Passing it Off Series: The iDOLM@STER – The Final Verdict (Part 3)

Now before I go off in full review mode, I’ll just go ahead and voice out how touching Episode 20 is. I wanted to know how Chihaya ticked, and I got it.

Damn it. I’m such a sucker for sob stories… TTwTT

Anyway, what up? OH DEAR LORD PLEASE NO.

Oh, don’t mind me. Here I am stopping at the final 3 episodes of this epically nice series called The iDOLM@STER. I remember talking about the dark blue tone this series seemed to show. And believe me when I say that the dark blue tone…

… is slowing dimming into a lavender filled with grief. Is it fair to give such a series such a treatment!?!?!?

Ugh. I need a bath to wash down all these bad vibes the show is giving all too suddenly, and not at the hands of the villain I thought 765 PRO would face by series end. Excuse me a bit. HAHAHAHA 😦

And I think that was a well-deserved bath. All the negative vibes did go down the drain. What’s that, you say? You have no idea what I’m blabbering about? Let me show you, then!

Man, was that a fun series or what? I really am an easy-to-please guy. Well, anyway, I’ll just leave my rating here, along with some notes I took during that bath of mine. XD

Oh man. Whenever I rate something, I feel like the entire fandom’s looking over my shoulders, ready to flame on any of my comments. But as a writer, I guess the best thing to do is just say what you mean and listen to what others have to say. That’s how to grow as a person, anyway. Well, whatever. Ratings tym. XD

Story: 9/10

This Ep. 5 scene was actually a declaration of war! HAHAHA jk

Okay. If there’s something I realized from what the series really is about, it’s a true cycle of events. An idol company’s claim to fame, its success story, and its after-success story. These three were conveniently divided in halves, of course in naturally correct order. It truly showed the face of an idol company and its members.

Only few things to note: Why are the 765 PRO All Stars everyone, anyway? Maybe it’s just me and my stereotype of All Stars being picked and all.

Also, if anyone cared about exact timelines, I would be that guy. ruo told me there’s a manga that covers the transition period between 765 PRO’s Thank You live show and their sudden success in the idol industry, creating an obvious gap between the first half and second half which would take any non-expecting viewer by surprise. I say such because I’m one non-expecting viewer. XD I mean, come on! It only took a year to get Ryuguu Komachi and everyone else at 765 PRO to rise to stardom? Hell, by perspective and lack of time denotations (I might have missed them in Episode 14, perhaps?), I say their fame skyrocketed in a matter of months! Let me check again to confirm.

Okay, a season is roughly 4 months, sooooooooooooo… Yeah. That escalated quickly.

Another thing, along with the kind of realism present, the only angles the series took when facing the problems for each individual idol came from just obvious sources. What is fed to you is only what you are to be concerned with. It’s a sort of professionalism kind of way of showing it. We don’t really get into details with every problem, and we solve the problem just by making do with what the situation presents. Wait, isn’t that how life is sometimes like? Agh, screw it.

We dealt with a lot of problems over the course of 25 episodes, but that’s life again. A story can’t just be stuck with one conflict, anyway. And in a sense, iM@S is slice-of-life. Slice-of-idol-life to be exact. XD

Music: 9/10

The most convenient dance gif I can find. XD

Honestly, I’m not an attention-to-detail kind of person when it comes to music. Keeping true to my easy-to-please nature, as long as it’s pleasing to the ears, it’s okay by my standards. I’m thinking of song stereotypes just for comparison of quality. Idol songs, at least how anime series depict them, are generally energetic and talk about light stuff like friendship, love for the world and not necessarily a singular object/person, peace, etc. Character songs are love songs and/or aspirational songs, but mostly love songs, which made me question if these songs have any implications of any idol’s feelings towards the only person available to receive the love. Save Chihaya’s songs because of her disposition. Either way, composers. The fans first before any other imagery.

