「しあわせへの回り道」 (Shiawase he no Mawarimichi)
“A Detour to Happiness”

Wedding dresses, wedding dresses, and more wedding dresses. The focus may have been a wild goose chase centering on the angelic Azusa, but I know who I had my eyes on. As usual, it only took a few moments in front of the camera for Miki to make her mark on an episode, which proved to be a nice bit of playful fan-service amidst the oil magnate’s (Onosaka Masaya) hunt for his reluctant bride to be (Shouji Umeka). I honesty didn’t think the entire episode would revolve around Azusa trying to get back to the chapel for the photo shoot and the Producer/Makoto chasing after her “kidnappers”, but after the second good deed by our wandering bride, it became pretty evident that they were going to take that formula and run with it. Not that I minded or anything, as Asuza’s slightly air-headed yet genuinely goodhearted nature is infectious. If the series is going to have an episode about Azusa making the world a better place by just being herself, I’d have to be a really jaded jackass to shun it for doing so.

Like with most of the IM@S episodes before, there was never a real sense of urgency, yet the semi-resemblance of a plot worked well in further highlighting some of the girls’ appeal. Makoto was pretty awesome in that regard, getting stuck with the groom role and demonstrating her fighting ability in a surprisingly well-choreographed fight scene that popped up out of nowhere. In addition to promoting Makoto’s boyish charm, scenes like that make me even more appreciative of the animation that A-1 Pictures is churning out each and every episode. I also have to give credit to the oil magnate’s SPs, who quickly established themselves as serious yet goofy extras to maintain the lighthearted feel that I’ve come to expect from this series. The only thing I would’ve liked to see is some more screen time between Makoto and the nameless bride, after the latter showed some interest in our cross-dressing idol, but I realize that would’ve taken away from the huge wedding-like gathering when Azusa was finally able to return the ring. With the sunset in the background, it would’ve killed the mood if Makoto stole the spotlight away from the formal proposal.

Anyway, this proved to be a fun change-up to the family-oriented episode last time and left me wondering what angle the series will tackle the Futami twins next time. I presume they’re the focus judging from the preview, giving even more limelight to the Ryuuguu Komachi members.

* Full-length images: 07, 10, 11.


INS7: 「晴れ色」 (Hare-iro) by たかはし智秋 (Takahashi Chiaki)
Watch the 7th INS!: Streaming ▼

ED8 Sequence

ED8: 「ハニカミ!ファーストバイト」 (Honey Kami! First Bite) 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 8th ED!: Streaming ▼



  1. I feel like a just saw one of the Saturday-morning cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid. And I meant that in a good way. Of course having Miki and Azusa in wedding dresses are a bonus. Azusa can only pull that hot look with her short hair.

    Still, Makoto stole the episode for me. They were able to insert the Agent Yoru Wo Yuku and Meiso Mind (some of Makoto’s best songs) all while she was kicking ass in a groom outfit. Yeah Makoto is favorite idol, I always liked Makoto’s voice, since she sounds good in any song. I wish the show would give me a Makoto-centric episode already.

  2. I laughed so hard at this episode that it took a long time before I could calm down. Asuza is probably my favorite dense anime character right now, and I usually hate dense characters 😛 . That camera man is so charmed by Miki that he will do whatever she says. Good for him that she is pretty sensible as well. Makoto’s action scenes were way over the top XD. This was a fun episode. I hope the next will be just as interesting as well.

  3. I really loved how over the top this episode was. I’m usually not a fan of wild goose chase formula, but I loved this. Azusa’s and Miki’s parts really stood out, but Makoto had the best scenes hands down. That fight on the ladder was crazy awesome with back flips, midair turns, a chicken fight, and aerial combos being pulled out of nowhere. A-1’s work is really top notch stuff.

  4. Azusa is one of my favorite character so this ep sure was a treat for me. She looks perfect in that wedding dress. Her horrible sense of direction is kinda amazing and made things a lot exciting lol. I like how she mistook the line for the taxi and ended up on the Ferris wheel.

    I just love this show, thanks for still blogging this despite having busy schedule.

    PS: Dat Miki

  5. With such acrobats, Makoto should seriously consider a martial-arts role like that of Michelle Yeoh. lol

    And I was expecting Makoto to save the bride in distress, but Azusa’s air-headed charm would do as well. Besides, the yuri-fan in me would rather Makoto save Miki. (Sorry Makoto x Yukiho shippers)

    Miki also did her part with some quick thinking, suggesting that the cameraman shoot the unexpected carnival that Azusa had created, leading to a very successful photo-shoot session for 765 Production.

    I look forward for a more Makoto-centred episode.

    Kinny Riddle
      1. LOLZ… *pats Makoto’s back* “Quit wishing to be a girl Makoto-kun. Rabid fandumb fans will forever force you in a male position. Though I know the pain of being forced into an uncompromising position, I guess you have no say on the matter since the fans are always right. My condolence to the death of your goals.”

        The M0on DOgg
      2. I actually dig Makoto x Yukiho as well, but I was afraid people were as “low level” as you said thus compelling me to put precedence on Makoto x Miki over Makoto x Yukiho.

        Like you said, if I had to choose, it will have to be Makoto x Miki x Yukiho FTW. If I actually decided to stop being miser and splash out for IM@S2, then these 3 girls would be my default choice for my idol group trio.

