Oshi no Ko Season 1: 10/10
Oshi no Ko is a wonderful story from Aka Akasaka that has a perfect anime adaptation. With an intriguing plot, stellar characters, and wonderful deep dives into the entertainment industry, this anime will take your breath away.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Oshi no Ko is 100% worth a watch. Not only are you treated to a great first episode that’s the length of a movie, but the characters, plot, and animation will keep you entranced throughout all 11 episodes available. Do yourself a favour, and check this masterpiece out.
So, if you’ve read the paragraph above, and you’ve seen my rating, it should not be a surprise that I absolutely loved this anime. As mentioned before, the plot grabs your attention right from the start, the characters are all fleshed out and entertaining to watch, and the animation style itself is pretty. Before getting too deep in this review, I want to mention that I’ll try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. This anime is one you need to dive in completely blind. That’s the only way the big twists will hit you. And oh boy, there are plenty of great twists in this show.
So, before getting into the thick of things, I want to first mention how much of a bop the opening and closing songs of the show are. “Idol” by YOASOBI is a certified bop. And I’m not the only one who thinks that either. This beauty of a song even topped the global charts, beating out songs like “Cupid” by Fifty-Fifty, or “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. What’s even better about the song is that it perfectly encapsulates the feel of Oshi no Ko to a T. If you haven’t heard the song, give it a listen. The closing theme, “Mephisto” by Queen Bee is also a solid song. I personally don’t like it as much as “Idol”, but the beginning of the track is definitely iconic. Either way, take a listen to the opening and closing songs of Oshi no Ko, and you won’t be disappointed.
Getting into the review of the contents of the anime, I want to first preface this by saying that I’m currently caught up in the manga. So far, I have to say that the anime is doing the manga justice. There were many moments in the manga that were quite still, since the story is about the entertainment industry. Scenes with concerts and movie scenes were perfectly expanded where the manga lacked. Along that thought, the anime also nailed the emotional scenes throughout the show. There were many instances where I felt chills watching the plot play out. Even though I knew what was coming up, there were great moments that I’m glad got animated.
With that out of the way, let’s delve into some specifics, shall we?
So, first thing’s first, the plot. The story of Oshi no Ko revolves around the entertainment industry. Whether that’s the idol industry producing songs, or movies and TV shows producing visual content, almost each area of the entertainment industry is touched. In the manga, the theatre industry is touched as well, which was mentioned near the end of the first season. With the confirmation of the second season, we’re about to dive into one of my favourite arcs of the story. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
I think the best part of the plot of Oshi no Ko is how raw some scenes can be. I think the best part when it comes to the story is that the mangaka, Aka Akasaka, isn’t afraid to shy away from the darkness that shadows the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry isn’t always sunshine and roses, so those scenes that delve into the darkness are a wonderful addition. Now, plot wise, it isn’t all doom and gloom.
There is an equal part of wholesomeness found as well. You get to see characters succeed after all the hard work they put in. Now, the underlying plot of Oshi no Ko is something I’m going to remain quite vague on. Those who have seen episode 1 can attest to that. Now, underneath all the idol performances or movie acting, the main story is great. The way the protagonists try and solve the mystery is entertaining, and as such, I appreciate how everything that happens plays into furthering the underlying story.
Now, the biggest part of why this anime is great, besides the amazing plot that I don’t want to spoil, are the stellar characters. The first character you’re introduced to is Ai Hoshino, an up-and-coming idol who’s pregnant at the age of 16. After deciding to continue her pregnancy, she gives birth to twins, Aquamarine, known as Aqua, and Ruby. After giving birth, Ai returns to the idol world. Once returning to her old life, Ai is dazzling, easily capturing the hearts of fans and non-fans alike. She oozes charisma, which makes her performances all the more captivating. She has that unique aura that makes you enthralled immediately. When it comes to character design, her unique presence can be seen through her eyes. They shine brightly, like two twinkling stars. This trait is then passed down to her children: Aqua inheriting the sparkle in the right eye, and Ruby inheriting it in the left eye.
After a brief time skip, we do follow Ai’s children a lot more. Aqua is the more serious twin. Although he has a talent in acting, which he indulged slightly as a child, Aqua supresses that side of him. Not the friendliest person, Aqua is quite cold, however, given enough time, he does open up a little. The only people who truly see his true self are his sister Ruby and Kana Arima, a child actor prodigy. Even though Aqua doesn’t pursue acting after his first role, he does study under his former director. Now, on the flip side, Ruby is outgoing and bubbly. She’s the kind of extrovert that loves talking to people, a complete opposite to Aqua. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Ruby’s goal is to stand on stage and perform as a top idol.
Besides the two twins, there are a number of supporting characters that surround them The most prominent ones are Kana Arima, Akane Kurokawa, and Mem-Cho. Kana Arima was first introduced as a child acting prodigy. She met both Aqua and Ruby on set for a movie. In that movie, Aqua also participated. His unique acting style caught Kana by surprise, which lead to a bit of jealousy at his natural talent. As she grew up, the entertainment industry hasn’t been kind to her, which lead to her being more harsh to her peers, and she constantly belittles herself. On the flip side is Akane Kurokawa. Akane meets Aqua later in life when both star in a reality called LoveNow. Akane is dedicated to her craft and is a genius performer, focusing more on the theatrical arts. Her dedication allows her to perfectly imitate her subjects. The final prominent character is Mem-Cho. Mem-Cho also meets Aqua through the reality TV show. However, her strengths lay in the streaming area. Running a successful YouTube channel and streaming constantly, she sues her unique talents later in the story.
Now, the final thing I want to discuss has to be the animation style. Compared to the manga, there’s so much colour in the show. Everyone is drawn perfectly, and their colours perfectly match their personalities. I think the beauty of the anime is that there are so many parts in the manga that are clearly meant to be moving. Some characters are usually performing on some kind of stage.
In these instances, the anime does those scenes justice. In the manga, usually only a panel or two are used to move those scenes but having it fully animated was a treat for sure. When those certain scenes were animated, they gave me chills. You just have to watch it to understand. When it comes to the animation itself, it’s really smooth. The scene has great flow and nothing feels choppy, including the slower scenes, like conversations between characters for exposition.
Honestly, this anime is one I highly recommend, After watching the first episode, you’ll be hooked, I guarantee it. Even with a second season announced, you won’t be able to wait, which will lead you to the manga. That also is a great experience. However, be warned, the manga is not complete. Either way, give Oshi no Ko a shot. You’ll be enthralled right from the beginning.