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THE IDOLM@STER – 25 (END) »« THE IDOLM@STER – 23

THE IDOLM@STER – 24

「夢」 (Yume)
“Dream”

Up until about a month ago, it would’ve been nothing more than a joke to consider IM@S as one of the best dramas of year, but this recent string of episodes has really made a case for the series. Of course, it never hurts when the budget’s been blown for this episode, where we finally get a resolution to all of Haruka’s bottled up feelings. I’m a little indifferent about the resolution itself though, as none of the other idols actually reached out to Haruka in person. Instead, they went with a televised message in hopes that it would reach her, after coming to the realization that Haruka’s been trying to get everyone together under the guise of practicing for the New Year’s live. While Chihaya did come through for Haruka by informing everyone of her secret desire to spend time with everyone, it was ultimately Haruka (and her inner child) who cheered herself up.

Be that as it may, this episode didn’t disappoint one bit from an emotional standpoint. Right from the get-go, it was pretty easy to get a sense of the guilt and unrest within Haruka, which she used in her acting to land the leading role in the musical. It was even easier to get swept up in her emotions after seeing her stare at the messages in her phone and break down in tears in front of Miki and Ritsuko because she wanted to prioritize the 765 Pro live over her solo gigs. Miki’s reaction in particular spoke volumes to me, because she had come to the stark realization that Haruka wasn’t just being selfish about trying to get every together. While the true underlying reason of Haruka wanting to be with her “765 Pro family” still escaped the others at that point, they were genuinely saddened by everyone growing distant and didn’t want to break ties with their agency, providing additional emotional build-up for the subsequent scenes.

Of those scenes, Haruka was the only one who acted on her desire to keep everyone together as a close-knit group in spite of their success, so I had to fight back the tears a bit when she was reminded of everyone by some elementary school fans. The kids’ resemblance was uncanny, so it worked well in emphasizing that Haruka misses everyone. Those feelings of heartbreak were compounded by everyone’s guilt from failing to notice, considering how Haruka’s always the first person to reach out to them. The end result was a masterful depiction of just how bad everyone felt from unknowingly neglecting the one person who’s always been there for them, which had me wishing they just stormed out the door in search of Haruka. I just know I would’ve been caught up in the moment if this episode ended with everyone giving her a tearful and heartfelt hug, so it’s a bit of a shame that things didn’t turn out that way.

However, from the Producer’s perceptiveness about Chihaya’s worries, there was a clear sense that the group’s grown closer after achieving success as idols. Next time in the finale, we’ll see how the closeness that even Touma acknowledges translates to their New Year’s live concert. If the budget of this episode was any indication, I’d imagine we’re in store for some amazing performances.

Full-length image: 34.

 

ED24 Sequence

ED24: 「まっすぐ」 (Massugu) by 765PRO ALLSTARS
Watch the 24th ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

December 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm
51 comments »
  • December 16, 2011 at 2:46 pmSyaoran

    If someone had told me this show was gonna be so dramatic 24 episodes ago I probably would have laughed at them. But from the beginning of Chihaya’s arc til now its been amazing.

    I hope they blow the budget out the window with the final episode, an amazing live performance for the finale just seems right after the last few episodes.

    • December 16, 2011 at 11:35 pmBreedo

      I’m hoping they use the yellow and green dresses Ritsuoko blew the budget on in the second episode. Anxious to see what songs will appear.

      • December 17, 2011 at 10:09 pmComM3

        I reckon one of their last performance is singing “Ready” with the green dresses like how the first opening showed it.

      • December 18, 2011 at 4:19 amBreedo

        Azusa has long hair in that one though…I thought the same starting out but ruled it out when she cuts it…but they might just do an alternate. I’m thinking about some of their game ending songs. Plus this episode I just knew they were going to use “I” somewhere but as piano style background music i was pleasantly surprised.

  • December 16, 2011 at 3:03 pmskylion

    I loved how they could be touching without being overly sentimental. The scene with the school children was priceless; a wonderful call back to Chihaya’s return.

  • December 16, 2011 at 3:06 pmskylion

    …also, that she cheered herself up is, I think, shows her best as a character. She can do it. The girl that has the heart to reach out to everyone, is able to reach out to herself. It takes some doing, true, but she does it. So, it’s good to know her family realized where they needed to be. There for her, when she does need them.