        Kinny Riddle
      3. Hokuto seriously? He’s like the lamest member of Project Jupiter. You realize that half the premise of the Im@s games is to ship (insert chosen Idol name here) and Producer(i.e the player characterful)? Any yuri ship is there because its really, really hot and it doesn’t interfere with Makoto’s femininity in any way.

        Incidentally the hottest Im@s doujin I’ve seen so far was a MikixMakotoxProducer.

  6. Needed more of Miki/Makoto, love love love them together.

    Miki’s wedding dress seems like it would have a spectacularly narrow range of ages where it would be at all appropriate, but it looked great on Miki (of course it did, everything looks great on Miki!)

    If a certain Combat Butler ever needs a vacation, Makoto could certainly fill in for him! (though perhaps not look quite as nice in a made outfit…)

      1. Who knows. Remember Hayate (ahem… Hermione) was wearing those types of clothes before. And I think just like Hayate, Makoto probably wouldn’t look too bad in a lot of things anyway. Damn… Makoto and Hayate are so similar…

  7. Fantastic episode! So you ARE still blogging this!?! Awesome.

    Everything about it felt like a summer flick. Makoto kicked ass, Azusa is beautiful, and Miki is cute! My favorite episode thus far.

  8. And so once again, the day is saved, thanks to… Miura Azusa ;D
    I’m still not a fan of Ryuuguu Komachi and this week’s ending theme which sounded especially squeaky doesn’t help at all

    Seishun Otoko
  9. I didn’t expect tons of songs to be presented as IN here… But Makoto’s image song? Do we really have to guess? It’s one of the best songs in the game, so it will be sung in the anime.

    The M0on DOgg
      1. I hope she gets her own episode too. I think all of them (including Ritsuko and Kotori) should get at least one episode of their own where they are the main focus (not secondary or tertiary). Though it probably means that the anime needs to run till next season at least XD

  10. “The focus may have been a wild goose chase centering on the angelic Azusa, but I know who I had my eyes on.”

    You biased bastard… I want to be you! Miki can do everything on her own!

    I was surprised at Makoto’s fighting abilities, where did they come from!?

    Lectro Volpi
  11. I came into this anime expecting it to be a fanservice anime for fans of the game, and I have never played the game. Thought I was gonna drop it after a few episodes, but oh boy was I wrong. It has been so long since I had laughed at a single episode of anime in a very long time.

    I was actually just watching a few episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (yes…real old school), and one of them included Harley’s Holiday, which featured Harley Quinn trying to get rid of her villain ways, but one thing let to another and it also ended up being one heck of a goose chase. It had me wishing that some modern Anime and cartoons would bring back the old comedy, and Idolmaster was the last anime I was expecting it from XD.

  12. Didn’t realize that Idolmaster uses the same characters in every series. The twins and Haruka were so familiar that I had to watch the opening video of Idolmaster Xenoglosia — turns out my suspicions were correct

  13. This whole episode reminded me of an 80s movie comedy sort of style. So many movies like that with Steve martin or John Candy, Mel brooks even. I loved it it was really great at the end with the big group running the steps and they played that comical background music. All with Asuza seemingly oblivious to the massive crowd in the back. The expression on Makoto’s and producer’s face was priceless as well. LOL Ah man, it’s like every other episode is a mini movie. Well written. Good pacing it doesn’t even feel like a under 30 min show it always seems like there’s so much happening. I’m glad Idolm@ster is stil being looked after for now. I can see why Ro-Kyu-Bu had to go it’s really coming loose in the story dept. A lot of loose ends, unexplained moments.

      1. I’m thinking it’s just a bad play with words (as in it means both in a cheeky sort of way, there might be a few other words in the song that are like that too). I don’t get why people get so worked up over Japanese English lyrics, most of the anime songs I know of have their meaning mostly lost when translated into English anyways. When they use English words, it gets worst, since they often do not use the words with the context or meaning that many of us are familiar with. Sometimes they just want it to sound like something rather than mean something.

      2. @lkaze or the person who typed it out had a really bad sense of humor and the rest of the staff either don’t know their romanji well enough, didn’t bother to check or had the same bad sense of humor? XD! Either way, chill, it’s not as bad as some other songs I’ve seen translated. Like The M0on DOgg says, you could modify the subs if you really want to. Though, I personally just laugh it off as a not so funny joke XD

      3. @Ikaze Actually it’s not misprinted. While watching the raws before the Single was out I had the suspicion that it was Ready and Lady, although in japlish they pronounced both words remarkedly different.

        And like many people said, tons of japanese songs don’t make sense of the english words they insert.

  14. Has there been an official total episode count yet? Randomc has it listed as 25 in the season preview but I haven’t seen any other source say this.

    I really hope it continues into fall.

  15. This episode was so ridiculously goofy, it was great. Gave me bouts of nostalgia, like I was 10 again.

    Bonuses of course, coming courtesy of cute girls looking outstanding in their wedding attire, Miki being Miki, Azusa being just wonderfully charming, and Makoto kicking more ass than the whole UFC.

  16. Somehow I’m looking forward to the twin-centric episode. Ah, but of course, this episode was pretty sweet, too. When I’m feeling down, I’d want Makoto to hold me and tell me everything will be ok.

    Man, how the hell did this show get me?!

  17. omg… ive never downloaded sooo many screencaps before… divine u ROCK!
    this episode killed me in sooo many ways lol. from the pretty frills to angelic azusa to heroic makoto to playful mikki… idolmaster is the best show ever lol xD


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