Category Archives: Anime

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 3

In parts one and two, I posted videos of my favorite group song+dance combos from THE IDOLM@STER main series of games.  Here are some of my other favorite IDOLM@STER songs:

First Step

Ok, this one is actually in the game, but not playable. This is Yukiho’s solo song from her ending in IDOLM@STER 2 (skip to 6:00 in the video). Apparently the lyrics were written by her IM@S2 voice actress. This is the only plot-only image song in the game. I’m not sure why they would do that, especially since it’s such a pretty song. It’s very different from Yukiho’s other image songs, but I feel like it suits her much better.

Yakusoku

This song is amazing. If you’ve seen the IDOLM@STER anime, you probably understand. Definitely one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs ever, if not my #1 favorite song. Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics. I wish they would add this in the game as a playable song, but I’m afraid they’d give it a very boring dance, like Chihaya’s other songs.

Inferno

Inferno is such a cool song, it has inspired a number of awesome fan-made music videos, like the one above. Who knew Chihaya and Yukiho would make such an awesome team (and again for Little Match Girl)? This is a CD-only song but was used briefly in the anime.

Melted Snow

I prefer the 765Pro version, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. The 765Pro version is Chihaya, Azusa, and Yukiho, and their voices just work beautifully for this song. There are also Azusa and Takane solo versions. These are all CD-only songs.

I also LOVE Sunny and Merry from the Vacation for You! and Christmas for You! albums, but unfortunately I can’t find them on YouTube. They’re very cute, hyper, festive songs.

Alice or Guilty – Jupiter

You know I love boy idol groups too, so I was super excited when these guys were introduced. They’re so Johnny’s! Alice or Guilty is a really cool song. Love it.

Precious Grain – Shizuka Mogami (Million Live!)

Honestly I didn’t pay much attention to the DLC idols up until this point. This is by far my favorite DLC idol song (a lot of the others are noisy or very generic). I love Shizuka’s voice, and I feel like this song is what you would get if you mixed Chihaya and Miki’s image songs together.

Bonus Videos — Songs I love with very boring dances:

Aoi Tori (Special MC from Shiny TV)

I love this special video for Aoi Tori. As a Chihaya fan, Aoi Tori is of course one of my favorite songs, although the dance is pretty boring. The M@STER VERSION of this song is lovely, but I actually prefer the faster pace of the in-game version. I love that they did a special color of this outfit just for this video, but I wish they had used Azusa instead of Makoto.

Tonari ni…

This is a sad song, but it’s so pretty. Azusa’s voice is actually my favorite, and this image song suits her so well.

That’s it for now! The IDOLM@STER series is still going strong though, so I’m sure there will be more favorites popping up in the future!

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 2

In part one I posted videos of my favorite song+dance combos from THE IDOLM@STER series of games.  Part two are my favorites from 2nd Vision (THE IDOLM@STER 2 onward).

MEGARE!

I seem to have a thing for hyper songs about being an idol. MEGARE! was my favorite of the new IDOLM@STER 2 launch songs. Having five positions in a song definitely brought new depth to IDOLM@STER’s dance routines.

Little Match Girl

Little Match Girl is another one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs and dances of all time. To add to the hype, the preview for this song also showed the first glimpse of the Starry costumes.

Jibun REST@RT

Jibun REST@RT just has the feeling of “epic big group song”… so much so that it doesn’t even have any solos. But it’s my favorite group song from the IDOLM@STER anime. It has that “fly to the stars” kind of feeling. This song also means a lot to me because it’s the song Angel Hearts used when we competed with Starry. The lyrics are very appropriate.

Marionette no Kokoro

Miki always gets great songs, but Marionette no Kokoro is my favorite. I like to sing this one at karaoke too. It’s a powerful song.

We Have A Dream

Again with the hyper songs about being an idol. I’ve been obsessed with this song since it was introduced in LIVE in SLOT! I even tried learning the dance off videos from LIVE in SLOT, but the quality was too poor. I wished for years that this song would be added to the main series, and finally my wish has come true! Not only that, but with amazing sparkly rainbow outfits to match!

DREAM

DREAM is a great song, and I’m really glad they added it to the game. I won’t be sad if The AI and LOST are never added, DREAM was by far the best of the three songs. Now I can finally hear Chihaya sing this song. ♥

99 Nights

99 Nights feels very different from the past IDOLM@STER songs. It’s more mature and has a very cool dance. I love it and hope they continue this trend.

