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[email protected] SideM Episode #04 Anime Review

5 min read

Pierre is too pure. The plot? Not so much.

What They Say:
“Happy Smile”
The members of Beit — Watanabe Minori, Takajou Kyouji, and Pierre — are shooting a video for the shopping district and decides to help out with their upcoming festival. In the midst of preparation, something happens to Pierre?!

idol master episode 4

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This episode helped me realize that Pierre is the most adorable thing in this show and I love him. Too good, and too pure, for this world. I also kind of found him a little too childish, but in a happy, female-oriented series as this one is, there needs to be the adorable shouta boy. I love him, but he’s a little bit dumb.

In a sort of transition from the last episode to this one, we see a small tidbit in the beginning with Dramatic Stars where Tendou and Kaoru are arguing over each other’s signatures. I do appreciate their inclusion even if it’s just more arguing from Tendou and Kaoru and mediation from Tsubasa. The focus this week, however, is Beit. The members of the trio, Pierre, Kyoji and Minori, all met in this certain shopping district and they want to help promote it so the new mall that is being built won’t overshadow it. It turns out that Kyouji’s family’s company is behind the mall so this makes him a bit more broody than usual and implying his bit of backstory we see later. One of the shop owners mentions that there is going to be a festival. Pierre, not being a native to Japan, is excited and wants to be involved. They ask the producer if they can perform and he agrees, with HighxJoker joining them with much enthusiasm.

Once they all go home after this, we get some brief backstory on Kyouji. He has daddy issues (where have I seen that before…) where his dad and family are all disappointed in him for most of his life. He got fed up with the life his father wanted him to live, probably in hopes of running the company someday, so he moved out.

As they are setting up for the festival Pierre is amazed by everything and has everyone looking forward to the event and their performance. He has become fascinated by a traditional outfit called a happi that is worn during the festivals and he wants to wear one for their performance, but when they get there and need to find them a volunteer says they were moved. Pierre volunteers to get them, but in doing so he gets distracted by a truck with some plush game prizes in it. He gets in the truck, his phone falls out of his pocket, and the truck drives off. Here we have the main conflict of the story in this episode with the classic dramatic irony (the audience knows everything the characters don’t know and we watch them figure it out while knowing this). They search around for him, and Kyouji even offers to beg his father to help the with the police so as not to endanger Pierre in case he was truly kidnapped. Minori and Kyouji find Pierre’s discarded phone when it rings and find Pierre on the other line. He’s calling from a phone booth where the truck dropped him off which looks a bit like another shopping district some distance away. Relieved to hear he’s okay, they go and get him prompting a tender moment between the boys where Kyouji smiles genuinely for the first time. Then they go back and perform with HighxJoker which is shown through a slideshow of pictures of the trio on stage and enjoying the festival. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t an animation of their performance with HighxJoker, but for the context of them attending the festival as both performers and attendees, it made sense to structure it as them making memories.

idolmaster sidem 4

This episode, in my opinion, was very confused. It begins very well with brief origins of Beit and how they met in the shopping district, but once they try to squash in a classically overused daddy issues backstory with a climax of Pierre going missing…it just lost me. It felt like they wanted to do too much with a short runtime. I would have preferred it if they picked one and stuck with it, maybe even by taking out the Pierre disappearance altogether and focusing on all the boys and their reasons for being there as idols, like they already have with Dramatic Stars. I do realize that they did that in two episodes and for only two characters for Dramatic Stars’ members but I would have liked it better than the way it was handled in this episode. I’m very disappointed that such good writing in the first few episodes, has become mediocre in this one. I really hope they step it up again for the next episode. That’s just my opinion on it of course. I did like the tidbits we got of the relationship between Beit, though they were still a bit vague. I really want to know more about Pierre and the country he’s from, and Minori who knows a lot about idols, according to everyone else in 315. I really hope they make up for this with a good episode for the teacher group S.E.M. and I look forward to next week without looking back.

I was initially confused by this at first thinking it was weird that there were random cameos of other idol-looking dudes that felt like they were hidden characters from other production companies. They just popped in during some scenes and I had so many questions…However, when I did some digging (i.e. feeling very confused and asking an idol-anime-loving friend), I found that they are idols from the SideM mobile game the series is based on. I thought this was a very nice touch for the fans of the game that would be watching this series, so I commend the production for that, but for anyone watching it who wouldn’t know who they are or haven’t played the game, it was a bit out of place.

In Summary:
It felt very uninspired and felt pretty “meh” when compared to the content we’ve had on this show as of late. Beit are adorable but I wish we could have learned more about them instead of stale plot points that either didn’t go anywhere or felt too typical.

Grade: C+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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