Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tsukipro The Animation (ProAni) Episode 8 :Parallel Lineage


Hello people of the interwebs and welcome to another weekly ramble of Tsukipro! This episode came out a little late as well... um...


This is the initial eff up confusing at its finest WRONG subtitle released lollll its actually freaking funny especially in the OP of the episode. 

Yah the sub at initlal release was for the WRONG ANIME! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜… and it it does not help that once again this is an episode that requires a little drama CD knowledge (which sadly this time I don't have) to understand WTH is going on in some scenes. BTW the subs are fix now on Crunchyroll!

As always there will will be spoilers as I'll be blabbing my fangirl heart and will make reference to both ProAni, TsukiAni and the other source materials in the series like SNS short stories on twitter (ALIVE) (SQ) (Tsukiuta Men Series) and Drama CDs.


Episode 8

Episode 8: Parallel Lineage focuses on Growth as they work together with their rival from their former agency ZIX.

Characters



Okay so we got a cameo of ZIX back in the last Growth centered episode 'One Day' (HERE) and am super surprised we got to see more of them and interacting with Growth in this episode. 


ZIX is a two man idol unit from Sun Production Entertainment (SunPro) that was chosen to debut over Kouki, Ken and Ryota. 



Makoto Sugai CV: Daiki Hamano The leader of ZIX

He's related to the President of SunPro. Even so he's a strong and talented musician with an enthusiastic fan base. He sees Kouki as his Rival yet he has mutual respect for him. (SOURCE)

Makoto is an interesting character to follow mostly cause of his Tsundere tendency. He wants ZIX to grow based on their talent and not cause of his connections at the same time he's in a way mad that Kouki choose to start over with Ken, Ryota and Mamoru at Tsukipro as he knows no matter where Kouki goes he'll succeed. 


Even so he still cares for Kouki having he noticed Kouki not feeling well and just as Kouki was about to collapse on stage he hold him and told him to push through till they can get backstage so that it won't cause a scene. Also, Makoto kinda reminds me of UtaPri Ranmaru when I was watching the episode. 


Mitsuru Hishida CV: Takumi Watanabe The other half of ZIX

ZIX version of Ryota (though I think Ryota is better looking ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜Š just saying). Because of how similar their personalities are they often clash.

He's also really good at interacting with the fans and is known to be very calculative and ambitious (SOURCE).

Wahhh this dude is such a two face yet IDK why I like him. Maybe its cause of his charms lollll. But I like how he's so similar to Ryota but also has that charismatic and good at interacting with the fans like Ken. 



As mentioned in the last Growth episode there is a drama cd that features ZIX called 'Kokoro no Puzzle' and you can find the translations HERE: Ryota Musing on Tumblr and if you can get the drama cd.

The last Growth episode focuses more on Mamoru. This episode we got to know more of the other members especially Kouki and Ryota.
 

The one character that had the most interesting character development in this episode is Ryota. While he tends to act out when with ZIX he soon realize his actions is not only affecting the groups but also in the process hurt Kouki. You see him reflecting on his behavior with Ken as he realize he went a little too far later in the episode and makes up for it. 


While his constant clash with Mitsuru was worrisome is also freaking hilarious how they animate the two boys mentally going head to head at each other like some weird badass shonen anime ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜… I still enjoyed Ryota mostly cause of his snarky remark and he does redeem himself at the end of the episode.


I feel really bad for Kouki in this episode as he was clearly under the weather from the beginning thanks to being dunk on the quiz show and catching a cold, yet he push himself to keep the group in check (mostly Ryota) as their friend and leader which lead him to neglected his health in the process.


He does recover in the end and wifu Kouki whipping up a perisian style breakfast made me all doki doki ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜‹!!!!!! Guys why is he not real??? Where can I find a husbando like this??? Like the dude made freaking savory crapes!!! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ Huhu its been a long freaking time since I last had savory crapes and I actually used to have it every other week back at uni as the farmers market has an authentic Crape truck that I'll eat for Sunday Branch! 


