「理由あって、アイドル！」 (Riyuu a tte, aidoru!)
“There Are Reasons, Idols!”
A steady start with another trio as life at 315 Production gets moving.
If you told me one of the main idols was going to be a former lawyer, I would have believed you, because it’s not the weirdest thing the world or anime has thrown at us lately. But it’s still pretty darn strange, because most lawyers don’t get into the game to make people smile. Smiling is not a hallmark of the legal profession. A serious grimace, perhaps. Studious silence, probably. Piles and piles of money, certainly. (Maybe money for others, but there gonna be piles of it somewhere.) But smiles? Not usually a top 10 reason.
Yet here we are, and as strange as Tendou Teru’s (Nakamura Shuugo) idol origin story is (that makes it sound like he was bit by a radioactive idol), I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to liking the guy. He’s got a good balance of kindness, work ethic, and all those squishy leaderly qualities that make him come off as confident, competent, and worthy of his spot as Dramatic Stars leader. As soon as I saw Kashiwagi Tsubasa (Yashiro Taku), I said “Makoto?“, and his big eater routine made me laugh. Sakuraba Kaoru (Uchida Yuuma) is, of course, a bit of an ass this first episode, but I’m at least glad he didn’t get over his issues too quickly, even if they remain ill-defined.
Which reminds me. Having since watched the first episode of the original IDOLM@STER (I’ll get to the rest soon), it made me realize that SideM is taking a different initial tact: showing the idols (and the agency) coming together, as opposed to starting when all of them have already been recruited and the agency is semi-established. SideM’s method means we don’t have to learn all of the idol’s names all at once, because the “let’s introduce twelve idols plus several supporting characters!” original IDOLM@STER intro was dizzying, where here we get to take our time and meet each of them individually + in small cast herds (trope!), which is hella wise given that there are nineteen damn idols in this version. Only time will tell how savvy this move was, but my initial thoughts bend toward approval. I haven’t felt overwhelmed by all the characters coming at us yet.
So the initial impression holds true—this is well-animated, polished, and eschews cynicism—as well as the worry that SideM has too many damn idols. We’ll see how this goes in the next episode, though I likely won’t blog it, because while I’ll happily watch some idols, they ain’t my blogging thang. I’ll be keeping up though, while I marathon the original on the side. Because I have so much free time. Orz
- I guess the Producer is a guy after all. I’m just glad he finally got to talk, because his enforced silence was getting weird.
- Dammit Tsubasa, now I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll go out for ramen. So hungry!
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, I’ve begun blogging again! The latest post: Help Houston.
ED: 「Drive A Live」 by Dramatic Stars