As somebody who is unfamiliar with this franchise, I figured i'd share my thoughts after having completed the anime in order to give perspective on those going into this show blind. I've watched and enjoyed a few male idol anime, but not necessarily enough to call myself a fan of the genre. Looking back, this probably wasn't the most ideal place to begin, and you'll be better off starting with the original ID@LMASTER anime as it gets referenced quite a bit. But that is to say, this show can still easily be enjoyed without having seen the other works.
The story here is pretty much what you'll get from the sypnosis, it follows the many idols of 315 Productions as they experience many different things that help to cultivate themselves both as an idol and an individual. There's a wide range of idols in this anime, with the main focus going towards the groups Dramatic Stars and Jupiter. Thankfully though, I found both these groups story's to be quite amusing to watch, and each of the other groups gets at least an episode to themselves. I would however, like to have seen slightly more focus on these other groups such as what drives them to become an idol and their origin regarding how they became affiliated with 315 Productions. With it's episodic nature in the middle, some episodes did grow stale on me, and the use of cliches was a bit too much. There were moments that felt completely random, and I kinda wished that the whole anime focused around both the hardships and the rewards of being an idol like the initial one's did (we actually do get a bit, just not as much as i'd hope for), but I never found myself bored out of my mind, and the conclusion does a good job of showcasing to the viewer how much everyone has grown since the beginning.
The art/animation in this anime was very nice to look at. It's simplistic, but it gets the job done right. The vibrant colors were especially pleasing to the eye. Nothing mind-blowing, but no qualms in this section :)
It's an idol anime, right? So the music has to be the best part? Well.. from the few idol anime I have seen, the music has never really been to my personal taste. But I will say that ID@LMASTER Side:M's soundtrack is indeed upbeat and fun. It's nice to listen too, if slightly forgettable. The background music however, was very fitting for the show and set the mood for the tones the scene was trying to convey.
With so many idols, its a given that some would get more focus than others. But surprisingly enough, this show does a good job of at least giving the spotlight to each of its characters. I especially enjoyed Touma, and found his actions to be the most intriguing of the bunch. There's also Dramatic Stars, with Kaoru and Teru constantly clashing at each other and Teru spitting out puns (that stupid humor is actually my type and gets me laughing LOL)
Unfortunately, the other characters left much to be desired from. Each group gets at least one episode to highlight how the idols are individually and together, but to me it felt as if their growth was incomplete. The Producer and President were especially boring characters, now I believe that every Id@lmaster anime has a producer like character, but wow did the Producer in this anime feel so robotic, it was hard for me to be empathetic with him. Now I also understand that a lot of the background characters that appear in the anime are other idols from the game, and I thought that was pretty neat. But I would like to say that I still found all the characters to be very fun, if some more forgettable than others though.
I definitely enjoyed this show, it does everything it sets out to do, and there were some nice moments that really got me hooked. A 6 in my ratings book is actually still considered good, but not necessarily the best, as I feel like the forgettable side of this show slightly outweighs the good moments. But still, I recommend you at least try this show and see if it's to your liking.