Speaking of food... THIS SCENE IS MY FAV SCENE IN THE WHOLE EPISODE!!! Mamoru you adorkable baka puppy!!! Like he tried to cook porridge for the sick prince YET HE HAS NO IDEA HOW!!! (side note I remember reading somewhere that Mamoru + Cooking = *BOOM* DESTROY lollllll so you get the idea why Ryota and Ken immediately pull the whisk away and look like they're about to scold puppy Mamoru!!!) 


And when they do make the porridge for Kouki, Mamoru like a good puppy just sit and watch them cook! lollll He's like a pure giant puppy you can't help but adore okay! 

The Episode/ Writing


So this episode we follow Growth as they film that 'TsukiPro Road to Buddakan' documentary that was mentioned back in episode 1 to promote the Alive series and that the SOARA gang filmed back in episode 2 'Friends'.


We follow the unit's idol duties as they work together filming a variety show, appearance at a fried food fair (I WAS SO CONFUSE ON WHY OF ALL THE PROMOTIONAL JOBS THEY WERE HERE but heyyyy idol life ๐Ÿ˜Ž) and promoting new song at a joint concert for Music Time. 



The variety show 'Rival Fight' was super fun to watch and I guess if you're someone who is very familiar with the characters background could also play along at home. And if you're like me who only scratch the surface of the Growth boys background, take note as now's your chance to get to know them better. Also I find it EXTREMELY CREEPY on how well all the guys beside Mamoru know each other.  


Also Mamoru who's in a way is kinda like a surrogate to those watching and is totally LOST on wth is going on and has no clue about the boys background (like their blood types??? seriously?!?! why are Japanese so concern about blood types??? hell even I don't know my own blood type though I guess I should in case of emergency...) answering the question wrong causing his team to loose and be dunk! Lolll my reaction was 1) not surprised but also 2) varies among the Growth boys where I just knew he's gonna eff up somehow somewhere! Haha poor Ryota!!! His eyes!!! 



The food fair was interesting as we got to see the ALIVE series mascot Arainu (A play on the words ALIVE and Inu aka dog in Japanese) again! gahhh he's so adorable even when Mamoru piss him off. I really want an Arainu plushy (hell I want one of each Tsukipro mascot plushy) to hang on my bag and take around with me like the characters and fans in the Anime series and IRL, in particular Sora ,Kouki and Mamoru's Arainu! Also intresting to note they use SOARA's Mori's Arainu in this episode. 


I have a new level of appreciation for Kouki in this episode. He's such a good leader. Especially the scene when ZIX was stuck in traffic, he step into leader mode and got Growth to switch place with ZIX to buy time till ZIX can arrive. 

I like how this episode has a refreshing story focusing on the conflict of the rivalry between Growth and ZIX as through out the entire time of me following Tsukiuta/Tsukipro series, while every series the unit has its rival eg: Six Gravity/Procellarum, SOARA/Growth etc, they clearly state in the drama CDs that they're more of a friendly rival/sibling rivals. Maybe its because of the way Tsukino unit works that they all often work together/ side-by-side that even for characters that clash like Koi and Arata in Six Gravity, You and Shun in Procellarum and Tsubasa and Ichiru in the SQ series, they're still on friendly terms supporting each other unlike Growth and ZIX who you can clearly see the tension between the two units. 




Even with the tension its nice to see them tackle the situation in this episode as the two units working together, putting aside their differences to support each other. 


Also that very last scene of the ED where we see ZIX repaying the guys kindness with the food as a peace offering lolll and that Makoto even brought his dog along (lolll I was a little confused when I saw a brown patch between the two for a second there). This scene made me smile seeing Ken and Kouki's smiles, Ryota huhhhhh???? they gave us all this food face and Mamoru spotted three by the door!


Reference/Easter Eggs


Like the last episode the story is once again recycled from the same TsukiAni about the Tsukiuta Middle group stage play debut but of cause they changed things for the whole 'Princely character' tried to keep his friend in check and end up falling sick and neglecting his health. I just knew something bad was gonna happen the moment the guys got dunked! 



