「B小町」 (B Komachi)
With the Oshi no Ko finale arriving soon, the upcoming Japan Idol Festival looms over the second iteration of B Komachi. But as Kana gets shoved into the center role of the group as their most talented singer, her insecurities start to eat at her as she confronts her painful history with singing.
EVEN THOUGH THE STARS ARE BLIND
As JIF’s deadline comes closer and closer, Pieyon is given responsibility for making sure the girls are all ship-shape and ready to perform. But at the last minute, Aqua takes it upon himself to gain permission from Pieyon himself to try to get through to Kana.
It is pretty disturbing that Aqua went those lengths all because Kana kept giving him the cold shoulder too much for him to have a normal conversation with her. It’s such a breach of privacy that comes off as gross, but will be treated like it’s honorable because Kana is made to look unreasonable for still holding it against him for dating Akane.
Yes, Kana is consistently unreasonable and jumps right into the femcel routine about feeling entitled to being treated like royalty by Aqua because she’s interested in him. But even in her entitlement, she comes off as the better person because Aqua feels like his own feelings grant him permission to encroach on Kana’s boundaries to pretend to be somebody different.
The optics of “I pretended to be someone else so that I can talk to you without you getting angry,” is the exact reason why Mrs. Doubtfire has inspired thinkpiece after thinkpiece about why the titular character was a real bastard. Garnering sympathy for a communication issue can only go so far when you’re stalking a girl and tricking her into talking to you without the repercussions of talking out their problems. Like how do you hear yourself say, “If my words came from you, she’ll obediently comply,” and not think you’re a total monster?
And to be nicer to Kana, I also understand that much of her entitlement is out of insecurity of feeling like she’s easy to abandon once people deem her to be no longer beneficial to keep around. Aqua loves using the people around him, and that winds up being absolute Kryptonite to a former child actress whose trauma from growing up fed into her own long-stemming abandonment issues.
I’M TIRED OF RUMORS STARTING
It definitely makes her a lot more empathetic when you see her spend most of this episode spiraling over the constant reminders she gets of her failures. Kana’s musical career was during the twilight years of her childhood career, causing her to look at her musical ventures outside of the Green Pepper Song as the product of her desperate attempt to regain relevance.
It doesn’t feel good to receive yet another friendly reminder of the time you were seen as an aging child star who was roped into a solo musical career as a last ditch effort to regain relevance. The only takeaway she got from all of it, however, was that audiences only experienced her new material begrudgingly, and never by choice. If that wasn’t true, the stalls she sold her latest projects at wouldn’t be so lonely.
To make matters worse, her self-esteem issues caused her to start parroting all of the horrible comments she’s read over the years. Although she doesn’t know why she started developing Imposter Syndrome so recently, it’d be easy to attribute it to the perfect storm of reading insulting comments online and experiencing ageism from all of the adults who made money off of her talents as a child.
It’ll suck if her striking out with Aqua is the reason considering how she really must have a negative view of herself to tie so much of her worth to her connection with Aqua. He doesn’t need to be the reason why any of these characters have value just because he’s the main character of the show and magically has all of the talent, charm, and intelligence in the world.
But it is great that she at least has Ruby be a surrogate confidant because she sees Kana for the talents she currently has rather than for who she was or what was written in her book. Rather than seeing her as a pawn or a tool towards her personal ambitions, Ruby sees Kana as an inspiration considering how she thought she’d never get the chance to be an idol.
I haven’t been as charitable towards Kana after the Love Now arc, but I do think that this arcs first couple of episodes helped me get a better idea of why she wrestles with animosity when she sees actors and actresses who are rewarded for being talented in the right place at the right time. Because Kana’s luck has only started paying off recently, she grapples with two conflicting thoughts; that she doesn’t deserve to be successful, and that she deserves an apology from the people who gave her the false illusion of being beloved.
From her perspective, it’s entirely understandable why she has a hard time forgiving others, and has trust issues towards people who show her any shred of kindness. The more she gets burned by the people she trusts, the more she lets her inferiority complex take hold.
COOL IT NOW
It does feel nicer to have less of Aqua around considering how it feels like the girls are often treated like pawns or archetypes from his point of view. In this episode, we get a better gist of why Kana acts as she does, why Ruby is so excited to be a part of the group, and how MEM sees herself as somewhat of an older mediator between the two.
I know it’s superficial to say this, but it’s kind of a soul-sucking experience whenever the girls on this show have a conversation that involves a man or whenever the guys in this anime are having a conversation about a woman. So girls talking about their own ambitions or their past troubles is such a blessing to cherish.
In the same show where “she looked like a young woman after falling in love,” is rattled off as if it’s poignant, and moments like Kana contemplating hooking up with Pieyon after one good conversation are commonplace, it’s easy to have doubts about whether the anime is truly capable of writing women outside of their presence in male spaces. But I’m at least glad that they were able to do justice to B Komachi’s ambitions as a whole with how they work with each other to uplift one another before the festival.
It’s even helped me focus on the show’s strengths with how vibrant, polished, and expressive the art style is. The girls’ mindsets and personalities really shine through with Doga Kobo’s production, and give me a far better impression of who they are compared to when they are being seen as tools who demand to be used for a revenge plot. I’m hoping its the kind of energy that’s cultivated as B Komachi takes center stage in the upcoming finale.