439th G-View: Gekidol

This is one of those rare anime where enjoyment really does depend on who one asks. I do not mean in “I do not like this genre” or “the girls all look same-y”. I am referring to people who watched it from start to finish. I will go into more detail as we take a look at Gekidol.

Genres: Drama, Idols, Sci-Fi,

Themes: Stage Girls, Yuri

Number of Episodes: 12 + 1 OVA (Alice In Dead School. Also included as part of “Episode 0”)

G-Rating: 7/10

Plot Summary: Five years after a mystifying disaster decimates cities across the globe, Seria Morino receives an invitation from a mysterious woman to join Alice in Theater, a small stage troupe that takes it upon themselves to brighten the world through their performances using 3D hologram technology. As Seria settles in, she begins to uncover unexpected truths about herself and the world around her.

The thing about this show is it telling two stories at the same time. One is a stage girls x idol hybrid and the other is a sci-fi epic of sorts. While the main draw at first was the mix of “stage idols” in what appeared to be a post-apocalyptic world as the story progressed it became clear overall enjoyment would depend on what viewers were more invested in, the sci-fi stuff or the stage idols stuff. I will say right now I was in the stage idols camp, meaning I was more invested in the girls’ stories than what happened that left the world in its decrepit state. Over the course of the story little by little details are revealed about the sci-fi story until eventually it mostly took over the show in the final quarter. While the two sides are connected it ultimately felt like one side was tacked on over the other. The writers got to tell their story, yes, but in the end it felt like both sides would have been better off as their own separate anime.

To be fair to both sides let us take a look at what each has to offer, starting with the sci-fi side. Without giving too much away it was admittedly interesting, employing several traits viewers familiar with the genre as a whole may enjoy, including a certain divisive trope that is not the fault of the show. What the show does a solid job of is build up intrigue in how the world ended up the way it did and what other forces are at play. There are times the story delves into some unsettling sci-fi horror, which I personally enjoyed. Good, creepy stuff.

Next is the stage idols side. Stage girls and idols seem to mesh well because despite their differences they both are about performers working hard to sing, dance and put on a great show for the viewing audience. The character episodes, some girls sharing development, are all interesting with a few that really stood out. One in particular I was impressed they covered this often overlooked alternate side of female performers that not all go through in life but I am aware of some who do/did. The girls’ stories, personal obstacles to overcome with help from each other or their special someone and the shows they put on are what I enjoyed most about the show.

As I said, both sides tell interesting stories but would have benefited being their own separate anime than combined into one.

The presentation is solid. The effects are nice, the performances cool and the several of the girls have nice figures but for some the girls may look “same-ey”. While most of them are not hard to tell apart later on there are two who look nearly identical to some of the leading ladies. Whether it was by design or a cost saving measure I cannot say. For the sake of consistency I will say with it being a bit of both. The soundtrack was serviceable.

The show hints at the primary surprise yuri being a love triangle but in reality the main development is between two lead girls, Seria and Airi. There is some extra goodness on the side but these two get the most interesting personal and romantic development on the show. Again, if only it focused on the stage idols stuff because, to be blunt, as the time for the big reveals drew closer and we got info dumps on what was actually going on the stage idol stuff kind of felt like an afterthought, including the yuri. There were several great yuri moments for sure but as the end approached I worried it would end with a whimper rather than a bang. Long story short, despite the writers telling the story they wanted to tell it ultimately ended on a whimper, I feel. Without spoiling anything it is different from the usual “hopeful future together” season finales. I am cool with those. This ending felt unsatisfying.

Overall Gekidol was an interesting experiment combining stage girl drama, idol drama and sci-fi drama. The stage girls and idol stuff meshed well with each other while the sci-fi stuff ultimately felt out of place. They tried connecting story threads with each other but both stories would have been better off being separate instead of jumping from one thread to the next. I do not think it was a failure but I would not call it a success either. Without spoiling anything let me put it this way, I do not like relying on fanfiction to get a satisfactory conclusion.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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21 Responses to 439th G-View: Gekidol

  1. cirno9fan says:

    I pretty much agree with everything you said. The last couple of episodes especially, it was like a different writer altogether took over.

