10 Things Oshi No Ko Does Better Than Other Idol Anime

Ai Hoshino from Oshi no Ko and Chika Takami from the Love Live Sunshine!! split image.

Oshi no Ko has already made waves in the anime industry as the most exciting, dramatic, colorful, and engaging idol anime to ever hit the airwaves. This is the story of the tragic idol Ai Hoshino, who secretly had a twin son and daughter whom she dearly loved — and then she died at the hands of a yandere fan who felt betrayed.

RELATED: 10 Best Oshi No Ko Characters, Ranked

Oshi no Ko is much deeper and stranger than most other idol anime, exploring topics and themes that most others wouldn’t dare discuss. This makes Oshi no Ko a unique idol anime experience, and some smart writing on author Aka Akasaka’s part also means it’s better than other idol anime series in many ways. Everything Oshi no Ko does is the best in the idol genre — or the first.

This article contains mention of suicide.



10 Having Suspenseful Mysteries

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Oshi no Ko is really several genres in one, meaning it has many storytelling elements that other idol anime only lightly touch upon or don’t use at all. This includes the use of suspense and mystery, mostly concerning the true identity of the father of Ai’s children.

This, more than the music or the humor, keeps Oshi no Ko fans engaged in the manga and anime alike. In fact, the antihero Aquamarine Hoshino cares nothing for music or acting — all he wants to do is uncover the truth of his elusive father.

9 Using Visual Motifs Such As Ai’s Eyes

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ai Hoshino in her idol outfit performing a song in Oshi no Ko.

Visual themes and symbolism can express complicated ideas with convenient images, and Oshi no Ko does that much better than most idol anime series do. The main example is the six-pointed stars that appear in the eyes of Ai Hoshino.

Those eyes represent lies, a major theme in Oshi no Ko. One of Ai’s eye stars represents her lying to her fans about loving them, and the other star symbolizes Ai’s fear that she’s lying to herself about loving the twin son and daughter she never intended to have.

8 Using Several Genres At Once

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ruby Hosino surrounded by other female characters of Oshi no Ko.

Each of Oshi no Ko‘s genres is better than what most other idol anime are doing, such as mystery and partial isekai. Speaking more broadly, just the fact that Oshi no Ko expertly juggles several major genres at once puts it ahead of all other idol anime series.

RELATED: 10 Oshi No Ko Secrets Only Manga Fans Know

All this makes Oshi no Ko more nuanced and complex, with these genres adding different storytelling elements while also blending together. This helps broaden the anime’s appeal to far more audiences than just fans of traditional idol anime series.

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Akane looks concerned in Oshi no Ko.

Directly and indirectly, various idol anime comment on the relationship between a group of musical performers and the everyday people who support them and consume their content. Oshi no Ko does this, but in a darker and better way.

Primary characters such as Ruby, Kana Arima, Aqua, and certainly Akane Kurokawa have dealt with vicious and fickle fandoms, and it often costs them dearly. These characters are painfully aware of how their fans or detractors see them, and it can lead to some serious drama.

6 Using Cliffhanger Episode Endings

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Akane showing her eye stars to Aqua in Oshi no Ko.

Some drama and action anime series use intense cliffhangers to keep viewers eager for more, with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure often doing that with its famous “TO BE CONTINUED” endings. Idol anime series don’t often use cliffhangers, but Oshi no Ko sure does.

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Many Oshi no Ko anime episodes and manga chapters end with hard-hitting cliffhangers, which works well with the drama and dark tone. For example, Akane Kurokawa revealed her shocking new eye stars to Aqua in one episode, and then the credits rolled.

5 Using Time Skips & Making Characters Grow Up

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Hoshino siblings, Ruby and Aquamarine, in Oshi no Ko, giving peace signs.

Some shonen anime series have famous time skips, such as Naruto and One Piece, while most idol anime cover a shorter period of time and don’t need time skips. However, since Aqua and his twin sister, Ruby, were reborn as infants, a time skip was clearly needed.

Oshi no Ko‘s prologue depicted Aqua and Ruby as infants and small children, then fast-forwarded over ten years. That was an abrupt but fascinating and much-needed time skip to make them into teenagers who no longer need babysitters in their everyday lives.

4 Using Heavy Drama

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kana, Aqua, and Ruby in the courtyard of Yoto High School in Oshi no Ko.

In between all the comedy and musical routines, some idol anime series find time for drama, such as fighting over creative differences or personal drama. Even the satire series Zombieland Saga had some drama concerning Kotaro Tastsumi’s despair about Franchouchou’s struggles.

RELATED: 10 Anime Dramas That Remember To Be Funny

Oshi no Ko is more drama than music and is written accordingly. Anyone who enjoys hard-hitting drama and personal conflict in anime will find Oshi no Ko grimly compelling, such as Ai’s fears about authentic love and Akane’s struggle with serious social media backlash.

3 Depicting The Dangers Of The Internet

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Akane Kurokawa from Oshi No Ko holding a drink and staring ahead.

Oshi no Ko is an idol anime that could only take place in the modern day, with social media and the internet playing a major role in the main characters’ lives. In other anime series, the internet is just a convenient tool that sometimes pops up, but in Oshi no Ko, it’s a monster.

Entire careers can be launched or ruined with the internet, so pop stars like Kana Arima, the deredere Mem-Cho, and Ruby Hoshino must tread carefully in cyberspace. There, they may crumble before soul-crushing criticism or let stardom go straight to their head and make them arrogant.

2 Portraying Personal Flaws In The Characters

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ruby Hoshino looking excited in the Oshi no Ko anime.

Many drama, comedy, and even slice-of-life anime series will explore the strengths and flaws of their major characters, often in the context of school, work, or even something supernatural. Idol anime series may reveal a performer’s many flaws relating to the industry, such as being unable to take criticism or having stage fright.

Oshi no Ko does this best, with factors such as social media, idol training, and financial hardship revealing the fascinating weaknesses of these characters. Ruby Hoshino, for example, is too stubborn for her own good and developed potentially dangerous tunnel vision concerning the idol industry.

1 Creating A Sense Of Danger & Risk

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Aqua in Oshi no Ko wearing a black hoodie during an acting job.

Idol anime might ratchet up the tension and create serious stakes for the main characters, such as the risk of their idol group falling apart or going into debt by failing to sell enough tickets to their shows. Oshi no Ko does some of that but adds more peril by threatening people’s very lives.

Already, Dr. Gorou and his patient, Sarina, died and got reborn as Ai’s children, only for Ai to be murdered later. Then, Akane nearly took her own life after facing intense backlash. This proves that the idol industry can kill, creating far more stakes than ticket sales or music chart positions.

NEXT: 10 Anime Characters Who Would Be Great Idols


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