I have mix feelings about this part of the episode mostly cause you really need prior knowledge from the drama CD to fully understand what's going on between Growth and ZIX especially the scene where Kouki was talking to Mamoru about how his action might have started the conflict between the two units. Now that's the scene that left me super confuse since I didn't listen to the drama CD and they didn't cover that story in TsukiPara. It also does not help that this scene was very vague when explaining how just before Kouki left SunPro he was actually asked to join ZIX which could have been waht cause the conflict between Growth and ZIX.

It turns ZIX are not their juniors as mentioned back in the drama CD ALIVE Side: G Vol.1 but the same level of trainees as the three and in this episode and in ALIVE Side: G Vol.2 SOURCE: Tsukipro Series FB that Kouki was supposed to join ZIX but he left to audition for TsukiPro.

And guess what a lotta international fans and I don't have access to??? THE DRAMA CD!!! ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข. Unfortunately I'm currently not in the best position to purchase the drama CDs since I'll have to import it from overseas or I'll have it in my hands right now but if you have the ways and means PLEASE support the artist/producers and purchase the drama CD HERE
On the bright side this episode made me realise I like Kouki so freaking much from the start of me following Growth! Even though back in episode 6 we see Kouki and Procellarum's Yoru interacting since they both have the same hobby of cooking and similar personalities he actually reminds me more of Six Gravity's MAMA Aoi. They are very similar in terms of personality and how they talk so if you like Kouki check out Aoi! He's voiced by KENN who's one of my ultimate fav seiyuu and has a really unique singing voice that could make you melt especially his Aoi singing voice and is played by Tatsuki Jounin on Tsukista who makes Aoi even more freaking adorkable on stage! And you guys know how much I love the middle group of Tsukiuta! 

Musical Bits



Parallel Lineage- ED




I found my new favorite Growth song! ITS SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL! Especially the very last note of the song was so healing (loll I'm exaggerating) ! It reminds me of a mix of Corona that was an insert song in Episode 6  where its one of those 'travel through time and space' songs but when their voice becomes one it reminds me so much of my beloved ็ฉบๆƒณใฎใƒฌใƒˆใƒญ – Kuusou no Retro aka Retro Fantasy that I recommended back in One Day...

Like I needed the full version of this song! Sadly I'll have to wait till March 2018 to hear the full song. This is probably one of my Top ED for TsukiPro though its a little early to say as we still have 4 more episodes to go. 



Either ways I really like the MV for the ED with the outer space setting though that scene of Kouki crying got me super emo with feels. The animation reminds me a little bit or got me thinking of Kimi no Na wa aka Your Name. 

Insert Songs

Okay this is the most interesting list of insert songs we have for the episode. Like even more interesting than the madness back in episode 6!

Brilliant - ZIX


Let's start with the fact that ZIX actually performed in this episode! I am freaking surprised that they showcase a unit outside of Tsukino performing and GUESS WHAT????

SOURCE

Next March they're releasing the Brilliant single... WOW!!! Interesting expansion with the Tsukino universe. They also set up a freaking SunPro website (Here) which this series is freaking hardcore! Its the beauty of this series as they promote their 2.5D talents like they are real!!!  

I'll be honest, Brilliant is your average j-pop Idol song. Compare to the songs released by Tsukino especially side by side with Growth or even Solids on how unique and different from your typical pop song. Not being buyers towards Tsukino as I was seriously excited when we got to hear ZIX perform but I'll hold off my full comments till I hear the full song when it drops. Also I wonder who is their producers...  
 
Also with the Tsukipro series being adapted to a stageplay soon I'm gonna bet ZIX will somehow someways make an appearance in the stageplays as in Tsukista, the veteran stage actor character who initially was not found of the idea of the Middle group being given the lead roles but eventually grew found of the them Mikaduki Yuzuru appeared on TsukiSta and his TsukiSta actor later returned as other main side characters in later stageplays.  

ใƒซใ‚ฏใƒฌใ‚ทใ‚ข (Lucrecia) ~ Alive Sono 1 Side G
This is classic Growth! It has that unique celtic/folk pop that Growth is known for. Its also one of the first songs released back in their Vol.1 Drama CD.



