Category Archives: Idolmaster

Million Kanshasai Tea-Leaf Reading

One thing about long-running franchises is that they are cyclic and have patterns. You can read into it and figure out what’s going to happen next to an extent. For IDOLM@STER, they’ve even started an official schedule list of events, as of 2016 onward (the event-only history goes from 2013). It makes a lot of sense as something fans need to keep track of the dozens of stuff that happens every month. Unfortunately it is not that forward-looking, so it is more useful as an archive.

The biggest news for prognosticators I think, that came out last weekend’s Million Live event, was that the next Theater election program will include the 765Pros. It’s pretty obvious that Million Live plays with the inclusion of the 765Pros both ways. It was first a booster, but now the Millions are also dragging their senpai team into the next decade. Not even mentioning the successor aspect, being a mobile game allows the Millions to do stuff all year long, where as the core 765Pro AllStars run on yearly cycles for the current gen of PS4 games, which might be coming to an end with a pattern change.

In the past, the Million elections could not have had included the 13 revered figures of 765Pro due to the need for all 37(+2) of them to get a footing in fandom by themselves. Five years in, this is no longer a necessity, and I agree.

The other thing this addresses is the fact that Million stopped having 765Pro AllStar music. The SP@RKLE line, or the latest line of character solo songs, only featured the Million Stars 39 and not the other 13 that LTP and LTH has had. I think this makes a lot of sense, for one, those early solo songs almost never gets performed. Sometimes it’s performed at 765Pro events! What would Million Ps have to do to see those performances? It’s kind of a mess.

This also means we might get a lull during which the 765Pros might not get a lot of solo activities. We know 2020 is the 15th anniversary of the franchise, so if we expect MOIW 2020 (hopefully featuring all 5 (6?) branches) then a chill 2019 makes sense. I think there will be more of a flurry of activity next year from the production side to support a MOIW level thing in 2020. Considering if the next Million election occurs towards November/December and we get the CDs released 9-12 months out, that would time things well into the 2020 hype cycle as such a big live will have a long lead-in.

The other nuggets of info I thought relevant were:

  • ML6th tour is once a month and broken out by type-teams (Angel, Princess, Fairy). No Tokyo regional stop.
  • Generations series is ongoing.

Each of the Million tour stops is 2-days over the weekend. None lands on this year’s longer-than-usual Golden Week. But the progression is obvious even before the announcement because Shiny 1st was announced to be mid March, so we know Million tour had to be after March. Here is the Lantis-M@S live scheduling like from now on out (ignoring release events):

  • October: Million Kanshasai
  • November: Anisong Premium (SideM)
  • December: Lisani TW (Million)
  • January ’19: Lisani (SideM and Million)
  • Feb: ??? (HK?)
  • March: Shiny 1st, 315Pro Promeet
  • April: Million 6th Sendai
  • May: Million 6th Kobe
  • June: Million 6th Fukuoka
  • July: ??? (AWM?)
  • August: ??? (Anisama? AWM?)

Assuming the Generations line resumes its release cadence of 1 Generations CD per month, we have D/Zeal in December, and 3 more by April–probably including April’s release makes 5 Generations CDs. It’s hard to say what this means for the release events in April though, but the release event is unlikely still going to be once a month or so, give or take.

Last year we have the SP@RKLE series during the same time as Generations series, so this might mean after Theat@r Boost 3 (due out 11/28) we will get a new run of something. This could probably play into what goes into ML6th. New LTDs? That would be swell.


IM@S MUSIC ON THE RADIO & The End of IDOLM@STER STATION

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).

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!


THE IDOLM@STER Million Live! 5th Live: Brand New Perform@nce!!!

The racetrack of my streaming thoughts run like a loop not unlike Microsoft Visual Studio’s logo, or is that just an Eternal Harmony I’m hearing? In an ever-lasting marketing machine designed to milk 10000s of people, parting humans from monetary possession, what counts for success and failure? Is there meaning in capitalism when Art Needs Heart Beats is literally the product sold to me, an intellectual? Maybe I should just watch how Theater Days is made, where the hot dog factory operate on Unity on Android (and iOS). At least it’s not Union. Or Onion.

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THE IDOLM@STER M@STER SPARKLE Series Review

I’m writing hot takes for all the songs from THE IDOLM@STER (Million Live!) M@STER SPARKLE series! The 8-CD series ended last month when the 8th and final disc shipped. I bought all of them in some form or way, but what I can say is it’s nice to not have to tag the rips since Mora does that for you when you buy it there… I listened to them a lot over the past 8 months or so, via a variety of headphones, IEMs, speakers, car speakers, what have you. I’m writing this post while streaming hires flacs from my phone to my home theater system. Welcome to the 21st century I guess. It’s an incredibly easy way to control the music lol.

General takeaways:

Sparkle is the third solo go around for Million Live, not including the two new members. This time, the OG 13 idols are omitted. There are some themes as follows:

  • More of the same. Some are better polished than before, YMMV.
  • Musical ~DIVERSITY~ in that specific genres or themes are being aped for character reasons – Nao’s and Noriko’s are the obvious examples. But really, guys.
  • Produced by Lantis artist:  Some tracks are pretty much specific Lantis act’s thing. Aside from SasakiP of nano.RIPE, at least. Those who went to see Lisani this year would have an idea what I mean. But there’s also a very fhana track in there.
  • Introductions – Being the first series for Theater Days, some songs do a more obvious job explaining the characters.
  • Playing to live performances. Some songs feels like they can go straight to a live, plug-n-play. Star Trip in particular, when you consider the acoustic guitar part.

The CD series started back in August 23, 2017. We are about 4 months away from its anniversary. So the first couple discs already sound very nostalgic, where as the last couple are still too fresh. My mind is still working on them.

The covers reflects a seasonal or holiday theme correlated to the month of that CD’s release. Check out this youtuber lol. Meanwhile I linked to the CD sample playlist off Youtube in each of the sparkle titles for your easy access.

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Game Saves World Billions in Productivity with Region Block

[Below is parody content?]

Popular movies and video games have long since been correlated with productivity loss. For example, popular science fiction franchise Star Wars has been the lead in this category, when its blockbuster film launches lead to countless students and employees to call out to go to the theaters on release day. Similarly, the recently launched Japanese video game, THE IDOLM@STER: Shiny Colors, cause millions of dollars in loss productivity, following its recent launch last week.

In a stroke of genius, the developers of Shiny Colors limited the game for play to Japanese internet users only. By region-limiting the HTML5-based game platform, Bandai Namco has saved an estimated $50B USD in productivity loss, experts say.

The free-to-play video game platform is the latest entry in the popular franchise, THE IDOLM@STER. The Japanese-gamer oriented properties started in 2005 and has spawned countless video games, TV shows, movies, and tie-ins of all kind, such as a mixed-reality VR theatrical show. While domestic audiences still beared the brunt of the damage in loss productivity, the prudent business move limited the damage to just Japanese domestic businesses.

“It is a noble sacrifice,” said financial analyst Akihiro Nakamura from UBS. “The joke was that the devops were going to all call out sick and play during launch, but the region blocking already saved us millions across our Americas and Europe branches. Despite their best efforts otherwise, Bandai-Namco is still going to boost their prospective stock price for this fiscal year just on the preliminary revenue projections.”