In the 21st episode of Aikatsu Friends!, Star Harmony Academy holds an open campus allowing potential new applicants to come and take a tour of the school.
In this episode, the Friends units are each given a pair to show around Star Harmony Academy. Ema and Maika end up with Marin Manami and Rinna Shinkai – otherwise known as Baby Pirates. They came second to Love Me Tear in last year’s Diamond Friends Cup.
Baby Pirates are not too happy about being stuck with Honey Cat – they rather would have had Pure Palette, and have no problem saying that out loud. This ends up creating a rivalry between Baby Pirates and Honey Cat – the latter determined to show that they will be the next Diamond Friends.
For Pure Palette, they have to show Kagami Noto and Suzuka Ise around. Kagami is a boy, which means he can’t enrol at the academy. However, he keeps his reason for visiting quiet for the time being.
As for Suzuka, she is an idol from Mie – who doesn’t have time for making friends. Honey Cat and Pure Palette show their respective pairs around the school, and get them involved in some Aikatsu as well. There is a surprise in store for the potential applicants, as well.
Mirai and Karen’s lesson is to go over what exactly Friends are, and how limitless possibilities can spring forth when they come together. This is lost on Suzuka, who is more of the lone wolf type.
A few other Friends units get to show their skill at watermelon splitting, but Suzuka still fails to grasp the concept. She is called up to attempt it alone – something she struggles to do. However, Aine ends up helping her out.
She is successful, but the suggestion that she will form a Friends unit of her own someday just angers Suzuka, and she runs off. Aine and Mio follow her.
Suzuka completely refuses to talk to Aine, so Mio decides to give it a go. She agrees with Suzuka that going it alone as an idol is easier. If you grow close to someone, you have to face feelings you never knew you had. Mio doesn’t regret forming Friends, though – that’s just how important her Friends relationship is to her.
Suzuka reveals that she has no friends back home, but Mio assures her that an encounter is just waiting for her. Mio used to be similar to Suzuka, but meeting Aine has changed her – which is why she is able to talk to Suzuka the way she is now.
This gets through to Suzuka, and they go back only to find that Kagami has wandered off somewhere.
Kagami is actually into makeup, and the reason he visited Star Harmony Academy was to meet Ken – the makeup artist. He wants to be taken on as his disciple.
At the end of the day, there is a party. Tamaki tries to scout Aine’s brother, Aine’s mother meets Mio’s mother, and Pure Palette perform for everyone.
After Pure Palette’s song, the party continues. Mio’s mother approves of the girls’ dresses – she herself is a designer as well, so that’s quite some considerable praise. Ken agrees to take Kagami on as his disciple.
As for Suzuka, she apologises for being rude earlier.
Suzuka is a lot more receptive to the idea of forming Friends, and she even gets to exchange idol cards with Aine and Mio. The episode ends with fireworks.
I’d say that the most important thing to come from this episode is Mio’s speech to Suzuka about becoming Friends with Aine. Feelings she never knew she had and a lot of firsts – it sounds a lot like Mio is talking about falling in love. In this case, it is Aine that made her feel those unfamiliar feelings and experience all those firsts – and that is only further reinforced by the flashbacks to the things that Aine and Mio have done together.
This kind of thing is pretty much why I decided to give Aikatsu Friends! a go after it was suggested to me.
Whilst it isn’t quite matching the glory of EmiRuru from Hugtto! PreCure, it is still presenting us with a few solid pairings – Aine and Mio, Ema and Maika, and Mirai and Karen.
The rest of this episode was enjoyable, for the most part. Baby Pirates are downright mean to Honey Cat, but it seems like Honey Cat will use that rivalry to grow even further as Friends. That’s assuming we’ll see Baby Pirates again.
It would be nice to Suzuka again in the future, potentially in a Friends unit. As for Kagami, I just feel indifference towards him.
I’m looking forward to the next episode, as we’ll be seeing more from Sakuya and Kaguya.