OP Sequence

OP: 「アイドル」 (Idol) by Yoasobi

「三つ目の選択肢」 (Mitsume no Sentakushi)
“Third Option”

Oshi no Ko carries on as we follow Aqua and Ruby on their way to high school. But while Ruby is intent on trying to become an idol, Aqua puts his best foot forward to make sure he can thoroughly crush those dreams to protect her from following in her mother’s footsteps.


I was hard on the first episode since the cautionary tale of Ai’s fate felt like it was more for people who were blissfully unaware of the idol industry. I went through this with Wake Up Girls! where it became a self-defeating parody of itself once it went from mocking deadbeat producers to making the voice actresses an idol group and having them make music for Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody.

But it makes sense why they’d want to break the ice about Ai’s journey since it makes sure everyone’s up-to-speed with the nature of the beast before approaching the topic any further. Oshi no Ko was going to have Ai make every telltale mistake to paint a target on her back for the filthy otaku who would rather see their idol die than watch them dating, let alone have children. I guess that’s why it rubbed me the wrong way. Laying out the ground rules involved Ai being the sacrificial lamb who could easily be blamed for not being savvy to the rules of the game.


It’s also why it’s odd that Ruby is depicted in the same way. Where after what her mother went through, she still insists on jumping headfirst into the idol industry instead of doing her homework like Aqua. While she was imbibing in her favorite celebrity’s breast milk, Aqua was outlining what NOT to do if they want to ascend the ladder in the entertainment industry without falling into the same traps that got Ai murderous stalkers.

Miyako also tries to make this clear when she has to step in and remind Ruby that she’d be facing stalkers and creeps just as her mother did if she pursues this passion further. Additionally, Aqua’s tampering with her initial path to fame wound up causing Ruby to resort to getting excited over shady recruiters, assuming that it was the exact same path her mother took to gain success.

I know that Ruby’s past life hadn’t made it past 12, but they really make her out to be as reckless as Ai with how willing she is to jump into ANY opportunity without double-checking if it will get her as brutally murdered as it got her mom. Ruby’s insanely lucky that Miyako put together plans to rebuild their idol division after spending years trying to get their version of Trash Taste off the ground. If not, Ruby would have to keep chasing after every shady production company that gave her a chance and get stuck sharing a band with creepy managers and jealous bandmates.


If Ruby is the type of person who would think antifreeze would taste like Gatorade, the Aqua is the type of person who would greet every guy his sister tries to date with a steel bat.

That’s to say that Aqua’s overprotectiveness could prove to backfire immensely on him. Considering how Ruby went from auditioning to a legit production company to accepting some back alley deal for an underground idol company, he’s already driven her to desperately cling to anyone offering her an opportunity to perform.

By trying to sabotage her career path, he does more to push Ruby into making dumb mistakes that he’ll have to work twice as hard to “correct”. He’s already gone far enough to impersonate an idol company rep and a shady recruiter to push her away from her dream of chasing after her late mother’s dreams.

On a personal level, Aqua’s biggest problem is that he’s so obsessed with playing the Machiavellian mastermind that he also has a problem alternating between a talent for acting and a control freak mindset that’d make him a better manager. I’m guessing his pivot toward General Education is going to sharpen his mind toward being a manager so that he can investigate his father more successfully.

He channels his acting skills more toward impersonating industry people and lets himself become quickly discouraged by some bad auditions. It’s likely that he let it get to his head that he wasn’t nailing auditions, and figured he’d just go with being behind the scenes because acting wasn’t the same “get rich quick scheme” he thought it might’ve been.

Rather than being fake on camera as a talent, he’s fake with the people around him. But when you’re fake to someone’s face, they don’t realize who you are or what your intentions are. So if anyone jumps into danger because he’s not direct with them, it’s entirely Aqua’s responsibility to make sure that his own private crusade doesn’t involve endangering the people around him. He seems cool with that setup, but it’s also given him an unhealthy outlook on controlling the futures of the people around him.

The one person to try to set him straight is Gotanda, the director who wound up taking Aqua on as an apprentice. Even with his red flag movie posters, he’s the one positive influence in Aqua’s life because he kept encouraging him to not let his dreams go unanswered, and even chastises him for constantly dashing his sisters’ dreams. Although there’s no insider baseball on why rent is high enough to discourage a movie director from moving out of his mother’s home, at least he knows enough to keep Aqua from having only the negative thoughts in his mind to keep him company.

