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THE IDOLM@STER – 22

「聖夜の夜に」 (Seiya no Yoru ni)
“On the Night of Christmas Eve”

It’s a tad bit early, but with the holidays quickly approaching, the timing of IM@S’ Christmas episode is probably about as good as it gets. Compared to recent weeks with Chihaya’s traumatic past and 961 Pro’s meddling, this was easily one of the more uplifting episodes to roll around too. The biggest problem here was uncertainty over whether everyone could spend Christmas together, which is hardly a bad thing when it’s because their popularity soared and they’re completely booked with idol gigs. I don’t think I would’ve wanted it any other way either, given that this adaptation is on the final stretch, so it’s nice to see the some of them reflect on how Haruka foresaw that they’d be so busy one day that it would be hard to even get together.

Thinking back, it’s kind of remarkably to see how far the girls have come, simply because I couldn’t even recall when the turning point was for them. I know it started with Ryuuguu Komachi’s success in episode six, but everything after that has been a bit of a blur. Only after flipping through my previous posts did I remember that it was their first live in episode thirteen that propelled them into stardom. Fourteen saw the new opening sequence to commemorate the occasion, and since then it’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions because of Kuroi. Only now that I’ve had a chance to look back on the past twenty-two episodes do I realize how much the 765 Pro girls have grown and grown on me. (I know all their first and last names now — and can recognize them in kanji too.)

If I had to try and label this episode based on whose it was, Miki would undoubtedly be it for winning an award for being the best new artist. I always knew she had it in her to go solo. Haruka however would be a very close second, seeing as her consideration and appreciation for their Producer was only overshadowed by Miki’s success. As a result, it’ll be interesting to see those two starring in a musical together, especially considering that Haruka sensed the mood and held off on giving her new wallet present to the Producer. All that suggested to me that a Haruka-centric episode is in order to present her with an opportunity to give it to him. The next episode wouldn’t be a bad option, provided that Haruka gets the lead role over Miki, who doesn’t really need any more limelight.

Yukiho on the other hand will go down as the special guest of honor in this episode, since her birthday is on Christmas Eve. She looked unbelievably cute when she was moved to tears by everyone’s surprise gifts. (Like true friends, it doesn’t look like they shortchanged a set of gifts simply for having a birthday so close to Christmas either.) All in all, doubling up the Christmas party as a surprise birthday party made this a fairly enjoyable episode to watch. Hopefully that sentiment carries over to the remaining three, which would mean there’s nothing but smooth sailings leading up to the grand finale.

* 4,800 yen for a cake? The Japanese sure know how to milk a Christian holiday for all its worth. That’s like $50 USD/CAD. There were eight cakes too! $_$

* Full-length images: 29, 35, 36, ED.

 

ED22 Sequence

ED22: 「Happy Christmas」 by 天海春香, 如月千早, 双海亜美&真美, 三浦あずさ, 四条貴音, 我那覇響 (Amami Haruka, Kisaragi Chihaya, Futami Ami & Mami, Miura Azusa, Shijou Takane, Ganaha Hibiki)
Watch the 22nd ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

December 3, 2011 at 4:48 am
38 comments »
  • December 3, 2011 at 5:04 amfragb85

    I wish my Christmas Parties had an abundance of cake. K-on! eat your heart out. It’s nice to see the show go back to a more lighthearted mood.

    I kind of feel bad for Haruka though. She’s so kind and supportive and thoughtful enough to give BROducer a present. And all she gets is Miki inadvertently trampling on her flags. Karma’s an asshole.

    • December 4, 2011 at 1:48 amKinny Riddle

      I know this episode’s very enjoyable to watch, but must you really include that sly dig at K-On? :)

      (Speaking of K-On, I shall be off to see the just released K-On movie sometime this week, and I simply do not believe K-On is any less enjoyable than this in terms of uplifting slice-of-life lightheartedness. )

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:21 amsaka

    just in time with the game’s christmas outfit dlc too.

    • December 3, 2011 at 6:01 amFFF

      This is the main event in the game for me.

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:24 amcanceller12

    did anyone notice the subtle change in chihaya’s portion in the op?

    • December 3, 2011 at 6:16 amsaka

      her bluish tone light is now bright orange.

      maybe to show that she has overcome her sad past & is now happier.

      • December 3, 2011 at 11:39 amTorrigan

        I think cancelled is retiring to the bit where she’s singing her younger self and current self now match whereas before they didnt

      • December 4, 2011 at 1:53 amKinny Riddle

        You don’t even need to see the OP to know Chihaya has changed for the better. Just noticing her facial expressions this episode, one could tell she’s smiling more often and less tense than before.

      • December 4, 2011 at 7:24 amcanceller12

        im talking about both

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:27 amYin

    Awww I always feel extremely envious when watching Christmas episodes, especially when there’s snow! Living in Australia is cool and all, but I want to experience a White Christmas D’: *sobs in the corner*

    Hoho nvm me! Great episode, although it’s a shame that producer didn’t get his present (wallet) in the end. O:

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:36 amsinkingmist

    Thanks for the full length ED.
    I was looking for that.

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:41 amstarss

    Did the animators draw over a brick wall? Sometimes the animation is the only ONLY thing that I don’t like about this show.

  • December 3, 2011 at 6:47 amCrimson7

    While watching this episode, I had this weird heavy feeling, knowing this great little surprise of an anime is about to end.

  • December 3, 2011 at 6:49 amP Ko

    I’ll be Yayoi’s santa.
    I have a big sack full of….. toys for her ;|

  • December 3, 2011 at 6:50 amOni

    i m just a bit sad cause it seems we are nearing the end

  • December 3, 2011 at 7:49 amdopenhagen

    HARUKA FINAL ARC! LET’S GOOOOOOOOO!

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:00 amgandalf8

    Hey Divine, I’m surprised that you didn’t have anything harsh to say about how Miki totally hijacked Haruka’s attempt to give our Producer-san his Christmas present. I already had a very deep sense of foreboding about where the episode was heading to with how Haruka tried to plan their Christmas gathering. Haruka has always been the one that kept all the idols of 765 Pro together, so it was saddening to see how it affected her so much when she thought the gathering would not materialize what with all their busy schedules. Although in the end everyone pulled through to attend the party, Haruka had already started to reflect on it being maybe the last time they could do these sort of things with everyone striding through their own paths towards popularity and becoming more busier. And while all the other idols seem to have carved their own niche to become more popular, Haruka is the only idol without much solo work. She has a lot of gigs when it involves all off 765 Pro or with a few others, but not much that utilizes only her talents. Judging by the preview, Haruka looks to be heading on the path to start doubting herself and her ability as an idol, and it seems that our Miki Miki is gonna be the main oblivious cause. I know its not her fault that she’s so talented, yet I feel myself disliking her as time goes on as it looks like she will be the catalyst of Haruka breaking down.

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:46 amSomeone

    I’m not looking forward to Haruka’s suffering in the next few episodes.

    Pitting up Miki against Haruka in an audition isn’t going to turn out well for our main heroine.

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:10 amMartianMage

    Ah so many Miki scenes. I am happy. :)

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:15 amSirMuffin

    Just give him that wallet FFS!!!

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:18 amJustinnnnnn

    Whoa, best screencaps for an episode I’ve seen in a while…

  • December 3, 2011 at 10:17 amGermanguy

    Well, yes. Haruka is about to lose her “Family”. She knows, that they Grown to great Idols and Time will change. But her Heart is still not ready for let them go

    Is like a Mother is loosing their Children

  • December 3, 2011 at 12:18 pmLuxorcist

    Two minutes in, we see this http://puu.sh/9QNz

    Considering this aired two days ago, and the K-On movie was shown in theaters today… :D?

  • December 3, 2011 at 2:46 pmFelice

    I have the same birthday as Yukiho

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:49 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    I’ma do sum E and Acid one day, AND WATCH THIS WHOLE SERIES AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!!!….I’m serious

  • December 3, 2011 at 10:20 pmCroos

    ^_^ a good banner for christmas

    • December 3, 2011 at 11:56 pmgandalf8

      I say hear hear to that statement. I think its as good an opportunity as any to change this sites banner in accordance to the approaching day of festivities.

    • December 4, 2011 at 2:54 pmKelfistan

      haha, that’s a great banner Croos.It absolutely needs to be on RC right now.

  • December 4, 2011 at 12:00 amHorus

    Awesome episode. I’m adding this to my re-watch for the holiday’s list.

  • December 4, 2011 at 12:07 amAvar

    “* 4,800 yen for a cake? The Japanese sure know how to milk a Christian holiday for all its worth. That’s like $50 USD/CAD. There were eight cakes too! $_$”

    The price sounds about right for a specialty cake shop. In our area, the most popular specialty bakery has the smallest priced at $18 up to $75 for the largest. Good thing they taste amazing o.o I usually drop about $50 on a cake for special occasions and holidays.

  • December 4, 2011 at 12:35 amx

    Fun episode. I wonder if the remaining episodes will be the same? I guess we are moving towards the end.

  • December 4, 2011 at 2:16 amKinny Riddle

    I like this show, this is because it’s as though the writers at A-1 Pictures can read our minds and giving us exactly what we want. (Or they have people lurking here on RC. :) )

    Haruka is the only girl left without a proper episode of her own. She has always been the cheerleader in certain “group” episodes, making it seem like she’s the star, but like this episode, the spotlight is always on the team rather than on her.

    About time she gets some of the spotlight.

  • December 4, 2011 at 3:35 pmKelfistan

    OH GAWD, I wonder how this could get ANY better. With the Chihaya arc done and two episodes which I believe to be epilogues of that, I have such a opinion that it would be good to end the series off right now. However, I will keep on watching for the best!

  • December 4, 2011 at 11:52 pmsatkaz

    I’m ready for the Haruka arc, especially since there’s tension on the audience to see how Haruka and Miki will deal with each other.

    This episode made me realize something, though: a happy Chihaya is disturbing to me.

  • December 5, 2011 at 7:34 amkingdragun

    Good job Divine! Great review for a great X-mas episode from a great (but underappreciated) series… can´t wait for the final arc, I´m really gonna miss Project-iMAS, considering seriously to import THE iDOLM@STER 2‎ for my PS3. =D Nobody knows if they have already release the single for Mikki´s “Marionette´s Heart”?
    P.S.: Why are the last couple of endings of iMAS are missing from front page´s Fall 2011 OP/ED Sequences?

  • December 5, 2011 at 11:02 amLectro Volpi

    Serving as the glue on the group is OK, but do not take it as your signature ability as it depends itself on the group being in conflict (making you useless if they don’t fight).

    I can’t hate Miki because she has no malice in her at all, just innocence and a straight forward attitude, that and because I am a Mikifag of course.

    Haruka hiding her present made me cringe but why? Broducer still needs a wallet and what does the award has anything to do with the wallet? I will be ashamed if I am going to give, say, an imitation jewel to a girl I like and then another guy brings her a gold penchant… THEN I will be: “uh… oh… *insert Goofy’s laugh*”

  • December 5, 2011 at 6:28 pmc2710

    “Thinking back, it’s kind of remarkably to see how far the girls have come, simply because I couldn’t even recall when the turning point was for them.”

    so true. it seems so surreal that the show’s coming to an end. thought initially it’ll end up as one of those “watch once anime” but apparently… the show grows on to you.

    wrt the characters…. i pref the older ones… they have the confidence and mature aura around them.

    haruka x chihaya pairing is fully supported by me!

  • January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pmstarss

    OMG they totally had it set up like no one would make it to the party and Haruka would be left alone!! I was legitimately surprised! DOn’t do that, Anime!