I guess this is what procrastination does. But better late than never, right? And so finally I decided to keep my promise the last time and watch the next season of Pretty Rhythm, Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future. At this point it feels like ages and there is a risk that I have forgotten a lot about the first season. But thankfully new characters and somewhat new plots so I don’t have to remember that much, right? But still, it builds on the old one. Oh well, time to tuck in and watch 51 episodes of the second season and remind myself why I felt like a little girl while watching this series. Hey, sometimes you have got to get your inner feminism out once in a while. Okay, that wasn’t particularly a good reason.

MARs on top – Haven’t you heard? It has been 3 years and now the group has become the best Prism Stars in the world! This means Pretty Top is the best Prism Star producing school and Asechi is raking in all the cash. Too bad all the money in the world still cannot land her a man…

Mia Ageha – Perky and energetic girl who self-proclaims to beat Aira and become the number one Prism Queen. Very confronting if you ask me. The type that shoots first and do the thinking later. This means she doesn’t know anything despite sounding like she does so that we can have the cliché moment for the rest to explain to us viewers what they are. 100 points for her confidence in everything even if they all seem baseless and impossible.

Prizmmy – Uhm, are those budding idols wannabe in 3D are now reanimated into 2D for this season? Not sure if they are taken after their real life personality but I don’t think so. Anyway, along with Mia, the rest include Reina Miyama (always butting heads with Mia), Karin Shijimi (galactic happy girl of the group with 8 ‘clone’ younger brothers) and Ayami Ooruri (shy girl who loves taking notes).

Pretty Rhythm Studio – The real life segment of Prizmmy at the end of each episode. Hosted by the quirky McKensaku while being watched by young future budding future Prism Stars, Prism Friends, we see Prizmmy compete in various small time competitions which is of course a way to promote the series’ merchandises.

Pair Charms – Last season we had Pair Cheer Mascots for MARs. This season Prizmmy has Pair Charms. Supposedly cute little doggie (or was it squirrels) mascots that allow them to transform into accessories to help Prizmmy in their Prism Shows. Good think they don’t talk or they’ll be as annoying and making jokes like Pair Cheer Mascots. By the way, they still are around. So is Pengin sensei and Yamada desu.

Prism Ace – Jun in disguise like as though he is some discount version of Tuxedo Mask. Comes and goes as mysterious as the wind. Supposedly to give the girls some motivation and thoughts (he speaks in his usual riddle fashion anyway) and Mia is the only one not to realize he is really Jun underneath all that getup because she is so having a crush on this handsome masked dude.

Prism Act – Apparently doing Prism Jumps aren’t enough in today’s Prism Shows. Prism Act is some sort of revolutionary show. I don’t know. I don’t see the difference. Prism Stars continue to dance solo or in groups and do perfect Prism Jumps. Yeah, they make it look so easy now.

Don Bonby – The flashy and eccentric afro emcee for every Prism Show.

Dear Crown – A new fashion store opened next to Prism Stone store owned by Shou. Korean owner and designer, Yun-su. Nice and cool guy who respects and treats Aira well that you can smell some love rivalry coming up between Shou and Yun-su. Yeah, it makes Shou look like a jealous dick each time he gets confrontational but Yun-su is just cool! And we already have the first shots fired when Yun-su gives Aira a crown gift after her Prism Show on stage (why does he make it look like he is proposing to her on his knees?) and jealous Shou just rushed down to give his own gift. A showdown between 2 hot guys and a very jealous Mia despite not related to it all.

Twinkling Future Star – Mia’s first successful Prism Jump developed out of her jealousy to top Aira. Now she’ll rake in the cash for Asechi…

Fan Call – Apparently now fans can vote with their handphones for a certain Prism Star and rate on several aspects like dancing, singing and fashion. It is going to be tough for Prizmmy since they are relatively new and a nobody. For the sake of the plot, Prizmmy managed to get enough Fan Calls to make their Prism Show debut.

Korean invasion – Apparently there will be Korean transfer students coming to Pretty Top in an exchange programme. Oddly, they come in one by one instead of at one go. As if, to focus an extra episode on them. Yeah, I thought it would never end the way Asechi keeps introducing a new Korean student. Thankfully there are only 5 of them. They are Hye In (Mia’s best friend and practice maniac), Shi Yoon (usually spaces out and is it me or does her normal horizontally striped clothes motives make her look like a prisoner? But she has the prettiest smile when she is at her maddest!), Jae Eun (airhead girl who often ‘tastes’ the sun among other things? Like reptiles bathing in sun? WTF? *Gobble, gobble*), Chae Kyoung (celebrity girl from a rich family and Yun-su is her older brother) and So Min (strict perfectionist girl who hates wasting time but sometimes a big cry-baby). Why do they all speak so fluent Japanese? Their manager is Michelle who looks like Asechi’s clone…

Who’s the leader – Apparently Prizmmy as a new unit needs to pick a leader. Yeah, everyone ones to be the leader. As usual, they’ll do a Prism Show and the one with the most Fan Calls will be the leader. In the end, each girl top their respective sections in the Fan Calls so no clear winner. Though the rest decided on Mia since overall she had the most Fan Calls, she rejects that notion because of Aira’s ‘advice’ that being a leader doesn’t suit her. After all, it’s not like Prizmmy needs a leader as all of them are unique in their own ways. Until they realize Aira’s ‘advice’ was just her being indecisive so now everybody wants to be the leader again? Make up your minds!

Battle over Aira – The guys are at it again. During a press conference, Aira hinted she would like to try Yun-su’s clothes but Shou will not accept that and hence a competition. Too bad we see Shou stressed up and being a dick, refusing help from others while Yun-su is just scoring points with his cool zen whatever. This is a ploy to help Shou get back on his feet since he hasn’t been progressing lately. Ironically it took Mia to snap at him for him to open his eyes. He leaves it late for his inspiration to spark because at the last minute before Aira is forced to go with Yun-su’s design, here comes Shou with his. She picks his because over this logic Yun-su’s design makes her feel like a goddess which she isn’t. She wants an outfit so she could help make the audience feel happy and Shou’s design matches her current self. Expect more future showdowns.

Mad Mia quits – Gasp! For real?! Mia wants to quit Prizmmy and Pretty Top and blames Aira too?! Sneaky Asechi will not let her go and tarnish her company’s reputation. So she must do a Prism Show battle with Aira. If Mia wins, she gets to leave. Strange logic but it makes sense that if you are better than the best, you can go. During the Prism Show, Mia slips but manages to pick herself up and finish it. Too bad Aira wins by a mile. Fortunately Asechi gives Mia the chance to quit but now she won’t because after all that training and friendship thingy, she understands how much fun it is to work with everyone here. Then everyone realizes this argument started because Aira accidentally ate Mia’s melon bread. Good news, all that is in the past now. Bad news, Asechi just repeated that mistake. Is the option to quit still open?

Training camp – The first held for Prizmmy, MARs and the Korean quintet at a hotspring inn. This whole camp thingy serves to make the Koreans realize they aren’t as good as a unit despite individually they are better. Unlike Prizmmy who are opposites. They suck individually but come together as a group. Makes me think what did the Koreans do all the while since they arrived at Pretty Top? Uh huh. Just watching Prizmmy and MARs in Prism Shows only, eh? I don’t think this is how exchange programmes are supposed to work. Okay, they might have been training behind the scenes.

Stand Up Girls – No, not related to Wake Up Girls. Another contest that is not related to Prism Queen Cup. The winner receives some Symphonia Boots Stone. Guess what? Nobody has won them. And past winners only won the replica. Oh, did I mention that nobody knows who or why this Symphonia series was created? Just f*ck.

Back and forth – Prizmmy is selected to participate in Stand Up Girls. What I don’t understand is that Mia somehow didn’t like something among themselves, drags the rest back to Pretty Top just to see the Koreans practising hard, some self-realization criticising to realize whatever the heck it was and then go all the way back to the competition arena in time for their turn. WTF?!

Miraculous Idol Wake Up – Prizmmy’s first successful Prism Act together at Stand Up Girls that has them winning the competition and receiving the Prism Stone of the REAL Symphonia Boots! So unbelievably wow.

Inspiration hug – Yun-su is stuck on his design. So to get inspiration he hugs Aira in a crowded café just because she smells nice?! Thank goodness that sure did the trick. Thank goodness Shou isn’t around because my hunch says it could have gotten uglier…

Vivvy – A Pair Charm in the form of a black cat. Always butting heads with Pengin. So the quintet only get 1 stinking mascot for all to share? This one talks and she is going to be the Koreans’ mascot because…

Puretty – The group name the Korean girls will debut under. Pure + Pretty + Purity = Puretty? Is that pronounced Pure-tty or Pu-ree-tty? Guess what? In their first Prism Show to celebrate Prizmmy’s victory, they manage to perform their Prism Act at first go! All that practice behind the scenes must have paid off.

Love at first sight – By now we all should notice that Reina has a crush on Itsuki whom everybody seems to be unaware at this point he is Aira’s little brother.

Working love out – Apparently Itsuki finds Mia’s lost handphone and in turn leads him to practice Prism Jumps with them and even becomes a surprise guest in their Prism Show! And you thought he wanted to become a doctor but looks like he has got talent in this area. I see Reina is handling her prince charming very well despite this is the first time she has ever gotten this close to him for such a long period of time. Obvious fawning is so obvious that why isn’t anybody annoyed?

Side jobs – Apparently a few fillers to make our young idols gain some experience. Like doing a live broadcast in Mion’s magical girl show, working at a zoo for a day and at the same help revive its financial situation, and a performance at an island resort (to play up some So Min childhood trauma for being adrift at sea apparently).

Symphonia Series Festival – A mid-summer festival where top girl groups compete in various stages and the one accumulating the most number of fans will receive a rare stone of the Symphonia series.

Wacky races – The first stage of the Symphonia series has Prizmmy and Puretty battle it out in some giant mecha race battle that is also a weird obstacle course. Although both teams cross the finish line first and get the honours of both performing their Prism Show, the fans voted for Puretty because of their ‘amazing’ last spurt idol power during the race that made them caught up with Prizmmy. Crap.

Easter egg hunt – On a luxury liner, teams must find Prism Stones but only those who find special ones are allowed to perform Prism Shows in the end. You thinking what I’m thinking who gets to perform? Although Puretty aces by finding lots of Prism Stones, Prizmmy seems to fall into traps and that just makes them a hilarious watch and hence increasing their Fan Calls. In the end, both of them perform but Prizmmy wins this round. It turns out the perfume Shou made for Prizmmy enhanced their performance while Yun-su was preoccupied with Aira and didn’t make a proper outfit for Puretty. Oh my.

What’s eating Hye In? – Apparently, low self-confidence when she tries to compare herself to everyone. Of course, a little pep blunt talk from Mia and confidence booster from her teammates, this allows her to do a solo Prism Act that wows everyone. Yeah…

Symphonia Top of Wings – I’m sure you’ve already guessed who will win the Symphonia summer series. Yup. Prizmmy. So as not for Puretty to be left out, Hye In wins the MVP and gets the Symphonia Dress of Awakening! How many parts do they cut the entire legendary Symphonia outfit into?! Because now they are going to aim for the Symphonia Skirt. I wonder if there is a Symphonia Pantsu… Whoops!

Yong Hwa – One of the best Prism Stars and Yun-su’s childhood friend. Has this ability to see who loves who. Girls love him (save for our heroines) and because of him loving everybody, Prizmmy calls him Mr Trashy.

How do you mend a broken heart – Reina falls into depression after seeing Itsuki ‘date’ Aira. Even more so ‘confirming’ it from his own mouth but that’s what you get for being vague with your words. With Yong Hwa’s idea to shout out the name of the one you love, it enhances Prizmmy and more so Reina’s Prism Act. And of course, they learn Aira and Itsuki are siblings. Big relief. Fooled big time.

Yong Hwa x Itsuki – I don’t know how Yong Hwa sees some potential in Itsuki and wants him to become his Prism Star partner. Looks so gay… Because constant hugging harassment… Ugh, so gay… Well, if there is money to be made…

Silver screen debut? – Chae Kyoung’s mom was a famous actress but retired young. Now Chae Kyoung has been selected for her movie debut but she has fears of standing on stage. Wait a minute. Isn’t Prism Show not considered a stage? Anyway she is forced to choose between becoming an actress (hence fulfilling her mom’s wish) or become a Prism Star. No prizes for guessing which she chose because otherwise Puretty would have to be disbanded permanently. No hard feelings but Yamada became her silver screen replacement?! The director sure has bad taste…

Prism Quest – For some reason, Prizmmy and Puretty enter the Prism Stone Maker and end up in some RPG world. An excuse to give the Pair Charms for some lame screen time to save the girls from prison before using their Prism powers to defeat the evil king and earn the Symphonia Skirt. The real original one. Woah! You mean it was in there all along?! Who the f*ck put it in there?!

Grateful Symphonia – Kei returns just to warn Asechi about this. Apparently Grateful Symphonia is the greatest Prism Act that all Prism Stars aspire to achieve (gee, why doesn’t everyone know about this then?) but a world of Prism Act that nobody has seen (oh, I see… Then how would they know?) and must never step into (no wonder nobody’s been there).

Foreboding of a coming storm – Grateful Symphonia was also made by the greatest designer to ever live and promotes the shows from the shadows. Should we be shocked that it is Asechi’s father, Kintarou? So much so he rigged Prism Shows and crushed her rivals to let Asechi win during her heydays. Kei left him to protect her and now Asechi must stand up to him if she is to protect her girls and guide the Prism Show back to its proper path or risk contaminating it with greed.

Black & White – Kintarou made a pair of black and white Symphonia Dresses and he had a Korean actress, Myeong Ja (Yun-su’s mom) to represent them. However she wasn’t good enough and that’s when Kei entered the picture and wowed him. He came up with the idea of Prism Shows and casted both women in the dresses to make money. To a point he wanted Myeong Ja to quit as an actress and be a Prism Star. She didn’t want that and left. Kei was swayed by his sweet words and took up the role. Until Asechi was born his true nature began to unravel more. He wanted to turn her into a Prism Star at a tender young age when Kei was against it. Everything else is history and ever since he would do anything to make Grateful Symphonia a success, using many and discarding those who outlive their usefulness. But all ended in failure. It has grown to a point where he now hates Prism Shows. Oh, the irony.

