Since Idoly Pride & Selection Project Are Too Similar, I Thought It Would Be Fun To Compare Them Side By Side
After watching 22/7 & quite enjoying it, and to continue with my idol Anime watching spree, I decided to give Selection Project a go. After I watched it, and seeing many people pointing to how it was similar to Idoly Pride, I decided to watch that too, and I totally agree there quite the number of similarities. I am not an insider, and I don’t want to make assumptions based on nothing, but I won’t be surprised if one copied the others somehow. Again, the truth could be something totally different than that. Anyway, the similarity between the two would make for a fun comparison, which is what I am going to do here~
This post assumes you watched both Anime, as I won’t hold back on the spoilers, so make sure to only read it after watching them, or if you don’t mind getting heavily spoiled.
Quickly go to:-
The two Anime start very similarly. Idoly Pride starts with Nagase Mana, a high school girl, getting scouted as an idol, and her asking her classmate, Makino Kouhei, to become her manager (as a part-time job at first). She achieves a phenomenal success, but then she dies in an accident. On the other hand, we have Amasawa Akari in Selection Project, who participates in a TV show with the same name, and manages to win it & become a very successful idol, and again, dying in an accident. There’s also the matter of the main girls, Sakura & Suzune both getting heart transplants, and both ending up receiving a heart transplant from the deceased idol. In both Anime, the younger sister wanted to become an idol in her sister’s stead, and they both end up with some drama with our main girl. And before I forget, both Anime has the girls live together in some sort of dormitory.
While the parts above are way too similar, the two Anime are still different in almost every other way. Selection Project is about a TV show where idols compete for votes, or yells, as the TV Show calls them. Where Idoly Pride is about girls applying to an idols agency & starting working toward being idols the traditional way. They end up being in competitions with other idol groups (and against each other once), but that’s just a part of the whole thing.
Idoly Pride has one really good development (in my opinion), where Nagase Mana actually appeared to Makino-san as a ghost, where only him (and later Mei) can see her. She can still see how things unfolded after her death, and she could still have a hand in the events. Some may consider that a flaw, because she totally stole the focus in the Anime big time, and at the expense of other characters. She got focus both as a ghost character, or on her past as the idol everyone looked up to. Since I liked Mana, I kinda didn’t mind that, but that also made me sad that she died, because of the could-have-been life she would have lived, and because of the possible love story that became impossible after her death. She tried to make the idols in the Anime develop on their, own, so she didn’t interfere much with them. With the exception of Mana & the heart transplant thing, Idoly Pride isn’t that different from many other Idols Anime.
Selection Project focused on the girls’ dorm life more. The girls compete with each other as participants of the Selection Project program, with the possibility of some of them being eliminated, although it was disappointing that they took the cute path and made none of them get even close to that, I think that was quite the missed opportunity. I also think they could have taken advantage of the reality show format even more. At some point of the Anime, when Suzune & Rena were fighting, Sumipanda told them to sort out their differences, and asked them whether they want their fight to be shown to viewers. I wish he actually did it at the time. For the most part, the girls would record videos on their phone & post it to the app. Sometimes the crew did interviews with them. I am not sure if it was me who misunderstood the nature of the show, or if they just forgot what kind of show it was.
In Idoly Project, Sakura’s heart led her to become an idol. That seemed like a moe way to express her passion for being an idol. That’s what I thought about it at first, until I remembered the heart transplant thing. Her voice is similar to Mana for that very reason, and the connection between the two was interesting. Sakura kinda reminds moi of Cocoa from Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka, by the way.
For the most part, Selection Projects focused too much on the girls being friends & working together. That ruined it a bit, since the competition at the beginning made it very interesting. Idoly Project did it the traditional way:- Let’s train together & do it.
I found Selection Project more fun to watch, specially at the beginning. It had a better pacing overall. Idoly Pride, on the other hand, had many slow moments in my opinion. I think the art & characters design is better in Selection Project too, so it wins for me here.
As far as know, Idoly Pride didn’t have a lot unexpected or unnecessary drama. Just the kind you would find in any idol Anime. To give you an example, there was a part where the press found about Sakura’s heart transplant, and drama came from that. Something like that could happen in our world too.
