Even if you haven't watched the premiere of Oshi no Ko yet, you've likely heard that it was much more brutal than any newcomer could expect. But just how dark is Oshi no Ko?
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Is Oshi no Ko Too Dark? A Mostly Spoiler-Free Guide
However, we admit the blurb scared us so much that we only watched after finding out the spoiler.
In a sense, the show's first 20 or so minutes -- the only ones in the 90-minute premiere that somewhat deliver the blurb's promises -- were the anime's darkest and lowest point.
The thought process of Goro -- a gynecologist and devoted fan of Ai -- was disturbing given that he's at least in his late 20s, and Ai is a teenager.
His reincarnation as her son only makes the premise creepier, especially since Goro -- now Aqua -- has retained his past memories.
That being said, if Oshi no Ko wanted to use Goro to showcase its true themes (namely the unacceptable ways some fans relate with idols), then it was spot on.
Thankfully, the anime manages to avert disaster. Every time such a troubling trope shows up, it's discussed or averted and never brought up again.
This leaves us free to engage with the actual story. But this, too, gets dark in a different way.
Essentially, Oshi no Ko is a dark look at the entertainment industry.
Ai Hoshino's acting career was always precarious even before she got pregnant and decided to keep the babies.
Few anime demonstrate the often devastating realities of being an idol as well as Oshi no Ko does.
As if being sexualized while a minor wasn't enough, Ai, like most idols, is forbidden from dating, lest she loses fans.
This puts an extra barrier in her decision to juggle her career with single parenthood, as she must do so while keeping her children secret.
In this section, we won't venture into the plot any further to avoid major spoilers.
For now, it's enough to say that Oshi no Ko delves into the devastating consequences the idol industry might have on one's mental health and physical well-being.
It is dark but realistic, and if the subject matter isn't too distressing for you, it's definitely worth checking out.
What Are Oshi no Ko's Trigger Warnings?
Oshi no Ko features several dark themes that might be disturbing to viewers.
These include the sexualization of teenagers, grooming, stalking, and gender-based violence.
What makes Oshi no Ko stand out is that, unlike other anime which trivialize the sexualization of minors, the narrative here is entirely on Ai's side.
As such, the anime avoids fanservice shots that would seem to condone these problems.
Instead, it offers a dark look at the devastating effects of a broken industry.
To do so, it delves deeply into Ai's emotional state, and the trauma of those near her.
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