As of this writing the 3rd entry in the Aikatsu! franchise, Aikatsu Friends! is 18 episodes in. Instead of going through each episode I figured the best approach would be to give newcomers or people interested a quick overview on what to expect going into the show from the perspective of a newcomer as I have only seen a bit of the first Aikatsu! series and skipped the second entry Aikatsu Stars!.
Aikatsu! as a whole is a show set in a universe where idols rule the world (so to speak), even more so than the real one. Idols are the highest rated form of entertainment in this universe and like in other idol shows such as Idolm@ster and Wake-Up Girls! the girls do much more than sing and dance and they have superhuman charisma and stamina. Unlike the school idols of Love Live! however, the Aikatsu! girls don’t have superpowers.
The main story is about Aine, an extremely cheerful girl who makes friends very easily. Her #1 goal is to make 1 million friends. Next up is Mio, the current star pupil of Star Harmony Academy, the idol school. Their first meeting came after Mio searched for a potential “Friends” (what idol duo units are referred to) partner and the first one who came to mind was Aine. Mio’s #1 goal is to form a Friends unit great enough to become Diamond Friends (Top Tier Idols basically) with.
Every performance on the show is in CG. The fact that this is the 3rd entry in the franchise should let newcomers know that it’s not bad CG at all. Pretty Cure fans who watch the EDs should have no trouble getting used to the transformations and performances here. One thing to keep in mind however, is that depending on which character or unit the episode is centered around expect to hear the same song, (at least until each unit or idol eventually debuts a new single or duet) though depending on the theme of the episode (for example Aine finding a Brand to represent) the costume may be be different and a new dance move added to the performance. Personal favorites so far are Love Me Tear’s duet and Maika’s solo theme.
Next up are the second most prevalent duo on the show, Ema and Maika. Ema is the oldest of the four and a member of the Japanese lacrosse team. Her #1 goal is becoming the best lacrosse idol of Japan. She’s almost as energetic as Aine and despite her peppy personality is quite responsible. That is why her catchphrase is “Leave it to Onee-san.” Maika can be best described as a “mature beauty” type, or the “sexy one” of the group. A “close enough” description would be Mika Jougasaki lite. I do not mean she flaunts her young sexiness wherever she goes but rather she emanates coolness and maturity during her performances. As far as her personality goes she is the hothead of the four who doesn’t tolerate laziness or a lack of energy.
There is more to all their personalities but that can be discovered by the interested as they watch the show. This being a lighthearted idol anime don’t expect any heavy drama or deep topics. Maybe somewhere along the line but early on, no. From 1-9 the show introduces the cast, what Aikatsu! is all about, the “Friends” system and what idols do besides sing and dance, such as acting, helping out charities, variety shows, backstage props, radio shows etc.
Now it’s time for what the curious came here for. Ema and Maika officially became a Friends Unit (OTP) in episode 10. They have had some very nice moments here and there justifying them possibly becoming more down the line. However, when it comes to Aine and Mio…there is a reason why a certain someone recommended this show to Rory and I. It is not as prevalent as it is in Hugtto! PreCure but rest assured it is there, especially on Mio’s part. Let me put it this way. Aine cherishes Mio whereas Mio CHERISHES Aine. Trust me. Mio wants Aine BAD! It starts small but when it grows, IT GROWS!
The reason I chose to talk about Aikatsu Friends! is because I plan on covering the show as often as possible. Sometimes, like Hugtto! PreCure, I won’t cover filler episodes such as PreCure episode 27 but so long as there is something cool going on or some “squee worthy” moments in Aikatsu Friends! episode 19 and onward then I’d like to talk about the show till its conclusion. It’s a fun lighthearted idol show with strong yuri shipping goodness.