Modesty and Selflessness in Locodol
Idols, in order to gain fame, usually strive to be the top by going through painstaking practices and performances. While it hold waters in their real-life counterparts, this also easily applies to most idol anime I had watched, with the exception of one which I’m currently watching this season – Locodol.
While somewhat similar, Locodol sets itself different from it’s peers by actually not focusing to be on the top. It’s probably due to the setting where the main characters in Locodol are tasked with boosting the town’s economy to rival other neighboring town, and what better to do that than to employ the “Locodols”? – synonymous with community-based local idols. This creates an unique atmosphere that seems to differ slightly from other idol anime.
We can feel a more heartfelt modesty in Locodol.
The diligent girls didn’t mind working with measly pays, and their job scopes are huge – ranging from genuine idol performances to exterminating pests. Their main roles are mainly advertising and promoting the various parts of their town. Also, due to budget problems, they do everything in one take (or just a tad bit more takes if their budget allows it). Incidentally, the aspect of mascots is also an interesting aspect in Locodol; certainly something we don’t normally see in other idol anime. Japan is known for having cute mascot characters to represent certain companies, brands and so on (to give one famous example-Domo-kun; the official mascot for NHK) so it’s interesting to see this idea implemented in Locodol too. And certainly, I now have respect for whoever is moving around inside these big, stuffy mascots, even if the realization seem to destroy children’s dreams.
The other characters also responded in kindness to the girls’ selflessness. There was one episode where Nanako and Yukari had to promote a local restaurant. The girls weren’t rewarded with much payment, as usual, but the restaurant manager was pleased with their earnestness and diligence, and as an act of gratitude; sent them a thank-you letter, and a few cartons of sweets. There was also another part of the show, especially, during the mascot competition. Even though Yui had beat some other mascots in a contest, those very same mascots (specifically, the people inside them) helped Yui in securing victories in the other rounds, perhaps out of respect. They are looking out for each other, even though they are pretty much strangers at that point.
This seem to be one of the main theme of the show, and also a pivotal characterizations for the characters – modesty. According to Little Busters’ Komari’s happiness theory – the spiral of happiness, the modesty aspect of Locodol seem to somehow reflect on it. One side is committed, selfless, yet modest, and the other side responded with kindness and respect. Both are positive human emotions and it causes a cycle of infinite happiness in a way.
Aforementioned, it may just have something to do with Locodol’s setting but I really did feel a honest, sincere modesty from the anime. The idols don’t aim to be number one on the charts, their only wish is to make their own home town a more lovely and attractive place; promoting it with pays so meager they can pretty much be counted as volunteers. Indeed, sometimes, it is just as important to be selfless and simply help your community, rather than gaining fame or fortune.