With Oshi no Ko nearing its spring finale, a lot of fans are facing down a big glittery star-shaped gap in their weekly watchlist. Never fear! The Hoshino twins aren’t the only stars with aspirations far beyond fame and fortune. There are lots of anime out there where being a idol carries a lot more weight than stardom.
Check out these anime and meet other stars whose aspirations go above and beyond. From revenge to the fate of the human race, there’s a lot on the line here!
Key the Metal Idol: Becoming Human
Tokiko Mima has a goal: make 30,000 friends. Key the Metal Idol was made well before the advent of social media, so this goal is quite literal. Tokiko, nicknamed “Key,” is an emotionless robot who wishes to become human, and has been told this will make it happen. And this lofty ulterior motive for stardom isn’t the only similarity to Oshi no Ko: Studio Pierrot’s cyberpunk cult classic also has a lot to say about the entertainment industry.
Key’s journey serves as a lens to bring focus to the truth of pop idols—both literally in the setting and metaphorically in the real world. The idol who guides Key’s aspirations isn’t all she seems, nor is her production company. Lies and intrigue color the entire series, and even the few things Key knows for sure are called into question by the end.
Macross: Galactic Peace
There are always three things present in any Macross series: music, mecha, and love triangles. Idols exist alongside robot pilots… and sometimes are robot pilots… as humanity fights to survive in the space age. While any series from the franchise will give you a taste of this, the film Macross: Do You Remember Love? compiles the heart and soul of the original series into a single beautiful movie. As with Oshi no Ko, the duties of an idol go above and beyond… but these goals aren’t personal.
Lynn Minmei, the first Miss Macross, finds herself on the front lines during combat with the Zentradi. This species bred for war has lost touch with “culture”—music, art, and anything that evokes emotion. Music has literal power in the Macross world, and we see it on full display here.
Skip Beat!: Revenge, But Make It Rom-Com
Oshi no Ko is great, but it is a little heavy. If you want that entertainment industry revenge story but a bit lighter, check out Skip Beat! Much like Aqua, Kyoko Mogami is bent on revenge… in this case, on the ex who used her and broke up with her. As a parting shot, he demonstrates that she’ll never be able to get close to him unless she becomes a celebrity. So that’s what she does, for a chance to wreak her vengeance.
Along the way, Kyoko learns much more uplifting lessons about the industry, and about herself. What starts as a bid for revenge slowly becomes an actual quest to improve. It’s a sweet chaser for a dark series.