8th July 2011 – 23rd December 2011
|THE IDOLM@STER follows 13 girls from the 765 Production Studio, whose sole goals is to become the top idols in the Japanese entertainment industry. Along with the laughs, struggles and tears that are inherently part of this journey, you will cheer for the girls of IDOLM@STER as they climb their way to the top!
13 girls from 965 pro, a small idols agency, aspire to become popular idols. And so they work hard to achieve that goal. Each of the girls has a different personality and comes from a different background, from the poor to the rich girl, the overoptimistic to the lazy but talented girl. And with the help of their producer, they manage to overcome many obstacles in order to achieve their goal.
IdolM@ster is a great anime to anyone who likes Idol Anime. The girls are cute and are likeable. And the semi-episodic nature of the anime allows for variety of things to occur to different characters, which helps it stay interesting.
Quickly go to:-
- A good set of likeable characters, with a good development for most of them.
- A good anime for those who watch anime mainly for the characters.
- Many of the songs in the anime are very good.
- Some characters don’t get that much screen time. Which could be a disappointment for those who like them.
- For some people, the characters may seem very generic, especially at the beginning of the anime.
13 cute girls from a small agency aspire to be popular idols. IdolM@ster follows the girls’ path to achieve that, since they are small idols, they start with very small jobs, like having to wear frog costumes to appearing in cooking shows.
As a whole, IdolM@ster is about the girls’ Idol activity in a slice of life style, the idea that the girls want to achieve stardom makes it kinda feel like a shounen anime to an extent. Overall, IdolM@ster is all sweet & optimistic, it is about the unity of a group, it may be sweet in an unrealistic way, I admit. But that’s one thing that makes it nice to watch in a way.
This is a review that came from someone who didn’t play the game, so excuse me if I missed anything important from it. The anime did feature all the girls from the game though. The first episode is introductory, showing you all the girls one by one, this is where you get a first impression on most of them, and more on each of the character will be revealed on later episodes.
This may appear like a small spoiler, but at the end of the first episode, we get introduced to a male producer, something that was not in the game. The producer is pivotal in many of the girls’ professional work, he will do many things to help the girls become popular. At first, this may sounds like a harem anime, but it is not really that way, as the girls don’t really fall in love with him or anything.
During the anime, you will see many things that exist in the lives of idols, from paparazzi who tries to destroy one of the idols, to having to deal with a rival production company that plays dirty. Along with the cuteness in the anime, this kinda balance the anime, and makes it fun to see how these conflicts unfolds. Like the case in many anime, these obstacles are not of the same level in the real world, but that’s part of how anime mostly is, so I wouldn’t take that against IdolM@ster, or mostly any anime that introduces things like that to us.
IdolM@ster has 25 episodes in total, which mean there is room to show you the characters in multiple ways. The anime is semi-episodic, while there are episodes that can totally be removed without affecting the flow of the story that much (not that this is a bad thing). While some episodes are related to the main story. Many of the episodes focus on one or more character, some characters get more screen time than the others, which may affect your final feeling toward the anime, depending on which character(s) you like. Actually, two the characters get special treatment when it comes to character development.
Each of the girl has a different personality and aspiration, from the manly girl who tend to attract the other girls with her manliness, to the one with a phobia of men. You will also notice that some of the girls are more talented than the others, but overall, all the girls are working hard to achieve the same dream.
With the exception of one small case, there is a total lack of romance in IdolM@ster. So this is not an anime you would watch if that’s what makes your anime better.
Since this is an Idols anime, we can’t ignore the songs, and as expected, IdolM@ster has many songs from the game. Actually, each episode end with a different song, with songs introduced during the episodes themselves. Many of the episodes are quite good, but I will leave that to you to decide. Overall, songs is one of the things that makes idol anime what they are in my opinion, and IdolM@ster doesn’t lack it when it comes to that.
The art may not be IdolM@ster’s strongest point, but it is good in general. The characters design is cute and likeable. It is one example on how simple character design can have an impact on the viewer. Which is one of the things I appreciate about Hayate The Combat Butler, which is also had a simple but effective design.
