Or: Where did all these CDs come from?

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I am led to believe The Idolmaster was originally an arcade game. It is now an absurdly large franchise comprising all manner of (likely expensive) things. I do not profess to be an expert, or even well acquainted, with much of it. I did watch the 2011 anime adaptation earlier this year, however. I enjoyed it an awful lot, much to my own surprise.

The anime is about a number of Japanese idols attempting to achieve fame and glory. It features a fair few songs, and a couple of concerts. It is mainly a slice of life series designed to show off its characters, and as an advert for the things Namco Bandai would very much like to sell you. Despite this, it works. The characters are fun; and as cartoon characters, the slightly disturbing nature of the Japanese idol is much reduced.

For today, I shall cheat and offer four Moments because it’s difficult to whittle it down further still. The first of these is the ending to episode four. Episode four is our first proper look at the somewhat serious and reserved Chihaya Kisaragi. She is a lone wolf; it is a hint of things to come. The ending song, Aoi Tori, is similarly alluring in its stark difference to much of anime’s up-beat, insufferably sugary music.

The second comes much later in the series, at episode twenty. Again, I highlight the end of the episode wherein, after a fair amount of drama and much moping, Chihaya gives what is probably the most heart-wrenching performance of the entire series. My description here does not do it justice; hopefully that’s enough to get you to watch the blasted thing.

The third immediately follows. In a desire to show the series not completely unrealistic, and that one performance does not a comeback make, episode twenty-one concludes Chihaya’s little arc. In it she must give a performance to a crowd whom, it is explicitly mentioned, are not necessarily her fans. This, we infer, means that she will either solidify her comeback, or withdraw from the shining stage. Dick Dastardly again has his way, only for us to hear a partly a cappella performance of Nemuri Hime – a song that is eminently capable of standing by itself, but elevated to greatness here.

My final Moment derived from The Idolmaster is altogether less maudlin. It is the penultimate episode’s concert. It is grand, kinetic, and jolly good fun. The costumes, the music, the dancing, and yes, Chihaya’s little wink, all make it an eminently satisfying climax to an eminently enjoyable series.

There are other moments in The Idolmaster I could include here, but the above four are perhaps, for me, the most defining of the series – okay, maybe include the Smoky Thrill music video too. As I understand it, a Moment is something that resonates; The Idolmaster did just that. It is, I would tentatively suggest, and as with Space Battleship Yamato 2199, very anime, and that is not always a bad thing.

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