Believe it or not, I enjoy watching idol anime because well, who doesn’t like cute girls singing and dancing to songs? I do mostly because there is a lot of good coming of age moments and team building. While I covered quite a lot of idol anime throughout the year, I want to change up the pace a bit.
Yes, I want to get away from the Manga Time Kirara adaptations for a bit to cover another idol anime, 22/7, also known as Nanabun no Nijyuuni. What is intriguing is that the concept of this project about “idols that transcends dimensions.” In other words, voice actresses portray their character in animation and real life. The group released CDs before the anime’s premiere, in the same way as Ongaku Shoujo.
The story focuses on a very shy and very introverted high school girl named Takigawa Miu. She apparently doesn’t seem interested in interacting with others in society. Even at her convenience store job, it seems that she has trouble with giving good customer support. In other words, she acts very nervous when she serves customers. Her coworkers tease her because her bangs cover her eyes. With that, she is only comfortable being around her family.
This makes me wonder why she became so shy and introverted. I guess some people are this way because it’s part of their personality. Still, I wonder why she went for a job that requires customer service when she knew that isn’t a good fit. Yes, I know people need to work to make money, but still.
Eventually, she comes home and find a mysterious black letter. It’s an invitation to become an idol. She doesn’t believe it until she went to the place specified. This is where she met 7 other girls. Eventually, a mysterious tall guy wearing a suit came. I have to admit that this kind of reminds me of the producer from Idolmaster Cinderella Girls. Still it’s interesting that the first girl Miu meets is Sakura as they start developing an interesting relationship.
Speaking about Sakura, there is something interesting about her character. Despite having a Japanese name, she has blonde hair that makes her look like a foreigner. She also mentions in the second episode when she checked on Miu that she hasn’t seen apartments like Miu’s in America.
Believe it or not, the voice actress that voices Sakura is Amaki Sally, who is actually a Japanese American who can speak not only English and Japanese, but also a fan of idols, anime, among other things. She also voices an America exclusive character, Ashley Taylor in Magia Record, also coming from California. Still, I have to admit that Sakura is an enjoyable character.
Besides showing the girls around the facility, he reveals “the wall.” We don’t know what the wall does, but it apparently gives orders on engraved metal cards. This of course causes some drama with some of the decisions it makes, more on that later. Either way, you can’t question the wall as its orders are absolute. The girls have to somehow fulfill it no matter what. In other words, the guy the girls met is just following orders from the wall.
Despite this, Miu believes that she does not have what it takes to become an idol. She decides to walk away although she doesn’t have much of a choice. She still doesn’t know why the wall chooses her. After all, she would rather spend time with the family. Still, it’s not like shyness pevents some from becoming an idol. Hagiwara Yukiho, Kurosawa Ruby, and Koizumi Hanayo are shy girls like Miu, but managed to pull through.
Even so, this makes me wonder if there is something that happened to Miu that causes her to have social anxieties, probably just as bad as Futaba Sana and Hoshino Miyako. Case in point, the manager at her job firing her because of Miu’s social anxieties and inability to get along with her coworkers.
I can understand that losing a job is tough and embarrassing. I have been there. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Apparently, the manager doesn’t seem to like how Miu doesn’t smile. I understand that a shy person won’t perform well at a customer service job. Still, it’s pretty cruel for the manager to let her go for that reason, which adds to her distrust to society. At the same time, she can’t bring herself to tell her mom about it.
Perhaps another reason behind her social anxieties is when she lashed out at her little sister. She mentioned about wanting to see Miu play piano at a concert. She became angry after hearing that. This makes me wonder what happened during a recital that causes her to give up piano completely. It’s not like she doesn’t have musical talent. Maybe it’s because of the recital not going so well or something. I guess one can only speculate.
Still, I find it strange that she decided to come back. She went on a tangent about not liking adults telling her what to do before ranting about idols. The funny thing is that she believes that idols “laugh at stupid things, wear frilly outfits, and shake their butts for their customers.” I didn’t know they did these things.
Sure, she will do anything to prove the adults wrong and protect her loved ones. Still, I never knew that idols do these things. Yes, idols sometimes wear frilly outfits. The thing that surprises me is that she knows what idols are. An average person wouldn’t know what it’s all about except being a type of entertainer.
