Increasing income divide, creeping environmental pollution, unsolvable waste issues, childcare waiting lists being discussed without those concerned, repeated corruption… The government, smeared by vested interests, can't do a thing against the many problems and sources of discontent. It's in this situation, with Japan cornered with no way out, that idols rise up to save the day!
The Heroine Party, Sunlight Party, Starlight Party, Bishoujo Party, Wakaba Party, Subculture New Party, and SOS Party. From these seven idol political parties, the idols who have become National Diet members and representatives for each prefecture will smash through the sense of stagnation covering Japan using the power of song and dance! They'll bring back the smiling faces of the people, and wrap Japan in a glittering aura!!
Have you ever wanted to see a political anime, blatantly and badly disguised as an anime well now is your chance! Idol Jihen I am pretty sure is basically a method of trying to get kids into Japanese politics by funding an anime and disguising it as something interesting to get them to become enthralled. Only issue with this is you probably want the show to be interesting and not incredibly dull if you actually wanted to get kids into politics.
Unsurprisingly, as it does surround politics; it feels like one of the most drawn out forced series. Very little occurs every episode and the nature
of politics is thrown about all over the place even though this anime could literally have nothing to do with politics and likely be the same show. The whole Idol aspect is completely baffling as well and much like the politics has no real place within the anime other than to get idol fans somewhat interested. The only real reason it shows up is so they can have a sing-song at the end of every other episode that then contributes very little to story, not that there really is a story.
Characters are all genuinely stupid with it being quite worrying when you realise these people are in charge of the country. Every evil guy is some creepy looking old man and therefore delves back into the point of this being a badly disguised attempt as getting kids and most likely girls into politics from a young age.
Art is actually not that bad, has a specific style but only industry standard whilst the music is also pretty decent too. The idol sections are actually great, the songs are always upbeat and specifically catchy wrapping up the ending pretty nicely. Shame the previous 19 minutes of every episode is completely sparse of interesting content.
I was so disappointed with this anime that I decided to write my first review on it to express my dislike.
But I'll get right to it, as of today [31st March 2017] Idol Jihen has a dismal mean score of 5.79. This average consisting of 1427 people giving it a rating of 6 or below out of 2018 people total, meaning around 70% of people who watched this anime agrees it definitely isn't outstanding among others from this season.
Starting with story, the concept of idol politicians is an idea nobody has used before and for good reason, it doesn't work nor make sense. The
storyline is typical and half-assed with the recurring theme of "Don't give up!" and "Friendship can solve all the world's issues!". It also reuses the same major morals of taking care of the environment and the people which is fine but predictable. The politics within the story were executed poorly, nothing was particularly realistic or good for that matter. The episodes dragged on, it was difficult to pull through them as most of the story looked forced. The ending was forseeable but at that point the plot was getting tiresome. Overall the story didn't have much substance.
There were much too many characters for twelve episodes and little to no character development for any of them. You aren't likely to get attached to anyone or even remember them. The antagonist was completely and utterly boring, along with the smaller "villains" within the show. They're all portrayed as having a strong dislike towards the idols but one song sways them? Cheap attempt at villains, even the main antagonist goes down without much of a fight. Disappointing to say the least.
The art was fine, nothing outstanding. Bright colours and flashy animation to hide the lack of everything else most likely.
Onto the main attraction for idol anime, the music. OST was unmemorable which is fine since the focus is the actual songs in each episode. Starting with the opening, it was light hearted and catchy. Probably used three times each episode coming near episode 9 onward and at that point it started to get less catchy and more uninteresting. The ending was nice enough and the other songs within the anime were your typical idol kind of songs, upbeat and bouncy. Honey Moon Cafe from episode 4 was my favourite, apart from that the rest were fine. It gave the anime as a whole a pleasant type of atmosphere.
If I were to describe Idol Jihen, it would be like an underbaked cake with too much icing. The plot and characters were lacking but the art was nice to look at. The political aspect was executed badly and the story was predictable. The songs were nice but not nice enough to redeem the show itself. And that's about it, good luck if you decide to watch this!
No show this season screamed "Wasted Potential" more than Idol Jihen. Wait!.. A show about idol politicians has wasted potential? Believe it or not yes it does. In fact, I'd say Idol Jihen had all of the ingredients to make it great. However, it had neither the talent nor the drive to actually get there.
