「THE IDOLM@STER Prologue SideM -Episode of Jupiter-」

Jupiter finds new start with a new agency.

This will be an interesting review, because, for all my anime experience, including a great deal in the time when the original iDOLM@STER was airing, I’ve never seen any of the previous series. They’re on my list, I’ve been meaning to watch them! (And probably will now, since it’s suddenly become urgent.) But I haven’t seen them as of this writing, which means you’re getting an old anime hand’s analysis on a series he surprisingly missed.

If I were to give a quick appraisal of this prologue, it would be to agree with something Passerby said in the preview: it’s without cynicism. Oh, there are cynical characters, but the main characters—both the idols of Jupiter, Amagase Touma (Terashima Takuma), Ijuuin Hokuto (Kanbara Daichi), and Mitarai Shouta (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), as well as the super gung-ho president of 315 Productions, Saitou Takashi (Tachiki Fumihiko)—are free of cynicism, as is the story itself. Oh sure, maybe the calculus that led to this series is cynical, I can’t fault them for wanting to cash in on the new wave, but it’s been kept admirably free of the narrative itself. This episode features idols struggling against cynicism, and cynical money-first business practices are painted as evil. Perhaps that’s a self-serving lie, but it’s a pretty one, and it makes for good television.

This prologue features characters who (I gather) appeared in the original iDOLM@STER, who since left their original agency to strike out on their own. I can sympathize with their having to deal with everything on their own, and the difficulties that entails. The lack of new songs, the not being able to go out and talk to their fans (crowd control reasons, I guess?), and them not wanting to be forced to (again) do what they don’t want to do are all things anyone can get behind in a second. It’s far scarier to trust your future to someone else who could screw you over for the money. It was clear that the story was trying to paint all the other agencies as cynical, to pace the way for the eventual appearance of Saitou Takashi, but . . . well, it worked. I spent a while thinking that someone from 765 Productions (I knew that much about the original) would come to recruit them, and that they would join that agency, but having the original girls set up as rivals is a better set up. Speaking of, as someone who hasn’t seen the originals, it was only when their 765 rival showed up that I felt a little lost. This was a pretty approachable episode for a first-time watcher, even if I was conscious of the fact that I was missing references with idols the 765 girls obviously interacted with. The story still worked though.

Honestly, my impression of this episode is that it was rock solid. It makes me want to go back and watch the originals even more. My only concern is the one Passerby mentioned in the previews: there are too many damn idols. This episode let us spend a good amount of time with Jupiter, which I really appreciated, but more boys showed up at the end, and I can taste the beginnings of the overwhelm that will surely descend when the horde of idols crashes upon our shores. Until then, I’m kind of hyped. It may be goofy for a guy like me to start with the boy idol show, but it’s good! I enjoyed it! I don’t see why anyone who likes idols wouldn’t either. Gender doesn’t matter with idols, as long as they can dance and sing, and these boys can do both. Should be a fun show.

Random thoughts:

  • In all seriousness though, stalking is bad. Don’t stalk idols. Bad Saitou Takashi, no!

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  1. Well that certainly was interesting. Wasn’t really interested in Jupter, but I guess getting to know them a little more does help. Hopefully they stay as the primary trio (probably not the entire focus though).

    Wasn’t interested in idol anime until The Idolm@ster, so I’ll give this a shot even though I have no interest in male idols. At least it still looks good animation wise.

    I still remember this scene. Safe to say this episode spanned several weeks or months? Guess episode one will start between the end of Idolm@ster and the start on Cinderella Girls.

    Are we getting a female producer? Can’t really tell from the voice and couldn’t find a name in the credits. The Cinderella Girls rhythm game seem to assume a male producer most (not all) of the time. Not sure how it goes with SideM. Fan art varies between male and female.

    1. To this day I don’t know what goes through the mind of people when they go “Dear Diary: I don’t like this genre/show….but I’m still going to go on a message board and tell people I don’t like it! Even though everyone else appears to be interested in it!”

      1. Yea how dare people havie a preference, opinions and personal taste. That’s for free thinkers and those people are bad. Everyone should like the same thing. And—I got to stop my sarcasm really stinks.

  2. It’ll be interesting to compare SideM to next season’s Idolish7 anime. Although both have male idols, Idolish doesn’t have that many groups to keep track of. Plus that has a confirmed female manager and Tanemura Arina as artist.

  3. Makes me wonder why they didn’t complete the entire mini-concert on hand-drawn animation. The insert of the (badly created) 3DCG made me have an internal wtf reaction. If I recall correclty, both previous idolm@ster anime didn’t make use of that kind of transitioning.

    All in all, this episode was a good introduction to the new idolm@ster anime. If there will be appearances of the 765PRO allstars, and the cinderella girls, count me in on watching parts of this one.

  4. And thus the openning shits of Senidoru Jidai have been fired.

    It’s like im@as never left. The 756 world line that is.

    Side M seems off to a good start and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I really likedhow Side M picks up after episode 21 and intersects with episode 22 of the original im@s series.

    I thought I got over Haruka’s pain in the closing series but it comes back to haunt me years after. The blonde dude was rather receptive to how upset Haruka was feeling back than.

    It’s cute to see Touma going all tsundere in the entire episode. Best Side M girl? And who’s up for a Touma x Haruka pairing?

    I miss this dude. Did he appear in CindieGirls?

    I feel my trap radar activating… KOTORI OTONASHI!!!

    I can’t help it but to take a stab at Love Live. Here we see Touma and Chikan trying their best to change ZERO to ONE and also it seems like Kami-Honoka’s dad is a Jupiter fan… Or is he the true Master Manipulator of Space and Time?

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. “I really liked how Side M picks up after episode 21 and intersects with episode 22 of the original im@s series.”
      The prologue is more connected to the Idolm@ster movie than the original anime series. It actually happens after the 765 anime.

      “And who’s up for a Touma x Haruka pairing?”
      Oh! Me, ME!!! I ship them since the day Jupiter debuted in iM@S 2!

      “Did he appear in CindieGirls?”
      Why, yes! He’s in every idolm@ster series. He’s kinda there to see how everyone’s doing and keep the fans updated with his interviews.

      As for everyone’s concern about the amount of characters in SideM, I’m afraid to say that there’s gonna be more later in the series.
      So far, they’re starting off with 19 idols in the first half; then they’ll add more later on in the second half of the anime. A total of 46 idols, divided into 15 units. (Separated into 2, 3 or, 5 people per unit. You’ll see later how they’re divided.)

      Although you can not expect everyone to get individual character development per episode, they’ll develop as one idol unit.
      The Idolm@ster’s theme is unity, after all. They’ll learn how to get along and unify as one.

      As a long time Idolm@ster fan and supporter of Jupiter, I’m very optimistic about the anime. I finally get to see my favorite unit back in action.


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