「ライブ」 (Raibu)

I originally thought that this was the final episode (it certainly felt like one) but apparently we have 13? I really should have checked. Well, we’re going to carry on as we are for now.

I’m probably going to have to write about The IDOLM@STER when it ends and perhaps I’m spoilt in that department, but I still must admit that this concert episode was certainly the height of the series visually. The level of detail in the art certainly rises above anything we’ve seen in Sore ga Seiyuu! so far, and the animation held in there as well. Since Sore ga Seiyuu! has made do with fairly simple, but serviceable, visuals it’s good that they’ve saved up a bit for this last sequence. It’s probably also to promote the new musical number—if Sore ga Seiyuu! is going to turn a profit, a suspect that a good portion of it will come from music sales. I don’t disapprove per se. If the anime industry needs more ways to monetise to keep making good shows, I’m all for that.

Of course, while the concert was the high note, it’s all the things that lead up to it that are important. A successful performance was, after the trials of Earphones, a given, more of a reward for all their effort. Sore ga Seiyuu! is too optimistic of a show to have them bomb at the last moment. And because of this general optimism, the question was never about whether they would overcome the problem of Ichigo’s injury, but how they would do it. I was actually expecting a bit more drama from that department, perhaps to rival episode 06. This was our final major arc, after all, and Ichigo really looked like she needed an intervention. At least go see a doctor before you lose your leg, Ichigo (though I suppose her fear would be that the doctor would advise her to stop dancing). There certainly was potential for the showdown to have milked more heightened emotions or be messier soap opera, but it was resolved fairly sensibly. Modify the routines, add some cosmetic disguises, play backup for Ichigo. While on one hand we could have had more of a spectacle, I suppose Sore ga Seiyuu! has always trended down towards the earth. The important thing is that it allowed Futaba to stand out in a sort of leadership role, to do her big monologue about the wisdom she’s attained (and summarising the show), and unifying her team. Look how our little girl has grown!

Indeed, the theme of this episode—and other episodes, really—is everybody coming together to create success, and more or less the entire cast comes out for a final hurrah. Konno-san the manager got her own episode, so she’s definitely here with the rest of Futaba’s people from Aozora Productions, but there’s also Futaba’s one fan, Rin’s best friend/groupie #1, Ichigo’s faceless dad, and even the unenthusiastic radio director. Oh, and of course the comic relief producer, but he’s useless in a crisis (though he did somehow manage to sell almost 500 tickets, so credit where that’s due). As for the guest star, we’ve had many cameos to date, but who better to return but Horie Yui? She was Earphone’s idol inspiration, Ichigo’s ad hoc mentor, and probably the original author’s mentor too. One gets the feeling that she misses being in a team, sharing both joys and sorrows, and maybe Asano Masumi does too. But hey, Aice5. Maybe this is their chance to relive that buzz.

Even though a big concert would have been a natural closer, this is isn’t the final episode. One wonders how they’re going to outdo the closest thing Earphones is ever going to get to a showstopper in Sore ga Seiyuu!‘s run. Perhaps they don’t intend to, and episode 13 will be some kind of omake episode, a side story—not unheard of, definitely. Alternatively, there may be some epilogue, a gentle denouement, to draw the curtains on the story. If we’re lucky, they may also be hooking into a sequel! The (strong) possibility exists, of course, that I’m totally wrong. For once, we have no preview to guide us, so my mad guess is as good as yours. Perhaps Sore ga Seiyuu! will surprise. I’m open to anything.


  1. I must admit that I didn’t have particularly high expectations for it myself, just an idle curiosity and a gut feeling that I might be pleasantly surprised.