Characters:

Oh, dear Lord, help me. Here’s what I think of the characters. Generally, they’re all well-made. As ruo pointed out to me, they may all look the same thanks to the illustrator/animator (whoever’s fault it is XD), but they’ve become so distinct that you can never mistake one for the other. Well, except Ami and Mami, unless you have that keen of an eye.

So with that said, here’s my completely personal and subjective ranking of the iM@S idols. I won’t number them, but that defeats the purpose of ranking them I’m pretty sure you can infer. Let the storm rage on.

Ritsuko hmmm
First off, though, may I leave out producer Ritsuko from this ranking. She’s done being an idol. Sure, her cutely funny moments of going back to idol-dom are something, but she’s a producer now and just more of such than an idol. Just to describe her, she’s a sort of older sister kind of producer for the girls at 765 PRO. Even though some (well, at least 1) of the idols are older than her, she’s doing an amazing job as an idol. She never failed as an idol, though, considering she garnered enough fans to make a fan club. She may have seen her way back to the idol stage, but I’m pretty sure producing Ryuugu Komachi has to be the thing for her to do.

Okay, let’s go… >:>

Yukiho Hagiwara

#12

Our androphobe. Not only did it not matter over the course of iM@S, I have to say she didn’t matter at all over the course of the series. WOW. Hard much? I mean, come on. I say she’s an overall weak character in terms of both impact in the series and character. Best thing she could be is an OTP with Makoto. AHHAHAHAHA It’s like her androphobia didn’t even matter over the course of the series, but then again, as I said with the series, only deal with what is given to you. I said that twice because it’s that important. XD

Chihaya Kisaragi

#11

PTSD is a bitch. You can’t be mad at a person who’s suffered so much for so long, only to find solace in friends, not family. I’m not even sorry for looking at her so badly over 2/3s of the series. I had the signs, anyway, so I was expecting a resolution story already. After the psychological rehabilitation, though, we’ve seen her giving back nature. At least she knows how to cherish her newfound family in 765 PRO, more notably to Haruka. OTP inc. I’ll give her that.

Azusa Miura

#10

Believe me when I say Azusa has a magical charm of her own. An elegance like no other. That charm, though, works on a certain group of people. As a 20-year-old, she gives off the young adult vibe, more than anyone in 765 PRO. That charm is not in my line of interests, though, but I for one can say that she’s an interesting character. I wonder if she’s ever found the love she’s been searching for ever since the start of her road to idol-dom. Damn these little details that don’t matter. TTwTT

Ami & Mami Futami

#8 & #9

As I said during character intros, I’ll consider them one and the same until I find a defining factor. Unfortunately, I never found that defining factor. Their crazy combination is always a fun thing to have in any situation. They have to be as inseparable as they can be, even in the advent of Ryuugu Komachi. That’s a bond I’d admire forever. Long gone are those days with my own sibling bonds. A salute to these twins. TTwTT

Iori Minase

#7

I had a thing for tsunderes. There are some lingering sentiments, if I may say. But the main reason why…

Oh my God I thought I would go a full review without mentioning Love Live, well screw it. The main reason why Maki isn’t exactly my fave μ’s member is because of her unfitting tsundere nature. What differentiates Iori, though, is that she’s not exactly always tsundere. The nature fits only because of Producer-san. Either way, she’s a fun lover who’s somewhat childlike, and Charles is the root of it. Dare I say it, though, since I’ve started the LL comparison already… She’s a rich tsundere who loves being an idol, and the way she acts like an idol, at least during her pre-success days when she promoted herself in a show that was supposed to glorify her family and not her and during her character intro, showed me a cross of the ultimate LL OTP. /shrugs

She’s preeeeeeetty cute, though.

