could team up for this event. However here comes that pesky old dude to warn them why the observatory is off limits because of hauntings and ghost sightings. He shouldn’t have said only God or a saint can help because here comes Ringo Yami from SOS Party as she is a self-proclaimed Ghostbuster. It’s time to bust some ghosts. Of course the old guy won’t let them have their way since if their proposal gets approved, budget allocations for them will be cut. So our Ghostbusters enter the observatory and what do you know? There’s a real ghost! Everybody is freaking out now and no exorcism method can work. What a time to regret your unfulfilled election promises? Oh great. Now the ghosts have multiplied! Meanwhile Mika who got lost from the group stumbles into 3 great statesmen. Want to bet they’re the real ghosts or rather the bronze statues come to life? They praise how the idol dietwomen are keeping Rougai Party at bay and advise her not to let them push her around. This helps Mika articulate her vision clearly. Team Ghostbusters realize they have been had after they destroy a hologram projector. They know that pesky old dude was behind this since he dropped his fan. Though he escapes, he bumps into Mika. This time she tells him she isn’t going to give up her proposal with full confidence. You can’t beat that smile. Speechless, eh? After hearing Natsuki say how the observatory lighted up like a planetarium after they stopped the projector, Mika makes a little revision in her proposal since she wants to appeal to a broader audience. Her stargazing event is approved and is popular among the people. Meanwhile Shizuka’s father still will not approve of her idol work. Nothing. Shizuka remains defiant.

Episode 7
The locals at Niigata are protesting the proposed site to build a stadium. Naturally Natsuki is going to help them. She learns the construction company behind this is Onimaru Construction. Sounds familiar? So being an idol dietwoman gives her the right to waltz in to see the president? Luckily he is passing by so he lets her in to see what she has to say. She hopes it would be re-evaluated but he instantly shoots her down that it is government sponsored and cannot be changed. Also, don’t take politics as fun and games! Kamishiro must be having a real headache to learn what Natsuki did but that didn’t stop her. After learning Shizuka is the president’s daughter, she bugs her to go talk to her father only to be shot down. Since Shizuka is not one to say, Sachie explains Shizuka as the only daughter and people had expectations she would follow her father’s footsteps. When she didn’t, everyone was surprised and naturally it caused tensions in their relationship. The president is seeing Rougai Party’s boss and assures what his daughter does has no bearing on what he does. Natsuki continues to bug Shizuka. Since she is stubborn, Natsuki notes she is so like her dad. This makes her snap back. She isn’t stubborn. She makes her own decisions! Can’t argue with that. As Natsuki can’t think of an idea, Sanpei a local boy from her hometown sends in drawings of kids about their feelings of the stadium. They decide to show this to the president but he apparently didn’t give a damn as usual. Not even one look. What a pity those drawings got wet in the rain… Are they going to give up? Instead, they are boosted when Shizuka joins in. They’re going to fight back via public forum and do a live concert. So they dance their way into the audiences’ hearts (because I believe everyone here is against the stadium). Shizuka’s dad did turn up as he observes the crowd. Though it seemed it has failed to convince him, their fan club petitions are starting to gain momentum. Then this shocking thing just came in over the news. The president decides to re-evaluate the project and scale it down to how the people would want and appreciate it! Yeah, their feelings finally reached him. So when Rougai Party boss confronts him about letting his emotions get the better of him, he is reminded his daughter’s actions has no bearing on what he does. All he wants is to make a stadium where people can gather and smile. Take that. Looks like somebody is going to move his hand to crush those idol dietwomen.

