After thrusting themselves into the public eye, the boys are headed on a team-building trip to strengthen their bonds, learn more about each other, and train at the same place where the original Shounen Hollywood went on their training camp.
Tommy is immediately drawn to the feeling of nostalgia and starts to record the entire training camp, like how the Tommy of the first Shounen Hollywood did. It’s as if he wants to recreate that feeling of youthfulness, where they’re all just beginning and don’t know the harshness of adult life or the pressures of responsibilities. It was actually quite a sad episode, maybe because it cuts deepest where kids still feel the freshness of a life ahead of them and haven’t yet been jaded in a way that the older Shounen Hollywood are now.
The boys do have their fun though, and Shachou and Tesshi feel the nostalgia of the place where it’s just young boys demanding things out of innocence and childish selfishness, and poking fun at each other. They play as hard as they practice during those few days, but on the last night Shachou gives them time to just chill and have fun. He tells them to enjoy their lives now, and be grateful for this time together amongst friends because the future holds a multitude of stresses, pressure and each one of them will undoubtedly feel crippling sadness at some point in their career or their lives. I like the way he told them that this training camp, with the five of them, will, no matter how much of it they remember, always be a part of their past and I just thought that was quite deep.
The lightness of the episode was deceptive, and I think Tommy captured it best on film near the end, when they all began to light fireworks and admit their dreams for the future, exactly like how the original group did in the video Tommy saw. We see how some of them know that they’re not always going to be part of Shounen Hollywood, but want to work hard on it right now, and then we see Tommy, who never wants it to end, and who wants to see all their dreams, and the unfulfilled dreams of the original group, come to fruition. The short monologue about that night, lighting fireworks and talking about their dreams, sharing secrets and just getting to know each other better, was haunting in that it felt like this was the last time they were going to have together, where they were ignorant of the future and allowed to be kids. It struck a painful note but the emotion it evoked rang true in a way that I believe a lot of people can relate to if they read deeply into it.
Granted, I might just be reading into things that aren’t there, but I enjoyed the underlying atmosphere of this episode, even with its sad notes.