What Makes This Multimedia Idol Project Different

If you’ve been running in anime circles for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve come in contact with a multimedia idol project. There are quite a few popular ones, such as love live and Uta no Prince-sama, that have fans all over the world that enjoy the music, games, and anime based on the projects. There’s also more than a few lesser known projects, such as Hypnosis Mic, idolish7and Ensemble Stars, that may not be household names, but have dedicated fanbases. However, big or small, these projects all have something in common. They all use multiple types of media, such as music, animation, print, and games, to tell a story and captivate their audience.

In many ways, sharing this basic trait can actually cause these projects to blend together in a way. As with any kind of media, multimedia idol projects have tropes, character types, and uses of media that have been time tested and constantly reused with a different spin each time. If it isn’t broken, why fix it, right? However, Paradox Livea project that began in 2020, has been challenging these conventions.

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Paradox Live is a multimedia idol project that follows nine unique groups of artists: BAE, The Cat’s Whiskers, Cozmez, Akanyatsura, Buraikan, VISTY, AMPRULE, 1Nm8, and Goku Luck. These groups are able to participate in a round-robin rap competition known as the Paradox Live due to their use of phantometal, a substance that connects chemically with its wearer and allows them to project their emotions and lyrics into stunning stage effects. The winner of the competition wins ten billion yen and a chance to battle top rap duo Buraikan.

If reading that made you more confused than enlightened, that’s okay! The overarching story of Paradox Live is one of its greatest strengths as a project, and it takes a little time to piece it together, especially since it isn’t compiled into an animated series or a manga (yet). Instead, the story is currently told through music, music videos, and drama tracks. There’s already a number of albums featuring songs from each group, and even two albums where the groups were shuffled that brought forth a number of interesting interactions. Each of these albums also contain drama tracks that provide a look into the lives of the characters. All of these are available to view on the project’s YouTube page, where you can see them set to lightly animated videos. However, all of that is fairly common for multimedia idol projects. So what exactly makes Paradox Live such a mold breaker?


The cast of Paradox Live isn’t quite the lively, bubbly crew you’d see in most idol projects. Instead of trying to fit the characters in the typical archetypes, the creators made characters that were purposely outside the mold. They’re troublemakers, some due to their belief in freedom of expression and others because of their history of crime. Many of them, particularly Anne Faulkner and Aoi Kureha, pride themselves on being outside the binary in terms of gender, using neutral pronouns and defining their lives and styles by their own terms. Paradox Live has themes of self-expression and individuality that isn’t often seen in multimedia idol projects, and it’s portrayed in an incredibly positive light, showing these characters as cool and relatable, particularly to people in their twenties and thirties who are trying to figure out how to invent themselves.


This is another area where the project differs from most. Paradox Live isn’t strictly targeted at young teens, like most of the projects in its genre. It provides characters in a wide range of ages, from fourteen to thirty-four, but focuses heavily on adult characters. The music isn’t clean-cut or family friendly usually, nor are the character stories. There’s a heavy emphasis on topics like trauma, the meaning of family, and the struggles of life, which are meant to appeal to an older audience who will understand them. It’s unusual to see a series focused on idols that want to show more realism than shine and polish. However, it’s really nice to see a series like this that tries hard to give older audiences a story and characters that they can see themselves in, especially in a genre that tends to cater to younger viewers. It gives Paradox Live an interesting edge that other series, like the aforementioned Uta no Prince-sama and love liveoften lack.


Perhaps one of the things that sets Paradox Live apart the most, though, is how it uses social media. With other multimedia idol projects, they use social media in a traditional sense as a promotional tool. It’s used to announce new content or share little bits about characters. It’s not quite meant to immerse the fanbase into the story. Paradox Live, however, use social media as a storytelling tool. Every character in the series has their own Twitter profile, and in-character tweets are posted regularly that provide information about the story and characters. This is an incredibly unique method that allows for consistent content releases that keep fans engaged between major releases, such as albums (and perhaps soon, manga). It also allows fans to interact with their favorite characters, which increases the excitement for the project. This kind of immersion is uncommon for idol projects, but with the success Paradox Live you have received by using it, it’s safe to say it may become one of those tried and true methods for the genre.


Paradox Live has managed to create quite the niche for itself within the world of multimedia idol projects. By taking the genre’s typical tropes and twisting and building them to fit its story and theme, this project becomes a unique story with a fresh form of plot delivery and a more mature tone. While the project is still relatively small, it’s on track to become a favorite among the anime community, which will hopefully lead to it receiving an anime adaptation in the near future. let Paradox Live be your next musical sensation, and get to know this excitingly convoluted project for yourself.


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