Category Archives: Idolmaster

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.”


Forever Million Live

Today is the last day of operation for the GREE-published version of Million Live, which is the original IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE game. Ps call it “greemas” for short. It is the core product of that IP and it is now shut down as of this writing, just moments ago.

There are so many things I want to say so I’ll just keep it short and in bullets. Think of it as a way for me to commemorate this occasion.

This game was how my “gacha cherry” was popped. This meant my mental barriers were rationalized away and since then I spent good money on games I think that are worth it, which is namely just the other two major IDOLM@STER SNS games, Deresute and Theater Days. I also spend money on games that I think have entertained me a lot, just much less. (For example, I already spent maybe $160 in Pricone Redive but I probably will stop there. This is not even 10% of what I spent in Greemas.)

This game was occasionally very fun, but usually more a chore. The saving grace is that the chore part is pretty light, unless you wanted to do a crazy amount of ranking. In the finals stats page the game provided during its shutdown period, I was able to get the “IDOLM@STER” achievement 11 times, which is just to say I was able to produce at least 1 idol in the top percentiles. I forget exactly. But it’s little things like that which makes this game fun.

The thing I will miss the most about Greemas is how it is a game that really went to creative places. Like a Star Wars inspired event. Or taking traditional idol torture to the next level. Or the Namasuka Sunday events. Or Tokugawa’s Castle, literally. There were various sports meets. There was TGS. There was the live on the space station. It was nuts. Theater Days so far has not even came close to scratching that itch, although it does seem things might move in that direction finally…

Million Live might be the first time where the game and the live events were closely integrated, to the degree that you can have producer support walls and even ticket lotteries in the game. Will this tradition continue? I hope so.

It is definitely the first IM@S game where recorded lines from the live were delivered into game as content, days just after the event. It’s a great way to energize your hardcore eventing fan base. It also points at the live events as a part of the game. It is the kind of thing that makes me think that Million Live is an IP where the content revolves around the live events.

This is all besides the core community on Greemas. During the Theater Boost [idol voting for Theater Days] people were communicating on the idol boards on Greemas. Greemas also has a dialog engine where you can create commu screens and it ran contests on the best fan-submitted entries. On top of the basic player communication and lounges, there are no easy replacements for them.

Thank you Greemas. Million Live will continue without you, but it will never be the same and we will never forget the good (and bad) times!


Million Live! 4th Anniversary, Take 2: The Story of the Missing Hoshii Miki

So the Bluray for Million 4th came out last week and I’ve been devouring it since I got it on Thursday. Somehow I squeezed in 2 showings of Mary and the Witch’s Flower in the same time, given the 4-disc set has 12+ hours of material, not counting the commentary tracks, but here goes.

Million 4th was probably the most important live I attended last year, at least on a personal level. It might rank only 4th overall but it was number one in terms of emotional wrecking that it did on me. I was a mess, because, as now I see from the backstage features, it left the performers in a mess too. Like, yeah, I get it, I know how it works. The feelings crossed not only stars, but oceans, cultural and language barriers, through the dance, music, and hard work of cast and staff. It sounds corny only because it’s what happened.

Million Live has a lot of songs about silly things, and it’s got a fairly diverse set of songs, but the most common category of songs are about friendship, hopes and dreams. Sometimes these songs felt like they are speaking to the audience and listeners. Sometimes these songs felt like they are speaking to the performers. And in the Million Live cast, that’s actually exactly what happens.

I’m not going to details to explain, because it will take a long time and my JP is just nonexistent for these kinds of purposes. But man, that Hoshikuzu no Symphonia on day 2 is a great example of what I’m talking about. Kokochan (Koiwai Kotori, who plays Tomoka) joined twitter publicly just the other day and she tweeted on her first day on Twitter about reaching for her dreams.

In short, Koiwai watched Animas in 2011 just as another P and an aspiring seiyuu, but in 2018 she has Mingos and Nunu tweeting with her. We don’t know what the future holds, so live on as such. Like, there was no guarantee that Mingos was ever going to remember the password to her Twitter (LOL).

I bring this up because watching Million 4th reminded me of her performance as part of Milky Way in Hoshikuzu no Symphonia. And you can watch the part in the backstage on the LE Bluray box to see the conclusion… It was a touching moment in that during the bridge, each of the four performers had a phrase to say that puts together the story of Milky Way, the unit that was detailed in LTH09. In truth, Milky Way has 5 members–Hoshii Miki being the one missing. The way the song connects the four Millionstars to Miki and to each other seemed to did Kokochan in as she started visibly crying during the performance, and thus yelling out from her heart that one line during the lead up to the climax of the song.

Notice how the first word in each of the 4 phrases they said during the bridge spell out “Hoshii Miki” and then they say to connect it together? LOL. Here are the relevant lyrics (tl: project-imas), and I bolded that one line Kokochan yelled out:

好き勝手BPMはハートビート
たどり着いたゴールは次へのスタート
胸の予感 高鳴らして
Ima datte nari yamanai PURERYUUDO
Suki katte BPM wa HAATOBIITO
Tadoritsuita GOORU wa tsugi e no SUTAATO
Mune no yokan takanara shite
Even now, the prelude won’t stop ringing
The BPM heartbeats whatever it pleases
Finally reaching my goal to start the next
My heart’s premonition keeps pounding
過去から今日まで まっすぐここまで
予想もできない偶然を分かちあって
刻んだ足跡 きらめくから
さぁ行こう 最高の仲間で
Kako kara kyou made massugu koko made
Yosou mo dekinai guuzen o wakachiatte
Kizanda ashiato kirameku kara
Saa ikou saikou no nakama de
Straight up here from the past until the present
I didn’t expect you to share them unexpectedly
From the engraved, sparkling footprints
Come on, let’s go with my best friends
がむしゃら未来へと 一途な明日へと
軌跡を繋いだ 絆で勧め
心のタクトが導く空
輝き 忘れないでいて
この想い 忘れないでいて
Gamushara mirai e to ichizu na asu e to
Kiseki o tsunaida kizuna de susume
Kokoro no takuto ga michibiku sora
Kagayaki wasurenai de ite
Kono omoi wasurenai de ite
To the reckless future, to the earnest tomorrow
Move forward with these bonds connecting the trajectory
I won’t forgot that heart’s baton
Guiding through the shining sky
Nor I’ll forgot these feelings
遠く長い道 めぐり逢う未知
果てしない道
君と
Tooku nagai michi meguriau michi
Hateshinai michi
Kimi to
To the far, long road… Stumble across the unknown,
Endless road
With you

There are other instances of this playing out in the years leading up to ML4th. There are other instances of this still playing out today. It’s why when Aikotoba wa Startup played during Hatsuboshi Enbu, MillionP eventers were in shock. Or like hearing Addicted or Just Be Myself or Tsuiyoku no Sandglass. It’s a bit heart wrenching if you are a fan, in that both you’re suffering only because Bamco decided their lives to become this way, and that you’re pining for a thing that will probably come eventually, and it’s more beautiful because of it. It’s a mixed feeling of happiness and regret, that reality of the industry comes in and stir things up, with a distant hope, at least personally, that everything, all together, will be better off because of these complicated circumstances.

I would say it’s a cheap shot except it takes so much to even build up to begin with. A long cheap shot, maybe. A road within a fandom that’s got a significant barrier of entry, yeah. But I guess some producers have no choices here!