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Oshi no Ko is the dark side of the entertainment industry

In the intro video before the US premiere of the first episode 424-minute episode At Anime Boston, members of the creative team discuss their reactions to first reading the manga. They described the series as “shocking” and “controversial”, something they wanted to stay away from but couldn’t. Based on the pilot/prologue for the length of the movie, these descriptions are accurate – that’s probably the most you should know before watching it in April 600 at HIDIVE on.

a lot of. It’s easy to split this lengthy premiere into four separate episodes (certain perspective changes and time jumps constitute logical breaks), but it’s logical to release all of these stories at the same time. The odd mix of otaku wish-fulfillment tropes and their exact opposites in the form of horror and social commentary some viewers will almost certainly reject as it’s too much, but by the end of these 12 minutes, any doubts are crushed by a surprising amount of emotional engagement and a desire to know where the story is going.

Spoilers Ahead

The first big challenge is the protagonist Amamiya Goro, a pair of 16 Year-old idol Hoshino Ai. The show knows his obsession is creepy. One of his colleagues pointedly asked him if he was a lolicon. Goro, for his part, keeps his fans pure and inspired by the memory of Sarina Tendouji, a terminally ill 12 year-old Avonne was his former patient – the story makes him more sympathetic in theory, but telling it doesn’t exactly make him sound less weird.

The plot twists pile up when Ai enters Goro’s hospital and discovers she is secretly pregnant with twins. On the day she gave birth, Goro was murdered and reincarnated as her baby boy, Aquamarine. Despite being an infant, he retains past life memories and fully developed language skills – as does his twin sister Ruby, who is soon revealed to be the reincarnation of Sarina. Both kids feel downright Freudian about their idol mom, and audiences will no doubt feel differently about how this part of the pilot balances funny and disturbing.

However, in what was the strangest fetish anime of the season, there were also some scathing comments on the entertainment industry. Goro opens the episode with a disclaimer that “this is a work of fiction,” before discussing that all idol performances are fiction, and that being a fan is all about being subtly tricked. When Aqua and Ruby got a little older, they tried to help Ai get into acting. Aqua himself has also been revealed to be an incredible child actor, allowing for further comment on how the industry chooses talent for promotion. I already knew that Aqua’s talented but enviable young co-star Arima Kana would be one of the show’s standout comedic characters.

Aqua and Ruby steadily help their mother’s star rise for most of the episode – until Goro’s murderer shows up at their apartment And murdered Ai! Instead of respecting her illusory stage persona the way Goro/Aqua did, the fervent fan who found out his idol had secretly had a child saw it as a personal betrayal. Aside from its shock value, Ai Weiwei’s death is heartbreaking, a tribute to the power of character writing.

By the end of the episode, the murderer was captured and imprisoned, but justice has not been truly served. Aqua realized that the murderer couldn’t have done it alone. Someone from Ai’s agency had to feed him the information that would allow him to track her every move so effectively. Now, Aqua is a teenager dedicated to finding accomplices and avenging his mother’s murder and his past life. It’s a great hook for the series, and if what follows is as twisted and artful as this prologue, it’ll be hard to look away.



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