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Anime / Selection Project

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Girls be ambitious!

SELECTION PROJECT is an Anime First original series produced by Dogakobo. It began airing during the Fall Anime Season on October 2021.

Held every summer of every year, "SELECTION PROJECT" is a nationwide idol reality TV show that has aspiring and talented young girls from all over Japan compete against each other to come out on top and become the next big idol. This show was also the gateway of the legendary idol, Akari Amasawa, a young star who won the inaugural season, and lost her life due to a tragic accident three years prior.

Enter Suzune Miyama, a young girl who dreams of becoming an idol after being inspired by none other than Akari Amasawa herself. Having been bedridden and hospitalized since childhood due to health problems, Suzune often listened to Akari's songs to give her the courage to smile in spite of her own difficulties, encouraging Suzune to follow her idol so she too can inspire others the same way Akari did to her before.


Now that she's participating in the seventh SELECTION PROJECT on the last summer of her final year in junior high, will Suzune be able to fulfill her dreams and come out on top?

Selection Project provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Akari Amasawa is the legendary idol in the show. Most of the characters either idolize her, or are inspired to follow her footsteps the same way Suzune and Rena are.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Rena is distant and unfriendly by default, unwilling to make friends with the other idols and especially Suzune because she thinks such things are unnecessary between rivals who are actively competing against one another.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Uta is the youngest of the nine SELECTION PROJECT participants for its seventh season, being only 11 while everyone else is a teenager. However, she's also the most experienced in the entertainment industry despite her very young age due to being a child actor since early childhood.
  • Back for the Finale:
    • In-Universe, after they manage to gain some traction as an indie idol group after their elimination, everyone in 9-tie is later permitted to return to the SELECTION PROJECT for a special finale live, in which they will all be declared joint winners if they manage to attain two million Yells from the audience.
    • The final episode features appearances and cameos from side characters who have appeared over the course of the series, including Seira and the contestants' families.
  • Beach Episode: Episodes 6 and 7 have the contestants perform a "summer song" as the theme for the second round, complete with a literal beach as the backdrop to their MV. Naturally, this entails everyone being required to put on a swimsuit of their choice, something Suzune is visibly nervous about because it would end up revealing the huge surgical scar she has on her chest.
  • Cast Herd: The contestants are divided into three groups (Suzu☆Rena, which comprises Suzune and Rena, Splasoda°, which comprises Hiromi, Nagisa, Nodoka, and Ao, and GAPsCAPs, which comprises Uta, Shiori, and Mako) for the competition's first round, based on their chosen specialties. However, those groupings persist past that round as their respective members have grown accustomed to congregating together. Later on, the contestants are grouped this way when discussing who they should vote out after the second round and when dividing up the labor of creating a new song when they decide to continue performing as an indie idol group. Those groupings then essentially become subunits of 9-tie as a whole.
  • Cool Big Sis: Mako is the eldest of the nine SELECTION PROJECT participants and actively tries to look out for each of them despite the competitive nature of the show. Helps that she's an actual older sister at home too.
  • Confession Cam: Unsurprisingly, this features occasionally as SELECTION PROJECT is a reality show. Contestants are asked their thoughts on various events in the series, and have to give interviews.
  • Cover Version:
    • The ending theme, Only one yell, was Akari's debut song as a professional idol, and the contestants are tasked with singing it during the regional qualifiers. Each episode also ends with a version of the song sung by a different character, and solo versions for Akari, the members of 9-tie, and Seira are included with the series' Blu-Ray releases.
    • The songs that the contestants are required to sing for the group stage were In-Universe originally performed by previous SELECTION PROJECT contestants. In particular, B.B. was one of Akari's songs, while SPARKRASH and NOiSY MONSTER were originally sung by groups named Shishimai and Calico, respectively.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Rena starts out as the most hostile towards Suzune, treating her and the other contestants with indifference at best, and harsh coldness at worst. She very slowly starts opening herself up to Suzune when they end up getting paired for SELECTION PROJECT's group screening as a duo unit, when she learns just how passionate Suzune really is about being an idol and how much she was inspired by her sister Akari, like she herself is. Rena's kinder side later shows up more when she later finds out firsthand about the surgical scar on Suzune's chest from a heart transplant surgery and much later, that her sister Akari was the donor. For most of the episode where she learns about the former, she ends up being apologetic and even protective and caring of Suzune despite the latter's insistence that she doesn't need to worry. While the latter incident has her initially unfairly lash out at Suzune after figuring out the truth, she immediately apologizes as soon as she clears out her head and becomes a gentler person by then. After all that, Rena completely loses her bullheadedness and becomes genuinely supportive and kindhearted to the rest of the girls, particularly Suzune.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The ending theme, Only one yell, is Akari's most famous song In-Universe, and Episode 1 begins with a video of her singing it. It is also the song that the contestants need to sing at the regional qualifiers in Episode 1. At the start of Episode 8, Sumipanda announces that the final round will be comprised of the contestants holding a special concert where they will sing the opening theme, Glorious Days. However, this does not actually happen until the end of Episode 13. Additionally, the episodes in which both songs were featured share their names with the respective songs.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening and ending themes are all sung by none other than all nine main characters, who are collectively known as 9-tie out of universe and as of Episode 9 in-universe.