Road To Symphonia – Oh great. What we just need. Another Symphonia series competition. This time groups of three would enter as a team and the prizes are Symphonia Hairband of Elegance and Symphonia Necklace of Resplendence.

Money talks – Asechi is torn to enter her Prism Stars as the competition would clash with Crystal High Heels Cup. Until she realizes there is money to win and more publicity. And hence she will be reshuffling Prizmmy and Puretty into new units while making it Prism Stone versus Dear Crown.

Shuffle – The new units are: Team A (Ayami, Reina and Jae Eun), Team B (Karin, Hye In and Shi Yoon) and Team C (Mia, So Min and Chae Kyoung). Also, Shou and Yun-su will be competing among themselves to design their outfits.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks – Team A stumble into an old man trying to do a Prism Jump and failed. Because his wife in her younger days looks like Reina (and him looking like Itsuki), you bet Reina is going to help them. A love story that transcends barriers and social status, he hopes the girls can teach him how to do a Prism Act to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary. Even better, they’ll do it for him. It is a new and excellent Prism Show, turning the old couple back to their younger heydays to perform their own Prism Act. Team A is now renamed as Sprouts.

Wedding bells – Haven’t you heard? Rhythm and Hibiki got married. That was 18 months ago! WTF?! Married in secret, I suppose. They plan to tell the world when Rhythm reaches 18 years old. Only her MARs pals know about this. And of course, Team B who accidentally eavesdropped.

Opposition – Asechi was initially opposed to the announcement since there is nothing in it for her (it’s all about the money for her) but with the blessing and support of MARs and Callings (as well as Rhythm’s parents hidden marriage thingy if you remember last season), what else is there to oppose? Also, Kanon has been in Rhythm and Hibiki’s way for so long that Team B tries to help Kanon get a boyfriend? Of all people, they choose Yong Hwa? Not matching of course. But Kanon has known this as Hibiki told her. She was just in denial and did her best to interrupt them but it looks like the day has come where she must face reality.

Angry mob – Apparently the crowd didn’t like it when Rhythm and Hibiki announce this. How do you calm such a mad crowd? Team B putting up their Prism Act of course! Oh yeah, all of them choose Yun-su’s design. I guess there is another angry jealous guy now. Now everybody accepts the marriage and Kanon calling Rhythm her sister. Happy ending indeed. Team B is now renamed as P&P (stemming from Prizmmy & Puretty).

Creative block – Team C can’t come up with lyrics to their song so they have the designers design them first and they’ll based their lyrics on it. The designers too are stuck so Shou watches Team C practice while Yun-su talks to Aira. And there is Aira’s flashback on how she is on the verge of quitting as a Prism Star after almost losing her touch to entertain audience. But with Shou on her side, she gets her touch back.

Love block – And now the biggest stumbling block goes to Aira and Shou’s romance because as pointed out by Rhythm, Shou will never tie the knot or go anywhere if he fears getting hurt. And it’s Aira’s fault never telling him her feelings? Man, love is so complicated.

Chopped liver – Looks like Team C is side-lined when Yun-su designs a costume for Aira instead and then confesses he loves her. Shou so mad. Oh my. The rivalry is going up a notch this time because both guys won’t let Aira go.

Love & Mix – Apparently the gay Prism Star team consisting of Yong Hwa and Itsuki. So Itsuki finally decided to become a Prism Star, huh?

The season of love is Halloween? – Love & Mix uses Halloween to debut and also puts forth the theme Trick or Love. Being dressed up helps to easy confess to the one you love? Well, if it was easy for Reina since dense Itsuki keeps trying to help her. Good luck trying to keep her cock-a-doodle-doo sanity intact. Eventually nobody confesses to anybody because the importance of the theme is about falling in love, not being in love. Huh? No wonder Mia going berserk to the other girls because she didn’t get to confess to Prism Ace-sama…

The Apprentice – Of all teams, Yumemi had to pick Team C to be her master. Initially they reject her but she sucks up to them real good so I guess they take her under her wing. Despite her dream to be the centre of attraction and a Prism Star, something feels odd about her dream. She sucks in all Prism Show areas. To cut things short, her dream is a different type of star: She wants to be an astronomer and discover a new star. With this, Mia announces her challenge to Aira to make their dreams come true.

Biggest upsetCosmos (Team C’s new name based on the initials of their name) has more Fan Calls to Aira and wins! Well, my theory is that Aira keeps singing the same song and dance but Cosmos as a new team has new song and dance moves so I’m sure this is why they captured the hearts of the audience. But don’t you think it will be weird if Yumemi names a new star after Cosmos? A Cosmos in the cosmos… Confusing…

Ninja warrior – Apparently Mia beat Aira was because she had more Fan Calls from non-permanent fans. Hence Asechi plans to train them even more by having them do warrior training? Sending the shuffle teams to different villages to perform Prism Acts.

Gates of hell – Bonby somewhat hypnotized Hye In to seek the Grateful Symphonia’s stage. So during P&P’s Prism Act, Hye In got mesmerized to go into some creepy door that definitely spells disaster. Thanks to the power of friendship (and wind), she returns to reality.

Love omelette – Sprouts not only help a closing down restaurant get back up but also help its chef and employee get back together. Best part, their Prism Act has them propose and marry each other! Man, all I gotta love are those free omelettes they served…

Dancing with the Prism Stars – Cosmos want to do a Prism Show at an elementary school where Mia’s homeroom teacher still teaches. Because dancing is incorporated into PE and she can’t dance, Cosmos take the liberty to teach her how to dance. Of course their methods fail. In the end, you can’t force a dance and all you need is just to remember flashbacks of never give up. Yup, for the teacher and students, you don’t need to be good at dancing. Just dance how you feel! Heh. It’s not like they’re going to become world class Prism Stars anyway.

Torn between 2 designers, feeling like a fool – It has gotten to a point where Aira just can’t concentrate and is clumsy in her practice. While Yun-su is honest, Shou remains as he is, giving lame excuses he is happy Aira wears his designs. We know that’s crap, right? More woes for already torn Aira when she is forced to choose one of their designs before the big competition.

Heartbreak goodbye – So Min always had a crush on Yun-su. Was she wise to know she cannot best Aira hence the need to tell her feelings and get over it? Only, she had to do it via Prism Act and let everybody know. But they don’t care. Similarly, none of all that flashy extravagant for Mia because Prism Ace just says goodbye in the most boring fashion. True heartbreak…

Losing its shine – MARs and Serenon are supposed to enter the Crystal High Heels Cup but Aira (brainwashed by Bonby as usual) declares during the press conference that MARs will be participating in Road To Symphonia. This makes Serenon also want to participate in that. Yeah, everyone else has also entered this Symphonia contest.

Dress to kill – So which dress did Aira pick? Apparently MARs shock everyone by wearing the latest Symphonia series’ dresses. So mysterious. So evil. Wah! It’s shooting evil red beams!

Butterfly effect – Butterflies in your eyes? Aira dares enter the butterfly door and opens a whole new world with lots of butterflies. Yeah, it was the best butterfly show ever.

Landslide victory – Needless to say, MARs wins Road To Symphonia with a huge margin of Fan Calls.

The end of days – If you think that was the happy ending, think again. Immediately Aira announces she will not participate in anymore future Prism tournaments. Bonby reveals his true identity: Kintarou! Why am I not surprised? Those who suspect are too late to do anything. With Aira no longer participating, this means there is no more need to have tournaments because there are no competitors who will be worth their calibre against them.

Welcome to the dark side – That’s not all. Aira along with Mion and Rhythm announce their resignation from Pretty Top to join Kintarou’s Symphonia Corporation. Wow. Signing air contracts in front of everybody? Yeah, Asechi loses her income (hope all that money she made is enough) and the guys loses Aira. That’s what happens when you wait too long. Aira ditches you dudes.

Sky High Symphonia – Another Symphonia selection organized by Kintarou. He is so kind to give Pretty Top a chance to get MARs back if they get more Fan Calls. Otherwise, Pretty Top teams will have to join Symphonia Corporation if they lose. A tempting challenge to take on but it is obviously a trap. So how? Serenon vows to rescue Aira claiming their eternal rivalry with MARs gives them the right.

Break down that door – Violence never gets you anywhere. If you compare Serenon’s Prism Act, it does look a bit violent. Kicking football hattrick and unicorn piercing… Yeah… That is why they couldn’t break down that door and save Aira trapped behind it. Aira even lectures them about it. Well, looks like Serenon are now Kintarou’s pawns.

Failed Mix – It is Love & Mix’s turn to save Aira but apparently not even brotherly or family love could make her change her mind. Damn. Now Love & Mix is under Symphonia Corporation? Hey, at least Itsuki and Aira are ‘together’ in the same bad company.

Mother knows best – Everyone except Prizmmy head to Korea to find out more from Myeong Ja about Kintarou. Apparently she has never hated that guy and Yun-su was under the wrong impression she did. Therefore the mysterious Symphonia Dresses he designed couldn’t be filled with anger and hate. She knows him well enough as a guy who lived by his dreams. Even when they broke up and she was heartbroken, she would have been consumed by hatred had she continued wallowing in sadness. Prove that she was still able to love, she met and married Yun-su and Chae Kyoung’s father.

Love will save the day – As a hint that the designs reflects the designer’s heart, Yun-su realizes his designs have been filled with hatred and anger to get back at Kintarou. Though this might reach Aira, this will not save her. You need the power of love! This is why you designers are in a slump. For the sake of the same girl, for once Yun-su and Shou cast aside their animosity and agree to work together to bring out the shine in Prizmmy and Puretty as well as save Aira.

Pretty Symphonia Remake – Yun-su and Shou combine all they’ve got to make their Symphonia Dresses for Prizmmy. Despite each of their dresses are based on their strong character traits, they look the same to me only differentiated by the colour code. Personally I think this is also one of the worst designs…

Reach for the stars – Prizmmy manages to pull off their Prism Act of Road To Symphonia. They manage to see Aira but she isn’t leaving as she is enthralled by its light that reaches the end of the universe. Yup, that’s where she wants to be. Not sure what scary vortex scared Prizmmy away and return to reality. The results are very close but MARs ultimately won (Kintarou isn’t happy because there is a rival Symphonia Dress to match his originals and MARs didn’t evolve to the next stage as he anticipated). Oh no. Prizmmy now under Symphonia Corporation? All up to you now, Puretty…

Earth-chan – Yun-su and Shou come put all their love, heart and soul ain giving Puretty a Pretty Remake. It’s got all the elements that makes up Mother Earth like the land, sea, star, sun and sky. Uhm, don’t they all look the same except for the different colour code?

Reach for the end of the universe – Puretty is able to reach Aira. But with them combining their spirit, love and friendship, they take Aira to the end of the universe. So amazing that it brings Aira back to her senses. I guess this means with their superior designs, it is Kintarou’s loss. And now everybody goes back to Pretty Top. Yeah, the loosest contract ever.

It’s all about the money – Kintarou being the sore loser, reveals how the Prism Shows were all about the money. He shows proof of all the buyouts that made Asechi a Prism Queen. WTF?! You think anybody cares?! Wait. Everybody now hates Prism Stars?! WTF?! Even if Kintarou revealed his nefarious plans to destroy Prism Shows because Grateful Symphonia is no longer possible?!

Karma is a b*tch – Right after that, Kintarou gets a heart attack but it’s like a slap on the wrist because he still survives. It’s like as though karma was telling him to shut up instead and not rush his evil plans.

Indefinite hiatus – With negative receptions rising for Prism Stars and anything related, Asechi has put all activities on hold in order to protect the girls.

Can it! – Prizmmy thought of doing a guerrilla Prism Show to win back the audiences’ heart but unfortunately they start throwing cans. Although Mia is injured, nothing hurts her more than not doing any Prism Acts.

Love Live, Muse – Prizmmy and Puretty combine and do their Prism Act after their heartfelt speech of their love for Prism Shows. Thankfully the people are gullible so they’re back to loving them and giving them all their Fan Calls. Yeah, that was easy.

Redemption – Asechi announces that her teams will participate in Grateful Symphonia to show the limitless potential of Prism Shows. To take responsibility for all that fiasco, she will resign after this. Hence she also announces the Symphonia Selection Final. Our Prism Stars will face off in an elimination match in which the winner will be appointed the centre. Despite looking like a team format, only one person from that match will advance to the final.

MARs vs Prizmmy – Aira pulls off that super amazing Aurora Rising to stun everyone. Until Mia’s dress transforms into the Symphonia Dress of Passion as she does the nebula exploding Prism Act of Passionate Symphonia. It goes without saying that Mia obtains the most Fan Calls.

Unmotivated – Apparently Hye In is worried as she is the only one whose Symphonia Dress did not evolve. Also, Serena and Kanon have lost their motivation since MARs lost. So they decide to support Kaname to become the centre.

Serenon vs Puretty – Nothing really new if you ask me for Serenon. But some drama kicked up before Puretty’s turn. Seeing how awesome Serenon was, Hye In wants to quit for good! Her pals decide to support her to become the centre so she changes her mind to perform. Well what do you know? During her Prism Act, her Symphonia Dress of Starry Sky kicks in as she does the glittering nebula Prism Act of Starry Sky Symphonia. It goes without saying that Hey In gets the most Fan Calls. Yeah, those wearing those legendary Symphonia Dress seem to be the winners…

Rivals or friends? – I know Mia and Hye In will face off with each other in the finals but must they choose between both? Can’t they just to the cliché and pick both? Because of that, both stay away from each other and their friends and do some reflection of their past with each other before getting over it and doing their best. Drama for nothing.

Mia vs Hey In – Their Prism Act is so awesome that it takes them back to their past as they dig up their time capsule meant for each other in real time and in front of everyone to see! I mean, really?! Such a great performance that the audiences are silent! They can’t decide who to pick as the winner! So leaving it up to God?

