Aikatsu Friends! – 019

Sakuya-chan looks kinda weird today…

I’m not so sure about this episode. I think we’re stuck in some alternate reality where social media has taken over the lives of teenagers and children. But that couldn’t possibly happen in real life, right?

Episode 019: Torrent | Magnet

15 thoughts on “Aikatsu Friends! – 019

  1. Ya know I keep asking myself why am I not getting into Aikatsu friends! I was thinking maybe it’s because I have grown tired of it but that’s not it I still watch the other series all the time. Maybe it’s because of-of the new unit Idol show which is new but then we have seen Idol unit’s in other series so it’s not that. Then I watched this episode and it hit me when Aine was there with all her friends. I felt nothing normally I would have Sad feeling’s or happy feeling’s or even be in tears but I had none of it so I finally worked out why this series is just not getting to me like the others it’s because I really do not feel anything from this series not once have I felt any feeling’s this whole series and that is the big problem because in that regard’s it makes me not really care about cheering or supporting the characters in this show like with the other series you wanted to support Ichigo or Akria or Yume and you felt the up and downs that they went through.

    But this might just be me I do hope I can get more into it soon before it end’s but at the moment it just does not have any emotional development with the characters.

    • This show had more than a few ups and downs, but recently (ep 12 aside) it’s being pretty nice and consistently at okay-or-better levels (at least for me). Some little misfires happen here and there, but i mostly enjoy what i see.
      Now the actual problem might be the new format of “less idols – more development/interactions for them” – that being my best guess at what creators are trying to pull off here – and i am afraid they are not quite succeeding… Let me elaborate:
      Chars here, while not absolutely basic barebones (hey, they got some nice personality quirks!) aren’t very complex or oh-so interesting by themselves either. Their interactions (plot/drama/conflicts), which could potentially elevate this, are somewhat formulaic and basic for the most part too.
      So on average this show kinda fails on both fronts – it could have been building up to something more exciting, and yet it’s spending time on ol’ silly special trainings, aine-helps-her-friends(-i.e.-everyone) (i mean i don’t mind it so much but we get it already – she likes to help out others and people in trouble in general, now can we get more time for something else please?) etc. While those are not bad per se, coupled together and keeping in mind basic facts of their world – i.e. i am not sure there’s any evil or even remotely bad people here – it ends up being very tame and somewhat boring(ly repetitive). I get that this is no precure, but in the end – while i still like the show – it’s getting harder to get very excited when all we’re getting for a while were small pieces of nice development/acting and whatnot with big helpings of something much less exciting stuffed everywhere.
      Make no mistake, i do want this show to get even better and succeed/get more fans – after all i like many things here, from design to some core plot ideas and developments – i am however starting to lose hope that we will see anything really great and exciting very soon, or even at all here.
      Which is unfortunate, for girls are genuinely cute, animation and art could be very pleasing and fluid, and at least half of them songs are nice here. Oh and i somewhat dig the 3D here, it’s cute and not badly done.
      So there you have it, i wrote this in hopes that it will spark some meaningful discussion or maybe other people will come out and reveal their thoughts and feelings about this nice but kind-of-flawed show too.
      Anyway, have a nice day, everyone~

      • ratings-wise aikatsu has been slowly dying since 2014 or so and took an even bigger hit during season 2 of stars, though the data cardass players will probably keep it alive in some form

        Bandai will probably eventually go the Precure route and just reboot it every single year/every 50 episodes

      • Having a little difficulty parsing that wall of text, but I have a few things I want to comment on. There are no “less idols” in this one. We have 7 idols, which is only 1 short of season 1 of the original Aikatsu. One more idol and this season could do its own Star Anis/Aikatsu8. Also, the original characters where no less simple in the beginning. They developed as the seasons went on, and some of them had 4 whole seasons to do it, but in the beginning they where just as simple.

        On a second note, in the original Aikatsu there where no antagonists like in Stars, and the story didn’t come to any kind of direction until the second half of season 1. The first half was actually pretty dull. I know I had to force myself to watch it. Something I didn’t have to do for any other season.

        • Guess I weren’t very clear, let me clarify that a bit.
          What i were trying to say is not that there are much less idols, but that focus is very narrow here. From my rough estimates Aine x Mio & Maika x Ema eat up majority of screen time in almost any given episode, a few focused on others aside.
          As an aside, AiFure unexpectedly warmed me up to OGkatsu, and ep12 (where i am atm) still feels like an introduction, while Friends is going full steam ahead with plot progression.
          And while I honestly appreciate authors being serious and consistent right off the bat with it, here lies the problem.
          Namely, core plot in AiFure is fairly basic, at least right now. But even the simplest plot could be effective and pack a punch, here however it almost feels anemic or even occasionally extraneous. Strong chars and execution could have amended the situation here, but they doesn’t – with former being underdeveloped and latter somewhat underwhelming.
          Basically core parts here does not really work together, the sum being a little dull and unexciting (especially in the beginning) and certainly not as smooth and steady as authors (and audience) hoped it would be.
          In AiFure’s defense i really like some characters here – Aine and Karen left the best impression, Mio/Mirai and a few others weren’t that bad either – they truly shine when staff wants them to/make a deliberate effort, with nice animation/art and character depth. Heck, even Tamaki-san is a fairly well thought out character. Some episodic plot points are a joy to watch too, especially when they bring the very welcomed chara/relationship development.
          So while i am still pretty invested in AiFure, i wish it were consistently stronger – staff surely can deliver, but… plot feels slow and long drawn, characters can have enough depth and yet it feels like staff’s playing it almost too safe. Maybe it’s budget constraints to be blamed here, or that it’s primarily aimed at children (at least in theory) hence it tries to be simple and kinda unassuming, i am not really sure what’s gone wrong here myself tbh.
          Anyway, hope that cleared up the picture from my pov. Peace~

