*Keep in mind that this review is being written by someone who admittedly loves idol band anime*
Before I begin, I would just like to point out that I had no idea HE (Tomohisa Kitakado) was a boy during my initial episode 1 viewing of B-Project (hereafter abbreviated BPro).
That said, after I wrapped my head around this shocking revelation, I was able to function normally again and get down to enjoying the rest of the series. And oh, my anime compatriots, I sure as sunshine did.
BPro follows the otome-based, reverse harem adventures of Tsubasa, a totally unqualified A & R working for the company spearheading the collaboration between three idol boy bands that collectively go by the title B-Project. The bands (MooNs, THRIVE, and Kitakore) are comprised of diverse personalities which sometimes clash in both will and intent, but they ultimately make beautiful music together because, I mean, come on, it’s an idol boy anime. What do you expect?
First impressions of the series were good; I found myself engaged and excited to see where the media would go from it’s inception. Like the typical light and sparkly shoujo series, this anime was an easy title to binge watch, thus leading to my doing so with abandon. Animated by the same studio that brings us the wildly popular and long running idol boy title Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love (hereafter called UtaPri), the 12 episode first season indicates without a doubt that BPro has a high level of potential.
As stated, idol boy anime tends to be light and feature solidly level 2 bishonen. However and in all actuality, the attempt at seriousness that this show makes is laudable, abet only to the extreme of any such attempt in a typical idol show. There are some moments that have you truly feeling for the characters and honestly wondering about their intent, despite their level 2 status.*
*Read: Why did he act that way? Is he gay? Is he attracted to his bandmate!? How did his upbringing influence his behavior? WHAT SORT OF CONDITION IS THAT AND HOW DID I NOT NOTICE??
Yes, you read it right, this idol bishie title even manages foreshadowing. For an anime of this sub-genre to provide this level of engagement after a single season is a feat, and BPro beats out UtaPri in that UtaPri gives more information than at which it hints and and directly provides more than it implies. This difference leads to less speculation on the part of the viewer when watching UtaPri as compared to BPro, and while I love UtaPri, I’m excited to see if BPro can work its way out of UtaPri very large shadow and rise to stardom on its own merit.
The art, as one might expect from a quality modern bishie dynamic, is beautiful. It contains no terrible CG *cough cough* Looking at you, UtaPri season 3. *cough cough* The colors are bright, eyes lovely, design well planned and executed; all in all, I have no complains, though, again, this is to be expected from A-1 Pictures. Of course, in this way, the animation isn’t anything shocking, though it is somewhat better than the average such title. The animators have done well. ❤
The diverse cast of bishonen provide hours of entertainment and unique music to boot! My personal favorite song being Hoshi to Tsuki no Sentence by Kitakore, listening to the harmony of the princely Ryūji Korekuni and tsundere Tomohisa Kitakado (played by the talented Daisuke Kishio and Daisuke Ono respectively) never fails to make me smile! Give it a spoiler-free listen below!
In addition, this title stands out because it manages something else that UtaPri didn’t accomplish until well into it’s run; it focuses on the complicated relationships between the men and their backstories just as much if not more so than those between the female MC and her harem. I love that. UtaPri season 1 included minor backstory, but it positively revolved around the romantic aspect. I enjoyed that as well, but I also came to appreciate how the characters matured to consider other important implications of stardom and their band-hood as they aged. Maybe BPro can get to such a place a bit faster.
Dancing it out with a final song, I’ll leave you with my hope that we see a season 2 that wraps up the CLIFF HANGER MYSTERY ENDING (Yep! You read that right too! In an IDOL ANIME!), but I wouldn’t be suprised if it falls by the wayside owing to UtaPri’s sheer magnitude (rather than any fault of its own).
Have you seen BPro? What are your thoughts?
Until next time!