Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (2024)

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Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (1)

The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 1 of Oshi no Ko, "Tokyo Blade," now streaming on HIDIVE.

The Summer 2024 anime season has arrived and prominent among the returning anime series is Oshi no Ko, based on author Aka Akasaka's seinen manga of the same name. Back in Season 1, the reincarnated twins Aquamarine and Ruby Hoshino were born to their favorite pop idol, Ai Hoshino, and were heartbroken when a stalker stabbed her to death. Years later, the teenage Aqua and Ruby are now taking their own steps into the entertainment industry, such as with the new B-Komachi group and the 2.5-D stage production of Tokyo Blade.

The Tokyo Blade story arc is now beginning in earnest in Oshi no Ko's second season, with Tokyo Blade being a popular in-universe battle manga featuring swordsmen and complex love stories. As the end of Season 1 promised, Oshi no Ko 's main characters are all assuming major roles in this stage production, where their characters' romances and their real love lives are bound to blur together in fascinating ways. Season 1's love triangle is about to heat up in a big way, and it's anyone's guess who the winners and losers might be.

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Smartly Sets Aside Aqua's Quest For Revenge

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (2)

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Oshi no Ko Season 2, Episode 1 has not forgotten the personal quests that the Hoshino twins have been pursuing all this time, with Aqua seeking revenge for his mother's death and Ruby aspiring to become a famous idol like her mother once was. Both of those subplots get some lip service in Episode 1, but little more than that, which is for the best. Aqua notes to himself that he is taking a role in the Tokyo Blade production not for the thrill of theater, but so he can get closer to the director, a man named Toshiro Kindaichi. Mr. Kindaichi isn't just the director, either – he is also the leader of the Lala Lai theater group, which Ai Hoshino once belonged to. While Kana, Akane, and the others are here for a cool new gig in the entertainment industry, Aqua just sees all this as the means to an end, which is the latest part of his subversion of the analytical genius archetype.

Meanwhile, Aqua's twin sister Ruby spends a minute or two in Episode 1 reflecting to herself that she is more determined than ever to become an amazing, beloved idol who can sell out an entire stadium, and she is seen praying to the Hoshino family grave marker. It's a fine example of how close mother and daughter are even after death, reminding fans of how incredibly personal this is for Ruby. As Sarina Tendouji, she merely admired Ai as the #1 idol, but now they have a family bond, one that Ruby won't ever let go of. Despite the strength of Ruby's bond and her dream, though, it's largely set aside in this new episode, just like her brother's revenge quest.

This is a good thing because the Tokyo Blade arc promises to be a short yet complex one, with plenty of characters involved and the line-blurring between their real selves and their stage characters. Oshi no Ko simply doesn't have room to juggle Aqua's revenge, Ruby's ambitions, and the Tokyo Blade play all at once, and that would lead to some cluttered, unfocused episodes. Episode 1 smartly spends just enough time to keep fans refreshed on what the Hoshinos are thinking about on their quests, while spending most of its runtime on the stage play at hand. There's little doubt that when this stage play is done, Aqua and Ruby will pick up where they left off, and fans will be ready for it.

Oshi no Ko's Central Love Triangle Starts to Pick Up Steam

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (4)

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Season 2, Episode 1 of Osho no Ko has two main plotlines at work: the Aqua/Kana/Akane love triangle and the stage production of Tokyo Blade, and those plotlines have some serious overlap. Oshi no Ko happily embraces the trope where characters identify with their own fictional characters and express themselves through those fictional people, blurring reality and character. This sometimes leads to unique acting, with an actor speaking with their true feelings while reciting the dialogue of someone fictional. In this case, Kana Arima the popular tsundere and Akane Kurokawa both have a ripe opportunity to fight over Aqua Hoshino with their characters. For that and other reasons, both girls totally throw themselves into their roles.

Kana and Akane are locked in a race, with their respective Tokyo Blade characters being their vehicles. It's evident that Kana is in the lead, partly because she is more confident and assertive than Akane is, and partly because Kana's character is more prominent than Akane's in the stage play's current script. In fact, Aqua's character Touki starts off romantically linked to Akane's character Saya, but Touki will switch to Kana's character, Tsurugi. Based on the script alone, Kana will win this proxy love race, something Akane is acutely aware of it. This leads to some delightful tension, action, and some subtle comedy in Episode 1, which is fun to watch. Oshi no Ko is not purely a romance, and there's more to these characters than who loves whom, but it still adds a substantial emotional layer to the overall narrative.

