Oshi No Ko – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Tokyo Blade

Episode 1 of Oshi No Ko Season 2 begins with a crowd observing Tokyo Blade’s 2.5D stage play.  Then, we cut away to Tokyo Blade’s film set. The director tells Aqua and Akane to stop rehearsing their lines because he wants them to take a 10-minute break. Then, we casually cut away to the actors and get introduced to them. After that, we cut away to Ruby visiting Ai’s grave. 

Ruby says four months have passed since B-Komachi’s first live show and reflects on how they’ve earned many fans since then. Additionally, Ruby says Aqua continues accepting new acting roles and is still dating Akane. Ruby says she still strives to perform at the dome for Ai’s sake. Meanwhile, Aqua discusses Tokyo Blade’s source material and the roles he, Akane, and Kana will perform in the stage play adaptation. 

Akane confronts Aqua about his thoughts about performing with Kana. Aqua says he’s happy that he only has to perform with Kana in a few scenes. He argues Kana won’t be able to scold him for his performances as much. Moreover, Aqua tells Akane he’s not passionate about acting. Internally, Aqua says he only pursues acting to get closer to uncovering the truth about Ai. 

Aqua turns toward Toshirou Kindaichi, Tokyo Blade’s director and the Lala Lai Theater Company’s Leader. Aqua wants to get closer to Kindaichi because he argues it’ll help him get closer to Ai. Then, Aqua and the others return to practicing their lines. Tokyo Blade’s Executive Producer Sumiaki Raida observes the actors and actresses at a table alongside Kindaichi.

Raida says everyone is performing their roles nicely. Kindaichi tells Raida that Masaya, the producer from season 1, knows how to make solid choices. Raida’s most interested in seeing where Kana and Akane’s rivalry goes from here. However, Raida thinks Akane will spawn better results than Kana. Kindaichi argues that Taiki Himekawa is another actor Raida shouldn’t ignore. 

After Kana and Taiki perform in front of everyone, Taiki asks Kana if they can grab dinner together later. Kana accepts because she wants to ask Taiki several questions. She asks Melt to tag along with them since they have scenes together. While Kana, Taiki, and Melt depart, Akane writes notes based on Kana’s exceptional performance. Akane wonders if Kana’s time as a B-Komachi idol helped Kana improve.

Meanwhile, Kindaichi knows everyone’s taking note of Taiki and Kana’s performance. Kindaichi believes they all want to think of ways to compete with those two. Then, we flash forward to day 3 of rehearsals. Akane arrives at the studio and reflects on rehearsals, how people treat them, and the order of operations surrounding them. Then, Akane reflects on how people tend to form tight connections by the third day of rehearsals. 

Akane notices Aqua is sitting by himself and confronts him. Aqua confirms he’s observing Kana and tells Akane that Kana tends to bring her acting in line with those around her. He argues Kana lost jobs in the past because of her “show-offy” approach. However, with Taiki in the area, Aqua says Kana’s probably bringing her A-game. 

On that note, Aqua tells Akane Kana may outshine her in Tokyo Blade’s stage play. Akane’s not thrilled about that notion. As for Aqua, he tells Akane he doesn’t plan on outshining anyone with real talent. Akane performs her scene and Kindaichi asks her to try again and perform more intensely. Akane performs again and Kindaichi approves of this attempt.

He asks Kana to perform next. Akane sits on the sidelines and reflects on the stage play’s script. She argues her character, Princess Saya, doesn’t have a pivotal role in the script. Moreover, Akane knows Tsurugi and Touki, Kana and Aqua’s characters, are more popular than Saya. Moreover, Akane knows she must fill in the blanks to create a solid interpretation of Saya’s character. 

However, Akane’s desired interpretation of Saya conflicts with how Saya appears in the script. Moreover, Akane notes Saya’s differences in the source material. Akane notes Saya’s a stereotypical character, who is kind and feels conflicted about murdering folks. Yet, the stage play writers chose to differentiate Saya from her source material counterpart by making her a battle-hungry female in the stage play adaptation. 

Although Akane’s not thrilled with Saya’s character’s direction, she’s grown fond of the character she’s portraying. Then, the fifth day of rehearsals arrives. GOA, the stage play’s scriptwriter arrives and greets Kindaichi. Akane and Aqua take note of GOA’s arrival and learn Tokyo Blade’s author will arrive later. Akane asks Aqua to share his opinion on the stage play’s script. 

Aqua understands that the stage play’s script is different from the manga. However, Aqua argues this stage play’s script follows it to a high degree and says it’s leagues better than Sweet Today’s script. Aqua suggests Akane approach GOA about the script, but Akane’s not fond of that notion. Aqua confronts GOA and Kindaichi about the script. 

Akane steps in and shares her problems with Saya’s character’s writing. GOA understands. Although GOA says he can adapt Saya’s inner conflicts for the stage play adaptation, he says that’d eat up much of the stage play’s runtime. GOA also explains how it could negatively affect the other characters and the audience’s retention rates. 

GOA says it’s important for screenwriters like himself to choose the most pivotal elements possible too. At the same time, GOA says he’s willing to revise things since Akane’s performing the character. Kindaichi tells GOA not to move forward with that. He argues including Saya’s sentiments in the stage play would create needless noise. 

Kindaichi tells Akane that she must portray Saya as a persuasive stage device that depicts Saya’s interpersonal conflicts in an easy-to-understand way. Then, Yoriko and Tokyo Blade’s author, Abiko Samejima, arrive on set. Akane attempts to greet Abiko, but Abiko hides behind Yoriko. Yoriko tells Akane Abiko tends to get nervous around attractive people. 

Abiko observes Kana, Aqua, and the others performing their roles in the stage play. She says everyone’s doing a good job and can tell they put in much effort. Unfortunately, Abiko tells Raida and the other staff that she wants the script revised.  The episode closes with Abiko telling Raida she wants the entire script changed. 


The Episode Review

Oshi No Ko is back, and while Season 2’s first episode doesn’t hit the same highs as the first season’s introductory chapter, it gives viewers a solid idea of what they can expect from this season’s material. It delves into the concepts behind rehearsals, builds tension among the competing actors and actresses, and reminds folks of Ruby and Aqua’s goals. 

Additionally, this episode delves into the rivalry between Akane and Kana slightly. It doesn’t delve into it fully, but it builds upon the groundwork established in Season 1’s finale well.

Moreover, this episode contains solid visuals and fluid animation. From the brief splashes of paint during Kana and Taiki’s performance to Akane’s subtle yet realistic body movements, one may wonder if Doga Kobo Studios took a page from Ufotable and Madhouse Studios’s book. If those were brief previews, manga fanatics can’t help but imagine what the studio has planned for the actual Tokyo Blade stage play showcase.

Also, this episode touches upon the “source material vs adaptation” topic wonderfully through GOA and Kindaichi’s discussion with Akane and Aqua. Abiko’s desire to have the script revised will certainly fuel that discussion.

Many can’t wait to see where this Abiko-matter will go in the next episode. All in all, this was a nice way to reintroduce fans to the Oshi No Ko world. I’m excited to see how Doga Kobo Studios plans to tackle this season’s content. 

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