The two most recent episodes of Cinderella Girls have been the icing on the cake of an already fantastic series. Both episode focusing on probably my favorite aspects of an Idolmaster series, episode 11 being focused around a the same training camp from the Idolmaster Movie and episode 12 focusing on a summer Idol festival where a large amount of 346 Idols and Cinderella Girls all get to perform.
Episode 11 had the surprising change of pace from the rest of the series being set around the girls staying at the same training camp 765 stayed at in the recent movie. This episode mostly focused around the girls learning how to work together and stay in sync as a larger group, I’m glad that the series focused on this being able to bring the girls together again after their time in their separate units.
Producer leaving the group in the hands of Minami was a great idea since her and Anastasia have got very little exposure compared to the other girls, mostly due to their debut performance being downplayed by New Generations, so it’s really nice that they’re getting a broader focus here. I was worried that some of the cast in Cinderella Girls may have been skipped in characterization, but these episodes have proven that all of the cast has something interesting to offer.
I’m really surprised that a group of girls who were nothing more than a bunch of cards based around gimmicks like “lacrosse” are now a lovable group of Idols. Since A-1 didn’t have much of a persona to work on with characters I worried that they would be lacking but I feel the freedom has given them much more room to work and create new interesting characters.
Episode 12 was probably the highlight of the series so far, getting to see all the girls perform in their units alongside the other 346 Idols, it was really refreshing finally getting to see all the girls interacting together as a larger group, it really works a whole lot better when we have a better understanding of the characters and what they’re like. for example when Cheri is nervous about the performance she’s repeating “frogs, frogs” like she did in episode 9 where she imagined the audience as frogs to calm down, its little things like this that really make me smile and make series like this.
The New Generations performance was the highlight of the episode, it was really refreshing to see how Mio has changed over the span of the series, where she was willing to quit being an Idol into smiling for a crowd while dealing with a down pour. I think that Mio is probably one of the most overlooked in the series, she’s a real character rather than a cute gimmick and I feel that’s made her unpopular, but I’m pretty glad they decided to make her like this, she is a much more memorable character like this.
I was disappointed with some of the performances being lowered down in quality to just screenshots, though I can understand saving budget is important for a series and I don’t really think it impacts the overall quality of the episode. The animation in the performances that aren’t screenshots is very satisfying, Cinderella Girls has managed to hold up the movie quality from the first few episodes.
The new single GOIN!!! was very nice, one of my favorite parts of the series is the music it can offer and it’s often overlooked. It can bring back the memories of the characters and anything associated with them. I really hope that the next part of the series is just as good in audio quality.
The final scene in the episode was really touching, the girls looking over fan letters and talking about being an Idol was really sweet, it’s nice when moments of calm come like this, the series can’t be all drama and dancing and it’s good that Cinderella Girls understands that.
I’m really glad with Cinderella Girls as a series I really didn’t expect this level of quality that I feel could be on par with the 2011 series. I really look forward to the next part of the series. I really don’t have any idea what the next part could hold but I expect a more from the series possibly looking at the girls as they have made it as Idols, similar to how the 2011 series was focused for the most part.