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THE IDOLM@STER – 03 »« THE IDOLM@STER – 01

THE IDOLM@STER – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「READY!!」 by 765PRO ALLSTARS
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「”準備”をはじめた少女たち」 (“Junbi” wo Hajimeta Shoujo-tachi)
“The Girls who Began ‘Preparations’”

It turns out I was pretty spot on when I said I can do with less of the Futami twins and Iori last time, as this second episode quickly lumped them together on the more idiotic side of 765 Pro. I was pretty indifferent about Yayoi, so despite her getting caught up in Ami, Mami, and Iori’s pace, I actually took a liking to her this time around. She pretty much won me over with her comment about being poor but not dirty. I got a good chuckle out of that and her sparkling-eyed reaction at the thought of steak. Yayoi’s clearly not the brightest of the bunch, but her child-like innocence makes her a lot of fun to watch. I’m with president Takagi on her original composite shot — it’s money!

So lo and behold, the IM@S girls are a bunch of failures from the get-go, unable to pass any auditions in the past month because of their goofy profile pics. Not the least bit surprising of course, since they’re just starting out as idols and things wouldn’t be very interesting if they made it big right away. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when we as the viewer have a clear bias toward them, being the heroines of the franchise and everything. However! I was not wrong to take immediate interest in Miki, whose stylish looks and carefree personality stood out right away. She’s definitely my favorite at the moment, which surprises even me since blondes generally aren’t my first pick. When a character can look as good as she does in plaid, it really doesn’t matter what hair color she has. What really sold me on her character is how she carries herself, both in terms of her natural ability to get right into a photo shoot and her third-person speech that’s reminiscent of Mine Riko in last season’s Hidan no Aria. She sure makes the job look easy with her playful and promiscuous personality, much like the aforementioned armed detective did. (Hmm, maybe I like blondes more than I realize.)

None of the other idols that I took an immediate interest stood out too much in this second episode, but Hibiki and Chihaya were probably the next runners up. It’s kind of funny how individuality was being stressed in the show, when the characters themselves were already created with that in mind. They all have distinct nuances in their manner of speech and conduct, which has already been put on full display to help promote them. Much like the game, it’s almost like the anime is trying to help us viewers discover our favorite characters in these early episodes and keep us watching by following their growth as future idols. Well if my earlier blurb on Miki was an indication, it’s probably safe to say that it’s worked on me. This series is a lot more fun to watch when it’s the characters themselves that you’re watching for. The fact that A-1 Pictures looks like they’re going the extra mile on the production side of things makes it all the more appealing. Quite honestly, I’ve been quite impressed with the animation quality thus far, particularly in the opening sequence with the revolving camera. Faces generally get distorted during those type of transitions due to the use of CG, but they look pretty spot on here. Admittedly, one of the main reasons why I want to continue covering IM@S is because of how good it looks from a production standpoint.

Anyway, it looks like our nameless producer will remain nameless — only going by “Producer” — even though he now has a face and voice attached to him. Regardless, I’m glad they decided to make him an actual character who interacts with the girls on the other side of the lens, simply because it’s a lot more natural to watch. If you’re still undecided about watching this series, just know that it progresses very much like your typical slice-of-life anime, except it uses the whole idol bit as the setup for all the lighthearted character interactions. It’s surprisingly enjoyable as well, considering that I went from not even planning to watch this series to pretty set on following it all the way through — all in a mere two episodes. All you need to do is give the girls a chance and find a favorite. Hands off Miki though. She’s mine!

* In case anyone’s wondering, the male idol who bumped into Haruka is Amagase Touma (Terashima Takuma). He’s part of the male idol group Project Jupiter and is affiliated with Studio 961, a rival company.
* Judging from the new ending sequence and theme, I’m guessing they plan to feature new idol combinations every episode. Ugh, more encoding overhead.

 

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「ポジティブ!」 (Positive!) by 釘宮理恵, 仁後真耶子 (Kugimiya Rie, Nigo Mayako)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

July 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm
52 comments »
  • July 15, 2011 at 9:38 pmCroos

    This sold me

    Way better than episode one.

    • July 16, 2011 at 7:33 amBreedo

      I laughed pretty hard at that, I was also in at that point. Although I might be the only dude on team Ami ;p

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:43 pmcybersteel

    I’ve watched the episodes and it was like something in my head just switched off. So I’m just saying should I stop now or keep watching???

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:45 pmZero

    Dang it! Miki’s already been claimed….

    • July 15, 2011 at 10:00 pmThe M0on DOgg

      Yes…. BY ME MUHAHAHAHA!

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:50 pmSerapita

    I knew they’re going to feature the Jupiter at some point but didn’t think they would show up this fast. Somehow Touma looks really obnoxious…

    http://randomc.net/image/THE%20IDOLM@STER/THE%20IDOLM@STER%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:53 pmClick

    OMG OMG OMFG, YES. HE MADE AN APPEARANCE.

