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.
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.
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.
The Idolm@ster is an ecchi anime with tons of fanservice but don't worry, your parents won't get mad because there is never any sex! A Producer enters a world with tons of lonely models and they get into many panty-revealing, nose bleeding adventures. The harem increases one by one and soon, all the girls just want the producer to touch their boobs. If you are a man, I definitely recommend this anime. Why should we ever bother with hentai anymore? That's all Idolm@ster is about....
....Or so you thought.
Well then, sorry to disappoint you but I lied. For some reason, Idolm@ster tries to sell
itself in a way that strays from its true focus. It's probably a conscious decision for the director to choose a poster that screams "ECCHI". However, it doesn't stop there because while Idolm@ster is a fun slice of life that tosses around cliche characters with smiles and jokes that make you feel warm it, ultimately rolls out two of the most intense drama arcs I've come to enjoy.
At a first glance, the characters seem to be the strongest point of the show. The show emphasizes this by dedicating episodes to each of them. Yet the characters are where I have my most complaints. Each idol represents a typical character trait - from a friendly klutz, to playful twins, a prince who tries to be a princess - we've seen them all. Also, some of the characters just feel less important, which is understandable because there are 13 main idols, but not really an excuse because you wouldn't attempt such a show if you didn't have the confidence in developing 13 characters.
Still, despite the flaws, Idolm@ster somehow is able to make each character memorable and fresh. The way they react with each other is extremely important in achieving this. Yayoi's episode would not have been so enjoyable if it wasn't for Iori. Chihaya and Haruka's relationship is a joy to watch and Miki's relationship with "Honey" is very fun. They are just side stories that continue throughout the whole series even though the series is episodic. We end up with a very heartwarming series as the characters support each other to achieve their dreams.
I also quite enjoyed the variety of ideas. Sometimes we get almost pointless episodes like Hibiki's and Azusa's that just make you laugh but then we suddenly get serious ones like Miki's. The most important episodes are the last 4 towards the end of the series where it unravels into a melodrama that really pulls some emotional strings. The directing was also varied as the first episode was all shown through a camera all the way through and episode 15 was a whole show that the idols were hosting.
Yet what I love about this anime most is how everything seemed so simple, so happy, but there were tons of rather dark and complicated moments. The president's background with the antagonist president was enough to get you thinking. The whole introduction of " Ryūgū Komachi" made me feel extremely uncomfortable, because I just couldn't help feeling how jealous all the rest of the girls must have felt which was most apparent in Miki. The Futami twins episode made me feel even more uncomfortable because while it looked as if Mami was unhappy because she wanted to be with Ami, I really felt a bit of jealousy in her tone. The foreshadowing of Chihaya's past in many of the episodes really piqued my interest. It's funny how even in a beach episode with 13 idols, you get a small scene which ends up with a discussion about what if fame doesn't end with what you actually wanted. Haruka's feelings in her last arc, are actually quite dark. Realizing that what she wants is selfish, she keeps it all to herself but in the end it's too much for her. And don't forget about Iori's blackmailing. There are many hidden emotions that never are being said, most notably Chihaya's anger towards Miki for abandoning practice even though she was the one who kept the group together when they all were worried. They are all little things, but when you put them together, you realize that this is no coincidence and they were scattered throughout the show on purpose. It adds an extra layer.
I'm not that great in talking about animation and sound but I feel this anime definitely deserves some sort of recognition for it. The music was definitely fun and fitting but it really wouldn't have made an impact if it wasn't for those live performances. Those music videos were gorgeous. There is something special about the camera angles, the lights that explode, the choreography and uniforms, its just plain eye candy. They really put a lot of effort into making them - the details to the flying hair, few recycled scenes - I loved them all.
You see, Idolm@ster sells itself as a simple slice of life but if you pay enough attention, you'll notice the complex ideas hidden away in the story. Its easy to compare Idolm@ster to K-On!, as both seem to be a character-focused shows about girls having fun, yet I feel Idolm@ster tries to trick the watcher into thinking that while it dashes small hints of jealousy and sadness in the background. Its almost like a real show, because your idols are gorgeous on stage, but they are just humans behind the scenes.
