Before I begin posting my Let’s Play, I have always wanted to write more about my experiences in general about The iDOLM@STER in regards to the Anime and the Games. As you know, the anime like the game has important life lessons such as interacting with others, solving problems and teamwork that gives us the fabulous dancing and singing. (Image Source)
During my first time playing the games back in December when I received my copy of The iDOLM@STER 2, it had a large learning curve besides the fact that the game is only in Japanese. Like the producer in the Anime, I made numerous mistakes such as messing up the lessons, doing a burst appeal early in the game and not focusing on the right areas. With every play through, I improved to the point where I can eventually win all the Idol Academy Awards in the game (except for the capital area, since there isn’t any) and obtain an “A” producer rating, the highest on normal difficulty. From that, I got my gratification of achieving such a feat in the addition of getting one of my singles at the number one position of the charts. But the point I’m saying is that no producer can become experienced within a short period of time. We accumulate experience both tacit (through other people’s experiences) and explicitly to do better next time.
Another aspect of producing that caught my attention is the growing relationship with the girls and making the right choices. The matter of them succeeding or not depends on how you treat them and the actions you take since they are human too. While I played through Yukiho’s story in Wandering Star during Spring Break, I have started liking her more since she is a very sympathetic character even though she cries a lot. Her father raised her strictly, which caused her to become timid. Now, she wants to break out of it by becoming an idol to build self-esteem. To help her change, one has to understand the feelings she goes through and then act.
Also during her story, I became fascinated with her fascination of Takane. In comparison, Takane was self-confident and at the same time, acted friendly towards her rivals. Despite being a rival, she had an effect on Yukiho as a role model. She encouraged her to work hard with the possibility of becoming better. Eventually, Yukiho succeeded at the end, which proved that it’s possible to break out of her shyness. Obviously, she isn’t the only one that faces personal problems since other girls have different circumstances to overcome to achieve their goals.
Getting the girls to work together as a team is the last and the most essential aspect of the game (more so in iM@S 2 than the original) and the Anime. Sure, Miki’s desire in getting into Ryuuguu Komachi and eventually deserting the group when she doesn’t get her way in the Anime was probably not the best example of good teamwork. Thankfully, she got better in the end. Although the original game allowed for duo and trio units, the second vision game places a lot of emphasis on unity ( 団結), the ability to work as one because you had to manage a trio unit. Essentially, this makes the job difficult considering that each girl have different personalities and therefore, they might not get along without resolving their differences. As a producer, you are essentially the leader and you must balance their feelings out so that they can work together and gain success. This may sound easy, but life is not perfect. There are instances where they might fight along with one showing off because you give them too much attention to one girl over the others. On the other hand, if you neglect one girl, you might make her feel left out. This is best shown with Haruka gradually drifting away from the entire group in Episodes 23 and 24. Therefore, we have to make tough decisions and eventually say something that will satisfy the other girls if one of the members said something unreasonable so the others won’t get mad.
Although I’m not majoring in Management, it’s interesting to see how the game and anime has a lot in common when it comes to dealing with people and making decisions. Also, I like the fact that it doesn’t depict everything as a perfect world with no problems. It’s the matter of gaining experience and understanding the girls’ feelings, so we can get the reward of watching them perform on stage or television. It’s one of the main reasons why we play The iDOLM@STER, aside from the managing, rhythm-game elements and the story. ¶