    Anyways, I like it. A lot. Most of the characters, while a bit generic, are actually pretty great. I feel like I could do away with the twins, but Chihaya, Hibiki, and Miki more than make up for them. Also, Iori isn’t even that bad of “haughty Kugimiya Rie loli archetype.” Plus, production values are damn high, and the songs have really grown on me so far. Also, the humor ain’t bad either.

    • July 15, 2011 at 10:09 pmThe M0on DOgg

      Ah you mean the boyband from the game? Yayoi is to be shipped by the end of the month, no?

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:54 pmdalman

    hands off makoto. she’s mine >:D

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:00 pmThe M0on DOgg

    Miki Hoshii is MAI WAIFU! FIRST DIBS ON HER!

    • July 15, 2011 at 10:13 pmThe M0on DOgg

      @Divine
      Maybe we can get to a truce? Her her route( and by extension, alt-route) is my fave ever since IM@S 1.

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:07 pmKelfistan

    In my comment in Mayo Chiki episode 2 Divine, I said I am not forcing you on blogging both or even either of these shows in the Thursday mayhem, but if I were to pick a preferred one you’ll watch and blog, I would pick Idolm@ster.

    P.S: Okay then :) DIBBS on Iori-chan—-MINE!!!!

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:16 pmGelotaku

    I’ve kinda got my eyes set on Takane, now that Miki has been claimed, lawl.
    Anyways, kinda interested in seeing what they’ll do with Jupiter later on…

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:17 pmdopenhagen

    Chihaya will sing only for me!

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:40 pmOni

    i hope jupiter’s role in the series is minimal at best just cameos

    • July 15, 2011 at 10:49 pmThe M0on DOgg

      Remember they’re your rivals in-game. So maybe in this adaptation, they’re too.

  • July 15, 2011 at 10:47 pmfragb85

    Odd that the second episode decided to focus on the younger idols so they can do silly stuff.

    I’m still not sold in the whole “We are broke yet we employed 12 aspiring idols” shtick.

  • July 15, 2011 at 11:28 pmexia

    It’s all about Hibiki and dat ponytail.

    I just rewatch the op over and over again because the animation is fluid and the music goes well with it them singing. op had the impact the kannagi op did first time seeing it.

    All I know is the creator of berserk is shitting his pants right about now.

    • July 15, 2011 at 11:35 pmexia

      oh I forgot to mention, DAT FANG.

      You know that’s hot.

      • July 15, 2011 at 11:57 pmThe M0on DOgg

        So girls with fangs are moe? Intriguing.

      • July 16, 2011 at 1:27 amfragb85

        There’s even a trope for cute fangs.

      • July 16, 2011 at 2:02 amThe M0on DOgg

        Your a troper too? Hey!…

        Well I did know before hand that there was such a trope. But I thought it only applies to magical pets or animals and stuff…

        Someone really should make a separate page for the anime. Tropes in the anime are slightly different from the game.

  • July 16, 2011 at 12:13 amLectro Volpi

    “Hands off Miki though. She’s mine!”

    Shhhhh….. Lectro Why you so slow!?

    Azusa then, okay?

  • July 16, 2011 at 12:21 amFlamingYu

    andher third-person speech” < and her

    Mistake there,

    Miki sure is something.
    Was going for Kuris…I mean Chihaya?, but anime Miki is more awesome.

  • July 16, 2011 at 1:25 amPockyG

    Leave it to A-1 to blow away my expectations for anything they do. The production quality on this show is so borderline obscene it’s giving my eyes diabetes.

  • July 16, 2011 at 1:35 amWrenleos

    Not enough Azusa. <.<

    • July 16, 2011 at 2:28 amDivine

      I did make a full-length image of her in case you missed it…

      • July 16, 2011 at 7:07 amThe M0on DOgg

        Which also includes a full length of Ritsuko! Thx Divine!

      • July 16, 2011 at 2:04 pmWrenleos

        Sadly I did miss it. Thanks Divine!

    • July 16, 2011 at 6:57 amSesihun Otoko

      More love for Azusa ;D

      • July 16, 2011 at 8:41 pmShirt

        More love for Ritsuko!

  • July 16, 2011 at 5:33 amlkaze

    I having difficult time keeping track of the idols. Too many of them floating around.

    • July 16, 2011 at 9:38 amStranger

      Including Ritsuko (glasses girl/formal idol now turned producer), they number 13 here.