          • Thats a bit clearer yes. Is this actually your first Aikatsu, or did you start with Stars? Anways, all of the seasons do have a stronger focus on the main girls. Maybe its the distribution of characters this season, and how fast the main relationships formed that makes it feel even more laser focused. Keep going with OGKatsu, It does start off really slow, but after the season midpoint it really picks up. (The Tristar selection arc gets really good)

            I saw you mention Precure, and yeah this show is no precure. Its not ment to be a super intense kind of series. It is very much a daily-lives of idols kind of show where the tension and release is in the girls growth as idols as opposed to any kind of overarching villainous plots like PriPara for example.

            I’ve been really enjoying AiFuri myself, so I really hope it does well enough to keep the franchise going. I would be devastated if Aikatsu ended.

          • Yeah, i have a bit of a history with children’s anime and Aikatsu in particular. Those always looked like fun but never really clicked with me. Admittedly i have not tried and seen much of them, aside from various Precures over the years and later PriPara, however i always came to the same conclusion – plot were hardly there & pointless hijinks dominated majority of screentime, it’s just a boring/childish entertainment at best. Or so i thought.
            Years later on Atelier Emily’s blog i stumbled upon an unassuming piece about AiStars, fell in love with ED, started watching the thing and mostly liked it. Still onholded it @ep7, unfortunately. Maybe it have not grasped me completely back then, or i just forgot to continue along with the thing and it slowly turned into a huge backlog and… well, you know how it goes.
            Fast forward to modern times, a friend hooked me on Love Live franchise where i caught a glimpse of just how good an idol show could be when staff really tries their bestest (ahem)~
            Earlier this year, i caught news of Hugtto’s excellence and started watching the thing, later decided to try keeping up with that new Katsu show and actually quite liked Friends for what they implicitly promised (a stronger/more straightforward plot focused on fewer characters) and what they actually were.
            These days i am slowly enjoying OGkatsu while entertaining a thought about starting Stars anew (not sure if watching three katsus simultaneously is a good idea tho).
            Tangentially, i am almost alright with PriChan now (thanks god they got rid of mascots, those were insufferable in PriPara) but plot and chars still look kinda weak so idk whether i should continue with that or not…
            And basically that’s it, have a nice day, everyone~

    • it has been pretty hit-or-miss for me too, but when the episodes are good they are quite good. I liked the last few I watched quite a bit, and I also liked 3 and 4 a lot, but I haven’t been feeling passionate enough about the show to fit it into my schedule as I usually do

  2. It only just now occurred to me that every Honey Cat episode was only about Ema and Maika, while almost every Aine and Mio episode had them helping someone in need.

    Shame though. With the way they have structured the competition, it sounds like HC is already out of the big picture. I suppose they will focus on one rival Friends unit at a time (chances are the Moon twins will be the ones to beat in the Brilliant Cup).

  3. thank you! I definitely teared up a little when I watched the raw version of this episode. Aine is such a sweetheart, and it’s kind of refreshing having this idol who gets intimidated by her lack of experience–reminds me a little bit of early Akari in some regards.

    I do like the the dynamic they’ve set up where Mio is helping Aine learn to use her friendship power more effectively, and Aine is fueling Mio’s creative inspiration, but I hope in the future they do something to subvert it! I think that would be interesting to watch.

  4. Pure Palette winning over Honey Cat via the power of tomodachikara really draws plenty of parallels with an similar scenario occurring way back in S3, when Skips more or less did the same thing against DanDiva, only under more ridiculous circumstances.

    Back then, the only reason Skips won is because of the accidental misplacing of their stage coords, and in the process of searching for them, their actions were broadcasted live, thus garnering more sympathy votes which enabled them to win over the more deserving Dancing Diva. At the very least Pure Palette strategically used their fanbase as leverage to propel them to victory over Honey Cat, whereas the Skips situation felt more like MC plot armor.

    • I really think it’s the opposite. In Aikatsu S3, most competitions were fan voting, so SkipS winning was perfectly reasonable, but just now it was supposed to be a panel of judges. Yet for some reason, mysteriously, all the judges disappeared this episode. Where did they go? Probably chased out of town by rabid Pure Palette fans.

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