English: THE IDOLM@STER
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: 7.781 (scored by 18941 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisTHE 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!
Related AnimeAdaptation: THE iDOLM@STER
Alternative setting: iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia, The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls
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
Characters & Voice Actors
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard, Layout, Key Animation, Series Production Director
Director, Episode Director, Script, Storyboard, Assistant Animation Director, Animation Director, Layout, Key Animation, Series Composition, Character Design
Episode Director, Storyboard, Assistant Animation Director, Key Animation
There are some anime series that you desperately want to love. You’re either drawn in by the premise, one of the characters will strike your fancy for some reason and you’ll begin a furious Pixiv binge in search of any fanart of them to the point that your computer crashes and you’re declared legally dead, or you see some shimmer of pure gold underneath that thick sheen of shit and mediocrity and want to see if it’ll be more evident later on. The Idolmaster was one of the latter series, and it left me feeling entirely unsatisfied from start to finish.
The premise is simple enough: Twelve girls of questionable talent with single-note personalities and insecurities all vie for the chance to become idols with the help of their talent company and their ever-faithful producer. This single idea takes them all over Japan as their popularity inexplicably soars and they learn important things like trust, friendship, and synchronized dancing. Say what you will about the overall quality, it sticks to this premise throughout without ever losing the spirit of the idea. If you’re not in the market for a show all about the power of friendship or supposedly catchy pop music, there won’t be much for you here.
For me, the most important thing in any show is how the characters develop and interact. Something with a fantastic plot or great production won’t leave much of an impression if the characters don’t; see Madoka Magica. Unfortunately, this is the first and gravest misstep that the Idolmaster makes.
Though it really can’t be helped with such a large cast of main characters, there isn’t much gravity to how the characters develop or interact. One minute, soliloquies are dropped regarding what problems a certain character has on their rocky road to idol stardom, the next the plot tousles them on the head, tells them to move on with their lives, and it’s never brought up again. While I understand that everybody is supposed to develop, it still feels awkwardly crammed in when it shouldn’t be.
This would be acceptable if all of the characters were memorable in some way, but some quite simply shine over the many others, leading to some intimate moments feeling resolved much too quickly in order to get back to what the Idolmaster perceives to be the most important characters. Haruka and the Futami twins seem to take up the most time, leaving the likes of Azusa and Makoto in the background for all but a few scant moments when they could have been fleshed out and humanized much more.
These overly-sentimental bits are punctuated every so often by the meddling of a rival talent company, 961 Pro, led by the conniving Takao Kuroi, which essentially play out the same each time. While they’re a welcome distraction from the slew of halfhearted character developments, these scenes could have easily been left out without the series suffering in any way. Don’t get me wrong, these were the only episodes in which I believed that the 765 Pro girls would come out more mature and fleshed out in the end, but I acknowledge their overall pointlessness. They take away nothing from the experience, but they add very little in return.
Where the Idolmaster came closest to breaking out of mediocrity was in the last few episodes, as Haruka dealt with everyone’s newfound success and consequential estrangement. It’s well paced and actually competent, leading to a complete departure from the episodic format of before.
Story and character-wise, the Idolmaster falls a bit flat for me, even with the competently strung together drama in the final episodes. However, if there is one area where it shines, it’s definitely the production. The animation is crisp, the character designs are pleasing to the eye and soft by comparison, the dancing is wonderfully choreographed, the music could actually be confused for something thrown onto the market to be bought by thousands of impressionable Japanese teens and otaku of all sorts… in short, the Idolmaster went all out to bring the games to life, and that’s something to be admired.
Yet, for all the dazzling displays and occasional moments of interesting storytelling, the Idolmaster fails to be anything more than a flashy series that’s ultimately completely forgettable. Yet I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the best adaptation of the game series that anybody’s ever going to make. I tried to like the Idolmaster for what it was, and I did enjoy it every now and then, but overall it was a disappointing experience that I wouldn’t in good faith recommend. read more
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
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.
Dreams are achieved through hardwork, supporting one and another when the going gets tough, and having a clear mindset on what your true goals are. Both series urges people to dream big but 'The iDOLM@STER' places realistic struggles and teamwork at the center of attention, it stayed true to its aspiration which is projected to the audience as planned.
'AKB0048' went for the unorthodox approach by bringing casual politics into the mix but still put a smile on our faces with their performances.
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.
•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.
AKB0048 and iDOLM@STER have cute girls trying to be top idols. Although, AKB0048 has more sci-fi feeling and less realistic, if you enjoyed watching iDOLM@STER, AKB0048 you will love watching AKB0048. Also, AKB0048 have good songs like iDOLM@STER's.
Both stories deal with a group of up-and-coming idols.
Both are about idol groups.
Both animes are about a group of girls trying to take the stage to become top idols.
Love Live is essentially Idolmaster without the Producer and with an all schoolgirl cast. But if you enjoyed Love Live you may like Idolmaster
The Idol show with large cast, with SoL setting
In both series, there is a group of girls who are interested in the music industry. Together, they unify as a group to perfect their talent and show their skills to others to see.
Both series also has a theme of friendship that also follows the girls' every day lives.
Both series has comedy, drama, and of course music.
Both series generally has a lighthearted background.
Both animes containing cute girls aiming for becoming top idols, reaching toward their dreams is their tasks, nice songs illustrating beautiful friendship among the girls.
Like Love Live!, The iDOLM@STER, is a fun and surprisingly moving idol anime filled with diverse and endearing characters and bombastic and catchy music numbers.
Being an "Idol" can be difficult to master the dances and singing. Though, one thing they need to do is this, "Practice makes Perfect." The story is about a group of girls who wanted to become Idol's themselves and gaining attention from the people around them. It's start off as beginners as they need to know the steps of becoming an Idol, until they master it, and perform miraculously in front of the crowd.
Love Live! takes place in a school where the main characters formed an idol of themselves to prevent the school from shutting down. The Idolmaster is a slice of life show that takes place on the studio and follows the daily lives of the Idol's activities.
The iDOLM@STER is about become a top idol, same as Love Live! School Idol Project. Both has to become top idol because of certain "conditions". Unlike The iDOLM@STER, Love Live! School Idol Project didn't use Producer, but they start over by themself.
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: "Watashi-tachi wa Zutto...Deshou? (私たちはずっと…でしょう？)" by 765PRO ALLSTARS (ep 25)
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