「大場なな」 (Daiba Nana)
We’ve been speculating about Revue Starlight for some time. Where did this revue thing come from? Why is Hikari’s outfit different? What’s up with the giraffe? Other than these big plot questions, my main curiosity was actually Daiba Nana. In a show like Revue Starlight it is often the case that much of the cast are largely disposable or at least interchangeable. So it was with Futaba and Kaoruko last week. as far as story contribution goes their roles could readily be filled by any two other musically proficient girls. Nothing against their characters and I’m sure that as individuals they are fascinating people awash with infinite complexities, but the narrative hasn’t really indicated that they are of any particular importance, so I don’t really have an incentive to care about them. Nana, though, was in comparison given a lot more care. Scenes would go out of their way to note her presence. She was given her own dramatic art about retiring to a support role early on, but she still appeared in the OP/ED in full regalia. There must have been more to her, beyond just a banana motif. Nothing against bananas either — high in potassium, great in cakes — but a fruit motif does not a character make. Plus, ‘everyone’s banana’ is much too unfortunate an epithet for anybody to have.
Turns out, she’s more than just a significant character; she’ apparently the bloody mastermind. And that’s fantastic! I was expecting her to have been playing a large part in the background to parallel her new role in her class’s production of Starlight, but I didn’t quite expect this. Not only has the humble Banana suddenly been catapulted to prominence as a potential primary antagonist, she’s also apparently been bending space and time while doing it. I wish that this unusually timed episode 07 twist was set up more deliberately, with the Groundhog Year having some discernable impact on the other characters we could have observed instead of having been broken before the story actually began, but I’m on board with it still. I also wish Nana narrated her actions and motivations less, because as usual for Revue Starlight the visuals spoke far more loudly. The yellow and black colour scheme for Nana’s stage (bruised banana, giraffe, angry wasp) was simply striking and the contrast made for some captivating shots. It reminded me of Flip Flappers, which can only be a good thing.
I’m not sure how readily I would accept Nana as the villain, because I actually think that she has has a good point. For one, I’m one of those people who don’t believe that Peter Pan ever has to grow up. Also, this whole competition for the top spot has been portrayed very wholesomely so far, but you and I both know that in reality it’s a much messier affair. I am tempted to segue into Australian politics right about now, but I won’t bore you. Let’s stick to the arts. Locally, nothing but horror stories come out of the Conservatorium of Music to the point it seems like the proper path to artistic advancement is not effort but sabotage. And so I see Nana’s motivations as threefold. One, unlike the other 8 characters obsessed with the top spot, Nana is only looking for an emotional experience, and has been satisfied with the first Starlight. Two, she spares her friends from destructive competition by trapping them all in a time loop. Three, by holding the top spot herself, permanently, she makes the revues moot and her friends will only need to resent her, if anybody. It’s all a bit egocentric, I suppose, but we don’t really know the mechanics of these revues and the powers the reality warping powers they confer, so why not let Nana indulge? She’d probably get bored after the 15,532nd loop anyway.
Unfortunately, the spoiler, Hikari is a protagonist so Nana will have to be stuck as antagonist. She certainly has more to reveal yet, considering that we have yet to hear her sing (conspicuously, not even in her own ED). In the post credits scene last episode Nana seemed dissatisfied with Hikari’s intrusion and concludes that sticking to the script is better. Which is probably not a good thing for Hikari. At this point Hikari is the more enigmatic figure figure, so hopefully we’ll learn more about her soon (is that her head-stars in the background here? I don’t know what anything means). This is rightfully Hikari and Nana’s story, right? What’s Karen doing, again?
ED3: 「Fly Me to the Star (Karaoke version)」