Monday, March 2, 2015

"Shonen Hollywood"

"Shonen Hollywood" is an idol show, but not the kind you would expect.  It is about five young men who are recruited to be a boy idol group.  You would expect shallow hijinks and backstage melodrama.  But instead it's a very earnest take on the lives of idols.  It's almost silly how the show meditates on the principles of being an idol, as in, being "on" all the time, even in private life, treating your fans with utmost respect, giving your performances your all, being aware of the fleeting nature of the business, etc.  But it's so earnest in attitude it's not silly.  The art style may not be for everyone, but the characters have a somewhat realistic look to them that is refreshingly different from today's style.  The music is not that catchy to me, but the OP of the second season is the song I like the best.  Each episode has a different ED featuring different voice actors which is impressive.  There are a couple of episodes that are almost experimental in style.  One episode involves the boys acting a play about flight attendants (yes flight attendants) in which the viewer has the POV of an audience member.  Another episode has the viewer "watching" a TV episode of a music show in the style of the Japanese music program "Music Station" with the boy group as newbie guests.  The second season is currently being streamed on Funimation in North America and Crunchyroll elsewhere.  I still haven't figured out the meaning of "Holly Stage for 49" or  "Holly Stage for 50" which are part of the titles for season one and two.  Maybe it has to do with the background of the anime being from a novel.  Try out this show if you're looking for something different.