Like most people when I read the premise of the show I wasn't hopeful. It seemed like a shallow idea made purely to make a "unique" idols show when really it was just going to be another idol show. Why would idols become politicians? What sense did that make? And episode
1 did nothing to change my opinion. There was way too much telling instead of showing, and the characters and its setup just didn't seem that interesting.
As it was it was nothing special. But then Episode 2 happened and I saw hope. In that episode Natsuki sees the trash during her skydive, which was admittedly sorta pointless and silly, and has a vision of it being art. And so the unwanted and unasked for trash site was now turned into a place for the villagers and whomever to decorate and turn into art. And I was actually amazed. Here they provided a solution that improved everyone's quality of life while also keeping in line with the inspirations and characterization of Natsuki. I would find it hard to believe a politician would see the beauty in a dump site. However, a young idealistic idol could see that same trash and see something greater from it. See the potential of entertainment and joy that could be gathered even from something unlikely like that. I then could see the good that Idol Jihens could do. They were entertainers, moulded with a different mindset. They were out to listen to the cries of the people and give them joy and happiness. They might not have been the most political savvy, but they had the heart and a unique perspective, one that could make great things happen. They could bring a populist message to a diet that clearly needed one.
However, there were some flaws in this. Politics is a nuanced field. As much as we'd all like to say that we have the answers there are pros and cons to every solution. There are few things which are slam dunks. While I am fine with the treatment of the Ryogai Party as corrupt I feel they are often too corrupt and not believable enough. Some of the plots are assinine what they try to do. Sometimes it's not even for profit but because of they got slighted. It makes it very hard to see the Idols as anything but 100% correct, which is detrimental to the story.
Still as a feelgood story where we see the Idol's win and create positive change it worked. It wasn't well written but it was pleasant. At least was.
Then they introduced the climatic plot. And here is where the show really fell apart. The problem was all of the nice changes and progress that the Idols made in the earlier episodes were nonexistent in the later episodes. Rather they were focused on strife. Now while strife is important in a character arc, the problem was the characters were never the strong point of Idol Jihen. They were passable when being used to make a point, but failed when being stood up on their own. They certainly weren't worth five episodes worth of heavy plot. To make it worse the plot was terribly constructed. It feels like someone looked up how a traditional narrative should work and forced Idol Jihen to fit into that structure without checking to see if it worked or not. Some of the plot points that come up in that section are ridiculous and unbelievable. They technically work under normal narrative rules but just don't fit in with the show and its structure what so ever. Not to mention the plot arc goes on for way too long, especially for something they're not particularly good at writing.
The other big issue I find is this plot feels like a stark difference from the beginning. Before they seemed untouchable while in this later plot they're always on the defensive, and are more in a position of peril. To me, these two moods don't go together well. If this show was supposed to be more balanced and more of a struggle that struggle should have appeared earlier on with more nuance. If it's supposed to be a happy show, then that should have held through for longer, and had the climactic plot shortened with less hinting or chances towards strife. I feel like either of these decisions would have helped the show, but rather since they went halfway it feels like it has less of a place, and fits too close to a boring cliche narrative when it could have been so much more.
The art style of the show is pretty nice but the CGI in it is pretty bad. Being an idol show the music is pretty good. That said neither are strong enough to carry the show, but they do both help add to the mood.
Idol Jihen's lack of nuance and unsupported faith in conventional narrative structure helped turn what could have been a great show into a bad one. They gambled away their unique traits for their characters and story, but neither of which were worth helping. Had they done it the other way around, I think this would have been so much better. This show never had the best characters but it didn't need to have them. Natsuki was a perfectly fine tool to promote populist change and invoke interesting methods of getting that change. However, as a vocal point she fails. The show had some unique charm that could have sold it, but instead it sold those charms to make a crappy narrative.
I saw there were some bad reviews for this, but I really enjoyed it.
I found this is show entertaining and sweet. The plot was a little slow at times but a show like this doesn't need to be super fast paced or have a bunch of twists and turns. It is cute and made me feel happy and smile. I love Natuski and Shizuka's relationship. They are really heartwarming partners.
I am interested in politics and I like pop/idol music and girls so these were all up my alley. I like how feminist this show is. It made me feel happy and optimistic. I don't
think there is anything wrong with having a show like this, especially in these trying times. It doesn't have the tone of some weird political propaganda. I support these strong, loving, cute politicians!