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The Fall 2017 Anime Preview Guide

How would you rate episode 1 of
Community score: 2.1

What is this?

Production group DYNAMIC CHORD manages several top boy bands, including rêve parfait, apple-polisher, Liar-S, and the popular KYOSOH. The other three groups aspire to be as good as KYOSOH, even as they attempt to adjust to life as an idol – the click of cameras accompanies them everywhere, and Reon of rêve parfait in particular worries that doing commercials and other promotional jobs will tarnish their image in their fans' eyes. But bigger problems are lurking on the horizon for the boys – KYOSOH's vocalist Yorito was last seen driving in the rain with the top down, and he hasn't been showing up for practice. KYOSOH asks Reon to fill in for him, but when a magazine announces Yorito's leaving the band, will Reon be forced to choose between the two groups? Or is this the end for KYOSOH? DYNAMIC CHORD is based on an otome game and streams on HIDIVE, Saturdays at 9:00 AM PST.

How was the first episode?

Rebecca Silverman

Rating: 1.5

Welcome to the third boy idol show of Fall 2017. I hope you like extended music videos with no plot, because that's essentially what we've got here – story-wise, this is the weakest of the three similar shows. In all fairness, that's possibly because this is the introduction to the story, and they're trying not to throw us into a complicated plot too soon, instead aiming to give us all of the major players and the central plot point of Yorito quitting KYOSOH without warning, leaving relative newcomer Reon of rêve parfait to take his place. As plots for this sort of show go, that might not be bad once it gets going – no matter which group Reon ends up joining, it's not good news for the other one.

Unfortunately, it really takes the episode too long to get there. The pivotal scene, Yorito riding around in his convertible with the top down in the pouring rain, is shown at the start, end, and middle of the episode, which is laying it on a bit thick, but it's not really explored beyond that. We see Reon as being not entirely comfortable with the more commercial aspects of being a singer, which is interesting itself – he resents the paparazzi and worries about disappointing fans by appearing to “sell out,” even though, as one of his bandmates points out, the commercial they film at least isn't cheesy. Perhaps his heterochromatic eyes are indicative of his conflicted feelings…or maybe they're just so that we can tell him apart from the other guys with similar hair. TsukiPro may not have had fabulous character designs, but at least there was a bit more variation in the faces than here – everyone has a vaguely blank, generic pretty-boy face, distinguished only by their hair and eyes. It's like all of their descriptions were written by a high school creative writing student.

The big question, which band Reon will end up singing with, comes at the end of the episode with the revelation that Yorito is quitting KYOSOH. Of course, that's in what looks like a gossip magazine, so it may not turn out to be true, but since Reon practiced with KYOSOH in his stead, it looks like that's going to be the central issue. It's fine to save that major reveal for the episode's final moments; the problem is that it's pretty much the only plot beat in the episode – the majority of the half-hour is spent on music montages for the four major DYNAMIC CHORD groups. While their names aren't nonsensical to the degree of TsukiPro's, they're still notably odd – apple-polisher definitely got a snort of laughter out of me.

If you like the music and the aesthetic, which is more somber than the other two boy band shows thus far, this might be worth giving a second chance to see if the actual plot can fill an entire episode now that the intros are done. Otherwise, there's no lack of male idol shows to watch instead of this one.

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