Niji-iro Prism Girl

June 27, 2014

I thought this was one of those old animes or at least from the early 2000’s since the art style felt like it was somewhat from that era. However Niji-iro Prism Girl the anime was released just as recently back in August 2013 although it has only 4 episodes that run no more than 12 minutes each. By the way, the manga ran from 2010 and ended at the end of 2013 so the anime must be to coincide with the manga’s end. My motivation to watch this show? I don’t know. I thought it had been a long time since I watched a shoujo genre. Heck, I can’t recall when was the last shoujo genre anime I watched besides Full Moon Wo Sagashite which was a couple of years ago. If Full Moon Wo Sagashite was about a girl fulfilling her dreams to become a singer, then Niji-iro Prism Girl is about a girl trying her luck in the acting world. And she’ll meet all kinds of characters as she chases her dream. Okay, not really much to tell since there are only 4 episodes as said.

Episode 1
Nijika Koihinata despite only 12 years old, has the look of a mature teenager. While she hears the other girls squealing over Japan’s current hot idol, Touya Ichinose, Nijika notes a secret that nobody knows. Touya lives in her house! Because her dad who works in the entertainment industry is letting him stay over. What logic is this? Anyway contrary to the public’s view, Touya is a little nasty and loves teasing Nijika like how he does now by forcing her to eat green peppers she hates. On TV, there is an announcement of an audition to find the next Saori Fujimiya. Who is she? The late legendary actress who is Nijika’s mom. It was Nijika’s dream to become an actress like her but since she always failed, she hated show business and gave up on that dream. Guess what? For some reason, she showed up at the audition! Did she change her mind to follow her mom footsteps? Two things: 1) The audition is only opened to girls above 16 years and above so Nijika actually lied about her age! 2) Participants will be acting with Touya in a forbidden romance between a butler and his milady. Of course this doesn’t sit well with Nijika and even daddy and Touya are surprised she is here. At first she blunders due to her nervousness but Touya being the pro quickly has her back on her feet. She gets into her role and displays her milady traits by playing a violin. The crowd is enchanted. Just when Touya is going to kiss her and send the fan girls heart beating like hell, flustering Nijika pushes him away. Touya adlibs and continues his act and even though it may be part of the act, Nijika felt he was like mocking her. But that made her realized that she loves acting. A pillar prop is going to fall on her so Nijika uses her athletic moves to escape it. Since it’s not lady-like, it confuses the crowd so she adlibs with a convincing act followed by a convincing confession and a convincing jump into his arms. Nijika feels she had so much fun and it renewed her hopes to become an actress like her mom. In the end, Nijika wins the audition. However she has to cover her real age from now on. Thankfully her friends at school saw how cool she was at the audition and agree to keep her age a secret.

Episode 2
Touya accompanies Nijika to a commercial for a chocolate company. Along the way, she bumps into Ria, a famous child actress. Because her disguise came off, people start to recognize her especially one big fan of hers. To quell the situation, Nijika acts out as a delinquent detective, one of the famous dramas her mom acted in. She is drawing too much attention to herself so before the girls recognize Touya the hot guy, they quickly get into the building. Inside the stage, Touya briefs her about the protocol for this and that. After she changes, she is surprised to learn Ria is her co-star. Touya notes that Ria has been acting since 5 years old and won numerous awards. This might be Nijika’s big break if this is successful. Nijika introduces herself to Ria but the latter ignores her. Ria explains she was a big fan of that delinquent detective drama, the reason she got into acting. She won’t lose to her because if she messes up here, she won’t acknowledge Nijika as the next Saori. Ria even suggests to the director to adlib and not act to the script. Well, since it’s cutie Ria requesting for it, okie-dokie. At first Nijika doesn’t know what to say to adlib. She tries the friendship approach but is only scorned off. This pisses off Nijika and throws a little tantrum. But when she sees Ria smiling, she figures this might just be a test. Nijika makes a beautiful leap and make convincing adlib lines about Ria’s wonderful smile. Nijika is surprised that Ria accepts her and they both become friends and eat the chocolate. Their act was so good that the director decides to use this one shot as their commercial. Ria praises Nijika that when she provoked her into an argument, she turned it into an opportunity for friendship. That leap changed to mood for everything and it proves she has a real talent as an actress. Ria acknowledges her as her rival and looks forward to compete with her to be the next Saori next time. The commercial is released and everyone is in awe with the new actress starring alongside Ria. Although this means she isn’t famous enough, Nijika is resolved to work even harder.