    Literally what Random Curiosity is all about 😀

      1. I thought the same thing and ended up deleting the series from my queue but added it back on after finding out that there was one more episode left. Totally got trolled by how this episode ended lol

  2. This really felt like it was the ending episode. ANN has it at 13 though. If this is representative of the seiyuu’s life then I have to say that I’m surprised at how much of it is involved in the idol side of the business. American voice actors are mostly faceless except for some notable exceptions such as Mel Blanc and maybe the VA’s for the Simpsons. Big names in American cartoons are often actors who’s notoriety is based on their work in other areas such as Mark Hamilton or Adam West.

    1. Quite a lot of seiyuu nowadays (females especially) double as singers/idols. Helps to earn them more money and grow their fanbase I guess. I suspect that more than a few of them are being pushed into it by their agency though.

  3. Add me to the list of “this felt like a final episode”. They definitely could have ended the show here, and I’m not quite sure what’s left to add in Ep. 13 other than some recap and “they continued to work hard towards their seiyuu dream.”

    Honestly, this was a puzzling episode for me. I could NOT understand the apparent critical, absolute necessity to hide Ichigo’s injury. Cancelling the show – OK, that would be a big deal, especially for a debut concert, but that wasn’t the case so… I mean look at Dave Grohl who came back to finish a concert with a broken leg. You cannot buy GOOD PR like that, and it got a lot of POSITIVE press coverage. Wasn’t at the show (I do like the Foo Fighters), but I certainly give large kudos to Dave for doing that. Pretty damn cool IMO.

    I’ve been to a concert where the lead singer was really sick, but they didn’t cancel the show. Instead the guy came out on stage, said “I’m really sick – feel like total sh*t [and you could tell from his voice he was sick], but we don’t want to cancel the show so I’ll do the best I can.” Cue thunderous applause – not “boos”. Were the vocals the best? No, but IMO surprisingly decent if not good given the circumstances. Certainly “good enough” and my friends and I left the show with a positive impression.

    So I’m not sure if this is a cultural difference in terms of what Japanese fans expect out of idols, or if the show is making proverbial mountains out of mole hills. Either way, I found it quite odd that they went to such lengths to cover up the injury – including sitting down at one point (which would have struck me as odd if I was at the show and no reason given) rather than just be upfront and honest with fans.

    As for the anime concert itself, eh, fine I suppose if you’re into the whole idol thing.

    1. I won’t be surprised if the concerns were real. There seems to be a phobia of displeasing people in Japanese culture and we know how anal some anime/idol fans can be over there.

    2. I think you can tell through the performance – the synchronized chanting of the girls’ names in the crowd, and the fact that very little of the girls’ performance is their own creation – that fans indeed come for a rather simplistic spectacle (which they augment with their own connections – Rin’s friend and the random guy crying exemplifying that). Complicating that without a strong career behind your back is setting a precedent in the industry for your future image – if your first concert begins ‘Hi, I’ve got a broken foot’, what are people going to expect of you in the future?

      It’s often part practice of superficiality that I don’t like about the idol industry – though it invades Western musical culture too – but it doesn’t detract from the real joys of this show; exploring the hard work Seiyuu do underneath all that they’re made to do and appear as. I think all artists who succeed in their craft have a broken foot in some way. Sometimes the art is about covering it up, and sometimes its about parading it. Either way, you accept and deal with your injuries, physical or metaphorical, which is what the Unit eventually did.

  4. I thought Kaibara their producer is someone who is amazing since he is the one who save Futaba from becoming a jobless person. But hell… last episode 11 and now 12, his incompetent personality showed up. 500k yen for 3 dress? Maybe if its made of highest quality silk and it was designed/tailored in a way how those pricy furisode kimonos are done. Or maybe it was hand weaved by a famous designer? But whatever. He was lucky too that they got all the ticket sold but if it werent for the efforts of the three, he would have gone bankrupt.

  5. Sore ga Seiyuu! is a seiyuu show, not an idol show. So I’m guessing for the last episode that they’re gonna have an anime where they’ll be the leads and if that happens, I’ll cry tears of joy.

    But a cameo by Shizuka Itou (Hinagiku) will be good too.


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