Story: 3 (no impact. Mostly episodic, and while episode 08 is the only one that i like, the rest was boring for me)
Art: 8 (moe-moe cute girls)
CHaracter: 2 (annoying and childish)
Overall: 2 (don't bother this at all)
Before proceeding to review sentence, allow me to apologize for my harsh overall ratings.
The Idol Master has potential to be the most entertaining idol anime because it was adopted by A-1 Picture that notably has abundant budget to create appealing animation, art, and music/OST. Unfortunately it falls apart from the expectation due to that it diverges its way from being realistic in idol topic...or not
so serious if you like. The reason i prefer idol anime to be more serious nuance is because idol anime heavily involved in, not only in character development from childish to more mature idol-like person, but also frequent engagement in business commercial that may connect to political things.
Below is a quick bird view for screening purpose. If you don't want to see those things, please see the other two idol anime out there.
Things that are lack of:
- Very little internal conflict exists within group members and individual
- Very little competition, and thus conflict, between idol group
- No idols scandal at all
- Mediocre Lack of management, marketing, networking story of how to lift the idol group to the top
- Although there are some internal problems needed to be solved by idol group member, most of problems are trivial, which don't need to have manager for that. It is just as if the manager and director in idol master is represented just for the sake of completeness, without further development.
- No interesting characteristics or traits of idol members. Worse, most characters are annoying as hell
Idol Master could be said to be similar just like school club activity (slice-of-life), except it was flavored with idol taste. So it's just sad that, while art and choreography are sparkling, it's not be complemented with more mature and non-mediocre story, the things that i'm looking for, hence ripping off the balance of interesting dimensions of idol topic.
The story revolves around 10 wannabe idols and the staff at their agency 765 Productions. The anime includes all the characters from the games along with their original voice actors making this series great for the original fans of the franchise. The first episode which aired in Japan on July 7th this year introduces the audience to the characters via interviews with each idol and member of staff, giving us an insight into their reason for becoming idols and working for 765 Productions. This was a very original introduction to the series and seemed like a great way of telling a story while keeping the
dating sim feel of the original game. I don't know if the whole series will be done like this but my guess from seeing the sneak preview is that it won't and I fear that this original concept may be scraped for something more typical of this genre. Visually IDOLM@STERS is great! Like A-1 Pictures previous animes, it's well animated and the backgrounds (though digitally done) look spectacular. The characters are as peppy and lively as they are in the games with each idol having their own different personalities and fan appeal from the large boin to the mysterious type. Over all, I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes from here and I expect there will be a lot more song and dance in the future.
Rough review by Charles Shepherd
I was thinking about giving this a quick spin but im gonna keep it short, since thats my thing.
So someone decided to make this video game into an anime, the story is about girls trying to be idols. Well I don't really see many game/anime adaptations go well and I can't really say im enjoying this series all that well. The plots kinda like a generic moe blobfest, and I think theres too much of that going around now.
The story consists of many different arcs with each idol being dug into deeper, their person and abilities are shown very vaguely and its a bit
hard to keep up with each one since a linear story line is non existent. Simply put, its about each girl and how everyone showcases their different talents to become famous idols. But whats the point in having so many characters, if you still don't know who is who when you're halfway through the series? Thats my take anyways, too many characters.
Now lets try and look at it from the monitor and tune in with your stereo or mono.
The art itself isn't groundbreaking in any right what so ever, its simple. Maybe simple is good, sometimes art itself can take away the bads. Not having played the game you don't know the soundtracks, this is where the adaptation goes bad, in my opinion anyways. As I said before with art, sound can do the same. Lets take a walk back to 2010 with Inception. Many would say that the soundtrack itself made the movie that much better and that the movie itself would have sucked without the soundtracks. The series lacks music during each episode itself, while the ED tracks may be different too many people don't actually view ED's.
The characters are pretty generic, can't even make a full section off that. It doesn't meet the par for moe standard that shows like Azumanga Daioh and K-ON! set.
Overall it fails to keep my interest enough, enjoyment isn't the word I would use. Rather on hold simply because its just too much.
Hey now, if you're into musical adaptations give it a go.
So this is the first time watching an "Idol" themed anime, and because of that I may be rating this better than I should, but all in all this is a great anime and I doubt I would change the rating even if I had experience with similar animes.
