With a few exceptions, idol anime aren’t really my cup of tea. However, I did want to give Dropout Idol Fruit Tart a chance as the premise, while stupid, seems like it could a lot of fun. How is it upon execution? Well, it’s fine but it’s also a tad bit clumsy.
The show revolves around Ino Sakura (Hiyori Nitta), an aspiring idol who moves into a dorm run by her agency. All of her roommates are girls struggling in various professions. Roko Sekino (Kubota) is a has-been of an actor, Hayu Nukui (Haruka Shiraishi) is a struggling musician, and Nina Maehara is an extremely anxious model. Upon arrival, Ino (who seriously looks a lot like Nadeshiko from Laid-Back Camp) learns alongside everyone else that the dorm will soon be demolished and the “only” way they can pay off the large debt owed is by becoming an idol group dubbed Fruit Tart.
There’s definitely a lot you have to accept here. For starters, there’s the fact that everyone accepts that becoming idols is the way to go. The show does bring up why they don’t work part-time jobs to pay off the debt though I’d argue it’s the more practical route as the potentially bigger reward from the idol gig comes with higher risks. More importantly, I’m stunned everyone goes along with the plan at all. Ino I get as idols is her career choice to begin with. But everyone else? They come around in just one scene and I just don’t buy it. Also, in a more dramatic context, them being forced by their agency to undergo this plan is rather slimy. They’re that okay with it? I think I would’ve preferred it if convincing each and everyone to become idols was its own episode or two. There is a reason why that set up is used so often in idol anime.
What really perturbs me though is how quickly we get to the actual idol stuff. The second half of the episode involves Fruit Tart handing out promotional flyers. I’ll admit that the flyers being for a local grocery store and not the idols themselves is a pretty good joke. To my surprise however, they actually do break out into song. Despite this literally being their first day of work as idols, they already have a number and dance at the ready. Maybe Roko, Hayu, and Nina had this in the works before though that wouldn’t explain how Ino knows it so well. The performance itself is fine but the lack of buildup to it is disappointing. It would’ve been nice to see them pool their individual talents to work on the song and practice it. This just feels like the show is forcing itself to have a performance in the first episode.
For what it’s worth, I find the characters pretty decent. Ino seems likable enough as the optimistic center of the group and Roko provides some good comedy with her self-consciousness over how young she looks compared to everyone else. I don’t know if they’re all good enough to carry the series but we’ll see.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Dropout Idol Fruit Tart on Funimation