Before I start talking about episode forty-one of Aikatsu Friends!, I’ll think I’ll start with some rather good news.Aikatsu Friends! is getting a second season, which will be called Aikatsu Friends! ~Kagayaki no Jewel~ (Shining Jewel). It will be set two years after the current season, with Aine now in high school. The story begins when she encounters the mysterious idol Hibiki Amakake, who wears the shining Jewel Dress.
Pretty exciting things ahead for Aikatsu Friends!, but let’s focus on the present now, and episode forty-one of the current season. We’ve arrived at the final of the Diamond Friends Cup.
There is only a day to go until the final of the Diamond Friends Cup, and Aine has quite the appetite. As she devours multiple tomato, basil and cheese sandwiches, a visitor arrives at the Penguin Café. It is Mirai from Love Me Tear.
Mirai tells Aine and Mio about the Love Me Zone, which is Love Me Tear’s evolution of the Aikatsu Zone. A strong rival is needed to trigger the Love Me Zone, and Pure Palette fit that requirement perfectly.
However, Karen has her doubts about using it – using it in the past caused other idols to completely give up on Aikatsu. Karen fears that the same will happen with Pure Palette.
Aine and Mio are not intimidated in the least, and want Love Me Tear to unleash the Love Me Zone. They wouldn’t be satisfied with winning if Love Me Tear held back, so together with Mirai they come up with a plan to prove that they can withstand Love Me Tear’s Love Me Zone.
The plan they come up with is a pyjama party. Mio, Mirai and Karen all stay at Aine’s place. It also happens to be the first time that Karen has ever had a pyjama party, so she brings along a little too much when she first arrives.
After snacking and playing board games, Mio realises that they are completely missing the point of the pyjama party. The whole point is to prove to Karen that it is okay to release the Love Me Zone, so things end up becoming more competitive.
Both Aine and Mio take turns to come up with feats or things they are good at, but Karen manages to one-up them every time. They keep this up until night falls, at which point everyone goes to bed.
In bed, Mirai reaches out and places her hand on Karen’s cheek, saying that she will stay with Karen no matter what. Karen is actually awake, and thanks Mirai for becoming her friend. Mirai leaves the decision to unleash the Love Me Zone up to Karen.
The day of the final arrives, and Mirai and Karen wake up to see that Aine and Mio got up even before they did. They are outside with their fans; seeing this, Karen suggests that Pure Palette are already in the place that Love Me Tear are aiming to get. Karen decides that they will release the Love Me Zone during their performance.
Love Me Tear perform ‘Pride’, and end up leaving the whole stadium speechless. As they perform, they create a Miracle Aura. During the interview afterwards, Mirai and Karen tell Pure Palette to ascend and join Love Me Tear with the heights that they have achieved. That is where this episode ends.
Well, things are certainly heating up in the Diamond Friends Cup. Love Me Tear’s performance was excellent, and ‘Pride’ is such a great song – though I think I slightly prefer ‘Believe It’. ‘Pride’ also happens to be the current ending theme, so hearing it called a new song is interesting.
That also suggests to me that Pure Palette’s new song will be the current opening theme, but that’s something we’ll see in the next episode.
Besides Love Me Tear’s performance, Mirai stroking Karen’s cheek whilst they slept side by side was a rather notable scene. One that greatly pleases me, as a yuri fan.
Next time, we shall see the conclusion of the Diamond Friends Cup with Pure Palette’s performance.