    I don’t regret watching it, but I have a hard time recommending it to someone else. Could have been something really special, but instead we got a chuuni scifi story that railroads everything at the end.

    Oh well, maybe the mix of theater and idols will work out better int he Million Live anime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Giack31 says:

    What a ride this show was.

    As someone who was hooked by the Sci-Fi part I’m pretty satisfied. If episode 4 didn’t happen and they would have continued like the first 3 episode I would have most likely dropped the show.

    I completely disagree with the idea that the two parts would have been better as separate anime. I feel like they each bring something to the table. The Sci-Fi part would have nothing to keep it grounded and would just be super intense all the time which would not be good. The stage girl part would be a very generic and run of the mill idol anime we have already seen millions of times. Could they have been balanced better? Absolutely. I would have liked to get more development for the most minor characters but I think it’s fine.

    The characters were really cool even though some of them didn’t have enough time to be fully developed. The one I didn’t like was the producer guy, he was just way too over the top evil and petty for (apparently) no reason. We do get an explanation at the end but it’s still kind of meh.

    The Sci-Fi stuff really kept me at the edge of my seat and always interested with all of it’s crazy twists and turn. In the end I fell like there was also stuff that wasn’t explained but the ending was still pretty decent.

    As for the Yuri I stopped hoping that anything could actually happen toward the end so I’m not particularly disappointed.

    For me this anime boils down to two questions.
    Could it have been better? Yes.
    Was it still incredibly entertaining to watch? Yes
    So this ended up being my second most liked show of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kotori_Sonoda says:

      Gekidol was certainly….something.
      I liked it enough that I was really looking forward to each episode.
      Yes really feels like it’s two anime mashed into one, and it doesn’t feel mixed enough, especially in the end as the sci fi side took over a lot more.
      That said I did enjoy both sides of the story, so overall it’s still something I enjoyed.
      Hard to recommend tho.

      Liked by 1 person

    • cirno9fan says:

      “The stage girl part would be a very generic and run of the mill idol anime we have already seen millions of times.”
      I would like elaboration on how many idol anime we’ve seen that had actual kisses between girls and was running an actual love triangle. There was nothing “generic” or “run of the mill” about the idol/theater parts. It was a very interesting story in its own right and touched on a lot of things that idol shows don’t deal with normally (Seria’s trauma involving her little sister, and her own identity crisis. She was extremely talented, but was holding back herself because she had to “stand in” for Alice). Having scifi elements was not a bad idea, but it was implemented really poorly, and in such a way that it literally just stole the entire plot near the end and completely got rid of everything during the non scifi parts in favor of itself.

      If one was in it for the SciFi they were probably thinking the idol stuff was a bother that was bringing down the show, as you yourself said. And those of us who got invested in the characters and their drama, thought the scifi brought down the show. It’s a clear sign that they didn’t handle things well at all, and there was probably a clash of creativity between writers as the show went on.

      One example of something that never really made sense was that mino guy. His involvement just had no point. He was supposedly the “owner” of Doll, but the show never once treated him like that. He also was supposedly an “integral player”, but what did he ever do for anything? The show said he did things, but it never showed it. You just have to assume that Enri Viano is right, because if she isn’t, then everything in the sci fi stuff falls apart, because there has to be three players, to mirror the three players that caused the cataclysm so long ago. But the show didn’t do anything to make sense of him.

      That’s just one example of many. I did actually love the sci fi parts…until it hijacked the plot and tossed all that development to the side so we could have a boring hetmance. I also really don’t like “reversion”. It very rarely is used well. Especially worse when memories are messed with. This is okay if used earlier on, but that was how the show ended. But it also didn’t really make sense, because Enri Viano got exactly what she wanted: A different timeline with the consciousness of people from the cursed timeline. I don’t even get the point of them “changing the ending” if it changed nothing anyway. I don’t get why Enri was shocked, this was literally what she wanted. We never saw Kaworu or had idea that she was alive and with boring Hiro in this timeline. It only showed the girls. So Enri and her org won, but she acted like she didn’t. The timeline was destoryed, and a new “happier” timeline was made.

