Marking the 10th anniversary of The IDOLM@STER franchise, 2015 has been a fulfilling year, packed with a variety of events, collaborations and announcements from all aspects of the franchise. Let’s take a look back at this year’s highlights!
Starting 2015 was a special Cinderella Girls new years variety program before the anime aired where Hara Sayuri (Honda Mio), Aoki Ruriko (Tada Riina), Yoshimura Haruka (Jougasaki Mika) and Matsuzaki Rei (Moroboshi Kirari) formed a special promotion team to promote the anime. On 9 January 2015, the first episode of Cinderella Girls aired, coupled with a special niconama stream where viewers can watch the show together with the cast on the first three weeks. The anime was also streamed worldwide through Daisuki right after it airs in Japan. At the end of the first episode, the cast for the 346 Producer, a 17 year old high school student named Takeuchi Shunsuke was also announced.
In January, SideM also had its first niconama where the three cast of Jupiter appeared and introduced the seiyuu for Dramatic Stars, giving SideM its first voiced original unit, and also creating a foundation that future announcement niconamas will be build upon. As a special note, Sakuraba Kaoru’s seiyuu, Uchida Yuuma is the brother of Uchida Maaya, a Cinderella Girls seiyuu.
The IDOLM@STER One for All had it’s Playstation3 the Best version released in January, and Cinderella Party, Cinderella Girls’ second radio program starring Hara Sayuri and Aoki Ruriko had their first event at Science Hall. Cinderella Girls and Taiko no Tatsujin also had a collaboration starting in January, opening the gates to more IDOLM@STER x Taiko no Tatsujin collaborations this year.
The biggest event that happened in February was The IDOLM@STER Movie completion party @ Zepp Tokyo where the 765 girls appeared on stage along with several Million Live girls to celebrate the completion of the movie while also announcing the 10th Anniversary Live.
Cinderella Girls had its first overseas stage event in Hong Kong’s C3 this year where Fukuhara Ayaka (Shibuya Rin), Hara Sayuri, Aoki Ruriko, Makino Yui (Sakuma Mayu) and Yamamoto Nozomi (Jougasaki Rika) appeared on stage. They also made another appearance at Wonder Festival with Oohashi Ayaka (Shimamura Uzuki), Igarashi Hiromi (Futaba Anzu), Takamori Natsumi (Maekawa Miku) and Matsuzaki Rei promoted CG figures and performed live.
The Opening Single for the Cinderella Girls anime, 「Star!! 」 was also released this month, and to promote it, they had the cast do a watashikai across Japan and also doing a small event after that. With around 65,000 copies sold Star!! is the highest selling Cinderella Girls CD this year.
In seiyuu news, Wakabayashi Naomi safely gave birth to her baby daughter in February.
The IDOLM@STER Station (Aisute) started March with a public recording event at Club Citta Kawasaki (HPT sent flowers!) Recording from the event was released on the radio show’s theme song CD single: in WonderRadio. Still on 765 related topic, The IDOLM@STER Movie was also aired on TV on March.
Acting as both celebration and preparation for the 10th anniversary, The IDOLM@STER 10th Anniversary Producer meeting was held from the second half of March in Theatre Shinjuku. Opening this celebrations was probably the biggest event: ～THE IDOLM@STER ROAD TO 10th Anniversary～where Nakamura Eriko (Amami Haruka), Fukuhara Ayaka and Yamazaki Haruka (Kasuga Mirai) appeared and announced further details about the 10th anniversary live: M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD 2015.
The cast of Dramatic Stars: Nakamura Shugo (Tendou Teru), Uchida Yuuma and Yashiro Taku (Kashiwagi Tsubasa) also made its first live appearance on stage along with GamiP.
The Million Live tankoubon was released this month, with the special version coming with a CD featuring Mogami Shizuka’s cover of Chihaya’s Aoi Tori.
Along with their appearance in the anime, Cinderella Girls had the unit song CDs released while also holding promotional events, parts of which are aired on niconama. The 4th Cinderella Girls elections also started at the end of March.
Million Live had their second live in April where 21 girls appeared across two days. In the second day of the live, an accident happened during the live where the sound system overheated and the music suddenly stopped during a performance of Sentimental Venus by Natsukawa Shiina (Mochizuki Anna), Watanabe Yui (Yokoyama Nao) and Suegara Rie (Toyokawa Fuka) but the girls continued their performance in a capella with the help of the audience. This live was just released on BD at the start of December, so do check it out if you’re curious. At the end of April, Millionstars along with Eriko and Mingosu also appeared in Taiwan as a part of Lantis Matsuri.
