A star-studded affair!
If Perfect Blue (see Otaku Fridge for reference) was a serious peek at a Japanese Pop
idol's life, let's just say that Parade Parade gives us an alternative
view of what it would be like if JPOP singers actually were hiding
perversities and other closet secrets that are only possible in
hentai animeunless of course you count on Mother Technology.
If it isn't obvious from the paragraph above that I'm talking
about she-males, well, now you know. But that is just the cream
of the story. There are also a few subplots that make Parade Parade
interesting. There's your romantic love triangle, but
the kick is that having she-males around kind of makes the problem
a solution on its own. There is also that classic sob story that
comes hand-in-hand with an idol's rise to fame (read: greed, sexual
harassment, tragic diseases, and letting go when you know that
you can no longer hack it).
One amusing little quirk this anime has is the portrayal of the
obvious JPOP stereotypes: (1) girl who dresses in a simple way
but has the talent to bank on; (2) girl who has a relatively ok
singing voice but relies on her sexiness; (3) girl who has no
talent but has x-factor; (4) girl who is all bubblegum and no
substance, as what her "creators" package her to be.
The funny thing is, for every character in Parade Parade, there
is at least one real-life JPOP idol that comes to mind.
There is one little story that touched me, though. It's the element
of blackmail. Here, blackmail isn't as asinine as those shown
in Shusaku and Black
Mail: Tomorrow Never Ends. There really are true emotions
involved; it's almost real. The rape scenes weren't sugarcoated
with tons of THE white stuff flying around. There is pain. The
scenes illustrated that fear and pleasure don't realistically
go hand in hand. As I was watching the entire event unfold before
my eyes, I felt a twisting pain from my stomach to my thighs.
As a girl who takes care of her physical health, it felt too real
for comfort. Of course, it would have been preferable not to put
a rape scene in there, but at least it was good to see the girl
jump back, wise up, and build a new career for herself. Most blackmail
hentai stories end up with a victim acting brain dead until the
very end, so Parade Parade is something altogether different.
The only setback that was triggered by the life-altering tragedy
is that these women seemed to have shunned the entire male populationalso
easily understandable. I mean, if women were to watch the most
popular hentai titles around and be exposed to those unforgivable
rape sequences, they would probably shun the male population too.
Not to mention, dismiss all men as being incompetent in bed.