Episode 8
With the idols doing more concerts and their congress job better, those Rougai Party guys are starting to get worried with all the recent strings of resignation from their side. They are asking their boss who is also Japan’s Prime Minister Touichirou Sakuraba why he has not taken any action. Don’t worry. He already has. Because the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Natsuki and Shizuka are to be interviewed on TV. Shizuka cautions her to watch what she says because the media who is completely leaning on Rougai Party’s side can twist what she says. As the show starts, the host asks them about what they are doing this for. Natsuki being her honest self goes on happily talking about people’s smiles. Gotcha. The host then in turn plays clips of their past achievements but with a twist. The illegal dumpsite might have been solved but the garbage has to go somewhere and it’s nowhere but the streets. The cats on Nekonoshima have become pests ravaging crops while the day care still lacks funding and in danger of being closed. Natsuki cannot refute any of it. Even though Sachie knows this is heavily edited to one side and Rougai Party had pre-taped all this. Natsuki has no time being depressed because Sanpei calls to voice his concern that the stadium is now cancelled! Shizuka confronts her dad on it and it seems because the company changed the blueprints, the government decided to really re-evaluate this project. Of course he is not going out without a fight and warns Shizuka her value as a true dietwoman is now being tested. With idol dietwomen popularity plunging, a gossip magazine releases an article and photo of Shizuka having an affair with an older man. It is obviously her father but because they worded their statement as speculation, trying to report or fight it will prove nothing. Rougai Party is really coming for them. Natsuki is being lectured by Shizuka about her duty as elected representative since she somewhat fears going to diet building now. But Heroine Party isn’t just facing problems. Other idol dietwoman parties too. Chinatsu is mad the media is accusing Mizuki of plastic surgery. Sakurako is suspected of misusing government funds when it is her own money to buy clothes. Bishoujo Party is ridiculed that they are too dumb to read kanji. Wakaba Party still wets their bed? Who is telling New Subculture Party to go back to space? Who is telling SOS Party to return to the shadows? At times like these, they decide to band together to fight against Rougai Party. So they fight in a way they know best: Holding concerts to address the string of idol bashing. Before they can start, a helicopter lands in the middle of the stage. Who are these 4 beautiful babes? Hey. Aren’t they sent by Rougai Party? Are they like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?!

Episode 9
Saki Shiraga, Kazumi Mukai, Maybelle Takasaki and Megu Izumisawa are part of the legendary idol group, Cherry 7 who help Kagura Mikazuki the only female idol dietwoman in history and paved the way for idols to become part of the diet. When they decide to join them, they are attacked! WTF?! Holding a sword, machine gun and magic explosion wand?! Is Cherry 7 mercenaries now?! Apparently they are not here to support these idols and feel they have lost their way as idol dietwoman. Cherry 7 was hired by Rougai Party to test their worthiness. Surprisingly, Sakuraba comes on stage to show several accusations and scandals for each of the party. Then he belittles them how they are nowhere near Mikazuki and not only they do not solve problems as dietwomen but fail as idols too. He has come up with a proposal to ban idols to be dietwoman. The crowd is silent. Sakuraba takes this as their shocking approval. So before they can block that bill, they must defeat Cherry 7 first. Shizuka calls Mizuki and the other parties in hopes they could unite and band together. However Chinatsu tells her off she is the one to say as she was the least cooperative. Plus, all of them are busy trying to clear their scandals. With all the arguing, Mizuki steps in who tells them they will lose to Cherry 7 unless they give it their all. Chinatsu disagrees with this unity thingy. Because competition makes them push forward, she suggests holding a competition to see which of them is better to take on Cherry 7. Agreed. Mizuki will be the judge. Up till now you must have noticed Natsuki being depressed as hell. So leave it to Shizuka to give her speech about trust and believe and blow Natsuki out of the doldrums. There. Done. As they sing and dance, they realize there is this strange mix of strong power they produced together. Yup. Looks like they need to unite and form a cross-partisan unit against Cherry 7.

Episode 10
The cross-partisan unit is called Smile Kiss and they receive equal coverage with Cherry 7. However Natsuki is back to gloomsville as she continues to slack in her practice. Then with all the nonstop protest calls to their office, her motivation takes a dive. One day she just cannot dance anymore and her voice cannot sing. So Shizuka chides her and lets her go home. It gets even worse when she picks up a complaint call from a construction guy asking his money back for the failed stadium project. As she talks to Sachie about her problem, she is advised to go see those people. Thus Natsuki returns to Niigata and didn’t show up for practice so Shizuka has Chinatsu replace her part. This has Chinatsu commenting that is all Natsuki is worth to her. She abandoned her with ease just like she did with them. At Niigata, Natsuki apologizes to all the workers there. She reflects about being unable to help Shizuka and despite forming a duet with her, she was always trying her best to catch up to her. Sanpei then has her watch TV. The decisive concert is live right now. Natsuki is brought to tears seeing her teammates wearing the same ribbon colour as hers (original each of them had a unique colour assigned). As predicted, Cherry 7 is currently leading a big gap in the polls. Suspiciously when Natsuki starts cheering for her team, the lead starts to cut… In the end, the one who got the most votes is… Smile Kiss!!! They did it! Hooray! Not so fast. Because Sakuraba has immediately hold a press conference. Despite the idols’ amazing performance, don’t be fooled by this illusion. Their performance is just that. A fleeting pleasure of self-gratification. It doesn’t solve problems or enrich people’s lives. Then this is the damning statement that would make or break his bill: Those idol dietwomen were so caught up practising for their performance, they didn’t even do a single job as politicians for the past few week! Oh no…

