Shounen Hollywood (Usually shortened to just ShoHari/ShoHolly) is Japanese mixed-media franchise created by Ikuyo Hashiguchi. It consists of an idol project, a novel by Hashiguchi that was published by Shogakukan in 2012, and a two season anime television series by ZEXCS that aired between July 5, 2014 and mid 2015. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release in North America, while Crunchyroll simulcast the series for territories outside of North America since July 5, 2014.
The novel introduces thirty-two-year-old Koji Sakuragi who sees an ad that is scouting for young male singers to be a part of a new group named Shounen Hollywood. Having once dreamed of being an idol himself, Koji changes his name to Tsuyoto Hiiragi and lies about being seventeen in order to get in and study at a well-known theater in Shinjuku called Hollywood Tokyo, where the group will grow and develop their talents.
...The anime series, however, doesn't concern itself with that group. Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49/50 tells a story fifteen years after the novel's timeline. Here, the original Shounen Hollywood has long disbanded and now five new boys— Ex-delinquent Ikuma Amagi, narcissistic and self-conscious Shun Miyama, thoughtful and passive Kakeru Kazami, optimistic Daiki Tomii, and former child actor Kira Saeki— have been recruited to become the next generation of Shounen Hollywood. The boys are trained and taught the hardship of being an idol, where the second season expands on their idolhood activities after their first major concert.
A spin-off manga called Shounen Hollywood: Holly Trip for You was published in 2014. This time, the story was about the boys travelling to Hawaii to shoot a PV.
In 2016, the 26th and final episode of the anime ("HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU") was given a funding campaign in order to finish the remaining performances. The funding was reached later on in the year, and the finished product was projected to come out on February 24, 2018, with a sneak preview in July of 2017 and an early showing on Christmas Day of the same year. The episode premiered westward at the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival in 2018.
The series received a sequel in the form of the web serial Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 51- on the Future Orange fanpage, but was taken down shortly after the fanpage expired. After the fundraiser and premiere for "HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU" went successfully, the creators announced that they'd be willing to do a third season of the anime, HOLLY STAGE FOR 52. Another crowdfunding effort went up in mid-2019 for audio adaptations of 51 and said possible third season, with the whole project retitled Shounen Hollywood 2020; this project also saw to a successful funding campaign. 51 is now a seven-track audio book, and the original prose recollected as a limited edition bonus for purchasing all tracks.
In late 2018, an announcement went up for a mobile game: Kaijou Hollywood, which features an entirely new cast of characters.
- Aborted Arc: The first season's drama about some fans not liking the new Shounen Hollywood is more or less dropped come the second season, which focuses more on character growth instead.
- And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the anime, the show makes it clear that there's still more of Shounen Hollywood's story to tell by saying this word for word in relation to the HOLLY STAGE FOR 51 serial.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Sana, Kakeru's younger sister. Every single one of her appearances on the show have her nagging at her brother for noise control, or just complaining in general. Her mother implies that her bratty attitude is because she's secretly jealous of Kakeru doing idol work.
- Beach Episode: Only found in the manga.
- Blatant Lies: When Shun was recruited into Hollywood Tokyo, he agreed to it because he'd thought that the theater was a foreign branch of the actual Hollywood. President made no effort to correct him and even encouraged the thought (Tesshi tried to warn him, to his credit).
- Butt-Monkey: Many jokes are made at Ikuma's expense. Cat doesn't seem too fond of him even though the reverse is very true, Kira and Shun love to pick on him, and apparently the eye masks made in his likeness didn't sell at allnote .
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: As expected of an idol anime. Even the old ShoHolly members look good, going into their thirties.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: Shima was going to take over Hollywood Tokyo and wasn't quite fond of where the group was going. But after the President asked him to let the boys prove themselves, he relented and even approved of them once they showed their resolve in Episodes 24 and 25.
- Character Focus: Each of the boys has their own personal arc to work through:
- For Kira, it's his emotional immaturity despite his professional experience. Episode 4 had him become frustrated with his part in AIR BOYS and is given a smaller role, while episode 20 gave him room to explore romantic feelings with an older woman.
- For Shun, it's his insecurities about not being able to do what he really wants to do and his worries about embarrassing himself or coming off as uncool. In episode 8 it had to do with him finding all of the supplementary work necessary to get noticed a waste of time, while in episode 18 it was a reaction to seeing Ran become a baker instead of following his passion for dancing.
- Ikuma's focus episodes had to do with his delinquent past (6) and his lacking idol skills resulting in him losing center position in the group (20).
- Color-Coded Characters: Overall, Shounen Hollywood as a group boasts seven main colors: red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, and white, and in order to join the group you have to pick one of them. In order:
- Red: Kakeru and Ran
- Yellow: Tomii and Minoru
- Green: Ikuma and Daichi
- Blue: Kira and Shima
- Purple: Ryu
- Pink: Shun and Kou
- White: Hiiragi
- Interestingly, their Zen the Hollywood counterparts originally included an orange idol in place of the white one, but the rest of the color lineup was the same.
