Naru Ayase is an 8th grader who can see the colors of music when she listens to it. For Naru, who is extremely good at decorating, becoming the owner of a shop like Dear Crown was her dream. One day, she finds out that the manager of a newly-opened shop is recruiting middle school girls who can do Prism Dance, and immediately applies. Naru begins to Prism Dance at the audition, and an aura she's never experienced spreads out in front of her. At that moment, a mysterious girl named Rinne asks her if she can see "rainbow music."
Wow, high ratings here! I'd like to pretend that I'm able to be objective, but I wouldn't be making this my first review if I didn't think that Rainbow Live was pretty damn amazing. As someone who's been following it from the day it aired, and didn't expect a lot out of it back then, it ended up performing above and beyond my expectations. It saddens me that lot of people will miss out on this gem, because it deserves better!
Underneath the cover of sparkles and cute mascots and eye-catching CG is a deeper story, in which every character is more complicated than you initially
expect. Without giving away too much, the plot covers some difficult and painful topics at times, not just in relation to friends and boys, but also parents, who play a pretty big role – and considering the original target audience of this series, this can be a pretty heavy subject.
You will find yourself caring for every character, even those that you hated at first, or those that you thought were nothing but side-characters there to fill a generic role. I don't think I can go into much more detail without spoiling too much, but I can safely say that I was extremely impressed with the writing, which not only did a great job of giving each character a relatively even amount of spotlight (without the main character hogging all the attention!) while also managing to actually tie up pretty much every plot point at the end in a satisfying way. If you've watched a lot of kids' anime, you ought to know how impressive that is. (If not, I guess you've been watching more well-written series than I have...)
On a side note, I was pleased that, for it's genre, the romance sub-plots weren't overbearing. They're there (and I enjoyed them!), but the male characters were important for their own reasons, not simply because they were love interests.
As for the art/animation style, it's generally as good as you'd expect for a kids' show on a budget. I rarely noticed the characters looking off-model, and the style is unique enough that it doesn't look exactly like every other shoujo anime that ever existed. The CG is also nicely done, the choreographed dances look great and it's all generally very pretty and cute. If you've never watched a show of this kind that makes use of CG for the dance segments, you might find it jarring at first, but the smoothness of the CG far outstrips whatever the animators would be able to do without it.
In terms of insert songs, if you like cutesy Jpop, you will like it. If you're the kind of person who watches these kinds of shows, you won't find anything out of the ordinary here. That's not to say it's mediocre – in fact, it's all very well-produced, catchy, and suitably varied for each character - you won't find any two songs sounding the same. The backing soundtrack also does a great job of emphasising the emotive points of each episode, as you would probably hope!
Overall, Rainbow Live was a sincerely enjoyable show to watch and I will sorely miss it now that its run is over. Even if you've never watched a single episode of the previous two seasons of Pretty Rhythm, you shouldn't have any problem picking this up, as it isn't a direct sequel (though obviously builds on the same base). Having not watched the previous seasons myself, I can't make any comparisons, but I'm definitely interested in watching them now.
If you don't generally watch this genre, I'd still recommend that you give Rainbow Live a try! If you DO like this genre, why haven't you been watching it already?! You will love it!
I can only hope that my vague review might nudge a few people to watch it who would otherwise pass over it as 'just another lame anime for little girls'. I guarantee that you will get plenty out of watching it - tears and laughter, lovely CG, and great music.
(And hey, little girls deserve well-made shows like this, too!)
If you like the pretty dresses, cute pets, magical dances, etc. in Aikatsu!, the first two seasons of Pretty Rhythm, and e.g. Precure, yet find the plots of those animes somewhat too childish, then Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live may be exactly the anime for you. All the aforementioned elements are present, but there are also plenty of heartwarming (sometimes tear-jerking, yet never hopelessly depressing) drama involving friends and family, told with more depth than child shows but never mind-boggling. And yes, there is a healthy dose of romance as well, not so much as to overshadow the other aspects of the show, but
still extremely satisfying.