Episode 11
The vote on the bill is out. And the result is… Rougai Party is celebrating and giving their victory speech. Thanks to that, our idol dietwomen are all doom and gloom especially with Shizuka blaming herself and taking responsibility for it all. Hey, for an idol this is literally the end of the world. Natsuki too is in gloomsville. She can’t even do farm work properly and cries even while eating. Yeah, food must taste this good. Because she continues to cry about not being able to make anyone smile, grandma had to tell her about the rising star story of Mikazuki. A dark age where she rose up and shone through the darkness. People soon started following her and the nation slowly came back out into the light. Asked why she became an idol dietwoman, simple, she wanted to make others smile. As advised, Natsuki goes around town to see what has changed. Remember that guy from the first episode who ran against Natsuki in the by-election? He is sweeping the streets in hopes of getting to know his people better! He has left Rougai Party and became an independent. He thanks Natsuki for changing him. This really makes her day as Natsuki runs all over the place (places of past episodes where there were ‘issues’) to find that all of those ex-Rougai Party people have changed for the better. Like that dumpster is now a museum with all recycled items. That cat island is now booming with cats and the day care gets to continue operating. All because of Natsuki. Oh my. Natsuki is so happy she is swirling around in a flower field?! Hope it doesn’t get to her head. Meanwhile it is about time Shizuka also has come to her senses. She realizes her selfishness when she left Sunlight Party and was only imposing her feelings upon others. It is not she has changed but rather been changed. Thanks to a certain twintail too. Of course the inevitable Natsuki and Shizuka making up again. This time Shizuka views her as her real partner. Their next move is to put up another concert albeit just the duo. But isn’t this against the act? I’m not sure about there are those who voted against it so they want to sing for them but hey, isn’t it still illegal? Are they breaking the law? Oh what the heck. Idols always have their way. So as they gear up for the concert, on that very day we already have a crisis. Not a single soul turned up! OMG! Is it because it is raining? Or is that just symbolic?

Episode 12
Apparently somebody hacked into their website to say the concert is cancelled. I think I know who… Even so, the duo will continue to perform because they are idols. Their song resonates throughout the city so much so curious people slowly start streaming in to hear them. Even the other idol dietwomen see this over the internet and make their way. However Sakuraba anticipated this and puts his next plan in motion. A gridlock in the city and shut down of all transports! Don’t worry. The idols get by with the help of ex-Rougai Party members as they make their way via other methods. By foot, sewer or parachute. The craziest one being Momo as she surfs her entire way there! I know the road is wet and slippery but this?! As the crowd builds up and wanting an encore, Natsuki and Shizuka team up with the other idol dietwomen to put on another sterling performance. Their ideology and party may be different but their feelings are the same. Even Cherry 7 is down here to support them. Sakuraba goes down to the field himself to take command. However the riot police will not listen to his order. It seems the police chief who has been promoted to the central office is the one taking charge. With ex-Rougai Party members reminding him about the infringement of free speech, Sakuraba sees the intense crowd that keeps flowing in and Smile Kiss continue to perform, he then gives out a maniacal laughter. He accepts the challenge of the idol dietwomen. In the aftermath, Sakuraba makes a press conference that he is dissolving the diet for a general election. We see a montage of everyone working hard in their campaign. It is no surprise that all the idol dietwomen get re-elected. Yeah, between a cute idol and an old bald dude. Who would you pick? Don’t tell me you’re going to pick based on character, ability, aptitude, etc! It seems Sakuraba is also re-elected. Although he is still against idols becoming dietwomen and will stick with his stance, he challenges them to follow their own convictions if they insist. They can’t let him win because that will mean the end of their dream.

Make Japan Great Again!
Are we done yet? Okay. The fun is over. Time to return to reality. Don’t be fooled by this anime to think that entering politics is damn easy. Yeah, they certainly do make it look like a whole lot of fun here. Because as you can see the idol dietwomen continue to keep their hair all proper and clean after everything. I don’t know if Rougai Party manages to still retain its stranglehold and majority but it might be so because if every single idol dietwomen were elected and assuming there were no new ones, this would mean status quo, right? Definitely need more idol dietwomen and such parties to enter the diet if we are to cleanse Japan of typical old corrupted politicians and make Japan great again!