The story really wasn't anything special to be honest. There were two main parts to the story (they can be differentiated by the opening changing). The first part consisted on the girls really trying to just get themselves out there and known to the world and while that may seem sorta boring, it really wasn't. Every
episode was VERY engaging and it just made you want to know what would happen next. The second part is after they become more well known then what happens? While I can't spoil anything, I can tell you that the show does become a little more serious especially near the last few episodes, but it still keeps that really nice, and fun atmosphere. I was really surprised by how realistic it became at the end to be honest and if you ever think that being a big celebrity group means that it's all fun and games, then you haven't seen this anime.
P.S. From episode 20 and on, tissues are a must (unless you are a stone cold person with no soul :P). It gets ridiculously emotional at the end like I was Yukiho at the end.
If you thought that the art was bad then I'm Harry Potter. Since this is a idol anime, good artwork is a must and The iDOLM@STER certainly doesn't disappoint. The characters were drawn out very nicely and I applause this anime for not depending on fanservice from the characters to sell the show. I guess it's just a nice change of pace from panty shots or revealing bras that are in many animes nowadays.
There's a good amount of singing that happens during the performances and while I didn't find many particularly special, I give serious props to the people that came up to the lyrics for the songs. It really must have been hard to write them especially to fit the mood of whatever was happening. One of the best examples is the song "Promise" sung by Chihaya Kisaragi in episode 20 (tissues!). It's a very sad/happy/powerful song that fit the tragic atmosphere.
Now I know there's going to be those people that say that these characters were "unmemorable" or something, but I have to disagree. This was actually one of the few animes where I took my time and memorized every character's name just so I could get to know each character better. Plus can I just mention the character development? From start to finish, so many characters have been able to grow and learn, some being able to conquer fears to others trying to forget a dark past.
Well considering that this is one of my highest ranked animes should say what I thought about it. It's quite a ride from the beginning to the end and all I can say is to enjoy it. From the beautifully written songs to the characters, this won't be an anime you'll be disappointed in. And when the ride's finally over, you'll wish it had just started.
Nearly plotless, fluffy as hell, and still pretty good. No CGI unlike Love Live!, which might be good or bad depending on who you are. Somehow manages to have each character be a character despite there being 15 or so.
Suuuuuuuper homosexual, though. Single most gay thing I've ever watched, and I watched Boku no Pico, man. Not that it's a bad thing, just incredibly homo. Every character is a lesbian or Miki, the only confirmed straight one there.
The IDOLM@STER is one of the best anime I watched. I love this anime because a lot of people can relate to some of the storyline. The girls also have various personalities. I also like it because their singing is amazing and the artwork is really good. Their dancing is amazing too. The anime is one of the best I watched.
In one word: Vibrant
Good for: Light-hearted fun, colorful pretty art, watching to unwind and relax
Other notes: De-stressing, motivating, makes you smile! Cute girls and personalities :D
With a name like IDOLM@STER, I confess I really didn't expect much out of this anime when I first started. But after watching a few episodes, I was really really taken by the vibrant art and the colorful characters. To me, watching IDOLM@STER is like eating colorful fruit candy-- it's just so vibrant and sweet and there's nothing unpleasant about it at all!
The story of IM@S isn't much to be honest, 12 girls striving to
become celebrities (Idols) in Japan. They start out very unpopular/not well known in a Production Agency, and this anime chronicles their rise to fame. The story is rather predictable in many ways, but gives you a solidly feel-good type of vibe, as they start out as underdogs and gradually work their way up.
One of the lower points of the anime features an arc with a really really stereotypical "bad guy" rival production company, and to be honest, the whole "evil, greedy production mastermind" came off as really really cheesy. The story of that arc was pretty meh.
But I find their best episodes to be the ones where there's not so much of a driving plot, but more of a observation episode of what happens to a group of characters on a given day. And this is because the characters in Idolmaster are absolutely outstanding. They're fun, vibrant, colorful-- the voice acting is superb and the songs are enjoyable and catchy~ One girl in particular, Miki, has really really great charisma as a character and her VA has done a great job. You can't help but like her and everything she does, because she does it all so well!
