So….. this is another case of I actually own this show on DVD via the 10 for $10 blind box deal I got from RightStuf and once again, from the defunct ADV Films or at least, I think Section23 as a whole controls it now. Plus, I did cover Carole & Tuesday a month ago and I figure why not check another anime about music or in this case, more on becoming an idol group and if you wonder about that cover…..nothing like what was pictured in there happens in this show.
I’m guessing that was a way to sell copies at a time. Oh, well, and going into another anime lost in time because I wonder how many people actually remember watching this. It was released in the early 2000s and all. So let’s get into it.
Three young girls, strangers to each other, share an instinctual passion and talent for music. Brought together from distinctly different worlds, they meet by chance at the concert of their idol. The concert strikes a chord in each of their hearts and unites them with a common dream of stardom. The girls each enroll in the same music school and are brought together again in a special class for exceptional talent. As their voices come together in harmony, the girls realize that they share more than just a passion for song. A mysterious blue stone, a hauntingly beautiful melody… What do these traces of the past have to do with the uncertain future of this gifted trio?
We are back in the shojo category for this and while I said that this is an early 2000s anime, it does feel like a 90s anime in both visual, tone and overall aesthetic in the series. The story is the trials and tribulations of these three girls from different sets (Akari, having a church choir background; Yuki, being a street performer, & Nozomi, coming from a wealthy background as well as being an heiress) with a shared interest in their favorite pop idol, Reika, and then enroll in this prodigious music school with a special class called “S Class” and watch as they do their best in there and get some attention while the other students are acting jealous and petty and do some bitch shit to them and– wow, this is really from the early 2000s.
What I’m saying is that the story is quite typical of coming up as an artist, as you go through hardships and drama and yeah, there is definitely drama and petty shit going on, especially with some of the students and this one girl named Jun and oh boy, she’s everything I just get annoyed as a character and yes, I get that she’s that competitive character that wants to win it all and acts bitchy towards our main trio but fuck, she annoyed the hell out of me and got this high-and-mighty attitude that rubs me the wrong way and no matter what happens with her, I genuinely don’t give two shits about her.
As for the main girls themselves, they’re pretty decent characters, too, with some common traits about them like Nozomi is the very cheerful one, Akari is the eldest and headstrong one and Yuki is more of the “I can be cool with you but if you fuck with me, I’m coming for that ass” type. You got some other characters like those other three girls that got pissed at them for being in the special class but they weren’t all that memorable nor I give a shit about them or what their names were. You got Yuki’s bandmates, Nozomi’s parents and Kaito, the childhood best friend of Akari who encourages her to follow her passion and yeah, that’s it. Like I said, I’m cool with the three girls but everyone else is just there for their designated role.
Animation-wise…..yeah, I get that this is from the 2000s and we know what that vintage early 2000s anime look is like. Muted colors, basic character designs and CG that is way outdated at this point. I mean, in the beginning of each episode, there’s always this CG ocean and heaven sequence that looks like a PS2 cut-scene and boy, it has aged badly.
The music also carries that theme of “it’s definitely the late 1990s/early 2000s” especially with its background music. The opening song “Pure Blue” by Atsuko Enomoto, Mayumi Iizuka, and Maria Yamamoto matches that fashionable pop sound and it’s a decent song but damn, I was getting tired of hearing that song in almost every episode of this, even though I know it’s their song they performed as a group many times but the more I hear it, the less I want to go back to it. The ending song “Love Forever” by Atsuko Enomoto, Mayumi Iizuka, and Maria Yamamoto is amazing and also grasps that early 2000s pop sound to a tee. Background music is either a bit on the dramatic side, albeit kinda typical drama stings and the title card sting does have a touch of those 90s sounding synths in there.
The show does carries a soap opera vibe for it and the dub helps with that, especially with the three leads played by Kelli Cousins, Hilary Haag and Monica Rial as Akari, Yuki and Nozomi, respectively. You also get some ADV staples past like Shirley Calene-Black as Reika, Tiffany Grant as Jun and considering she once voiced a character I wasn’t fond of either, it felt fitting and an early pre-Todoroki David Matranga as Kaito was not too shabby, although the performances were a bit stiff at first, then sounds like a soap opera and then it was kinda forgettable in terms of the rest of the cast.
FINAL VERDICT: You know how there’s a show of its time and why the discussion of it never goes beyond its time and just stays there? This is one of those shows and yes, making it into the music business isn’t dated for an anime. I mean, last year my top anime of the year involves music and while this anime has decent main characters and the music is OK at best, most of the plot is mid at best and the drama didn’t do much into getting me compelled as much. At best, it’s average but I can see why this one is often not talked about as much.
CHANCE POP SESSION is available on DVD via Section23 Films and streaming on Crunchyroll, HiDive (and VRV).
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and once again, if you got it because of the cover, you’re not getting that.
CHANCE POP SESSION – animated by MADHOUSE / licensed by ADV FILMS/SECTION23 FILMS