Episode 3
Nijika is starring in an episode of a popular delinquent show starring Yuu Arisugawa. His dad is a famous actor and he has been acting since 3 years old. Guess what? Despite looking good, his attitude may just be a jerk like Touya since he is mocking Nijika right off the bat she is here because she is pretty. That just pisses her off. Nijika thought she did well in a scene but Yuu whispers she is just terrible. In a scene whereby Nijika’s character is supposed to break free and reveal her secret delinquent character, she is so convincing that Yuu is overwhelmed. Though, he still mocks her she is not worthy to lick his feet! What is his problem? Before the next scene, several staffs commend Yuu but he scoffs them off and doesn’t want them to compare him with his father. Nijika talks to him and she understands how he feels. Heck, she even advises him not to worry about how others see him. Yuu is blushing… The confession scene begins. Nijika is taken aback when he kisses her hair but bounces back with improvised lines to give the scene even more impact. When her character confesses, instead of him going away like in the script, he hugs her and confesses back! Is this all part of the script? It was convincing enough that when he just walked away coolly, Nijika felt he humiliated her with his acting. Suddenly Yuu takes Nijika and confesses that he likes her. Isn’t the scene over? Are we doing it again? No. It’s for real. He really likes her! She is shocked but since they’re still filming, they’ll finish their confession scene later. In the final goodbye scene, Nijika thinks back about her mom and her acting overwhelms Yuu. Later he admits defeat and tries to hint that he is really in love with her. I’m not sure if it’s her payback by playing dumb or she’s really that dense. Yuu mentions her great acting might get her to win the Diamond Prism Award one day. It is an award given to the outstanding and promising rookie actresses above 16 years old. Of course Saori never won it since she retired early right when she reached that age. And then call it coincidence because Touya comes running in to tell Nijika to good news that she has been nominated for the award!!!

Episode 4
Ria and Nijika are in a final showdown for the award. But this episode is a flashback of Nijika and when Saori was still alive. Due to some illness, her career was cut short and she was hospitalized. Little Nijika practised hard in hopes of becoming a great actress like mommy. However Nijika soon called her mom a liar because she failed to attend school acts or events due to the doctor forbidding her to leave the hospital. Nijika wanted so much for mommy to turn up but she never. She felt awful for telling off her mommy like that so daddy suggests to go apologize. She is also shown the anemone flower. This was the flower daddy gave mommy when he propose to her to signal true love. Saori keeps her promise to go picnic with Nijika as to make it up to her. She got special permission from the doctor although they know it is very risky. It could even shorten her lifespan. Even if daddy knows it, he wants the mother and child to spend precious moments together. Saori is trying hard to not worry Nijika as she hides the fact her body isn’t in good condition. Although the bento Saori made isn’t edible, Nijika is glad that mommy made them. Nijika searches for the anemone flower to give her as present. Saori acts out a scene picking up that flower. Her acting is so good that Nijika thought she saw a real flower. This motivates her further to become an actress and perform with her. When Nijika comically tumbles down a hill, they see a field of anemone flowers and Saori is surprised as it isn’t in season yet. Saori starts crying and tells her to keep believing. As long as she has a strong will, miracles can happen. Of course we know Saori can never keep her promise to act with Nijika. Unless she’s acting with her from Heaven. Back to reality, the winner of the award goes to… Drum rolls please… And the diamond tiara goes to… Next scene we see, Nijika clumsily goes off to a drama shoot while Touya continues reminding her about this and that. Sounds nagging, isn’t he? Of course he believes he will be better and surpass Saori. Oh, the diamond tiara sits nicely in her room.

It’s All Just An Act
Although it was fun watching this little short series, there are a handful of issues which I think will not make everything possible or that this show is just some sort of a fairytale for girls. First and foremost, Nijika won the award, right? Nothing wrong, right? Happy ending, no? Well, remember Nijika is only 12 years old and she won something that only 16 years old and above are qualified to, right? So what does this mean? Nijika technically isn’t qualified to win this! I know winning this shows how outstanding she is but that isn’t the point. Now, what happens if the public actually finds out about this? It is going to turn into a full blown scandal and I am pretty sure she will be forced to retire and be branded as a liar for the rest of her life. Therefore if she is going to continue her happy acting life, she has to hide her age till she dies. With ‘over inquisitive’ people these days and the wealth of information readily at your fingertips, nothing can escape the knowledge and eyes of the internet.

