HomeMisc.AnimeOshi No Ko Review: Captivating & Mesmerizing

Oshi No Ko Review: Captivating & Mesmerizing

Photo Credit: Doga Kobo.

Written by Veda Kota

Spring brings many things, and this spring brought us the adaptation of a popular new manga series Oshi no Ko, which translates to “My Star.” After its release, the anime garnered critical and commercial acclaim for its vibrant animation, compelling story, and pertinent themes. Soon, the anime was all over social media, and almost immediately after the show ended, a second season was announced.

The general premise of the series follows a small-town gynecologist, Gorou Amamiya, who was tasked with delivering the babies of his favorite idol of the group B-Komachi, Ai Hoshino. Ai’s delivery is successful, but Gorou is murdered by an obsessive fan of hers, bleeds to death, and is reincarnated as Aquamarine “Aqua” Hoshino, one of Ai’s twins. His fraternal twin, Ruby Hoshino, is another reincarnation of one of Gorou’s patients, Sarina. After Ai is murdered by the same fan, Aqua and Ruby embark on a quest to infiltrate the entertainment industry to exact revenge on the man that killed Ai.

Before the anime was released, it was revealed that popular musical duo YOASOBI would be producing and singing the opening song. YOASOBI is known for creating catchy songs with hidden themes, one of the most famous being “Running Into The Night,” catching the attention of social media users due to its messages about dealing with depression under the mask of a bubbly piano-infused melody. Oshi no Ko’s opening “Idol” packed multiple genres of music in four minutes, along with an insanely catchy lyrical flow.

A TikTok challenge was birthed from the song, and thus, excitement for the anime began to grow. It was also announced that the first episode would be 90 minutes long, giving fans the best possible introduction to this visually stunning and extremely compelling show. Aka Akasaka, the mangaka of Oshi no Ko, is also the mastermind behind the popular seinen series Kaguya-sama: Love is War! Needless to say, the cast was far from lackluster, and finally, on April 12, 2023, the first episode aired.

Many of this writer’s friends who hadn’t read the manga were astounded by how well-paced and thoughtful the show was, and they weren’t alone. Oshi no Ko exploded in popularity after the first episode aired, with each following episode garnering thousands of views. People anticipated every character introduction, plot point, or wholesome moment. Many viewers read the manga to get ahead of the story, which resulted in the exponential growth of the fandom.

While the premise of Oshi no Ko might be strange to some, the real purpose of the series is to expose the dark underbelly of the entertainment industry. It details seemingly commonplace scenarios in theater, TV, and music, which tend to follow the same sequence. Someone has a dream to work in entertainment, and they end up getting exploited by a variety of executives, producers, or staff members.

It is rare that an anime provides both joy and introspection beyond the superficial, but Oshi no Ko manages to weave themes of heavy emotional value with excellent world-building and comical moments. Every character feels recognizable, realistic, and fleshed-out. From the former child star Arima Kana to the popular YouTuber Mem-cho, Oshi no Ko stands out from its contemporaries by making characters feel as if they could be part of society. Often, entertainment draws us to the fantastic and unimaginable, and while the concept of reincarnation may fall into that category, the story keeps the viewers grounded in reality.

It also certainly helps that Oshi no Ko is a feast for the eyes and ears. The show hired big names in the VA industry, like Takahashi Rie (who plays Ai Hoshino), but kept an eye out for newer talent, like Yurie Igoma, who voices Ruby Hoshino. Each episode visually outdoes the previous one, with the show seemingly becoming more confident in its direction and production. The bright hues of innocence and determination are contrasted with the darker visuals of frustration and betrayal, leaving viewers on a never-ending emotional rollercoaster.

Oshi no Ko presents what it tries to convey: the glamor of the entertainment industry, offering up brightly colored sets and expressions full of conviction, and the sinister wickedness behind that exterior, conveyed with gloomy color palettes and angry dialogue. If you want to even scratch the surface behind how exploitative and wicked the industry truly is, I’d recommend you give Oshi no Ko a watch. It will leave you captivated, mesmerized, but ultimately contemplative and hopeful.

Oshi no Ko is currently streaming on HiDive.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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