It's been a while since I've found an anime that's just so darn FUN and adorable to watch. There's no real drama or angst (Or is there, in Episode 23?!), not really enough to make a viewer/watcher feel stressed or anxious or sad. It's a really fun, vibrant and light-hearted anime, and will definitely cheer up or add a bit of pep to any day~
Being an idol is far from easy. On the surface, it may seem like the job is all fun and games. However, as shown in THE iDOLM@STER, unexpected twists and turns make this job a very stressful one. Despite this, being an idol is like a dream come true for many of these girls as they would undoubtedly give everything they have to stay as one. Based on the popular raising simulation and rhythm game of the same name, THE iDOLM@STER had previously been unknown to the vast majority of the anime universe. Before continuing on to the main section of the review, take note
that this adaption is my first experience with the iDOLM@STER franchise.
I'm a big fan of well-choreographed stage performances and the ones in THE iDOLM@STER definitely don't disappoint. Considering that they generally suck up a lot of the show's budget it's surprising, but good to see, that there were TWO, as opposed to one, large-scale concerts that were shown. In both of these, I found the animation to be top-notch and the use of camera panning and angling enhanced my viewing experience greatly. The characters themselves were also visually unique which I thought was a nice treat. However, like virtually all anime series that have scenes of breathtaking animation, there are also times where the drop in quality is noticeable. Although this barely affected my viewing experience, the fact that it happened prevents me from giving a perfect score in this category.
I came into THE iDOLM@STER knowing none of the 13 idols and having no idea which ones I'll end up liking or hating. However, after the 25 episodes, I can say one thing for sure: all the girls are likeable and interesting in their own ways. Although some got less screentime than others, I felt they all were developed reasonably well considering that most of them only had one episode that focused on them. The development for the "main three" (Miki, Chihaya and Haruka) was anything but unnoticeable. If one were to compare their characters from when they were first introduced to the final few episodes, it is evident that there was a great deal of change that occurred. Aside from individual character development, the idols, as a group, also show signs of growth and bonding throughout the series. A big contributing factor of all this development can be attributed to the surprising amount of drama that was present; more on that later.
I'm quite sure that almost everyone will agree with me when I say the sounds category for this episode definitely deserves a perfect 10. Not only are there 25 different EDs and 2 catchy OPs, but also a slew of insert songs (at least one for each episode). With this much content, I find it unbelievable if one were to tell me that none of the songs were, at minimum, "good." The BGM was also quite decent, especially the perfectly placed piano pieces of various songs at the right times. The seiyūs, although many of whom are not popular, did a great job with their roles as each character's voice seemed to fit their personality. On top of being able to voice their characters well, they showed great deal of skill by being able to sing decently as well, an ability that not all seiyū have.
Let's be honest here - not for one second did I expect THE iDOLM@STER to have a story or plot. And for the first half or so of the series, I looked to be correct. However, once drama started appearing on the horizon, things took an unexpected turn. My image of THE iDOLM@STER suddenly transformed from one of "my weekly dose of moe idols living their lives" to "an exciting and gripping drama surrounding moe idols". Even so, I greatly welcomed this surprising turn of events and, in no time, the series won my heart; the best of both worlds - moe girls and intense drama - all wrapped up into a nice package that is THE iDOLM@STER.
What can I say? I absolutely loved THE iDOLM@STER. I know there are many out there who are skeptical about this adaption but I ask that you remember these familiar words of advice: "Don't judge a book by its cover." Sure, on the surface, THE iDOL@MASTER may look like it only appeals to the hardcore otaku fanbase but underneath all the singing, dancing, and moe girls, there's a great story waiting to present itself. So whether you're a fan of moe or drama anime, I highly recommend you sit back, relax and enjoy yourself some THE iDOLM@STER; it definitely wouldn't hurt to give it a try!
This is the most memorable idol animes I've seen. I watched this when I was young and even now I can remember everything about this anime. Like what happened in each episode, the voice of each characters, their hobbies, personality, pet, appearance, song, backstory... And it's been many years since I've watched this, so it really takes a lot for me to remember them so well. That's what makes this the best idol anime (imo) ever.
