I just?? love BanDori's character writing so much???
it has a bunch of archetypes but instead of holding the characters back, they just use them as a base to add onto and make all the girls so incredibly. REALISTIC. I was Ako when I was her age. all of Afterglow feels natural as childhood friends with established roles and relationships and in-jokes. Chisato acts exactly like someone who's been in the industry for years WOULD even if it's harsh sometimes. Hina and Sayo's relationship is complex and natural because they're both complex and natural personalities (Hina especially is super interesting to me). even the HaroHapi girls, while obv exaggerated, don't feel like they're just over-the-top stereotypes (I swear I met a Kokoro once. minus the money). Rinko struggles with her shyness/social anxiety but tries to fight it in believeable ways. Arisa may be a tsun but she's the kinda tsun who uses her tsun-ness to call out the stupid things nobody would, which I always like. Kasumi's desire to find the "star beat" and feel the rush of the stage is super relatable to me personally. Tae is exactly like one of my best friends, Yukina's motivations are believeable and her attitude makes sense, I could go on forever about their initial, non-story-developed personalities alone
and that's not even to start on the interactions?? I love the juxtaposition of Hina/Sayo & Ako/Tomoe because both are believeable sibling relationships (the Hikawas are a Duh but the Udagawas also feel very natural because Tomoe is established as the Mom Friend so obv she'd be that to Ako too), I love it when the really happy characters interact and hype each other up, I love how some relationships are preestablished and really feel like they've known each other for longer, I love how they're not afraid to keep! having everyone meet each other! in events and showing how they all play off each other
I just. BanDori honestly has some of the best character writing I've seen in a while. all the while balancing drama and emotional scenes with light-heartedness and fun and friendship in a way that never feels jarring oh god I love BanDori so much and I'm so glad for EN showing this to everyone. even the stories I skipped on JP because they didn't look interesting and I don't have enough patience to listen to everything are appealing to me now. I just. I love BanDori guys