Last but not least in what I call the “Idolm@ster Week” is the premiere film and I assume big sendoff for the OG (Original Gangstas). Was it one worthy of this supergroup? Let’s find out as we take a look at The Idolm@ster Movie.
Here are reviews for the main series and the series that came after OG era.
WARNING! This review will contain spoilers for The Idolm@ster’s conclusion (obviously).
- The Idolm@ster Movie: Beyond The Brilliant Future!
- The Idolm@ster Movie:Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!
Genres: Idols, Music, Comedy, Drama
Running Time: 130 minutes
Plot Summary: Taking place shortly after the events of the main series, 765 Pro’s all-star idols are given great news: They will be performing a concert at an arena, and will have back-up dancers sent from the idol training school to support them. In the midst of this, the always cheerful Haruka Amami is voted as leader of the idols. Everything was looking up for 765 Pro, until bad news begins to strike. In the face of new barriers, Haruka wavers on her position as leader. However, she must stand up, and gather all the idols together once again for the greatest concert they’ve ever performed.
The first thirty minutes of the movie were fun times for fans who had not seen their favorite idol group in a while as all girls showed what made them win the hearts of viewers as they enjoyed themselves and trained for the big event. All changed after one announcement.
Since the “look at the life of an idol” stuff had been taken care of in the tv show the main objective was for the girls to get ready for the biggest performance of their lives by far. However, them getting ready for the event was only a small part of the movie…
Let us talk about the backup dancers who became the central plot of the movie. Yes, the Live Arena performance is the ultimate goal but these seven play a huge role in the movie, one of them anyway. The best way I can describe this group, once again using wrestling comparisons, is they are the NXT (Before it became an internet juggernaut/preferable alternative to WWE) of idols. They were bumped to the main roster quicker than expected because they had potential. However, it became clear they were brought up too soon. Based on an image I saw these seven are actually part of the Million Live branch of The Idolm@ster franchise. I guess the OGs are WWE, Cinderella Girls are WCW and Million Live is ECW though here they were all rookies.
Again the big performance was the endgame but the dilemma surrounding the rookies played a huge part in the plot. It was alright. Seeing these newcomers struggling to get their act together and become a well oiled machine of a team despite having potential to be future stars gave the veterans an opportunity to test everything they knew in order to guide the future generation to one day also bask in the glory they were experiencing.
The other big part of the movie was 765 Pro’s veterans reflecting on how much they had grown as performers, how do they really felt about each other at that point and what awaited them in the future not only as a group but individually as their popularity continued growing. Seeing this group of rookies going through a somewhat similar obstacle they faced in the final arc, especially Haruka, made them think about their own future.
Like the final arc, Haruka’s development played the biggest part in the movie. 40% rookies, 50% Haruka, 5% everyone else and 5% Live Arena. It makes sense since Haruka is the heart and soul of the group, the Hulk Hogan of this series’ NWO if the stable were good guys instead of bad. Yes everyone else also plays a huge part in its success but Haruka’s journey throughout the tv series and the movie was the key component of the group becoming the blockbuster unit it is. As for everyone else after the big announcement I mentioned earlier, some of them like Iori (Kind of mentoring Shiho) and Chihaya (Chihaya pretty much being Haruka’s right hand as it became the usual) got enough time to show their state of mind. Others like Yukiho and Miki got their words in as well and then others like Azusa and my boo Takane were just there for moral support. For the last two it made sense as their characters’ popularity revolved around their looks and gimmicks.
As for Producer-san, his role pretty much remained the same, appreciated and cared for by his peers and only gets to shine in extreme emergencies like when Haruka was a in a slump. He got to reflect too. Ritsuko also got some reflection time which was much appreciated.
If viewers are able to one day get a 4K or whatever is the most advanced flat screen TV, do so and enjoy the majesty of the movie’s animation quality, especially the Live Arena performance. So yeah, as expected the animation and music are great.
As far as shipping material goes viewers are reminded that Haruka X Chihaya exists. The faux movie trailer at the beginning could be a fun yurirific spin-off in and of itself so that was nice. Then again the same could be said for the TV show’s faux movie trailer in episode 26.
Overall The Idolm@ster Movie is (imo) an acceptable sendoff for 765 Pro. It all depends on how emotionally invested viewers are in our heroines and how much they care for the rookies. Fans of 765 Pro will enjoy it though mileage may vary. Definitely worth watching for viewers who enjoyed the 2011 anime.