Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lovely Idol 1

Sometimes I just don't understand what people are thinking when they write or draw or animate something. I mean, someone has to sit down and think, "This is a great idea!" And then, someone has to draw it all, thinking, "This is fucking fantastic!" I'm sure there are plenty of other steps, too, like voice recording and stuff, but all along the way people are saying to themselves, "Wow!" and giving each other high-fives and pats on the back and the like.

Lovely Idol inspires that kind of confusion. What is this about? This is a story? It starts off with a bunch of girls singing, and then another bunch of girls singing and dancing and moving around the stage and making hearts with their fingers. I couldn't follow all of their names; I didn't even try. After about ten minutes of that, we finally introduce some plot, as a we look stage left and see a handsome guy standing in the wings. One of the girl singers takes the microphone and gushes about how great life is and how she hopes this isn't all a dream and that she has a big announcement.

The guy gets his cue and rushes backstage to a dressing room, where we find four more girls. He names them, or possibly mutters, and tells them that it's almost time. I'm starting to think that this is some kind of Morning Musume thing. Morning Musume, in case you aren't as conversant in Japanese pop culture as I am, is a group of female singers that keeps introducing different "generations" of singers, so that as some get older younger members replace them. It's like a neverending pop band.

Anyway, they're all leaving for the stage, for their dramatic debut, when the girl on the stage (who they can see on a TV monitor) suddenly says that the introduction of the new members is being delayed! What?! The new girls are naturally flummoxed. The guy promises to get to the bottom of this.

He runs off to a garage to confront the President, a Cruella type about to get in a huge car. She says that the new members aren't ready yet. The guy, Tomohiro is his name, asks why. The President looks at him like he's a moron and states that the new girls won't have their debut until he "gets it." Nice one, President. Now he's the reason for their failure. He'll wallow in guilt and work his ass off, because he feels like a loser. Not that he isn't a loser, mind you. She must have learned that technique in a book on management.

I still don't understand why I'm watching this, but before I can blink it's morning and Tomohiro is eating breakfast. His sister comes in and bothers him, also explaining that the problem with the new girls is simply that there aren't enough of them. See, the previous two "generations" had six girls each, but this one only has four. Who wants to see four girls? You'd have to be crazy to want that.

Tomohiro goes to the office where the new girls are standing in a line. They tell him that they're not going to give up. No way. You have to admire their spunk. Then they start practicing smiling, waving their arms, and breathing, and I can start to see what the President was talking about.

That night, Tomohiro is walking around the city. He's going through a tunnel (which is a sexual metaphor if I've ever seen one, and I've seen plenty) just as a purple-haired girl is going the opposite direction. They pass, and he can hear her singing. Lured by her siren call, he has to follow, and watches her sit on a street corner to croon for pedestrians. She doesn't move her mouth while this is happening, which I'm thinking is either artistic license or she's just really damn good.

After she packs up and heads for home, Tomohiro follows her. It's obvious that he wants to recruit her, but he's feeling a little bit guilty, because doing so would pretty much admit that the four new girls by themselves just aren't good enough. The President's evil plan is working. He does finally talk to the purple-haired girl and says that she should come in for her debut, but she turns her back to him. Why would anyone do that? "But you must sing!" Tomohiro shouts. "I hate to sing," the girl replies, which staggers Tomohiro, much as a World War II era cruiser would stagger under the weight of an enemy bomb. She sings, she hisses, for revenge.

Not a bad way to end a terrible show. Who thought this was a good idea?

No comments: