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.
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 ▼