In the twenty-fourth episode of Aikatsu Friends!, we get an event that has been five years in the making as the Jeweling Festival kicks off proper.
The summary of this episode is pretty simple: Love Me Tear and I Believe prepare for their performances at the Jeweling Festival with two very different methods. Naturally, we also get their performances as well.
First up, we have Love Me Tear pushing themselves to be even better than they were five years ago. We get some amazing expressions from both Karen and Mirai as they attempt to overcome their aversions to shiitake mushrooms and coffee respectively.
Love Me Tear’s training seems relatively tame compared to what I Believe are putting themselves them through; hiking up a mountain in the dead of night. Hibiki leads the way, but Alicia insists that she should be the one to take the initiative. I wonder if that sequence with the white dresses could be interpreted as Hibiki and Alicia getting intimate with each other on that mountain….
I wonder if Coco will have much of a role to play in Aikatsu on Parade!? I’m just happy to see that she hasn’t been completely forgotten, even if other characters are taking over her spot when it comes to talking about a Coord at the end of the episode.
I bet not many artists can say that they prepare for a show by skiing/snowboarding down a mountain. Hibiki has been quite extreme throughout this season; her introduction did have her skydiving and she’s been to space – looks like that will continue to be the case with I Believe.
The second half of this episode marks the start of the Jeweling Festival, and performing first is Love Me Tear. This is one of those rare episodes where we get two dressing room sequences, as well as two separate performances. Love Me Tear perform “Pride” – guess we were never going to get any new music from them. Fortunately, “Pride” is an excellent song.
I Believe give another excellent performance, with “To the new stage”, a song which pretty much sums up I Believe’s journey so far. I don’t mind so much not getting a new song from I Believe: they’ve only reformed relatively recently. Though to be fair, Love Me Tear were apart from each other for a year and a half, so them not having a new song is justified as well.
Aikatsu Friends! is really delivering with its last few episodes – and now we have to face the grim reality that it is coming to an end. Aikatsu on Parade! may have the crossover aspect in its favour, but it has a lot to do if it even wants to come close to the greatness that Aikatsu Friends! has been giving us lately.
It may have taken them five years to reach this point, but I’d say the wait was well worth it for both Love Me Tear and I Believe. Kind of makes Pure Palette feel like a third wheel at this point in time, but I’m sure Aine and Mio are going to remind everyone that they are worthy rivals when it comes to their performance at the Jeweling Festival.
Still a fantastic episode, though. Love Me Tear’s training was amusing, I Believe are as intimate as ever and the hype surrounding those two juggernauts standing on the same stage again was well earned.
They push each other to new heights, and that is something this episode shows us.
Next time, it is Aine and Mio’s turn to stand on the stage once more.