    • December 17, 2011 at 6:51 amL

      it has to be haruka herself who cheers herself up; it cannot be otherwise. but that is also why she is the best girl in the show.

      • December 18, 2011 at 1:41 amAnnyms

        Haruka wasn’t my favorite at the beginning of the show, but the way they developed her character and the subtle hints they left throughout the series…she is now my favorite (with Chihaya close 2nd).

  • December 16, 2011 at 3:36 pmRM

    So when does Producer-san get his much deserved 12-way?

    I have to give Idolm@ster credit though. They managed to capture the personalities of all of the characters pretty well. And although it was hard to make it through the boring middle part of this season, I’m glad I did. Last few episodes have been terrific.

    • December 16, 2011 at 3:58 pmpaulrenzo

      Yeah, I actually “dropped” this show sometime in the middle, but continued to look at the synopsis of each episode. I got back to it again after I read about the Makoto arc.

  • December 16, 2011 at 4:16 pmClick

    While I wouldn’t say that IDOLM@STER is a candidate for best drama of the year, it’s definitely one of the better offerings this year. It easily exceeded my expectations (I actually had moderately high expectations, mind you), and it definitely has its own share of breathtaking episodes and fantastic arcs. The best part might be that IDOLM@STER doesn’t just coast off of its characters and mind blowing animation since it actually has a plot with momentum and some incredibly well-executed drama (although I have to admit, I do wish there was a bit more). This ended up being the series that I look forward to the most each week.

  • December 16, 2011 at 4:26 pmTaiakun

    Agreed that it would’ve been more emotional if someone, i.e. Chihaya, barged down Haruka’s front door and gave her a hug or at least have someone tackle her to the group at the very end when we met up with the rest of the group at the very end.

    That being said, it is typical Haruka to cheer herself up as she has done all along. However, big credit to Chihaya for stepping in and making it possible for the group to meet together at long last. Also I was a bit surprised with Miki this week that she realized throwing herself at everything in order to shine may not be the best approach.

    Will be interesting to see how this series finishes. Will it be a whole episode of just their live performance or will they have a final trick up their sleeves…

    • December 16, 2011 at 4:27 pmTaiakun

      Forgot to mention – little Haruka is so adorable! Who felt like pinching her cheeks? XD

  • December 16, 2011 at 4:53 pmpaulrenzo

    I initially thought Jupiter members were reduced to being stage hands during that scene with Touma and Haruka (and I’m sure most of you wished it were the case). Still, I’m glad they found a studio that is similar to 965Pro.

  • December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pmZhinvu

    I liked how this episode showed Haruka at her best. I was already impressed with her optimism, but that doubled when Haruka was able to get back up herself from her own slump. The strength of her character showed in that she had encouragement from both her child and “765 Pro First Live” selves. It was really unbelievable that Haruka’s kid fans really resembled the others, all 12 of them. I thought for a while Chibi Haruka who grabbed her hand was another kid with a resemblance but they looked too much alike, then I remembered what happened to Chihaya. On another note, also I like the anime’s style of having the idols see and interacting with “apparitions” of their past selves for help.

  • December 16, 2011 at 5:42 pmstaticology

    And so, Miki remains a Goddess.

    Oh man, I had too many Perfect Blue images and parallels running through my head when Haruka “met” her idol self to take it seriously. I was laughing the whole time, imagining how it would go.
    The kid scene was absolutely adorable, looking at all these cute mini-idols. So was seeing Touma again, since I like Jupiter quite a bit. I have to admit, I was just a teeny bit mad that Haruka didn’t go to see their performance.

    I’m going to be so sad to see this series end. It’s what I look forward to most every week.

  • December 16, 2011 at 5:53 pmfragb85

    Nope, still not buying angsting Haruka. I did like her existentialism bits since I’ve always enjoyed surreal experiences in my show. Gives a whole Evangelion vibe to it. It did however portray Haruka as the emotional core of the group. Once she was in the slump, the whole of 765 felt depressed too. Even Miki started to feel it. Overall, great episode I’m just used to a more optimistic Haruka. But she’s back and that’s all that matters.

    Special mention goes to Producer, who somehow was able to motivate Chihaya of all people, despite being in a hospital bed. I still wonder how he was got into that condition. I assumed he only landed on his head, but he seems to have somehow broken his leg too.