It is already a no brainer that we have cute idols holding double jobs working as politicians. But it is even dumber to see how idols can actually instantly change bad politicians into good ones! OMFG! This is so unrealistic! You can evidently see how these idols here do it as some of the episodes feature the baddie politician of the week and our heroines get to save the day by ‘purifying’ them via concert, so to speak. Because if this formula truly works and if the idols were serious in trying to weed out corrupted governing practices, don’t you think they would have just hold a nationwide concert that is broadcasted live to all forms of media? Guaranteed to have the biggest, most stubborn and most vile politicians turn into your biggest fan! No doubt about it! So why bother doing small local concerts and change only 1 immoral politician at a time when you can do it all in one big go! So tell me, are these idols serious in changing Japan for the better or do they really know what it takes to run a country? But to show that Sakuraba isn’t as bad as he looks, he is seen attending a concert in the final moments and even tapping his feet to their beat. Oh ho. He may not look like it on the outside but is he converted on the inside? We’ll never know. He is after all the big final boss that our idol dietwomen needs to defeat.

I know some people aren’t really into idols but in this anime what I usually notice that many have this herd mentality. That bill to ban idol dietwomen kills it. Unless Sakuraba is an excellent eloquent smooth talker, the people here feel like they follow their feelings over what they heard. It is like they have no faith in the idols at all. One minute ago they were singing praises about them and the next minute they turn on them because of this WTF scandal that they don’t even care to dig deeper to understand why they didn’t do their governing job. It is scary in real life that idols are walking on thin ice to satisfy ‘hardcore fans’ who would without hesitation turncoat and desert their favourite idol once a scandal arises. But as far for the people in this anime is concerned, it is like they are hoping idols can magically solve their problems that could have taken a little longer to resolve. Oh right. Maybe that’s why they voted idols in. Something different than your conservative politicians. Or maybe the idols’ singing is the one brainwashing people to vote for them? Told you about this silly aspect. In that case do you not think an idol is very similar to a politician? Swaying people with sweet words on stage while looking good. It only takes a scandal to tarnish their name and bring them down. Oh, the similarities…

It is pretty much disappointing that with so many idols from different parties, it is sad that many of them don’t get decent screen time. The most is that they have an episode for them but that is if Natsuki and Shizuka get involved. Even more so, you don’t really get to understand what those parties are fighting for. Heck, what does Heroine Party stand for anyway? Making it worse, the 7 idol dietwoman parties seem to be a representation of some sort of stereotype like the Wakaba Party seem to have only little lolis (are they saying politics is child’s play?) and the Bishoujo Party have members that look more like tanned surfer girls than pretty kawaii ladies. Because I only see Ringo as the only member in SOS Party, I am starting to make generalizations of the party is some sort of gothic fashion party. I don’t know much about the legendary Cherry 7 but looking at them feels like as though their theme is armed and dangerous. It certainly looks so. Plus, with them draping in black, it looks as though they’ve returned from a funeral. Really.

Even the development and friendship drama between Natsuki and Shizuka fails. It just feels generic. Young inexperienced new girl comes into party to pair up with a veteran who defected from another party. They go around helping people to bring about smiles and they make it seem so easy and effortless as I wonder is it because of their idol status makes their job a lot easier an uncomplicated. Then we have a little bit of family drama and tension between Shizuka and her father only to be conveniently and predictably resolved. All because he attended a live concert of Shizuka? Sure, he claims he operates differently from his daughter. But think about this. Has he not heard her daughter sing from other formats even assuming if this is the first time he attends it live? So why now? Both father and daughter have been so stubborn to the point they could be strangers. Thus is it her music? Plot convenience? Reminder that idols’ songs are always the best? Well, can’t have Shizuka’s father as the baddie seeing the real antagonists have been set as Rougai Party. Then there’s the past between Shizuka and Sunlight Party which had potential but never explored further and thus it feels wasted and redundant to somewhat tie a loose connection between them. It wouldn’t make any difference had she not been linked to it in the first place.

And Natsuki is so inexperienced and at time useless that whenever things doesn’t go the right way, she starts going into depression and bums around doing nothing. WTF. I know she is in shock but clearly when she decided to run for candidacy, did she not know the risks? Maybe she doesn’t. Welcome to the world of politics where everything isn’t rosy and sunshine. Except maybe when you’re an idol whose singing can change everything including giving off those special flowery effects while you are at it. Despite being cheery and at her own pace in nature, ironically it takes her a while and even advice or guidance from others to reach out to her before she gets her gears going like normal again. Oh right. Nobody is perfect. But aren’t idols supposed to be perfect?

