Synonyms: The Idolmaster
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 8, 2011 to Dec 23, 2011
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.841 (scored by 13816 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisBased on the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 game The iDOLM@STER 2, The iDOLM@STER follows 13 aspiring idols aiming to reach their goals.
Related AnimeAdaptation: The Idolm@ster (Mana)
Alternative setting: iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia
Alternative version: The iDOLM@STER: Live for You!
Sequel: The iDOLM@STER: 765 Pro to Iu Monogatari
Spin-off: Puchimas!: Petit iDOLM@STER, Puchimas!!: Petit Petit iDOLM@STER
Other: The iDOLM@STER: Onegai Cinderella
Characters & Voice Actors
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard, Key Animation, Series Production Director, Layout
Director, Episode Director, Script, Storyboard, Key Animation, Series Composition, Character Design, Assistant Animation Director, Animation Director, Layout
Episode Director, Storyboard
When one gets to point where they begin disregarding anime because they have too many girls on their front poster, it's probably time to take moment and re-evaluate. Granted, I've forced myself to sit through so many generic harems, rom-coms and ecchis these past few years that it has almost become reflexive of me to steer clear of any anime which possibly looks like it may contain any one of the aforementioned three. It was only natural then when I saw the poster of The Idolm@ster, an ensemble of 13 cute girls gawking up at me, that alarm bells tripped off in my head like fire sirens at a pyromaniac's convention. Only due to vigorous recommendations did I reluctantly pick up the series later on.
Proverbial justice looks down on the pretentiously knowledgeable, or so it would seem. My transition from skepticism to fanboyism was swift. Within episodes I was converted, all preconceived doubts I harboured for the series unfounded or long forgotten. I almost felt ashamed, my predictions of meaningless plot and mindless ecchi not only completely wrong, but also reflected the conceited critic that I had become. The Idolm@ster humbled me, never again shall I judge an anime at face value.
The Idolm@ster follows story of 765 productions, a small time idol agency and their road to stardom and success. The narrative of each episode are alike but flexible, each one generally focuses on the backstory of one character, but also contains plenty of interwoven exposition of various other characters so that no episode can really be considered standalone. The general theme of each episode often revolves around a character issue or weakness, some form drama arises from this issue, which is then eventually resolved with the character experiencing some kind of revelation or growth. In many episodes the show cleverly relates the story to a broader context; for example the episode "Everything Starts with One Courageous Step" refers both to Yukiho's small step in facing her phobia, and the day's events as 765 production's first step towards their future.
There are times where the structure of each episode feels a little formulaic, however this is largely offset by the large variety of different stories the show offers. The tone of the stories are what I like to call very PG-13 esque, many of the problems and struggles are grounded in realism, but airbrushed with a heavy hint of optimism. Whilst the drama does get quite heavy towards the later stages of the anime, you can always rest assured that there will be a happy conclusion. In fact, the entire overarching theme of the anime seem to revolve the simple ideas of happiness and optimism which it conveys well, sometimes to a fault.
The characters of course are, quite literally, the stars of the show. It quickly becomes apparent how unexpectedly deep the characterization for these girls go. Each character is unique and Idolm@ster goes out of it's way to make sure these girls all interesting and memorable, which it does a surprisingly good job of. Idolm@ster features an amazing ensemble of voice actors that do a fantastic job of bringing these characters to life, both on stage singing as idols or off stage exchanging playful banter with each other.
Ironically, the true unsung hero is actually the main protagonist. Given a largely clean slate, the nameless "producer" remains very undeveloped and uncharacterized, acting as a role of sorts for the viewer to jump into, (if one was interested in that sort of stuff). What it also meant was that the spotlight always on the girls, never stolen away to implicate or relate the girls with a largely support figure character, romantically or otherwise. Funny how irrelevant the titular character ended up being.
There are many standout qualities The Idolm@ster offers, but the gem of the glitter has to go to the cinematography. In many ways the cinematic progression of the show reflects the characters themselves. While 'offstage' the production value is reasonable at best, easy to look at but not spectacular. The anime goes about it's daily business, not hinting at the show that's about to come.