As expected, her tangent doesn’t do any favors with the rest of the members. Nicole eventually confronts Miu in a stairway. This is after Miu believes that the oufit doesn’t suit her. I guess Miu is not doing any favors by doing this. After all, Nicole seems serious in becoming the best idol. Just say things don’t go as expected when the girls go in front of a judge’s panel.
Apparently, Miu performed badly while Nicole impresses the judges. Even so, the wall decides that Miu should be the center. Obviously, I can understand why Nicole became upset at her since Miu doesn’t have any singing or dancing talent. Her social anxieties, her tendency to apologize for everything and having bangs cover her eyes doesn’t help. This doesn’t inspire that much confidence in the person’s eyes. Still, I wonder why the wall want an audition when it doesn’t even matter. Maybe it wants to show Miu’s true self behind her timid personality.
After the wall decides to have Miu as the center, she is missing in all the training sessions. Miu feels even more anxious as pressure of her being the center is now on. I can understand why. The reason is simple. She doesn’t feel confident that she can be the center for the idol unit. After all, she doesn’t feel that she deserves it despite the talent Nicole have. With that, she decides to go find another job. Also, it’s interesting that she is hiding her idol activities. That is in addition keeping the fact that the manager fired her from a job a secret.
Either way, the group has to do the debut, even if Miu doesn’t show up. After all, the wall’s orders are absolute. Sakura who becomes worried about Miu decides to give her a visit. What is interesting is when she asked Miu about her childhood, she doesn’t remember. This makes me wonder if Miu experienced something traumatic that may have caused her shyness and lack of self-confidence.
Still, it’s quite interesting how Sakura feels the same way until Miu went on a tangent about idols before going all in on it. This allows her to break out of that shell. This makes me wonder, how will Miu overcome her lack of self-confidence. She eventually hugs Miu and says that she loves her.
Is this the beginning of a pairing that is more than just best friends. After all, Sakura tells Miu to call her by her first name. Even so, when they first met, it seems that their relationship will be something more than just being best friends. Still, it’s nice to see the rest of the members come to give her the encouragement and support she needs. After all, unless you are going solo, doing idol activities is like a team sport. You can’t be successful without working together.
With that, this leaves the debut. Despite the difficulties, it’s amazing that Miu manages to pull through. Sure, Nicole still acts cold towards Miu and doesn’t like how her bangs cover her eyes, she hands her a cute hairclip. Miu looks cuter without all that hair covering her eyes just like Mya-nee. Also, it will show that she has confidence as she is not having hair covering her face.
I have to admit that I am kind of guilty of having bangs covering my eyes. But that is because I haven’t trimmed them as I decided to grow my hair out since 2018. That and I became a bit lazy thanks to staying at home almost every day of the week.
Also, when Miu comes home, she is all exhausted, but pretends that everything is all right to her mother. The funny thing is that her mother receives an invitation to see her daughter at a performance. Miu doesn’t know that she has this letter, leading up to even more drama. She will find out what her daughter is up to.
At the day of the performance, the girls finally performed. Miu finally gets to actually feel how it’s like to be an idol. At one point while performing a song, she actually started to enjoy being an idol. That is until she saw her mother in the audience. Now she has to explain herself to her mother now the secret is out. This is when Miu goes back to her old self again and stood there for part of the second song. That is until she realized the song has started.
As expected, Murphy’s law kicked in as the instrumentals cut out. This gives Miu the opportunity to save the day by playing the instrumentals on a piano. We finally see the real Miu as she uses her hairclip to take the overgrown bangs out of her eyes. This works out in the end. Also, the girls are happy that Miu has music talent after all that they didn’t know about.
In the end, it’s a good thing that Miu came clean by telling the audience her experiences before becoming an idol. Yes, she also revealed that her manager let her go from her old job. Sure, her mother had mixed feelings about this, she seems to like her piano performance. I guess Miu is starting to overcome her social anxieties thanks to her fellow members, especially Sakura. Still, I wonder what Sakura is trying to tell Miu. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.