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Anime / Marginal #4

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One kiss to the end of the galaxy!
After their debut at UniverseFES, the male idol group Marginal #4 is slowly but surely building up their name to be one of the great idol groups! But what do the boys of Pythagoras Productions do in between their idol activities? And what kind of misadventures do they get into?

Marginal #4: Kiss Kara Tsukuru Big Bang (Marginal #4: A Big Bang Created From a Kiss) is a 2017 12-Episode Band Toon produced by J.C. Staff, adapting the Pythagoras Productions characters from the Marginal #4 series by Rejet. It aired in the winter 2017 anime season.

The series received an international release via Crunchyroll streaming.

Tropes found in this series:

  • Another Story for Another Time: Apparently, the narration mentions that the Romeo and Juliet play Rui was a part of was a huge success, and was one of the funniest and most memorable highlights of the whole festival. Cue this trope.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The "Kokoro Hitotsu" music video uses desert imagery, and L's outfit certainly invokes the fantasy Arabia setting.
  • Back from the Dead: Rui's character in Re:24 Hours is supposedly the ghost of Yukito's partner, temporarily returning to the mortal plane in a younger form in order to solve the case that killed him. It turns out the partner was truly dead; Rui's character was the partner's nephew, impersonating him for a mission.
  • Big Storm Episode: The twelfth and final episode of the animation dealt with everyone suffering from the blowback of a tropical storm coming right before the Big Bang Festival.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Atom's constant posting to the social network app Skitter.
    • Atom brought a "Genkonote " block set with him on the way to the company training camp.
    • Atom was offered a role in the next Galaxy Samurai film, obviously referencing Star Wars.
    • "Shooting Star Hall" is a reference to a famous arena in real life.
  • Busman's Holiday: Kira and Shy take a day off of work in order to visit Magi4 at their school festival and have a little fun. However, everywhere they come into contact with them they end up doing idol-like activities anyway, such as hosting for the school cafe or doing a makeshift concert to fill in the time while the school play props need fixing.
  • Call-Back:
    • Tsubasa tries to make a dramatic entrance through the window in order to tell the Magi4 boys some important news, much like he did in his introductory episode to announce his rivalry with his senpai groups.
    • The reason why Atom got picked for the Galaxy Samurai role was because a Hollywood producer was impressed with his Re: 24 Hours performance in episode 8.
    • Of course, episode 12 being the last episode, everything from the lucky boxers to the soumen mishap is mentioned again.
  • Candid Camera Prank: It turns out the plot of Episode 3 was largely this, played on R. By the end of it though, the Marginal boys decide to do one better and spook the cameramen after R was too afraid of the official prank.
  • Character Development: Of all the characters, Rui changed the most; he goes from a reserved but friendly young man to being more open about his feelings, learning how to take different mindsets and apply them to his own.
  • Character Focus: Each member or group gets their own episode, exemplified by the fact that they sing their episode's ending songnote :
    • Episode 5 centers on Rui, and tries to dig into his stoic personality to find out about his childhood pastimes and his relationship with his older sister.
    • Episode 7 was about L's dependency issues with R, and how much of a hard worker he is.
    • Episode 9 is about R's leadership development in the early days of Marginal#4, and how he managed to bring them together despite his shortcomings in comparison to his group.
    • Episode 12 is a better look into Atom's character, showing off his recklessness and straightforward attitude.
  • invokedColbert Bump: The penguin Mascot toy that Rui keeps on his bed eventually received tons of attention when the press did a feature on the boys' rooms. Originally, it was just the focal character of a kids' show that was't all that popular, but after the toy was spotted in one of Rui's pictures for a magazine, sales for this once obscure show and toy went through the roof.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The building that houses the talent agency that tried to scout Atom just so happens to house the Aerospace Exploration Agency that Atom wanted to go to. Atom's idea— to apply for a space capsule program and put one of their CDs on it— was also luckily thought out by Rui, who had applied earlier.
    • It's a good thing that the truck driver that gives Atom a lift in Episode 12 has a son who's a fan of the group. Even more so that the driver is the father of the Rui look-alike transfer student.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Aside from Magi4, the other two Pythagoras groups do get an episode all their own:
    • Episode 4 introduced Lagrange Point, and shows their maturity and hustle as idols in comparison to the Marginal boys.
    • Episode 6 features Unicorn Jr., establishes Atom's Friendly Rivalry with Tsubasa, and gets their character interactions down.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening song, "WeMe!", is by Magi4. All of the episodes also have different endings, sung by whoever was the focus of the episode.
