I couldn't believe my ears when I started hearing that the show The IDOLM@STER (ugh, I can't keep typing that — it's hurting my brain. So from now on I'll just be writing it as The Idolmaster) was actually pretty good. It looked pretty godawful to me: its character designs tried way too damn hard to emulate K-On instead of going for any sort of originality; the hyperly bright colors of its palette made me go blind if I looked at a screen capture for more than 2 seconds; and the fact that it had anything and everything to do with idol singers (the absolute WORST thing Japan has ever invented — even more horrible than Hello Kitty, World War II, and self-evisceration seppuku) made me veeeeeeery wary of the entire production. Usually I go to Madam Olska's Bar and Whip Emporium when I want my weekly dose of masochism, but I ran out of single bills on Monday and had to go the cheap route this time. So I gave in and tried this new bubblegum J-pop anime series instead.
The Idolmaster is fucked up. No, it's not like Kemonozume where it's so fucking stupid and hilariously violent that it makes you wonder what the writers were on when they came up with it (I've since learned it was "aged brown hashish" and something called "black snakebite heroin"), but it's simply that it thinks its story is SOOOOOOO important. This earnestness though feels contrived and forced because, well fuck, because it's an anime about stupid little girls whose only dream in the world is to become idol singers. "Princess" dreamers I can understand, but really, whose only goal in life should revolve around being obsessed over and stalked by disturbing (and disturbed) middle aged men with a tendency to write fan letters to 14 year-old girls with cut-out letters from magazines?
The Idolmaster is one of those shows that started off with (what it thought was) an important agenda (i.e. showing the general public the plight of the sadly under appreciated Japanese idol pop singer), only to turn into a vapid Jem & the Holograms rip off in its second half. It went from dumb to fucking horrible, but then it went for full-on retard in the final four episodes just before the final credits rolled.
Okay, okay, so you want to know what the series is about, huh? For the life of me I don't know why, but here goes. Idolmaster starts off with the introduction of 765 Production Studios' newest producer, the only man in the cast who's apparently got the dream job that all the creepy stalker types in Japan must pray for (looking after twelve impressionable and inexperienced sexy underage teenage girls). This guy (whom I don't think is ever even given a proper name, and is only known as "Producer-san" to everybody) is brought on board because 765PRO plans to start a major push to get its girls some big time recognition, and from there hopefully some major gigs (anything from commercials, magazine shoots, TV show panel guests, to full-blown mega concerts). I will admit that even though I find the frivolous
joke job of your typical idol singer to be oh so goddamn laughable and terrifying that it even exists, the show was nonetheless ever so slightly interesting for its first half (that is if you ever wanted to see what actually goes into the making of something like an AKB48 promotional machine — all the prep work, the dance and voice lessons, the corny interviews with rag mags, and the insane scheduling that devours all rest and relaxation time from the girls' calendars). But despite all this, I just didn't care a lick about the horrible and shallow caricatures (aka "the cast") that we were supposed to feel joy, sadness, and exaltation for when they try, lose, and eventually (and unsurprisingly) win in the end. None of the girls feels real: there's just the bubbly stupid one; the animal-loving ditz; the older sexy dumbass; the motherly one; the emo moron; the silly stupid twins; etc.... There's apparently too many main characters for the writers to actually attach any kind of personality to any individual in particular, beyond basic stereotypes. And they're all morons.
"Wait," you say. "Win what in the end," you ask? Well, that's the part of the second half of the series that made it so unforgivably dopey. See, at around the halfway point all the girls make it big and star in a giant 765PRO Allstars concert. Before that though, only three of the twelve 765PRO troopers had been promoted to their own separate idol group (Ryugu Komachi) and were already pretty popular, but the rest (who fall under the new Producer-san's wimpy guidance) slack off until they're simply handed a concert venue all their own with which to make their mark upon the world (pretty much just an opening act to Ryugu Komachi). This concert is a "gu-rait-u success!" And soon after, every last girl in 765PRO is running from audition to audition, and concert to concert, while they live the dream of being supah numbah one idoru!... But beware, for all is not rosy in the land of Idolmaster. Ruh-roh!
This is when the show changed from "okay, I guess I can maybe get through this" to "what the goddamn fuck am I watching?!" Starting with episode 14 we find out that the owner of 765PRO was once partners with a world-class asshole, and together they strived to create the next big Lynn Minmay. Unfortunately they had different ideas over how to achieve this goal, and the owner of 765PRO started his new company with raw-talented girls whom he raised gently and with love, while his asshole ex-friend started the company 961 Production Studio with the all male J-pop band Jupiter, based on the idea that being a total evil douchebag is the best way to create a star... And for some reason the 961 president chose to go with teenage boys when he could have just as easily been a totally domineering MASTER of any number of desperate and supple young women who would have thrown their panties at his prickish self just to get an audition with him. Whatever. Don't question it. Don't think of all the "Jupiter boy sodomy" the 961 prez probably commits on any given Tuesday.
