「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.

That is, until they dump eleven new idols on us in the closing moments. Jeez guys. You were doing so well. I’m going to need those character name plates from HeroAca please!

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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 Sequence

ED: 「Drive A Live」 by Dramatic Stars



  1. I watched this ep without seeing 00 yet, and thankfully I got the feeling that you didn’t need to see 00 in order to enjoy it. 🙂 It certainly has the spirit of the second anime, though I am not geling as well with these characters than I had with the girls. Maybe it’s because I’m a straight guy so I don’t get what’s so attractive about most of these boys? I’m still not certain if I’ll even follow this anime, but I’ll give it a few more episodes to see if emotional moments really grip me. They have the opportunity to make me feel attached to these guys like chill bros, rather than crushes.

    “I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to licking the guy.” …. LIKING, or LICKING?? :3 Paging Dr. Freud!

    I saw that Producer here is another bishonen, and I was initially like “come ON!” Then he SPOKE, and I felt like I was sitting on the comfiest couch ever! Aaaaaah bliss. I can see why so many idols would want to work under him. He really makes you feel safe and secure in this workplace just by being.

    That CEO is AWESOME!! He like stepped right out of a manly shonen battle anime!!! Love it.

    Look at Teru’s “lawyer” sweatshirt at the last scene there. 😛 What a dork.

  2. Studio A-1 could potentially make a male anime idolmaster franchise a thing if they get this show right. There’s a huge significance I think with this series succeeding for all parties involved, inc Bandai Namco.

  3. 「理由あって、アイドル!」 (Riyuu a tte, aidoru!)
    “There Are Reasons, Idols!”

    They pronounced it as “Wake a tte, aidoru!” [理由(ワケ)あって, アイドル!]

    We finally get to see the producer in this episode! At first, I didn’t really like him because a male Producer running an all male idol agency would start getting people the wrong idea.

    But this is Idolmaster, I’m sure they wouldn’t start screwing around with us.

    I really like how the comedic moments and the calm, slow moments mesh really well together.
    The comedic scenes were used to keep you interested; at the same time, the calm and slow scenes slowly take you in the story and the characters.

    Only a few days away from the next episode, I apologize for the really late reply. There was an Idolmaster live called “Hotchpotch Festiv@l” for 765 Million Stars, and they happen to do a live viewing over where I live. (It was awesome, BTW.)


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