Monday, September 14, 2015

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Episode #22 Review

We'll get used to each other soon enough.

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 Fall Idol Festival has finally arrived, and so have all of the new projects slated to make their live debuts. Triad Primus, Project Krone, Asterisk 2.0, and even some solo performances get to shine in this episode, each more thrilling than the last. Obviously though, everything can't go according to plan (I mean, come on, does it ever in IDOLM@STER?) and things start to get bumpy along the way. But is that enough to ruin the festival as a whole? That's up to Mishiro to decide.

The episode starts without even needing an introduction. The stage is already lit up and idols are already singing and dancing their hearts out. One by one, the new groups and soloists take the stage and repeatedly blow away the audience. Anastasia is among the first the perform, and as expected, the crowd loves her. I liked Love Laika, don't get me wrong, but I never felt like Anya and Minami meshed perfectly in terms of their actual characters. After Minami's solo performance (I had no idea her voice was so amazing, by the way), those feelings were set in stone. Each of the two girls were able to fully captivate the audience, as well as myself. After that, our regular units (Candy Island/Dekoration) got up on stage and did their respective things, not really being any different apart from a slight boost in confidence. Even the new Asterisk with Natsuki and Nana wasn't much different. The thing with that though, is that we barely got to see them do anything. That was a let down in my book.

The second half of the concert/episode is where things start to pick up. The slow screeches to a halt when two members of Project Krone can't find the confidence to even make it to the stage. This turn of events ultimately leads to Mio and the Cinderella Girls stalling the audience as Triad Primus readies themselves to make their debut -- and what a debut it was. Rin, Karen, and Nao blended together in an extraordinary fashion as they erupted into a fiery burst of harmonious melody, quickly becoming what is, in my opinion, the best unit so far. The chemistry between the girls was far too great to overlook and the show was stolen just halfway through its course. From this point on it's just falling actions as we watch Mishiro reluctantly accept the success of the event.

After all is said and done, we receive confirmation that the Winter Cinderella Ball has been greenlit. Triad Primus and the new soloists will stay as they are now, and the only one left without a clear path is Uzuki, who is slightly taken aback by the news of no changes being made to the roster. This news gets to her on a personal level as well, and that becomes apparent when she is barely able to smile at her photo-shoot with Miho the next day. I think it's safe to say that our next arc will feature her as the focal point. Hey, it may even be a throwback to Haruka's mental-breakdown from the former iM@S series. God, I hope so.

Best/Favorite Part:
I think it's safe to say that Triad Primus was the best part of this episode. Trancing Pulse is probably my favorite song from the series so far, and the visual spectacle that accompanied it was a fitting counterpart. I hope we get to see more of these three in the future. My doubts are no more.

In Summary:
Episode #22 will be a great episode for fans of the music in this series. We get to hear snippets from each troupe, some of which being surprisingly impressive. Another one that needs to be noted is Minami's song. Even though it was no more than 20 seconds in length, it showcased her vocal ability and possibly even foreshadowed her future success. Anya and the older troupes were shown and teased as well (Though we didn't see enough from the new Asterisk) and I've already talked about my feelings on the Primus performance. In terms of plot, we have an episode here that starts off slow and picks up in the end, leaving tons of room for the scenario that will follow.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Daisuki/Hulu

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