Then, as stage is set and the music cues, here's when you finally realize that all bets are off. Explosions of lights and sound ensue, magnificently choreographed sequences aided by thrilling transitions, zooms, pans and cinematic techniques I didn't even think Japan knew existed, all cumulating in an electrify experience that's really putting my vocabulary limit to the test. The contrast of onstage and off really allows you to appreciate the level of workmanship devoted into these few minutes of animation. And then there's the ED sequences, which being unique to each episode itself is already unprecedented, also offers some great imagineative style backed with wonderfully fitting music. I have nothing more to say about The Idolm@ster's production value, other than two giant thumbs up of approval.
The Idolm@ster is in many ways a neat little snippet into a prominent Japanese idol subculture. Though perhaps not entirely accurate and/or realistic, The Idolm@ster takes a risk with it's presentation, using what could easy come off as a simplistic and childish tone, and instead delivering on a show that has both enthusiasm, energy and character.
Watch Idolm@ster with an open heart, and you'll quickly discover the sparkle that is perhaps one of the most underrated anime this season. read more
I'm sort of a strange fan of the iDOLM@STER series. In terms of experience with the series, i've only seen Xenoglossia myself, which I also enjoyed very much, even though the other people I talked to about it didn't really seem to like it. Aside from that, i've never played any of the games associated with it, so I can't say I have any experience with them.
That being said, The iDOLM@STER so far has been quite an enjoyable experience for me.
(Please note that all things said below are my opinion only! Also, most of the things I talk about are already subjective in nature, so not everyone will agree with the verdicts that I lay out for it. I respect everyone's opinion and it's ultimately up to you as the reader/viewer to decide if you agree or disagree with the points I discuss. With that being said, enjoy the review!)
In terms of the story, I can attest that, so far, they have done a great job at keeping it consistent. The story as you may already know, is about a group of amateur idols (the main cast) and their journey towards reaching their goals.
Keep in mind that this isn't just restricted to becoming a successful idol. While (nearly) every character in the cast wishes to become a popular, there are also a number of other goals that the characters are aiming to achieve alongside their journey through the industry. These goals are unique to those specific characters, and, in showing that, the show adds a side to it that increases the variety the of plot material as you are able to see that the cast isn't just a group of people aiming to do the same exact thing.
Although there is no real central plot to the story aside from them wanting to become popular idols, the show supplements that fact by adding in sub-conflicts that different members of the cast face while they progress and grow. This is also made more interesting in that it shows how being an idol interacts with the character's lives and how it may sometimes get in the way of or complement their other objectives.
For the most part, there hasn't been any heavy drama yet, but this may change in the future. There were some specific dramatic parts for some of the characters (Don't want to spoil.) which I thought were done well for the most part. Nothing that made me break down crying, but still legit and reasonably believable/enjoyable. The episode hid a glaring chekhov gun in early on so there is probably something large waiting over the horizon.
The comedy of the show has been mostly just light comedy, nothing that made you burst out laughing like Nichijou, but nothing that made you cringe in disgust like you've been told a really bad joke either. Most of the comedy is usually good enough to put a smile on your face and elicit a few giggles, which is good enough for me.
The show is, for the most part, separated into specific character-centric episodes where they choose one of the cast and focus on a slice of their life. This hasn't been followed strictly seeing as some episodes have been shown to focus on multiple characters, or even the whole cast equally to some degree, but so far, there have been a decent number (3? I think.) of character-specific episodes. So far, the show has done a good job of doing it both ways, by giving a reasonable chunk of the screen-time to specific characters for their spotlight episodes, and also treating the cast fairly equally in episodes that feature them all.
The show does a very good job of keeping a steady balance between idol-related business, normal everyday life trials, and also catering to each character's equally important side-goals as well. In my opinion, the story is very solid so far, and I can attest that it is accomplishing what it had set out to do and not straying too far from the main path.
In terms of Art, I can at least say that I enjoy it. The characters are designed very well and they all look nice. I don't have much to say about the art because this subject is incredibly subjective, right alongside music, so I can't really explain whether it's good or not. You either enjoy the style or you don't.