Shizuka na Yoru ni Negai wo

I think Shizuka na Yoru ni Negai wo is probably the prettiest song in all of IDOLM@STER. It reminds me of Melted Snow, which is my favorite CD-only IDOLM@STER song. The outfits are lovely too. This song makes me so happy, I’ll even take it as a replacement for Melted Snow.

Those are my top picks for main series group songs+dances.  In part three I’ll post my favorite CD-only, rival, and DLC idol songs!

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 1

I have been a fan of THE IDOLM@STER since 2006 and have been cosplaying Chihaya and performing IDOLM@STER dances since 2007.  When I first found out about THE IDOLM@STER, I was blown away by the quality of music and dance routines used in the game.  It used to be that anime and game music could hardly compare to real J-pop, but these days there are a lot more crossovers and the boundaries are becoming blurred.  In fact, I like IDOLM@STER music better than a lot of J-pop, and for a while it was practically the only thing I listened to.

THE IDOLM@STER is great because of the wide variety of music and styles, and the fact that any character can perform any position in any song.  They also made it easy to learn the dances with the “Long Camera” view. There are now 70+ in-game group songs, with a new song released as DLC every month.  There are also dozens of extra songs for solos, rivals, and DLC idols.  I would have a hard time ranking my top picks, but I definitely have some favorites from throughout the series.  I’ll have to list them in a series of posts because there are so many good songs!

Part one is my favorite songs+dances from 1st Vision (IDOLM@STER arcade through SP):

Positive!

Of the original 10 songs, Positive! was my favorite song+dance. It’s so energetic and upbeat! It was Ami & Mami’s first image song.

THE IDOLM@STER

The original theme song! I’ve always liked the original version of both the song and the dance better than 2nd-mix.  This was the first IDOLM@STER song Angel Hearts performed, in January 2007.  We actually learned the arcade version of the dance, which is slightly different from the Xbox version.

Watashi wa Idol ♥

Watashi wa Idol ♥ was another one of the first IDOLM@STER songs I ever learned… but Angel Hearts never performed it because I wanted to make Cosmic & Funny costumes to go with it!  We hardly ever do one-song performances any more so I’ve dropped the idea of making costumes to go with songs, but somehow we still never got around to performing this song.  It’s totally adorable though.

Do-Dai

Speaking of adorable, it doesn’t get much more adorable than this.  Do-Dai was definitely an instant favorite.  I always thought it would be cute to perform this song in the Marching Band outfits.

Kiramekirari

Another hyper-cute song!  Kiramekirari is still one of my favorite songs to perform.  It’s pretty exhausting, though. Yayoi has the best songs! ♥

Me ga au toki

I was so excited when Chihaya got a cool, dancey song as her second image song. I wish she would get more songs like this. Even so, the dance is a little boring in some parts, especially for the center. It’s a good song though.

Meisou Mind

Meisou Mind is SO cool.  It may be one of my favorite songs as well as dances.  I was I little surprised I would like one of Makoto’s songs so much, because I’m not generally a fan of Makoto. I actually wish I had more chances to perform this one, because I feel like it gets overlooked a lot.

Kosmos, Cosmos

Kosmos, Cosmos was my overall favorite of the second round of image songs.  Actually, I think it was a lot of people’s favorite. I love the futuristic feel of it. I’m not sure why it was given to Yukiho though.

Overmaster

Overmaster is one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs EVER.  My friends can tell you, I sing it every time at karaoke.  I fell in love with this song the moment I heard the first little clip of it in IDOLM@STER SP, and you can just imagine how excited I was when it was added as DLC, and then how infinitely more excited I was when it got a 3-person version, and later a 5-person version!  I love these fiery kinds of songs even more than I love hyper, cutesy songs.

L・O・B・M

L・O・B・M is my favorite song to end a show with because of the long intro (from the M@STER VERSION), the heavy beat, and the fact that it can easily accommodate any number of dancers (there is a solo version that’s different from center).  Plus it’s really catchy and upbeat. I never get tired of this song!

Part two will be my favorite songs from THE IDOLM@STER: 2nd Vision!

