The iDOLM@STER SideM Episode 13 [FINAL]
I hate to say this, but I am really disappointed with the finale. About eight minutes into the episode, I realized I was bored. I was not engaged with the performances whatsoever but I couldn’t understand why, but by the end I knew what it was. This joint-concert was hyped up to be a major accomplishment for the group, but the biggest qualm I had was the fact we didn’t get to experience their journey to that point whatsoever. There were no serious trials they had to overcome, not like the challenges we have seen in The iDOLM@STER or even The iDOLM@STER Cinderella series. Instead this finale left me with a sense of a wasted potential. We had a group of amazing and charming characters here, but we were never given the opportunity to watch them grow. I also have a big problem with the fact they even bothered to add the twins to the cast, especially in the middle of the series. At that point, both Beit and S.E.M were already restricted to having one episode, so just adding yet another group we’ll never learn about (unless we play the game) doesn’t help whatsoever, and only makes the situation worse. In fact when you look back, the only group that were given more screen-time than Dramatic Stars (privileged as the main characters) were HighxJoker and Jupiter (if you include their special) who got two episodes. And what sucks even more, is when Kaoru’s conflict takes so long to get around to, and when they finally do, it felt rushed and anticlimactic. This series certainly would have benefited having more episodes to work with, just so the character would have room to grow and have the time to tell their own stories.
Another problem I had with the finale was how a large portion of the episode contained recycled footage, and as result lacked impact. I was especially disappointed we did not get to watch them perform Glorious Road, but instead the track rolled in the background as they reviewed everyone’s journey up until now via flashbacks. Though to be fair, it was well put together. Gave me a bit of the feels, despite the underwhelming journey.
Also, this has been bugging me since the beginning of the series, but… Is Kyouji’s hair supposed to be dyed back and forth or something? This isn’t the first time we have seen his brown hair go black. I can’t tell if this is a colouring flaw that will be resolved in the BD/DVD release or this is intentional to reflect the lighting. Either way it’s something that drives me bonkers when I see it because it makes me confused!
On the more positive note, god the songs were so good, and it’s what I love about SideM the most. Each unit has their own distinct sound, and I don’t know about you, stands out- in a good way. I find when someone has a unique voice, it makes it easier to recognize them amongst the blurs of the sounds. Among my favourites besides Jupiter (oh my god, I LOVE ‘Planet scape’ I’ll be listening to that over and over again!) were Dramatic Stars and HighxJoker. Truth be told, I like them all (except for W, not feeling that one) but I wished we had more air time for BEIT and S.E.M. to showcase their vocals.
The iDOLM@STER SideM was something I have been waiting for since I watched The iDOLM@STER back in 2011. I fell in love with Jupiter and itched to learn more about them, and truth to be told I was sad when I realized Jupiter would not be the main characters of this show. However instead much to my pleasant surprise, we were introduced a bunch of endearing new characters, and all I could wish for is that we had more time to learn more about them. I don’t know if SideM will have a second season, but I fear if they do they will be introducing even more characters (as implied of Producer scouting someone with a radiant aura), leaving the cast we had fallen in love with in the dust. SideM is a show who definitely would reap the benefit having more episodes to work with. Without a doubt, SideM biggest flaws were the lack of depth in its story and the character development among the cast is virtually nonexistent, with the exception of perhaps Kaoru. It is a shame it had to end this way, and how we weren’t able to learn more about the others, but it doesn’t mean it was horrible. SideM is not great but it’s not bad either, it’s more in the middle where I would describe it as “It’s okay…” It certainly not a must watch show, but it’s also not something you’re going to miss if you choose to skip out on it.
Overall Score: 6/10
- Story/Plot: 4/10
- Characters & Development: 6/10
- Animation Quality: 6/10
- Original Soundtrack: 9/10