Im@s station!!! pic.twitter.com/UcCnaAO429
— 갱이/タキ猫🔞 (@Tuxedo_de_Cat) September 20, 2018
The long running IDOLM@STER mainline seiyuu radio program, IDOLM@STER STATION, has ended this week with a farewell live stream on Nico. To be very technical and fair, it never ran that long, as the weekly program would change cast periodically and rebrand itself slightly (like, IDOLM@STER STATION!!+). It was originally the IDOLM@STER Radio which morphed into this program as other weekly streams started, in 2009. Today, there are 5 weekly broadcasts for the franchise, covering the different sections. The name perhaps more so refers to the program concept that spawned a series of its own spinoff media products, such as all the radio cover songs, the radio original music, and the handful of live shows they put on. The Aisute weeklies would feature some segments that involved characters acting out viewer-submitted scenarios often (a characteristic in other IM@S radios today as well) and other more seiyuu radio-style segments. But if you were just counting the brand, the show falls a bit short of its 10th year! That’s very long for a tie-in seiyuu radio.
Aisute ending means the main 765Pro franchise no longer has a seiyuu-focused radio. In its stead, IDOLM@STER MUSIC ON THE RADIO takes its airing spot (really, it’s produced by the same Nippon Columbia crew that produced Aisute, and it takes over Aisute’s Nico channel) and is going to be a music-oriented program. Its main host is Numakura Manami, with a co-host rotating probably every 4 weeks. The first co-host is Takahashi Rie. For sanity’s sake I’ll call the program MOR for short (based on the official hashtag #アイマスMOR).
Over the long 9 years of Aisute, there were a pretty overt effort to interview Columbia composers who worked on the music, especially the stuff that graced the later Playstation games. And it makes a lot of sense–music is arguably the most noteworthy and radio-worthy thing that IDOLM@STER generally offers. Cinderella Girls, Million Live, SideM and even Shiny Colors are churning out many songs every year. A lot of it is from Lantis, which naturally doesn’t get as much coverage on a Columbia program focused on the original 765Pro, but Aisute always had crossover coverage with guests from the other branches (at least more than a few Million and Cinderella guests).
— 갱이/タキ猫🔞 (@Tuxedo_de_Cat) October 16, 2018
What has been left behind with the departure of Aisute is still pretty regrettable–it was almost its own thing during the peak years, and maybe MOR can get its own live show. It certainly will be more cross-franchise than before, so we will see how things swing on a month-to-month basis.
Overall, it is probably overall a good thing that there is now a show to highlight the stories and personalities behind the music. MOR should be a good time and generally this is a positive vibe going forward. Hosted by two cast members, MOR should also remain fun and neta-heavy enough for the usual and core listener types into seiyuu radio-type programs. Two-personality shows dominate this landscape anyway.
PS. Wish they’ll cover some Aisute music down the road!