Shounen Hollywood is easily the most underrated anime of the season.

It seems like literally no one is watching this show. To be fair, I put off watching it until episode 7. I went in not really knowing what to expect, and what I came out of was a show that is not about boys becoming idols, but about the aspiring idols who don’t really make it. Granted, I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it has been heavily implied throughout the entire show that they are probably not going to be successful idols. It’s a slice-of-life, coming of age story, but underneath that, a subtle and pessimistic look at how the idol industry exploits teens to become idols and to want to become idols with promises of fame and fun, if only to become a flavor-of-the week and fade into obscurity.

The story centers around an idol revival group called Shounen Hollywood, with the original achieving popularity 15 years prior to the story. The main character, Kakeru (the one with the red background), is scouted into the group at his part time job at a juice bar. He’s a prettyboy type, to whom everything seems to come easily, but who has absolutely no direction. He has no idea what he wants to do, he can’t sing, and he is the first to realize and acknowledge that he is part of a group of teenage boys put together for a revival that no one really wanted. With that in mind, his monologues and experiences set the tone of the show.

The group works in a theatre called Hollywood Tokyo. Makki (green), is a high school dropout and the leader of the group, despite being the weakest link. He puts the most energy and heart into making the group successful largely because he is desperate for approval, a point illustrated in the way he interacts with the theatre’s pet owl who, being an owl, doesn’t show affection toward him no matter how nice he is to it. The yellow one, Tommy, initially introduced as Mii, is a fanboy who comes from the same group home as one of the original members of the group…also named Tommy. He’s been a fan of Shounen Hollywood since he was a child, and has seemingly molded himself into the original Tommy’s image as a way to escape his pretty bleak reality. Kira (blue) and Shun (pink) have the most talent, but Shun is a narcissist who appears to view the group as a stepping stone to his solo career (but ironically cannot be fucked to put effort into making the group a viable stepping stone), and Kira is an ex-child star with a stage mom who has given him a superiority complex. Their manager, a member of the original Shounen Hollywood, is a forever 17 who called himself “GOD” and is blatantly reviving the group because he is stuck in the past.

They are a clusterfuck. They are doomed from the beginning, and absolutely none of it is acknowledged. And that is what is so wonderful about it.

In one episode, Tommy watches a video made by the original Shounen Hollywood members. They are all going around telling the camera what their dreams are. It is then that Tommy begins to understand what it means to be an idol. “None of their dreams came true,” he says sadly. In a later reimagining of the scene by the new members, he says, “I want to sing and dance with everyone forever.” The viewers, of course, are to understand that it probably isn’t going to happen.

The plot is fairly standard, and the interesting parts are in the ways they communicate with each other, and the ways each boy grows into and out of his role in the idol group, and the nature of the idol industry in general. The final episode is next Saturday. I hope that there is no big resolution to the series. I hope they leave it ambiguous. ☆

Okay so... What did we learn this summer?

That  we can do wonderful things for the team.

That love friendship prevail over rivalry . 

That love can change a life because it make it meaningful

And that a person’s life is something that must never be forgotten 

That home, could be anywhere, as long as the people you love is there

Yes. Summer 2k14 was a lovely anime season.