Not really related – Guess what? In another twist, it is revealed Jun and Asechi are not siblings! Kei narrates after Asechi left and she was heartbroken, she met baby Jun and her parents at the park. Subsequently they were killed in an accident and Kei felt the need to take care of Jun as the only survivor as some sort of assurance and proof she still loved her daughter. So Jun is like her substitute child?

Back to Buenos Aires – The stage for Grateful Symphonia because apparently that’s where the goddess of Prism Shows resides.

Goodbye seems to be the hardest word – When Michelle tells Puretty that they’ll be going back to Korea to make their debut after Grateful Symphonia, Mia doesn’t like this one bit. She becomes selfish and stubborn because she doesn’t want to part with Hye In. So what does she do? She runs away! Her logic is that everyone will be together if the show isn’t over. WTF?! Eventually she is found and brought out of her hiding after Hye In says some really touching words. It brought Mia to tears and shocks everyone because she apologizes. Never expected that from her, eh? So contagious that everyone too starts crying and hugging.

Awakening of Symphonia – It seems the road to the finals are divided into several stages. So it begins with Mia and Hye In as the main characters going through a journey as they meet other characters who show them the way. This is one big messed up fantasy if you ask me. Uh huh. The longest Prism Show ever. It also seems this entire show is displayed throughout the world. Just look up to the sky and watch the free show.

Live drama – Heck, we even take a detour to settle the love triangle between Aira, Shou and Yun-su. We see the guys in their princely outfit in a sword fight. It’s like they’re saying all the things they have wanted to say to each other all the time. Long story short, Shou wins because he is able to say all the right things. Even more so when Aira confesses she loves him and together they are able to love the world again. A big cheesy crap if you ask me but at least this puts to rest the love triangle. Phew. Now can we move on?

Emotional Mia – Not sure how Kintarou managed to interrupt and try to stop the duo. Mia’s Prizmmy friends rope in to help them push through but at their own expense. This turns Mia into an emotional wreck. No more selfish Mia? Friends over being number one? I guess we need some emotional drama to ramp it up as we approach the final.

Turn to the dark side of reality – Thanks to that, Mia is not interested to become the centre because she realizes becoming number one is not worth at the expense of her friends. Yeah, took you almost an entire year to figure that out, eh? Perhaps with this negative emotion, it allows Kintarou to disrupt and show them reality. Uhm, their despaired and fallen Prism Stars crucified on trees? Wow. This is getting dark for a show of this genre.

Rebuttal – Mia isn’t going to have all that negative sh*t from Kintarou so she tells him off about his boring life and tells everyone about the bright beautiful future they will have. Mia has forgone her selfish ways and throws Hye In into the door to become the centre.

Always lonely at the top – Hye In is in some weird abstract dimension. Even though this is supposed to signify she has become the centre, she feels lonely. She wouldn’t have gotten her if not for her friends.

The power is yours – With Mia’s selflessness, everyone is so touched by it that they start spamming her with Fan Calls to power her up. This even powers up the fallen Prism Stars as they send Mia to Hye In.

Double centre – With both of them wearing tiaras, I guess even the goddess can’t decide and made them both as centres.

Flower power – With their new powers, the Prism Stars turn the entire world into one big flower field. Oh, don’t forget the butterflies! I wonder if this is vandalism. Who cares? Everybody in the whole wide world is so filled with hope to even bother the desecration of national monuments now covered in flowers.

Repentance – So powerful that Kintarou who has been complaining about he doesn’t need a future or bragging about his creations suddenly comes to see the light. With that, he comes to his senses and since everyone isn’t a dick, they forgive him. Even bad guys can be reduced to tears.

Glimpse of the future – The power has us view the characters’ possible future. Let’s say they are all bright and happy. I want to note that Itsuki becomes a successful doctor and this means he didn’t continue being a gay pair to Yong Hwa. And with that, the longest Prism Show comes to an end. Phew. Good riddance.

Happily married ever after – Finally a wedding ceremony for Rhythm and Hibiki.

Marry me – Guess what? Jun proposes to Asechi! Now I see why…

Leaving – Wow. So many people leaving. Yun-su is leaving for Paris and Yong Hwa will follow him. So this this mean the end of their gay Love & Mix relationship? Well, Itsuki hints if he becomes a sports doctor, he can follow him around. Gay hug! Shou and Aira leave for New York. As promised, Asechi quits her post and doesn’t care about money anymore. She leaves Pretty Top in Mion’s care. Of course we have Puretty leaving back to Korea.

Last goodbye – Big goodbye means big tears and big hugs, right? You tend to believe it because Mia is crying. Heck, even Pengin and Vivvy reconcile.

A place we’ll always meet – No, it isn’t the internet that will connect Prizmmy and Puretty. As long as they do Prism Jumps and Prism Acts together, they’ll meet each other in that fantasy dimension!

Always be number one – I think that’s a wrap, folks.

Tales Of Symphonia
And so the world continues to revel and be happy with our Prism Stars performing at their best. Bravo. Now not only Japan but Korea too will have their very own Prism Stars. Yeah, it looks like the only places in the world producing Prism Stars. Not America. Not China. Not Europe. I believe that Prizmmy and Puretty are so good at their game that they should do Prism Shows in each other’s country. Why is it only in Japan that they could do Prism Shows? Isn’t it an international event that everybody just literally looked up to the stars when they watched the Grateful Symphonia? That way they could always visit each other and never felt that they have said goodbye to each other. Or better, shouldn’t they just all combine into 1 big group and give AKB48 a run for their money? Oh right. AKB48 can’t do Prism Jumps…

Fortunately or unfortunately, this season doesn’t actually make me feel like a little girl. Maybe I have been numbed throughout the years watching a number of controversial themed anime series so watching this doesn’t affect me. Furthermore, this season might have come out back in 2012, which isn’t a long time but in anime years, that feels like so if you’re watching at this point in time. So yeah, while this series is definitely aimed at teenage girls (just watch enough of the end segment Pretty Rhythm Studio and you’ll know what I mean), it isn’t just exclusive confined to that age group and demographic. I mean, if yours truly can even watch it, it has got to be one of the ‘safest’ animes to watch out there, right? Hey, don’t be surprised to know there are a lot of guys out there who like that rebooted version of My Little Pony.

As I have said this series is mainly aimed for teenage and young girls, looking at the overall storyline and plot at this age makes it feel cheesy and generic. After all, what else could you do when you have a bunch of Prism Stars jumping around on stage? It follows some sort of pattern that feels really similar to the first issue. Some issues here and there and there is nothing that could fix it by having a Prism Show at the end. And then for the climax, we have the generic one dimensional ‘bad guy’ trying to ruin it all but with the help of friendship and Prism power, a happy ending is much guaranteed. I wonder if these kind of stories would resonate with younger audiences these days.

I figure that the production of this season came during a time that the K-pop wave was enchanting the world with its sexy dance choreographs, artificial Korean beauty and manufactured K-pop music. That’s why we have quite a number of Korean characters in this series. Otherwise, why no other nationalities? So it turns out that Puretty in the anime also has a real life version. Yup, those are real Koreans because you can tell that their Japanese are not as fluent as their anime counterparts. But ganbatte. They’re definitely getting there.

It seems Pretty Top is the only company that produces the best Prism Stars out there. Because all the while, we see only their girls performing in competitions. Yes, there are other Prism Stars (and weirdly named too) but they are all quickly side-lined and you’ll never hear from them again. It’s like Pretty Top has a monopoly over the Prism Shows and they could just host and organize any performance they want because Asechi knows that her girls will win and definitely bring in the dough. So is nobody getting bored that Pretty Top’s girls are owning the scene? Why the heck would they? They are so enthralled with the same thing and having fun, so why bother with something new?

This brings me to talk about the Prism Shows and the likes. They are bloody repetitive. Uh huh. Just like in the first season. It is very so at the beginning since the songs are pretty limited. Hence in every episode that is guaranteed to have a Prism Show, we see the girls dancing to the same tune and even to the same dance moves. Sometimes they just change positions or outfits but overall they are the same. Heck, even the audiences who cheer and give their Fan Calls are recycled scenes! It makes me wonder if these people have no life and will only attend Prism Shows. As the series progresses and more songs are introduced (especially during the shuffled units), we get a little bit variety but overall, they’re still performing the same thing over and over again. Have a new song? Spam it to the max until we get a new one!

Also, the same Prism Shows, Prism Acts and Prism Jumps sometimes feel like one big drug fuelled fantasy. Uh huh. Because the appeal of all this in the end is for the girls doing something so out of this world. I mean, swimming with the dolphins? Riding on a lion? And flying through the universe?! Man, it is getting ridiculous by the moment. Exaggeration is an understatement. I still don’t see what’s so special about it even if all of this are just special effects. But since they’re magically showing it from their hearts, it must be real, right? So if you think last season’s Prism Jumps were pretty exaggerated, you’re in for more this season. Still, personally the Prism shows are like one big form of ecstasy hiding behind the name of entertainment. No wonder people aren’t getting bored. But will they eventually die of overdose? Heck no. I believe the audiences have this herd mentality. They are also unable to think for themselves. When Rhythm and Hibiki announced their engagement, they became mad. For no reason. And when Pretty Top’s units were being transferred to Symphonia Corporation, nobody bats an eyelid. Sure, they voted for the better Prism Show but do they not realize what they have done? And when everything is alright, they also share the laughter. Whatever.

Okay, I’m not going to delve too deep into the characters because as I can see, they’re made for this genre so there has to be that friendship kind of thingy. Mia being the loudest, always in her own pace, the troublemaker and the one who proclaims she will always be number eventually realizes that she is nothing without her friends. With Prizmmy and Puretty being the stars of this season, it feels like too many of them. Although each of them have a few dedicated episodes, it is nothing that deep. Because at the end of the day, their friendship and Prism Star status will always save the day.

I wonder what happened to Callings? I don’t remember them retiring from the scene but with Shou being the solo guy, it makes me wonder what happened to Hibiki and Wataru. While we know that Hibiki is married to Rhythm, what about Wataru? I thought he was into Mion? Yeah, I guess becoming her deputy at Pretty Top is the only thing we’ll remember him by. But even so, these 2 guys were sorely missing during the Grateful Symphonia arc. At least when Aira turned to the dark side, these 2 were nowhere to be seen. I mean, Hibiki’s wife just went over to the other side, does he not have anything to say or do? It’s like they’ve forgotten about them because even if they somehow appear more often, what role could they possibly helm? Because this season we want to have that cheesy love triangle distraction between Aira, Shou and Yun-su so better not let the other guys get in the way or it might look unfair and disadvantageous even though that sounds ridiculous.

I also noticed that Pengin, Yamada and Pair Cheer Mascots looked like they are going to appear decently enough but during the arc of Aira’s defection, they too are missing. So what happened to them too? I thought all of Pretty Top was going to rally and help her but Pengin being one of the most important top wigs (pun intended) of Pretty Top, shouldn’t he be there? Of course their characters are more for comic relief and during such ‘tense’ moments, their funny appearances might just ruined the mood and confuse people. I also feel the Pair Charms are just useless and are there for the cute and kawaii effect. They just help to transform Prizmmy into their outfits and that is about it. I still feel that it’s unfair for Puretty to get one but I guess having a talking one offsets the quantity. Besides, I feel Vivvy’s existence is for Pengin to have a comedic rival in which the bird will lose most of the time. Mammals > birds.

A few more characters to comment. I don’t even understand why they need to have that revelation that Jun is not Asechi’s real sister. Like, how does this even affect the entire story? I guess we need something shocking from this guy who continues to speak in dramatic enigmatic lines. Oh right. So that we could put an end to Asechi’s eternal curse of ever landing a man. I see what they did there. Damn plot convenience. Now that they are no longer siblings I guess they can legally f*ck each other. Oops, I mean date and marry each other. I can’t believe nobody could see Bonby’s real identity as Kintarou. I had a hunch when Kintarou’s name was first mentioned. When you see that fake afro emcee having that typical scheming face, you know something is wrong. But I keep wondering if in the early episodes, shady characters that closely resemble and sound like him are Bonby in disguise. After all, he supposedly set up things that led to Grateful Symphony. I believe Asechi was too blinded by money to even tell he was her father and Jun wasn’t even that smart to guess. I mean, nobody checked his fake resume and the likes? Kei and Myeong Ja also feel inadequate like as though they are there just to fill in and connect some of the plot. Otherwise you see them hang around and it is pretty odd especially for Kei, you hear her spouting some negative lines just to prop up some drama.

Kintarou is just a one dimensional villain who decides to take out his own issues because of his failed dream. In short, if he can’t have it, nobody will. That’s why you hear him spout all those crappy lines about having no future. Sure, you don’t want to have a future that’s fine by yourself. But must you impose it on others and ruin the fun? Unfortunately for him, he didn’t die a hero and lived long enough to become a villain ;p. Not sure about his sanity at the end because the last montage shows him living a simple farm life although he still retains bits of his madness. I keep wondering why Yong Hwa’s character is necessary and the only reason is to have some gay scenes with Itsuki because Callings are like no more and it is more of a jealous rivalry between Shou and Yun-su. Otherwise, Yong Hwa is pretty much a useless character and is to give a little Prism Show variety with Love & Mix. Come to think of it, that name even sounds so gay… And now that they’ve somewhat disbanded, will it be Yun-su x Yong Hwa! And in Paris, the city love!

I also need to mention a bit on the real Prizmmy. If last season they were training to become a proper idol unit, this season we mostly see them doing mini contests of their own in which they accumulate points throughout and the winner gets to record her own solo song. I’ll spoil it, it’s Karin. After all, I feel that among all her peers, she is the most natural and cheerful. So hats off to her. Is it me or is Mia the weakest? Like in, almost everything. Such a big contrast from the anime Mia. Of course she won some mini contests like the rest too. Other than having mini contests, we also see them visit places as well as hanging out with Puretty. They too sometimes report their activities back in Korea so it’s a little nice change in pace. Oh right, don’t forget the blatant advertising to sell their Pretty Rhythm merchandises and products. So check out their website, ne!

