Monday, August 3, 2015

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Episode #16 Review

From now on, you're my, my goal!

What They Say:
The idols from 346 Production's "Cinderella Project" are back, and this time they have more work than ever! Following the success of the summer idol festival, the girls have gained an incredible boost in popularity. Their first group album has even launched. There's just one problem though -- the new executive at 346 Pro, Mishiro. This mysterious new boss is now planning on dismantling all of the company's idol-projects. ALL OF THEM. What could possibly be in store for our beloved Cinderella girls now?!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)

The pace has officially been picked back up with the newest episode of Cinderella Girls, and it couldn't have happened during a better episode. Ever since the pilot aired several months ago, I have been waiting to see more of Nana Abe, the extremely lovable bunny-idol (Who is also apparently kind of a meteorologist. Kind of). Ladies and gentlemen, this is the week that we have all (And by "all" I mean myself and several others with very good taste) waited for. Oh, and as an added bonus, the non-Nana half of this episode belongs to none other than Miku-nyan, making this episode cuter than anything else this show has done this season. After all, who doesn't like it when idols wear animal ears?

The episode starts off with Producer's proposal for the "Cinderella Ball" being surprisingly accepted by Mishiro. There is a a catch though. If the event is not successful, the Cinderella Project will still be dismantled. So now it is up to both Producer and the girls to throw something that will go down in idol-history or face a future where none of their dreams of stardom will be fulfilled. Things aren't going so well for Nana's troupe now either, considering their variety show has been placed on the brink of extinction on account of Mishiro not enjoying character-idols (Which are basically idols that stick to a made-up persona in order to maximize cuteness). Now the main issue for this episode lies in Nana's inner-conflict of whether or not she should give up her token bunny-ears and drop her Planet Bunnyears act all-together to try and move forward, or if she should stick to her guns and keep donning those ears for herself and her fans.

This episode really focuses on the correlations between Miku and Nana, and that is extremely evident during several speeches that Miku gives about how important an idol's persona is to them. Nana, being basically the older and more experienced version of Miku, has become a role-model to our Cinderella Project cat-girl. So basically now this amateur idol is watching the girl she idolizes most (No pun intended) fall apart, and it gets really upsetting. The great thing is though, even though she is less-experienced and still finding her way through the industry, Miku is able to provide a helpful hand for Nana and give her a push in the right direction. This puts an end to the momentary sadness and makes things cute all over again. Hooray for animal-ear headbands.

Best/Favorite Part:
Near the end of the episode, when Nana is doing her event for an upcoming rhythm game, everything is going terribly. She has shelved her bunny-ears and is trying to get through a speech without her persona -- without what everyone has grown to love her for. And just when things get overly-awkward and she loses control of the crowd, Miku-nyan comes out of nowhere and cheers Nana on, demanding the bunny-ears. Needless to say, after a short internal struggle, Nana breaks them out and is once again her true-self (Which is oddly enough her fake-self). My god, was that scene adorable.

In Summary:
This is one of the strongest and most important episodes of Cinderella Girls yet. The drama isn't forced by any means and hits hard if you care for the characters that it involves. Personally, I love both Nana and Miku, so this was an absolute delight to watch. I'm glad that the series is starting to pick back up and I'm really looking forward to seeing how next week's episode compares with this one. It's going to have to be another strong one if it's going to come after this.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Daisuki/Hulu

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