「そして、彼女たちはきらめくステージへ」 (Soshite, Kanojo-tachi wa Kirameku Suteeji e)
“And So, The Girls Stand On The Sparkling Stage”
Wow, what’s with all these Miki episodes? Someone should really remind A-1 Pictures that there are eleven other idols in IM@S.
…Yeah right, who am I kidding. Like I’d really say something like that. You guys know me better than that. 😛
In all (anime) seriousness, I don’t want every episode to be about Miki, but it did make sense to give her some focus after the promise she made with the Producer last time. It was nice to see her make good on her end of it, pushing her idol limits to win over the Ryuuguu Komachi-hungry crown, get some well-deserved attention, and perform two songs back-to-back. Her second song, “Heart of a Marionette”, was particularly impressive (see INS13.1 below), so it looks like I’ll have to retract my statement last time about Miki’s singing not being as “pleasant” as Chihaya’s. It looks like all she needs is an upbeat song and a stage to perform the dance for it on to show her true abilities. A determined Miki who gives it her all dazzles, much like Hibiki does (fang and all). However, if anyone really deserved the spotlight this episode, it was our heroine Haruka for rallying the girls again like only she can.
As cool as it was to see group come together in the latter half of the episode, it still felt like a bit of a tease to feature ten insert songs and only have shorts snippets of most of them. At the very least, I really wish they left the opening performance of “THE IDOLM@STER”, as I’ve really taken a liking to that song ever since the sixth episode. I got pretty excited when I heard the song start up and saw the girls line up on the stage, so it was quite a letdown when they just cut it off shortly after. Yes, I realize that this isn’t just an anime version of IM@S performances, but I’ll be damned it would be pretty awesome if they did it for one episode. I’d be all on board even if it completely blew the budget, especially in this episode where the flashback ending sequence suggested that A-1 Pictures was prepared for the possibility that this would only be a 13-episode adaptation. It may be asking for too much considering that this was already a finale-worthy showing that featured two “full” insert songs, but I’m willing to overlook all sloppy in-between animation if they slipped in one more. (There was plenty of sloppy in-between animation anyway.).
While this was intended to be an episode about all the other girls in 765 Pro, a part of me still wished they included a short performance of Ryuuguu Komachi when they finally arrived. From a story standpoint, I can completely understand why it was left out, but I just can’t get enough of fully animated synchronized dance videos. I just love watching them so it’s good to know that IM@S will have another cour where there will be hopefully a lot more in store.
INS13.1: 「マリオネットの心」 (Marionette no Kokoro) by 星井美希 (長谷川明子) (Hoshii Miki (Hasegawa Akiko))
Watch the INS!: Streaming ▼
INS13.2: 「自分REST@RT」 (Jibun REST@RT) by 天海春香, 星井美希, 如月千早, 高槻やよい, 萩原雪歩, 菊地真, 双海真美, 四条貴音, 我那覇響 (Amami Haruka, Hoshii Miki, Kisaragi Chihaya, Takatsuki Yayoi, Hagiwara Yukiho, Kikuchi Makoto, Futami Mami, Shijou Takane, Ganaha Hibiki)
Watch the INS!: Streaming ▼
ED13: 「i」 by 765PRO ALLSTARS
Watch the 13th ED!: Streaming ▼