Another concert is another chance to prove their stuff — or fall flat on their faces.
What They Say:
“Heaven or Hell”
With their second song complete, WUG prepares for their second concert. However, WUG’s concert falls on the same day as the I-1 Club’s Sendai Theater opening concert. The town is painted in the colors of the I-1 Club and WUG is overwhelmed by the idol group’s power, but the girls put their best efforts into their lessons and advertise their own concert.
Content: (please note that the content portion of a review may contain spoilers)
Walking home after her talk with Tange, Mayushi runs into a current member of I-9 — the girl who seemed angry at her in the last episode for daring to enter another idol group. While she seems to brag, bringing up the I-9 concert, she brings the conversation back to Mayushi, asking, “Why did you do it?” Mayushi doesn’t have an answer, and after reminding her of “the trouble you caused us” — probably referring to the male fan brought up last episode, and hinting at a bitterness from this girl — the conversation ends there — for now.
Mayushi isn’t the only one with problems in this episode, though. Yoppi, the locally famous girl and de facto leader of Wake Up, Girls!, hints at personal issues she might be happen. In the last episode, the reporter made a point that the Wake Up, Girls! wouldn’t exist without Mayushi, and she doesn’t like the notion that she’s nothing on her own. This jealousy comes out in little ways, like when she walks away when Mayushi jumps in with coaching advice, but she doesn’t acknowledge it herself until their songwriters mention that as a group they need to talk and “fight” more, so they can understand each other better. She knows she needs to talk to Mayu, but she admits to being unable to bring it up on her own. This issue is handled subtly, without a lot of direct discussion on it. It’s also not resolved in one episode like previous girl-problems were, instead making itself part of the overall problem the group has to face.
As a group the girls have another big problem. Having wrangled a new song for the girls, Tange schedules another live concert. The girls notice a big problem when they figure out their concert is simultaneous with the I-9 concert, and while they’re nervous, they become determined not to be beaten. The show then goes to display how ridiculous this is, by showing parts of their concert side by side. Not only does Wake Up, Girls! have few fans show up, they constantly bump into each other and fumble their lines. Tange actually makes them feel better about this, though, by bringing them to another I-9 concert, and seeing first hand that they never had a chance of beating i-9 makes them feel better.
Tange herself gets a little bit of time this episode, as she talks with Matsuda about what made I-9 popular — a word-of-mouth program that deeply contrasts with the machine-like group we’re shown soon after in a practice. She makes a way-too-obvious mumble, “I’ll do it this time,” which seems to hint that she has a bigger goal or a secret past. This, of course, doesn’t match up with the spur-of-the-moment idea of making an idol group we saw in the movie, and I’m skeptical about whether the show can make those two things connect.
This episode broke down a little bit my theory that each episode would focus on an issue with one of the girls (even though Yoppi has the biggest personal problem it takes up relatively little story and isn’t even concluded) which actually pumps up my hopes for the show, since it doesn’t seem to be following a specific episode-to-episode formula. It was also interesting, if a little painful, to see the girls foul up their new concert; rather than just getting better and better as they go, this is looking more like a show about facing hardships and overcoming weaknesses. Aside from the obvious — they’ll sing new songs and appear on new stages — it’s hard to predict what will happen next, which makes the show that much more engaging.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 13″ Apple Macbook set to 720p