Much like I did with Dragon Ball Super a little while ago, I feel that Aikatsu Friends deserves to have a spotlight shone upon it, particularly with the events of episodes 10 and 11.
For the moment, this will be a one-off thing. If an episode airs in the future that I feel is worth talking about, then I will probably talk about it. For now, though, my focus will solely be on episodes 10 and 11.
First things first, let’s start with episode 10. This episode focuses on Maika and Ema. Maika is a second year on Star Harmony Academy’s idol track, whilst Ema is a third year. Episode 10 shows the pair working together – they are also giving serious thought about who they want to form Friends units with.
They hear a suggestion that they should form a Friends unit together.
Ema and Maika have the chance to give it a thought, and they soon see that they are practically opposites. However, the idea remains firmly lodged in their minds.
As Ema and Maika continue to record a video for their job, they come across various things that they just can’t bring themselves to do. Maika is scared to bungee jump, even with Ema offering her words of encouragement. Ema says that Maika that the scarier something is, the more boldly charges at it with her eyes open.
Their roles are reversed when it comes to petting and picking up small animals Maika has no problems doing that, but Ema is too scared. Maika tells Ema that no matter how scary something seemed, she always blasted through with all of her might.
Both of those conversations end with the girls effectively saying ‘I’m not you’ to each other.
Later on, Ema and Maika end up getting roped into performing in a Cure Power Girlies show when the two leads are unable to attend. They do so, but they aren’t quite in sync. Regardless, the show proves to be popular with the audience.
Moving on, Maika goes to her audition, and Ema goes to her lacrosse game. Both girls recall what they said about each other.
Ema and Maika come to realise that though they may have their differences, they are actually a very good match for each other. In the end, they do form a Friends unit with each other, and call it Honey Cat.
All right, now we’re moving on to episode 11 which focuses on the lead characters of the season, Aine Yuuki and Mio Minato.
After the formation of Honey Cat, Mio is very keen to form a Friends unit with Aine. She practices asking her, and even searches for the ideal place for a dramatic confession.
With the preparations for her dramatic confession complete, Mio meets up with Aine and asks if she will be free on Saturday. Turns out that Aine is meeting with another girl then, and she has something important to ask her. This worries Mio.
Aine invites Mio along, but Mio turns her down.
The day comes when Aine meets with her friend – a girl named Nako. Mio sneakily keeps an eye on them, all whilst worrying that Nako intends to form a Friends unit with Aine – effectively stealing her away.
When the two start discussing a long distance relationship, Mio decides to make a move.
The prospect of losing out to another girl upsets Mio, so she rushes over and grabs Aine. She then takes her to a Ferris wheel – apparently those who confess when their gondola gets to the highest point of the Ferris wheel are blessed with eternal happiness.
Mio is finally able to get her confession out, and ask Aine to form a Friends unit. Aine is ecstatic – she wanted to form a Friends unit with Mio as well.
After their little Ferris wheel date, Aine and Mio return to Nako. Turns out that Nako was asking advice about forming a Friends unit with a different girl she had met elsewhere – Mio was worried for nothing. Seeing Aine and Mio’s success inspires her.
Aine and Mio work hard together, though a name for their Friends unit alludes them. That is until Aine sees Mio hard at work designing a dress, and inspiration hits her.
After a performance, Aine and Mio unveil the name of their Friends unit: Pure Palette.
I’ll say this now, I am watching this show through yuri goggles. Ema and Maika forming a Friends unit played out a lot like the two coming to terms with the fact that they have feelings for each other, even with all their differences.
As for Pure Palette, Mio straight up confessed to Aine whilst riding a Ferris wheel. That was a date, I can’t see it any other way. Mio may have brushed off Coco’s suggestion that it was a romantic thing, but the stuff that happened in episode 11 definitely had a sense of romance to it.
After all, Mio can’t see herself being with anyone other than Aine, and she has lot of fond memories of her. Of course, the two will go on to make plenty more now that they’ve officially formed Pure Palette.
Even veteran Friends unit Love Me Tear got in on all this with the story of how they were originally formed. Mirai racing to the airport to stop Karen leaving for America was pretty spectacular. Admittedly they say that the story was exaggerated, but I bet Karen and Mirai care for each other a whole lot.
Hugtto! PreCure may be leading the way when it comes to shows like this, especially with Ruru and Emiru, but I definitely feel Aikatsu Friends! deserves to get some recognition. After all, it’s given us three ships that are all pretty good.
Karen and Mirai are the veteran couple, Ema and Maika show us that opposites attract and Aine and Mio are never far from each other’s thoughts. Out of those three, Aine and Mio are my favourite – probably due to them having most screen time.
Still, the other two do come pretty close, with Ema and Maika just edging out Karen and Mirai for me.
Perhaps episodes like this are common in the Aikatsu franchise, but as this is my first experience of it, I felt like I should share my thoughts on these particular episodes. I am happy with what I have seen thus far, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the characters.