  • Dramatic Drop: When Tsubasa tells the boys about the discussion of Atom going to Hollywood, Rui uncharacteristically drops the book he's reading in surprise.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: When Atom and Teruma went to a restaurant together, the tabloids thought Atom had a girlfriend. Teruma also frequently wears feminine-looking clothes and accessories.
  • Food Porn:
    • In episode 3, the twins film a pasta sauce commercial, and for the ending theme, they sing about cooking. It's full of this.
    • Episode 10 had the Pythagoras boys hand make their own nagashi soumen, and carefully showed the audience how it was done.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The entire eighth episode is an in-universe crime drama television special, played out by the boys of Pythagoras Productions. The ninth episode went back and forth between R's flashback of the origin of Magi 4 and Magi 4 going back to the camp where they first met.
  • Four-Leaf Clover: During the group's first training camp, R had started to look for four leaf clovers along his usual running route, but was unable to find a single one. When he went back to that area 2 years later however, he had better luck. That episode's ending theme, "Colorful", also had four leaf clovers as a motif.
  • The Ghost: Yue. Despite how close she is with Magi4, she's usually offscreen in this series. However, she's always talked about and converses with the boys via email or phone. Exaggerated in Episode 9, since she's completely omitted during the first time the group is rounded up even though she was present for the whole thing.
    • She makes three small, non-speaking cameos; one in the backstage scene during UniverseFES when the boys are all rounded up, one when she's driving the other Magi4 boys to their jet, and one when she argues with the pilot.
  • Going Commando: Atom thought this was required for school physical exams.
  • Good Luck Charm:
    • Atom, strangely enough, has lucky underwear that he uses for pretty much any situation in which he needs a little courage. Fortunately, as often as he wears them, he washes them.
    • L's obsession with marimo extends to using them as good luck charms as well.
      • R and four-leaf clovers, at least in the flashback episode.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Episode 3 has L and R act in the roles of an angel and a devil for a commercial they've been assigned to. Of course, flirty L is the devil character, while sweet R is the angel character. They also play with the trope during their candid camera pranks; R pretends that he'd gotten possessed and snapped, while L played the trickster.
  • Hallucinations: Teruma, L, and R all have strange perceptions of Wonder Corona and Nebulas' actions after they come back with the spring water. They weren't sure if what they imagined was on them or due to fatigue from their day-long search for water.
  • The Heart: Episode 9 establishes how R became the group's leader in their starting days. Over time, he began to speak up whenever any of the members started fighting and tried to come up with solutions, and started to become more proactive in getting the team to work together by having them do various exercises. It's for this reason why the Director saw leadership potential in him even he doesn't see it in himself, and why none of the other members object to her decision after they get back from the training camp.
  • Hostile Weather: Atom can't quite make it to the Big Bang Festival because of a large typhoon hitting the area he's in, severely reducing his practice time and separating him from the other Pythagoras Productions boys for almost the whole three days before the concert.
  • I Have This Friend: After L and R get into a minor spat, R wants to apologize to his brother and tell him what was on his mind. Considering that L was busy hosting the school radio at the time, he couldn't do it straightforwardly. So he sends an anonymous message during the radio's email segment which explained his side of the story, and apologizes through there. L found out about halfway through the message.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: What gets Atom's character Yukito in trouble in Re: 24 Hours. The auctioneers usually referred to the painting he and Rui were looking for as a container, while only Yukito referred to it as an armored vehicle when he interrogated some passersby.
  • Indirect Kiss: Tsubasa worries about having to do this with Atom as he's preparing to kiss the Pythagoras statue. Apparently, this attitude is holding him back, as Atom would have kissed it without a second thought if Teruma had went first.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • Unicorn Jr.'s ending song "REAL?" concerns a couple getting particularly frisky.
    • The seventh ending "O・n・e・H・e・a・r・t" (sung by L) is very clearly about a couple in the throes of passion.
    I’m drowning in your charms concealed in the moon’s abyss tonight
    My heart has been captured, the true westerly winds howl
    Now should we meet by chance, our・hearts・shall・be・come・one (Ah)
    The moment your perfume goes from sweet to hot…
  • Lighter and Softer: The drama and most of the serious tone of the main series stories is gone here, since it just focuses on the more positive aspects of the boys' run as an idol group.
