Every week I end up being a happy viewer. Is it only because my expectations for this show are so low that each episode can’t help but exceed them? It can’t be this anymore, not after seven episodes. What I love about the episode this week is the bridging between generations – rivalry, competition, succession, and graduation. There’s a bitterness to it, which I really appreciate.
It’s not just the lip-service kind of bitterness too, the way the episode is handled. It actually ends on a bitter note, which is good for such a saccharine show overall. Graduation was never really discussed, and it isn’t really discussed here, but there’s a context for it now and it isn’t necessarily a good thing.
I used to think (snarkily) that graduation meant that the idol/successor couldn’t hack it anymore. She had grown too old, too slow, too fat, too unremarkable, etc. In this episode the current Takamina is at the very height of her powers and yet can no longer truly claim being the successor to the original Takamina.
It’s because succession is measured by the closeness (similarity?) of the soul of the understudy to that of the original idol. At present, it’s Kanata who has her soul closest to that of the original Takamina. The current Takamina discovers this inadvertently, having entered a forbidden chamber of kirara.
The current Takamina is the captain of the successors, a strong leader and capable teacher. It’s her who acknowledged Kanata’s abilities first, having practiced with her and having trained Kanata herself. She took on the initiative to request her succession. She just didn’t count on Kanata being her replacement.
Now Tsubasa explains that Kanata cannot succeed Takamina, even if she has been the identified successor for some time now, while the current Takamina hasn’t graduated. This just totally blows for the current Takamina, her friends and co-successors, and most likely her fans. She’s got shit to think about, that one.
I’ve no doubt that there’ll be a tidy, sweet resolution to this. But I really do appreciate this level of drama and conflict. I’m really into this show now.
The bitchy rivalry between the 76th and 77th generation understudies is also very cool LOL. Also, I’ve been rewatching a fuckton of Gundam.