The return of Cinderella Girls to my watch list isn’t something I can say I was looking forward to or even dreading but after seeing the PV I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t ecstatic, which also lead to a severe dread that it would just be a repeat of the up and down roller coaster that the first season was. Where I was expecting some kind of crossover episode between the 765 girls and 364 girls, I should have been looking more towards what they could do to express the individuality of the series apart from the main.
In the absence of Cinderella Girls and a lot of time contemplating on my thoughts towards the series, I now feel as though the first season fell short for not really trying hard enough, though it was enjoyable and had its moments it really could have been MUCH better. Sadly this blog post probably won’t be long enough to fit all my gripes with the first season, as most of these are written in under an hour, but I’m thrilled that every gripe I did have with the first season has been addressed. These first episodes focus on bringing more light to the girls which were shafted in the first season, hopefully this is the continued theme in the future of this series.
I feel the story focus of this series will be centered around the girls relationship with characters outside of the main cast. How they mentor them yet still exist on the same level, I think that the over arching plot of resetting everyone’s positions while the producer tries to keep a rational unit based on his views. It’s a lot more intriguing than the first seasons main conflicts which were more than enough to make most turn heads at episode 6. It will be interesting to see how the girls we now know and love interact more with the idols we idolize, seeing how Miku looked up to Nana and they learnt from each other was heart touching and I hope for more scenarios like this in future.
Seeing the girls be moved down from their luxurious office down to the basement was an over dramatic and laughable though it is good that it’s show the privilege that the girls had previously, though it’s refreshing that the gloomy atmosphere is utterly destroyed by the girls optimism to move back up, again it makes for a much more interesting setting than the first season.
Though I am heavily biased since Kaede is probably my favorite of the cast, probably even any female character, episode 15 of Cinderella Girls was the best yet. A perfect combination of everything you could want from an Idolmaster episode. In small ways the series has improved, showing other Idols from different units having background dialogue is something so simple that the fact it was missing in the first season is baffling, this is supposed to be the biggest idol agency in Japan and it actually feels like it now.
Background audio is now compromised of instrumental version of the existing soundtrack to add a degree of familiarity to the sound track, something that was lacking in the first series and I really didn’t realize how much of an effect it could have until I heard it myself. Again they also brought back more of the tracks as their full-fledged version, Kaede’s Koi Kaze and Nana’s Märchen Debut! which fit in to their episodes beautifully.
I hope the new villain isn’t as black and white as the antagonist of the 2011 series since her conflict with producer and her mentality so far is interesting enough. The producer is often criticized for being pointless, that the series could go on with just the girls similar to other Idol series like Love Live, but I feel this producer excels all expectations again, he’s more than welcome to steal screen-time in my opinion.
I really love that some previously unvoiced girls are getting voice actress for the series now, the appearance from Suzuho was a lovely treat again it’s great to see all these appearances from other Idols. As for future episode of the series I really hope they are centered around more Idols outside of the core group, Koume or Mika getting their own episodes would be a dream.
I’m optimistic about the return of Cinderella Girls and I am praying that the series won’t finish as conflicting as the first season. Really hope that there aren’t any stupidly melodramatic moments though like Mio’s extremely poorly handled episode in the first season.