- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Music, Slice of Life, School
- Airing Date : Jul. 2017 - Sep. 2017
- Studios : Project No. 9
Tenshi no 3P! Introduction and Story (Spoilers)
Kids can surprise you. They’re surprisingly smart, pick things up quickly, and can be shrewdly funny in certain situations. Tenshi no 3P! tells the story of the greatest up-and-coming girl band that you’ve never heard of. It’s in the same vein of shows as K-On!, Hibike! Euphonium and Love Live! musical anime, but its starring cast is much younger than any of those. Throughout the series you learn of the struggles of these three young girls and their high school student manager as they try to figure out the best way to utilize their talents.
The story focuses on main character Nukui Kyou, an avid musician who publishes his tracks online. He’s not particularly popular, but he has a passionate following and his talent is recognized by those who know him. Because of this, he receives an anonymous message from someone asking to meet him. When he accepts the request, he is surprised to meet the grade schooler Gotou Jun. She has overcome her incredible shyness to ask for his help with her and her band. After dealing with his own apprehension of being propositioned by three children online, he accepts, and together they begin a journey towards growing stardom.
What We Liked About Tenshi no 3P!
Nothing that Tenshi no 3P! does is particularly new, but it does give some new angles to many traits found in other series. Each of the three girls has their own strengths and personalities for Kyou to get accustomed to. There’s the quiet and compassionate Gotou Jun who plays the electric guitar as well as sings vocals. Even though she is the shyest of the bunch, she was the first one to approach Kyou when the three reached out to him to meet. There’s also the bossy and tsundere Momijidani Nozomi on bass, who, while wanting Kyou’s help, doesn’t want to admit any weakness on their part. Finally, there’s the sleepy yet boisterous Kaneshiro Sora on drums. This girl is the most entertaining as she doesn’t really follow a set archetype, only that she can be unpredictable at most points during the show.
What originally drew me to watching the series was a humorous clip of Kyou’s interaction with their “older sister” Toriumi Sakura. She has had an interest in Kyou ever since their previous middle school days when he was traumatized and became a shut-in. With his involvement with the girls’ new band, the two rekindled their friendship. It’s nothing new, but it’s a highlight of the series when they interact. Sakura has had her own share of difficulties, as all four of the sisters are orphans. Watching the characters overcome their pasts while working together to create music is enjoyable throughout the series.
Tenshi no 3P! incorporates music and singing throughout the majority of the show, and fans of series like K-On! and Love Live! will definitely enjoy that aspect of it. There’s also a slice of life aspect that explores the characters coming of age. All the majority of the cast is very young. The protagonist Kyou has gone through a school trauma which led to him being ostracized in class and he hasn’t recovered. Nozomi faces the hard question of reuniting with her estranged family or staying with the family she’s known her whole life. Later on, the newly introduced Ogi Koume fights off superstition of her island culture to pursue her dreams. There are a lot of interesting themes in this show; however, it’s not fleshed out too well overall.
There’s also the aspect of Japan’s continued focus on the young girl genre. This show is not overly sexualized, but at several points it definitely attempted to pander to the lolicon crowd. You may have your own stance on it, but as a show that seems innocent most of the time, it is a bit jarring when it tries this approach. You can overlook those moments in the majority of the series, but given any sort of knowledge of this fact, it will paint viewing it in a different light. However, that doesn’t detract from the entirety of the show. You can take it at face value and find it somewhat enjoyable. It does have a bit of enjoyment to be had if you’re looking for a slice of life, musical anime with a light feel.
1. Strong Focus on Music
Every episode usually focuses on the girls playing music. If they don’t directly play a new song towards the end of an episode, it involves them writing or producing a song for a later event. The girls themselves are shockingly talented for their age, a fact that amazes Kyou and leads him to work with them. Together with his already talented ear for music, they create a very special combination. It’s not long before they’re proving to the skeptics that they have what it takes in the long run and begin to make a name for themselves.
2. Adorable at Times
The girls are definitely cute, not just in the way they are drawn, but in their behavior as well. The funny moments in Tenshi no 3P! usually involve some manner of misunderstanding of what Kyou says or does, but the girls do act mature often times. The episode where they had to decide between parting ways with Nozomi or having her remain at the orphanage was more effective than it might have been had the scene not been emphasized well. This is definitely a ‘cute girls doing cute things’ anime for those looking for that.
3. Familial Bonds
One of the key themes of the show is family. The girls have been sisters for years in the orphanage, and their older sister Sakura has been there even longer. Kyou comes into the tightly knit family unit and it’s a rough transition as expected. He even has to contend with his own little sister’s jealousy that he is spending more time with her classmates than her. However, by the end of the show, it’s clear they’ve made progress, both in their closeness and their talent for music making.
1. It’s Firmly in the Middle of Average
As mentioned previously, the show uses interesting themes, but doesn’t really capitalize on them effectively most of the time. Most challenges are over and done with by the end of an episode, and when they’re not, it’s settled pretty easily. How many challenges can one high school boy and a bunch of elementary schoolers really have? But that doesn’t make for that interesting a show. Saving their church orphanage was a goal, but it seemed to have gotten lost midway. It’s very oddly paced, but even for a slower paced slice of life, take Non Non Biyori for example, it’s not always interesting. It’s an average music anime, with an average moe girl hook, with an average storyline.
2. A Little Ridiculous at Times
During the vacation arc, where they are secretly invited to a tropical island city at the behest of Ogi Koume, the story takes a bit of a leap. Koume is a priestess of the island. She follows the very old tradition of being a sacrificial figurehead for her island, and the villagers believe her to be a substitute for the island’s deity. While this may in fact be or have been a real superstition, its resurfacing in modern Japan seems a little farfetched. Not to mention, she has been Kyou’s secret admirer for years online. A far-off island goddess loli. During one scene of the show, she mysteriously appears and vanishes despite being a human girl of the same age as the others. The behavior, conflict, and resolution of this whole arc was a bit over the top.
Tenshi No 3P! isn’t a bad show, just a middling one. It’s entirely reliant on your attraction to cute girls doing cute things. If music and moe girls singing and working together are absolutely your interests then this will be a highly entertaining series. It could have been handled a little better, especially the middle arc, but other than that, it’s a decent watch.
Did you enjoy Tenshi no 3P!? Have any favorite moments or characters? Maybe you watched another show recently with a strong focus on music. If so, let us know in the comments!
Tenshi no 3P (Three Piece) - Summer 2017 Anime