This process may challenge both Kana and Akane to reconsider who they are and how they express themselves with their Tokyo Blade characters. Right now, Kana is pulling ahead in the love triangle not just because her character spends so much time around Aqua's, but because Kana always had it in her to be boldly assertive. Kana tended to push people away with her assertive ways, so she started assimilating to how her fellow actors performed around her, even if that meant Kana used sub-par acting to blend in. Such restraint helped Kana get roles in her chosen field, meaning she is lying about her true self, yet another comment about Japan's exploitative and deceptive entertainment industry. But Kana still has the option to boldly assert herself anyway, and with Akane as a rival, she is already doing just that – hence her lead in the love triangle.

Akane Kurokawa Sympathizes With Princess Sayahime in a Big Way

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (6)

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Akane Kuroawa is currently falling behind in the love triangle, which is a major development in Episode 1, but it also leads to some of the episode's most sympathetic dialogue. Akane ends up being the emotional core of Episode 1. Even if anime fans generally like Ruby and Kana more than Akane, there's no doubt that Akane's romantic arc is a substantial and heartfelt one, which certainly does Episode 1 some favors. Akane may be behind for now, but she has a smart plan to catch back up and push herself to go even further. Akane has a habit of making herself into someone she isn't, all to impress Aqua – she even has Hoshino-style eye stars to prove it. Season 2, Episode 1 is taking this to the next level.

Akane sees herself in her character, Princess Sayahime. Both started off having a much-desired male lover, Aqua/Touki, but a romantic rival steals their love interest away by being more assertive and confident. Kana/Tsurugi is a major threat, and while Tokyo Blade's script allows Saya to meekly lose the love triangle, Akane Kurokawa feels differently in real life. She will follow Kana's example to become emotionally stronger, even if that means being someone different than her true self. The original manga version of Sayahime made her a good-hearted and conflicted maiden, but the stage version is bloodthirsty and unsympathetic, so it's little wonder Touki has no interest in her. Akane wishes to change who Sayahime is so Akane can change who she is, and in Akane's mind, those are both changes for the better. It's a fascinating development in this episode.

Akibo Samejima Arrives With the Potential to Change Everything

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (8)

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Episode 1 ends on a fun yet disruptive note when Akibo Samejima, the author of the original Tokyo Blade manga, arrives in person despite being so shy. For just a moment, her character feels like yet more clutter in an already crowded narrative, but Akibo isn't here just to reveal the woman behind Tokyo Blade's story. Akibo sees things Akane's way – that is, the well-meaning scriptwiter changed things too much for the stage production. It's risky to change the script at all, let alone at this stage, but Akibo insists, shocking everyone by declaring her intent to change the entire screenplay.

This is an effective cliffhanger ending for Episode 1, and not just because it promises some big changes for this shonen stage play. Kana and Akane both have personal stakes in this play, using their characters as vehicles in their love triangle, and the script's current version heavily favors Kana over Akane. But now, there's a chance that Akibo will rebuild the script from the ground up to make Kana's and Akane's characters more on par with each other, or even perhaps give Akane's princess character the edge. Given how obsessed with Aqua Akane tends to be, Akane will no doubt support Akibo's gutsy proposition while Kana will likely object. That's sure to add more fuel to the romantic fire in the next few episodes, which should prove great fun to watch.

Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (10)
Oshi no Ko Season 2, Episode 1

TV-14

Drama

Fantasy

8

10

Kana Arima and Akane Kurokawa immerse themselves in their Tokyo Blade roles to fight over Aqua while Aqua himself can only think about finding Ai's killer. Then, Tokyo Blade's original author arrives, with the potential to turn all this on its head.

Release Date
April 12, 2023

Cast
Rie Takahashi , Yumi Uchiyama
Main Genre
Animation

Seasons
1 Season

Creator
Aka Akasaka

Production Company
CyberAgent, Dogakobo, Kadokawa, Sentai Studios, Shueisha

Number of Episodes
12 Episodes

Pros

  • Akane's sympathy with Princess Sayahime is palpable.
  • Kana is a tough and entertaining contender in the love triangle.
  • The blurring of reality and the stage play is well done.
  • The episode focuses on Tokyo Blade, setting other plots aside for now.

Cons

  • The humor is light compared to previous episodes.
  • There are a few too many characters to juggle at the moment.
Oshi no Ko Season 2 Episode 1 is a Romantic Stage Battle Like No Other (2024)
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