      Even with all of that…if they had just kept up the development between Airi and Seria, I probably would have been able to deal with all the mess that the chuuni scifi story brought in the end. But they didn’t. They decided that they were going to all of a sudden NTR and toss the development to the side. There was no reason for Airi to be against Seria be leading lady when the entire time she was saying how Seria could totally do it. And she even said Seria really was her true partner. There was no reason for that girl to suddenly be for Seria, when she was revealed to be Izumi’s biggest fan. Those two switched roles…for some reason…it made no sense.

      The plot just kept on falling apart once they decided to railroad everything with the scifi instead of integrating it with the show.

      Apologies for the extra long rant, this show really could have held a very special place in my heart, but ruined everything in the last quarter.

      Like

  3. I liked this one, but I can’t say I loved it. I appreciate what they tried to do, but it kind of fell flat. I was interested in the Sci-Fi aspects more than the idol/theater stuff initially, but then it started to get a bit convoluted in the last few episodes and I didn’t care for the ending. That “reset” trope has to be used carefully, but I’m not sure they used it well here. I know this wasn’t a yuri anime per se, but Episode 4 made it seem like it’d be giving proper shine to that relationship and allow it to develop. Sadly all we were left with was a “will they or won’t they meet again?” trope, and any further relationship development will have to come from Fanfiction, as you said. At least we got a canon lesbian(possibly more). Overall, it was ok, but I too was left unsatisfied by the end and wanted much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It could have been great but in the end was average at best. I didn’t regret watching it that’s for sure. The yuri was wonderful whenever it took center stage though the ending left a lot to be desired. The sci-fi stuff was neat but then it took time away from our heroines and it became too convoluted for a show like this.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Alexis says:

    Hola
    Esta temporada estuvo “extraña” por las temáticas de las series. El viaje en el tiempo es muy dificil de manejar y la serie la manejó lo mejor que pudo. Creo que lo que vale la pena señalar fue ese giro pasando de la historia de Seria a la de Kaworu, no recuerdo haber visto algo parecido, aunque no se desarrolló aún más la relación de Seria y Airi creo que este detalle es lo rescatable.

    Esos producers siempre arruinandolo todo, no recuerdo como se llamaba el de esta serie. Por cierto, no se me olvida la reunión maligna de producers al final de D4DJ.

    Esperando el próximo OG-review.
    Bye

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Asi es. Viajar en el tiempo siempre ha sido una tematica complicada para contar historias.

      Pudiera haber sido mejor.

      Aun me gustaria ver una 2da temporada.de D4DJ. Mas seguro despues de las chibis.

      Like

  5. yurimylove says:

    they did not just undo that wonderful Airi x Seria kiss — and recycled 5 full minutes of animation footages to close out this series did they? so sad 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. From what I hear episode 3 alienated the Waifu Otaku audience and the ending Alienated the Yuri Otaku audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Somebody says:

    So the past 12 episodes just never happened……………………………………….ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. K says:

    The last quarter really did a number on my brain. Things were revealed so haphazardly and the way Kaworu and especially Hiro and Doll switched personalities was like getting whiplash. For example, Hiro’s acting all super evil and stuff one minute then he’s super concerned about Kaworu the next. I know the reason why that is but it’s still frustrating. Also, since the sci-fi elements went into overdrive here, The Alice In ladies were basically reduced to extras, only to then kinda thwart Enri Viano’s nefarious(?) plan. However did she really lose? The only thing that didn’t go as planned was how the play ended. Furthermore, would her plan have succeeded if Chrono Gazers wasn’t a thing? It sure seemed like it was a very important part of it. Ultimately, I didn’t care for that time reset ending since I couldn’t make heads or tails on whether Ms.Viano got what she wanted or not and especially since Alice In never existed as a troupe. At least Seria’s family’s alive.