Drama was one of Selection Project’s glaring weakness. There are many parts where I felt like they tried to use the drama to make the Anime more interesting. I have nothing against that, and I actually welcome that when it’s done right. In many cases, the drama felt very forced & contrived, let me explain that with some examples.
- There was the part where Suzune refused to wear a revealing swimsuit because it exposes the scar she has on her chest. That made a lot of sense. The drama kept on because she didn’t want to tell anyone about it, that’s also fine. After that, the drama kept on until everyone made a swimsuit that didn’t expose the scar. That was sweet & all, but the solution was so simple that Suzune could have come up with on her own. The drama started for a good reason, but the writer really wanted it to be solved with the power of friendship.
- When Rena found out that the person who received her sister’s donated heart was none other than Suzune, she was like “Why it had to be you!!!!!!!”, she got mad at Suzune for no reason, and then after a while, she was all fine with it. I understand she would be shocked by the discovery, but she had no right to treat Suzune the way she did.
- On the day of the final concert, Suzune collapsed after overworking herself. That was such a bad timing really, but it can happen, right? The thing is, they can’t cancel the concert, so they have to do it without her, that’s also fine. Everything that happened after that was a trainwreck, not only Rena kept on shoving her phone that’s streaming the concert down the face of sleeping Suzune, but she actually woke up eventually & performed at the last minute. How did any of the adults in the Anime allow that to happen? How about her parents? What kind of parents would allow that? The whole thing made no sense for me. If they really wanted to make Suzune X Rena appear at the last minute, they could have made Suzune absent for some other reasons than her collapsing, so that her returning to perform would have made more sense.
I don’t even have to talk about the drama of the girls having to vote to eliminate 2 girls out of the 9. That wasn’t a good way to eliminate contestants, and it’s not that they actually made them eliminate anyone, they weren’t brave to actually do it. At least, the staff eliminated everyone, so I give them a lot of credit for that. Seeing the girls struggled after that was quite interesting.
For the most part, the drama in Selection Project starts well, and it makes a lot of sense, but drags or ends in a contrived way. The writer clearly doesn’t know how to write good drama, either that or their boss was forcing them to write very specific things because they sell, wakaranai~
If you have read this post till here, then you already know that I like Mana, and way more than Akari. Mana has a cute design, and she wears such a beautiful white casual dress thought the whole Anime. Since she’s a ghost, she’s an actual character in the Anime, and has much more presence than just appearing in flashbacks. Akari has a generic design in my opinion, and from what I can see, she is more of a plot device than an actual character. That helped Selection Project avoid being centered on her, but that also made her less memorable.
If I am to compare the two imoutos, I would say that Kotono is easily the better one, she treats Sakura & the others well. She isn’t overly rude or aggressive toward Sakura. She even learns to work with the others much faster. I felt a bit bad that Kotono didn’t get that much attention during most of the Anime, as Mana, combined with Sakura, stole most of the focus, so it was really lovely seeing her sing her sister’s song in the last episode:-
I felt that Rena was a drama device for the most part. She was quite rude at the beginning of the Anime. This is sad considering she has the better looks & design. Her attitude greatly toned down at the end of the Anime, making her much more likable.
I personally prefer Sakura over Suzune. Not only because she’s like my Cocoa from Gochuumon (although Cocoa is better), but she has the better personality (when compared to Suzune at least). She isn’t that much different from many moe characters if I am to assess her objectively.
Suzune has a really beautiful design, one I would enjoy drawing on my canvas, but her personality felt bland & a bit of goody two-shoes. Even when Rena was rude & childish to her, she never responded to that. The setting made her character work very well (which was the point, I guess), but it also made her a bit uninteresting.
One of my common complains about idol Anime is how they tend to have more characters than they can focus on. They usually have “one girl for each taste”, so this kind of Anime is not the best if you want to see good characters for the most part, but they tend to have cute & lovely characters, and often some with very beautiful designs. From the two Anime I am comparing, Selection Project did a better job giving attention to most of the girls at hand. Although it had 3 characters fillers characters that felt a bit out of place in the Anime
The first filler character was Nodoka. She literally did nothing but eat. She always tried to solve all the problems & conflicts by offering food to everyone. As someone who likes sweets, I would sure love to have a friend like her. I would hang out with her all the time. But as an idol, they never showed anything that makes her suitable to become one. Not even something as simple as her watching an idol on TV & thinking of becoming one. She literally said in an interview that her mom made her apply to the Selection Project program. She always used her idol position to market Hokkaido’s local specialties. She would make for a really good character in another Anime, but not in Selection Project.