As in its previous seasons, part of charm are the songs. Some of the songs are quite nice too. Like Cheki Love by Puretty (also serving as the second ending theme). Even though this song is overflowing with girlishness and cuteness, I can’t find myself to dislike it. Heck, I am even addicted to singing its very cute lines! Simple and cute! Oh sh*t. Can’t get that song out of my head! Yeah, it really exudes all the typical elements for a K-pop. While Shuwa Shuwa Baby also by Puretty (fourth ending theme) also has the same sentiments, it is not as catchy as Cheki Love. But still, it is quite a nice and catchy piece in its own right.

The best one from Prizmmy is Dear My Future ~Mirai No Jibun E~ (first opening theme) which is aptly the theme of the series if you ask me. The rest from Prizmmy are rather okay. Like Brand New World (second opening) has a mix of hip hop and rap, the same with Body Rock (third ending) but has auto-tune as well as Panpina (fourth opening) but with special effects, My Transform (second ending) has an edgy techno pop beat. Life Is A Miracle ~Ikiterutte Subarashii~ (third opening) is the only one of the themes not sung by the real Prizmmy but the anime Prizmmy. Sounds generic idol pop if you ask me. Personally, the worst song is Thank You (also worst named) by P&P. I don’t know, each time I hear this, my hair stands on ends. Cheer! Yeah~ X2 by Cosmos doesn’t resonate with me as I have this feeling it is a song better sung on/by Love Live. Out of all the shuffled units, I suppose Mirage Jet by Sprouts sounds better because of its jazzy theme.

As you might have noticed, the anime version of Prizmmy is voiced by people. Professional seiyuus in fact. This is better because the real ones you can hear their voices aren’t really trained even during the Pretty Rhythm Studio segment you can hear the obvious difference. Sure, they are good at singing but when it comes to normal conversation you can tell they’re not trained for voice acting. Handling their Prizmmy counterparts are Rumi Okubo as Mia (Astolfo in Fate/Apocrypha), Natsumi Takamori as Reina (Mei in Another) and Minami Tsuda as Karin (Yui in YuruYuri). Shockingly I never realized that Ayane Sakura was behind Ayami. She sounds too shy for me to recognize. Or maybe I wasn’t really paying attention. Better start taking notes to note how she actually sounds in this shy mode. Memo, memo…

Even the Puretty side has professional seiyuus because otherwise you could hear their Korean accent in it. I wasn’t sharp enough so I didn’t realize the one who voiced Kaname, Serena and Kanon also voiced Hye In, Jae Eun and Chae Kyoung respectively. As for So Min, she is voiced by Marie Miyake (Ringo in Mawaru Penguindrum). Shi Yoon is voiced by an actual Japan born Korean, Kim Hyang Ri. If there was something familiar about the ridiculous screaming and liveliness in Bonby’s voice, it is because it is Shigeru Chiba and I still remember him voicing such characters like One Piece’s Buggy, Sasuke in Ranma 1/2 and Yotsuya of Maison Ikkoku. Yong Hwa is voiced by Minami Takayama (titular character in Detective Conan series) and Noriko Hidaka playing Myeong Ja (Kikyo in Inu Yasha).

Oh well, looks like this is it for me. My journey for the Pretty Rhythm series ends here. Phew? Big relief? Because this series is still going on strong in Japan with ongoing spin-offs even until this day. Are they going to have idols using instruments in the next season as seen in the preview? I won’t be there to find out. So forget about the third and fourth seasons (Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live and Pretty Rhythm All Star Selection respectively), because there’s that PriPara spin-offs that are entirely a whole series of its own. This is like the idol version of Pretty Cure (another old series I once watched at the beginning but then stopped watching eventually). I bet it is going to be more of the same. Introduce a new budding character with great dreams. There are her new friends and other characters into the mix as well. Old returning characters make their cameo and they all can happily dance, sing and jump on stage to give us that ultimate entertainment. I guess I’ll just stick to ecchi high school romances. They’re a safer bet and my form of entertainment. Damn I have no future…

Anitore! EX

March 25, 2016

Do we need another exercise anime? Wasn’t that Hinako one enough? I guess not. I suppose with so much animes every year, we otakus have been building up the fats and sitting on our lazy asses. Our sedentary and inactive lifestyle is going to help contribute to the statistics of cardiovascular diseases and deaths. Don’t want that, do we? And so it is timely we have another exercise themed anime that will have you move those arms, legs, flab and body. This time you won’t have one busty chick that looks like she came out from some hentai show to guide us. We have 5 cute girls to help us. So get ready you fat lazy otakus as we watch Anitore! EX and at the same time move our bodies to reduce those fats percentage by 1000%! OMG! Did I read that right?! By 1000% seriously?! This would make The Biggest Loser look like a baby.

Episode 1
Hosted and demonstrated by Asami Hoshi. Push-ups for your arms and boobs. After doing 10 of them, she wants to head to the convenience store to eat ice cream. Oh yeah. I’m sure most of our workouts are like this. Next is sit-ups for your abs. She is struggling to do 10 but gets motivated thinking she could have ice cream at the end. Finally she finishes and when she heads to the store, the ice cream is already sold out! Healthy body, broken heart. What’s the use?!

Episode 2
Eri Higuchi watches us do push-ups but she thinks we are peeking underneath her skirt thanks to our very low visual position. Thus she is forced to demonstrate a different push-up, Hindu style. Not hinnyuu! After 10 counts, she demonstrates reverse push-ups using chair as support. She turns into a typical tsundere when we give her a towel to wipe her sweat.

Episode 3
Shizuno Saotome joins us in exercising after cooking. She demonstrates squats for the thighs and butt. While she is counting to 10, we hear her talk about the kind of meal she was cooking that is supposedly good for our body. This means no cheeseburgers and ice cream? Next is back extension. This one has you lie on your tummy and try to extend your body upwards. Somehow I have her feeling that her boobs are help propping her up. All that exercise is making us hungry so she cooks more than enough and even feeds us. I hope we don’t get back to square one… Or round one in this case :).

Episode 4
If Akiko “Shion” Tachibana is speaking using fancy words that you can’t understand, it is because of her chuunibyou. Don’t worry, there is a literal translation of what she meant by all that. So why does some witch girl have to exercise anyway? But be warned that this might be the most challenging exercise yet as the bow pose and camel pose are derived from yoga. So if you are a beginner, I believe this is not to be attempted since I myself can imagine all the pulled muscles and broken bones just by contorting like this. Yeah, they make it look so easy…

Episode 5
Asami, Eri and Shizuno come together to teach us dancing. But first, Eri wants to come up with a name for their group and she calls it Eri With Dancing Flowers. Because Eri is the group’s leader. So she thinks… Anyway, the dance moves that they’ll be teaching us are enough to learn if you ever wish to dance like an idol on stage.

Episode 6
Soft spoken Yuu Hiraoka believes that if she exercises, she could sleep better seeing her gloomy face is because she lacks sleep. She demonstrates back kick to us. Unlike previous exercises, she only counts to 8 seeing she needs to do them for both legs. She even reveals to us her klutz nature whereby she thought she lost her glasses but it was on her head all along. Next is reverse trunk twist and this one too is count to 8. Yeah, that little exercise is enough to make her sleepy. Sweet dreams.

Episode 7
Asami and Eri team up to demonstrate a harder push-up exercise. This time each push-up you will need to clap your hand. Eri plays a prank on her by holding her boobs as support but gets jealous after realizing how big they are. I guess this exercise is hard enough so the count is only until 5. Next is Hindu squats. Not hinnyuu squats! Since Eri is pouting about her small boobs, Asami shows pictures of herself when she was as flat as a washboard. Regular exercising and not being a fussy eater helps. This mean Eri has to like natto? Hindu squats are easier so they can do up till 10. Asami helps Eri stretch to cool down but accidentally falls on her. Eri feels her enormous boobs pushing on her back and vows to have a great body at the end of it all.

Episode 8
Another dance exercise and an extension of the one a couple of episodes back. This time Asami teams up with Shion and Yuu for the demonstration. Shion is spouting those exercise lines like some sort of dark magic ritual… Once done, Asami wants to go get ice cream but Shion panics since Asami knows she works at that convenience store. Shion denies everything and maintains she is a dark fallen angel.

Episode 9
Finally. A poolside exercise for swimsuit fanservice exercise. Eri and Shizuno demonstrate how to do stretching before you dip into the pool. These exercises takes 2 to tango so you can’t really do them all by yourself and need a partner. Before they could do the final stretching, Shizuno’s naughty pet ferret steals her bikini top for a little nip slip. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any tits.

Episode 10
Asami and Yuu visit the gym to work out on some of the machines like the butterfly machine to build chest muscles. Yuu notices everyone is friendly with Asami. It makes her worry what she should do to make more friends and stop being shy around strangers. Instead of worrying, she looks up to Asami and wants to be like her. They try out more machines.

Episode 11
Shion leads Eri and Yuu to do some resurrection ritual which is basically Tai Chi. Her fancy words are confusing Yuu but thankfully there is Eri to translate all that. I believe Yuu has some self confidence problems so Eri blows all that away with her encouragement and past experience. Not that I care anyway. Asami and Shizuno join in but the rest won’t tell them what secret training they were doing.

Episode 12
This entire episode is basically one big exercise dance music video with snippets of previous episodes put in to get you to move and grove along with the girls. And what better motivation for all of them to don their swimsuits, right? The highlight of this dance is when each of the girls imitates a strange pose from animals. I mean, does that look like a panda whose husband cheated on her? What about an intense seaweed? A rebellious penguin? Fried Mexican salamanders? WTF?! I don’t know but they sure look funny. The funniest scenes and dance moves ever!

Get That Ass Moving! ;p
Let me guess. You didn’t really move along with those exercises, did you? Yeah… Guilty as charged. We are all still sitting here watching those cute girls doing all the moving just because we figure out that the only reason this show was created is purely for fanservice purpose masked under an exercise category. Do you not agree? I mean did you not notice that the camera angles keep zooming in on those delicious parts of those girls? It is just short of showing any tits or panty shots. With the camera angle supposedly to be the viewers’ eyes and point of view, I guess we really enjoyed watching them do we?

Therefore I am deducing that the only body part that would get rigorous exercising would be your right hand. AM I RIGHT???!!! Hahaha!!! I mean, how can 4 minutes of each episode be enough time for us to exercise seriously? Even 30 minutes should be the minimum and that is if you focus and concentrate, cutting out all the nonsense and crap. Thus this is the reason why I believe that most of us guy viewers didn’t really move along with the girls because the duration of each episode is so short that it is not worth getting up from your comfortable chair and move a little because by that time the episode has already ended. Whaaaaaaaat?! I just got up and getting warmed up and it is already over? This sucks. I’m not moving anymore. Yeah… That. Besides, the number of exercise examples here I believe aren’t just enough and if you just plan to do just all these featured here, I don’t think it will turn you into Mr Universe even in 10 years. But hey, this series is meant to make you healthy (albeit slightly) and not buffed up.

So as not to make this just some mindless exercise and cute girls to bait and lure you to move, I suppose they try to put in some personalities for the girls. However I do not think we will really care what kind of problem they had or overcome since we don’t really see or connect how relevant it is to the exercise they are doing whatsoever. Therefore it feels like a waste and with mixed feelings for the girls to have a little personality but in the end it feels wasted. We have the typical tsundere, the generic tomboy, the shy bespectacled girl, the chuunibyou and even the elegant beauty, all typical stereotypical tropes of anime girls and yet we don’t really care about them except to see them moving their bodies.

In the end, this series might not be a proper exercise video but if it is supposed to motivate you to get you to do some exercise by yourself, then I think it also fails in that. Because you can get even more detailed exercising tips from Google or even old proper workout videos compared to the ones featured here. At the end of the day, it all depends on your will power on whether you really want to get up and move about. Cute anime girls can only motivate you so much. Eventually, you otaku slobs will have to get up from your chair and go take a dump, right? So let us not give otakus a bad image and name as we shed some pounds and strive to become a healthy otaku. Can we all do that? Shucks. I guess I’ll have to put this one off indefinitely since I have a tight schedule of anime shows to watch for the next few months… No, I’m not lazy! I’m just busy, damn it!

It feels like a long time ever since Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream came out (back in 2011, that is) and I remember putting it on my watch list. However it wasn’t the case like Gintama or Haiyore! Nyaruko-san that made me delay watching it with the excuse of saving the best for last. Let’s just say a certain fansub group took their time in subbing it. And I was patient enough to wait till every episode was done before finally having a go at it. And boy do they really take their time. And now that time has come.

So what is it about this show that attracted me? Gee, it’s so old so I can’t really remember. Just kidding. Probably it was the cute girls. I thought at that time it was pretty cool for a new type of entertainment taking storm (at least in this anime). It is a performance combining ice skating, singing and fashion show all into one. Yeah. How do you like your idols prancing around in the rink doing all those stuffs and winning our hearts? I don’t know. I thought such concept was pretty interesting and cool at that time. What was I thinking? Anyway, with 51 episodes under its belt and lots of characters (don’t worry, it won’t exceed 3 digits), as usual my laziness made me constantly refer to Wikipedia for a great source of episodes and characters. And the rest below are what I think are important and memorable.

Prism Show – Currently the ‘ultimate’ entertainment show of all entertainment shows because it combines fashion, dancing, music and figure skating. Yeah. All rolled into one. Girls skate around the ring and pulling off exaggerated jump moves with effects that are so unbelievably real that it makes those exaggerated reactions in food themed animes when people taste some super food so, erm, exaggerated.

Aira Haruna – The clumsy and klutzy daughter of a baker. Believe it. She will be the next new Prism Star.

When opportunity comes knocking – Mion Takamine was supposed to be a super Prism Star. Because she didn’t turn up for an important Prism Show event, Aira happened to be at the right time and the right place and was scouted for her talent to replace her.