Haruka Amami

#6

I remember shaping my ideal girl in my head. Cheerful, friendly, optimistic, a bit of a klutz, either physically or mentally (wtf, basically an airhead) or both, energetic, cuteness over beauty. I was thinking of either Elsie or my former crush when I did that, but I found a basis of my ideal, which I think is an okay thing to do just for standards’ sake. Pretty sure Haruka has all of these traits, yet she doesn’t have that certain grip to me unlike Elsie. I think the 3rd third episodes are to blame. She’s not only friendly, she’s too friendly. I mentioned in my notes that she is basically unable to be an idol alone. Her sentimentality with the pre-success 765 PRO is so great that she caused everyone problems by the near end of the series. “The desire to move forward and the desire to keep things as they are.” Something close to that as Chihaya describes it. How sentimental should one get to keep everything together? Some philosophical conundrums Haruka presented in the series. It makes me want to look into my own future, during the peak of my success. Always look back to where you started. I’m generally a non-traditional person, but sentiments are so precious to me. It’s this touching and close-to-heart, yet Haruka still doesn’t have that grip on me. Even I don’t know the answer anymore.

Makoto Kikuchi

#5

Princess Makoto should really be a thing. Are We Live?’s version was just horrible.

Her ambition to be such a princess showed me the true meaning of being an idol. Sure, it’s a way to make your dreams come true, but it’s a better feeling, no, more of a duty, to show other people their dreams and/or make them come true. The episode dedicated to her, Episode 17 (the 3rd third’s pilot), was just that powerful to showcase this reverse-trap’s beauty and menial backstory in a crazy date with Producer-san. I remember reading in a book entitled Dare to Fail that sometimes you succeed with something you don’t like and fail with something you do. Unfortunate as it may sound, that’s exactly Makoto’s success story when it comes to her own fanbase. In a sense, yeah, she likes being an idol, but not in the way she planned to be. Overall, even though it doesn’t fit her nature, her girly side is something to be amazed of. Wow, amazed? Really? And the Len Kagamine vibe I felt ever since pilot? Stiiiiiiiill there… XD

Hibiki Ganaha

#4

I think this is where the energetic athletic vibe of my ideal girl fell to. Wait, did I say athletic earlier? Either way, secret aspirations of an athletic body over here. Even though it’s not too late to start, stiiiiiiiiill no inspiration for that. Anyway, moving on.

I think what caught my attention of her was Hamuzou. Inumi to an extent, probably??? I’m not really an animal person, but I do love animals. I don’t own any, but my dad and sister do, so under family, they’re around and people consider that I own them. Yeah, they’re cute, but to much of an extent, that’s it. Anyway, back to the topic, Hibiki runs her own zoo in her apartment, having to take care of a lot of exotic animals aside from common domestic ones. I think what caught my attention of her was her being able to communicate with her pets. If that ain’t a superpower, I don’t know what is! You can argue it’s just for comical effect, but look at it seriously, and you just see at the bond this country girl forged with her pets which she treats as her family. Come to think of it, where is her family? Come to think of it even more, where is everyone else’s family? Is it safe to assume everyone’s living an okay regular family life save Chihaya? Meh. You’ll only know what is given to you. Theory schmeory. :O

Yayoi Takatsuki

#3

Uu-uuu!!! Because I had to know how to write it down! HAHAHAHA /shot

Her voice is just sooooo cute! I would like to venture to say that she has the cutest voice in iM@S. She’s pretty nice, too! Orange is such a bright color, making her shine a whole lot more, if I do say so myself. Even though she’s supposed to be an elder sister type and gives off that vibe along with a close-to-housewife (thanks a lot, ruo for instilling in my mind how Yayoi is close to a perfect wife. Thanks a lot. -_-) other vibe, I personally feel none of that from her. My brain just explodes when I think of the vibe I feel from her. It’s a mix of a cute little girl and a capable teen just soooooooo cute that you want to hug her so badly. I think, though, she’s emotionally fragile. WOW That sounds so connotatively bad. Behind that cheerful exterior is an easy-to-pick-on interior. Now that just sounds lewd. Anyway, before I sidetrack, from the events of Episode 10, the manipulation done by the blue-haired bitch from Bullet Speed Girls easily got Yayoi. Easily. And, as we can’t generalize that from one issue alone, I would want to conclude such because it was ever only the time we got such a provocation against Yayoi. Sibling provocation from Chousuke during Episode 7 is different just because he’s her sister. Aren’t all girls emotionally fragile, anyway? HAHAHA /backstabbed