In all fairness, she looks so cute with her dog:-
- The second one was Mako. From what I have seen of her, she really shouldn’t be an idol. All she ever does, say & think about is related to her being an older sister to her siblings. The part where she said she enjoyed sunshine because it reminded her of laundry really made me scratch my head, nihaha~. She literally said that she never got the time for herself because she had to take care of her siblings. That made me think “How did you get to train to be an idol then?” There was an episode where she didn’t want to leave because she wanted to see her brother walk for the first time. That was sweet of her, but from what I saw of her, I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually quit being an idol just because of that (I am half joking here). She’s really beautiful, her hair particularly. They did a really good job with her design. But as a character, she was only there to fill the stereotypical older sister role, and to do her shtick of her disciplining the other two younger girls in her team. The only thing going for her was that she works hard, which always happens with the magic of the plot (all the girls in all idol Anime work hard, all the time, nyaa~). Between the 3 filler characters I mentioned here, Mako ranks second.
Lastly, we have Ao. She’s a generic athletic girl, and she’s there to fill that role. Just like Mako, you could replace her with another character relatively easily. But at least her athletic abilities give her stamina & make her able to dance (and she picked the dancing team in round I, so it fits). She was the best one from the 3 filler characters we have, and the most suitable to become an idol. They just didn’t take the best advantage of her really, but she had the potentials.
The other 6 girls are all interesting in one way or another. Some of them were actually good. There are two I really liked. One is Uta, who happened to looks very similar to my original character, Lolita de Calémia. The fact she’s a child actor with experience adds to her. She is so cute when she plays detective. Her mother feels a bit strict, but it’s clear that she cares for her.
The other one is Nagisa. At first glance, I thought I was going to see the timid girl that can’t speak much, but instead, we got a girl that likes to scheme & plan ahead. That was the opposite of my expectations of her. I like it when I can’t tell the personality of a character easily, that’s rare since most Anime characters’ personalities are tied to their looks. I really like to call her Patricia, because she reminds me of a character of that name from the Spanish TV Show Velvet. :)
One interesting thing about Selection Project girls is how they are of multiple ages. We have high, middle & elementary schoolers among the 9 girls. I think I will remember most of them for quite some time.
Despite any complains I may have about Selection Project characters. It still had much better characters than Idoly Pride for the most part. Most of the idols girls in it were filler, who could be easily replaced or maybe removed without any consequences. As I mentioned earlier, Mana got a lot of the focus in the show, and the two main girls got a decent amount of attention, as well, with Sakura getting the lion share. I feel like she eclipsed Kotono when it comes to character development.
In all fairness, Mei also played a role, as the only one who could see Mana & talk to her. That part where she helped Sakura talk with Mana was a bit funny:-
I think it would have served Idoly Pride well if they had dedicated episode for some of the other girls. Haruko deserved some attention. She’s the idol who couldn’t make it solo, so she summoned other idols, and with their help, she managed to vanquish Ornstein & Smough… Err, I mean, she became a successful idol. Rei was interesting, but after introducing her & making her part of the group, she became marginal rather quickly, but at least she got more attention than many of the other girls, specially the sisters. I liked Shizuku’s design, and she reminded me of Kozuki Io, my favorite character from Dal Segno, but again, she was just there for the most part. I won’t be surprised if you & many others forgot most of the girls. The Anime was literally “The Legend Of Nagase Mana:- The Sakura Mask”.
The songs & choreography tend to boil down to personal taste. Both Anime had good songs, but I personally liked Idoly Pride songs’ better, mainly because of Sunny Piece’s song Harmony. Although you could easily see frames drop in it, but I don’t blame them, since the prices of graphics card were so high at the time:- XD
Selection Projects’ choreography was really good at times:-
Both Anime had a good art style, but I like Selection Project’s style much better.
There’s no denying I liked Selection Project more, despite any complains I had about it. It was a more unique in my opinion, and unique Anime tend to get my praise much more easily, but I can see others who would prefer Idoly Pride more.
By the way, this GIF is epic. I wasn’t the one who made it, but it really shows the unity of the Selection Project girls in a good way:-
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