Original Run: July 4, 2021 - September 26, 2021 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Idol, Music Based on the Video Games: IDOLiSH7
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for IDOLiSH7 Third Beat. Reader discretion is advised.***
As a reminder, the members of the hit idol group, IDOLiSH7, are:
- Riku Nanase (voiced by Kensho Ono)
- Sougo Ousaka (voiced by Atsushi Abe)
- Tamaki Yotsuba (voiced by KENN)
- Iori Izumi (voiced by Toshiki Masuda)
- Nagi Rokuya (voiced by Takuya Eguchi)
- Mitsuki Izumi (voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga)
- Yamato Nikaidou (voiced by Yuusuke Shirai)
Having secured its place in the idol world, IDOLiSH7 is trying to make the most out of its success. However, fame does not make the past go away, and now, there are players working behind the scenes who might bring everything crashing down.
This series has me invested. Sadly, this investment has nothing to do with how much I have enjoyed this franchise. No, I will continue to review, watch, and endure IDOLiSH7 for as long as they keep making them. After all, at three rounds in, why would I stop?
Given my defeatist tone, the question becomes, “Was IDOLiSH7 Third Beat (IDOLiSH7 3) any good?”
Well, if you have read my review on IDOLiSH7 2, my answer remains the same:
Technically, yes, this show was fine. But personally, I doubt I could have cared less.
So, I am running into a problem.
Ever since IDOLiSH7 1’s surprising success, this series has become a beacon of what idol anime can do to break the mold. This franchise has laughed in the face at qualities that have shackled other shows in this genre.
Where other idol series have forgettable casts and copy-paste stories, IDOLiSH7 has gone to great lengths to build a world rich in detail. There are only a handful of idol anime groups that I would consider standard-bearers for the genre: Love Live’s μ’s (Muse), Zombie Land Saga’s Franchouchou, and, of course, the titular IDOLiSH7.
To that end, IDOLiSH7 3 has continued the trend started by its predecessors. If you are someone who loves this series, follows all its news, plays its games, and watches nothing else, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t check this installment out. In fact, if you are such a person, then odds are you already have.
Be that as it may, it never fails to amaze me how little I remember of this franchise whenever there is a new season. Equally, though, it never takes long to get back up to speed, or, at least, get to where the show becomes watchable again.
Still, by this point, there is a lot to keep track of and remember. And in a way, that is part of this series’s strength. There is far more to IDOLiSH7 than the term “idol anime” implies. As such, this would probably be a fantastic franchise to watch in one long marathon session.
I suspect as much because there was a noticeable tinge of tension in this season, particularly near the end. That doesn’t typically happen in this type of anime, so IDOLiSH7 3 must have done something right.
To round this section off, I should probably talk about the most glaring omission from this review so far. I haven’t actually said anything positive about this season. All I have done so far is, hopefully, illustrate that IDOLiSH7 3 went far and beyond what most other idol anime are willing to go.
If you are a fan of this series, you’ll most likely get a ton out of its latest installment. And while we’re at it, I’ll do you one better. After taking away the surprise factor of season one, IDOLiSH7 3 was the best chapter yet. Therefore, on that merit alone, I will be recommending this show.
But I haven’t said anything glowing about this season because having sat through three installments of this anime, I’ve come to an unquestionable conclusion – I am not a fan of IDOLiSH7.
Yeah, there was much that should have impressed me about this show. I mean, it has the sort of freshness I beg for whenever I come across a more generic idol anime. Nevertheless, I simply can get into this one anymore.
I know there are many IDOLiSH7 fans out there, and I don’t want my big criticism of this series to be “it just isn’t for me,” especially when there isn’t anything glaringly wrong about it.
If you are someone who watched the IDOLiSH7 seasons as they aired and have remembered who everyone was, please tell me your secret. This is a series that could benefit from the occasional recap.
Also, things in IDOLiSH7 3 felt as though they started from nowhere. What I mean is, characters were already in the middle of doing something, or some critical action had just taken place, all within the first thirty seconds of an episode. Let me know if I missed something, but this suddenness only added to the season’s overwhelming nature.
I am extremely concerned about my experience with the future of this series, and if we believe this IDOLiSH7‘s “To Be Continued,” we have not reached the end. My lack of retention is only going to get worse.
Aside from that, the antagonist for this installment was obnoxious. Never once was this guy intimidating. Instead, he had this overtly pseudo-sinister personality who had no sense of boundaries. He was openly antagonistic, his intentions were never a secret, and he was someone you should stay away from at all costs. Except whenever he was on screen, he was impossible to ignore – and not in a good way.
Despite that, the real problem I had with this character was everyone around him. It took this cast a long while to realize, “Hey, this guy is dangerous, and we should do our best not to engage with him.” Naturally, by the time that clicked, it was far too late to do anything.
Along with that, IDOLiSH7 3 kept giving us too much information. Rather quickly into this season, we knew far more than the main characters. As a result, we could no longer experience things with our leads. Every time they were surprised, amused, worried, or triumphant, it was hard to join in because we could not experience those emotions with them.
What I’m getting at is, it was difficult to form an emotional connection with anything that went on in IDOLiSH7 3. For example, when this season reached its climax, it wasn’t at all surprising. How could it have been when we had long known what, when, and how everything was going to happen?
Then there was episode thirteen, the one where everything went down. I was borderline annoyed by how little I cared about it. The only thing it really did was set the stage for season four. Unfortunately, it failed to plant any seed of anticipation.
I might be recommending IDOLiSH7 3 this time, but if this continues, I won’t promise the same for IDOLiSH7 4.
If you had a different experience with this installment, let me know in the comments below.
This is the second time in a row where this series hasn’t left much of an impression for me. For its sake, this season had a lot of technically good things about it:
- Decent animation
- Detailed characters
- A story that felt different
If only those pieces had come together and left something memorable behind. The goodwill season one built is drying up.
For now, IDOLiSH7 Third Beat does have a recommendation. But if things don’t change, it could very well be the last.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise IDOLiSH7 Third Beat? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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