Lapis Re:LiGHTs is proving to have a much broader mixture of elements than I was expecting. The Orchestras are much more prevalent here compared to the previous episode though it serves as a framing device for our three new characters and an actual performance only happens at the very end. What really fills the running time this episode is Tiara and her new friends checking out various school clubs and running into monsters. That latter part surprises me a bit. I mean, the show did establish the existence of magical beasts and ideally, that’s something that ought to be brought up again. But with how CGDCT this show is, I really kept my expectations for action to a minimum so the fact that it is being followed through is neat. I kind of like their designs too; reminds me of the Heartless from Kingdom Hearts (although goddamn it, I’m reminded of Kingdom Hearts again).
My only question with the idol side of things is that we’re clearly going to see Tiara decide she wants to perform an Orchestra herself and yet, the show hasn’t made much indication that’s where she’s going. She finds them exciting to watch but she has yet to give a line of dialogue directly confirming she wants to do one herself. If anything, this show has me thinking Tiara is more interested in becoming a gardener or an adventurer. The former because you see her eyeing the Gardening Club while touring the campus and the latter because she’s proving to be quite good with her plant magic (that clutch save at the end…). This all said, I must admit that either path for Tiara sounds like it’d be fun to watch.
For this episode, we focus on a trio of sisters: Kaede (Yuuko Oono), Nadeshiko (rina Honnizumi), and Tsubaki (Arisa Suzuki). All three comprise the Orchestra group Konohana wa Otome. As Tiara befriends all three of them, she learns that they perform rock music but Nadeshiko now wants to incorporate musical elements from her home country (you’d think it’d be the other way around). Kaede worries it won’t work and begins distancing herself from her sister. It’s a charming story though it does take a surprisingly intense turn when Nadeshiko goes missing in the forest, leading to the official unveiling of the magical beasts. The only issue I have here is Tsubaki’s character. She’s, shall we say, very lovey-dovey towards her sisters and in this case, I didn’t find it terribly funny.
I currently think Tiara’s song from Episode 1 is the best insert song yet but I did have more fun with Konohana wa Otome’s Orchestra compared to Supernova’s. I’m kind of sucker for music that blends Eastern and Western together and this song very much checks that box for me. That said, some of the CGI looks rougher this time around. Perhaps I had my hopes up too high.
Since the focus is largely on Tiara and Konohana wa Otome, this episode has a tighter emphasis on characterization than the previous one. The drawback however is that Tiara’s main pals are temporarily shoved to side and that kind of sucks. As static as they are, I’m liking the chemistry among those five. Rosetta does at least sneak in a fun moment where she voices her objection towards Kaede wanting Tiara as a sister. That says more about her than it does the other two.
The episode does also provide some more insight at Yue’s apparent contempt towards Tiara. Judging by her dialogue, she not only knows Tiara’s real identity but also seems to know Eliza as well and thinks Tiara is doing her sister a disservice. Maybe Eliza has her upperclassman and one she admires so seeing Tiara in the lowest rank comes across as an insult. Frankly, I think that’s rather unfair of Yue. This is their second encounter and their first real conversation. Yue hasn’t even seen Tiara cast magic, let alone perform in an Orchestra. On top of that, she isn’t aware that Tiara’s main motivation is stepping outside of her sister’s shadow and becoming a witch in her own right. I suspect there’s more to Yue that we don’t yet know and her arc will undoubtedly be her warming up to Tiara (watch out, Rosetta). But darn, she’s pretty unreasonable and unlikable right now.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Lapis Re:LiGHTs on Funimation