Series Recommendation: Ryosangata Riko: Mou Hitori no Puramo Joshi no Jinsei Kumitate ki (2023)

The endless possibilities of the mass-produced types…

Ryosangata Riko is a feels-good and inspiring J-drama series about a very ordinary girl named Riko finding extraordinary possibilities through plastic model building – a hobby that seems to inspire just about anything in life. We have recommended the first season of this show here. And the second season aired in 2023 just keeps the goodness flowing, and elevate the show to a higher level.

The second season follow “Riko Komukai” – but not the Riko that we knew – in her new venture as the president of an event company. With her are two of her high school classmates Shinji and Asai, Riko aim to become a “Unicorn” company – a company that has a spike to success. A lofty dream support by dramy ideals – Riko and co quickly run into a mountain of problems that seems impossible to solve by conventional means. However, Riko find solace at a small hobby shop whenever she’s stuck in rut. And with each model kit she build there, a new door of possibility open for her to overcome the challenge in life.

+ Plot: The core concept of this season is similar to the last, with Riko and company running head-first into a problem, getting stuck and then getting inspired by the model kit that they build at Yassan’s place. The unique and unexpected way they manage to weave model kit building into a more “corporate” perspective is still amazing. It’s still a breath of fresh air to see they utilize that.

Furthermore, they applied a “parallel” story compared to the first season. This Riko is not the same Riko as the previous season, but there are subtle call-backs that will have viewers of the last one pointing at the screen. The new position she has – a president – is also vastly different to the Riko of season 1 – who was just a normal employee. The responsibilities and tasks she has to tackle are completely different and the show utilize it to show different aspects of the workplace. Once you start watching the series, you won’t be able to stop.

The acting in the show is still great as always. There are some moments that can be attributed to dramatic daily presentation where some simple things get quite…complicated. But I think that’s just how Japan’s etiquette are, they are overly ceremonious about even the simplest of behaviour. Otherwise, the show is really fun to watch, especially the funny exaggerated moments that will leave you laughing out loud. Riko’s babyface really help accentuate her features when she put away her smiley face and go bonkers on someone. The gap moe portrayed by Yoda Yuuki is quite amazing.

The series featured some pretty new model kits like the Gundam Aerial, the Shin Kamen Rider FRS, as well as some classic ones like the original Zaku-II, the Yamato, etc… The mix of old and new products really give a realistic feel to the series – like they are actually taking place right now in modern day. The series also feature some pretty advance modeling skill such as airbrushing, weathering, shading, diorama building etc… and not just simple scratch-build. The only thing they seem to have skimped out on both season is nub-cleaning. All the building process utilize the double-cut technique with some pretty good nippers – so that’s probably their excuse. But that’s not really a huge issue with the show anyway.

Music: The music for this season is quite nice. An energetic song for the opening really make you excited for the next kit that Riko and co will build. The overall sound design is also not bad.

+ Conclusion: The 2023 season of Ryosangata Riko takes the series in another direction with the same core concept, and they pulled it off quite well. The story and characters are interesting, the kits featured have good variety and the techniques displayed are very cool. The biggest selling point is of course, the lesson inspired by the model kit that can be applied into real life – which shows that the hobby can sometimes be more than just a stress-relieving activity. Well, most of us won’t probably think that hard when we build our kits, but who knows when inspiration will strike?

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