Oshi no Ko – A masterpiece in the making?

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Oshi No Ko, the idol anime series receiving all the hype recently, has just released its first episode. Ever since my friend told me about this series back in December 2022, I started to pick up the manga, which I really enjoyed! The story is fascinating and suspenseful. I knew the anime was going to be worth watching.

Oshi no Ko came out as an 11 episode series, and so I knew that it wouldn’t cover everything in the manga. However, there’s a catch, and it is that the first episode was a full 1 hour and 25 minutes long, enough to cover 3-4 episodes. I don’t want to give spoilers, but Oshi no Ko is about a 16 year old idol called Ai who got pregnant and went to see a gynaecologist in rural Japan(Miyazaki prefecture). However, in a sudden change of events, the gynaecologist dies and gets reincarnated as one of Ai’s twin babies!

What struck me first about Ai was  how beautiful she was. The word beautiful doesn’t even do her character design justice. Her sparkly gaze can captivate everyone who sees her, and she has the looks to win a beauty pageant event. However, no one is perfect and for Ai, her weakness is that she can be quite a klutz sometimes. I find it hard to believe when she mixed up the names of her twin children, Aqua and Ruby.

Of course, being an idol, Ai had to keep the fact that she has kids a secret. Not just that, but she’ll also face criticisms from her fans who are bound to be fuming. That is the dark side of being an idol, and to a much larger extent, the entertainment industry. I find that aspect to be harsh, and in some cases, some fans might even be heckling the idols/entertainers. That’s detrimental to the person involved as sometimes they may not want the situation to happen, but they’re just unlucky to have it befall upon them.

Later on in episode 1, both Aqua and Ruby have now grown to become young kids who are ready to attend preschool. At the same time, Ai starts to become more ambitious and begins acting in dramas and movies. It all came to the point when even Aqua had his first appearance in a drama, which he performed surprisingly well. It’s dreary, but I like his acting as he knows what is expected from him. That is what I call being aware of one’s surroundings.

Everything seemed to go smoothly for Ai and her family, as she was even invited to perform at the Tokyo dome, the epitome of stardom. However, it all came to an end on the day of her performance, as one of her fans visited her home and murdered her in front of Aqua. Rarely do I cry while watching anime as it takes something special in a series for me to do so, but I was bawling when I saw Ai struggling for her life after she was stabbed. The scene where Ai finally told both Aqua and Ruby how much she loved them finally broke me. I was despondent when I saw Ai’s soulless eyes and I knew that she was dead when the sparkles in her eyes were extinguished.

I’ll add that Doga Kobo, who is producing Oshi no Ko, is doing a fantastic job in showcasing the visuals for this series. The way they portrayed Ai, especially the sparkles in her eyes, are so detailed, and the same goes for Aqua and Ruby. Those sparkles are amazing, and the way Doga Kobo depicted Ai’s death was compelling, especially when the sparkles in Ai’s eyes slowly disappeared, even though it was grim. The choice of colour palette for the characters is interesting, with Aqua as blue, Ruby as pink/red, and Ai as purple. It’s a smart choice as Aqua and Ruby’s colours will become purple when mixed, which signifies Ai.

If you’re a person who didn’t read the manga, you must be wondering, what the heck just happened to Ai? Isn’t she the main character? I was pondering that question as well when I read the first few chapters of the manga, but the short and simple answer is…. no. The main characters in Oshi no Ko are her children – Aqua and Ruby. To be more specific, Oshi no Ko is essentially a revenge story. After Ai’s death, Aqua only had one goal, to find out who was responsible for her death and take revenge. After watching the first episode and Oshi no Ko and reading its manga, I can confidently say that this series is a compelling contender for Anime of The Year for 2023 and I can’t wait to see how the series pans out.

Initial rating: 9.5/10

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