Sunday, March 02, 2008

Idolm@ster Live For You! OVA

Well, after much hype and excitement ever since it was announced in fall of last year, it's finally here -- Idolm@ster has finally gotten its first anime adaptation!!!

....what are you talking about, of course this is the first one.

...Xeno...Xenoglo-what? Sorry, no hablo espanol.

As much as I'm sure that ruse fooled no one, I too watched some of 2007's Idolmaster meets Gundam adaptation, but quit very early on due to lack of interest and time, and due to genuine frustration from the character rapage. Though maybe I'll finish watching it eventually; I've heard it's really not that bad.... if you're not really an Idolmaster fan at all.

However, this OVA, that came with the new Idolm@ster: Live For You! game, is definitely the real deal -- no swapped professions, new character designs or different seiyuu (though at the same time, no awesome action scenes or SUPAR SUNRISE BUDGET).

Though to be honest, overall I didn't think it was that bad. The art wasn't great (despite it being a one-episode OVA...(;´Д`) ), but I didn't think it was nearly as bad as a lot of people are complaining about it to be. I'd put it roughly along the same lines as what we got in MagiPoka or something. Also, for nothing more than a 15 minute episode, there really isn't that much to look forward to in terms of story, but it wasn't terrible. Here's a rundown..

All of the idols are getting ready for an event for fans to take place tomorrow evening. On the way home, Haruka tags along with Chihaya who's decided to stay late and do some last minute warm-ups. A little later, Miki comes with drinks. (<-- this is important)

The girls wake up after oversleeping on the train they were supposed to take home and are now at a train station in the middle of nowhere, with no way to get back. Miki sees a taxi (<-- also important). But, their luck gets even worse when the taxi they were riding breaks down and they're forced to stay at a creepy old mansion for the night. The three girls take a bath (A bath in the large, frightening, and unfamiliar house filled with strange men. Brilliant.)

A little later, Miki wakes the other two up to tell them that their housemates don't exactly seem the friendly type (they've apparently beaten the crap out of the taxi driver), and without delay, the girls are off running for their lives. They (illegally) hitch a ride on a truck and try to make their way back to Tokyo...however, they're caught and are forced off, leaving them again in the middle of nowhere.

Apparently, this had all been a stunt for some sort of "Punk'd"-esque television show (Haruka and Chihaya were drugged into going to sleep by Miki, and the taxi driver and men from the house were all actors). However Miki is quite shocked to wake up and find out that things didn't go as planned (they actually got on the wrong truck). With only hours to go before the fan event, the girls call home and find out they must bus-ride their way to a train station to make it to Tokyo in time. How they manage to do so without any money is a mystery.

Unfortunately, the girls are too late and the train leaves without them! (aww..) But Haruka taps into that place all innocent anime main characters have and swears to keep going despite all of these obstacles before her -- their fans are counting on them after all! In the end, Miki nudges at the fourth wall a little in mentioning that it would be great if a giant robot of some kind would come down and rescue them. There is no robot, but instead Iori's father's helicopter comes to the rescue, and the girls make it in the nick of time. The three girls happily run to their friends. Haruka falls down (<-- important).


Why would they plan this on the day before such an important event?
Where the hell was the staff in this production supposed to be??

These are among some of the things I would have wondered while watching this, if I wasn't so fucking stoked at the very fact that I was watching it in the first place. Being the huge Idolmaster fan that I am, getting to see these girls do their hijinks in something other than a drama CD was a treat all on its own. Not to mention that since it's so short, I've been able to watch it over a number of times now -- probably around 10, in fact (not including my most recent viewing to take screenshots. Either way, I wish I could stop...)

Of course it would have been nice if the episode wasn't necesarrily so Haruka-Miki-Chihaya centric, but those three do seem to be the defacto main heroines.
But really, probably only 2 of the other characters had more than 30 seconds of dialogue. What a waste..(´・ω・)

By the end of the credits roll, however, I was almost half-expecting a next episode preview or something. Everything about it seemed so much like it was a pilot episode to an actual TV show, what with the focus on the 3 main girls and all. Focus on the many relationships between the other characters could be left for later episodes, and I wouldn't at all mind 12 more episodes of this. Hell, I'd even stick around for another 25.

...but probably no more than that.