Its played during the joint 'Music Time' concert scene where Growth switch place with ZIX to buy time till since ZIX were stuck in traffic. Side note about this scene, I think I have a new level of love when Ken did that back flip while introducing the group lolll!

Sepia -SEPIA- - Asagiri Akane (Seleas)



WOW!!! Now this was exciting! If you guys are not familiar Akane is part of the Tsukiuta Women series and she's the September representative and Procellarum Yoru's female counterpart. 


I have listened to Sepia so I instantly was like THAT AKANE!!!!! Yah I was bouncing in my seat with excitement as I actually do follow Akane and her partner Masturi. If you're curious its from her season 2 drama CD.



Also remember back in episode 6 when poor Yoru had to dressed as a cheargirl??? His wig resembles Akane's hair! 

When I first saw this scene I was SUPER SURPRISED that she made a cameo but not too surprised as the September representative's producer, 'ใ˜ใ‚‡ใ‚“' John is the same producer who wrote the songs for SolidS, SOARA and Growth IRL. If you count how many songs the Tsukipro units have released this year alone ITS A HELLA LOT and its all written by THIS MUSICAL GENIUS! 
On top of that John who also goes by the name John Zeroness/Akira Takizawa, depending on the work is also a Tsukino artist! Yes on top of writing all those unit songs he also released a couple of albums over the last couple of years under Tsukino and even released an instrumental piano album where he plays sings for the Tsukipro units he writes (and the piano version of my my beloved ็ฉบๆƒณใฎใƒฌใƒˆใƒญ – Kuusou no Retro is in that album). If there's one song that you need to hear from John it has to be 'Robot meets girl' from his first album 'Hajimari no Hi'. I like the lyrics and the Pop/rock sound.

Overall

I was a little confused with this episode as while ProAni already painted us a picture of the initial tension between Growth and ZIX in the last Growth centered episode, sadly its one of those background stories that is explained in the drama CDs. This is the second episode in the row that its happened though the last episode handled it a lot better with the way they present the background story in the episode. 
Either ways... not my favorite ProAni as even though its claimed that you can watch this with little to no knowledge of the background stories from the drama CD its not as enjoyable as I expected. Still this does have some surprised and some great moments to make up for the confusion and the ED song is one of the best from Growth! Not to mention they handled the conflict between the two units very well. 

Next episode is the last SolidS centered episode and from the looks of it, focuses on Dai and Rikka. From reading the synopsis I have a feeling you'll might need to listen to Solids Vol 2 (Translation starts HERE) to get an idea of what's gonna happen.

What are your thoughts on this episode???? Were heading into the last month of ProAni so enjoy it guys!!! 

Till next time



Saturday, 18 November 2017

Tsukipro The Animation (ProAni) Episode 7 : Above the best


Hello people of the interweb! How's it going??? I'm writing this week's recap  earlier cause 1) I'm procrastinating and 2) get this recap out of the way to stop procrastinating and focus on revising for my upcoming exams.

Episode 7

Episode 7 Above the Best focuses on Quell as Issei and Ichiru gets cast for a musical stage play of a re-retelling of Hansel and Gretel.


The Characters


I'm really glad we got to know a bit more about Issei as the last Quell episode (Here) we didn't get to know much about him since that episode focused more on Shu and Ichiru's personality was what stole the show for me. 

Though he is quiet and often has a poker face, when he talks he's normally straight to the point and honest. He's also a freaking genius when it comes to learning like how he learns and understands the script after reading it once.  

I also like how its Ichiru looking out for Issei for once since through the anime series its normally EVERYONE looking out for Ichiru.


We get to watch the twin's work their hardest for their first first stage play and for the looks of it their first solo professional jobs.


The MVPs of this episode go to the loving parents ๐Ÿ˜œ Shu and Eichi while they're concerned for the twin's first professional job outside of being idols they still gave them space to work out how to handle the situation yet still support them from behind the scenes. 


Eichi is his usual strong and dotting father figure who's there to advice and give assurance to the twins.



