At the stroke of midnight, the Fairy Godmother of A-1 Pictures waved its magical wand and bestowed a new Idolm@ster anime upon us! The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls made its animated debut earlier this month. While they had enough mercy to not dump all 200 idols from the mobile game into the show, they’ve already introduced 14 of 346 Productions’ idols (346 is the name of the production agency the idols are with, not that there are 346 idols …Yet).
Anime streaming site Daisuki has the first two episodes ready to go, so if you feel L@dy for the next generation then start watching it now. Daisuki is actually very quick as far as simulcast efforts go (they go up about two hours after broadcast in Japan, as far as I can tell), and the site is designed to be accessible to all regions (when the licensee allow it. Boo!). What are you doing still reading? Get your wotagei glow sticks out and start watching!!!
This show is great for imas fans who don’t have access to the mobile game or haven’t read the manga serializations of the CG characters (or in my case, only bought the figures). Not that you really need to be familiar with any of that. Cinderella Girls was created as social mobile game, after all, and how many of those have an immense story? As for the manga adaptations, well, from what little I’ve read of the several manga series I think the anime actually does a better job of establishing the characters. I don’t think the anime is based off from any of the manga (there are at least a dozen different manga series just for Cinderella Girls, so if you want to make sure, check ’em yourself!), but I’m comfortable recommending just jumping into the anime, and maybe get to any of the manga that have your favorite characters. To their credit, the manga serializations divided selections of idols so characters could be better focused and the chapters would have a tighter flow. Still, things would start to feel adrift without any constant plot to anchor the characters down.
However, if you are interested in getting into the manga adaptations, Cinderella Girls – New Generation is a good companion manga to read if you’re watching the anime. It’s not directly tied to the anime, but it stars Uzuki Shimamura, Rin Shibuya, and Mio Honda– the main trio of the anime, and it does dig into the characters a bit (without the meddling of Producer to boot!). Of the manga I’ve read, I recommend this one.
Getting back into the anime, I first have to say what a BAD ASS Producer is here! Like Uzuki, I was taken aback by the death stare the dude has, but let’s not be judgmental here. Like Producer at 765Pro, 346Pro’s Producer wants nothing else than to see his idols “smile” (whatever that means to him is kind of ambiguous, but the idols just kind of roll with it for now). He’s straightforward, efficient, professional– pretty much makes the dorky 765Pro Producer all the more dorkier, which is A-OK in my book.
Seeing all the idols being cheery and natural around him certainly puts me at ease! It also shows that Producer and the idols have mutual trust and respect, which was something that wasn’t boldly expressed in the main Idolm@ster anime (and definitely not in Wake Up, Girls!, heh). I know, we’re only two episodes deep, so maybe this Producer will screw up royally or put that permanent death stare to good use when the idols act out of line along the way, but I have high hopes for them. It’s a large cast for an anime and these characters have only been explored on the surface on previous adaptations and media, but that just means there’s just that much more to play around with (just be careful when playing with my emotions ;_;). Here’s looking forward to a lively season!