- Contemplate Our Navels: A lot of runtime is devoted to the boys talking about their purpose in life, and navel gazing about life in general.
- Concert Film: Believe it or not, the entire last episode is this. The broadcast version was cut for time and because they didn't have enough time to finish it all, but the final version (premiering a full two years later) was about double its length at over an hour's worth of footage of the boys' second Christmas concert.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Daiki's been living at an orphanage for practically all of his life. Coincidentally, so had Minoru, and Daiki was introduced to Shounen Hollywood through him when Minoru took a visit to the orphanage he lived at.
- Concert Climax: Like many idol series, the last episode takes place during their planned big concert, showing off all their progress as they developed into a functioning and somewhat successful Shounen Hollywood.
- A Day in the Limelight: Cat and the old Shounen Hollywood even get one to themselves in episode 16 explaining how the group's last days went by. It's all done in Cat's head, and he has plenty of things to say about the new group and the old.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both opening themes, "Hello Sekai" and "HOLLY TRIP", are done by the voice actors of the boys. Most of the insert songs used in the endings are done by each character as well.
- The Fellowship Has Ended: Following their last concert, the first Shounen Hollywood gathered together to say their goodbyes to each other, then parted ways in the snow.
- Genre Throwback: As a group, they invoke the boy groups of yesteryear with their dance moves and their track lists. Their real life counterparts, Zen the Hollywood, even rebranded themselves into a throwback act to the 80s to better reflect this.
- Guest Star: Miss Monochrome shows up in the Tokimeki Music Room episode to premiere one of her songs.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Kakeru's major problem in the group is his singing, and he works at it every day in order to improve it. Episode 7 was devoted to the boys getting Kakeru to stop being embarrassed about it, to the point where they make fools of themselves running around town and singing equally as off. His case is more on the realistic side though— it's not terrible, it's just off-key.
- Idol Singer: Though unlike regular idol shows, Shounen Hollywood is more of a character study of the various personalities that go into idolhood. The idols are also rather small-time, local idols compared to the large audiences idol singers usually get.
- In-Series Nickname: Ikuma and Daiki are only ever referred to as Makki and Tommy throughout the whole show. While in Daiki's case it's more because he inherited the nickname, Makki has no excuse.
- Legacy Character: The anime focuses on the five main characters as they try to work their way up to living up to the legacies of their predecessors, the original Shounen Hollywood.
- For specific legacies, Daiki becomes the new Tommy after Minoru dubs him as such, in both childhood and in his teenage years.
- Moe Couplet: Kira and Makki are treated as one during their public meet-and-greet. Kira, being smaller and cuter, is treated as the spoiled younger brother around him, while Makki, as the taller and masculine older guy, is seen as the Jerk with a Heart of Gold that relents to his whims. The truth is opposite most of the time, with Makki being a big goofball while Kira is more reserved.
- One-Hit Wonder: Invoked with the original Shounen Hollywood, as they're most remembered for their single "Eien Never".
- Older Than He Looks: Tesshi's been with Shounen Hollywood ever since the first group was starting out yet hasn't aged a day. Hiiragi is a downplayed case of this, since the man is 32 at the start of the story and passes off for a 17 year old boy. He ages visibly by the time the HOLLY STAGE anime happens as the President, but he still looks around his mid thirties for a man who should look about a decade older.
- Only Six Faces: There's really only one facial mold that everyone fits under, and the art style does not do much to help fix that.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Literally for Shun, as he breaks his flirty idol persona on stage and drops his intro to do a shorter, "cooler" one, as a result of finding out about what happened to Ran. The other boys have to cover for him when the audience doesn't bite.
- Passing the Torch: One by one, the first Shounen Hollywood members begin to approve of their successors after they prove themselves. By the end of the HOLLY STAGE anime, the successors have earned the approval of them all.
- Paying Their Dues: In order to make their name known to people outside of the audiences already attending the Hollywood Tokyo stage shows, the boys are thrown into embarrassing television programs and advertising, or get work in game shows. Shun decides that he's had enough of that type of work in one episode and tries to make himself known by entering a song contest.
- Besides this, the boys often do events that try to being audiences back for more, like after-concert meetups or hand shaking events. They even get featured on music programs in order to advertise for their music.
- When Shima returns to Hollywood Tokyo in Season 2, he points out that this trope is part of the reason why the current Shounen Hollywood will only ever be small time; because they don't have enough advertising and backing to make themselves known to larger audiences. This is part of the reason why he planned on giving them a huge opportunity as the spokesmen for the amusement park Shounen Hollywood performed at for one of their Christmas concerts and giving them proper backing... at the cost of taking over management, renaming the group, and destroying Hollywood Tokyo.
- Precocious Crush: In Episode 20, Kira gains a crush on the owner of a popular sandwich shop. She is flattered that he feels this way, but she's engaged to be married.
- Running Gag: Whenever Kakeru practices singing at home, his sister makes a routine of telling him to quiet down and stop.
- Saving the Theater: In part, the plot hinges on this. After a string of unsuccessful idol groups following the disbanding of Shounen Hollywood, Hollywood Tokyo is barely running and is in danger of closing down. Restarting Shounen Hollywood gave the theater a purpose again and brought revenue in.
