The Dream Festival is the stage that all idols dream of singing on, with their professional debut on the line. In order to get there, idols work their hardest every day to perfect their performance… and the key to coming out on top is the Dream Festival Cards sent by fans to their favourite idols. Receiving these Cards makes the idols who make it to the stage shine even brighter. Now head to the Dream Festival with your Dream Festival Card in hand for the idol you love most!

Damn, I just can’t get enough of idol anime lately, particularly if they’re chock full of bishounen. I think too much Uta no Prince-sama has addled my brain somewhat. Between the catchy tunes and the handsome guys, I just can’t seem to walk away.

img_6564.jpgI’m actually surprised that Dream Festival! actually got a second season. The first one arrived within a swarm of successful anime and got lost within the crowds a little, particularly since it arrived on screens at the same time as the latest season of UtaPri. But perhaps, like me, there are plenty of other anime fans with a weakness for idol anime and that’s exactly where it cashed in.

Now that our five main protagonists have come together to form the successful rookie idol group and winner of the last Dream Festival ‘Dear Dream’, things are looking up for them. However, as they travel and promote themselves, working together on different projects, the boys quickly come to realise that they maybe have been relying on one another too much. In order to become real idols, they need to make themselves stand out as individuals as well as a group. But what is the best was to do this? At the same time, rival idol duo Kurofune are working hard to promote themselves after losing to Dear Dream at Dream Fes. Their unique presence and attitude made them an instant hit with the audience though and now they’re looking to establish themselves as the hottest idol group and leave Dear Dream in the dust. But they are having teething problems of their own.

img_6559.jpgWe’re given an insight into the dynamic of Kurofune, which is a little different to the “we’re good friends and we want to be the best we can be” feel that Dream Dream give off, which is good because it stops things being far too pure to be true. They have their troubles, they sometimes don’t communicate too well and it only took a couple of episodes before they actually came to blows. I think they’ll make a rather refreshing impact on things this season to switch things up and keep them interesting.

img_6562.jpgWhat has stayed the same, and is something that I really enjoy about Dream Festival is the pseudo-magical clothes transformation that the groups undergo before they sing a song. I’m not entirely sure how it’s supposed to work (do the audience choose their outfits? If so, why are they never dressed in mismatching clothes? They should, by rights, all end up looking like they went shopping to a car boot sale), but I’m loath to question too closely. I imagine this particular gimmick is something that has been brought over from the anime’s origins as a mobile rhythm game in which the player can customise idol outfits, or something very similar. Impractical though this element is when implemented into a story for anime, I still enjoy the novelty of it.

62bdefd6-6e28-4725-b0d4-fd800bf8762f.jpgWhat the Dear Dream guys quickly realise is that, as idols, they are always viewed as the ‘away’ team on most media. They make guest appearances on dramas, variety shows and sports festivals but they are never really ‘at home’ in those environments like actors, comedians and athletes are. They come to realise that being an idol is more than singing and performing – it’s about turning your hand to a variety of opportunities and doing what must be done to entertain the audience – and in doing these things they find their individual callings as performers. Still new to the idol life, Kanade is determined to keep up with the rest of his bandmates and looks for new possibilities.

img_6570.jpgDream Festival doesn’t quite live ip to the hype I feel for other idols hows like UtaPri, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its merits. The 3D aspects aren’t as jarring as the first season and it’s doing a good job of managing its expanding cast in true idol style. And of course, the real performances every time, so if you’re an idol anime fan, you’ll want to watch this one.