Watashi wa Naru!! Tenchou ni na~ru!! / I’m Naru! I’ll become the manager!!
Just like I did with Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future, I’ll be blogging Rainbow Live, at least the first 12 episodes. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold on longer than that as I dislike episodic blogging.
The show’s director said they’re planning to make Rainbow Live the best season of Pretty Rhythm among all three. On the animation side, they already won their bet. The show looks much better than the first two seasons, and the CG looks even better than before, being one of the best I’ve ever seen. I mean, it’s actually pleasant to the eye and I’m not ashamed to watch it! The opening animation is also really good looking, and the new Prizmmy song isn’t bad at all. They’re still using silhouettes for background characters though. I have to admit I would be sad the day they stop doing this, seeing cheap silhouettes in the background is the ultimate proof I’m watching an episode of Pretty Rhythm. Now I’m waiting to see if they’ll be able to top Dear My Future’s story. Three characters had the most screen time in this first episode. Naru, Beru, and Rinne.
Ayase Naru (Kato Emiri) is the new main heroine. She’s fun, positive, attractive. Her catchphrase is “happy naru!” a wordplay with her name. It’s similar to Aira’s “happy lucky!”. Just like Aira, Naru is a typical heroine with hidden talent. She managed to instantly learn the choreography of a song by listening to it. That’s what the promo material meant when saying she can see the “colors of music”. She’s a music Newtype. At times, Kato Emiri’s performance sounds a lot like Aira’s voice/Asumi Kana.
Renjouji Beru (Tomato Haruka) is Naru’s fated rival. She’s the total opposite of Naru as instead of being the clumsy newcomer she’s already a popular Prism Star. She behaves in a much older way than her age: she is 14 years old just like Naru. I totally misjudged her personality. I thought she would be some sort of pretentious little girl while she’s actually a humble lady. She doesn’t lack ambition though, as she’s planning to master the art of performing four consecutive Prism Jumps and surpass the current Prism Queen called Amou Juné. Tomatsu Haruka also did a really good job with her voice.
Rinne (Sakura Ayane, Ayami in Dear My Future) is the typical mysterious girl. We don’t know much about her for now besides that she has amnesia. My main guess based on the first scene is that she’s a dimension/time traveler. She goes from world to world where she can sense Prism Stars with hidden talent, in order to help them bloom. She seems to have some history with Juné, so either my hypothesis is wrong, either Juné is also a dimension traveler. This would also work as a nice way to explain the presence of Akai Meganee in the show: There’s only one Prism World for all dimensions and as the supervisor of the Prism World, Meganee is in Rainbow Live too. These are only guesses though, I hope we’ll learn more in episode 2.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between Rainbow Live and the previous seasons:
1/ The Prism Show World/”Prism show no sekai”, didn’t have a particular name. It is now named the Prism Space/”Prism kuukan”. Moreover, in the previous seasons, the girls would just access it before going on stage, without any explanation whatsoever, in order to put on the clothes inside their Prism Stones. In Rainbow Live, the heroines need to use a machine that looks like the arcade game, and connect to it using their Prism Memory Pass and Prism Live Headphones, just like how one would play the game IRL. (Takara Tomy manufactured those headphones and are selling them IRL. I wish I could get one…)
2/ There’s new Prism Jumps & they remade the previous ones. As an example, Stardust Shower is now more dynamic. However, the girl performing it doesn’t jump as high as before. It’s closer to the arcade game’s version. There’s also this new “being able to jump 4 consecutive Prism Jump” thing. Only Juné, the current Prism Queen, and Rinne can do it. I’m pretty sure any of the girls of the previous seasons could have done it just fine if they tried.
3/ Now that’s the thing that surprised me the most. There’s actually some otaku pandering now. There never was any sexual fanservice in Pretty Rhythm, but there was some subtle things in this first episode of Rainbow Live. The most noticeable thing is how the heroines are now naked during the “transformation sequence” in the Prism World. In the previous season, the girls were silhouetted Sailor Moon style and you couldn’t see anything. The way it is now, it reminds me more of Minky Momo, without the butt shot. Not sure whether I like silhoutted or naked style the most. Another much less noticeable thing: Naru’s chest appeared slightly bigger during the CG dance scene. If someone didn’t point it out I wouldn’t have noticed myself.
Now for the absolute question: Can I watch Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live even if I didn’t watch Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream and/or Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future?
This is a question I have trouble answering, simply because I cannot see the future. Rainbow Live may be taking place in an alternate universe, there’s no absolute guarantee the story of the two previous seasons won’t be connected to Rainbow Live’s story. however, There’s a good chance you’ll be fine even if you haven’t seen the previous seasons. I suggest watching them anyway as they’re both stellar shows.
EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Yup you can watch it just fine. Director said it himself.