SHIT GETS REAL
HOLY CRAP THIS IDOL STUFF IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!
Shou, previously terrified of heights, has a crisis of confidence largely hinging upon his inability to leap across a large space while acting in a TV special of some sort. Oh, and also because when he fanboys over Hyuuga-sensei, Hyuuga-sensei is a complete jerk and tells him that he’s acting like an amateur. I’m tempted to cry foul on his characterization, but Hyuuga-sensei is shown so infrequently that I don’t think he could have consistent characterization. This is all the more reason for there to be an UtaPri OVA consisting of Ringo-sensei dragging Hyuuga-sensei out on a date. I would watch the hell out of that.
So, yeah, the bulk of the episode is Shou trying to long-distance jump. Fascinating! On some level it is funny simply because the show is positioning it as such a big deal, but it makes for rather dull viewing for the most part. Shining Saotome gets some ridiculous curtain and playing card action at the beginning of the episode, but that’s about it for outright laughs, unfortunately, and Ringo-sensei makes no appearance at all. Meanwhile, despite being our alleged lead, Haruka gets barely any screentime; she does get to klutz out in a manner that is rather astounding, but that’s really it for her.
The one serious scene that does work comes toward the end of the episode, when Shou admits to Haruka that he’s having issues because of Hyuuga-sensei being unkind to him. Haruka tells Shou that she doesn’t think that becoming a professional idol means that one can no longer be a fan of other idols anymore. Its a clearer, much more direct admission of what propels a lot of folks into the industry than I’ve seen in idol shows – yes, there are plenty of shows where we watch folks go ga-ga over other idols who then in turn are all, “Ugh, you are so totes unprofessional!!!”, but I can’t recall any where characters actually discuss it explicitly.
Oh, its also probably worth pointing out that, oh maaaan, bros! There’s this award called the UtaPri Award, and it basically will make your career if you win it! The boys are leery of being one-hit wonders after Shining Saotome warns them against it, so they decide they have to win the award… despite not seeming to know what it even is. Must be one hell of an award, eh?
Shou gets his single for the season here, and its pretty disappointing. I expect outrageously over-produced J-pop cheese, but the song was just bland. Too bad!