Welcome to Hollywood Tokyo, a place where suddenly all idols turn into Americanized versions of themselves and chase their wildest dreams (coincidentally turning out to be all the same *gasp*).
Kakeru is a high school student who has been scouted by a theater director to become part of an idol at the Tokyo Hollywood, a theater which used to host one of the biggest Idol groups called Shounen Hollywood. One day at the theater, Kakeru and the 4 other members of his group are told by the director to become the remake of SHounen Hollywood.
This show is actually pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised to find this kind of quality in a musical Idol show, and most of all I was actually happy to find the potential for a good plot and character development, not only for the main character but for all the characters of the group.
What’s most interesting about the show is literally featured in the title: Hollywood. If I were to take the concept of an Idol show and to present in in a way Hollywood would, I would end up with literally something like this; 5 characters, with 5 different stories, chasing their dreams and becoming their own star through hard work and passion (and a shade of talent). Normally, I would almost get annoyed at the idea, but for anime in which directors also tend to follow their own conventions and to never break out of them, it makes me happy to see something like this where two different ideas that work well separately are put together to form something even better. I can smell the kya-ing of all 14 year-old otaku girls from quite a long way, and were I at that age, I would clearly be with them.
There are upsides to using normal conventions together, but there are also downsides as well, and the biggest one just has to be the ridiculous genericness that this show will have; there is no way this will ever pull an original feat which doesn’t take part of either the conventional Japanese Idol show or the American Talent Productions. If you’ve seen both of these in many forms already, then I sure hope you liked them because Shounen Hollywood will be exactly what you expect in both categories, with no room to spare for originality. This show may be rolling on a burst of novelty in Japan, but for us English-speakers I doubt it will go further than any other show one could have fangirled over when they were teenagers.
In the end, this show seems like it could be quite entertaining, but also really, really generic; expect an Americanized Idol show, and nothing more, because it’s exactly what you will get. If you enjoy the genre, you will enjoy this show. I personally enjoyed this first episode quite a bit because the concept was very well-done and the quality was great, but overall I don’t think I’d be able to watch a whole season of it. Who knows, though, I might still take a look at the second episode and remind myself of those years when I was a Musical fangirl…
(I’m ashamed to admit it).