A week of Idolm@ster

So yeah, I’ve been watching Idolm@ster anime at a rate of one episode a day since about last week, and I’m up to episode 8 now. Just wanna post some of my impressions.

Episode 1
This is when they introduce the idols and the producer. All 13 idols are here (it was originally 10; they added Miki in Idolm@ster game for XBox, and introduced Hibiki and Takane as rivals in PSP games; Hibiki and Takane later joined the regular cast in Idolm@ster 2 game).

They’re mostly based on their Idolm@ster 2 looks, with the exception of Azusa which is still her original Idolm@ster look, but only temporarily.

Episode 2
It’s very early and they’re already doing ‘character-specific’ episode. This episode is about Iori.

Episode 3
This episode is about Yukiho.

Episode 4
This episode (cooking battle) is surprisingly about Chihaya (I can’t tell from episode 3’s preview ^^;)

Episode 5
This is the fan service beach episode. Also the formation of Ryuugu Komachi at the end.

I think last time I watched this anime, I stopped here. So the next episodes are all first-time viewing for me.

Episode 6
This episode is about Ryuugu Komachi, a sub-group produced by Ritsuko consisting of Iori, Azusa and Ami (from Idolm@ster 2 game). They start strong and the producer gets kinda jealous ^^;

Azusa also cut her hair here (moving from her original Idolm@ster look to Idolm@ster 2).

Episode 7
This episode is about Yayoi. Like the manga that is based on this anime, it features Yayoi’s siblings.

Episode 8
This episode is about Azusa. It’s really funny to me that I feel it ventures beyond Idolm@ster.

Art style
The art for this anime is by Atsushi Nishigori, not the original character designer Toshiyuki Kubooka (who also did Lunar series) nor Annin Doufu (the current main character designer for the games).

Toshiyuki Kubooka’s art has its own charm, but it kinda gives some characters the ‘hero-look’ which I feel is kinda out-of-place. And Annin Doufu’s art style is kinda a copy of Toshiyuki Kubooka’s with very slight differences (in CD illustrations, her art style is somehow more obvious. I think for main illustrations used in game promotional artworks, she tries to match to Toshiyuki Kubooka’s original art style).

…Anyway, I gotta say, I like the anime art style. It feels like it strips away the ‘out-of-place coolness’ that was in Toshiyuki Kubooka’s art style which is still sometimes carried over by Annin Doufu. What remains is a cuter and more light-hearted Idolm@ster.

Miki

bg_miki

So far I gotta say I really like Miki’s characterization (I think it’s kinda different than her Xbox counterpart at least, but my memory about it is vague). She’s always sleepy, and yet she’s a genius when she makes the effort. She’s also cheerful (with the third-person-view and ‘nano’ style speech) and direct.

Her character episode hasn’t arrived yet, but she has made quite significant appearances, especially in episode 2 when she shows Iori ‘how to be herself’, in episode 6 when she ‘gets serious’ and ‘memorize a dance in one viewing’ and in episode 8 when she’s part of bride photo shooting.

I can’t wait to watch her character episode. I wonder what it would be about (I think the character episodes so far have been quite great; it reuses some scenario elements in the past games and manga adaptations, but with refreshing twist). I hope I don’t have to wait for long… ^^;

Hopefully, she doesn’t change her hairstyle… (I don’t like her alternative short brown hairstyle in the game) ^^;

Other thoughts

I know it’s hard to juggle screen time between 13+ characters, but so far I think Iori has been one of the characters that is subtly but noticeably given preferential treatment in the story. Maybe it’ll be balanced out as some characters make more prominence in later episodes.

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