- Sequel Series: The anime takes place 15 years after the end of the novel.
- Show Within a Show: There have been multiple episodes devoting the whole running time to these, to show what the boys are doing and how they're handling it:
- Air Boys, an original play that was the boys' first big job.
- Episode 10 featured an episode of Tokimeki Music Room, where the boys performed "Eien Never" to audiences nation wide. Kou also shows up to promote a song he sang for a movie.
- The long running detective drama Migratory Bird Cop, which Tomii got a starring role in for one of its side stories.
- Slice of Life: It's quite realistic, but still makes room for some oddities like characters with brightly-coloured hair.
- Snow Means Death: Christmas always held significance for the main cast, a lot of it bitter. The first president died around that time, causing the original Shounen Hollywood to hold their final concert on Christmas Eve. Eventually the second group comes to the same decision during the strike, causing the metaphorical death of Shounen Hollywood once again.
- Social Circle Filler: Takeru had two friends he hung out with outside of his Hollywood Tokyo duties, but they're hardly seen after the first season. President outright encourages Takeru to let go of them when he talks about sacrificing his social life for stardom, and we don't see them hanging out with him in future episodes.
- Something Completely Different: Any time an episode focuses on some of the jobs or performances that the boys are given, seeing that the show is primarily character-based. Episodes 5, 10, 19, and 26 are all examples of this, but at the very least episode 26 references some of the plot developments of the previous episodes.
- Something Only They Would Say: The foul-tongued mascot in Episode 23 reminded Tesshi quite a bit of Ryu, because of the way he acted around the ShoHolly boys. Just as he dismisses the connection, the man in the mascot laughs at Tesshi and calls him stupid before running off— something Ryu had done years before when Shounen Hollywood first disbanded.
- Stepford Smiler: Because of Shima's offer to take down Hollywood Tokyo and reform/remake Shounen Hollywood, moods across the board have been sour. Unfortunately, they have to do a promotion for an amusement park and act like they're having the time of their lives when they're all ticked off. Justified due to their line of work— they can't afford to wear their hearts on their sleeves when they have fans and need to act professional.
- Stock Footage: Their idol introductions make frequent recurring appearances after Episode 1, a lot of the time using the same animation frames as the first. There are only a couple of times where the footage is shaken up for whatever reason.
- Strike Episode: Episodes 23 and 24 of HOLLY STAGE FOR 51 have the ShoHolly members board up Hollywood Tokyo in protest of President and Shima's proposition to sell the place off and rebrand Shounen Hollywood under Shima's label. They spend quite a bit of time inside discussing what they want to do with the group in the meantime, and ultimately decide to break up after the upcoming Christmas concert. The strike works, thankfully, with Shima being touched by their passion.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- When we're shown the original Shounen Hollywood for the first time, they're all talking about their plans for the future or what they'd be willing to do after the group breaks up. Cut to what they're doing now, and while some have been able to achieve their dreams, others haven't and settled for different professions away from the music industry. And their total running time for idolhood as a group had to be about two to three years overall, with their group largely falling out of the public eye after a while.
- Migratory Bird Cop is usually praised (or criticized) for its extremely realistic police procedure. The villain in one case can be brought back on a completely different charge in the next, and some arrests won't happen until seasons later. Mind you, this isn't because most of the criminals are Arc Villains; they might just be a Villain of the Week that reappears out of the blue one day.
- The Team:
Kakeru: The Leader; coolheaded, sexy center of the group
Makki: The Big Guy; strong, masculine older brother type
Tomii: The Heart; sweet, friendly good luck charm for the theatre and ShoHolly as a whole
Kira: The Cutie and The Smart Guy; emphasis on his youth and his sparkliness on top of his showbiz knowledge
Shun: The Face; good natured flirt who interacts with the fans the most
- Team Dad: The President is an aloof figure, but isn't afraid to call the boys out on their lackluster performances or worldviews, and is generally stricter in his beliefs for what they should be as idols.
- Team Mom: On the other hand, Tesshi serves as the mother figure of the group, teaching the boys the ropes of singing and dancing and serving as a nurturing figure to them, looking out for their happiness.
- Team Pet: Cat, the 16 year old horned owl that sits perched in Hollyood Tokyo.
- Throw It In: As we see in the making of the Migratory Bird Cop special, the tears Daiki sheds as he talks to Minoru's character were out of a real fear of failing to live up to Minoru's legacy. In a tense scene like the one he was in, there was no real need to cut that take out.
- Wham Episode: In episode eleven, Kakeru learns that Shounen Hollywood has been receiving hate mail, making him lose motivation.
- Wham Line: "Even if no one wants to see us?"
- We Have Become Complacent: The President makes the boys realize this come the end of the second season. After establishing themselves as idols, they largely just went through the motions instead of striving for greater ambitions or improving themselves for their performances. This is why he tells them that at the rate they're all going, they'll still be small time singers and fall into obscurity. This is also the reason that he and Shima decide to test them in the last couple of episodes.