Art and drawing are pretty standard with your pretty idols looking more like bishoujos (except for the loli ones). Not too sure if the outfit they were is their uniform because if it is, it makes them look like cosplay. Because of the idols looking pretty and cute, corrupted politicians especially from Rougai Party have this typical trademark of what is stereotyped as bad guy looks. I see Mr Sakuraba, you have very thick gorilla eyebrows and deep voice that is only reserved for evil leaders… So cliché. Hence for those politicians who turned over a new leaf, they look pretty normal and decent after that. Is this some sort of discrimination? CGI is also used but very sparingly only when the idols start prancing on stage as a big group. However it is not that noticeable because such concerts itself do not last very long. The series is a joint production between MAPPA and Studio VOLN whose other collaboration is the alternate updated version of Ushio & Tora.

At the end of each episode, there is an end card illustrated by several people. Some illustrated twice for different episodes. Somehow they look all the same to me… What is worse than some end cards which serve as idol fanservice? That idol keeps reminding us that the DVDs are going to be out and be sure to buy them. Are they trying to condition and brainwash us to buy this disappointing show? I know I won’t be bought out. Even if you pay me to buy it I won’t. Wait. Did I just make a no brainer statement?

The voice acting just feels normal and decent and nothing to shout about. Mostly are relatively new seiyuus that I still can’t recognize or veteran ones but I still can’t recognize such as Sarara Yashima as Natsuki (Sayo in Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls), Mai Fuchigami as Shizuka (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Reina Ueda as Sachie (Mira in Dimension W), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Chinatsu (Chika in HaruChika), Lynn as Mizuki (titular character in Fuuka), Yuuki Fujiwara as Kamishiro (Liang in Nanbaka) and Kouji Ishii as Sakuraba (Garterbelt in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt). Old veteran seiyuus I recognized helmed roles as the legendary Cherry 7 like Yukari Tamura as Saki and Kana Ueda as Maybelle. I’m going to skip the rest of the list because there are a whole lot of seiyuus lending their voices here and most of them only had a fraction of their dialogue or none at all. I mean, am I serious and hardworking enough to list down all the idols representing all 47 prefectures of Japan?! Are you crazy?! But what is interesting to note is that all of the seiyuus do actually represent and were born in the prefecture of the idol dietwoman that they play.

If you really like idol brand of music, this series has a few of them. I’m not into it so that is probably why I don’t really find the idol-like opening theme, Utae! Ai No Kouyaku by Smile Kiss to my liking. But the ending theme, Respect by the duet of Natsuki and Shizuka feels a bit weird. Pop idol music relying heavily on the synthesizers and effects plus a bit of Arabic feel. In almost every episode there would be an insert song featuring that idol dietwoman party in focus but none really to my liking.

We should have a reality TV show whereby politician wannabes have to go through tests and challenges viewed by millions on TV to see what it takes to become one. It would have been interesting to see how candidates get eliminated by a different voting procedure. I know Donald Trump becoming president doesn’t mean anybody else can become president especially those from the entertainment industry. Oh wait. There’s Ronald Reagan… Then there is Kanye West for 2020…And what’s this? Katy Perry also? The Rock too? Really, America? If it really turns out that celebrity singers are going to run for the Oval Office, then we can call this new reality TV show Ameican Idol. What do you mean that name is already taken?!

Overall, this is quite a disappointing series trying to cash in on the idol craze that is still riding high on its wave in Japan and some parts of the world. Because if you really want good idol material to watch on TV, Love Live and even AKB0048 do it better. So it only goes to show that idols are best and can be in the form of high school girls trying to stop their school from closing down or space revolutionaries fighting against the banning of music. Anything suits them as long as it is not politics. Now we know they don’t mix. Because it would be really bad and sad if idols were to use their star power to side a certain party for the elections like we have seen in the recent American elections. Thus there is a reason why specific jobs exists and even in the same category. Not everything is one glove fits all size and nobody can wear all hats. Some things don’t go together as we learn here, idols and politics. Truly this is not the case of grooming a horse to be a fine horse. It is rather a cat can never become a horse! If they are going to make another season, you bet I am going to cast my big “NO!” vote even if it is just a referendum. Come on, people. Let’s not support sh*tty animes again. No more disappointing animes. Say no to substandard animes. LET’S MAKE ANIME GREAT AGAIN!!!

P/S: A politician and an idol walk into a bar… They become scandal fodder for tomorrow’s tabloid headlines!