Friday, July 29, 2011

The iDOLM@STER 04: Ribbit

the idolmaster, idolmaster, episode 4, chihaya, chihaya kisaragi, takane, takane shijou, hibiki, hibiki ganaha, haruka, haruka amami
Ribbit indeed.

The premise of this episode was ... well, pretty lame and annoying, but thankfully the odd mixture of Chihaya, Haruka, Takane, and Hibiki managed to save it from becoming bad. The first three are my favorite characters in the series and they work extremely well together, especially Haruka and Chihaya. Since this was a Chihaya-focused episode I was hoping they'd at least give her a good premise to develop her character, but instead we got frogs, cooking, and a bunch of perverted cameramen.

This was the first episode to focus solely on a small group of characters which was awesome at first, but the episode slowly turned irritating thanks to the game show-like atmosphere and the annoying hand puppet. Unlike the previous two episodes where the focus character got lots of screen-time, I felt Chihaya was sort of ignored. There were tons of annoying scenes that could have been switched with more time for her, but they weren't.

the idolmaster, idolmaster, episode 4, chihaya, chihaya kisaragi
Chihaya focused episode, yes!

My favorite moment of the episode was when the Producer caught Chihaya singing an extended version of the song from the first episode. Her singing VA (who I believe is the same as her speaking VA, Asami Imai) has an incredibly beautiful voice that grabs your attention and the lyrics of the song are also wonderful to listen to. And we didn't get to hear it just once either, because the song was used once again in the ED. (Which I listened to about 4-5 times!)

Chihaya's character is by far the most interesting yet, and will probably remain the most interesting until the end. The episode, although irritating, did manage to squeeze in a few moments of development for her character during the actual show and also in the ED. Chihaya lives alone because of a family issue. That's about it ... but, the episode did leave off on sort of cliffhanger and I'm hoping they'll come back to Chihaya in the future.

the idolmaster, idolmaster, episode 4, chihaya, chihaya kisaragi, takane, takane shijou, hibiki, hibiki ganaha, haruka, haruka amami, producer
The odd mix of characters worked very well.

The humor aspect was up and down this week, and the only moments I found funny involved Takane and that silly frog hat she seemed really attached too. I'm noticing the character interactions are becoming one of the better aspects of the show as well, the chats between Haruka/Chihaya and Takane/Chihaya made the stupid talking frog-puppet only a minor distraction. Hibiki, well, she's still Hibiki. Not much to say about her.

Next week is the dreaded beach episode, and to make it worse it seems they're also throwing in some hot spring moments. I was hoping the show wouldn't take a fanservice direction, and it looks like it will be taking that route next week. So, what did you think of this week's episode? Do you have any favorite characters yet?

the idolmaster, idolmaster, episode 4, chihaya, chihaya kisaragi, haruka, haruka amami
I blame the perverted cameramen and the creepy frog puppet.


  1. Likewise, I thought they should have come up with a better premise to develop Chihaya's character. Setting a frog puppet with a lame sense of humor and perverted cameramen on the girls definitely made the whole thing look more dumb than warranted. As much as I felt that Chihaya shouldn't have allowed her feelings to get in the way (because it's showbiz after all), part of me is actually glad to see her kill the mood of the show, especially when the TV staff and crew did nothing but humiliate her friends. Oh well, I guess when we think from the story composition perspective, perhaps that was the easiest way to come up with a plot device which could effectively emphasize Chihaya's personality and conflicts in this episode - by forcing her into scenarios which obviously would discourage and irritate her. I did find it somewhat lazy and convenient though, as effective as it was.

    Ah by the way, found your blog through the MAL forums. Nice to meet you and hope you wouldn't mind me dropping by! ^^

  2. "Convenient", yes, that was the word I was looking for! I feel like it was ... wasted potential. Chihaya is a character that, I think, can be appreciated by a wider audience than some of the more over-the-top characters, and it felt like a wasted opportunity for bringing in new fans to the series. I personally never heard of Idolmaster before this show, but there were really great aspects of the first episode (Haruka's opening moments, Chihaya's singing, and the entire cast in general) that pulled me in, and I feel like the last three episodes haven't been all that special in any way, well, besides the great EDs and insert songs.

    Thanks for commenting! I'm glad people are actually clicking on those links. XD