  • Downer Beginning: The first episode ends with Suzune losing the initial SELECTION PROJECT audition and walks home dejected and crying. Luckily for her, this isn't the end of her story just yet.
  • Drama Bomb: Rena learning that Suzune was the recipient of Akari's donated heart is the cause of one of these, as she angrily lashes out at the latter and questions if Suzune making it as far as she did in the competition was solely her own effort or because of Akari. However, after being made to contemplate Akari's motivations for singing, and her genuine passion for music, Rena concludes that because she is only trying to emulate her sister, she does not deserve to compete against her fellow contestants, who joined to pursue what she perceived were more genuine passions. After apologizing to Suzune for her behavior, Rena then decides to vote herself out of the competition as a sign of contrition.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After encountering numerous trials and tribulations along the way, Suzune and the rest of 9-tie finally have their efforts rewarded when they get to debut as an idol unit together at the end of the anime, fulfilling their dreams of becoming idols at last.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Hiromi is popular with girls back in her hometown, much to her confusion and chagrin.
  • The Fake Cutie: Nagisa plays up her cuteness as part of her idol persona, but while she can be pragmatic to a certain degree and has a slightly different personality at home, she's otherwise genuinely sweet and considers her fellow competitors at SELECTION PROJECT her friends.
  • Gratuitous English: Seira, being Half-American from her mother's side, sprinkles a lot of English in her sentences.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Two non-fatal examples.
    • Seira relinquishes her position as a participant for SELECTION PROJECT as she believes Suzune deserved to win the auditions more than she did, after having seen her brilliance during Suzune's failed performance. She then leaves for America afterwards so she can better hone her skills the next time she and Suzune meet.
    • Rena attempts to vote herself out of the competition after she realized how horribly she spoke to Suzune when she discovered that the latter was Akari's heart recipient. She also questioned if her goals in being an idol were justified, as she initially joined the SELECTION PROJECT to emulate Akari, rather than any genuine desire to sing and connect with fans. However, once they discover her intentions, none of the other contestants are having it, and decide to vote themselves out as well in a show of solidarity.
  • Idol Genre: It's an anime about girls who dream of making their break in the idol industry through the famous nationwide idol reality TV show, SELECTION PROJECT.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Said word per word by the standoffish Rena to her fellow would-be idols.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The voice actresses for members of 9-tie and its subunits appeared in live-action versions of performances by their characters from the anime (B.B., SPARKRASH, NOiSY MONSTER, Our Dream Will Come True Someday, and Glorious Days), which were uploaded onto YouTube. Said performances featured the same SELECTION PROJECT logo in the top-left corner of the screen (meant to denote footage seen on television by the anime's In-Universe audience), as well as the similar title cards from the anime for the song's name and performing unit. This implies that said live-action performances are meant to be exactly the same as the ones viewed by the anime's In-Universe audience, doubling as a case of Defictionalization as well.
  • Nice Girl: Suzune is patient, kind, and empathetic, and actively wants to get along with the others despite the competitive nature of SELECTION PROJECT. Her friend Seira is also one too, as she's more or less Suzune's caring older sister figure in all but name. She even voluntarily relinquishes her spot on SELECTION PROJECT to Suzune because she genuinely believes that Suzune deserved it much better than she did due to her potential.
  • Posthumous Character: Akari Amasawa died from a car accident three years prior to the story. She does however, show up many times in the series via flashbacks due to her influence to the other characters.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Among 9-tie's subunits, GAPsCAPs specializes in musical instruments, with each member being proficient in a different instrument, enabling them to form an impromptu band to perform NOiSY MONSTER. However, the Live-Action Adaptation of the subunit's performance replaces the instruments from the anime with choreography instead, because the voice actresses for the subunit's members cannot play the same instruments as their respective characters.
  • Reality Show: The premise of the series revolves around nine girls who must both work together and compete against one another on national TV in order to be the top idol they all aspire to be.
  • Reality TV Show Mansion: The seaside terrace house Yumemiya is a villa where all the main characters will stay in for their duration in the show, where they'll be documented on cam to show everyone how they're doing and what they're up to during selected hours.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • At the start of Episode 1, a man and and woman are briefly seen watching Akari just before she starts her performance of Only one yell. It would not be until Episode 9 where the audience discovers that the former is Sumipanda while out of his costume, and Episode 10 would reveal that the latter is the CEO of the SELECTION PROJECT, though eagle-eyed viewers might realize much earlier than that that she is Sunny with makeup and a different hairstyle.