  • December 16, 2011 at 6:11 pmJimmy

    I think Haruka is a lesbian.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:20 pmpaulrenzo

      If anything, that implication would go to Yukiho. She’s the person who least cares about producer (I don’t even remember a time she developed some sort of bond with him), and has a huge “admiration” for Makoto (anime) or Tabane (game).

  • December 16, 2011 at 6:56 pmTorrigan

    Well that just goes to show its not all fun and harems being the producer for idols. That was pretty damn ballsy of him to save haruka at the cost of himself

  • December 16, 2011 at 7:22 pmThe Moondoggie

    As expected, my foresight didn’t fail me: Being a game bordering visual novel style about the trials and tribulations of an aspiring idol and her producer aiming for the top in a real life setting as a slice-of-life anime, I did expect Idolm@ster to have drama as well. The life of an idol isn’t easy after all: it’s a job few people choose due to the huge responsibility. Just look at 2ch: stalking idols here and there…

    And so we have Haruka clinging to the bits of life she enjoyed everyday while struggling to work as an idol. Feeling like everything is her fault about what happen to Producer and that other feeling of loneliness caused by how their distances grew when everyone of them shot to fame and their schedules tighten.

    Bro-ducer seems OK though. Even though he seemed to fell either from a great height, or onto a mangled pile of set equipment. The bandages on him makes me feel the pain.

  • December 16, 2011 at 7:22 pmsaka

    The strength of one’s heart to face one’s self…
    The facade to face life’s many hardships, the manifestation Chibi Haruka has been born!
    The bonds of 765 pro will never be broken, because they are family.
    Time for the last performance of the series, and A1 productions to blow out the budget.

    Touma X Haruka ?
    The young children at the park, needs a young broducer to guide them, then we’ll have Chibi 765pro.

    • December 16, 2011 at 8:56 pmpaulrenzo

      people will probably disagree with us, but why not?

  • December 16, 2011 at 7:31 pmCTT

    Child Haruka has a humongous cranium. Just sayin

    • January 10, 2012 at 9:29 pmstarss

      She’s a sharp kid. It’s where she gets her smarts from!

  • December 16, 2011 at 8:12 pmNiles

    Oh man, I had too many Perfect Blue images and parallels running through my head when Haruka “met” her idol self to take it seriously. I was laughing the whole time, imagining how it would go.

    I was horrified when I read this. So that means…Show Spoiler ▼

    • December 17, 2011 at 6:25 amstaticology

      Just the thought of that somehow seemed really, really funny. I was waiting for idol Haruka to start skipping and for Haruka to start running after her, eventually falling into paranoia about her identity, while Show Spoiler ▼

      I personally found it absolutely hilarious because it’s what I was reminded of most, but it’s the last thing that would ever happen in the show.

  • December 16, 2011 at 8:17 pmNiles

    • December 16, 2011 at 8:53 pmsaka

      that guy is the director for hibiki’s animal show

  • December 16, 2011 at 9:57 pmZaki

    I thought this ep would end up a depressing story but ended up all happy. ):

    Can someone recommend me a very Heart sinking depressing anime? LOL.

  • December 16, 2011 at 9:57 pmricz

    I almost cried… but then I saw loli haruka…..

    tsk I want to hug loli haruka and loli chihaya :/

  • December 16, 2011 at 10:06 pmLectro Volpi

    As stated in Atalude: Haruka is Madoka and a depressed Haruka can only be fixed with another Haruka.

  • December 17, 2011 at 12:11 amhiyono

    Was I the only one who was raging at what terrible friends the others were? Poor Haruka.

  • December 17, 2011 at 12:22 amLuxor

    Haruka’s acting on that stage… damn. Nakamura sure is a good voice actress.

  • December 17, 2011 at 1:28 amHorus

    This episode was a bag of emotions, not as much so as Chihaya’s arc but up there.

    Watching someone so radiant and cheerful as Haruka break down mentally and emotionally like that feels like having a knife being slowly driven into your heart. I literally felt my soul sink when tears started streaming down her face.

    I think they could have executed the chain of events within this episode better, perhaps slow it down since it did seem rushed. Haruka’s self-cheering felt a bit deus ex machina, though I can’t put it past her considering it is, well, Haruka. She’s like an Energizer bunny of optimism.

    I’m really looking forward to the finale. 765 Pro forever!