Idol Anime

It’s a great time to be an anime idol fan.  The idol anime genre is really exploding, more than I ever could have dreamed of even just five years ago.  Who are your favorite anime idols?  Some of my friends have been using this site to help them sort their favorites: http://kouhi.me/idol/

Here are my top 5:TopIdols

1) Chihaya Kisaragi (THE IDOLM@STER) – Chihaya will forever be my anime idol queen.  Her voice is incredible and she has many beautiful and powerful image songs.  But did you know she is also one of the best dancers?  Her skill level is so high, even her weakness (visual) is stronger than some of the other idols’ strong points.  Unfortunately she is so focused on singing, we rarely get to see her dance.  She is calm, serious, and extremely hard-working, but if you can get her to open up you can see a little of her cute side.

2) Yoshino Nanase (Wake Up, Girls!) – Apparently I go for the “cool” types.  I think personality-wise I can identify with Yoppi a little more than the other “cool” idols.  She’s a little cuter and less…. severe.  She’s mature, determined, and takes her job seriously, but she’s also not afraid to share her doubts and feelings.  She just wants to be the best she can be, as an idol and a leader. She has a nice voice too~

3) Rin Shibuya (THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls) – Another blue idol, thankfully this time with brown hair.  I knew I would like her from the moment I saw her, so I’m really excited that Cinderella Girls is getting its own anime.  She looks serious and unfriendly but is actually a very nice girl.  I look forward to seeing how she grows as an idol.

4) Ichigo Hoshimiya (Aikatsu!) – Ichigo is everything in an idol that I wished I could be until I realized I was more of a “cool” type.  Aikatsu may be a crazy over-the-top magical girl series but I think if you put all the magic and goofy outfits aside, Aikatsu really captures the heart of what idols are, and Ichigo is “The Idol”.  She’s pink, cute, energetic, passionate, pure-hearted, and just seems to sparkle.  The whole idol-aura thing may seem silly, but I have seen it in real life — a idol with a presence so strong that they just seem to shine and you forget everything else.

5) Miyu Okamoto (Wake Up, Girls!) – I was immediately drawn to Miyu’s design — tall and curvy with brown pigtails and cute outfits, finally a cute-type that isn’t a little girl!  But when I heard her voice, I thought oooooh no… she’s a little too ditzy for me.  She’s still really cute though.  Appearance-wise, she’s exactly what I like, and though she may be air-headed, she’s caring and passionate, and in a way she can be intuitive as well.  She seems to really understand what it means to be an idol.  She also works at a maid cafe, which I can identify with.

It’s worth noting that I put Takane Shijou in sixth place.  I really love Takane and had a hard time deciding between her and Miyu, but in the end Miyu won because she’s more natural.  I could do without Takane’s silver hair and strange personality, but I love her voice and her style.  Takane was another character that I latched onto as soon as I saw her.

As for series as a whole, THE IDOLM@STER is still my favorite.  It was really the pioneer of the idol genre.  There are so many good songs, dances, outfits, and characters, there’s really something for everyone.  Wake Up, Girls! is a close second for me.  WUG is a more realistic take on idols, and I love that it shows some of the hardships that idols face and explore what it really means to be an idol.  I also love that it takes a jab at AKB48 — if you want to know why I don’t like AKB and its sister groups, just watch WUG.

No matter your preferences, idol anime has really come a long way.  The first idol anime I watched was Lovedol ~Lovely Idol~ in 2006.  It was terrible.  The songs were awful and the animation quality was poor, so the “dancing” consisted of maybe a two-step and maybe raising their arms at the end of a song.  The girls also looked like anime characters rather than idols.  After this disaster of a series, Idolmaster: Xenoglossia was released, in which they took the characters from the IDOLM@STER series and rewrote them into a mecha series.  I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t even watch it (but I do kind of want that Chihaya figure, she looks cool…).  It was a while before THE IDOLM@STER got a real anime series, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more.  It had all the voice actors and songs from the game that the fans already knew and loved.  The anime also introduced a bunch of great new songs.  It brought a lot of new fans to the series and really raised the bar on the idol genre.  There used to be an obvious difference between anime music and Jpop, but these days it’s sometimes hard to tell.  Also, 3D technology has greatly improved and has made it possible to animate complex dance routines that would otherwise be difficult and costly to draw.  Now there are many idol series such as Love Live!, Aikatsu!, Wake Up, Girls!, and even AKB0048.