Rhythm Amamiya – Just like Aira, right time, right place. Okay, she bumped into her. Aira’s partner in future Prism Shows.

Prism Stones – Dresses embedded in cute little heart shaped stones that allow girls to magically don the dress for the Prism Show in a Pretty Remake.

Callings – A super boy idol group consisting of Shou, Hibiki and Wataru. Hot guys, popular guys. Enough said. Provides lots of great support for our girls. I smell romantic pairings along the way…

Pretty Top – An agency for the Prism Show with Kyouko Asechi as the president. This is where Aira and Rhythm will continue to house their skills.

Jun Takigawa – Asechi’s assistant and seems to know just about everything. If not for his way of talking in riddles and poems that leaves others baffled at times, he would have been a great guy.

Megane Akai – The coordinator and fashion designer. You go to her if you need tips on your fashion sense. Though, I am not sure if they go into some alternate dimension when picking out their clothes.

Pengin – A green stuffed penguin doll as Pretty Top’s principal? I don’t know, he sounds so gay. Especially with his macho hairy Yamao Yamada, I thought they just came out fresh from the circus. Oh, he looks so gay…

Pair Cheer Mascots – Little stuffed animals that support Aira and Rhythm. Aira gets Rabbit while Rhythm gets Bear. If you ask me, they’re supposed to be like the comic relief of the series and provide some mascot cuteness. Oddly, they have pom-poms for hands. It’s like it is forever glued to their hands. And they always end their sentences with “~jiya…” which I find sometimes makes them so gay…

Aurora Rising – The legendary Prism Jump performed by the legendary Prism Star, Sonata Kanzaki who went missing shortly after. This is a jump Rhythm is trying to do because Sonata is her mom! She believes her mom will return if she manages to pull this off.

Prism Friends – In addition to the anime segment, there is a real live action segment whereby 3 young budding girls, Reina, Mia and Karin with the guidance of Prism Navigator, Akkina guide the trio to become great idols from learning to dance as well as fashion sense. Each week you’ll see the girls learn and practice something new as they hone their skills and level up to become Prism Queen. The Pair Cheer Mascots also make their appearance but I feel their movements are stiff and robotic. Serious. Also, personally I feel Karin is the more natural one in front of the camera and Mia is just a little stiff. Please don’t take it too personally, girls. Ganbatte!

The bump – After Aira’s first jump attempt which somewhat ended successfully although her clumsiness is still obvious, she crashes into Shou. Close enough for him to peck her on her forehead!

Best rivals, best friends – Rhythm is somewhat upset that she could pull off a Prism Jump during her debut (because Aira is a klutz) and challenges her to a dance competition. Aira becomes nervous and couldn’t jump, but thanks to Aira’s great fashion advice, Rhythm heard her clothes sing and manages to pull off a Prism Jump. Now they become best friends.

Learning the basics – What does working part time serving in a restaurant, turning only left and practising stand up comedies got to do with becoming a great Prism Star for Aira? Because it helps with the balancing and spin, etc. Except maybe the stand up comedy was just Rabbit’s fetish…

Papa doesn’t approve – Aira’s baker father does not approve his daughter to become a Prism Star and would rather have her take over the family bakery business. I wonder how many more excuses she can give to her father because she’s getting more and more famous by the week. Of course he is mad to learn about it. It is understandable that daddy wants to protect her after her clumsiness almost got fatal (though it was very much exaggerated in panicky papa’s mind). This causes a little strain in their relationship. Although he attends a Prism Show just to see her, he doesn’t look very impressed. That sour face all the way… It is not till Aira gives her heartfelt thanks for his support that he changed his mind and accepted her.

It’s a small world – Well, Rhythm’s father, Ryuu and Aira’s mom, Omi knew each other before since they once worked in the Prism Show together. Back when Aira’s mom was much slimmer and a stylist and Rhythm’s dad was a famous idol.

First fight – Aira and Rhythm’s friendship is put to the test when they have their first fight. All because Aira praises Mion, somebody that Rhythm absolutely despises. This makes guilty Aira to quit while Rhythm has to man Prism Show all by herself. Since she is not doing well and Aira can’t bear to watch her so, she gives her new Prism Stones and manages to do a Prism Jump. Back together again, they aren’t just best friends, but best rivals too.

It’s not just about the dance and jump – Academic achievement is important too. Rhythm fails her test and is given the ultimatum that she needs to score at least 70 marks on her remedial test or she will be forced to retire. I’m not sure if they’re learning the right things because nobody can seem to understand Jun’s poetic lines in all subjects and Pengin is just ranting about penguins in science. Eventually Rhythm aces her test and even gets to join Aira in a Prism Show. Then they realize she didn’t score 91 but 16 marks!!! Oh, don’t tell…

Tiara Cup – The first competition that our duo will be entering. Rhythm goes as far as to cut off ties with Aira just to concentrate on her practice. She practises with Hibiki and learns there is more to winning Prism Shows. It is about having fun and making the audience have a good time. At the first round of the competition, Aira and Rhythm qualify for the next round. However Rhythm starts to have fever because last night she was so excited about the competition that she drank 10 energy drinks to practice more. She is forced to rest and Asechi even wants her to skip it. So on Aira’s turn, she goes out and wastes some time skating around just to buy more time for Rhythm to wake up and do her stint. Aira would have been disqualified under normal regulations but the judges decided to show some leniency and just subtract some points (I hope this doesn’t set a bad precedent). Aira and Rhythm are tied in first place and advance to the final round. However some jealous b*tches sabotage the girls by stealing their Prism Stones. Aira had some in her pocket and gives to Rhythm, lying she had extra sets. Rhythm tops in first place. Now that it is Aira’s turn, she heads out in her ordinary clothes. In this WTF moment, those b*tches start taunting her ordinary clothes and even throw their Prism Stones (disrespect!) at her. I mean, doesn’t it make them obvious that they’re the baddies? Aira picks up those stones and has a Pretty Remake with them. Her performance is so good that she wins the competition! In your face, those b*tches! Somebody should ban them forever. Their parade is cut short when Mion makes a surprise appearance and wows the crowd with her dance.

Blast to the past – Bear gets a glimpse of Andy, Rhythm’s teddy bear that was made by Sonata. Back then, Asechi and Sonata were fierce rivals. When Ryuu and Sonata got married and had Rhythm, they are forced to keep this family a secret (it boggles me that the media wasn’t so pushy or hounding such a famous star. Or become like a stalker paparazzi). But defeating Asechi was all that Sonata could think about. So much so she underwent an intensive and gruelling training under the strict guidance of Kei (she looks like a witch). Ryuu was against it but she was adamant. The day came when the duo enter a showdown. Asechi failed to perform Aurora Rising but Sonata was successful. She collapsed after that and almost became a vegetable. She realized she made so many sacrifices and abandoned her family. Unable to forgive herself, she left the family shortly and her whereabouts are still unknown till today.

Mion Takamine – After missing in action for who knows how long and making little cocky cameo appearances, the famous Prism Star is back and it’s not pleasant. Because she’s a real b*tch! Even her Pair Cheer Mascot, Neko is such a b*tch. They do not think twice about looking down on others while thinking very highly of themselves. While Aira adores her, Rhythm loathes her. Mion makes her return with a dazzling double performance with the duo. She is good in captivating the crowd but we all wished if she was just a nicer person…

Batopoms – A dance accessory which is a mix between a baton and pom-poms that our girls will be frequently using in their Prism Shows.

Mion the teacher – I guess she deserves it being cocky. I mean, she claims she is the best, right? So what better way than to help the amateurs in improving their singing and understanding the lyrics. She even rope in Callings to help as special tutors. Why does the special training look like a date?

Even best friends fight – Can you imagine this? Mion and Neko have their first quarrel? Because the latter is concerned with Mion pushing herself too much and she is not getting her moves right at all. What’s more, the show is around the corner. But what is irritating Mion most is that her busy father couldn’t come watch her perform. Again. Before the show, Aira and Rhythm give her their wrist watch as lucky charm. The performance is a success and she gives them back their watches with new stickers on it. Oh, she and Neko are back being pals again.

Patisserie – Prism Stars must also be good a baking cakes! Okay, so I made that up but our Prism Star trio have to help out in Aira’s parents’ bakery when customers stream in nonstop thanks to Callings advertising on it. The girls learn about keeping an eye out for others for timing. Mion is so good that Aira’s dad wants her to continue working as part time!

Take a break – Despite it is summer, the girls continue to practice hard. You know what they say about all work and no play. For Aira, the fatigue is causing her to make mistakes so Callings suggest taking a break to go to the fireworks festival. You might have guessed the couple pairings by now: Aira x Shou, Rhythm x Hibiki and Mion x Wataru. Aira thought Shou was going to kiss her when he has her eyes closed. It’s just a Prism Stone containing some yukata design.

Double Date – A summer tournament, Summer Queen Cup is coming up and Asechi is not sure who to pair up with Mion for it. Therefore Mion suggests going on a date with them to gauge who will be her suitable partner. Aira is being a happy ditz while Rhythm tries to impress her with her moves. She even asks them if they want to be her partner. Aira doesn’t mind letting Rhythm have the part while Rhythm will do anything it takes for it. In the end, Mion chooses Aira to be her partner. This leaves Rhythm devastated because her dream of performing Aurora Rising is dashed (the prize of winning this tournament is a rare Pure White Wedding Dress Stone). Rhythm continues to practice hard herself but this only frustrates her even further.

I choose yous! – Right before the tournament, Mion forfeits her place and gives it to Rhythm. This means Aira and Rhythm will be performing together in the Summer Queen Cup! Hooray! Why the change of heart? Well, she views this as the best combination because Aira and Rhythm are better when they work together unlike Mion who shines when she is alone.

Serena and Kanon AKA Serenon – The main rivals our duo will be facing at the tournament. And why do such rivals have to be so arrogant and b*tchy even though they are so damn good? Yeah, they even get on Mion’s nerves. At least it fired them up to beat them. You can’t lose to those b*tches!

Summer Queen Cup finals – Aira and Rhythm draw first blood when they get first place ahead of Serenon in the first round. But the b*tchy rivals aren’t fazed and even continues to mock them. The trio thought the win is in their bag when they spot the rival duo arguing at the backstage and that nobody can beat their friendship and cooperation. In the second round, Aira and Rhythm do well to maintain their top position. Till the final contestants of Serenon put on a sterling show stealing performance to take first place and become overall champions.

Cry your heart out – Our trio start reflecting on their shortcomings. Blaming themselves. I’m sorry this, I’m sorry that. No it’s not your fault, it’s mine… It is heart wrenching to see them cry like that but even more surprising Mion cries with them and shares the pain. I didn’t know they got this close but it’s much better when they are at each other’s throats. A beginning of a new friendship?

What a coincidence – Guess what? Aira and Rhythm’s birthday are on the same day! Furthermore, that date is believed when the Skater Constellation was visible. There is that legend saying those born under that star will be blessed by it and perform the Aurora Rising. Just like how Sonata did. Mion might not share the same birthday but she was also born under that constellation in the southern hemisphere (she was born in Buenos Aires). How lucky can you get to have 3 girls under the same legendary constellation?

MARs – In addition to Mion organizing a secret birthday surprise for the birthday girls with a performance from Callings writing a new song for them, today also marks the birth of a new idol group called MARs. Just take the initials of their first name of the trio and you have got yourself a new singing and dancing Prism Star group.

Game show debut – MARs make their TV debut. But not with comical bloopers with Aira causing the rest of the girls to trip, Aira’s father trying to interrupt the entire show (what’s with the panda outfit?), the Pair Cheer Mascots trying to get some screen time so our girls have to pass it off as some puppet show and a game show variety competition against the Serena and Kanon pair to see which side gets to do a Prism Show. To even the odds, Hibiki teams up with Serenon. This doesn’t sit well with Rhythm as Kanon tries to get close with Hibiki. In the end, MARs win and get to do the show.

The heat is on – What do you know? Even during a field trip to Kyoto, Serena and Kanon are there too. Is there some sort of conspiracy to piss off MARs? Anyway Kanon continues to be too close to Hibiki that it just makes Rhythm jealous. Even more depressing is when Hibiki agrees to go out on a date with Kanon. He said that in front of all those fan girls? Because Serenon have a Prism Show in Kyoto, they invite MARs to watch but also have them perform or they will have to pay for their ‘free’ ticket. In order to embarrass them, MARs are made to do a stand-up comedy. Aira and Rhythm suck which causes Mion to blow her top. But the audience think it is part of the joke and loves them. Because of that, they overshadow Serenon and the former forcefully takes the latter away to brush up on their comedian skills, ending Kanon’s dream of having a date with Hibiki. Don’t worry, MARs will take your place. A big relief for Kanon: Hibiki is Kanon’s brother. Phew.

The big try – Mion learns Sonata is Rhythm’s mom and the reason why she is so bent on performing Aurora Rising. Mion throws her the ultimatum to drop that idea because those who tried have failed. If she can’t, drop out from MARs. That night after a performance, Mion is going to prove she can do it. She refuses Aira’s Tiara Cup dress because she wants to do it on her own. Her jump could have ended in tragedy if not for Jun leaping in to save her. After being lectured by Asechi, Rhythm apologizes to her friends about her selfishness. But she still wants to master that jump. Mion gives her a condition that till she masters this jump, she must not attempt it and she cannot practice it in secret either.

Cheer bracelets – Cute wrist bracelets from Aira for her friends as their proof of friendship.

Meme sensei – Despite our Prism Friends making steady progress. They can’t make their debut yet as they lack the basics of singing! Oh the horror! But do not fear. Meme sensei is here to guide them on different techniques to improve their vocals, harmonization, pitch, etc. Ganbatte ne!

The singles curse – Thanks to some big stinking gyoza MARs made for Asechi as their big thanks (couldn’t they have just given chocolates instead?), she is forced to finish them and when she attends some marriage interview, the prospective guy just couldn’t take it (this fatty wasn’t good looking in the first place). Everybody keeps their distance from this stinking stench. And Jun couldn’t be much happier…

Survivor – From Prism Stars to reality TV stars. Yup, MARS along with Serenon. Can they survive the deserted island and also find a heart dolphin to do a Prism Show at the end? Well, let’s say MARs found it and even got enough time to help the lost dolphin back to its pack. And yeah, their performance even attracted the dolphin herd who danced along with them.

