“You Cannot Devote Your Life To Your Life”
While not as inspiring as the previous episode, this episode did have some gold nuggets, but you did have to squint.
The ‘main’ character Kakeru finds himself in a bit of dilemma when he’s out karaoke-ing with his friends and is told that he’s not a very good singer for an idol. At this stage I might point out that none of the boys are very good singers at all, but we’ll ignore that for now. Being in the idol business, I’m sure we can understand why it’s such a shock to him, and it doesn’t help when he tries to practice only for his sister – that brat is really irritating, by the way – to keep beating him down about it and telling him to just accept the fact that he sucks and stop singing. It’s always disheartening when you’re doing your best but someone has to shut you down by telling you you’re not good enough and I think that might have been one of the underlying messages to this episode. He doesn’t magically get better by the end of it, with a little faith, trust and pixie dust, but he does learn to jump over his own hurdle of fearing what everyone else is thinking when he sings.
The team helps him by literally throwing him into the outside world, singing every line instead of speaking, and it’s actually quite sweet when you think about it. I suppose this is where Shounen Hollywood really makes its public debut; actually in public. Most of them do feel embarrassed about singing in front of people even as they gather a crowd around them, but it’s less for their own sensibilities and more for the fact that they’re helping out their fellow teammate, and by the end of it Kakeru is a little bit braver than before and a little less self-conscious about singing in public and in front of people.
It was nothing spectacular or mind-blowing, but it was an episode about someone getting over a personal hurdle and trying not to let the criticism or the negativity get to them. I won’t say it was the easiest episode to watch; there were so many cringe-worthy moments, but it did have an interesting moral or anecdote if you looked or listened hard enough.
I feel like I’m navigating this series a little differently compared to when I first started and even if it’s not the best show in the world I find the process of digging quite enjoyable, actually. Surprise, surprise!