Idol Dreams Volume 5
When it came out last year, I criticized the previous volume of Arina Tanemura’s age-changing fantasy for not giving us enough of the older version of the character. Idol Dreams volume 5, after wrapping up a competition between the singers, which means plenty of glamour shots of the cute girls in pigtails and short skirts, gives us more with the adult Chikage.
However, the storyline isn’t about her. It’s about her patching up the relationship between her friend Tokita and his girlfriend Hanami, who plays around. Hanami has a secret past, so she seeks out male attention to validate herself. Much attention is devoted to a series of flashbacks of the relationship between the two, making Chikage an observer in much of this section, and the story is predictable and overly familiar.
There’s a lot of potential in the idea of being able to revisit your teen years knowing what you know now as an adult. That potential seems to have been forgotten here, with both the young and old Chikage getting generic storylines. Those versions of her could be two separate characters most of the time. There are passing thoughts by the older version that she’s using something she learned during her training to be a superstar girl singer, but they’re shallow, as are the emotional underpinnings of all the events here.
Mostly, I find both versions of the lead to be dumb. When other characters have to tell us what people are thinking, that’s a sign of poor cast development. The content here is too fluffy for me to get involved. There’s no insight, just shallow emotional outbursts that are meant to tell us how to feel. None of it affected me.
Idol Dreams volume 5 will be available November 6. It can be ordered now from your local comic shop with Diamond code SEP18 2184. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)