Oshi No Ko – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Manga-Based TV Drama

Episode 3 of Oshi No Ko begins with Kana following Aqua home and bombarding him with multiple questions. Kana asks Aqua if he’d like to stop by her place later, but Aqua finds her ways of getting close to him strange. Kana tells Aqua she’s still a celebrity, so she’d rather hang out with him at private locations.

Aqua takes Kana to the director’s place. Aqua tells Kana he’s learned the basics from the director but chooses to work behind the scenes. Aqua’s happy he’s still working in the industry and during dinner, we learn the director’s named Taishi, and Kana belittles him for mooching off his mother. She reveals she lives alone in a dorm as he parents moved to the countryside. Taish tells Kana if she wants to see Aqua acting again, she’ll have to talk him into it.

Kana tries persuading Aqua with an acting role in one of her projects, but Aqua refuses. Kana tells Taishi and Aqua the name of her project and that she’s working with a producer named Masaya Kaburagi. Aqua reveals Ai left behind three phones when she passed away; two were work and personal phones. These had communication logs with fellow group members and agency staff.

However, Aqua had fixed up a third phone she used before she got pregnant, and it took him over four years to crack her passcode. On this phone, Ai had contacts from across the media landscape, one being Masaya Kaburagi.

Aqua tells Kana that he wants to proceed with the role, but she warns him that the set can get problematic. Kana informs Kaburagi about Aqua, and he thinks he’ll make a fine addition to the cast.

At home, Ruby’s happy that Aqua’s pursuing acting again since Miyoko told her. Aqua knows he’s not doing it for the sport; he wants to get close to Kaburagi since he was close to Ai. Miyoko researches the show Aqua’s participating in and Ruby’s ecstatic about it. Meanwhile, Kana’s alone in her room and admits she doesn’t like selfish people.

Miyoko and Ruby watch a snippet of one of Kana’s shows episodes. They’re not enjoying it and give it a solid critique on why it’s bland. Aqua tells Kana about Ruby’s thoughts about her show the following day, and Kana doesn’t take her criticism well. Kana admits this TV drama is targeting a female demographic, so the male actors they’ve been hiring lack acting ability. They’re mere eye candy to attract more female viewers.

Kana admits she’s not giving her best performance because she doesn’t want to out-stage the male actors. Kana admits the author of her show’s story arrived on set and looked utterly disappointed.

On the other hand, Kana knows some actors and behind-the-scenes staff are giving their all to create a show good enough for all viewers and fans. Kana admits having great communication skills is important for actors. When she was younger, Kana liked flaunting her acting skills. Though she could sell people on her performances, she treated people like dirt.

Once she passed her peak, she received fewer job offers and noticed more talented and kind-spirited child actors breaking into the scene. This convinced Kana to change her ways and attitude toward others.

Kana hands Aqua a draft for his role as the show’s villain and informs him about the schedule. Kana asks Aqua to give it his best and to help her put on a great show. Aqua proceeds to a filming location with Kana, and she gives him the rundown on the staff and their filming process for the TV drama. Suddenly, the male lead who’ll be playing the stalker in this production, Melt Narushima, stumbles upon Kana and Aqua. He lets out his frustrations with this worn-down location and pays Aqua no mind.

Aqua greets Kubaragi and ponders his involvement with Ai. Aqua hopes he can find a chance to collect a sample of his DNA to test on. They begin rehearsal, and Aqua finds it ironic that he’s playing a stalker role. They perform their scene and take a break due to the location leaking.

Kana approaches Aqua and tells him he’s still a great actor and gives him a rundown on why. Kana admits despite receiving harsh criticism online, she’s happy she’s being recognized for her talents and didn’t retire early.

Aqua overhears Kubaragi discussing Kana with a colleague, and he’s happy to see her flattering the staff and raising their spirits. He admits Kana’s less known to the public now that she’s become a freelance actress and a cheap one to hire.

However, he’s frustrated Kana’s giving it her all in this project that’s simply promotional material. Aqua collects some of Kubaragi’s cigarettes, and the episode closes with him planning to give it his all with the rehearsal.

The Episode Review

Considering how long it’s been since their last encounter, I’m impressed with how much Kana’s changed. While she still has a fiery passion for acting, it’s great to know that her attitude toward others on set has improved significantly. While it would’ve been great to see her undergo this change rather than be told about it, many will enjoy the route Aka Akasaka took with her character.

The episode is brimming with great educational value for those who aren’t well-versed in the entertainment industry. This chapter gives us insight into how some actors and directors tackle projects differently. While Kana wants to give the manga author’s work a stellar show, Kaburagi would rather dish out a product that’s decent with as little effort as possible.

Many fans of popular manga, comics, and books will relate to Ruby and Miyoko’s criticisms shared during the earlier parts of this episode. From the way they critique Kana and her crew’s acting to the notion of cramming multiple chapters of a work to fit a quota of episodes is a common critique many film and TV enthusiasts share about works they hold dear to them.

Although the pacing and discussion shifts could’ve been handled better, this episode was phenomenal, intricate, and well-animated. I’m looking forward to seeing Aqua’s performance next week. Maybe by witnessing his showcase, Kubaragi will change his attitude toward future productions. Only time will tell though.

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You can read our full season review of Oshi No Ko here


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