Late with this review and I’m actually at Episode 3 as I wanted to be caught up on everything for the Summer 2020 Update. Oh well, no big deal. And for the record, I’m not sure if Lapis Re:LiGHTs is a mainstay for the review lineup but it’s just interesting enough to make me want to blog about it so I’m giving it a try for now.
At the opening scene, there’s a brief but presumably important revelation that Tiara is actually a princess. For what country I don’t know; I’m just going to assume it’s for whatever country this show takes place in. Only Rosetta know this truth and while I wonder how Tiara can hide something this big in public, I’m more curious about the fact that she wants her identity to be a secret. Tiara says she just doesn’t want people to act differently towards her though I suspect there’s something more to do it. It also makes Yue’s hostility towards her more peculiar, especially when it’s reveal at the end of this episode that she too is a princess. Maybe Yue figured out Tiara’s identity? I only have one nitpick and it’s that this revelation makes Tiara’s name extremely on the nose (as well as make me feel stupid for not guessing that she’s a princess).
The following day, we see Tiara determined to help her group avoid expulsion, only to be met with meager results. The show elaborates that the school runs on a point-based system. Think of it like House Points in Harry Potter but it actually dictates your report card. I must say: the faculty at Flora Girls Academy might be a bit more trigger happy with deducting points than Hogwarts’. Just about every screw up Tiara’s group do, however trivial or petty they may be, causes them to lose points. It’s funny though the fact this goes get played for laughs makes me question how much these points will actually matter. I’m sure it’ll drive a lot of future events but right now, I don’t feel terribly concerned for these girls’ educations.
While discussing points, the gang remarks that Rosetta is often out of campus for a while and decide to detail her to find out what’s up. They soon learn that Rosetta takes on a variety of jobs and right now, she’s trying to find a duck she’s hired to pet-sit. Naturally, everyone decides to help her out. The whole sequence is CGDCT fluff through and through but I must admit that I did find it pretty enjoyable. It especially gets funny when Lynette, Ashley, and Lavie chase after the pet duck and you have Lynette getting exhausted as well as her and Ashley getting distracted from window shopping, much to Lavie’s annoyance. The comedic timing here is terrific.
You also get out of this plot some bonding between Tiara and Rosetta. Wandering through town proves to be nostalgic, with Tiara recalling when Rosetta used to sneak her out of town. Tiara also learns quite a lot about her best friend in this episode. First is that despite her royal status, Rosetta isn’t terribly rich due to some financial trouble her family has been dealt with. Second, Ashley and Lynette reveal that Rosetta has a dangerous habit of trying to do stuff on her own, putting her health at risk in the process. Both of these are new information to Tiara. That can’t be helped since she hasn’t seen Rosetta in years but regardless, she resolves to be a better friend. All things considered, I really like this continued look at Tiara and Rosetta’s relationship. I really buy these two as friends reuniting after quite some time apart.
So finally at the end of the second episode, you get to see where the idol genre comes into play. Rosetta takes Tiara to an “Orchestra”, an event where witches perform onstage to gather mana from the crowd’s reaction. This performance happens to feature Supernova, Yue’s group. That’s actually a pretty decent explanation for why these characters are essentially performing J-Pop and why that’d be tied to their curriculum. Even the flashy effects are perfectly justifiable as it’s implied to be magic cast by the characters as they perform.
Of course, the other question to ask is if the actual performance itself is any good. The dancing is animated via CGI though I actually don’t think it’s half-bad. It can look clunky but there’s been much worse in idol anime and the rendering surprisingly matches the more 2D art pretty well. The song isn’t the most memorable however and that sets a concerning standard for the soundtrack of an idol series, not to mention be a demonstration of Supernova’s supposed superiority. Hopefully, later insert songs are more up to snuff.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Lapis Re:LiGHTs on Funimation