Anyway, after the big 765PRO Allstars debut concert, the president of 961 (really, can't they come up with anything more original than just numbers as the names of these companies? There's also an 876 Production, and I think a 666 Studio too) declares WAR on our girls because.... Because he... Well, they did.... Because he's a total shit-goblin douchebag. Honestly, there's no reason for him to sabotage 765PRO's TV appearances, back-handedly force them out from their magazine cover shoots, and sic stalker paparazzi on them in order to dig up anything that can discredit the young ladies in the eyes of their fans. The 961 guy runs a BOY band. Their only fans are psychotically-bonkers, screaming, pre-adolescent girls. 765PRO's fans are nothing but lustful, ookie men, ages 20 and up. Their demographics do not cross at all. Plus, 961 Productions' Jupiter band is ALREADY HUGELY POPULAR before the show even begins. The president of 961 has already WON his silent bet with his counterpart at 765PRO. WHY must he still try to wreck their shit up, unless he's got some horrendous mental issues that some heavy medication could easily fix?! Have you ever seen the old Jem cartoon? All Idolmaster is (after the halfway point) is just an episodic Jem rip off. 765PRO/The Holograms have a concert lined up, Jupiter/The Misfits try to sabotage it, but the good guys — through tenacity and love of the song — end up triumphant. And with each episode the bad guys/girls of Jupiter/The Misfits grow a little more disillusioned to their psychotic manager's rants and possibly murderous ways..... Yes, I watched Jem as a kid. There was nothing else on between Thundercats and Transformers in the afternoon, and there was no way I was turning off the TV to go outside or anything.... And I thought that Stormer was hot.
But that's not even the end of the show. AFTER they win (and fuck over 961's boss but good) and the 765PRO Allstars become THE idol-sensation throughout all of Japan, there are still 4 more episodes where the main problem that the girls then face is that "Oh noes! Success is hard." I shit you not. They strove and sacrificed everything to make it to the tippy top, they fought an evil producer and pretty much put his limp cock out of business, but then they realize that being famous for shaking one's ass on stage in skimpy outfits is difficult... Waaaah. And I think we're supposed to feel sorry for them because they can't all find time to practice and train for their next (and possibly last) stadium concert together because they're all so busy. My GOD! When will this torture of innocent idols STOP, Japan!?! You maniac country! Just leave your poor idols alone! Oh, that and because of one of the girls' self-pity sessions, Producer-san gets put in the hospital and dies. Yay.
No... He doesn't really die (that would probably have been the only thing that could have saved this wimpy show at this point though). The instant he throws his charge out of harms way and falls into a giant trap door on a stage himself (and gets put into the operating room of the big city hospital) you just KNOW that Producer-san will make his triumphant return to the girls just when they need him most. This show doesn't even know how to use drama effectively. It was all such a goddamn waste of time.
Anyway, there were so many ludicrous plot points and lame "twists" to this thing, and nothing really panned out to be anything even close to riveting. I found it beyond ridiculous that 961 got away with all the shit they did against the 765PRO players (actually endangering lives, livelihoods, and mental wellness) without even one lawsuit. Is Japan really that polite (are they too nice in general to never start a law suit against an assholic rival?), or is the plot truly just that idiotically absurd?
Oh, but the one thing that made me laugh my white ass off every time it appeared on screen was the "dancing." Being idols, the girls always have to be moving in hyperly over-choreographed routines that look like something out of a really shitty musical, or a 7 year-old girl's made-up-as-it-goes dance routine for her siblings. This show does nail the shit out of the whole "idol song and dance number" thing, but instead of just mirroring reality it seems to make the situation that much more gut-bustingly high-larious. When they're on the stage, the 765PRO girls skip, twirl, bob their heads, point their fingers, flip their hair, and wink in perfect unison. There's no feeling of spontaneity or fun to the whole process — it instead feels so very forced and stiff. Granted, this is my problem with the entire idea of the "idol group" in general, and not just specifically this show, but really, how is any of this endearing, cute, or sexy in the least? Honestly, the (as young as 12 years-old) girls could just dress like they normally do (in those silly, skimpy outfits that look like a toy designer threw them together for a "clown whore" dolly) and sit in chairs, crossing and uncrossing their illegal lolli legs in front of their core fans, and the men (those icky, icky, pervy men) in the audience (who are the ONLY audience) would love it just as much. Probably more so. Goddamn we need to nuke Japan again.
Holy moly! Did THIS show bring back memories! Back before I met my Kiffie-poo I had joined the community college that I went to's Dance Team. It was just a dance team when I first signed up, but I changed it into a Song and Dance Team! We'd perform at the halftime shows of our home basketball games, at dedications to new buildings, at awards ceremonies, and sometimes when we were actually invited to sing and dance at things; like that one frat party.... Though that turned out to just be a trick so that they could all throw rotten fruit and tomatoes at us once we started singing and dancing to "You're the One That I Want" from Grease. They must have been saving up all that produce for at least 3 months, judging by the stench of the pumpkin innards that got stuck in poor Julie's hair.
Hmmmm, I guess in the end this show didn't remind me of any GOOD memories... Especially after all us dancers got kicked out of school for being tricked into dancing and singing "Baby Got Back" at the Dean of Arts and Sciences' grandson's funeral. Come to think of it, it was that same frat that pelted us all with rotten garbage who tricked us into that graveside booty-shakin' jamboree too... You would have thought we'd have learned.
This was like my dream job set to animation, yo... Who would have thought that employment where I'm surrounded by mid-teenage girls who depend on my expertise and guidance was in fact a reality outside of my dreams, G!?
"Oh, MegaProducer-san, I have a hole in my cute pink uniform, and I have to go on stage soon! You can see my panties! Tee hee!" "Oh, MegaProducer-san, I spilled soda water all over my white blouse, and I have that sexy interview with 'Hot Chicks Monthly' in 5 minutes! Tee hee hee!" "Oh no! MegaProducer-san! My dance uniform came off and I landed naked on your...." Well, you get my drift, yo. I have GOT to see if this shit is a real job here in the real world, here in the U.S. of A., my homies! 'Cuz I am simply MADE for this shit! Lock up yo daughters, hide yo wives, the MegaPlayboy's out to conquer the world of hot young dancin' queens, G!