Year In Review 2013: The TsundereM@ster

A survey of where I am at this iDOLM@STER nonsense.

Last winter, my list was like this:

  1. Makoto
  2. Miki
  3. Takane
  4. Mami/Ami
  5. Ritsuko
  6. Iori
  7. Yukiho
  8. Haruka
  9. Hibiki
  10. Chihaya
  11. Yayoi
  12. Azusa

This winter, my list is like:

  1. Makoto
  2. Miki
  3. Takane
  4. Mami
  5. Ritsuko
  6. Yukiho (up 1)
  7. Hibiki (up 2)
  8. Haruka
  9. Azusa (up 3)
  10. Yayoi (down 1)
  11. Ami (new)
  12. Iori (down 1)
  13. Chihaya (down 3)

Why? I don’t know. I don’t even know why I bother to split out Ami, but this year I feel as if I am ready to take that position.

And that’s about where I am at in journey inside this forest called revenge I mean being a Producer. I guess I still can tell Ami from Mami. Most of the time. But at the top of my ranking I am still more or less the same. I dig my ramen-chomping 真祖. I dig the rice-balling do-it-all. Mami is still the purest extract of adolescence. I’m just glad Makoto (and new mom Hirata-san) is still a thing and back in black. Yukiho and Hibiki’s upward movement probably has to do with their seiyuu actually. I no longer temper my opinion about Chihaya in respect to my fellow producer-in-arms because they deserve better, and it should be okay to not like something more than something else?

Ritsuko's pose is the best

The truth is, I still like everybody. Even Chihaya. That’s why I’m still engrossed in this nonsense. Yes, I even like some CG/ML girls, but you wouldn’t know since I don’t even remember their names. I’m bad enough with names when it comes to real life people, and there are more than enough 2D characters I remember to fill a book, cut me some slack? But hey, AmiMami. That’s why I can say I actually want to be a Producer, because it’s pretty cool and in some ways I already have paid some cost to it. At the same time it is also why I can’t say I am a Producer, because like, I don’t feel that otaku spirit. And I certainly have not “paid the cost.”

And as I end up doing more iM@S fan things over time, it just gets to me that how deep and far stretching this fandom is. It’s old–approaching its 9th year now. It’s so wide that I’m pretty sure some parts of it isn’t talking to some other parts of it. People not only came and left, some came back and left again. It’s not only a normal mixed media franchise, it’s gotten too big in some ways. Given its roots in video games, the franchise is also very different than the ones I’m familiar with. Well, except Sakura Taisen I guess. I don’t even know if calling ourselves Ps makes sense in terms of what it means, and what your average fan does. I certainly look at that word with some amount of respect–perhaps too much.

But when you watch Winter Live from the concerts earlier this year and realized Azumin was doing it with the guitarist was straight out of Shiny TV/Shiny Festa’s version of Alright* I can only…not just make a face, but tilt my head as if Senjougahara heard something dumb out of Arararagi’s mouth. It’s as if I’m tsundere with this franchise mou.

Changing topics: the list of iM@S songs I can withstand over time looping has decreased. The nice thing is that there are more songs to be discovered in iM@S. Given there are so many, I am at the stage where I know I still don’t know a lot of them. I wish I can join some kind of Spotify iM@S-p playlist sharing group (if such a thing could ever exist). I guess the fact that the back catalog is so daunting is another reason why this fandom needs the fans’ own helping hands to get new people involved. A real rough figure indicate that I am probably at the 75% mark in terms of unique iM@S tracks “listened” if that.

Looking back to my usual im@s playlist, it’s still awfully in the “let’s get to know the songs” stage. Maybe I’ve moved on to the second semester of the first year in the course, but it’s a long shot. Maybe my wotagei credits will come in handy.

In 2013, the list of grindable music is now like this (sorta kinda):

Ai Like Hamburger – this one…is close to the edge
Little Match Girl
Watashi-tachi wa Zutto… Deshou?
Colorful Days
Machiuke Prince

Ready is off the list but I think I am okay with it as long as I am an active participant. Even if it’s just to vote for it. Surprisingly this list hasn’t changed much. I am still oblivious to Aisute’s music output, but partly that has more to do with my low opinion of it out of what I sampled. Some songs like KisS or Precog may make this list if I spent enough time listening to it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. They need to be in games.

Being able to play it in a game helps a lot. I thought a big reason why I feel like I got further in this fandom this year had a lot to do with the English language versions of Shiny Festa on iOS. It got me to buy an iPad mini and I spent a lot of time playing it, just because it made sense. The iPad mini is also a terrific device to carry around, just on its own, so having the games with me all the time just happened.

At the same time, as much as I am currently in love with the franchise, I feel the warmth of the light–the light at the end of the tunnel. As I stretch myself to try to attend the next big show in Japan maybe I am finally getting to that point where I can say farewell with another obsession in a series of obsessions. It’s a gambit, because the alternative is just falling deeper in love with the people, the works, the music, and spirit and feeling both the high and low of it all. Having producers who will also egg you along in this foolish enterprise makes it even more fun.

Year in Review 2013 Index:

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