Idol Incidents – Mid Season Review
Original Air Dates: January 8th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: In a parallel world to our own, Japan’s government has become a joke, incapable of solving the abundant problems and discontent throughout the country. But now, at long last, Idols take the stand as rescuers for the nation with no other way out! The Heroine Party, the Sunlight Party, the Starlight Party and more enter the political field to become Diet members representing each prefecture of Japan. The country shall crash through the sense of stagnation that is holding all of Japan back!
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Despite giving us two leads, Natsuki and Shizuka, the show frequently adds new characters for each episode, introducing us to a plethora of additional idol characters, with our two lead girls featuring to varying degrees. This makes it difficult to latch onto any characters for the long term, as our leads aren’t always the main focus with the series often refocusing on a new group of girls who tend to be one offs.
Linny: The constant influx of new characters allows Idol Incidents to inject new life and dynamics into each episode but also means that you can’t pick any favourites from the guest idol groups, as they tend to be little more than one offs. They also all come off as one note characters rarely exceeding their one line personality quirk. The constantly changing side cast merely exist to provide whatever quirky persona the episode calls for and then is immediately forgotten. On a similar note, Shizuka’s inability/fear of forming and joining a new idol group was a big deal in episode one but has yet to receive any substantial development and despite having performed together, she continues to still insist that she and Natsuki are not a duo.
Tom: Natsuki and Shizuka both fail to grow. Shizuka is very much the ice princess we met in the first episode, having barely changed to any discernible degree. As Linny said she still insists that she cannot possibly work with others (despite doing so on at least two occasions). Natsuki is as country hick and vivacious as ever. Comparatively our villains are just as one note, cast in the darkest of shadows, always the ever corrupt politicians and easily thwarted with a song or dance.
Linny: While Idol Incidents’ bizarre premise made for some mirth and amusement early on, it’s quickly become stale and predictable. Every single episode follows such a basic and simple formula that you know the ending even before the episode begins. In fact, after a while, once you get to sit through some of the most stupid female characters you’ve ever seen, you might find yourself rooting for the evil politicians. Not only do some of these idols seem to suffer from a complete lack of common sense, but they also reveal they’re all underage, yet somehow are allowed to have their say in the government. So basically, this anime requires you to toss away every little inch of logic you have in your brain and be able to revel in the sheer stupidity of it all.
Tom: The show is, clearly, not meant to be taken all that seriously. Events play out with a whimsy that indicates the creators had their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks when they wrote this. Trouble is as Linny describes above: it always plays out exactly the same, as if each episode was written with a very specific formula in mind. Villains are soundly defeated in the easiest of ways or perhaps even turned into cheering ‘fan girls’ for the Idols themselves. It doesn’t help that for anyone paying attention to America’s current political climate, where a reality TV star has basically risen up through the idea that politicians are out and out corrupt, and only the most real and ‘likable’ of people can govern with any degree of ‘honesty,’ then it becomes a very troubling series to watch, reflecting a world view that is dangerously inaccurate.
Linny: This show could potentially be a great watch for someone who wants to turn off their brain at the end of a long and tiring day and just experience something dumb for the sheer fun of it. There’s no shame or wrong in that. However, I feel obligated to warn you that the show is so obviously divided into black and white, good and evil that it might end up wearing out its welcome sooner rather than later as eventually it feels like you’re watching the same episode again and again just based in a different setting.
Tom: Barring what I said above, Linny is right, the show is insanely black and white in its depiction of events and in conjunction with its tone, not meant to be read as any kind of significant political message. It’s just another anime injecting idols into whatever new job sphere it can, and politics just happens to be the latest victim. Also in the preview I noted poor use of CGI, which, surprisingly, seems to have been abandoned for the remaining episodes, with scant use for any of the dance numbers.
Linny: If you are someone who likes anime for its ability to explore and come up with some of the weirdest premises, Idol Incidents is worth a watch, if only for a handful of episodes. It’s definitely going to be hard to stick with this show unless you find yourself completely enamored and entertained by its repetitive formula. If you find yourself thinking this is dumb at any point during episode one, just call it a day because, trust me, you haven’t seen the worst of it.
Tom: Overall Idol Incidents has its moments. Sometimes its zany, tongue in cheek approach to idols in politics works, and provides a faint laugh or two. But it’s so married to its strict formula that you’ve really seen all the show has to offer after just a couple episodes. It’s a weak season, but unless your goal is to consume a hefty chunk of new anime every week, it might be best to dip into your backlog rather than stick with Idol Incidents.
Idol Incidents is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.