Eichi is that proud mama who wants to ran around town with a freaking bullhorn and boost about his sons accomplishments ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜†. Lolll I died laughing when he said he wants to run down to Tsubasa and boost about the twin's first stage play rolls as a way to celebrate and you know what??? I won't be surprised he'll listen to every word Eichi has to say and be a proud onii-chan ๐Ÿ˜†.

Writing/Story

I am so glad that this episode was a chill one as IDK about you guys but after the last 3 episode of good random craziness it was starting to burn me out a little especially the last episode (Here) ๐Ÿ˜…. Like that episode while its fun its so all over the place it made me dizzy from how inconsistent the animations were to all the FREAKING CRAZY sport events the boys have to go through ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต. Its nice to see a more character growth centered episode for a breather and Quell's probably the best unit to do so.


My only complain about the episode was there were some plot holes especially if you're someone who's casually watching the series with no knowledge of their backstories from the Drama CD or playing TsukiPara. The best example is when Shu mentioned the twins leaving their hometown for Tokyo in a rush, even for me while I'm familiar with their backstory thanks to reading it in Tsukipara and the power of the interwebs its too vague.


They did a really good job of handling the twins situation. While they grew up in an orphanage, something people normally will think of as sad and will sympathies them for, they had a good life there and were well looked after. Also its really sweet of Shu and Eichi invited the twins guardian/foster mother from the orphanage to watch them perform and you can see the boys were in good care and that she's proud of their accomplishment. 


For those of you guys wondering WHERE THE EFF IS THAT INFAMOUS BEACH EPISODE ANIME ARE KNOW FOR since in Solids roadtrip episode they didn't made it to the beach ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ this will be the episode in the chilly autumn. Its really cute seeing the Quell boys going to the beach to help Issei and Ichiru get ideas for their character.



Also Shu and his flipping food porn monologue again ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹!!! Not gonna lie I was craving tamagoyaki aka Japanese rolled omelette ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿณ when he was reciting his food monologue. Now that I think about it its been a long time since I last made a Japanese rolled omelette and I used to make it all the time when I was at uni as its the tastiest 'impress your friends in the lecture hall fancy pack lunch' I can think off. I recommend checking out SORTEDfood's Tamagoyaki recipe (HERE) as that's where I learned how to make it along with a hella lotta food I ate in uni.

Easter Egg/Reference




There's the Hansel and Gretel story parallel with the twin's first meeting with Shu when he 'scouted' them which is why Shu and Eichi have THAT LOOK on their faces ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚.

source

You can listen to their encounter in their first Drama CD BELIEVER~็ฅˆใ‚Š~(BELIEVER ~INORI~). As for me editing this recap the English translation of the first track of the drama CD just dropped and you can view it on Tsukiuta Series FB fanpage (Here)  and if you have FB I highly recommend you like and follow them for the translation and Tsukiuta updates (btw I am not affiliate. I'M just a follower as that's where I get most of my Tsukiuta news ๐Ÿ˜).


Also if you don't have ways or means of getting the drama CDs and don't live in Japan or have a credit card (like me๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I borrow the SOARA and SolidS drama CD from a friend who was lucky to pick them up while in Japan), don't mind making Japanese itunes account and being patience scanning SS into crappy google translator, you can read their story on the TsukiPara app. Quell was recently added to the game and their story of how Quell came to be is available to read once you hit certain levels in-game. Lolll that's actually how I got to know their back story prior to the anime. In fact with the most recent update you can read all the Tsukipro units story which loosely follows the first volume of the audio drama.


Back to the topic of stage plays, this is not the first time where we follow a Tsukino talent stage play debut journey. Back in TsukiAni the Middle group, Arata, Aoi, You and Yoru were double cast for a stage play. 


Like the twins they were armatures/newbies to the stage play world and well aware that they have a long way to work on improving skills so they work their hardest to improve their skills to prove that they're not just shiny idols handed the roles on a silver platter. 



Seeing Issei and Ichiru's in this episode reminded me so much of Aoi and Arata back in TsukiAni. 


What's interesting was this particular scene between Issei and Ichiru. When I was watching it I got a sense of deja vu as it was similar to the conversation between Arata and Aoi as they talk out their troubles and figure out how to improve. I especially like how Ichiru suggest they make use of the fact they don't have any major projects so they have time on their advantage to practice. 

