The Reason Why They Love Pripara
Pripara is the idol anime derived from Pretty Rhythm. It abolished skating because the trend of the figure skating has ended. Instead, it started to ride on the wave of idol anime.
Pripara is an VR amusement park that girls who have Pri-tickets(Prichike/プリチケ)*1 are allowed to enter. In Pripara, girls are idols. They sing, dance, and walk on the stage. They collect Likes from their fans, acquire titles and they aim at the supreme title - God Idols.
- The Reason Why They Love Pripara
Laala Manaka is an elementary school girl who does not like her big voice. She is not a good girl, so she gets violation tickets from school discipline committee, especially from head girl Minami. However, Laala does not have a Pri-ticket. Laala really likes the Saints, the legendary God Idol band, but she has not ever thought she would be an idol.
One day, she picks up a Pri-ticket trunk of a girl called Mirei. She looks for Mirei but she cannot find her. Finally, she arrives at Prism Stone shop, the gate of Pripara. She is now able to enter Pripara because she got a Pri-ticket. She successfully returns Pri-ticket trunk to Mirei, but Mirei has another trouble. Mirei does not have a partner to sing on the stage. In this case, Laala must do her first live concert. In fact, Laala's voice has a power, and it is called Prism Voice.
After the concert, Laala and Mirei exits Pripara, and they find that they are Manaka-san and head girl Minami. Their avatars are different from their actual appearance.
This anime is loved by both children and adults. Especially, adults love this anime for the following reasons:
- This anime makes use of Pretty Rhythm legacies.
- This anime supports some children in need of care.
- This anime tells us that we will succeed if we do not give up.
Traces of Pretty Rhythm
Since it abolished some systems of Pretty Rhythm, it may sound that the production company deceived fans. It is true that it is no longer a skating anime. However, this anime is not a deception against fans of Pretty Rhythm because it leaves some traces of Pretty Rhythm. Especially, it inherits some main parts of the story. For example, the first season deals with the following issues.
- Elementary school pupils are not allowed to go to Pripara because Principal Ohkanda bans.
- Vocal Doll*2 Falulu imitates some moves of other idols.
- Falulu is controlled by her manager*3 Unicon.
These issues derives from Pretty Rhythm: Aurora Dream. In Aurora Dream:
- Aira Harune was not allowed to do Prism Show because her father banned.
- Kaname Kurisu imitated some Prism Jumps of other Prism Stars.
- Kaname was controlled by her foster mother.
In this way, Pripara inherits Pretty Rhythm. Moreover, it is hinted that Pretty Rhythm is the past of Pripara in three ways.
First, the Saints have the same appearance as three protagonists from Pretty Rhythm. Second, some items from Pretty Rhythm are exhibited in Pripara Museum (Museum in the story). Third, Pripara the Movie deals with Prism Show. In the first movie of Pripara, Laala and friends studies Prism Show with Saints. These facts shows that Pretty Rhythm is not a relic of the past.
Characters in need of care
Some characters need special attention because of their situation. In this regard, this anime is instructive. For example, Sophy is a girl who needs medicine. If she does not take medicine, she cannot move. The situation is somehow deformed, but this is a common situation for those in need of medicine. Protagonists learn that some of their friends need care from some lessons.
Also, there are some mentions on genders. For example, there is a transgender girl who dresses as a girl in Pripara, but as a boy in reality. She, Reona*4, has a twin sister who is boyish, but was born as a girl, and identifies herself as a girl. Her sister, Dorothy is more active than Reona although females are required to be modest in Asian culture*5. In this way, Pripara introduces children in diverse situation*6, to inform children that they have to think about their friends.
Everyone has a chance
This anime denies the idea that only elites will succeed. In the second season, one of the main topics is geniuses versus hard workers.
In Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future, this topic was picked up in episode 21 when Hye In lacked confidence because she thought she was not talented. In this episode, her friend Mia told Hye In that Mia likes both good points and weak points of Hye In. As a result, she regains her confidence.
In Pripara, Hibiki, who hates fools, tries to exclude fools and people without talents. She successfully takes control of Pripara, and makes a rule that only idols with high rank can hold a live concert and those with low rank cannot do it forever. Laala and friends counter her by using old club with old system (which does not share data with new system). They successfully acquire high rank, and challenges Hibiki. Finally. Laala defeats Hibiki and refuses her idea.
In Pripara, everyone has a chance. Even Gaalulu - a Vocal Doll born from jealousy of those who cannot go to Pripara - can hold a concert. Different from her ‘sister’ Falulu, she cannot sing and dance well. However, her passion against giving up leads her to success. Now, she can clip her ticket even though she is a Vocal Doll. Her success tells us and children that we have a chance if we do not give up.
In conclusion, this anime is attractive because it inherits the essence of Pretty Rhythm, because it loves weak people, and because it makes us believe in chance. Please do not think it is abnormal that Japanese adults love children’s anime.
*1:A Pri-ticket is a ticket idols use to enter Pripara and change their costumes. It can be clipped, and idols trade the upper part of Pri-ticket - Friend-ticket(Tomochike/トモチケ).
*2:A Vocal Doll is a non-player character that is made from the dream of girls who cannot go to Pripara. Their Pri-ticket is their life itself. So they cannot clip and trade their ticket. What is worse, they cannot go outside of Pripara because they are programs. They are lonely after the closing time.
*3:A manager is a mascot that helps an idol.
*4:Reona comes from the name of the Nobel Prize winner Reona Esaki who is actually a male. However, in Japan, names that end with ‘na’ are usually names of girls. Therefore, this name was misleading until she turned out to be a transgender girl.
*5:Dorothy and Reona are Canadian Japanese.
*6:Other examples are…
- Falulu: A girl who cannot go outside, or play outside with friends.
- Gaalulu: A girl who cannot sing or dance well like friends.
- Hibiki: A girl who cannot believe in friendship because she was betrayed by friends.