Nov 24, 2018
IDOLiSH7: More than just some pretty faces

I'm going to start off by saying I am absolutely not this show's intended audience. Not only am I a guy, but I have never watched an idol anime. I do realize the good-looking anime boys are at least the initial draw for a lot of its fans, but I wanted to try to answer the question: is it worth watching even if you have no such interest in the show's eye candy? The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Well, I'll get to it.

Story: 8
The premise is relatively straight-forward. You have 7, for the most part, strangers thrown together to create the next big boy band, IDOLiSH7. If you think that sounds generic, you wouldn't be totally wrong, but the beauty is in the details. The band's attempt at glory is not a story of instant-success by any means. At one point they literally perform in front of a crowd of single digits. You can feel their struggle as they reach for their collective goal. And as they do start to gain some bit of traction, you can see their fanbase slowly growing and taking this ride with them. Throughout the show, a young fan is shown watching them on TV every chance she gets. She tries to explain the appeal to her family and is clearly emotionally invested in the success of the group. It's these little things that make the journey a little more special. It's not just about them, but their fans as well.

Art: 7
Now moving on to the art. It's a very colorful show, that for the most part I found aesthetically pleasing. And I'm not the person to ask, but I think female fans will be satisfied with guys in the show. Obviously being idols, they're all easy on the eyes. There is a fair amount of CGI scenes, which are rarely great, and while it wasn't bad by CGI-standards, the character movements never look as natural.

Sound: 10
The sound was really outstanding. The voice acting was quite good, both in the comedic and more serious scenes. And obviously, with it being an idol show, the music is very catchy and will probably get stuck in your head at some point.

Character: 8
Not only do all 7 have their own unique personalities, but each has their own specific reason for wanting to become an idol. For the most part, their reasons are fairly compelling, and certainly not as shallow as "I want money and fame". The show does a good job at setting the stakes for each individual, making it much easier to root for them.

It also helps they are a likable, and often colorful, bunch. Personally, my favorite was Nagi Rokuya. He was consistently entertaining. (Shocking, I like the giant anime nerd right?) The main female character, their manager Tsumugi Takanashi, I thought was a decent character, even if she rarely stole the scenes she appeared in. She's clearly a newbie that was still trying to prove herself, but she also provided a positive presence to the show and you really felt like she cared about the band members as people.

And of course along the way, you have the "rival" band. In this case it is Trigger, the trio that has already made it big so to speak. What strikes me is when they're first introduced, I was pretty sure I was supposed to dislike them, but as the show progressed, we got to see more of them and realized they weren't really the villains of the story. They were just human beings that happened to be where IDOLiSH7 wants to be someday. The head of their talent agency is another story. This show has a lot of likable characters, but he was not one of them. He plays a bigger role in the season's latter stages. I don't want to spoil anything, but he was a history with the head of IDOLiSH7's talent agency.

My only small complaint might be regarding the characters is there was a little too many for my taste. It's just a personal preference, really. I'd rather have a smaller cast that I get to know really well over the course of the show. And one minor observation regarding the cast; it was pretty obvious the male characters were made to appeal to female fans, but I don't think their characters were as one-dimensional as you see when it is reversed, like in a lot of these harem and/or "waifu-bait" shows directed at guys. The IDOLiSH7 boys were treated as actual human beings, not simply eye candy meant to sell merchandise.

Enjoyment: 8
I did enjoy the show. Maybe I didn't get emotionally attached to any one character, but it was a fun bunch. The music was good, and the story was simple but effective. I do think you'll probably enjoy it more if you're crushing on the male characters, but it's certainly a good enough show to enjoy if that's not the case.

Overall: 8
IDOLish7 was a pleasant surprise. I have very few bad things to say about it. Like I said, I know I'm not the target audience, but I wanted to provide another perspective and share my thoughts and feelings with you guys. Thanks for reading.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
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