I guess this category could be attributed to the overall music for the show. In my opinion, the music included in the show so far has been very good. The opening sounds great, and also does a good job in getting you into the mood to watch the show. The ending themes are very good as well, aside from them being enjoyable music, the songs are tailored to specific characters of the cast, making for a heightened experience that complements the characters when viewing their spotlight episodes. The insert songs are fine, and the BGM is fine as well. Other then the specifics mentioned above, there wasn't anything that stood out as particularly "bad" in terms of music to me.
Oh boy, this section was actually going to be pretty big, but I think I already covered a majority of it in the story section. Due to the nature of the show's lack of a centralized conflict, it's obviously going to have its main focus be character development.
That being said, the show succeeds in presenting the characters in ways that make them unique and interesting.
There are a number of different personalities to identify with and explore.
The characters also come from a variety of different backgrounds, ranging from the poor to the rich, to the average every-woman to the mysterious others.
In terms of character development, the show doesn't slack in making sure that all of the cast has a their own, unique and interesting set of traits, goals, personalities, incentives, and probably more.
Enjoyment & Overall;
In my opinion, it's a very solid show that knows what it is aiming to accomplish and isn't hesitant to go for it while also providing a very enjoyable experience to those who want to lend their time to watching it. As a small side-note too, I really enjoy shows that give you a look into the life of another while also teaching you things as well. If I ever decide to become an idol, I can always look back and see that, while this show is probably idealized in some aspects, it is still a fun look at what the life of an aspiring idol would be like.
Some people may be questioning why I gave the show 10's in everything. Well, here's the thing, the show so far hasn't really done anything for me to actually say it's bad. It's basically that kid in school that's doing everything he's supposed to do. I don't feel right taking points off of the score of a show if I don't even have anything reasoning behind taking them off. The show is for those who are interesting in hearing a story about the lives of a group of aspiring idols and their journey to success. If you are not interested in watching a show like that, you can always just watch something else.
The show knows what it whats to do and is doing it well. It's developing it's characters, keeping a steady pace on the main plot, making sure every character in the cast is diverse and interesting, and for the most part, making your viewing of it worthwhile. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested looking for a light-hearted slice of idol life show to just be able to relax and enjoy. read more
Both are stories about girls becoming idols and all of the challenges they must face. AKB0048 is set in the future and has battle elements while iM@S is contemporary and more realistic.
Both Anime feature groups of girls trying to reach their dreams of becoming a major idol. The groups in each Anime area also wide range and both Anime's take a slightly different spin from what is normally seen in the idol genre. Also, they're both idol Anime that certain viewers can pick certain girls to root for or against.
Both have several main characters who all aspire to become idols
Both animes are about a group of girls going through the hardships to become an idol, either for their goals or for their love of music; aspiring to become the best.
AKB0048 is basically AKB48's answer to iDOLM@STER. As such, the stories are similar. Young girls looking to make their big break at stardom and their journey towards that goal. That is literally the plot of both of these. AKB0048 though, trying to differentiate itself, adds a more sci-fi element to it compared to the modern setting of iDOLM@STER.
*Lots of: idols? cute teenage girls? singing? dancing? aspiring dreams? I'M READY!*
(General idol life is focused on iDOLM@STER while the intense environment in AKB0048, members puts on guerrilla concert singing and defending their love for music.)
Singing is a talent and in both series, the characters wishes to perfect their skills in the music industry. As such, they share their love and passion of singing and performing for other people as well as following their dreams.
Both series has a cast of female characters that all has the goal of making a name in the music industry.
Both series has comedy, drama, and also some emotional moments.
Both series has an excellent soundtrack that consists of the various songs sung by the characters themselves.
They're both about idols.
both animes are centered around a group of girls which aim to become popular idols and sing their love of music with their friends/family.
both animes circumstances/surroundings/backgrounds are completely different, yet they both portray the struggles and hardships of what it makes to become an idol and their dreams/goals to accomplish them.
both animes show each member of the groups past/present and their different reasons for wanting to become an idol/singer
both contain pretty good soundtracks that will make you want to listen to them again
they are similar with a group of girls becoming idols.