Story 7/10: The story is simple. A producer helping an idol group from a poor company rise to the top. There is no rival idol groups, or media scandals, or
many inner conflicts between members, but this story doesn't need all that. That's for more serious, seinen idol animes like Perfect Blue. Not every story needs to be depressing and remind you how the real world is a horrible place in order to be a "good" idol story. A simple story depicting 12 girls struggling with their own life and their idol career can also be amazing and enjoyable.
Art 8/10: Character designs are perfect for their personality and they're very memorable too. They're simple (especially the eyes) but somehow each member manages to stand out from the others. It's like Mob Psycho 100. The art isn't the best but it fits the story perfectly.
Sound 9/10: Voice actors are great. Songs are great. I still have the opening song in my phone right now lol
Character 8/10: Each characters have their own struggles. Even though all 12 members of the idol group were introduced in a single episode, I didn't feel overwhelmed and each of them have one or two quirks that make them very distinguishable and memorable. Their development and backstory were brought to light as the story goes on. And in just 12 episodes, the anime managed to get me attached to every single one of them (even the producer lol). There's no best girl. All of them are best girls! I also like how this anime isn't afraid to bring physical pain to the characters xD
Enjoyment 9/10: I've watched this anime who knows how many times, not just for the songs, but also for the characters. I love watching Yayoi's episode when I eat because watching her eat makes me hungry every time. I love Azusa's episode because of how ridiculous it is and that makes me laugh every single time. I love whenever Miki shows up because she just has that aura to her that makes her really likeable. I love Hibiki and her hamster and watching them communicate is one of the best part about this show. I love the twins, the tsundere Iori, Takane, Makoto...etc, hell, even the boy idol group and faceless president and the producer himself. All of them are amazing.
Overall 9/10: This is the first idol anime I've watched and the best. I don't know why Love Live is so popular. From what I've seen, it really isn't all that great compared to this. Their songs are good but their characters aren't as memorable as this. The best part about this show is its characters. You will fall in love with every one of them.
This is my first review, so please mind my unprofessionalism.
Originally, I watched the first episode as a mere joke, but by the end of the first episode, it left me wanting more. The IDOLM@STER was the first idol anime I had ever watched, and it opened up an entire new type of anime to me. I had taken a liking to idol animes upon completion of this one. As I watched this anime of 13 idols grow bigger and bigger in popularity, it made me feel somewhat proud. Remembering them as beginners just in the first few episodes and top idols in the last few
had me very satisfied that they had gone a long way.
The story overall, would be unique and different to me, compared to others. The whole story revolves around 15 year old idols that work their way up to the big stage. Unlike many other animes, this story takes place at the 765 production office and does not show any of the character's school lives. Along with some fillers, each episode was dedicated to one character, and hence great character development in my own opinion. Many animes leave me with an empty feeling; I felt that I would have wanted a better ending, but this anime, however, made me feel complete, and I didn't really want to watch anymore, it was a great ending to me.
The art in this one might not be THAT great to some. However, as I am watching this in 2015, I feel that for a 2011 anime, it has greatly exceeded my expectations. I even would prefer this art then some of the art in this year.
The art has a moe feel to it to me. It's simple and unique. Although the characters from certain angles might be a bit strange, it the art was amazing nonetheless.
The voice acting was good, it matched with the animation and was clear. The background music and sound effects was good, but not that good. In some parts of the anime, some did not fit, but imo doesn't really effect me overall. Im not excellent at judging sounds, but if I were to rate it without any criticism, I would give it a 7/10.
First, It was me trying to watch this idol anime as a joke, but in the end it had been one of my favourites of all time, and made me take a liking to idol animes. Each episode kept me locked on the screen and didn't make me feel bored at all, and upon completion made me feel complete and fulfilled. It's a happy, and sometimes sad anime, and if you haven't watched it yet. I highly recommend you should.
HONESTLY... When I heard of this show, all I expected were girls performing at concerts. What I did NOT expect was the journey towards performing, any problems that occurred, nor any backstory (yes, we get a lot)... The character development is insane. Both openings 1 and 2 (Ready and Change respectively) are really fantastic, and the animations are fantastic for both. The art style for the characters, the background, posters, concerts, everything is amazing. The music is fantastic, and the backstories of the characters we get the backstories for are amazing. I enjoyed this anime so much, and I did not expect an anime like
this to make me cry so much; 3 times in one episode I cried. I easily recommend this anime to ANYONE, this show is such a masterpiece.