Takane Shijou

#2

Here I am, discussing to myself the archetypes of Pokemon moves as of Generation III. Apparently they’re called Conditions. Beauty, Cute, Cool, Smart, Tough, in their shorthands. I was always into the cute characters. I never bothered with the other archetypes(?), most especially cool characters. And I never thought I would ever bother with them. That was until this day. Well, last Friday when I finally finished the series. Takane Shijou, the Silver Princess, is a magnificent enigma. And why do mysterious characters have to be so damn omniscient?? Well, at least it feels as if they are. Takane has that extrasensory with things around her, making her mystery bubble grow exponentially. It’s like she can hide everything she has from anyone, and leave absolutely no trace. Like a master criminal would. Her affinity for strange items (strange because they defer from her elegant-ish vibe) like food (notably ramen) and props (like the frog head and probably her being Police Chief for the Day, or was it Week?) just thicken her mystery cloud all the more so. The feeling of wanting to know more just intensified within me, and before I knew it, I fell into her grasps. What can I say?

Miki Hoshii

#1

Afu. But this grasp is the ultimate charm trap. Being the most successful 765 PRO All Star as of the final episode of the series, her tiny idol dream of just sparkling and making her heart race proved to be the most simplistic formula for success. Do something exhilarating. Do something fun. Do it for yourself. I know I’m just generalizing this, but a message is a message. What works for me doesn’t always work for you. Turns out what initially looked like the laziest and idlest idol became a decent candidate for Top Idol. Looks, charm, physique, attitude towards the job, love towards her supporters (more prominent, though, to her true on-and-off-site supporter), “Wherever the wind takes me” view on life really pushed everything beyond its limits to come up with such an amazing beaut. Simply remarkable. Now I even wonder if she’s getting enough sleep now. Being someone who keeps on sleeping as per the pilot, does the change of fame change sleeping habits as well? Either way, how could you not admire her energy and mentality as an idol? Memorizing choreography in one go feels like a gift of the widow equivalent for dancing. As someone with an underdeveloped gift of the widow, this is just slapping me onto the face, asking me why don’t I pursue a potential career in music. Miki certainly is a gifted young girl. The most promising out of them as of late, and the most persistent to grab Producer-san all. To. Herself. Please make that a thing!!!!!!! HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHA
And that concludes the rankings. Phew, that took out a lot. And the final rating:

Should You Pass this Off?

10/10 DON’T PASS IT OFF!

This is definitely a must-watch for all you music/idol fanatics and more even for you simple casual watchers. Though watching 25 episodes of an anime series casually is usually unsung, the show is just great! It’s light-hearted enough to pick-up, but that powerful to just not let go so easily. Not for those who hate cutesy stuff, though. If you’re looking for story, too, the only story you’ll be disappointed in is the minor stories. Hell, maybe you’ll be disappointed with Chihaya’s arc, even. But hey, I’m just telling you not to pass this off from your watch list. If this show is in your backlog, it’s a must watch!

Do you still need to know the events of the 3rd third of my watch, namely Episodes 17-25? I might write an addendum if I feel like there are some things in the story I preeeeeetty much missed. Hoping I haven’t missed anything, though.

Too much Miki will most likely kill you.

What’s next on my Passing it Off? Well, a damn lot of things! What’s next on my continued iM@S hype?  A damn lot of things as well! Well, maybe not a damn lot. Stuff like Cinderella Girls, Xenoglossia, the “I don’t know if this is real or fan-made” manga series that supposed to cover the success transition, fanfics to jumpstart my writing hype, and any of the games (by the Light, I must grab any legitimate copy!) come instantly to mind. Well, whatever I’ll tackle next, I hope you’ll be there to guide me!

May the fun, and the luck, be afu! Creds to all who made these awesome pics! Again, without them, the blog would be a massive pile of text. XD Peace!

You can count on me from now on! XD

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