Grumpy old man – When you’re rising idols, you sure do lots of weird stuffs. This time MARs need to interview an old grumpy man in Akihabara that serves authentic Indian curry. You guessed it. He is grumpy. No customers. Not willing to change. Of course MARs put up their usual performance and he instantly changed. Now his store is buzzing with otaku guys who are here for his curry till it is a sell-out. Though, I would love to think it is the maid outfits that changed everything ;p. I mean, MARs in maid outfit serving you? That is the ultimate win factor, no? Or maybe that old guy just got swayed by Mion’s Honey Kiss during the performance… I’d still want to believe it is the maid factor…

Afraid of the dark – Mion is afraid of ghosts. But who could guess that Shou is afraid of the dark! It’s funny to see him clinging behind Aira…

Prism Stone Designer Contest – Aira just made a new friend, Flare Nanri. She has this knack in designing and takes part in the contest since the winner will have the Prism Stars wearing them during their performance. Since Aira’s fashion sense is great, she is made to choose the winner from the finalists. Note, she has no idea who the designs are from but there is one shiny design that stands out. And that is how Flare won the contest although she designed this ‘vitamin coloured’ dress to cheer Aira up when she is down.

The jokes on you – You know, Serenon make better comedians than Prism Stars, don’t you think? They could have won some comedy grand prix if not for a low score that an old veteran comedian, Shizuko Nakayama gave them. They confront her to watch their act but were made to do chores like cleaning the stage and giving the old folks a tour! Yeah, they do a better job in this department too. And thus it is revealed that she made them do it is to have them interact with each other more often instead of relying on theories. She didn’t want them to make the same mistake like she did 50 years ago with her late apprentice, the reason she never took in another until now. So don’t you see? Serenon make better comedians than Prism Stars? But mixing comedy with Prism Show? WTF?!

Chris Kaname – The tree whisperer… Because trees talk… “I can hear trees talking”… Somewhat knows Aira and tells her about love is hate and hate is love. WTF. Think line between love and hate. Useful enough for Aira to pacify her twin sisters, Uru and Eru who felt neglected as Aira has been spending less time with them due to her busy Prism Show schedules and practices despite today being their birthday. Hey wait a minute. Isn’t that Sonata, Kaname is travelling with?!

Nana Ichijou – Another popular idol. She recently starred in a movie with Shou. There’s this kissing scene that worries Aira. Even more worrying, she saw Nana trying to make Shou hers. Slapping him and telling him not to look at other women. She even warned Aira to stay away. What is he? Her property? As we expect, Aira goes into depression and couldn’t focus. Then rumours of Nana and Shou being steady together surface. There is even a photo of them together. Nana affirms it but Shou is told not to comment. Then Shou brought Nana to watch MARs’ show and tells her that he and Aira’s clothing designs complement each other. Nana can shine brightly on her own. As long as he is in Callings, he is not interested in romance. She left fuming. Shou went to clear the air with Aira that Nana set it all up and even arranged that photo. And the weirdest part, the kissing scene in the movie is actually done by CGI. WTF?! Such a simple inexpensive scene, they use CGI?! Are they worried about getting the wrath of fans?! Oh, Nana moved on and is not seen dating with this Hollywood star, Johnny Dapp. Johnny who?

I know all your moves – Kaname has been strangely getting along well with Aira. Coincidental meetings? So when Aira starts showing her moves, Kaname starts dancing with her and to her surprise and the rest of MARs, how does she know them well? And here is the big revelation of them all. Kaname will be Serenon’s new partner for the upcoming tournament. Holy cow! Aira, did you just show her all your moves? Yeah, cue to feel guilty and sink into depression. And who the heck is this Kaname girl actually? She outlasts practice with Serenon, nobody has ever heard her in the Prism Show world (because she is believed to be from a Russian circus) and now she’s debuting in the next tournament? And yeah… She calls Sonata her mom!

I can’t jump! – Thanks to that depression, Aira can’t even pull off any basic Prism Jumps. But leave it to her friends to cheer her up with the power of Prism friendship, flowery words like MARs isn’t a triangle but an equal circle (I can’t believe this came from Mion who was once a person who doesn’t believe in working together) and you’ll have Aira back in no time.

Pure Crystal High Heel Cup – In this latest competition, teams of 3 have only one chance to strut their stuff and win some rare crystal high heel stone prize. MARs did well but Serenon-Kaname could have done better had not Sonata doing some secret telepathy order to Kaname to pull off Aurora Rising. It failed and this messed up their dance. And so MARs wins! Sweet revenge?

It can’t be! – Asechi finally remembers that all too familiar teddy bear of Rhythm. It belongs to Sonata! Sure, Rhythm admits it but this doesn’t get her anywhere. Especially when she spots Sonata leaving with Kaname, she doesn’t give a damn when Asechi calls her. It’s like she’s invisible or something. It’s like her the end of the world.

On hiatus – Well, this Sonata thing might be affecting Asechi so she’s announcing after their Christmas Eve show, MARs will be on a short hiatus so they can concentrate on their solo performances. After making their audiences happy, now they have to convey their feelings to them? Since when did it get this complicated? Killing the goose that lays the golden egg because MARs is at the top of their popularity after winning the latest tournament. Yeah. So it must be that Sonata’s case…

Ayami – The Prism Friends… After all that practice and hard work and passing their test, they will finally make their debut! Hooray! In addition, they have a new member to make it a quartet, Ayami.

Prizmmy – The group name for the quartet. Hey wait… As in, Please Me?

Prism Queen Cup – The most prestigious tournament and highest honour one can receive as a Prism star. Aren’t all Prism Shows prestigious? To compete, one must obtain outstanding points in the competitions within the Prism Queen series. Thus MARs will be competing individually in different series.

New Year Cup – Starting off with the Prism Queen series, Mion enters this competition only to face the current and reigning Prism Queen for 9 years straight, Karina Togachi. Ever since Asechi retired (for failing to perform Aurora Rising several times), Karina suddenly took over as Prism Queen. And so Karina doesn’t disappoint and does well. Mion is nervous but after being calmed down by Wataru (this guy has got so much free time on his hands to go comfort her?), Mion wins the series. But Karina is glad because now she can retire and leave the Prism Show to the next generation. Mion also leaves for overseas to get more points from foreign competition. Don’t worry, she’ll be back in no time.

My mother – Guess who is Asechi’s mom? Wait for it… Kei!!!!!!!! Why do I have a feeling it would turn out something like this?

The tragic tale behind Aurora Rising – Asechi used to undergo strict training under Kei and was told there were angels on the rink and thus the reason she must shine hard to see them. But after their dad left, they never see eye to eye. Despite Asechi winning competitions and becoming Prism Queen at the tender age of 14, she never felt happy. Empty. Till she met Sonata and despite besting her, she felt she lost in other ways because Sonata never gave up. And so their rivalry began as they push and improve each other. Asechi never wanted to master Aurora Rising and wanted to do a jump that will surpass it. Kei didn’t think it was possible and that she won’t even master Aurora Rising. Asechi will prove it to her. Sonata then trained with Kei and returned from her hiatus to perform Aurora Rising. Although she pulled it off, she felt it was incomplete and that’s when she left her family and went missing. Asechi tried to perform it in hopes she would return but she never and retired. So now Asechi is blaming herself that Sonata’s family broke up because of her (not to mention no angels either) and since she saw Sonata back in Japan recently, she’s putting all her hopes on Aira. Do it for Rhythm. Do it for Sonata. No. Do it for her! It’s so tear jerking that even Jun cries… So dramatic…

Pure Premium Wedding Cup – The next competition in the series that Aira participates. Needless to say she wins it and got the pure premium wedding dress. I wonder if her dad is going bonkers over the thought that her daughter will get married to someone. Oh, he did. Let her go already!

Winter Snow Cup – Rhythm’s solo participation. But Kaname is also participating. As she goes first, our heroines are stunned that she starts off with Sonata’s dance moves and then perfectly imitates Aira’s moves. Meanwhile Ryuu is here to watch his daughter’s performance when he realizes Sonata is just next to him! Holy cows! Is that you? When it is Rhythm’s turn, she was warned by Jun not to attempt Aurora Rising or else she will lose everything. During her jump, she sees her mom and loses balance on her landing. Although she recovered, this ruined her overall performance and she scored enough for second place. Kaname wins the cup. Rhythm rushes to go see her mom but even more she doesn’t know who she is! Even more heartbreaking when Kaname calls Sonata her mom and they leave happily together. As Rhythm is determined to master Aurora Rising to learn what happened, she goes off to train under Kei. She takes off her cheer bracelet as first step for total change.

A friend in need is a friend indeed – After winning successive Prism competitions worldwide, Mion returns and learns of Rhythm’s predicament. As Rhythm needs to have a wedding dress to further master Aurora Rising, Mion goes to Serenon and even gets down on her knees to request for that rare stone in exchange for anything. She’ll do anything they want. Anything? Yeah… Serena couldn’t care much about the stone but Mion doing anything? Don’t pass up this chance.

Dance till you drop – Mion and Serena are to engage in a personal dancing competition to see who can dance the longest. The last one standing wins. Both are equally good and have lots of endurance but you know, Mion eventually wins it by a whisker. But the stone is not with her and she gave it to Kanon to give it to Rhythm…

Aquarium Cup – Rhythm and Kanon will be participating in this one. Kanon is willing to give her the rare stone if she wins. However if she loses, she must stay away from Hibiki forever! Yeah. She doesn’t care about the stone. Her big brother is more precious than anything. And of course, Rhythm bests her score by a whisker. Rhythm gets the stone and the best part is now they fight over Hibiki’s attention. How does it feel like to be the guy caught in between?

Seeking your parents’ approval – You do that when you ask for somebody’s daughter’s hand in marriage, right? But do you do that too when you want somebody’s daughter to perform Aurora Rising? That’s why Asechi sees Aira’s parents. Her mom is vehemently against it because it’s freaking dangerous. Daddy is cooler. He asks if Aira wants to do it (of course) and he gives his blessing and they should do all they can to support her. Then this last line of it kills everything: He doesn’t know what the heck is Aurora Rising. Mommy is going to blow her top…

The hug – Aira tells Shou about her decision to perform Aurora Rising and of course he is against it. He then hugs her for her is worried she will lose her memories. He gives her a Wedding Teardrop bracelet as a protective charm.

The secret rendezvous – We all know how protective Kanon is for her brother. So when Rhythm gives him a letter, she didn’t bat an eyelid to open and read it! WTF?! Seems Rhythm wants to meet him on Valentine’s Day at their secret place. Kanon will not allow him to do that! Since when is Hibiki her property? And so she waits (Serena must be turning into a snow woman at this rate) but it seems Kei is the one that Rhythm meets. She tells her off about her resolve (since she ditched practice like that) and had no ounce of determination unlike her mother who tossed away everything. Unless she is prepared for total change, don’t ever come back. By the time late running Hibiki turns up, Rhythm is in tears and says her goodbye. They can’t see each other again. Say what? What kind of Valentine’s Day gift is this? I know Kanon should be happy but why isn’t she?

Don’t cry for me Argentina – Mion has been participating in international Prism Shows just to find that single jump that surpasses Aurora Rising. That unique jump she can call her own. Since she is stuck in rediscovering herself, Jun takes her back to Buenos Aires where she reunites with her parents and then a hiking up the mountains to some legendary ice rink. Such a sophisticated rink in the middle of nowhere?! Don’t tell me they hike up the Andes too. Oh, Serena flew all the way here just to settle their score. And lost. New style, new jump, new self confidence and more than qualified for the Prism Queen Cup.

My mother 2 – Guess what? Jun also calls Kei his mom!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means… Jun and Asechi are siblings????!!!!!!! What freaking revelation is this?????!!!!!!

Edgy – Rhythm has been practising so hard and failing so hard that she has become a zombie. She’s so filled with anger, very rebellious with her dad, to a point blaming Aira for winning a recent Prism cup that gave her some pure tiara. Oh yeah. She even accuses her for coming over to spy on her training instead of being worried about her wellbeing. Well, there is only one way out of this.

Aira vs Rhythm – Eventually it has to be some sort of Prism showdown. While Aira is making big improvements and sprouting fairy wings, Rhythm on the other hand we know is going to fail because of her disturbed heart. Yeah. She is sprouting devil wings and being dragged to hell. The only way is for Aira to find the true Rhythm. The one that doesn’t hate her. Yeah, Aira has got angel wings to do that! Aira manages to do so but finds her a scared little girl. It’s like Aira is giving spoilers about her future, meeting great people, performing together in Prism Shows, falling in love. She starts naming all the friends they meet. Till she mentions Kaname’s name then all hell breaks loose. Rhythm is about to resign to her fate of giving up and eternal farewell. Suddenly here comes Mion with angel wings to bring Rhythm back to earth.

Cry your heart out – Now that Rhythm is back, it’s time for some tear-jerking confession from her about how lonely she was, how lonely she was. All she cared was about her disappeared mother and not Prism Show or Aurora Rising. She’s glad to have met friends like Aira and Mion.

There is nothing left to teach – Master Kei leaves it to Kei to deal with the rest. And looks like he is looking forward to it. Like as though everything has gone according just as planned…

Budokan Cup – The semi-finals will see only 4 contestants advancing to the final of the Prism Queen Cup. Mion has already qualified and this means only 3 spots are left. I think I know who will be there…

Aurora Rising Revisited – Kaname pulls off Aurora Rising successfully much to the audience’s delight since it’s the first time they’ve seen it in 13 years! However she feels something incomplete despite this move allowing her to take top spot. So what now Rhythm? Somebody mastered it before you. Do you have the guts to continue? Till Aira performing in her wedding dress which is a reminder that she wants her to be a happy bride and her way of telling her she is going to challenge Aurora Rising. Be there or be square. Oh, Aira gets second spot for that.