I’d like to think that I’ve made plenty of ventures into different genres and styles of anime. Part of the fun in consuming the medium for me is finding something new to explore, and throwing myself in the deep end at times has proven to be a worthwhile experience. However, I’d found myself shying away from the realm of idol anime and I’m not too sure why. There was not much that appealed to me or reached out to say ‘you really need to give this a go’. I had to push myself to take a leap of faith and decided to use The Idolm@ster
to do just that.
The Idolm@ster provided me with a bumpy ride but formed itself into something pleasant by the time the 25 episodes had come to a close. Was I blown away by the visuals, the choreography or the music? Sure, but the reason I enjoyed The Idolm@ster far more than I thought I would is because the show really isn’t about the music and dancing. It’s about the teamwork needed to make that all happen. That really caught me by surprise. It must be said that I’m not really one for the brand of music depicted, with its overly mushy lyrics and the fact that most songs come off as sounding the same to me. I went into the show expecting that to be the focus and have the characterisation poorly tacked on. I was wrong. Even though the cast is pretty much designed to cover all the ranges of emotions and personality types (i.e. the snotty one, the shy one, the mysterious one, the androgynous one etc.) they’re usually fun to watch. The Idolm@ster does a solid job of creating a cast you want to cheer on, even if some of them irritated me to no end.
The Idolm@ster follows 12 girls looking to make their big break in glitzy and glamourous world of idols. They dance, act and sing under the guidance of their producer as they desperately seek out a way to make a bigger name for not only themselves but also their production studio, 765. In the way of a story, as you could imagine, it’s pretty simple. The group take on jobs wherever they can while trying to better understand each other and industry that lays ahead of them. Trouble often strikes in some form, whether it be a wardrobe concern or someone out to sabotage their name. Early on I started to get worried because everything felt so aimless. There all these issues befalling everyone but even when things get resolved it’s back to square one, like nothing has really changed amongst the group as a collective. The comedy seemed to fall flat and the show tended to rely on it too much for its own good. My leap into the genre wasn’t off to the most comfortable of starts.
It’s the latter story arcs of The Idolm@ster that make sitting through the tedious opening half of the show worthwhile. These parts start to actually flesh out the characters, delve into their past and - above all - actually show the importance of depending upon each other. The struggles aren’t just simple filming but instead they create consequences for the group as a whole – and that’s much more engaging for the viewer. The questions the characters ask start to steer away from “How can I improve my image?” to “How can I make sure I’m not letting anyone down?”. While it can be fun to watch the cast act cute, it’s much more impactful and rewarding to watch them all resolve their personal problems. The drama is never overbearing though, thankfully. The show always maintains this sense of optimism without being dark or too serious for its own good. The balance is just right. Because we get to know all the cast that little bit more, watching them battle their way to the show’s conclusion is a fun experience.
The 12 girls themselves are a mixed bag. A handful of them came across as interesting, because you could actually see something holding them back and I was left wondering what it could be. Some are there to provide a bit of comedy. Some I feel were just making up the numbers. It would be fruitless to really harp on about what are ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ characters in the 765 group. Everyone will pick a favourite and latch themselves onto their story and cheer them on. That’s the beauty of a show like this. There will be at least one of them that will strike you as likeable or interesting. Some of them I couldn’t stand but that’s to be expected when you are writing to cover as many personalities as possible to appease to the widest possible audience. Some side characters feel irrelevant, including one comically evil villain, who does a better job at dragging down my enjoyment as opposed to being of great value.
The visuals are a treat. Performances look and sound the part – you can certainly see where the bulk of the budget was directed towards by A-1 Pictures. The vocals are top notch, both in and out of musical performances. The VA work helps breathe distinct identities into the large main cast. Biggest praise from me goes towards Asami Imai (Chihaya Kisaragi) and also Kenji Akabane who is the perfect choice for the loveable and often bumbling Producer.
