Selection Project: An idol anime that could’ve been much more
March 13th, 2022
At first, my friend told me to watch this, but I have an allergic relation to idol animes. They’re all the same generic garbage where a bunch of girls sing. However, the first episode blew me away. The ambience, the emotions, the writing and the animation. A little girl that dreamed of singing, being an idol, despite being stuck in hospital. Despite all odds, during high school, she enters SELECTION PROJECT, a show game for training idols. For over 10 years she dreamed of this moment. For over 10 years she’s trained and is a great singer. However, disaster strikes during her performance, stage fright. She lost the popular vote and failed her dream of being an idol. Putting on a strong front to her friends, her family, but alone, she cries. A dream she made over 10 years ago. 10 years’ worth of practice, of ambition, of sacrifice, all gone poof from a single mistake.
In that moment, SELECTION PROJECT was more than just than an idol anime. What would she do now? Despondent, faking being fine so nobody worries about her. How would she lead her life now that she didn’t become an idol? That was the high point, then everything went downhill. One of the girls in the competition, that won, dropped out and said you deserve it more than me and I’ll make it in America. Thus the asspull happens, the main character will now join SELECTION PROJECT as an idol. She made it, right?
Later on, as the anime progresses, we get manufactured drama between the 9 idol members. Over the drama sequence, they learn something that changes their mind and everyone makes up. Then they live happily ever after. After the main character became an idol, due to the winner dropping out, SELECTION PROJECT became just another generic idol garbage anime. Sure, it does have good animation and songs, there’s no doubt about that. Except, the story was just like the rest, uninspired, following a formula. In fact, the anime existed to sell the songs!
Honestly, it’s a tragedy. She didn’t make it to the SELECTION PROJECT to become an idol. She fucked up. Her dreams were crushed. But, would she really let things end like this? Would she really give up a 10 year dream because she failed an audition? At that moment, I wanted her to strive and struggle on to become an idol, despite her failure on the grand stage. I wanted her to try alternate means to become an idol. For me, that was where a true story could’ve happened. Where life isn’t about magically succeeding because you wanted it. Let’s get real here, everyone wants to win, even if you tried everything in your power, you could STILL fail. It’s not when you fail over that matters, but what you do when you’re beaten down, trodden on and laughed upon that truly defines who you are.
So SELECTION PROJECT is a great generic idol anime about girls who sing and dance. If that’s what you’re into, then watch it, listen to the songs, and enjoy the anime. But if you’re like me, someone who wants to watch something real, where 2d characters transform into something much more. Characters who, despite not existing, feel more real than real life. Who occupy a space in your heart, where you won’t forget their struggle, their hopes, their dreams and how they existed. Then, it’s not an anime for you.