Aurora Rising again – Now that it is Rhythm’s turn to strut her stuff, she performs Aurora Rising but at first she seemingly is going to fail. I don’t understand what happens next since some Prism Stone she is wearing activates and she continues to make the fabulous jump that earns her top spot and thus qualifying her for the Prism Queen Cup. And during that jump she saw what her mom did (her memories, I guess)… And then she collapsed. When she wakes up, she craves for meat… Turns out she was just hungry after all that… Phew…

The hard life – Ryuu reveals Sonata’s hard life since birth. An abandoned child who never knew her parents, wandered in the streets and when somebody picked her up, she was made to work like a dog till a point she was suicidal. Then she saw Asechi performing on screen and she became her inspiration to live. She practised hard and became an overnight sensation. Sonata met Ryuu who was some street rocker and they fell in love despite protests from many. They started a happy family and became paranoid that she would lose all this happiness one day. That day came when Asechi announced her retirement. That’s when she decided to go back to the rink in fear that people like her would fade into obscurity. The rest is history. Ryuu always believed she disappeared because of him. Rhythm feels the need to tell Sonata how they feel. Because Aurora Rising has a second part.

Prism Queen Finals – It’s here!!!!!!!

Reminiscence of the past – As Kaname goes first, Sonata thinks back how she failed to complete Aurora Rising and abandoned all that is important to her. And then Kaname fails her Aurora Rising jump! She saw it. Her past too. Kaname was a poor girl in a Russian circus and Sonata who was also part of the troop cared for her. She gave Kaname her name and wanted her to call her as mom from then on. She was so kind to her. Sonata believed that one must tossed away everything in order to perform Aurora Rising and thus Kaname shouldn’t have seen anything if she had done that. Then Kei explains that humans cannot cast aside what they treasure most. Sonata believed her Aurora Rising was an illusion but Kei points out what she saw was the truth. It was the treasured moments she saw emitted from her heart. The Aurora light never lies. Sonata is stunned her Aurora Rising has been succeeded. So what has Sonata been doing for the past 13 years? Yeah, shocking isn’t it? I guess when the happiness is greater, the greater the fear that one will lose it.

Back In The USSR – Sonata quickly leaves for Russia after Kaname’s lacklustre performance (it got her a low score – I guess she won’t be champion). Kaname tries to stop her and wants her to go see Rhythm but big mommy won’t listen. So she had to call Serena for help to relay the message to Rhythm.

Aurora Rising Final – In this next part of the jump, it is so awesome that it reaches outside the rink to where Sonata is!!! Rhythm wants to show her the times she had with her dad and her friends. Immediately after that she jumps off the rink and goes chase after mama with daddy. For once Serena’s helicopter proves useful to beat the traffic jam.

Emotional reunion – Rhythm screams out all those fun and happy experiences in those 13 years. She believes it is not too late for her to come back. They can be better than a normal family, etc. I guess her daughter’s words are enough to convince Sonata to come back. Emotional hug. Emotional tears. Emotional everything. Mother and daughter reunion. So beautiful. Mustn’t… Cry… Cant… Help… Start… Crying…

Disqualified – Because Rhythm left the stage midway and her performance unfinished, the judges has decided to disqualify her. Sad but we know she won something else, right?

Perfect! – After that ground breaking, mountain rising, big bang, fairy garden smorgasbord move, Mion scores the maximum perfect score! OMG! How can you beat that???!!! Unless…

Aira! Aira! Aira! – The entire stadium is cheering loudly for her. Could it be the entire stadium is filled with Aira’s fans? Or did somebody buy them out to cheer for her? Yeah well, all the minor characters that appeared before…

Aurora Rising Spam! – If it isn’t enough that Aira had made a perfect Aurora Rising jump, it is so awesome that it kills gravity! Everybody floats! That’s not the end of it! She reconnects Asechi and Sonata to their past selves so that they can complete their Aurora Rising! Double Aurora Rising! Aira joining in makes it triple! Oh wait! She calls Serenon and Kaname to join in too! Oh, there’s room for more! Come on everybody! Do the Aurora Rising! Mion, Rhythm, Asechi, Jun, Callings, Pair Cheer Mascots, Pengin, Yamada, all family and friends, the audience and probably the entire world!!! DO THE AURORA RISING!!! FREAKING SH*T! The world is one big Aurora Rising heaven!!! They make it look so easy performing this freaking hard move. Wow!!!!! Such happiness!!!! If this is really heaven, Aurora Rising killed them!!!!!!!!!!! So beautiful that Kei’s tears are flowing like a river. There, have you had enough of Aurora Rising already?

Maximum overload – After that sterling performance, why is there a great silence from the judge? Have they died? Were they too awed to give their score? Apparently they have a hard time deciding Aira’s score because it went over the maximum permitted! How much? Let me give you an idea. The number is high enough that they don’t even know how to count or mathematics anymore! So they place it as O.T.T. Over. The. Top. WTF???!!! What kind of number is that?! Even at least infinite is a number. Oh what the heck, this is a Prism Show, not some maths quiz challenge.

The Queen of Our Hearts – Oh, I almost forgot. Congratulations to Aira as the new Prism Queen! All hail Aira!!!

New dawn, new management – The agency handling Serenon goes bankrupt (because the old fart has had enough). Thus Serenon will be working under Asechi’s care from now on.

Discovering new talents – Jun has been given the green light to find new Prism Stars given the unlimited potential he saw. Oh where oh where is he going to start travelling in this big wide world? So it’s goodbye Mion. Don’t leave me. Take me with you. Can’t take her along. Can’t defy fate. Whatever. Just shine as you are. And in Jun’s presence, there is always Wataru to comfort her when she’s down, right?

One big family – Rhythm’s family is back on track. Kaname is the adopted sister. Sonata invites Asechi for dinner. Hibiki trying to confess something to Rhythm? I wonder what will Kanon have to say about that? Ryuu apologizes to Asechi for saying harsh things. Thanks to her, their family is together again.

Graduation day – Pengin graduates the Pair Cheer Mascots since they have a guided their Prism Stars to stand on their own. Our mascots start crying and don’t want to graduate because they think they’ll be separated from our Prism Stars. Actually they are promoted and this means they will train new mascots and still be with their Prism Stars. Proof of their promotion? They just got a little bigger.

The new dream – Aira’s new dream is to make everyone smile, to make everyone’s dream come true, to show that anyone can become Prism Queen. And for nostalgia’s sake, here is MARs performing for us again!

Specials

There are as many specials as there are with the TV episodes (51 of them if you must know exactly) although each only lasts 2 minutes and are more for fun and comical purposes. Here are some of the memorable ones:

Free fruits – Remember how Aira’s fresh fruit basket jump move materializes real fruits? Yeah, papa got this idea to get endless and free fruit supplies for his cake! So do the jump! And jump again! And again! And again! And again! And again! And again!!!

She who is the brave first star – Rhythm’s catchphrase after everyone chips in a word they like and put together. Say what?

Aira and Rabbit show – Wait a minute. They’re doing stand-up comedy? Not funny! Don’t get the joke!

The voice – All new Prism Stone merchandise! Whenever you’re in doubt, all you need to do is press play on this box and you’ll hear Jun’s voice and his ‘words of wisdom’. NOT!!!!!!! I don’t even get it, those lines he says… Makes no sense…

Imagination – Because Aira is afraid to face the audience, Rhythm advises to imagine them as fruits. Her mental practice goes overboard when she starts talking and naming all the imaginary fruits. For the record, a sweet potato is not a fruit.

Mind your English – Aira helps out with Rhythm for her English make-up test. However speaking in English, Rhythm can only say ‘yes’ to everything Aira says. Yes. Everything. Yes. She also misunderstands the questions and answers them wrongly. She’s got a long way to go.

Honesty pays – When Aira accidentally drops Rabbit into some pond, Jun the goddess rewards her honesty with a gold and silver one in addition to the regular one. Then the clones start fighting with each other. Time to redo it again. She only needs the regular one. Yeah. She gets 3 regular ones! Redo it. Now she specifically needs only 1 regular one and Jun is so touched that he drops her a bunch of them. It’s raining Rabbit! Now how can she tell which is the real one?

Gyafun! – Everyone fools Aira that she couldn’t stop saying this catchphrase of “Gyafun!”. It will ultimately cause her to trip? And when everyone is infected with that catchphrase, this leaves Aira panicking. And a big “Gyafun!” when she finds out they were just pulling her leg.

Begging for a raise – Aira’s plan is to beg or cry to dad to raise their allowance till Itsuki suggests they need to be kind to mom and listen to her. When they do so, they get rewarded but it wasn’t in monetary terms. Turns out it was a plan concocted by mommy and Itsuki to have the girls quiet down and behave.

Mion the princess – There wasn’t anything special about Mion being casted as a spoilt princess that caused heartaches for her servants (Callings). Till this Jun came into her life and she starts fantasizing about him and things quiet down. Behold his cheesy lines like the world is his kingdom and thus he doesn’t come from any kingdom and was here all along. And his end laughter was freaking creepy!

The penguin song – Pengin and Yamada sing a song about penguins and despite sounding off key and horrible, they make it sound funny and sexy. But encore? No thanks!

Eat your vegetables! – Shou doesn’t like his green peppers no matter how much his mates try to make him eat it. All sorts of reasons… He then tricks Aira into eating it and the gullible girls love it.

Penguin lessons – Pengin takes the Pair Cheer Mascots to the zoo to learn about, wait for it, penguins. You guessed it. How can you tell the difference between the species? Pengin even mimics the different calls but they can’t tell any difference. So much so the zookeepers think a captive penguin escaped and start chasing him around.

An ode to papa and mama – Uru and Eru write a lovely poem about their parents for Aira and Itsuki to here. But they may have just misinterpreted their undying love because in actual fact, mama is beating up papa for his incompetence. Oh yeah. That’s love, right?

This sucks – Mion who loves cats finds one sitting in the alley. However it is not moving and it could be injured or unwell. But how will they lure it out without scaring it away? Don’t follow Rhythm’s plan of just catching it! And so they have Neko do the job but it turns out to be a bunch of socks resembling a cat’s outline. Embarrassing. Socks… This sucks…

The hidden meaning – Callings are doing a quiz show on Jun’s wise sayings. Believe me, you can never guess them. So ambiguous. So unrelated. Are those even wise sayings? For Pete’s sake that they sound more like riddles and lame puns…

Indiana MARs – Our girls head into a tomb to find a golden tiara and are set upon trials by the guardians played by Pair Cheer Mascots. Either the trials are too easy or just dumb. Selfish Mion claims the tiara for herself but the side effect has her turned into a monkey.

Mr Fix It – Asechi always blames Jun if something doesn’t go her way as she believes she instructed him otherwise. So fix it! Each time, we see Jun in his usual monologue about the stars and his tears falling like teardrops from the Milky Way. Oh so dramatic… When she finally thanks him, it’s all happiness and smiles.

The wig – When Rhythm goes to wake Pengin up, she finds his wig on the floor. So as not to make him come out of his covers, she tries to stall him to stay there while trying to get out. But Pengin is just such a talkative bird, isn’t he? Especially when he is talking about short hair and such. When he comes out from his hiding, his hair is on his head. So whose wig is this? It’s Yamada’s chest hair???!!! WTF???!!! Different colour???!!!

The gift – MARs receive lots of presents from their fans. But there is one energy buns whom they do not know who it is from. As they deliberate and are stumped to see a face as the bun’s design, nobody wants it till Aira suggests it could be Callings. Rhythm would happily take and eat it but Aira doesn’t think so and wants it herself. So what if it is from Jun? Now Mion wants it. As they share, they find it tasting too revolting. The Pair Cheer Mascots don’t have the guts to tell them it was from Yamada! Because he got that creepy prankster look on his face!

Crocodile Rock – During prehistoric times when Aira’s family is running out of food, dad hasn’t come back, the twins can’t go hunting because they’re too young and mom won’t let Itsuki the eldest son do it. I guess this means Aira has to do it. She is given the last banana snack as energy. But the river she is about to cross is filled with crocodile. She becomes a chicken and turns back but slips on her banana peel. It causes her to slide through the crocodile infested waters and up into the sky. And that is how the jump for Prism Shows began even before the legendary Aurora Rising. Crap!

Aira In Wonderland – Aira is led down the rabbit hole by Rabbit. Asechi is the mean queen of hearts and nobody can successfully entertain her. Off with your head! Okay, so she just arrested them. So when it is Aira’s turn to perform, it wasn’t her jump and spins that impressed her. It was her tripping and fall. Oh Aira, you’re such a joker…

What does that smell like? – Well, the first time Kaname was going to get a pretty makeover by Akai, she’s being an imbecile not knowing what a Prism Stone is, etc. Thankfully Akai has lots of patience. I hope. Seeing signs of close to being pissed off… And when finally she gets a pretty makeover, Kaname starts sniffing herself and this worries Akai if it stinks. She starts panicking thinking something is really wrong because she really took care of the clothes. Finally Kaname realizes that smell. It’s the smell of happiness! Phew.

Muscle your way – Once again we have Yamada singing and telling us all about muscles and the need for them to build them up. So funny… So gay… So shall we build muscles together?

Butt eyes – Asechi is not confident without putting on her glasses as Akai convinces her otherwise. When she finally feels confident in showing her glassless face, turns out she has butt eyes… Regret? And Jun is so happy he has never seen her smile like that.

A bug’s life – In the distant future and a galaxy far, far away, our girls have been reincarnated into… Bugs?! And so in their pupa form, they are being ‘coached’ by Jun the worm (?!) to transform into their beautiful form. And with the power of friendship, they metamorphose into… The same bug but only look shinier?

Happy Lucky cure – Aira is some sort of Happy Lucky angel and with Rhythm by her side, they go around curing people who are down on their luck. Instant happiness. Till she meets her match in Kei. Too depressing to work.