    Anyway I can’t say I hated this just because it was doing insane cartwheels at the end. I liked the sci-fi mystery side and the idol side. The characters were alright but some were in the spotlight more than others. I liked Seria the most and I really liked how her issues were fleshed out and resolved. ‘Tis sad that Seria/Airi didn’t really go anywhere. Needless to say, Seria’s supposed rivalry with Izumi felt tacked on and not much was done with. On top of that, I felt bad for her having to stop Airi and Izumi from tearing each other apart, even on stage!

    Overall, a word to describe this anime would be…unique, I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      The one good thing to from the reset was the end of Seria’s suffering.

      Oh yeah. Izumi and Airi still being at each other’s throats near the end made me go “Really? Still!? Sheesh.”

      Could have been better.

      Like

  9. Little Viktoria says:

    Agreed with the rating… one more of the (thousands of?) shows where the scriptwriters have a pet character or two (in this case the producer and likely Kaworu and perhaps Doll) and lose track of everything else. This show could have been a classic if they instead took into consideration what the fans would love to see. But is there even one viewer who really wanted to look at the producer’s face that much? Hmmm… a question they didn’t consider ^^

    The “reset trope” is one of the worst, though I’ll take it over the even worse ones of “everyone dies” or “one of the yuri lovers dies”.

    I had to really recover and collect my emotions after this one. In the end, I certainly feel that the story was badly done (and the warning signs were there since the middle), but I don’t actually mind the reset. I wish there had been more than just repeat footage afterwards, but I did realise that in the first timeline Seria was so broken that I don’t think she was capable of being in a relationship. She seemed to quickly erase any feelings she had at the moment of the kiss and had no empathy or understanding for Airi.

    I much prefer the new timeline where Alice (the sister) is alive, Seria has no pain and is free to be loved by Airi (or someone else), and everyone else is safe. If there are no idiots from the future, all the better. Even the producer looked like a nice guy before they corrupted him.

    My favourite cuties were Seria (which is why I’m so glad that her suffering is gone), sweet Mayuri and Izumi. I think I love girls with headbands ^^ They all deserve to laugh and act and sing and love, so in the end (I wasn’t at all sure at points) I’m happy I watched it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Figures they’d focus on characters who weren’t even the center of their promotional material.

      Yup. The other two are far worse tropes. The “reset” trope is just lame.

      It’s good Seria’s suffering ended in the reset timeline but as I said it sucks we have to rely on fanfiction to fill in the dots.

      Yup. It wasn’t a dud but it wasn’t the success it could have been either.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Nick says:

    Good show but not really a stand out one for me. Had some nice moments along the way, but through the second half when the sci-fi parts really took over, I felt lost and confused most of the time honestly.

    The ending wasn’t really that good, as mentioned in above comments, the reset thing isn’t a favorite of mine either as it pretty much means it was all for nothing in the end. Sorry if that’s a little spoliery, but I think if you’ve scrolled down this far you’ve probably read enough spoilers already.

    I think there was promise in this show at some point, and if done differently it would’ve been much better, I’m just not sure how exactly. Oh well, not every show will be a banger. I feel with these sci-fi drama shows they can get out of control very quickly to the point of being extremely confusing and you’re not even sure what’s going on anymore. Maybe that’s just a me problem, but I’ve seen it happen a number of times and it honestly just takes the enjoyment away from it. Or maybe I’ve just watched all the wrong shows…

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      No worries dood. It’s understandable. I’ve seen and played enough sci-fi media to recognize some tropes so I know which ones do or don’t annoy me. The problems kicked in once the sci-fi stuff took over and the stage girls stuff took a backseat. I really think both shows would have benefited were they their own thing and not combined but I admire the attempt.

      Could have been better.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Yuri Quickie: Alice in Deadly School | The Yuri Empire

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