To me, one of the wonderful aspects of this season is its seven main girl characters. While I would normally be satisfied with finding just one main character that I can identify with, in PRRL it turns out, almost magically, that all 7 girls have something in common with myself: one is the timid side of me, one is the childish side, one is the proud (and often stubborn) side of me in things I'm good at, etc. It is almost as if the different sides of me got decomposed, rainbow-like, into those 7 girls. No, not exactly. While each girl has her distinct personality, there are just enough little surprises (think the number of teddy bears owned by a certain girl) and subtle changes to make them believable persons rather than one-dimensional stereotypes. The show encourages the girls to display their true selves, which can be far more variable than first impressions of their personalities.
This season places heavy emphasis on the girls' (and some of the boys') families, even more than the first season, and the result is, in my opinion, extremely successful. Unlike e.g. Clannad, here almost all the girls are only children, so all the attention is placed on parent-child relationships, which are in turn heavily influenced by the relationships between the parents. Many different kinds of families are described, some happy, some sad, some stressful, and some utterly dysfunctional, and it is vividly clear how the girls' personalities have been shaped by them. Yet love does exist, however distorted, in every family, and it is hard not to be moved to tears when a family finally finds its proper path to happiness.
Friendship among the girls has always been important in such animes, and PRRL is no exception. There is the light-hearted kind among Happy Rain, the much heavier (but also closer) bond among Belle Rose, the sweet kind (yet with a little sadness in the background) between Naru and Rinne, but I think the most impressive kind is the friendship formed in the three duo teams, where the large contrast in personality and family leads to new bonds that is almost redefining the word "friendship". Needless to say, episodes 36-38 focusing on these duo teams are also close to my favorite episodes.
Like previous seasons, the boys play a small but significant role in this season. As love interests and fanservice (I mean you, Hiro-sama!), they are pretty good, with gorgeous looks (unlike the somewhat awkward ones in the second season) and likeable personalities, and the girls' friendship and love stories with them can be heartwarming, sad, sweet and fun at different times. I feel more ambivalent about the interactions among the boys, which seem to be somewhat more frequent than in previous seasons; with the limited screentime they have, I sometimes feel that the boys talk too much without clarifying their intentions with enough real action (although there is a pleasant surprise near the end), making their words rather puzzling at times.
As the title suggests, this season is about music, and both the BGMs and the numerous songs are simply gorgeous, far surpassing the (by no means low) level of the first two seasons. Among the BGMs, my favorite is the one used in the middle of Episode 26 and reused in Episode 34, in two of the most memorable scenes in the anime. Among the songs, perhaps the only ones I don't like that much are some of the OPs and EDs; it is almost impossible for me to find a favorite one because they are all so good in many different ways, but at this moment I think I like the song in Episode 37 best. It is important to understand the lyrics of the songs, as they are closely related to the story, and in some cases rather well synchronized with the performances.
Finally, the Prism shows themselves. While the CG is basically at state-of-the-art level, similar to Pretty Rhythm's second season (and IMHO better than the first) as well as Aikatsu!'s second season, there do exist some absolutely gorgeous shows and some slightly disappointing ones. Speaking of the dance part, the two shows involving June are just perfect, better than anything I have previously seen: beautiful steps, shiny background, impactful camerawork, accompanied by two songs that are simply grand. On the other hand, I find the solo dances of the Happy Rain girls a little too simple (perhaps because they are not as good at skating after all); the Belle Rose girls also have great dances, but I think Bell and Wakana's animations can be cleaned up a bit as it feels slightly unnatural at times. The boys also have pretty costumes and good dances, but the animations could have shown a bit more strength. As for the chained jumps, IMHO they may seem a bit bland (even with the Prism Lives) and repetitive (although the show does a good job avoiding most of that through the insertion of other scenes) compared to the great Prism Acts in the second season. However, some of the new jumps are still very beautifully made, and while many of the jumps reuse those from the previous seasons, they do look quite a bit better after remake. And the chained jumps in Episodes 43 and 48 are as impressive as the best Prism Acts from the second season.