Newtype celebrated its 30th anniversary on April, and the Cinderella Girls cast appeared on their niconama programs. April was also big for SideM, with its first radio starring the cast of Dramatic Stars starting, in addition to the first singles being released then.
The first batch of MASTER ARTIST 3 featuring Haruka, Makoto and Hibiki started being sold this month, and unlike previous MASTER ARTIST 3 that had drama tracks in the CD, the MASTER ARTIST 3 songs are songs which first appeared in the Ex scenarios in One for All.
The 4th Cinderella Girls elections results was announced, with Shiomi Syuko taking the top spot, followed by Aiba Yumi, Ichinose Shiki, Takagaki Kaede and Maekawa Miku.
A yearly occurrence at this point, 765 Pro, Cinderella Girls and Million Stars appeared at the Nico Choukaigi in a variety of stages, Highlights included a Cinderella Party x Million Radio stage where Meshiya fed Mocho popcorn and TakeP played Taiko no Tatsujin with Oozora Naomi (Ogata Chieri). Representatives from the three groups also appeared on the Choukaigi live as a special unit: Soukoku no Philomusica (蒼黒の美声楽団) where Numakura Manami (Ganaha Hibiki) and Tadokoro Azusa (Mogami Shizuka) performed Fate of the World on stage. In what may be a premonition for the second day medley of the 10th Anniversary, Fujii Yukiyo (Tokoro Megumi) and Fukuhara Ayaka performed Million Live’s Blue Symphony.
Super Ultra Cute Idol Minase Iori celebrated her birthday on the 5th of May. The 9th Anniversary Live BD was released in May, and IM@STUDIO had its public recording: SPECI@L T@LKING ULTR@ R@DIO this month where Blue Feather Mask, a wrestler sent a video message to celebrate Imai Asami’s (Kisaragi Chihaya) birthday.
SideM had its second niconama announcement, this time with the three Dramatic Stars members as hosts where they announced the voices for High×Joker: high school student band turned idols and Beit: part time workers turned idols in addition to announcing their CD singles.
Cinderella Girls also had its collaboration campaign with the Lawson conbini chain this month.
Starting June was the release of the second batch of the MASTER ARTIST 3 CDs featuring Miki, Iori and Takane.
I D O L IDOL YAHOO L O V E HAI HAI HAI!
Both Cinderella Girls radios had public recording events in June: CINDERELLA REAL PARTY 02 ~Iketeru Kanojo to Tanoshii Kouroku~ (IKATAKO) and Dereradi A’s Deresoni. In the YukuM@S KuruM@S niconama that aired on the 29th, they explained that June had everyone doing preparations for the 10th live, and that is why it looks pretty empty compared to other months.
The month of the 10th anniversary live, July also had the release of third batch of the MASTER ARTIST 3 CDs featuring Chihaya, Yukiho and Mami. Around a week before the 10th anniversary, a typhoon was heading towards the Kanto area, but died down right before the live started.
Cinderella Girls’ second season started airing the night before the 10th anniversary live, in addition to a special niconama featuring the staff showing the area around Seibu Dome.
765 Pro took the stage as main performers on the first day of the 10th anniversary, while the Cinderella Girls and Million Lives acted as support members, and all three groups went up the stage together on the second day of the live. Lots of announcements happened during the live, the biggest being a short PV for the PS4 IDOLM@STER game. The Million Live girls also performed their newest song Dreaming for the first time in the live, and an animated PV for Million Live was also shown.
High×Joker and Beit had their CD singles released this month, and the CD single for the 4th Cinderella Girls winners, Absolute Nine was also released on the same month.
Cinderella Girls opened this year with their SUMMER FESTIV@L at Maihama Amphitheater where they announced their third anniversary live. The second season opening, Shine!! was also released this month, and like before, they had release events across Japan.
Million Live announced their third live tour on a niconama stream, and this time, all 37 Millionstars members are slated to appear across 5 different cities.
765 Pro along with μ’s from Love Live opened up Animelo Summer Live 2015 with a cross-franchise collaboration. On the second day, Cinderella Girls also appeared on stage, while Imai Asami had her solo anisama debut.
August also had announcements for the third batch of SideM voiced units. This time S.E.M.: ex school teacher turned idols and W: ex football players sibling idols got voiced. The first SideM live was also announced during the niconama, and every single voiced SideM unit at this time were slated to appear in the live.
Hasegawa Akiko (Hoshii Miki) also gave birth to a healthy baby boy this month!
THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage game was released at the start of September, quickly amassing 4 million downloads across Android and iOS platforms. As a part of the real 346 Pro collaboration series, Cinderella Girls also had a collaboration with Sagan Tosu, a football team from Tosu where they created a new song for the team.
Tokyo Game Show happened during the second half of the show, and 765 Pro in addition to Cinderella Girls appeared on stage to promote Must Songs and Starlight Stage. During the stage, 765 Pro performed the top part of GOIN’!!!! with the Cinderella Girls. Eriko also tried playing the game in M@STER, only to immediately fail after a few seconds. During TGS, GamiP also did a review of the IDOLM@STER’s history, starting from the arcade days until that point in time.
The third CD series for Million Live: LIVE THE@TER DREAMERS 01 was released in September and sold around 67,000 copies, the highest in the IDOLM@STER history.
SideM Radio: 315 Pro Night also had their first public recording event in September.
Other than the ending of the Cinderella Girls anime, the month of October was another low-key month with Million Live having its LTD01 release event where Yamazaki Haruka, Tadokoro Azusa and Machico (Ibuki Tsubasa) covered other 765 Theater member’s songs.
Yayoi and Azusa’s MASTER ARTIST 3 were also released in October along with W and S.E.M.’s singles. At the end of the month, the Cinderella Girls 2nd Live BD that turns into a music box was also released in addition to the second LTD CD, featuring duets by the Million Live idols.
SideM had their first collaboration with Granblue Fantasy this month, with Teru, Kaoru and Tsubasa appearing as playable characters, and Pierre as a summon. Lancelot from Granblue also appeared in SideM for the event.
The final batch of MASTER ARTIST 3 with Ami and Ritsuko were released at the start of November, and Million Live had the release event for Live Theater Dreamers 02, this time featuring duos. A special event featuring Asamingosu P and Dire1 in Nakano Broadway’s Namco arcade also happened then.
Oohashi Ayaka, Fukuhara Ayaka, Hara Sayuri, Yoshimura Haruka, Aoki Ruriko, Matsuzaki Rei and Igarashi Hiromi appearance as Cinderella Girls on NHK’s Music Japan was aired on November, marking the first IDOLM@STER live performance that was recorded specifically for a TV show. The 8th batch of the CINDERELLA MASTER featuring Tachibana Arisu, Katagiri Sanae, Ichinose Shiki, Shiomi Syuuko and Sakurai Momoka were also released in November, just in time for the 3rd anniversary live.
Said 3rd anniversary live was held successfully at the end of the month, a few months before the live was held, Harada Hitomi (Totoki Airi) who was slated to appear in the live was injured, and she was replaced by Matsuda Satsumi (Hoshi Syoko)
The 4th SideM niconama also happened in November, and this time Sai: ex traditional Japanese artists and FRAME: ex public servants got their units voiced.
SideM’s first live happened in December in the Maihama Amphitheater with Jupiter, Dramatic Stars, Beit, High☓Joker, S.E.M and W appearing. Despite having been around for quite some time and having their songs covered in lives, the SideM’s first live was Jupiter’s first live performance.
Must Songs Red and Blue, the Taiko no Tatsujin x The IDOLM@STER collaboration for the PS Vita were also released at the start of December. A collaboration between The IDOLM@STER Xenoglossia and Super Robot Taisen X-Ω also happened during Christmas!
Closing the year were two special programs, the first being a review of the 10th Anniversary live and the Nakano Broadway event on November, and the other was a look back of 2015 and announcements for the future of The IDOLM@STER featuring the cast and staff.
2015 has been an interesting year for this franchise, Cinderella Girls spearheaded this year with the anime and now Cinderella Stage. Million Live is entering that position next with their Live Theater Dreamers CD being the top selling The IDOLM@STER CD, and their tour starting at the beginning of 2016. SideM has also started their acceleration with their first live in addition to more units getting voiced next year. In terms of 765 Pro, in addition to radio events and MASTER ARTIST 3,
two of the cast members safely gave birth to their first child!
Looks like THREE of the cast members safely gave birth to their first child! Congratulations Nigo Mayako for her first baby boy!
UPDATE 2: Nakamura Eriko finally managed to login to her blog again. Her previous post happened on 2 August 2013.
Next year will also be an interesting one as Million Live starts its tour, Cinderella Girls’ Starlight Stage will also keep on growing. SideM’s constant adding of new voices probably means a bigger live in the future, what with their first live selling out immediately. The Playstation 4 game will also bring fresh air to 765 Pro and mark The IDOLM@STER’s expansion to the Playstation 4!