The animation is one of the things I like about IdolM@ster, especially in the choreography of the songs, unlike many of the idol anime nowadays, where the animation are made by CGI, the animation of the songs are done in the good old-fashion 2D, at least that’s the case with the original anime I am talking about here, as the movie uses CGI instead.
Since I mentioned the choreography, not just their animation is good, but with a simple comparison, they stayed faithful to the game’s as well. To show you that in action, here is how the song Smoky Thrill by Ryuuguu Komachi appeared in both the game & the anime:-
The Game Version
The Anime Version
Your enjoyment of IdolM@ster will totally depends on how much you like the elements I mentioned above. But overall, it is pretty much enjoyable if you are the kind who watch anime for enjoyment, which is pretty much how I imagine any reader of this blog.
As for the pacing, it is okay, it could easily move much faster, but as I mentioned earlier in this review, it takes its time showing you each character, and make you live with them in a way. If you find yourself enjoying that, then pacing won’t be a problem for you.
The characters is one of the things that makes IdolM@ster what it is. From the very first episode, you will be introduced with all the 13 girls, as well as Ritstuko, the female producer, and producer-san, who has no name really. When I watched IdolM@ster the first time, I kinda felt off-put by how the characters are introduced all at once, but since it is 25 episodes long, you get your time with each of them. And as soon as you get to know the characters, you will start to see and like some of them.
Unlike my other reviews, I am not going to comment on each character one by one, as I think it is better that you watch the anime and see for yourself how they are.
Fortunately for you, if you liked IdolM@ster, there are many good idol anime out there, including some other IdolM@ster anime. Some of these anime are quite different than IdolM@ster, but they have similar feeling, and they are all worth watching in my opinion.
If you enjoyed IdolM@ster, then there is more to it, the movie continues after the original anime. The movie has many of the elements that made the anime good. Though the anime was better. It is worth noting that the choreography in the song(s) is made by CG this time, which I think is a shame.
If you liked IdolM@ster, then The IdolM@ster Cinderella Girls is a must watch for you, it is centered on 346 production, a well-established idols agency, which has many idols under its umbrella. The anime is based on the spin-off mobile game.
The IdolM@ster Cinderella Girls has 13 episodes, as well as 12 episodes second season that is a continuation of the first, the two seasons combined make a one bigger anime with 25 episodes.
While both anime are part of the IdolM@ster franchise, they are different. The characters in Cinderella girls, while cuter, were not all developed to the same intensity as the original IdolM@ster. Even when we include the developments that happen in the second season. But it had a better art style, and many good songs. And I totally hope there will be a third season for it.
IdolM@ster’s main rival, and another very famous idol anime with many cute girls.
Love Live! is different than IdolM@ster in that it focus on high school idols, where a group of girls start an idol group to attract new students to their high school, which is threatened to be closed due to low number of enrolling students.
All the girls in Love Live are cute in a way or another, and there are many good songs in the anime as well. The choreography of the songs are made by CGI, but it is a very well-done CG nevertheless.
Based on the popular AKB48 idol group, AKB0048 occurs in a futuristic era, where singing is forbidden, and idols are treated as if they are terrorists, particularly by the dictatorships in the planets that’s against anything cultural. An idol group, called AKB0048, which resurrected the AKB48 group, fight to spread the idol culture.
The story follows a group of young fans who aspire to become part of the famous idol group, and so they leave their planets in order to achieve that.
With two seasons on hand, each with 13 episodes, AKB0048 presents idol anime in a very unique way. The concept may not appear appealing for some, but it is totally worth watching and judging it yourself.
Despite how it originally seemed like, IdolM@ster is pretty much a sweet watch that is done well, with many likeable characters, and few other things in-between.
As I kept saying, if you are into music or idol anime, there is a good chance you will like IdolM@ster. If you are into cute slice-of-life, then I recommend it for you as well.
I hope you liked my IdolM@ster review, and see you again in another review. ^^