[Review] TsukiPro the Animation – episode 1

SOARA, Growth, SolidS, and QUELL are four groups belonging to Tsukino Entertainment Production (AKA TSUKIPRO). The slice of life music anime “PRO ANI” depicting their music overflowing with uniqueness and the drama surrounding their lives begins now! Will you open this glittering treasure box of music?

Source: Anime News Network

Remember Weiß Kreuz? It seems to be from a bygone era where, if you wanted to have a show that’s entirely a vehicle to promote a band, you at least had the dignity to make them pretend to be assassins in a silly, mediocrely animated series. TsukiPro has no time for this kind of conceit, because it’s busy being as bald-faced as they come.

The first few minutes of this premiere throw a metric ton of names and faces at the viewer, assaulting you with generically handsome men until your brain begins to shut down in self-defense, all the while putting dense quantities of text on the screen in busily composed intro shots. It’s a nightmare designed to buffet the viewer into stockholmsian gratitude that the latter half of the episode constrains itself to focusing on only one band: SolidS. They are also generic and handsome, but at least there are fewer of them.

an alcoholic drink with lemon and mint on a table. Subtitle: but what we choose to show other people

A redheaded man in a softly lit kitchen, listening. Subtitle: is more important than worrying about how they see us.
Someone get these boys a Twitter.

Each member of the band is introduced to us during a sneak peek into their daily routine, and we follow them around as they film a commercial and discuss their extremely deep thoughts about how the way they present themselves to people is the most important thing of all. That’s actually an interesting conceit for an idol show—exploring the gap between presented and actual self and how one muddies the other because of attempts to market “authenticity”—but I think I can safely say this will not be the series to (re)chart those waters.

Because every second of this episode, from the CGI opening of SolidS doing a stage performance, to the “candid” moments, to the SolidS song titles (oh yes, there are several) helpfully displayed on-screen, is designed to encourage the audience to go to iTunes and make a purchase. The series is a calculated package from start to finish, interested in the band members being characters the producers can market to the audience but not in such a way that might create a negative impression. Which basically means there can never be any lasting tension. No real scandals, no partners (in fact there might not be any women at all in this series; gets in the way of the ogling), no great earth-shaking plot.

But there is definitely queerbaity bullshit like two of the boys calling each other “honey” and “darling” during rehearsal. So, that.

four bandmates sit in a car. subtitle: the article's about men who are even more beautiful than women, right?
This is the closest you’re getting to female characters

It’s a uniformly bland singing show that would very much like your money and is about as raw and unvarnished as that time Justin Bieber put out a tour movie. If I keep watching it, I’m half-afraid someone will break in through my window and start giving me a pitch on timeshares.

 

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