SOURCE
The episode about the middle's stage play has been adapted to a stage play called TsukiSta: Act II: ~The Legend of Tsukiuta: "Yumemigusa"~ . Its an alternate universe story following the episode of the Middle Group's casting and it has two parts the 'Sakura Chapter' where it focuses on Aoi and Arata and the 'Moon Chapter' where it focuses on You and Yoru. 

If you guys have not check out TsukiSta or even anime adapted to 2.5D (butai) musical stage plays I highly recommend you check it out. Just look for an anime you like and see if it has a stage adaptation. For me TsukiSta was the very first stage adaptation I watch and its not only a great introduction to the genre and an expansion of the Tsukiuta series but it also got me to appreciate the characters and the franchise on a new level. 

Sadly no news for the 2.5D Tsukipro stage play like I was hoping. It could be because they might want to focus on the current TsukiSta adaption this coming December, however I won't be surprised they'll do the same as TsukiSta where they'll use the episode to inspire one of the stage plays. Till then I'm gonna re watch TsukiSta till we get more news.
 

๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽถMusical Bits๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽถ


OMGASDFJKL; THE ED SONG!!!!!!! Where do I begin?!?! Its bright and optimistic. Its hands down my favorite Quell song at the moment and dang it I have to wait till next year to hear the full thing.


The twins also sang the first verse of the song during the musical and I was blown away especially with Issei's singing voice!

Song Recommendation

ๆ˜Ÿ็ฉบ - Hoshizora ~ SQ X ~Lied series

SOURCE

No insert song this week after the craziness of the last two weeks so here's a recommendation. If you guys play TsukiPara, Issei's single from the SQ~Lied series is there to play and gosh his voice is so raw and emotional.

Guys I kid you not after watching this episode I'm gonna run around the interweb looking for more of Issei's VA Nakamura Shugo's songs once I'm done with this recap as he's singing voice is my fav of all the Quell boys. He's in another idol anime that I'm trying (and am so behind) to keep up this season called Idolm@ster Side M so I might look out for his character.

Overall



Even though there were some ups and downs, its still a really good feel good episode ๐Ÿ˜Š. I adore this family unit I have a new found love and appriciation for the twins especially now that we got to see more of Issei in this episode. 

I really hope that with ProAni the Quell boys will gain more popularity IRL as its kinda sad that because they were introduced a little later than all the other units in TsukiPro and not to mention they didn't get the best introduction, a lot of Tsukipro fans just ignore the unit and pretend they didn't even exist๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ญ. 

Don't get me wrong there are also a HELLA LOTTA loyal Quell fans out there to spread the hype and love of this adorable beautiful family.

I was really excited about this episode not only cause this episode is very reminiscent of the Middles stage play back in Tsukiani but also I was excited to see the behind-the-scenes of the twins practicing for their roles. Might sound weird to some but I actually did drama and stage play for a year at uni as it was part of the requirement and its one of the best subjects I did while at uni as I learned so much about from my late drama teacher (unfortunately he passed away a couple of days after we did our final project) like getting out of my 'safe' comfort zone and also taking charge of my final project where I wrote/directed and figured out how to get my group mates to memorized their lines and the freaking poem we had to incorporate into the play (loll i pulled magic out of my sleeve for this one and make the poem into a song ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽค) and am a HUGE musical stage play geek (I blame my love of Glee influencing me ๐Ÿ˜Š). I mostly follow Broadway/musicals but thanks to TsukiSta I have a new level of love for stage plays and have been following animes adapted to J-stage! J-stage is better than I expected it's just that I'm not fluent in Japanese or else I'll have gotten more into J-stage. Welp I'll just stick to Rent/Wicked/Hamilton till I improve on my Japanese ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜.

Next episode focuses on Growth and its called 'Parallel Lineage'. Looking forward to seeing what its gonna be about. As for me writing this recap no preview has been released since I'm pushing out my recap early to push it aside and focus on my studies.

What's your thoughts on this week's episode??? Lets discuss in the comments.

Till Next Time