What Is My Value as an Idol?
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Music
- Airing Date : Aug. 2017 – Nov. 2017
- Studios : Bandai Namco Pictures
Dream Festival! R Introduction and Story
Dream Festival! R is the second season of this idol anime; following the rise of DearDream, a group of five teenage boys. Kanade Amamiya, Junya Sasaki, Chizuru Sawamura, Shin Oikawa, and Itsuki Katagiri worked hard to win their debut at last year’s Dream Festival. But, though they managed to rise above their fellow rookie idols and claim the hearts of their audience, DearDream still has a long way to go before they can call themselves true idols! Along with KUROFUNE and the rest of their fellow idol friends, the boys of DearDream must learn what it means to be a true idol and achieve their dreams.
Dream Festival! R focuses on the deeper development of the different boys as idols, both in their groups and as individuals in the industry. After the rookies hear their mentor, Haruto Mikami, tell them they are still not true idols, DearDream decide they must become strong on their own to support one another in the group. Each boy matures as he goes through different trials and learns to stand on his own. These trials are different for each person; for example, Kanade must discover his strength as the center of DearDream, while searching for his value as an idol. Meanwhile, Shin has to learn his strengths as an idol working in a drama, rather than relying on his ability as a former child actor.
Throughout the series, we also get to learn more about the various other side characters that are a part of the D-4 Production agency. Particularly, DearDream’s friends/rivals, KUROFUNE are given a spotlight, revealing the struggles between stoic Yuuto Kuroishi and the flamboyant Keigo Kazama. We learn that Yuuto had a childhood mentor who inspired him to get into music, and is trying to reach out to his mentor through his activities as an idol.
With only a few episodes left in the season, it becomes clear that each rookie idol has grown in their own way, and they are ready for the competition of this year’s Dream Festival! But just as DearDream earns the honor of performing last at the event, Kanade severely injures himself in rehearsal, putting the group’s performance in jeopardy. It is only with the help of each member of DearDream and their friends in KUROFUNE, that these young idols are able to pull off a fantastic performance. These seven rookies will walk into their future proud, knowing their fans are behind them!
What We Liked About Dream Festival! R
If you enjoy idol anime, Dream Festival! R is an excellent option, with plenty of great songs, loveable characters and an easygoing storyline with a few interesting moments. The boys of DearDream and KUROFUNE are enjoyable to watch, even in their most upsetting moments. Though not every song can be a hit, they are all pleasant to listen to! Particularly, the finale “All For Smile!” is quite catchy. Each character gets their moment to shine. Even some of the supporting characters that were glanced over in the first season get a bit more screen time, like the idols of ACE. And with so many characters to choose from in this anime, that is an achievement in itself! Are you searching for an idol anime with a bit more substance to it? Dream Festival! R has what you need!
While there are a few moments of tension for the members of DearDream and KUROFUNE, most of Dream Festival! R is actually quite lighthearted and fun. Each early episode focuses on a different member of DearDream, with three dedicated to KUROFUNE’s trials. Yuuto’s story is honestly one of the best parts of this season, allowing him to open up more to Keigo and share why he wanted to form KUROFUNE in the first place. The combination of silly episodic stories and meaningful, in-depth plotlines brings a perfect balance to Dream Festival! R. This anime is enjoyable without being too stressful or overbearing, though it does have a few distracting aspects.
Despite Dream Festival! R’s easygoing atmosphere, this series has a lot of substance and realistic character development. The numerous episodes focusing on individual characters allow us to see more of who our favorite idols are, and who they might come to be. That being said, viewers who are not familiar with idol anime or looking for something more mature might be thrown off by the general simplicity of Dream Festival! R.
The initial shock while watching Dream Festival! R comes in the jarring CGI animation used in the performance scenes. Although the anime is based off of a video game, the use of these different scenes is quite distracting to newcomers. In fact, it could be so off-putting to some viewers that they would stop watching the show! If you can get used to the CGI after watching a few episodes, Dream Festival! R has plenty to offer in terms of story, though there are certain elements that are clearly designed to target a specific type of audience. However, if you give it a chance, you’ll find that Dream Festival! R will entertain just about anyone who is willing to watch.
1. Realistic Character Development
Dream Festival! R is fairly episodic for most of its season, giving a chance for many different characters to stand in the spotlight. While there are some supporting characters who still do not get much time to be developed (like the members of ACE), all seven of the rookie idols from DearDream and KUROFUNE grow and develop. Even though this show is known for some of its “magical boy” fantastic moments, the realistic development of these seven characters keeps its audience grounded.