      A quick reference list:

      Dual-ribbons/klutz – Haruka
      Shy girl – Yukiho
      Loli Ojou-chan/holding bunny – Iori
      Orange hair Twintails – Yayoi
      Twin, short right-tail – Ami
      Twin, long left-tail – Mami
      Long dark hair Motherly/tallest – Azusa
      Long dark hair Serious/flat chest – Chihaya
      Tomboy – Makoto
      Sleepy/Voluptuous Blonde – Miki
      Mysterious/white wavy hair – Takane
      Black ponytail/fang girl – Hibiki

      • July 17, 2011 at 5:35 amlkaze

        Also Hibiki is the one with the rodent. Who is Chihaya and Yayoi again? What other defining attribute they have?

        ** Try to memorize without refering to anime **

      • July 17, 2011 at 2:19 pmStranger

        Well, asides from what I stated above,

        “Orange hair Twintails – Yayoi
        Long dark hair Serious/flat chest – Chihaya”

        There aren’t really any other visual cues. Yayoi has the orange hair and usually wears it in twintails (two ponytails), and Chihaya has the long dark hair (it’s sorta bluish, in contrast to Azusa- who is more plain black).

        Chihaya is very serious about singing, and doesn’t care much for the whole Idol business asides from that. She’s more quite and reserved in social situations than the rest of the girls.

        Yayoi comes from a poor family, and is a very hard worker. She’s quite earnest, but also a bit naive, and gets caught up into the pace of the others’ antics.

        You oughter be able to get them down after a few episodes. You can also check out some videos on youtube. Here’s a fun video introducing most of the girls (It doesn’t have Hibiki and Takane) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3VTIHyl2SA&feature=feedwll&list=WL

  • July 16, 2011 at 8:09 amKurofaise

    Alot better than the first episode, felt much less one sided and I really enjoyed it. Takane is still my favourite (White Hair), looking forward to more episodes!

    Also, Miki really stood out, she looked pretty awesome in that plaid shirt-dress

  • July 16, 2011 at 8:55 amPhosphatide

    You can keep your Miki, Yukiho is clearly superior.

  • July 16, 2011 at 8:59 amGreg

    Divine, are not the im@as post missing a tag, like im@as?

    Like you I think one or two of them has become my favourites, that will keep me watch the series.

  • July 16, 2011 at 9:54 amKinny Riddle

    So lo and behold, the IM@S girls are a bunch of failures from the get-go, unable to pass any auditions in the past month because of their goofy profile pics.

    I think that’s the whole point of the game, for the player as the Producer to work his Midas touch and elevate them from utter unknowns into mega-stardom.

  • July 16, 2011 at 3:19 pmleonardo

    sorry divine but i won’t give up on miki she is soo freaking cute i love her since episode 1 the animation is really well done and the art-work is awesome =w=

  • July 16, 2011 at 3:24 pmAisu

    Miki is my favorite too Divine! I’m glad you started to cover this.
    I’m excited to see her get more screen time~

    Running up would be Chihaya, Hibiki, Makoto, and Yayoi… sort of. I’m still debating on her.

    Honestly the only ones I really don’t care for would be Yukiho and Iori, but Iori had her somewhat cute moments this episode.

  • July 16, 2011 at 5:33 pmlkaze

    Oh, i was going to say about the Jupiter idol but apparently Divine detailed blog already cover for it. I guess i just say ” Hope they don’t play any major part” . I have way too many male idol from the Uta no Prince already.

  • July 16, 2011 at 7:07 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Man, I dunno if I could pick just one…Chihaya, Azusa, Takane, Miki, and Hibiki are what I’ve narrowed it down to so far…yeah…lol.

  • July 16, 2011 at 10:15 pmIronicTales

    Hibiki’s tan is not working for me, its just eghhh

  • July 17, 2011 at 8:15 amJX

    Well I’m guessing not many people are going for iori so I’ll have her all to myself then.

  • July 17, 2011 at 10:35 amahbonk

    Here’s a treat for those who like both Idolmaster and Nichijou:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS77MFWdaow

  • July 18, 2011 at 3:50 amx

    Sigh, no love for Haruka eh? I’ll take her then.

  • July 18, 2011 at 3:54 amLeaker33

    well this idolmaster is better than the idolmaster (the mecha story) that one is trash. do someone agree?

  • July 18, 2011 at 4:38 amPepper

    Ohohohohoho, you fools and your inferior choices, can’t you clearly tell that Makoto is the best?
    Quickly followed by Chihaya and then Miki

    • July 18, 2011 at 9:34 amTheEnd

      I completely agree that Makoto is the best. I’m also really surprised that this was voted as the most disappointing anime thus far this season by Biglobe users considering I think A-1 has done it about as well as one could possibly hope (perhaps they were only going off the rather awkward first episode?). I typically dislike “cute girl” series due to weak character development and rather boring plots, but this series seems poised to, if not overturn those problems, at the very least not fall into them as much. I guess we shall see…

  • July 20, 2011 at 3:19 amnagi

    I want to see Chihaya’s (weird) smile!!!!

  • September 21, 2011 at 1:56 amHana

    Am I the only one who likes Iori? She’s just so cute…