Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Episode #19 Review

If you think it's rock, then it is.

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)

Oh heck yeah, an Asterisk episode. This is just another moment I've been waiting for since the first half of Cinderella Girls ended several months ago. The only problem is, I am now running out of things to look forward to. Regardless, we've got another solid addition to the episode list with this week's airing of "If You're Lost, Let's Sing Aloud!"

This week's episode starts off with Mishiro once again approaching one of the older idols and attempting to get them to change their style. This time around, that idol happens to be Natsuki Kimura, bodacious rock-babe and Riina's main role-model. Mishiro's plan is to form a band centered around Natsuki -- which in itself isn't a bad idea -- but then the second part of that plan happens to be not letting Natsuki or the other band members have any creative input at all. Like, literally none. They can't even choose their outfits...The plan is no longer good. But what else is there to expect from someone like Mishiro?

When the episode shies away from Natsuki's subplot, we get to spend some time with Asterisk (Also known as "The best Cinderella Girls unit"), but mainly the adorable Riina Tada. Following another run-in with Natsuki, Riina starts questioning her future as a rock-idol. One of the main inner-struggles she has to face is figuring out whether or not Asterisk is the right way to accomplish that dream of hers. Of course, this leads to Riina spacing out and daydreaming, causing her unit (As well as her partner) to slope downward in a sense. Miku, being the sensitive cat-girl she is, starts to get worried and has some problems getting Riina to talk to her about her frequent spacing-out. However, this winds up working itself out when Riina decides that she can't leave behind her best-friend. Instead of pairing up with Natsuki, she keeps Asterisk alive with a short motivational speech aimed at cheering up Miku, who has started to think she is holding Riina back.

The thing that made this episode great was the overall chemistry of all three characters it focused on. Riina and Natsuki even gave each other nicknames. How cute is that? We already know that the Riina x Miku pairing may be the best in the show, but now there is this whole Riina x Natsuki situation which is just as good. Natsuki serves as a role-model and a clear-cut version of what Riina wants to be. Riina, on the other hand, is like a nostalgic glimpse into Natsuki's own past. This quickly becomes apparent during that motivational speech I mentioned earlier. It actually becomes so apparent that Natsuki marches right on down to Mishiro's office afterward and quits the band she was essentially forced into.

Best/Favorite Part:
Even though the episode was consistently solid throughout its duration, the best part came at the end when Natsuki called Riina onto the stage to play a song with her. Their performance became even better when Miku came on stage as well, turning the duet into a an adorable, sentimental trio as all of the other Cinderella Girls cheered them on in excitement. Seeing Riina's eyes light up as she sang alongside someone who was such an inspiration to her wound up being the best part of the episode by a landslide.

In Summary:
As of right now, this would probably be my second favorite episode of season two. And this isn't just me being biased because it was an Asterisk episode. The chemistry between all the characters was too good to ignore. The themes, though similar to many other episodes in the series, were portrayed better and conveyed in a way that gave the episode a hard-hitting sentiment. Don't skip this one.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Daisuki/Hulu

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