Persona 4 18 / Konna no Idol Janain?! 06: Drama and Moe

Persona 4

I really don’t like this kind of melodramatic episode, the kind that screams out at you: “Hey, I’m here to enhance your viewing experience by helping cover all the bases.  Here, twenty-four minutes of melodrama~”.

It’s not that it was badly done, it’s just that it’s not my thing.  And when the crappy song kicked in toward the end I was already at the end of my wits’.  Oh well, I won’t go on.  It was always clear that we we were going to have a Nanako’s Mom backstory at some point, and I’m glad it’s out of the way [true, there might be a follow-up, but if there is it’ll likely link to the mystery at large and be less sappy and more exciting].  Anyway, next episode looks like it’ll be great fun 🙂

Konna no Idol Janain?!

Everyone is suffering from May Sickness [is this show in May already??  Wow!].  May Sickness is a real disease in Japan, where everyone feels like life isn’t worth living anymore, after the great Golden Week holidays (end of April – beginning of May) have ended and the school year/work year, which begins in April, has started to wear everyone down.  Even Sensei is depressed and lethargic.

The girls are pessimistic about being able to become idols.  Hiroro says her plan B has always been to become a school teacher.  The other girls try to cheer her up by telling her not to give up on being an idol.  To settle for being a teacher would be the worst thing possible, it would make her a big loser.  Of course, they say this in front of Sensei so the latter is devastated.

One of the themes of this show is a devastating critique of Japanese society, and it continues here when Sensei teaches the club that Japanese people are proud of sleeping little and being sick, and that successful idols must sleep only three hours a day.  Sensei sums this us with the phrase: “Perverse Unhappiness Pride”, which means that the girls should flaunt their unhappiness even though doing so is unarguably perverse.

As part of the training, Umika and Sensei role play suffering idols trading more and more outrageous statements.  Sensei says she’s always doing “countdown shows” on New Year’s Eve so she’s never been able to get sleep on those days.  Umika says her hands hurt from writing to many letters to fans.  Sensei says she’s busted her wrist from shaking too many hands at an event.  And so on and so on.  Eventually friction develops between the two.  Hopefully this Umika-Sensei rivalry will develop more and more in coming episodes.

When exercising, it’s important to have sleeves that cover everything but the fingers.  Sensei calls them “moe sleeves”.  Umika proceeds to take it to the next level:

As silly as this might appear, Sensei approves.  There are two factors: oversized jersey sweaters make girls look more kyasha and they make men want to protect them (=moe).  Sensei then has Umika pull her sweater over her knees to increase the moe, and then Hiroro maximizes the adorable quotient by tipping Umika over the side and watching her roll like a ball.

~ by Haloed Bane on February 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Persona 4 18 / Konna no Idol Janain?! 06: Drama and Moe”

  1. Persona 18 was perhaps a bit too heavy handed, but they needed to do something for Nanako after all the hints they’d dropped that it wasn’t all’s well with her. I was actually wondering if she was going to end up being thrown in the TV at some point soon, but I guess the writers weren’t nasty enough to do that to a little kid. Would have been interesting to see how they would have handled it if they did since she’s so much younger than the rest of the cast.

    As for the Idol show, how much of it do you think is deliberate satire and how much is just the show indulging in things? My experience with anime is that it can be hard to tell whether a writer is playing around with something or simply indulging it!

    • Yeah, doing a Nanako story was unavoidable. Oh well…

      I imagine the prime motivation behind the writing of Konna no Idol Janain?! is simply catering to the audience, which is clearly men who tend to be awake in the wee hours of the morning. And the reason for that isn’t increasing ratings for the show so much as building the reputation of 9nine as an idol group.

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