Monday, October 19, 2015

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Episode #25 (Finale) Review

It wouldn't be a bad idea to leave the palace and look up at the stars once in a while.

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)
After months upon months of anticipation, the Cinderella Ball has finally rolled around. Each girl has, for the most part, conquered their fears and their flaws, resulting in a near perfect 14-piece unit. When that is combined with literally every other girl from 346 Production, how can the outcome not be spectacular? I mean, 346 Production has put together a huge event with multiple stages and skits that seems to go on for an eternity. In fact, the event is on such a grandiose scale that it encompasses the entire episode. And even though the series finale uses a lot of flashbacks and those cheap freeze-frames that we have gotten so used to, it winds up working out to its advantage this time. 

Another great, but expected, portion of this episode, comes to us in another Mishiro/Producer interaction. The only difference this time around is that Mishiro isn't being a total jerk. She essentially winds up saying that even though she and P-Kun have opposite ideals, they wind up becoming parallel in looking toward the same goal. She ultimately acknowledges that his system of belief and methods has proven successful. She even leaves her glass-box of an observation room and attends to ball firsthand, saying that sometimes it's good to "Look at the stars." It's good to see that a character as seemingly static as her can even develop when confronted with the almighty power of smile.

The New Generations arc comes to a satisfactory end as well, with the three girls belting out their most impressive and immersive performance yet. This just goes to show that the prosciutto melon is far superior to fried chicken. (If you didn't watch this series, you will have absolutely no idea what that sentence means). To my (And many others) surprise, there were no issues or problems at all this episode. And for an unstable and sensitive show like Cinderella Girls, that is pretty damn impressive. In addition to New-Gen doing their New-Gen stuff, the other units seem to be successful as well, even though we don't really get to see any of them perform. All in all, the ball was everything it was cut out to be, and winds up being a fitting end to this half-year long ride. But wait, there's more.

After the ball's conclusion, we get to see another animated slideshow of what all of the girls are up to post-ball. Kanako is doing television interview stuff, Uzuki and Rin are carrying on with their other projects, and Ranko has a weird eyeball staff thing and has become an undead king...or something. I'm not 100% certain that all of this is hinting at another possible iM@S movie sequel or something of the sort, but knowing how popular and expansive the series is...well I wouldn't be surprised. This just gives us something else to look forward to.

Best/Favorite Part:
This one is tough considering the episode was a consistent level of good throughout. But, if I absolutely had to pick one part (Which I do, because I've done it for the other 11 episodes), I would have to say that the post-ball scene was the highlight. It was great seeing how each girl has moved onto something new and was continuing down their path of stardom. I also got to see another Mika x Rika moment and I've been waiting for another one of those for a very long time. I will miss you, Mika. 

In Summary:
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls does not compare to the original iDOLM@STER series. (No, not Xenoglossia. That doesn't count). Some may even say this is like the discounted version of it. However, discounts aren't always a bad thing. Cinderella Girls still has a good amount to give for fans of iDOLM@STER or even idols in general. The cast was super-likable and a lot of the conflict was actually rather interesting, despite some cliche tendencies. I had a good time with this show and I will easily watch any movie/special it may have down the line. I'd recommend this to anyone that likes music or cute girls. But mostly cute girls.

Episode Grade: A
Series Grade: B

Streamed By: Daisuki/Hulu

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