“Oshi no Ko” has recently surged to the top of anime rankings, claiming the number one spot over supreme, powerhouse anime series like “Fullmetal Alchemist “ and “Attack on Titan: The Final Season.” The show also premieres among gigantic anime series such as “Hell’s Paradise” and “Heavenly Delusion.” Written by the author of the zany and beloved “Love is War,” “Oshi no Ko” gives fans of Aka Akasaka a view into the darker and grittier story that takes an unfiltered look into the entertainment industry. And this all starts with the premiere, a movie-length, episode that grabbed its audience spectacularly.
The premise of the show follows a beloved idol, Ai, who is pregnant with twins. Those twins are revealed to be reincarnated from a previous life, with one twin being her doctor that helped her deliver and one being a cancer patient. Both were fans of her and started on their own respective paths into the idol and movie industry, unveiling the politics and secrets of being a star.
The new number one anime possesses many elements that masterpiece anime have. The first notable aspect of “Oshi no Ko” lies in its fantastic animation. The power of its animation is its mission to imbue the narrative with its art by, animation studio, Doga Kobo. Certain scenes also look like they are painted with watercolor and some contain the bright lights that shine upon idol performances contrasting fans in the dark.
For the ears of anime fans, the music made for the Spring idol anime is also notable. While the background music of the anime reaches a satisfactory level, the opening song of the show has reached over 23 million views on Youtube in one week. The song, made by Yoasobi, was crafted especially for the anime series with its lyrics alluding to the corrupt nature of the idol industries and agencies. The actual full-length music video for the song was also created for the anime, featuring its characters and hinting at the dark nature of its story.
The core of the show is in its narrative. Intertwining themes such as idol culture, reincarnation, and murder mystery, the show’s premise captures the fascination of its audience. All the while, the mature and transparent look into the entertainment industry serves as a jumping pad for not only a darker story but also a persistent and unrelenting criticism of its corruption and sense of politics.
The story of the show, while praised by many, has also garnered its criticisms. Many have seen its characters as stereotypical and bland, undermining its uprising to the rank 1 spot. Critics have pointed to that as a source of weakness that makes “Oshi no Ko” undeserving of the spot. What reinforces this opinion is also the fact that the anime series does little to innovate anime as a medium, unlike the thoroughly plotted “Attack on Titan,” or the bold and thought provoking “A Silent Voice.” Bringing no new ideas to the table, the new number one anime seems to rely mostly on its stunning animation and striking premise to elicit hype and attention.
Verdict: Whether or not it keeps its crown at the top of the anime rankings, the show demonstrates promise through its mature plot and unfiltered look at the lives of content creators, idols and movie stars. With a bold and high-quality premiere, “Oshi no Ko” is a must watch for all anime fans.