For all its annoying quirks and characters, The Idolm@ster eventually becomes something a slight cut above average. Edging through the often unbearable opening half of the show at least helped pave the way for something more interesting to come. There’s nothing exactly memorable or mind blowing about The Idolm@ster. If you can come to terms with its often cheesy 'friendship conquers all' mentality then there will be enjoyment to be found. Give the show a try if you want something really simple and easy to watch and might just have you nodding your head along. It’s just a bit of colourful, melodic fun.
I've heard a lot of things about Idolmaster prior to watching it. In fact, I heard a lot about the hasegawa model airplanes they came up some time ago. That kind of caught my attention and well, ironically about the same time this anime popped up so I decided to watch and see what it was about.
Basically this show is about a bunch of girls from different backgrounds wanting to be idols with the help from their producer who remains nameless.
The anime starts off very slow. You are introduced to the characters and you aren't given much information on them until several episodes in.
It really feels like a slice of life type of format, just replacing the "school" aspect of it with the "idol" one. It isn't particularly strong, but some episodes can be entertaining. The addition of the rival 965 firm makes things more interesting though, but at times though I felt like dosing off, which in my opinion signifies repeated story lines I've probably seen before. Not particularly great or really bad, but pretty mediocre. I give it a 6.
Hmm...It's not particularly bad and it's not particularly great. There is a lot of moeness, which pretty much does nothing for me unless it's very unique; which it isn't. I'm not particularly bothered by the moeness like I was for other animes (like K-On for example). Character designs are ok, animation is decent and backgrounds are pretty good. Unfortunately, not something I'd consider noteworthy. I give a 6.
Most of the songs are j-pop, which aren't particularly good or memorable. They sound a lot like the stuff you'd hear on the radio for like a month and then never hear it again. Singing wise it's good, some of the voice actors do a very decent job. Not really much else to say about it. I give it a 5.
The shows characters tend to be the more interesting part of everything. Most of them aren't quite what they seem. Some characters have gone through some very tough situations, others face difficult circumstances and for the show that's a good thing to convey to the audience. Unfortunately, it doesn't do much of it thorough for you to really appreciate or relate to the characters which makes it fall just short. I give it a low 7.
Overall it's a pretty average show. If you are into moeness you'll probably love it and if you hate moeness, you'll definitely hate it. I'm not in either camp, so I say it's pretty average. Characters can be memorable, but so far through 17 episodes the show hasn't really taken off in my opinion. The slice of life story line can be too boring at times and too predictable which just hurts the show overall. I give it a 6.
Since the last time I wrote this review, the anime has improved storywise and character wise. You learn a lot more about 965 pro and why the boss does what he does and you learn a lot more about the characters. I believe it was episode 20 was probably the best episode of the entire series. It was very well done and very moving (you learn a lot about Chihaya's past) and I equate it to other famous anime moments like that in Clannad when Tomoya finally accepts his daughter. It was a dramatic episode that really just stood out from all the rest of the anime.
It doesn't stop there though. We got to know more about a few other characters and the episodes just suddenly got a whole lot better. It's a shame they couldn't show us these great episodes until the ending part of the anime because it would have made the anime a lot stronger overall. Luckily I think they did enough to really make this anime stand out a bit more. In all I give it a high 7. The last few episodes really saved this show.
Watching The IDOLM@STER was an experience similar to eating a Big Mac. It’s delicious and a joy to eat … until you discover a Whopper. The previously unrivaled now Big Mac tastes cheap and bland when compared to the Whopper, but still remains edible. My point I am trying to get across is this: The IDOLM@STER is fun to watch, but don’t expect too much from the series.
Story – 7/10
The plot in The IDOLM@STER is a simple one. It revolves around the lives of the 13 girls who aim to become prospective idols. The IDOLM@STER manages to tackle the entertainment industry quite accurately. Episodes in
The IDOLM@STER feels divided into two separate types of episodes; the first being episodes revolving around a single character and the development of her personality and traits etc.; and the second episodes which focus on building the characters as a unit rather than individual’s. Unfortunately the majority of episodes are focused on building the individual’s. Why would I consider this something negative in the anime, especially when considering that The IDOLM@STER is a slice of life anime which are mainly character driven? The problem I have is that the majority of characters get a single episode dedicated to them as characters, after which they only feel significant whenever the plot calls for it. It is near impossible to have the audience immediately care for a character when they are given so little screen time to show us their motivations for becoming an idol, or just explaining why the character possesses some kind of quirk. The only characters who I believe got a backstory which actually meant something, was Yayoi and Chihaya. Both of these characters had to deal with issues which affect their lives, in addition to being idols.