Also, Saori is a legendary actress, right? This means there will be lots of paparazzi and obsessed fans wanting to know her every move. Although Saori is no longer in this world, I am sure that they will know that she has a daughter, right? Come on, doesn’t everybody know the children of the famous Hollywood people? So what are the chances that people don’t actually know who Nijika is? Unless you tell me she is some illegitimate child which I think she isn’t. True, she might not be acting till recently but the fact that she is Saori’s daughter will already make her stand out. In view of this, how the heck people don’t know Touya living with Nijika is still another mind boggling puzzle. It’s not like they’re living in some secret mansion or hidden place, right? It feels like an ordinary town. Aren’t neighbours suspicious about a hot looking guy coming out from the same house with Nijika? Heck, he is so famous, he is probably recognizable a mile away. And don’t get me started the reason he is living with them. I know he is from Hokkaido but couldn’t he get his own place? Therefore in my conclusion, if you’re going to be a famous actor or actress, as long as you are in this anime, you can hit it big without the worry of your privacy being invaded because the people here just simply don’t care. The fan girls may just swoon over you but that’s just about it.

Aside that, the characters are rather okay. Nijika is your typical girl with a latent talent in acting. Duh. She inherited those acting from her mom’s genes, right? Besides, doesn’t she look very close to mom? Still can’t believe people don’t recognize her as so. Lively and cheerful girl, she learns fast and earns experience points in the acting world via job-on-the-spot. She didn’t go to any acting school, right? Her other rivals, Ria and Yuu are okay too but it makes me wonder if they are having some sort of child slavery because both of them are already in front of the camera at such a young toddler age when they should be learning to walk, read and write. Which means, now that they are in their teens, they are considered ‘old veterans’. Touya is still a jerk but I don’t see him as one as the episodes pass. It’s like his role has been reduced to just looking out for her.

Of course you can’t have a shoujo genre without the romance part. Honestly, 4 episodes aren’t enough to flesh out anything. Although it is confirmed Yuu has some feelings for Nijika, I’m putting my money on Touya-Nijika pairing. That guy may not show it but you know how things will turn up. Especially if a hot boy is living under the same roof with you. And then maybe we can have a love polygon between the characters. Nijika-Touya-Ria-Yuu and more! There is this funny looking pet that belongs to Nijika, Capybara. I don’t know what the heck this little Pokemon piece of sh*t is but most of the time you see it eating/munching an onigiri in its hand and hangs around bumming on her shoulder. Cue for something cute? When Nijika is busy, it hangs out more often on Touya’s shoulder.

One of the reasons why I thought this was a retro anime from the early 2000’s was the art and drawing style as said earlier on. Because anime series like Full Moon Wo Sagashite, Mirumo De Pon, Shugo Chara, Mermaid Melody and Daa! Daa! Daa! (UFO Baby) also have this similar style. You know the typical shoujo style trademarks. Cute girls with big bright sparkly bug/doe-like eyes that melt your heart when you stare into them. Eyes so big that you think that they might be related to the tarsier. Haha! Just kidding. But really, their eyes are big enough to occupy 3/4 of their face. And yeah, all the guys here are good looking too. Heck, even Nijika’s dad looks so young enough that I thought he was her big brother!!! Serious! The ending theme is Dream by 2&. Sounds like a typical girl rock music.

I don’t know if I want to watch this show if it is made into a full proper season anime. You never know. I might not be a fan of the shoujo genre but based on history, I usually end up watching some of them. Maybe if they can surprise me with the romance, love polygons and cat fights, just maybe I’ll watch it then. Uh huh. Isn’t that what makes drama romance genres exciting? That kind of love relationship and its complications. So love life in real life or in reel life, the world is one big stage and everybody is a full time actor or actress. I must be playing my part as a lonely single otaku very well. I wonder if I will ever have my shot at romance. If I could only get my ass off my seat and my eyes away from my computer, that is. Ah never mind. I’ll stick with 2D as usual and dream about it.

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