Opening Theme#1: "READY!!" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (eps 2-12)
#2: "CHANGE!!!!" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (eps 14-19, 21-23, 25)
Ending Theme#01: "The world is all one!!" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 1)
#02: "Positive! (ポジティブ!)" by Iori Minase & Yayoi Takatsuki (Rie Kugimiya & Mayako Nigo) (ep 2)
#03: "First Stage" by Yukiho Hagiwara & Makoto Kikuchi (Azumi Asakura & Hiromi Hirata) (ep 3)
#04: "Aoi Tori (蒼い鳥)" by Chihaya Kisaragi (Asami Imai) (ep 4)
#05: "MOONY" by Chihaya Kisaragi & Azusa Miura & Makoto Kikuchi & Miki Hoshii & Hibiki Ganaha & Ritsuko Akizuki (Asami Imai & Chiaki Takahashi & Hiromi Hirata & Akiko Hasegawa & Manami Numakura & Naomi Wakabayashi) (ep 5)
#06: "THE IDOLM@STER" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 6)more
#07: "Ohayou!! Asagohan (おはよう!! 朝ご飯)" by Yayoi Takatsuki (Mayako Nigo) (ep 7)
#08: "Hanikami! First Bite (ハニカミ! ファーストバイト)" by Ryuuguu Komachi (Iori Minase & Azusa Miura & Ami Futami) (Rie Kugimiya & Chiaki Takahashi & Asami Shimoda) (ep 8)
#09: "Reimei Starline (黎明スターライン)" by Ami Futami & Mami Futami (Asami Shimoda) (ep 9)
#10: "GO MY WAY!!" by 765PRO ALLSTARS & 876PRO ALLSTARS (ep 10)
#11: "START!!" by Haruka Amami (Eriko Nakamura) (ep 11)
#12: ''Shocking na Kare! (ショッキングな彼!)'' by Miki Hoshii (Akiko Hasegawa) (ep 12)
#13: "i" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 13)
#14: "Colorful Days" by Haruka Amami & Miki Hoshii & Chihaya Kisaragi & Ami Futami & Mami Futami & Takane Shijou & Hibiki Ganaha (Eriko Nakamura & Akiko Hasegawa & Asami Imai & Asami Shimoda & Yumi Hara & Manami Numakura) (ep 14)
#15: "MEGARE!" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 15)
#16: "Brand New Day!" by Hibiki Ganaha (Manami Numakura) (ep 16)
#17: "Cheering Letter (チアリングレター)" by Makoto Kikuchi (Hiromi Hirata) (ep 17)
#18: "Mahou wo Kakete! (魔法をかけて!)" by Ritsuko Akizuki (Naomi Wakabayashi) (ep 18)
#19: "Kazahana (風花)" by Takane Shijou (Yumi Hara) (ep 19)
#20: "Yakusoku (約束)" by Chihaya Kisaragi & Haruka Amami & Miki Hoshii & Yayoi Takatsuki & Yukiho Hagiwara & Makoto Kikuchi & Ami Futami & Mami Futami & Iori Minase & Azusa Miura & Takane Shijou & Hibiki Ganaha
#20: cont. (Asami Imai & Eriko Nakamura & Akiko Hasegawa & Mayako Nigo & Azumi Asakura & Hiromi Hirata & Asami Shimoda & Rie Kugimiya & Chiaki Takahashi & Yumi Hara & Manami Numakura) (ep 20)
#21: "Sora (空)" by Kotori Otonashi (Juri Takita) (ep 21)
#22: "Happy Christmas" by Haruka Amami & Chihaya Kisaragi & Ami Futami & Mami Futami & Azusa Miura & Takane Shijou & Hibiki Ganaha (Eriko Nakamura & Asami Imai & Asami Shimoda & Chiaki Takahashi & Yumi Hara & Manami Numakura) (ep 22)
#23: "Mitsumete (見つめて) (instrumental)" (ep 23)
#24: "Massugu (まっすぐ)" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 24)
#25: "Issho (いっしょ)" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 25)
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