「先に進むという選択」 (Saki ni Susumu to Iu Sentaku)
“The Decision to Continue Forward”
It’s kind of hard to believe that I was going to let this series go unwatched let alone uncovered a month and a half ago. Good thing I took the plunge after A-1 Pictures’ visuals caught my eye, because IM@S is already busting out fully hand-drawn idol performances only six episodes in. Compare that to the second season of K-ON, where Kyoto Animation held out until the twentieth episode.
Suffice to say, all my concerns about the effects of segregating the group were quickly laid to rest. That was actually before I even knew about Ryuuguu Komachi’s performance at the very end too. While their game-like performance did pretty much seal the deal — plus renewed my interest in the series before it even dwindled — the division of 765 Pro turned out much more interesting than I imagined. As twisted as it may sound, I liked the way Iori, Azusa, and Ami’s big debut put a real damper on those left behind. The reason being, Ritsuko’s success with her newly formed unit put our Producer behind the eight ball and really drove him to do everything he can for the others. It was nice to see him try to get them some more relevant work as a result, particularly for Chihaya after the Gero Gero Kitchen stint. His desperation was somewhat touching to see too, even though the girls didn’t seem to mind the lack of work. The exception of course was Miki, whom I felt bad for when she came up to him asking why she didn’t make the cut for Ryuuguu Komachi. Come on Producer, Miki can go solo anytime!
On that note, it was pretty awesome to see Miki bail the Producer out when he accidentally double-booked Hibiki. If she wasn’t so nonchalant, Miki would probably be a full-fledged idol already. Memorizing a dance after only seeing it once? That’s inhumanly befitting of a star. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to see her and Makoto’s performance because that would’ve really made my day. Still, the latter half of this episode was largely about Miki so I can’t really complain. As far as Ryuuguu Komachi goes, Miki looked like she was touched by their performance and could see why Ritsuko formed the unit with Iori, Azusa, and Ami. Chihaya on the other hand looked a little envious and dying to get an opportunity of her own, whereas Makoto was surprised how seriously Iori took her work. Everyone reacted a little differently to 765 Pro’s first big step into showbiz, but the one sentiment they all seemed to share is being genuinely happy for the new trio. That had me looking forward to the next unit that’s formed, which will hopefully have another live performance to go with it.
INS5: 「SMOKY THRILL」 by 竜宮小町 (水瀬伊織, 三浦あずさ, 双海亜美) (Ryuuguu Komachi (Minase Iori, Miura Azusa, Futami Ami))
Watch the 5th INS!: Streaming ▼
ED6: 「THE IDOLM@STER」 by 765PRO ALLSTARS
Watch the 6th ED!: Streaming ▼