The Idolmaster


The Idolmaster, stylised as THE iDOLM@STER, is a video game series for smartphones. There are many iterations of the games in the series which includes both recurring characters and entirely new casts. The franchise itself is huge enough to be adapted into other mediums such as animes, mangas and even a Korean drama.

I have actually watched The Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls before this and I enjoyed that series quite a bit. Unlike that though, this series' spinoffs are lengthier, both in episode count and overall run length. As such, I have only watched the base Idolmaster anime for now. I will write another article regarding the other entries in the series (such as the movie).

I admit, I did not want to watch The Idolmaster because I was only ever drawn in by Cinderella Girls and thus, had no intention on further joining the Idolmaster fandom. This was my thought process before I actually watched Cinderella Girls and of course, after watching that, I just had to watch the original Idolmaster.

Unlike Cinderella Girls, these girls came from a relatively unknown studio with minimal budget and quite honestly, played along the 'rags to riches' story more closely than their counterparts. Also, because of the limited amount of characters featured in the anime, the series could reel in the focus and truly put a shining spotlight on each of the idols and the world they inhabit. This works in their favour because I spend less time trying to figure out who is who and more time actually understanding each idol.

This also makes it seem like the world they inhabit is relatively void of other idols. You have other rival companies and the show does feature quite a few other idols but they usually show up in just one episode and are not featured ever again. They talk about competitors and other idols but the anime doesn't show them often enough.

That being said, drawing the focus to just 765 Pro is a smart choice. Some storylines can be drawn to more than just one episode to stretch out the emotional thread while there is more than enough runtime to feature incredible side content such as gags, epic movie trailers (you'll wanna tune in for this) and funny sequences between the girls.

Speaking of emotional thread, there are definitely more sensitive chords running through this series than there were for Cinderella Girls. Once again, much like Uzuki (the MC of Cinderella Girls), Haruka Amami (the MC for this series) goes through a story arc that, while standing on the same thread as that of Uzuki, vibrates at a different wavelength. I shouldn't describe it as it will be a spoiler and much like Uzuki, I thought it was handled very well.

Other than her though, you also have the songstress Chihaya (she is voiced by Asami Imai, who is an incredibly powerful singer) and the carefree powerhouse Miki. I thought all the characters were interesting and I believe I prefer this cast over that of Cinderella Girls. It's worth pointing out though that there are only 12 idols with near zero other idols in this series while Cinderella Girls had 14 idols with a boatload of other idols.

The animation is pretty decent if I do say so myself. I prefer the slightly odd movements they make while dancing (it's more noticeable during the second OP) which is due to the dances requiring more nuanced movements. If you've ever seen how they dance for the music videos in the game, some of the choreography can get rather...interesting and they seem to utilise some of those movements in the anime as well.

The music in this series is also great! I really enjoy Chihaya's solos and most of the group songs are very catchy. The OPs are also a joy to listen to and lo and behold, one of the tracks they use for the goofy scenes is actually an incredibly famous meme song used in a vast amount of silly anime videos. Who knew that it came from The Idolmaster!

Overall, I enjoyed my time watching this series and I'm definitely going to keep investing more into finishing the other additional episodes and spinoffs. Going forward, I think I might also want to catch The Idolmaster: Side M. The goal is to be an Idolmaster fan!

My favourite girl? Sleeping Beauty herself!


Popular Posts