「みんなとすごす夏休み」 (Minna to Sugosu Natsu Yasumi)
“A Summer Vacation Spent With Everyone”
It’s a beach episode and that means Mi… everyone in a swimsuit! Bah, who am I kidding? Between being the only idol to get hit on, stealing the Producer’s meat, and innocently seducing him in the bath, Miki was undoubtedly one of the highlights. I was surprised that Haruka isn’t shy about showing off her figure though, warranting some attention for the ditzy girl in the group. Chihaya also really stood out after the last episode, so it was pretty cute to see her feel inferior to the likes of Takane and Azusa. I dare say her complex actually made the scene with Haruka taking her t-shirt off much more alluring. It’s just something about Japan’s knack for making reluctance more appealing — those animals!
It feels pretty wrong to say that it was a lot of fun to see a bunch of teenage girls frolicking around in the sand and getting away from the depressing state of 765 Pro, but that probably best describes my view on this episode. Their inability to find work has become an ongoing gag of sorts, so with their air conditioner broken and all their schedules painfully open, I actually got a good laugh out of it all. Iori’s ghost stories weren’t too bad either, mostly because of Yukiho and Makoto’s reactions and how it came back to bite her in the ass at the very end. Along the same lines, I found it somewhat befitting to hear the girls talk about how they wouldn’t be able to get together like this again if their careers did take off like it’s a bad thing, simply because the show we’re actually watching thrives off the fact that they’re unsuccessful to begin with. Once a few of them start making it big, there’s a decent chance that it’ll have an adverse effect on my enjoyment. In my mind, IM@S is all about the trials and tribulations of the girls as aspiring idols and their energetic personalities toward their goals.
If we want to dumb the setup down, it can even be considered cute girls doing cute things, which from my experience doesn’t work too well when it looks like the group’s going to be broken up. We’re nowhere near that point at the moment, but there’s definitely a “sweet spot” where the girls become more popular yet still haven’t quite made it. For that very reason, it’ll be interesting to see how the group dynamic changes once Ritsuko’s newly formed unit, Ryuuguu Komachi, is formed. It’s a pretty odd trio at first sight, with 21-year-old Azusa partnered up with 15-year-old Iori and 13-year-old Ami (only one of the twins); however, this is an actual unit formed in the IDOLM@STER 2 game that this anime is based on, which a quick search online for 「竜宮小町」 goes to show. That threesome gets me just as much as how Ritsuko is only 18 years-old — younger than Azusa — and somehow a producer for 765 Pro already.
ED5: 「MOONY」 by 今井麻美, たかはし智秋, 平田宏美, 長谷川明子, 沼倉愛美, 若林直美 (Imai Asami, Takahashi Chiaki, Hirata Hiromi, Hasegawa Akiko, Numakura Manami, Wakabayashi Naomi)
Watch the 5th ED!: Streaming ▼