    • In Episode 3, as the contestants are having lunch, viewers get a brief shot of a bowl of strawberries next to Rena's food. This foreshadows the fact that strawberries were Akari's Trademark Favorite Food, and Rena developed a taste for them out of adoration for her sister, as she explains in a Video Will in Episode 9. Said video is also where Rena discloses that she joined the SELECTION PROJECT solely to emulate Akari, and not out of any genuine desire to sing, unlike the other contestants. As such, Rena perceived placing such desires over the ambitions of the other contestants to be selfish and undeserving of her place in the competition. This leads her to conclude that the only way to make things right with her fellow contestants was to vote herself out.
    • In Episode 4, a shot of Nagisa's phone shows a list of songs that were featured in the series thus far, with NOiSY MONSTER being immediately listed after B.B. and SPARKRASH, which Suzu☆Rena and Splasoda° performed in the previous episode and that episode respectively. Sure enough, GAPsCAPs would perform NOiSY MONSTER in the next episode.
    • Episode 4 also features Nagisa recounting her past in a flashback, and the background music that plays in that scene is later revealed in Episode 7 to be an instrumental version of the Red Bean Song, which was Sumipanda's one and only hit from his otherwise obscure past career as an idol.
    • In Episode 12, Sunny reveals that she is actually the CEO of the Selection Project, and that she held herself responsible for Akari's death. This is a Call-Back to Episode 3, where as the CEO, Sunny can be seen in Rena's flashbacks delivering the news of Akari's death to her mother.
    • Episode 13's performance of B.B. looks nearly identical to the initial performance in Episode 3. However, the moment where Suzune and Rena face and circle each other contain two notable differences. First, Rena frowns at Suzune in the earlier performance, but in the later performance, the former smiles at the latter. And second, in the former performance, Suzune hovers her hand over Rena's hand. However, both of them physically hold hands in the later performance. Both changes are reflective of Rena's Character Development, in which she went from an aloof and distant girl who treated Suzune with harsh coldness, to a person who genuinely cared for Suzune and saw her as a friend.
  • Sadistic Choice: At the end of the second round, the contestants are told that they have to vote for two of their number to be eliminated from the competition, while the rest can move on. By this point, having gone through the challenges of the first two rounds through teamwork, they view being made to do this as this trope.
  • Series Mascot: Sumipanda is the host and mascot for SELECTION PROJECT.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Rena greatly resembles her older sister Akari, with only their eye shape and hair length setting them apart. Her mother also resembles an older version of her too.
  • The Stinger: Every episode plays a short scene with the episode title showed up in the end.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • During the first round, Suzu☆Rena inexplicably amasses around half of the required 100,000 Yells needed to proceed, without even doing any promotional videos for their subunit or putting out their performance. This leads Nagisa to do some research, where she learns that Rena is Akari's sister, and thus people are voting for the subunit on the basis of Akari's fame alone. Their performance not only nets them enough Yells to clear the round, but is well in excess of the necessary number. GAPsCAPs also makes it through the first round with the Yells they accumulated through their performance, possibly in part because Uta is a famous child actor. In contrast, Splasoda° is the only subunit whose was unable to clear the round after performing, and had to create additional video content afterwards to do so. This is likely due to the fact that the subunit did not have any members who could bank on some form of pre-SELECTION PROJECT fame to garner Yells.
    • In Episode 6, after the beach volleyball tournament, Rena and Uta sport the highest number of Yells among the contestants for the same reasons that enabled their subunits to easily pass the first round. On the other hand, Suzune has by far the lowest number of Yells because she opted not to participate in the tournament due to being self-conscious about the scar on her chest from her heart transplant.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: As the contestants were all complete strangers to each other prior to the SELECTION PROJECT, they all initially wind up struggling to work together when mandated to do so by the producers. The first round divides them up into groups and passes or eliminates each group as a whole, and the second round forces all of them to produce a music video together. However, after they get past this stage, they become Fire-Forged Friends, to the point that no one wants to move on to the final round if it means someone else gets eliminated.
  • There Can Be Only One: The SELECTION PROJECT being a Reality Show, the intention of the producers is that contestants be successively eliminated after each round until there is only one clear winner. The contestants themselves, on the other hand, have other ideas instead.
  • Trash of the Titans: Hiromi and Nagisa readily strew their belongings all over their shared dorm room, which annoys their roommate Shiori.
  • Wham Line: The Stinger for Episode 7 is this, with Sumipanda convening a meeting with the contestants and congratulating all nine of them for passing the first two rounds, something never before accomplished in the SELECTION PROJECT's history. He then announces that the third and final round will be comprised of a concert held by the seven remaining contestants. When questioned about this, Sumipanda then reveals that the contestants must decide to vote two of their number out of the competition.
  • Win-Win Ending: The series ends with all of the contestants collectively winning the competition as a unit, after being permitted to perform a special finale live in which the victory condition was accumulating two million Yells from the audience.