It’ll be interesting to see how Aqua is tested now that Kana recognizes him as one of his new classmates at school. Part of me doesn’t have high hopes because Kana seems more enthusiastic to reunite with an old co-star than Aqua does. Kana looked genuinely happy to recognize Aqua and saw their reunion as a chance to work with an old acquaintance once again. Whether Aqua doesn’t share this sentiment because he remembers her being a diva onset or if he’s too one-track-minded about his revenge plot to recognize her will be something the next episode would likely answer.

Just to be clear, I am fascinated by Oshi no Ko. I’m critical of it because I wish to engage with the material and pick its brain a bit. It scratches an itch for media analysis that leaves me both curious and skeptical about its intentions by turning the entertainment industry into a battleground for our protagonists


ED Sequence

ED: 「メフィスト」 (Mephisto) by Ziyoou-vachi


  1. The talk Taishi and Aqua that happened early in the episode, in Taishi’s mother’s home, is dorky. Why did Taishi decide to take the moral high ground and tell Aqua not to brud over what happened to Ai too much?

    So are we now gonna see Ruby crash and burn in this industry or will we see Ruby have a fruit full career like Ai?

    1. I imagine it’s because Taishi’s been working with Aqua for long enough that he sees how much of his psyche has been broken from trying to make sure Ruby doesn’t become Ai. Where in the process of his convoluted revenge schemes, he’s both robbing Ruby of any growth and himself of building up his own personal talents.

      It’d also be why he was so adamant about lecturing Aqua about his dreams after insisting that he doesn’t have Ruby’s It Factor because he bombed a couple of auditions.

      Aqua kinda asked for it by asking Taishi to be a father figure to him, so now he has to deal with Taishi badgering him for how he treats himself and his sister while he goes behind his family’s backs to torpedo Ruby’s dreams.

      I would assume that Ruby would be on safer ground now that she’s being backed by Strawberry Pro, but she’ll probably have a harder time dealing with the things that her experience with Ai never prepared her for.

      Likely everything that happened before Ai became a mother is going to be a shock to Ruby as are the traps that Ai managed to avoid by being in a relatively successful band that never demanded the world of her. If Ruby has to take on shady jobs or deal with fans with their own uniquely bad quirks, then that’ll be something that’ll put a shock to Ruby’s system.

  2. I didn’t look at your episode 1 post, but it does sound like you may have jumped to conclusions in a few cases.

    Like assuming the killer was intended to be seen as a “filty otaku” when Ruby herself is an otaku. If anything, the guy got off light because he was portrayed as a mentally ill person being manipulated by the mastermind, and he even regretted it and killed himself. The mangaka himself is an “otaku”, he even drew some art for eroge in the past (uncredited).

    Also, about your comments on Ai’s fate being a “cautionary tale”… I hope you’re not calling the risk of getting stabbed to death something any idol should be aware of. Ruby has a fairly realistic understanding of the idol industry (though I doubt she understands underground idols anywhere near as well as Aqua) but still wants to be an idol, whereas Aqua is just broodingly traumatized.

    Anyway, yeah, Ruby died at 12, so I imagine she never learned to stop being a kid (be self-driven)… returning to being a baby just let her be a kid for 28 years. Different from Aqua who treats himself as an adult. Not that she’s in any way identical to a normal 16-year-old.

    As for Gotanda, it sounds like the location of his Mom’s home is perfect, right in the city center. Even if he’s a movie director, I don’t know if he necessarily has a lot of work these days. That’s my guess, at least.

    As the anime tells us, being an idol is far from an ideal job even without being paranoid about stabbers. It can be a stressful job that can emotionally damage some kids who aren’t ready for it or who end up working with bad people. I believe that’s why Miyako is concerned, but being concerned doesn’t mean being an idol is an inherently self-harming job. Hmm… I never watched WUG myself, but I feel like it could’ve been better if you’d skipped WUG and watched a more down-to-earth idol anime like Oshibudou.

    Anyway, I can tell from your analysis that you’re taking the anime seriously. It’s always a little interesting to see the perspective of someone who isn’t that into a generally very well-received anime (for reasons other than obvious ones like “it’s not an action anime” or “I have [insert weird hangup]”). You mention you’re fascinated by it, but aside from various summaries of the plot and minor observations/criticisms, I’m not sure I saw you specifically mention what fascinates you… just its potential? The animation is good too, of course. So yeah, good luck with the rest of the season! (I’m a manga reader.)


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