The Idolm@ster First Impressions

Wait…What are their names again?

Sorry, I only remember you Azusa-chan...

Okay, in today’s world, what does it take to be an idol? Is it the killer dance moves? Is it the siren-like vocals? Is it the curvaceous body? Is it because of the moe moe kyun? Well actually, to be an idol, you need to have all of those. Wait. I lied. You actually only need one out of the many specialties listed above; however, the term “idol” is very specific to Japan, thus being moe is ABSOLUTELY required.

Oops…Looks like I got a bit sidetracked there, but who cares, this show is about idols, so…Yeah, you get the point.

Anyways, I started off watching The Idolm@ster with more hopes than a good kid on Christmas eve. Although I wasn’t particularly disappointed, I wasn’t amazed either. It lacked the “dazzle” that the original Idolm@ster games had, but yet, had a refreshing feel to it, especially since I watched it at 2AM.

Well, what does The Idolm@ster give you? Since it is an all-girls music show, you can expect some kawaii comedy, a lot of moe characters, and some good original music.  However, it does lack that “otaku attraction” feel to it that was heavily present in K-ON. Thus, what I’m saying is that Idolm@ster in no way can be compared to K-ON in terms of  success…or at least at this moment.

You wanted me to talk fanservice, you've got it.

So in the last 2 first impressions posts that I’ve made, I’ve gotten quite a bit of  feedback on me lacking to talk about the fanservice present in the shows. That’s right, I’m looking at you, Snippy, Inushinde/Lemmi, and Bass. In The Idolm@ster, wo do get to see a lot of fanservice, albeit a lot loss ecchi than that of Mayo Chiki!, but still considered ero. What type of fanservice does Idolm@ster show, you ask? Nothing over the top, no nipples like Seikon no Qwaser nor pantsu galore like Sora no Otoshimono. However, it does feature quite a bit of cleavage.  Obviously it can’t compare to the boob matrix of Saeko from HOTD, but this is the type of fanservice you should be expecting out of a “soft” show like Idolm@ster. The fact that Idolm@ster doesn’t go too overboard with its fanservice is rather pleasant. It was a good relief from the fanservice laden shows of Spring 2011 and some shows of the Summer 2011 season. Therefore, I do applaud Idolm@ster for being a bit moderated.

Okay, back to the serious relevant details. The art itself was very, very basic. The background didn’t stand out too much and it wasn’t “bad” or anything, but it didn’t seem spectacular like that of Memo-chou. However, I do like the character art. I’ve always like the way the Idolm@ster girls have been drawn, so this was a real treat for me. The character art style kind of resembled that of Ika Musume…which isn’t all that bad. It certainly was refreshing and soft on the eyes.

Kawaii fanservice. Take 2.

Anyways, what I liked about the first episode the most was the style it was done in. It was like a “documentary” type episode, where there were short segments on each character. However, unlike how the characters were introduced in Memo-chou, The Idolm@ster gives you their name in big kanji right off the bat. Although it does seem to make sense as a way for the audience to “engage” with the characters, there’s just too many girls in this show for me to remember each and every one of their Japanese names. How can they expect me to remember their names when I just got to know what they look like!

In terms of how enjoyable this show is and how much it can improve, there’s not really that much to it. Idolm@ster did start off on a better foot then Memo-chou and Mayo Chiki!, but that doesn’t mean it has the room to improve like those shows. The Idolm@ster feels in a way, a lot similar to K-ON. You know what’s going to happen to the girls and you know exactly how they’re going to do it, thus viewers need to keep in mind that Idolm@ster won’t be quite like a standard show. On an interesting side note, The Idolm@ster does start off with a bigger fanbase than most of the other shows. This is mainly due to the large otaku influence carried over by the games, so don’t be surprised when you see a lot of people discussing The Idolm@ster on the net.

So, because I still can’t come down to a verdict between either covering Mayo Chiki! or The Idolm@ster, I’m going to stall till the next episode airs, and give the readers a surprise on what show I’ll finally cover. However, I do realize the lack of content to actually write about for an Idolm@ster episodic post, thus I’m already kind of leaning towards Mayo Chiki!. Stay tuned!

P.S. We finally get to see the producer’s face. He’s not a hottie.

P.P.S. Hamzou is a hamster, not a coakroach.

If you're looking for a quick idea of what this show will be like, look no further.



7 Replies to “The Idolm@ster First Impressions”

  1. Very good review!

    I think that biggest hurdle for this show is simply handling is massive character cast. Some of the character have really stand-out quirks (the pet lover, the big-breasted blonde, the tomboy, the twins, etc…) but some others are going to be really hard to keep straight (I think that there’s three that struck me as all being variants off of Yui Hirasawa, lol).

    Also, while I like moe, I’m not sure how interested I’ll be in how moe is commodified in real life.

    Still, it was a creative first episode, with a good touch of moderation, as you wrote.

    1. Naruto has a cast that’s far more massive. It’s the ramp-up in the space of one episode that is a problem.

      As far as distinguishing traits go, it is true to the extent that anime/manga/games offer less than 11 basic ones. That is why the DS cast is so weird (which we haven’t yet seen, but rumors are that they make a cameo appearance later). On the other hand, endless permutations are possible. Takane is a rich bitch like Iori, yet lady-like like Azusa. I suppose it helps to know that her and Hibiki belong to the 2nd generation of the game. They aren’t even playable characters, as far as I know.

      1. Hmm…Author you speak as if there’s a lot more to The Idolm@ster that I didn’t know about.

        Perhaps it’s time to shell out a couple of bucks to go buy the newer version!

        Also…not so sure what you meant by the Naruto comment :S

    2. Thanks Triple_R!
      It’s a honour to be commended by such a talented writer as yourself!

      Anyways, yeah I did notice several of the quirks that were meant to make each character stand out, but they were really a bit too cliche. It’s as you’ve said, they’re all “variants” off Yui Hirasawa.

      Oh and, thank god for moderation 😀

  2. I think it’s a pretty decent episode. However the cast is forgettable. At the end of the series I couldn’t remember the characters. None of the girls really stood-out for me. In fact, the only character whose name I can remember is Hamtarou—the hamster.

    However when it comes to being slice-of-life, I think it did a good job. It’s quite mundane and has several idle moments but it’s not that totally dull, at least it managed to create some funny moments. I don’t really have major criticism but at the same time I couldn’t really praise it.

    So between Idolm@ster and Mayo Chiki, I’m going to choose the Idolm@ster because it’s not cliché and the plotline is more unique. In terms of viewing experience, I’ll enjoy it more than Mayo Chiki. However, in terms of blogging, I think there’s more to blog about Mayo Chiki. But again, like you said, wait for the succeeding episode before you fully decide.

    1. Yup…
      I’ve only managed to remember Azusa, Hibiki, Chihaya, Mami, Ami…and that’s about it. However, I’m still the most fond about Hamzou. He’s just too intense. And he’s an oppai lover. Now that’s a winning hamster.

      Yes I do see the kind of quality if portrays as a slice of life; however, it’s as you’ve said. The Idolm@ster lacks consistent important events, thus when I was watching the episode, I felt like I lost focus in some areas. Although it did have some holes here and there, there were indeed funny moments. It gave off sort of a feel like Mayo Chiki! in a way which is, “pretty standard”.

      Yeah you’re completely right! I didn’t like Mayo Chiki!’s feel in comparison to the smooth easy going-ness of Idolm@ster, but The Idolm@ster really doesn’t give a blogger something to write about. I guess Idolm@ster is one of those shows that can be used to wrap up a anime marathon with. Pleasant and simple, and leads to a good night’s sleep.

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