  • December 17, 2011 at 3:54 amSeishun Otoko

    I thought they would focus the entire episode on an emo Haruka blaming herself for producer-san’s unfortunate accident. It was a huge relief that they didn’t spend too much time on that since I like IDOLM@STER best when all the girls are smiling. I’m not sure if it was fair to say none of the idols reached out to Haruka in person since it might have been left out from the episode due to time constraint but it was certainly nice to see the heartfelt word of encouragement from the girls in the form of the televised message. I have high hopes that the show end on a high note next week :)

  • December 17, 2011 at 6:08 amKinny Riddle

    Not quite the “rest of the 765 girls cheering back the girl that has been cheering them up all this time” resolution I was expecting, but I’ll take it, even if it’s Haruka herself having “delusions” of her younger-self cheering her present self up. lol

    The 765 girls delivering their message to Haruka via a commercial reminded me of a scene from the Densha Otoko live action series, when Densha’s internet fans, not knowing who or where he is, decided to give him a message of encouragement via ads and flayers all over Akihabara, as that is where he frequents and is most likely to see them.

    Now for Producer to also play a part in his comeback for next week’s finale as well, after all, he IS the title character in a sense (the “master” in producing idols).

  • December 17, 2011 at 9:55 amGermanguy

    Haruka, reminds me of my Inner Child. Right now, we both are living the same downtime. Chief Writer of Idolmaster, your done a amazing show of emotions. You done very Well, Jedi. Your not a Padawan anymore

    • December 17, 2011 at 9:59 amGermanguy

      But i must admit. I don’t have someone like “Team Jupiter”. He was the glimpse of turn Haruka out of her Pit of sorrows, and She becan to realize Why and What it is important to her. Perhaps i should do the same

  • December 17, 2011 at 12:52 pmstarss

    ALL MY TEARS!
    SHUT UP AND TAKE IT!

    *BREAKS DOWN!*

  • December 17, 2011 at 3:17 pmelior1

    @divine can you review episode 11 of mashiro iro symphony?

    • December 17, 2011 at 3:35 pmDivine

      Sure: Show Spoiler ▼

      I don’t think I have the time for a full post to with this season preview looming over my head.

      • December 18, 2011 at 1:22 amelior1

        so at least about what happend with the kiss and the only importent staff in this episode

  • December 17, 2011 at 7:45 pmMDK

  • December 18, 2011 at 1:54 amKinny Riddle

    Pardon for going off topic, Divine, but again, you see that? Almost every post above has got one thumbs down, even when the contents are completely trivial or hardly controversial. This is the sort of abuse by pedantic people with nothing better to do that I’m talking about.

    By all means, encourage quality posters by rewarding them with plenty of thumbs up, but I’m still apprehensive about emulating the likes of YouTube by including thumbs down.

    • December 18, 2011 at 3:13 amGermanguy

      I see this things only for Show. Because my Comment are mine,and not a Comment to be loved from everyone

  • December 18, 2011 at 7:16 amnagi

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH I was crying the whole episode. This show is pure win!

  • December 18, 2011 at 5:35 pmmaddoki

    Ahhh face to face Haruka reminded me of Sakura from CCS saying that everything will be alright :3

  • December 18, 2011 at 8:12 pmSapphirearcz

    This is getting so awesome! Previously i was just watching a few episodes when i am bored, but when i finished episode 20, i am crying manly tears T_T Havent had this vibe since Clannad After Story, damn this is too good~!

  • December 19, 2011 at 4:44 pmStranger

    Despite likely being the least popular show on this blog (I think it’s a rather telling sign of the mindset for most people who frequent it- not enough blood and tits), I’m glad that you’ve decided to keep covering it, Divine.

    The last string of episodes has certainly far exceeded my own expectations for this show- especially given the standards set by the first half of the season which bordered upon downright childish.

    Perhaps not with such crushing sorrow, but reflecting upon the first half- I would have liked it if the series took on a more serious tone. Keep it mostly lighthearted slice-of-life, but with more plausible/mature/grounded scenarios, rather than just banking upon the various moe factors of its cast.

  • December 26, 2011 at 10:16 pmdarkkodiak

    While Haruka was in the slump and trying to find herself again, didn’t anyone hope that she would get kidnap with Yu coming to the rescue so she can face herself lol? Anyways, beautiful episode, I hope they go all out in the next episode.