We are getting close to the middle of summer and I find myself wanting to watch another show. So I decided to take another look at THE iDOLM@STER, a show that has nothing to do with robots, but a more faithful adaptation of a popular idol raising simulation game. (Image Source)
There has been a great deal of discussion about Eastern Asian Idols in the fandom since they are a big part of their culture just like celebrities. As a result, it has become a lucrative business since it primarily based on the person’s looks opposed to talent and a personality. This caused a great deal of criticism since most of the works from idol groups feels manufactured. This is due to many of the popular idol unit groups having the girls’ voices auto tuned by sound technicians while they act cute to reduce the need for talent. On the other hand, this anime shows a different side of the industry that is more challenging and less idealistic.
While I haven’t played the actual game, THE iDOLM@STER anime follows closely to the game, which shows a rather harsh reality of managing a studio while providing the needs for the girls. Since 765 Productions is a small studio, they have limited resources to work with and have to work together to have a successful performance. As shown in episode three, the girls had to work with old equipment and limited staff. In the end, they manage to give a fun experience to the audience while they enjoy themselves. Underneath it all, we get to see the friendship between the girls and the growing relationship with the producer that felt rather cheerful.
As for the girls involved with the studio, each one has a different trait and personality to make them unique. These ranges from clumsiness, shyness, sleep deprived, cool sister, etc. While these appeals the audience, it’s not necessarily the reason we could relate to them. As shown in the first episode, every girl decided to become an idol for their personal wellbeing such as improving their image and gain confidence while others do it for enjoyment or other reasons. For instance, Yukiho is a shy girl who has a fear for men 1 and dogs who desires to become more confident in herself. At the group’s first event, she was almost unable to perform since both of these fears were there until she got support from her friends and the producer. With this encouragement, she was able to overcome her fear and had a lot of fun performing for the crowd. In contrast, there is a share of comedy from the girls. Most notably from Iori, Yayoi and the twins as they try to outdo Azusa through their makeup, figure and outfits in their promotional shots. Instead, they ended up looking hilarious opposed to being grown up. Needless to say, while the girls are really cute, Azusa and Yayoi are my favorites so far.
For the first three episodes, the new adaptation of THE iDOLM@STER was a very pleasurable watch. It was interesting to see how everything operated behind the scenes while the girls perform. Furthermore, the production values were good with the character designs being familiar to past works A-1 Pictures have produced such as Working and Sora no Woto. The music of the show sounded good as I expected since the source material is heavily music orientated. From this, I feel confident that this production will be more successful time around and can’t wait for what events lies for the girls in the episodes ahead.
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- This is not nearly as violent compared to Inami (Working!) and Yuuno who also had a fear of men. She just runs away or dig herself in fear. ↩