  • Lost in Translation: Episode 10's main punchline hinges on some Japanese wordplay. The sick dance instructor, ever the workaholic, murmurs to himself about a face (men) that he wanted Magi4 to finish choreography with. The boys only hear the tail end and get him soumen. The pun didn't work quite as well in the official subtitles.
  • Love Confession: As the final part (and the most important) of the friendly competition Unicorn Jr. And Marginal #4 have, Atom challenges Teruma to confess to and kiss a statue of Pythagoras. We even get scenes of what their scenarios should look like, but dear old Pythagoras stays the same throughout it all.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: After Rui's favorite childhood toy exploded in popularity, the company that makes it sent a huge shipment of the toys to Pythagoras Productions in thanks. Unfortunately, all of the dolls spilled on the ground, including Rui's. You'd think it'd be pretty hard to find, especially with how well Rui's own doll is kept... but Rui just walks up to his beloved toy and dusts it off.
  • New Transfer Student: Double subverted. Atom sees a blue-haired boy on the way to school, and assumes that Rui will join their class as this. It isn't Rui... but then, it turns out that Rui already transferred to their school, and just didn't tell them.
  • One-Gender School: The high school the Magi4 boys go to is an all-boys' private school.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Tsubasa told the boys about Atom's Hollywood opportunity, Rui was uncharacteristically angry and frustrated the whole time. When confronted about it, he reveals that he's just as upset as L and R were, and even more so, because he felt like he'd been able to get this far with a group that he trusted only for them to possibly break up just as he's getting used to being their companions.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The poor Unicorn Jr. boys kept going into the wrong rooms for their dramatic entrance and rival declaration to Marginal #4, to the point where when they finally get to the boys' club room, they're barely even able to finish the speech because they're so out of breath.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Marginal boys' club was really made so that the four can gather together in school, in true Nondescript Club fashion. The first episode was pretty much devoted to trying to give the club a purpose, and they do perform some club activities in-show, but the club itself is very vague.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Galaxy Samurai is a Space Opera, but its pilots use rigs that look like airplanes to fight.
  • Running Gag: For the sake of a joke, the transfer student is usually placed in random places, especially if someone is looking for Rui and runs into him instead.
  • Serious Business: After the Pythagoras boys' dancing instructor gets sick, he (supposedly) asks for nagashi soumen. At first they just get a convenience store version of the dish, but after they botch that up, Atom convinces the group to go all out on the recipe; hand making the noodles, getting spring water, the whole nine yards. Each group takes their task way more seriously than they had the right to.
  • School Festival: Episode 4 takes place during one, but instead of the four main boys (since it is their festival), the focus of the episode is put on Kira and Shy.
  • Ship Tease: Frequently with Atom and Rui. The meaningful moments... the lip touching... L and R get a bit, too.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • The Candid Camera show from Episode 3 is a long-running one.
    • Re: 24 Hours, the topic of Episode 8, was a television special.
    • Episode 11 has Atom be invited to join the cast of the newest Galaxy Samurai season, with footage that looks exactly like a Star Wars film and a logo that looks like a riff on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
  • Slice of Life: The feel of the first half of the show is less "idols and their business" and leans more towards a day to day high-school comedy. That's not to say that the idol activities are non-existent.
  • Special Guest: Their dance teacher in episode 10 is their real-life choreographer, Yokoo Lui, as himself.
  • Tears from a Stone: Tsubasa's scenario with the Pythagoras statue had it cry from heartbreak. To represent it visually, raindrops that fell from the umbrella attached to it got onto its eyes.
  • Title Drop: Rui does so near the end of episode 12, suggesting that Magi4 make a huge impression on their audience for their big performance at the Big Bang Festival. It's also the name of the last episode and the name of the final musical number.
  • 12-Episode Anime
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Played with in Re:24 Hours. first it's inverted with Yukito being the undercover villain, but then played straight as Rui's character was revealed to be an undercover detective inpersonating his uncle to catch the perpetrator.
  • Unfortunate Item Swap: The CD that Magi4 was planning to take to the Aerospace Center was accidentally swapped out with a Lagrange Point CD in Atom's shelf. Atom being Atom, he wanted to correct the mistake (and do one better by bringing all the Pythagoras Productions CDs), even with very little time remaining to practice for the Big Bang Festival.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episode 9, which is a digest version of the story of how the boys came together as a unit before their first big concert performance at UniverseFES, and how R worked his way into becoming the leader of the group.