Happy birthday, Ayumu Uehara!
I’ve come to appreciate you a lot more than I did initially! When PDP was first introduced, I didn’t really think much of you. I noted that you had a different main attribute and a different demeanor than the previous group leaders and thought that that change was interesting, but nothing else about you really grabbed my attention.
Once I saw your personality in the 4komas, I was definitely intrigued. You were mischievous and quirky. It made you stand out more, and I desperately hoped that that side of you would end up being carried over to your other iterations. I was disappointed when that didn’t happen. (Since the 4komas were gag comics, it was to be expected.) I just thought that your character was wasted potential.
I was so, so wrong.
Your character ended up being a lot more endearing and relatable than I thought it would be. For one, you’re shown to be anxious about change, which is something that resonates with me so much that it hurts. You became a school idol because Yu, your childhood friend, wanted to, and you didn’t want want to drift away from her. When Yu overworked herself trying to manage the club on everyone’s behalf and neglected you (and everyone else) in the process, you broke down, saying that you didn’t even know her anymore. When you thought that Yu was leaving you behind, you panicked yet again. Ultimately, you realized that you had support not just from Yu, but from the others in the club and all of your fans, and you were able to gain more confidence in yourself. It made me want to cheer you on, too.
In contrast to the genki protags, you’re more soft-spoken. You have a tendency to keep things bottled up, resulting in outbursts. You don’t charge headfirst into situations that you’re unsure of. Even though you put your all into everything you do, you aren’t always sure about how things will turn out. It’s an interesting change of pace for sure.
When you make an effort to move past your problems with a smile on your face, it’s very admirable. You show great improvement the more you put time into your idol activities, so you shouldn’t worry about how unskilled you are. You’ve proven that you’re more strong-willed and capable than you give yourself credit for.
Never stop believing in yourself! Ayu-bun, bun!