As a huge idol fan, I’m really happy that the idol genre is doing so well these days.  But before idol anime, there were still anime idols.  When I think back, who were some of my favorite anime characters who were idols?  Lynn Minmay from Macross, Key from Key the Metal Idol (even if she never really became an idol), and even Rei Hino briefly during Sailor Moon R.  Idols always had a special place in my heart, no matter where they came from, but I’m really glad that I have so many people to share my fandom with now!  I’m looking forward to seeing how the genre will continue to grow and what new series there may be.  Maybe someday Morning Musume will even get an anime.  One can dream, right?

How I Got Into Anime

Like many kids, I loved watching cartoons when I was little.  I watched them every weekday after school and often on Saturday mornings as well.  I also loved to draw, so I never grew out of my love for animation.  My favorite cartoons were the Nintendo ones (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, with Zelda on Fridays, and Captain N).  Unfortunately as I got older and my favorite shows stopped airing, I had trouble finding new shows I liked, and I turned my full attention to video games.

Then one summer morning, my mom turned on the TV, and Ronin Warriors happened to be on.  I was mesmerized by the drawing style and thought, “Wow! It looks like a video game!”  My mom said, oh it must be one of those Japanese cartoons.  At that point my only exposure to Japanese anime style was through games.  We watched the rest of the episode, and I was hooked.  I looked forward to watching the next episode every weekday morning.  Not only did it look pretty, it also told a story.  To me, it was like a cartoon version of an RPG.

Later that summer, during one of many trips with my mother to the fabric store, I saw a display advertising a pattern for a “Sailor Moon” Halloween costume.  I pretty much stood there and stared at that display while my mother shopped.  My first thought was “There’s more of this Japanese stuff?!” and my second was “I like the red one with the black hair!” (Sailor Mars, haha.)  I went home and immediately searched every page of the TV guide, but could not find a show called Sailor Moon.  As it turns out, Sailor Moon didn’t start airing until that fall, and then it was on at a time when I was still at school.  I didn’t let that stop me and asked my mom to tape it for me every day.  I was so excited to come home and watch Sailor Moon, I was completely obsessed.  Some of my friends at school started watching it too, and they had this magical thing called the Internet where they were able to look up more information on this thing called “anime”.  They would also print whatever Sailor Moon pictures they could find and bring them to school.  Another friend then reported being able to find Sailor Moon stickers, t-shirts, posters, CDs, and other goods in Chinatown, and Chinatown became my favorite place to visit.

I started wondering if there were more anime series on TV that I had missed, so I searched the TV guide for any show that sounded Japanese or like it could be a cool sci-fi/fantasy cartoon.  I found Robotech on a local Sci-Fi channel, and later Urusei Yatsura, Tenchi Muyo! and Key the Metal Idol.  I loved all of it.  I then heard about a local video rental store that had anime, and I became a frequent customer.  I discovered Animerica magazine, and through that started reading manga as well.  Soon we had the Internet at my own house, and I spent countless hours on Anime Web Turnpike browsing random anime sites.  I even learned HTML and put up my own Sailor Moon and Ronin Warrior fan sites, although they didn’t have much substance.  By that time I was in high school, and I started an anime club there.  It wasn’t long before I discovered anime conventions and started meeting even more anime fans.  Luckily by the time I got into anime, it was already becoming more readily available to the U.S. market.  I missed the era of mailing VHS tapes to fansubbers, although I have several friends who did that.

Now anime is everywhere.  You can find just about any series you want on the Internet, and new series are translated so quickly.  Some are even simultaneously released here and in Japan, which is still unbelievable to me.  These days I am not the crazy anime fan I was in high school, but I still enjoy a good series. Actually, for a while I didn’t keep up with anime at all and returned my focus to video games.  I prefer video games because they are interactive.  Sometimes I have trouble sitting still and focusing on just watching something.  Now I am engaged to a man who is a huge anime fan and watches just about everything as soon as it’s released, so I’m starting to catch up with what’s current.  The great part is that he previews all the new series and passes along only the ones that he thinks I will like.  The problem is that now my cosplay wish list is expanding again…

By the way, my favorite anime series of all time is probably “Full Metal Panic!”  “The Mystic Archives of Dantalian” and “Shining Tears X Wind” are also way up there.