Art – 7/10
Unfortunately the trend of being mediocre is something which this anime adaptation and its creators – A1-Pictures – have in common. I would describe the art style as average, because nothing stands out to me. Thankfully there was nothing about the art which was badly done either. The character designs are diverse and colorful, and work well with the characters personalities and their occupation as idols. Both the openings are vibrantly done and a joy to watch.
Sound – 8/10
Now if there is one thing an idol anime should excel, it has to be the music. The IDOLM@STER has some great tracks throughout the run of the anime. The only thing which annoyed me regarding the sound was Yayoi’s vocalist and the fact that we only heard snippets of the largest number of tracks throughout the anime. I have to applaud the vocalists for each of the idols as all of them –except Yayoi – was a true pleasure to listen to individually. Where they excelled at the most, were during songs performed as a group as much like the characters they were meant to portray, they complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The ending character-/group songs are really fun to listen to and the openings even more so.
Character – 7/10
With a large cast, it is usually really hard to develop the entire cast and not neglect a few characters. Unfortunately The IDOLM@STER doesn’t succeed in creating a well-developed cast, as the characters don’t get enough screen-time. Producer was the character which made me hesitant to watch the anime, as I was expecting a bland character which every male in existence can fantasize about becoming – much like the protagonist from the games. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Producer was a kind-hearted individual who wants to help his idols accomplish their dreams. Heck, I enjoyed him so much that I felt sorry for him when my least favorite character – Miki – fell in love with the guy. How he doesn’t contemplate murder on a daily basis is a truly amazing feat. Other than Producer, other characters I enjoyed were: Makoto, because of she is awesome; Azusa, because she has a motherly charm surrounding her; Iori, because she is a cute tsundere loli; Chihaya, because her character arc made me cry and lastly President Kuroi, because he was unexpected and has a fantastic seiyuu.
Enjoyment – 7/10
The main reason I usually find myself watching idol anime is simple, they make me smile. IDOLM@STER had some genuinely fun moments throughout the anime, but unfortunately only four scenes actually made me feel something. Love Live, for example, is a fun anime to watch, because of the interactions between the characters which at times feel more like a family than close friends. Even though the music was pretty good, the lack of interaction between characters other than Producer made the anime less enjoyable.
Overall – 7.5/10
If pick-a-waifu anime is appealing to you, I guarantee that you will enjoy The IDOLM@STER. With the majority of episodes focused on developing a single character it should be easy to decide which of the characters you find most appealing. However if you are looking for a slice of life anime with well-developed characters, I suggest that you look elsewhere. As good as the music is, the rest of the anime unfortunately doesn’t manage to measure up to the high standards of the soundtrack.
The core concept behind a Japanese Idol is “heart” and then projecting that heart onto their audience. Likewise, an Idol-anime must emulate this same sensation of heart and project it onto the viewer. This emulation can be a task easier said than done and thankfully "The iDOLM@STER" accomplishes this with flying colors.
Idol Master follows the story of 12 would-be idols and their amazing production team on their journey from borderline bankruptcy to stardom. Along the way we get to see every up and down in the idol process. This includes stories ranging from quirky and often times very
funny character-on-character encounters to deep, life lessons. The same lessons that are often reflected inside of the music they produce, almost as if to summarize what we’ve just seen. Each episode is outfitted with its own unique still image sequence and ED(this is almost worth a free point on its own).
Arguably the most important challenge presented to an anime of this nature is making sure that all of the idols feel very Distinguished and likeable. Every girl needs to have her own personality, her own likes and dislikes, her own life and backstory, her own very unique presence on the screen. Idol Master spares no expense breathing life into each of its characters and, almost as if boasting, lets you experience each of the characters both alone and together in a group enviroment. By the end of the 26th episode you will feel as if you personally know each and every one of the characters you have met.