Each of the seven rookie idols goes through their own trials throughout the course of the show. Kanade struggles to find his own worth as an idol; Chizuru and Itsuki form their own duo while dealing with outside pressures from the industry; Shin tries to separate his new task as an idol from that of his childhood acting; and KUROFUNE’s Yuuto opens up to Keigo about the reason he wanted to become an idol, allowing the two of them to grow closer. While some of Dream Festival! R can be rather silly, the growing maturity of these characters is certainly not!
2. KUROFUNE’s Arc
DearDream’s rivals, KUROFUNE didn’t really have as much screen time in the previous season of Dream Festival! In Dream Festival! R, we get to see a much deeper side of this duo, especially in Yuuto’s backstory. We learn that Yuuto wasn’t always into music, until he met his mysterious mentor Ryou, who taught him to appreciate music and made him want to write a song together. However, when Ryou disappeared suddenly one day, Yuuto decided that he would need to become more famous in order to reach his former mentor. Though Keigo is initially upset after learning this, he and Yuuto soon reconcile, stating that they need one another. And Yuuto does manage to meet back up with his old mentor, helping Ryou rediscover the joy of taking photos.
This focus on the boys of KUROFUNE is a welcome change to Dream Festival! R. Obviously, DearDream’s group are the main characters, and will always get the most attention; but with KUROFUNE being both DearDream’s rivals as well as their friends, it is only fitting that we get to learn more about this unusual duo and their personal struggles. It follows along with the anime’s decision to allow us to get to know more supporting characters this season. And KUROFUNE’s inclusion in DearDream’s finale performance only reconfirms our love for both groups!
3. Entertaining Likeability
Dream Festival! R just has a way of drawing viewers in, even if you are a bit reluctant at first. While this anime can fall a bit flat when compared to others from the fall 2017 season, it excels against other idol anime, bringing in a lot more substance than others in the genre. Including certain unique features, like the “magical boy” transformations and the Dorika cards from the game, make Dream Festival! R stand out from the crowd. Each of the characters is likeable, and gets their own moment to shine. And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the catchy songs played in each episode. With plenty of small improvements from the previous season making the animation a bit higher quality, you find it that much easier to enjoy the easygoing nature of this show!
1. CGI Is A Bit Weird
Though the animation from Dream Festival! has a few improvements this season, the CGI has been given a bit more focus as well – and it does not always turn out fluid. Idols are given CGI animation only when performing on stage, to give the viewers more appreciation of the scope of the characters. This choice also follows along with the games which this anime is based on. Of course, we can understand the CGI choice, but the way it is executed leaves us feeling a bit unnerved, especially in the first few episodes of Dream Festival! R.
At times, the CGI performances can be impressive, as they lend more realism to the idols on screen. At other times, they end up being rather ridiculous. Their titled moves during performances come off as cheesy instead of impressive, especially with the group finale performance “Rainbow of Bonds” move. This choice also seems to follow along with the game Dream Festival! R is based on. Yet in an anime that has a surprising amount of character development, the random aspect of these CGI moves can detract from Dream Festival! R.
2. Made For Specific Target Audience – And It Shows
From a storytelling perspective, Dream Festival! R really stepped up their game with this season. However, you can still tell that this anime is targeted toward one specific audience above all else with the choices they make… That is, Dream Festival! R is clearly focused on the preteen/teen girl demographic – basically, those who are already interested in playing the game. Though there is still plenty of enjoyment for others to get out of this show, it can be rather deterring for someone coming in to the first few episodes.
Some of the targeted aspects can be amusing, like the way that characters are dressed by their audience with Dorika or their eight-pack abs that seem to come out of nowhere. And Dream Festival! R has clearly made an effort to make the characters more than just “hot guys to dress” with this season’s developments. Yet, for an anime that stands out from others like it in several ways, it is disappointing that the creators did not try to expand their fan base more. Their choices can make people watching feel like outsiders if they are not within the target audience. Just a slight change would make viewers feel more welcome, and give Dream Festival! R the popularity that it deserves.
Dream Festival! R is a surprisingly good idol anime, with definite improvements from its previous season that make it even better! It has unnerving CGI animations and a specific targeted audience, which means it probably won’t be winning any awards anytime soon. Yet, the amount of interesting characters that are given a chance to mature over the course of the season means that there is something interesting for everyone. Perhaps it is all a part of the idols’ performance, but Dream Festival! R has a strangely entertaining amount of likeability that makes it hard to stop watching!
What did you think of Dream Festival! R? Have you given this anime a chance yet? Let us know your thoughts about the show in the comments section!