Friday, April 27, 2007

Lovely Idol 2

Like all good pop music, this is one little nugget that gets stuck in your head. You doubt this? The last episode ended with the purple-haired girl singing some song, and that song made its way into my mental playlist. Yes, mixed with the Beethoven and Britney Spears, suddenly appeared some little ditty composed by a faraway anime recording artist. No one is more shocked than me. I may just have to kill myself now.

The episode opens with our humble manager, Tomohiro, sitting with his sister, Ruri. They're looking at a laptop computer and flipping through internet pictures of the purple-haired girl. Her name: Mizuki. Her misson: To sing terribly sad songs on the street. Tomohiro is obsessed with her, staring at her pictures, daydreaming about her, following her after every performance, only to be rebuffed again and again. Mizuki sees right through him. All he wants is to use her to make money. At least he's not trying to assault her. She has high expectations of her men.

Meanwhile, the four girls who didn't get their debut in the previous episode continue to practice, dancing and singing. Eventually, they start to notice that Tomohiro, their manager, is spacing out a lot more than usual, and they follow him. They see him listening to Mizuki, being quite rudely turned back, and the girls retreat to the safey of a shower. Unfortunately, it's not a big group shower. They're each in their little stalls, but this doesn't impede their conversations. They decide to try to recruit Mizuki themselves! With gusto like this, I don't see how this batch won't make it to the big stage. Do you think this will happen in episode four or five?

The next evening Tomohiro is shocked to find that his girls aren't in the studio practicing. So what does he do? He goes on a date, with one of the group's older members, Toko. We learn that she and Tomohiro dated for a while previously, and we're kind of jealous, as she looks pretty fetching in her sunglasses and white cap (her incognito outfit). They stroll into the crowd, she notes how they almost look like a couple, and I mutter something about how this almost feels like a plot.

The younger girls are naturally harassing Mizuki, to try to convince her to join them. They attempt various hare-brained schemes, all of which involve talking to her, but Mizuki is less responsive than a brick wall. Now, I've had some dates go pretty badly, but at least each time the girl would sort of talk to me (or stab me with a broken drinking glass), but this Mizuki seems to be pathologically silent. Must have something to do with how much she hates to sing.

The last of the four girls is about to try talking to Mizuki when Tomohiro finds them. He shames the girls a bit and they say that they're just trying to help, but they ask (and quite reasonably I think) why he wants the add Mizuki. What does it say about them as they are? Tomohiro simply says that someday they'll understand, and I hope that day comes soon because I'm with the girls here. And I also hate when people say "someday you'll understand," because it just as likely means that they don't have an answer themselves yet. They're just trying to sound smart.

The girls notice Toko. She tells them not to give up hope, and then they sit down to listen to Mizuki sing. In the background, Tomohiro asks Toko what she thinks of Mizuki. Toko gets upset and asks Tomohiro if this is the only reason he asked her out. He says of course, which means that he's a tremendous fool, because every guy knows that the right answer is, "No, this is entirely a coincidence. I wanted to be with you."

Toko eventually says that, yes, Mizuki is filled with pain, and she may hate singing, but she's nonetheless singing. She has a purpose of some sort in perpetuating her agony. "But what about ours?" I'm asking myself, but right then Toko's present manager shows up, and she kicks Tomohiro's ass. Toko seems to be strictly off-limits to him.

Everyone leaves and Tomohiro goes to talk to Mizuki one more time. He sneaks up behind her and basically tells her what Toko told him. He doesn't care why she's singing, or on whom she wants revenge, but he'll help her achieve whatever goal she wants. This finally prompts a reaction from the brick wall that is Mizuki. She calls Tomohiro "interesting," which in Japan is a great honor, I think. He leaves her alone then, but not after giving her a bag of food. So I guess she's poor or homeless.

The show's still not over, unfortunately. Tomohiro and the girls are back at the studio when he suddenly gets a call. There's a new member coming. Who could it be? The door opens. We see Ruri, his sister! Maybe she'll bring some life to this show, and maybe I won't hum the theme song as I walk to work.

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