All convenient Japanese pass – Sonata is back in Japan after 13 years and wonders if she can adapt life here. Her first hurdle is the turnstile at the train station. She uses her pass and the gates open. She is overcome with joy and confident, too long that the gates close. Back to depression. But with her family and friends supporting her, she gets the strength to do it again. This time without wasting anytime and make a big rush past the gates. Hooray! All hail the convenient Japanese pass!

It’s how you say it – Asechi has failed to perform Aurora Rising despite her numerous attempts. Then Kei tells her the big flaw why she couldn’t… She pronounced it wrongly! So Kei coaches her to pronounce those words but it feels like she has made almost every pun out of it. Is she even trying? How hard can it be? But with Sonata’s guidance, it soon becomes a breeze. So easy to say it now!

That’s a wrap – Even if it is meant to be a final goodbye, Aira is having nightmares that everyone else is as weird as they can be. A dream? Well, the dream continues, right?

Be The Girl You Want, Not The Girl You Meant To Be!
After watching over a hundred episodes (including the specials lah!), it dawned to me that in some ways I felt like a little girl! Uh huh. There is this feeling that this show was made for little and teenage girls. Look at all the shiny and pretty girly stuffs. Thankfully I didn’t turn into a girly wimp. Heck, I’m already an otaku wimp but I’m at least not a girly wimp. Uhm… What was I talking about? Oh. This show. If you’re the kind of guy who is overflowing with lots of masculine and testosterone stuffs, you’ll definitely want to give this a miss. Or else either it would awaken your little girl within and turn you into one or you’ll go crazy and start ripping bunnies in half to get your manly fix. Heh.

Overall, this isn’t a bad show but I have to admit that despite the interesting concept, this idol type of show isn’t my cup of tea. I could feel that some of my enthusiasm waned after watching this series for too long. There were funny moments, some feel good moments, there were dramatic moments, there were magical moments. But nothing too drastic or complicated that would make this the sort of show that the general and average anime fans talk about. Unless you are a very huge fan of the series. In which I could see from the in-show Prizmmy segment that they are all young girls. So don’t you agree with me that this show is targeted for little girls?

The story is rather okay too with our girls aiming to become the best Prism Star and their journey filled with trials and tribulations. Nothing really that tough if you think about it. Because I expected Aira to become the new Prism Queen right from the start. Although it did put me off a little when they started focusing more on Rhythm and her troubled mom in the second half, so I thought if Aira was just to throw us off to make us think she is the main heroine and that the real one was Rhythm. Alas there were no surprises or twists in the end because just like such genres, the dark horse or the underdog becomes the winner. I mean, think about this. A clumsy girl who never had any experience in Prism Shows before suddenly enters the ring and defeats an internationally popular and acclaimed Prism Star and the daughter of a legendary Prism Star. And they all manage to stay friends after that. If this show isn’t for the feel good factor for girls, I don’t know what is.

As you can see, the varied characters make the series interesting (although personally not very much). They change and grow and in the case of MARs, they forge a friendship bond. Something that is a must in this kind of shows. As said in my previous paragraph, Aira who is the daughter of baker parents jumps into this world and becomes the new star. Her perseverance in training and never give up attitude makes her where she is today. Doesn’t that sound familiar in shows featuring such heroines? Oh, and she is a funny girl every time she flusters or put on that incredulous looks. It makes her look cute too :). Then there is Mion who has suddenly turned from a loner to accept and rely on her friends. She still has her pride but is better than before when she was just plain obnoxious. And of course there is Rhythm who was just desperate to do Aurora Rising so that she can see her mom. Other than that, she is quite a lively and friendly girl.

Not forgetting Serena and Kanon who are their best rivals. Every good team needs a good rival to propel and push them further to improve, right? Despite being better stand up comedians, do take them seriously because they still have the touch in making those jumps. Although personally I feel that they should be doing stand up comedy despite me not getting some of their jokes. Must be their Kansai origin or something. And there’s Kaname who sometimes feel like a retard but she is actually a simple and honest girl and her actions may cause some to feel like she is the former. Such shows need mascots and that is why the cuteness of Pair Cheer Mascots is for. They feel more like moral support for our girls but even so, I don’t see them playing more than that role besides the cuteness factor and comic relief as they just hang around on the girls’ shoulder if the girls aren’t performing.

Callings may look like MARs biggest support but from many older viewers’ point of view, you can start to tell that they are also their secret lovers from the pairings that we have seen. Isn’t that why they are always sticking around and helping MARs out? I doubt that any sort of romantic romance would blossom between them. At least not in this season. Of course even the hinting romance is not straightforward as you can see some sort of love triangle. Like Mio and Wataru, it is more like Wataru -> Mio -> Jun. One way ticket. Since Jun is so in his world (or just not giving a hoots about it), I suppose Mio can only pray and hope from afar. Just like what Wataru is. He is like the backup for Mio in case Jun’s one falls through. Like it would ever. Then there is the other love triangle between Hibiki, Rhythm and Kanon. Because little sister believes big brother is her property. Enough said. Think there is no love triangle between Aira and Shou? Well, some may not call it a triangle. Because Aira’s papa is the big main obstacle and nobody is going to get his daughter ever. Aira will always be his forever and ever. Even if she is 100 years go. He’ll never let her go. He’s like Kanon in this case, isn’t he?

Personally, Jun feels like the biggest question mark. Besides his penchant to spout enigmatic lines, his presence itself is a big mystery. Like as though he knows the things that are going on but won’t blurt it out in a straightforward manner because, well, you know how he talks, right? Therefore in this sense, he is both enigmatic and annoying. Charismatic? Maybe. Only Mion sees this part. I think weirdness runs in the family because like for Asechi, it feels like a running joke that she can never settle down or even find a decent boyfriend. At least she’s funny unlike Kei who is always having that brooding face like as though she could just pop up and surprise us that she is the real antagonist or something. But shows like this aren’t like that to scare and surprise little girls. Am I right?

Oddly enough, maybe it is just me that I feel the one stealing the limelight of the series are Pengin and Yamada. They are a funny pair. Personally I thought these 2 should have more screen time. They never fail to make me break into a smile each time have their cameo no matter how silly it is like how Pengin tries to get his face in cameras but burns. Yamada seems to have some sort of vocabulary limitation because initially most of the time he always says “Yamada desu” (I am Yamada). The way the pair interacts just feels gay although in a funny manner. I’m not sure if little girls would see this in this light but I thought this is what makes them hilarious especially with Pengin’s gay tone and Yamada’s burly chest hair. How much more gay can you get than that? Another joker is Aira’s overprotective dad who shuns his beloved Aira in doing anything related to Prism Show. And when he accepts her, he is still annoying to the point of embarrassing because he really dotes and fawns over Aira like as though she will never grow up and will always be daddy’s girl. Would you want to have this kind of father? At least we know that’s his love to her and she is being showered with love. Too much love. Thankfully mama is always around to show him his place.

Also not forgetting our Prizmmy who has learnt and grown a lot ever since the start of the series. In addition in seeing them learn, do fun stuffs, training, the promotional events the attended, the competitions they participated and all other stuffs that group idols would do, we also get to learn a few musical stuffs from them during their stint and if you have a little interest in music and a noob like I am, you find them interesting. The most interesting lessons are the one that involves Meme sensei since she briefly touches on different methods and techniques on how to improve their vocals and voice synchronization and pacing themselves to the rhythm of the beat. It was fascinating to try some of those simple stuffs myself but in the end, I think it would take more than just a mere seconds and perseverance of those exercises if I ever want to start singing confidently.

The drawing and art are of course the cute and girly bishoujo type. You can evidently see all the cute bright sparkly things that this series is filled with. During the dance sequence however, CGI is used and although it feels jarring, you’ll get used to it after seeing lots of them. At least a Prism Show or performance in every episode. This is what this series is about, isn’t it? Which brings me to this point. The girls each have their own set of moves. However they keep playing the same ones all the time that it is starting to get boring. Because the performance starts out the same but it is only the end jump that is different. So while it is cool to see the girls whether as individuals or as a team doing their dance, I thought they should put in a little more variation. But then again, if you are singing the same song, why the need of new set of moves?

This also brings me to this question. Don’t they have any other songs or dances? Because they always use the same songs and dance moves in every competition that they enter! And the audience can’t really get enough of it. Okay, so it is like seeing the same magic trick over and over again but never getting bored because of the way it is executed. The only thing that ‘changes’ is their outfits but even that is on certain occasions. However like I have said, the basic moves are exactly the same and only the end jump differs. It is as though they are doing some elaborated ‘ritual’ to reach this end stage of the jump. It’s like the moment we’ve all been waiting for. I don’t know if people will ever get bored unless you are really their fans or the songs but they could have anticipated it since you know, for example Mio is always singing this song in the semi-finals, the finals, in the last competition and will be for the next one too. Predictable.

Also speaking about the jumps, I thought that it was rather exaggerating for their jumps to actually materialize like in some sort of surrealism fashion. Having it flashy and making people hallucinate and see stuffs are already too much but acceptable since well, there should be some magic in this kind of shows, right? But to actually materialize them and become real feels like they have gone overboard. For example, Aira’s fresh fruits basket move has her actually materializing tasty fruits that the audience can actually pick and eat them! WTF?! And I believe that there are other jumps that materialize edible stuffs and chocolates and sweets. Imagine if she does this all the time, we can get free food! The agricultural industry will collapse! And for those jumps that aren’t edible and usually of the out-of-this-world and cosmic-like things such as stardust shower and riding a comet, this is too much and going too far. Since they’re real, don’t you think such big objects will crash and kill the audience? Oh heck, who cares? Then when you see everybody getting to pull off the toughest of the toughest Aurora Rising jump move that was once regarded as a death wish, you’ll start thinking that everything and anything is possible. Nothing is too impossible for these girls. Now I’ve seen everything. Yeah girls. Thanks for showing me the dream.

On a trivial note, I noticed that some of the background and extra characters, they are not fully drawn and feel like ‘coloured shadows’. Uh huh. Like as though somebody draw their outline on a coloured paper, cut them out and stand them up like as though they are in a crowd. This might be forgiven if it is only restricted to the audience. But doing this for the Prism Show judges as well?! I guess they are not as important as our Prism Stars, eh? Since I am not into fashion, I don’t really have any comment about the styling and clothes the girls wear. My typical male answer: They look okay in it. Of course as a series aimed at girls, there is nothing provoking in their dresses.

Being an idol themed series, of course part of its charm is in its songs. There are lots of songs featured throughout the series but like I’ve said, they only assigned one song per individual or group so it somewhat gets boring after a while. You hear the same thing every time they take the stage. But let’s not repeat that and get to the songs itself. Of course there are some songs that I like and some that don’t appeal to me. Those that I like include the first opening theme of the series, You May Dream by LISP (consisting of the members of MARs). This I believe is the theme of the series as it has this fun and exciting tune to it. The third ending theme, We Will Win by Tokyo Girls’ Style also shares this same sensation. Happy Go Lucky by Super Girls, which is the first ending theme is also not too bad. Prizmmy’s first feature (which is also the fourth ending theme) doesn’t sound too shabby either. Of all the insert songs, I like Mion’s one the best, Switch On My Heart as it has this playful tune in it. Following closely behind it is Mera Mera Heart Ga Atsuku Naru by MARs, then Dream Goes On by Aira (very cute and catchy lyrics) and followed by Itoshi No Tinkerbell by Callings.

Some of the songs I find it a little weird like Serena’s Wonderful World because although the rock electric guitar is good but I just find it odd for it to be sung as a song. I suppose the insert songs are tailored specifically to each character but even so, it just feels weird. Then there is Kaname’s Shall We Go. I don’t know. Her opening lines feel kinda flat. Maybe it is her character but it makes the overall song feel like it. Like a little girl singing. Nothing wrong but personally it feels weird. Hop Step Jump by MARs has a weird combination of their singing especially the ones singing the background vocals supporting the main singing at certain points. I don’t know. It feels they’re too enthusiastic bursting with energy while singing their single line that it sounds obvious. Then there is the third ending theme, Pretty Rhythm De Go by MARs. I don’t know how to describe this one but it made me had this weird feeling while listening to it. Maybe it is some of the words during the spoken part. So I guess they spam us with lots of chibi MARs to keep us distracted.

Voice acting is rather okay. My favourite is still Kana Asumi who is very recognizable as Aira. Also recognizable is Kanae Itou tripling as Kaname, Sonata and Akai. Many others also voice more than one character since there are an awful lot of characters in this series. Like Kenta Miyake doing both Pengin and Yamada (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Motoko Kumai as Neko and Itsuki (Ginta in MAR), Noriko Hidaka as Bear and Omi (Kikyou in Inu Yasha), Risa Hayamizu as Asechi and Rabbit (Kumiko in Gokusen). Others include Sayuri Hara as Rhythm (Kon in Inari Kon Kon Iroha), Azusa Kataoka as Mion (Nagisa in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Madoka Yonezawa as Serena (Ui in K-ON!), Satomi Akesaka as Kanon (Arsene in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Susumu Chiba as Jun (Kondou in Gintama), Takashi Kondou as Sho (Train in Black Cat), Kenn as Hibiki (Jinbei in Mushibugyou), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Wataru (Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu No Index) and Youku Soumi as Kei (B.C. in Vandread).

Even though I did say that watching this show made me feel like a little girl, I am not going to throw in the towel yet as I am planning to give the second season (which is long gone and probably forgotten by now) a chance. Hey. Even grownup guys watch magical girl series, right? Perhaps this show isn’t as flashy without the magical girl theme and won’t draw in those otaku guys. Still it has some funny moments, amusing moments, dramatic moments, heart-warming moments, cute moments and a few more other kind of moments that would make you feel like you’re a little girl watching a show meant for little girls. Whoops. Overall this series isn’t that bad considering it has already spanned so many seasons and a spin-off as of today. As far as this season is concerned, if you want a bit of cute idol magic and friendship thingy, this first season of the Pretty Rhythm series should be a good place to start. After all, deep down in each one of our hearts, there is this little girl waiting to burst out and wanting us to follow our dreams, right? Okay, I made that up. Make that, Pretty Remade that up. So what are you waiting for? Start following your dreams and go to bed!