How to get into Idolmaster, 15 years later

How to get into Idolmaster, 15 years later

Bandai Namco’s Idolmaster collection is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and because the grandfather of idol anime, it may be actually formidable to get into.

The collection began off as an arcade recreation that was later ported to Xbox 360. Since that recreation’s launch on July 26, 2005, the collection has spun into an enormous multimedia challenge with anime, CDs, live shows, a plethora of video games, and even a Korean drama.

The video games are centered round being the producer for a expertise company. You have tons of idols working underneath you, and you have to handle them to their strengths, turning them into successes. Imagine being the supervisor for Japanese pop group AKB48 — that’s a easy mind-set concerning the Idolmaster collection. Gameplay sometimes includes leveling up and evolving your idols whereas taking part in songs with rhythm-based gameplay like Dance Dance Revolution, however there are additionally video games which might be nearer to visible novel.

Why do folks love Idolmaster?

Despite by no means actually coming to the West in a correct launch — outdoors of an outrageously priced mobile game that has since vanished off of the App Store — the Idolmaster fanbase is devoted. The franchise is cut up into a number of primary collection, and since there are such a lot of characters, followers are certain to seek out one which they actually establish with.

An Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage Discord admin, username rain, favors Anastasia. “I used to be drawn to her mushy voice and mild, type character probably the most as I used to be watching the Cinderella Girls anime. She’s additionally a strong-willed woman who’s capable of get alongside simply with others, regardless of a few of her language difficulties that stem from being half-Japanese, half-Russian and rising up in Russia. I really feel that anybody who’s ever moved to a brand new place or immigrated to a different nation as a toddler can kinda establish with that side of her,” rain mentioned in a Discord interview with Polygon.

When you could have tons of of distinctive characters with relatable backstories and pleasing personalities, it’s onerous to not instantly latch on to a favourite. The dedication of an Idolmaster fan is unmatched.

A white-haired girl with blue eyes sits under a night sky, dipping her toes into water

Anastasia, the half-Russian and half-Japanese Idolmaster woman of rain’s affection
Image: Bandai Namco

The bulk of Idolmaster content material exists inside cellular video games. Though there are anime collection and live concerts, the cellular video games are up to date a number of occasions per week to maintain gamers engaged. However, since most of those video games require both a Japanese App Store account or emulation, it will probably appear formidable to get entangled. All of the video games can be found each on Android and iOS gadgets.

“At this point, it doesn’t seem like there’s much interest on Bandai Namco’s part in bringing the existing Idolmaster series outside of Asia. But throughout the years, there have been many fan endeavors that made it much easier for English-speaking audiences to get into the series,” mentioned rain. There are multiple subreddits and Twitter accounts for the video games that hold up-to-date with new options and translations.

Find the Idolmaster collection that’s best for you

To make the duty of acclimating rather less scary, we’ve damaged down the principle collection. (There are a number of greater than this, however these are those which might be persistently up to date.)


The cast of The Idolmaster sit on a tree observing beautiful lights

The unique solid of Idolmaster
Image: A-1 Pictures/Crunchyroll

This is the unique group of women from the arcade recreation. Over years, a handful of extra ladies had been added to the group, however these are seen as the unique solid that began all of it. These are ladies from the 765 Production expertise company.

Because that is the legacy group, it’s place to start out. You also can watch all of the original anime on Crunchyroll.

Million Live

Dozens of small idol girls pose together for a huge group shot

The Million Live ladies, together with the women from All-Stars
Image: Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco launched a cellular recreation referred to as The Idolmaster: Million Live! that added 39 extra ladies to 765 Production. These ladies increase on the already beloved unique collection and supply a method for brand spanking new content material to get launched with each the All-Stars ladies and a few brisker faces.

The unique cellular recreation is shut down, however you may nonetheless play the rhythm cellular recreation, The Idolmaster Million Live!: Theater Days. There’s additionally a Million Live anime deliberate for the longer term.

Cinderella Girls

Anime girls in matching dresses take a photo with their stern-faced producer

A small assortment of the characters in Cinderella Girls, as seen within the anime
Image: A-1 Pictures/Crunchyroll

A brand new set of over 160 ladies had been added to the Idolmaster universe underneath the identify Cinderella Girls. These idols are all from a wide range of totally different expertise businesses, relying on which piece of media you’re consuming, however they’re principally related to 346 Production. With a staggeringly gigantic ensemble of characters, Cinderella Girls focuses on the concept that anybody may be an idol, even a dominatrix or a homeless Santa Claus-wannabe.

For these curious about Cinderella Girls, you may watch each the main anime and the spin-off shorts on Crunchyroll. You also can play one of many two cellular video games, The Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls and The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage. The unique Cinderella Girls recreation is playable on browsers.

Side M

A bunch of male anime characters in matching outfits pose at the edge of a stage

An assortment of male idols from the Side M anime
Image: A-1 Pictures/Crunchyroll

As the one collection to characteristic male idols, Side M focuses on the concept of fixing careers to be an idol. The members are put into idol teams with different idols with comparable themes. For instance, the dudes from S.E.M had been beforehand lecturers of various topics. The 5 teen boys from High x Joker labored in a band earlier than debuting as idols. These idols are a part of 315 Production.

For those that need to look extra into the male idols, there’s an anime to look at on Crunchyroll. There’s additionally two cellular video games: The Idolmaster: SideM and The Idolmaster SideM: Live on Stage!. The Idolmaster: SideM is definitely playable on your browser.

Shiny Colors

A group of girls in white and blue dresses pose on a stage

Some of the women from the The Idolmaster: Shiny Colors
Image: Bandai Namco

The most up-to-date collection to launch, Shiny Colors, focuses on placing the women into particular music teams, like Side M does. This is the most recent collection to be added, which suggests it doesn’t have tons of content material current for it already. The Shiny Colors ladies belong to 283 Production.

The Idolmaster: Shiny Colors is a cellular recreation, but it surely’s additionally playable on your browser.

While sifting by the totally different collection, you’re certain to discover a character you’ll get connected to, as Idolmaster has one thing to supply for every type of anime followers. And when you’re model new, you’ve now obtained 15 years to sift by. The new Idolmaster website that randomly assigns you 10 idols from the franchise ought to enable you get began.

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