I hope you would go watch this show after reading my review. Pretty Rhythm is notorious for starting slow but picking up speed in the second half and particularly near the end; PRRL is no exception, albeit to a lesser extent. The first ten episodes might be a little childish sometimes, and somewhat depressing at other times (because many of the main characters are unfriendly at the beginning), but if you can get to like the story and the characters just a little bit in these episodes, the subsequent episodes (where everyone changes for the better) will likely make you fall in love with this season, and rewatch it again and again.
Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live is one of my favorite anime. If you have seen Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, or Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future, and you loved it, I definitely recommend this season! I don't mean to criticize, but I think their performances out-shined those in the first two Pretty Rhythm seasons.
The stories of Pretty Rhythm never fail to impress me. Often they start off light to allow viewers to explore the characters of the story, dropping hints of crucial incidents about to come and then delve into a formidable trial in the second half which portrays both physical and emotional challenges beautifully.
As an anime intended to be enjoyed for all ages, the creators include friendship, familial relationships and romance that define the struggles for both middle school students to adults.
If you have never seen Pretty Rhythm and find Prism Shows- a new type of entertainment that combines singing, dancing, fashion and ice-skating, completely ridiculous, it's normal. It's one of the plot devices that can easily be overlooked.
The art style is colorful and not boring at all. They have pretty neat graphics and the shock faces are the best. The character designs allow us to easily remember them too. June's hair is already enough proof that they weren't lazy with the art.
Also hands down one of the best CG performances that I have and may will ever witness.
Perfect score. Even as an idol anime, there are in fact a variety of different genres that portray the image of each character effectively. Also, when multiple characters come together to create a new show, it's interesting to see the representation of their combined image through their music. With a variety of different styles, it's likely that you would take an interest in at least one song; however I actually loved them all.
The main character, Naru Ayase, is a ditz and the most asked question is whether she is portrayed as a typical shoujo main character. Not going to lie, yes she is, but there are still a few perks about her that is unique. Also, the other seven characters also end up getting a fair amount of screen time dedicated to their story, they are as much of a main character as Naru and there is something to gain from their point of view. All have flaws, but the point is that all the characters grow and soon learn to become better versions of themselves.
The only problem is that the role distribution is a little strange and makes one question whether the main trio are actually the main characters. Although Naru, Ito and Ann have a lot of focus in the beginning, more supporting roles end up being crucial to the story; as such it's not quite a character-driven anime as it is story-driven.
Ever since I finished Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live, I never got over it for years. I may have now but sometimes I go back to it and remember how good the story and performances were.
Before I finished the anime, I actually gave this season a perfect score because you can sense the heavy workload the creators must have incorporated into this series and up until the final few episodes and there was a huge suspense building into the actual climax as more and more CG performances were incorporated into the anime.
However, upon actually reaching the last episode I ended up with mixed feelings. Many were unhappy with the outcome, while others thought it was more realistic and made sense. They didn't really follow the traditional conventions of a competition anime where the main character continually strives to be the best which wasn't desirable for most fans. Instead, they chose a more realistic outcome that focuses on each individual's priorities and intentions, and one that is free of plot armor which I believe will most likely trigger disappointment. There was nothing in particular that made the story worse, it was simply less enjoyable upon reaching the last couple of episodes.
This anime doesn't follow the first two series which is good because I had troubles with the sequel of the first anime Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream. I couldn't really write something about the story without spoiling anything so I would go further for the characters.
Each characters are unique and it matches their type of music, what also makes this anime different from the other series, it is because the way they do their jumps. The jumps are set everytime so it doesn't really surprises us anymore.
You cannot really hate the characters here because they later turn out to be
different or the backstory of that specific character will touch us. I really enjoy this anime, I really do, but there are some episodes where you will be really disappointed by how the story went and such. But I guess the anime creators really like to toy with us.
As for the music, it doesn't have that much of a variety because each character have their own idol song, or whenever they are in groups that they will always sing the same song over and over. But believe once you heard their songs, it will be a while before it will go away from your mind.