[TW: Gender Dysphoria, possibly. It's fairly minor.]
Considering this is one of my favorite animes, it made me really sad to see that it had no reviews! So without further ado, lets get started!
I'm not very familiar with idol animes to be quite frank. I have a decent grasp of knowledge and information about other series, but they are never really something that really captured me. That is, with the exclusion of Pripara.
Pripara reminds me quite a bit of a magical girl show. Main character has amazing power, must keep her identity secret from those in her daily life or face repercussions, cute overly frilly outfits in every episode, gratuitous transformation scenes. Also cute talking animals. In part I think the reason I like it so much is because it reads so much like a magical girl anime. From the premise to the execution of the series. There's also a strong theme of friendship throughout the series, which isn't exactly unique in idol animes, but the way Pripara uses friendship as a tool to "defeat" rivals is kinda unique in my opinion for the genre.
The reason I am rating it so low however is because of the repetitiveness of the plot. Main character uses the power of her singing voice to express her emotions. Befriends the "enemy." They compete together in some idol competition. Add another character, rinse and repeat. Mix together some filler or recap episodes and that is the basic progression of the series. This has already happened twice, and we're currently on the third iteration of this formula.
At the time of writing this review, there are roughly fifty six episodes that have aired, and while I am not totally exhausted by it at the moment, I am sure another fifty episodes down the line I will be exhausted. Unless they add in some new element that shakes things up, I doubt I will keep with this series for longer than around a hundred episodes.
My main beef with this anime is the animation. It's average. Pause the episode at any time and chances are the frame will be some haphazardly drawn mess. Each episode you see the same exact transformation sequence that takes around thirty seconds. All performances or dance sequences are not drawn in 2D, but rather animated through 3D models. The same dance sequences are shown, over and over again with the only change being the outfit the characters are wearing. I don't really have much to say that is good about the animation to be honest. It reads as lazy a majority of the time for me. Then again, this is a kids' anime that is being continuously produced so I can't harp about it too much I suppose.
Of the (somewhat few) idol animes I have seen, the music rarely if ever interested me much. To be honest I found most of the songs forgettable. But pripara actually has consistently good music. They're catchy songs, each idol group has a unique flavor to them that comes out in their songs. I often find myself with one stuck in my head, or wanting to listening to the soundtrack from this series. It's really well done.
I will complain that they use the same songs over and over and over again, which isn't really the worst grievance they could make. Though it does bother me when the opening song is the same exact song featured in the episode during their performance. At least make the opening different man.
This show is a real mix of typical anime archetypes [Lala] and unique characters that can stand by themselves. [Mirelle, Sophie] I will say there are a huge variety of personalities though, and you do get to see them interact with one another frequently. It makes me sad that the main character is the one that has the blandest personality when she is the one that is featured the most.
The only reason this isn't a 10/10 is because I hate recap episodes which this show has one or two of. Otherwise, I love it. I love the characters and how they interact with one another, I love the jokes that actually make you laugh, I love the songs that they sing. It is a really enjoyable series, very lighthearted and very enjoyable for when you need to take a break from the animes where you're scared everyone is going to die. There are no tears here, only happiness and cgi dance numbers.
It's not exactly remarkable nor is it very memorable outside of the songs. But it's a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to new episodes. Would recommend to anyone who likes idol animes, magical girl shows, and or wants a silly, happy anime to pass the time.