EDIT 31/10/15: I’m a dumbass who thought the series was over in the pre-finale keep reading past the embedded video to read more.
After more than 24 weeks of one of the most intense and regrettable roller coaster rides I’ve ever been on. I still don’t know for sure if i enjoyed Cinderella Girls or loathed it, but the second seasons few episodes were some of the more enjoyable. Idolm@ster is a series I have no regrets getting invested in over time but Cinderella girls has confused me in more ways than one, I’ll try not to talk to much about moments in the series I dislike and send the series off on a positive note.
I think that my overall enjoyment of the series could be summed up with the question “is the finale worth watching the series for” and to answer that I’d probably listen to S(mile)ing! again and have a mental breakdown. It was a really powerful episode and on its own regard its fantastic but together with the series it’s almost like seeing a person with a beautiful face and horribly deformed body, they really don’t tie together well and there’s very little build up if any at all. But still ending the series with a group performance would have felt more like an Idolm@ster anime, but I’m alright with a Uzuki anime.
This finale should have come earlier more akin to the Chihiya arc in the 2011 series, though throwing out a trump card that early could have been regrettable with the weaker cast this probably could have been avoided by having arcs dedicated to interesting characters rather than Riina and Cheiri. I did fall in love with some characters over time, Minami is a prime example, going from “lacrosse girl” to a fantastic duet with Anastasia.
The producer is consistently the best thing about this anime and the best edition to the franchise the anime will make. Though his arc in season two with Minishiro is an odd one and kind of drives home the Cinderella girls metaphor to glass slipper levels. But he is still a thoroughly entertaining character and I hope TakeP sticks around for a while.
But I really can’t go long without bringing up Mio’s arc, which slides awkwardly rearing its head half way between the second series, it’s irritating enough that Mio gets to have TWO mental breakdowns and Rin is left almost as a background character, thought Mio’s first episode in season one ended with high hopes in series two they try to pull the same arc again and it just feels like padding. I can understand if they’re trying to make Mio a more prominent character as she’s the least popular of the trio New Gen, but this really wasn’t the way to go about it. I’ll probably like Mio again in a few weeks but her second arc really just isn’t enjoyable to think about.
The slog fest of disappointment that was the finale of season 1 it’s upsetting there weren’t any real performances aside from Kaede’s episode, Triad Primus’ episode and who could forget asterisk’s awful episode. The music in season two was much more enjoyable than the previous, peaking with new songs like Tracing Pulse and keeping the OST simple with the character songs from the past, The first season kind of felt like an excuse to sell more CD’s at some points, Candy Islands episode ending with the actually promoting the single.
The animation stays consistently clean and well done achieving the movie like quality the first few episodes sought out to do so I’m glad the break between 12-13 was made, the performance by Triad Primus was gorgeous but honestly I wouldn’t have minded some quality so we could get more performances than still shots panning with OST playing over then.
Honestly I’ll be sad to see the series go, the only reason I critic it so hard is because I expected so much more of it. If someone asked me if they should watch the series I’d say enjoy getting irritated” because that’s frankly the experience I had.
I really look forward to the future of Idolm@ster, Starlight Stage is a lot of fun and the Million Live anime PV has me more excited than ever. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make another Cinderella Girls series and I think I’d enjoy it a lot more knowing what I’m getting into.
I’ll end this post my favorite moment of the entire series (sorry don’t cry) also if you read ever article I’ve written about Cinderella Girls (I’m VERY sorry)
The (actual) finale episode was probably the highlight of the whole series. Ending the series on a massive performance whilst also tying up what I thought was loose plot lines without being too serious toned, was surprisingly well done for a series that did such things as having a girl in cat ears crying over not getting an album release, then holding down a cafe and not telling us whether to laugh or feel sorry for her.
Honestly episodes 24 and 25 are the high points of the series and it’s odd that I’ve been so up and down with Cinderella girls from the start, every moment of the last episodes are done to perfection and it’s almost as if it was handled by an entirely different team from the previous episodes. Which is why I’m surprised I have so little to say about the episode, to call something perfect without explaining why is just ignorant so I will try to explain.
Giving every girl a moment in the spotlight is tough for a 120+ ever-growing cast, but the finale episode managed to get a frame for at least every side cast character including some unvoiced less popular idols which surprised me.
The side plot with Mishiro was tied up well too, with her understanding that they have a different way of going about business and that’s alright, It’s simple but effective with Mishiro making comparisons to the Cinderella story.
I was surprised that the second half of the episode was dedicated to the future of the group, showing how they had proceeded after the event, some of them making their solo debut and working with other idols outside the main cast, it was a nice sentiment to see that they didn’t all end up fired.
It’s odd that this series was so much more popular than the original, I honestly can’t understand the anime industry and how some of the least enjoyable series surface as the top while the have decent shows just sink, I really hope that the popularity of this series leads to the Million Live anime being just as popular.
If the series continues to a third season which it most definitely will. I hope that it will be more similar to the 2011 series in that it’s more focused on the starlight being on them rather than trying to reach it. Though i wish they were a bit more transparent with when the series actually ends and when it’s going on break for a week because I’m going to keep making mistakes like this if it doesn’t.