Aikatsu Friends! – 042

Reach them

A miracle visited me in real life when I watched this episode for the first time.

Episode 042: Torrent | Magnet

P.S. Thanks for being so kind, everyone. I was able to watch this episode with the maximum amount of enjoyment. If you joined me in my patience, you’ll surely experience the same amount of life-affirming joy that I had.

19 thoughts on “Aikatsu Friends! – 042

  1. I believe just being on twitter meant I got various things spoiled, but I did my best and didn’t pass them on. I will be watching this episode when I wake up tomorrow as it’s past midnight now here in the UK, but I just wanted to say thank you as always.

  2. This reminded me of episode 19, but it worked much better this time.

    And they have enough episodes left to give a closure to all the important characters. What’s gonna happen to Reflect Moon next? Will Ema remain the only one to not realize her dream before graduation? (I sure hope not)

    Somehow I’m even more excited about the aftermath than the Diamond Cup itself.

    • I guess I was wrong a few weeks back in telling you there were two separate Cups. But I was right in saying that it was hard to keep track of them!

      It’s funny now looking back at my comment last week where I was saying this wouldn’t happen until episode 50. No idea what the next 8 episodes or so will be like, but it should allow for some nice creative freedom and maybe a smooth transition into the next season. Guessing is too much fun for me…

  3. I don’t know what to really say about this other then it was just way to early. I feel the people behind this did not expect another season and tried to tie it all up now that they have done this what ever comes next won’t even have a big enough impact to the show.

    I will say this episode did have a good last episode of the season feel if only it was the last episode.

    • If you ever find yourself thinking “They must’ve messed up, I know better than the creators,” then… you’re wrong. Nobody knows more than them. Especially since it’s clear they’re going for a different type of last arc[s] and what they wish to accomplish before the next season.

      • As far as the artists involved knowing what they’re doing goes, you’re right. Only the creators involved will know what they are trying to accomplish.

        I don’t think it is right to say that it means everything they do will be objectively good and free of criticism—that everyone should like and agree with the artist’s decisions—but I don’t think that’s actually what you were trying to say here.

        I agree with the original commenter here in that I somewhat disagree with the direction taken by this episode, but I don’t think the people involved didn’t know what they were doing. They just have a different vision for the show than I would subjectively find good or ideal. It comes down to a matter of opinion and how each person will individually view the piece.

    • I’m fine like this, myself. The cup episodes can be exciting, but they are ultimately predictable. The slice of life episodes are more fun – they explore the less visible sides of the main characters, and give us a chance to get to know some of the supporting characters too.

    • I felt the same way. This was a nicely executed episode, but it felt very anticlimactic to me; I would’ve preferred it was the penultimate episode with the last episode being a chance to wrap things up between everyone, as with Stars 100.

      It’s almost hard for me to believe Stars and Friends are outlined and overseen by the same person; Stars was by-the-book yet adventurous and managed to breathe new life into old concepts, whereas Friends is as straightforward and inoffensive as possible and could easily be a season of any other IP. That’s how I feel, at least.

      >I feel the people behind this did not expect another season and tried to tie it all up now that they have done this what ever comes next won’t even have a big enough impact to the show.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually the case. In terms of mainstream popularity, Aikatsu has performed poorly over the past year, with even the mobage being shut down halfway through the year and the Virtual Aituber Nana project seemingly dropped. It’s also been increasingly hard to find Aikatsu cabinets in the wild, in part thanks to Prichan cabinets being (smartly) made twice as wide so they can steal more floor space away from Aikatsu’s. Aside from some very hardcore fans of the franchise, people don’t engage with Aikatsu content unless it concerns Stars or the original series, with characters from the very first season or second season drawing the most attention.

      If I had to guess, the unforeseen popularity of their 5th Anniversary events and merchandise and Bandai’s new focus on Aikatsu Style has likely turned this around, giving Friends a chance at a second season. Focus on merch has ramped up a lot. The DCD may be performing a bit stronger. Yet I don’t think the anime has seen much of an increase in popularity. (Skip next paragraph if you don’t want Season 2 spoilers)

      With the introduction of new rivals, we’ll be seeing the same move made for the third time in a row, which will either give Friends a much-needed boost as with the original or further accelerate its downfall as with Stars. Aikatsu peaked in popularity around the start of Season 2 and has been on a steady decline ever since—people didn’t take well to the protagonist change to Akari (which is a shame since they’re my favourite seasons), and Stars didn’t change much. Friends was another attempt to restart by slightly modifying the DNA of the first season, but people didn’t really bite. Things are up in the air.

      We’ll have to see how the next year plays out. Bandai could always replace the franchise with another of the same basic concept to target the same audience, like Cocotama was to Tamagotchi. Some Western fans may naively tell you Aikatsu is like Precure with no end in sight, but in reality, the two currently aren’t comparable whatsoever. It’s more of a Macross.

  4. I feel this episode would have had more impact for those who hadn’t seen the announcement, but being on Twitter and following the official account made that hard to avoid…

    Honestly though, I feel that the cup needed more time to be built up to. It was a bit of jump going straight into it after New Year and I think a few episodes beforehand showing each group’s true potential to win would have increased the tension a bit.

    Still, I like what they tried to do, but at the end there was a lack of surprise.

  5. accidentally got spoiled scrolling twitter since they’re teasing next season already, whoops! anyway, I appreciate this episode and found it really touching. I’ve seen a lot of commentary that Mio and Aine will nowhere to go from here, but I disagree! They have a whole new world to navigate now and I’m looking forward to seeing where it will take them.

    • Being Diamond Friends was never an endpoint. It’s a path to walk, a title to bear and lead others with. If you learn nothing else from Aikatsu, at least learn that no matter how far up you climb, there will always be greater heights.

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