Anime about idols–singing and dancing pop stars–are hugely in trend right now, both in Japanese and American fandom, and the genre has spawned a ton of new shows as of late, from AKB0048 to Wake Up, Girls! and everything in between. SHONEN HOLLYWOOD is another addition to the idol boom (this time about male idols!), but if you’re expecting a sugar-sweet fairy tale about singing and dancing your way to stardom, it’s…note quite that. Here are three reasons to pick up SHONEN HOLLYWOOD if you’re an idol anime fan… and especially if you aren’t. (But don’t take it from us—check out Anime News Network’s glowing reviews of the series and its realistic take on the subject matter.
1) When it comes to idols, it’s completely self-aware
Let’s face it, even ardent idol and idol-anime fans know that this whole business of crooning love songs while dancing with a bunch of other dudes in ridiculous costumes with feathers is… kinda cheesy. Lots of idol anime feature characters who buy into that—characters whose behind-the-scenes personalities genuinely match their idol image—but SHONEN HOLLYWOOD has no such illusions. In the first episode, the boys practice introducing themselves in typical overblown idol fashion—proclaiming their fans their girlfriends and make ridiculously sparkly gestures—and like real people with standards, the main character Kakeru gets horribly embarrassed by the show. If you’ve ever wondered if real life pop stars actually want to keep themselves pure for their fans and truly want to share their universe with each and every one of them, then spoiler alert: they don’t.