Aikatsu Friends! – 034

I love you Charuuu!

Whoa, suddenly Narita Yoshimi out of nowhere back to do a Friends episode! What an incredible job she did with all of the adult characters, displaying Aine and Mio’s development that lead to the result of the Best Friends Cup, and weaving in a theme that is at once both blindingly obvious yet subtly painted in. It’s good on first watch, but the true depth hit me only after watching again closely. Let’s all aim to make a million friends!

Episode 034: Torrent | Magnet

18 thoughts on “Aikatsu Friends! – 034

  1. Some minor characters development, finally. You have to wonder why Noa couldn’t toss Chiharu a bone and let her help with some designs, back when Chiharu was in a rut. Maybe she did, and it didn’t work out.

    It seems Tamaki is a fan of going all in. She would probably make a good gambler. But this isn’t a Fukumoto story. And I can’t quite understand if Hariu spoke like that to light a fire under Mio, or if he was just trying to gloat.

    I also just found out that “zakkubaran” means something like “being outspoken”, so that’s one more thing I learned today.

      • I’m sure I’m reading into this too much, but…

        In this show about pairs of friends, the three major adult characters all have their own counterpart now.

        Tamaki has Hariu, her manager rival.
        Chiharu has Noa, her designer best friend.
        Ken has Kagami, his artist apprentice.

        And as it’s been established, your Best Friend is someone who is at once your rival, your friend, and someone you both learn from and teach to.

        If we want to go deeper and crazier, we could say that what makes idols great is how they are able to form a bond with someone that takes all those shapes at once, while adults, being older (and we all know how much that sucks), can only focus on one aspect of such human relationships at a time.

        • You’ve gone too deep and ended up in the wrong place. Aikatsu has always and continues to be pro adult, in that even after growing up you can still Aikatsu in whatever your profession is, even if you were never an idol. Remember that the original Best Friends, Miya and Hime of Masquerade, were able to come back after over a decade to still blow everyone away. How the former S4 members Anna and Momoko continued to pass down their respective techniques, how Chiharu and Noa revert back to acting like kids when they’re with each other. The moment you think you can’t do what you used to be able to when younger is the moment you truly lose your Aikatsu (but it can be regained, of course).

          This message isn’t exclusive to Aikatsu either. Why, just this week in PriChan we saw it, just like in the first season of PriPara with Gloria, and also just like in lots of Precure too.

          • Yeah, I didn’t really mean that in an anti-adult way, although I guess my vision is a bit more melancholic than usual.

            Idols are at the age where they can experience all sorts of things and make all sorts of memories. They don’t even have to be idols, they are simply young. As they become adults, they will fixate in a certain position. That doesn’t make it impossible for them to get out of it, but it requires more of an effort.

            That’s still pro-adult, because the willingness to struggle to recapture your youth is worth celebrating. And as long as you make the choice to struggle, your efforts won’t go to waste.

            (just to make it clear, my vision of the world has probably been influenced by Proust. I always remember the scene at the end of the Search, where the author, now a disillusioned middle-aged man, inadvertently does a specific action and suddenly all his memories flood to him again in the form of a feeling that he can’t quite pinpoint, but that nonetheless he keeps trying to recapture. Time steals from everyone, but it can never steal one’s memory)

  2. Alright, this is officially my favourite episode since 23, surpassing anything since (and we’ve had some decent ones) by a mile. This is the Aikatsu I know and love. Wonderful stuff…

    Bless Yoshimi Narita; her episode of Dakaretai Otoko this week was good, too.

  3. this is exactly the kind of episode I want more of–more love for the people behind the scenes who are just as integral to a show’s success. Aikatsu has always been good about it, but it hasn’t felt quite as prominent to me, possibly because of how different the design process was in Stars. Friends is doing a better job of highlighting how raw imagination can be refined with skill and experience.

  4. All of the Aine faces in this episode… Lovely. Also, I agree, best episode since 23 (although, as far as I’m concerned, 27 is up there as well).

  5. I think my comment got eaten and I don’t feel like typing out the whole response again, so I’ll just say that this is exactly the kind of episode I think the series deserves.

    • Yeah, this episode felt really like it was bridging the gap between the second and third acts, even if technically the third arc won’t begin until an episode or two after the Christmas episode.

  6. So glad to see the show’s writers giving the adult designers and staff some ample screentime and development in Friends; we were sorely lacking of much of that in Stars.

    • It’s Myriad Pro Light. The font has an error in it where you’re required to set it to bold manually to get it to look right.

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