[Opinion] SideM Anime & Million Live, ~Once More, with Feelings~

This is a repost of my original blog post here, with some edits. Just note that the views expressed here are my own and are not a view shared by everyone and I don’t speak for HPT here.

TL;DR: Here I quote tablody-matome blog Yaraon for the proper verbiage: アイマスサイドMが先にアニメ化され、ツイッターのミリマスP達、精神を病み始める: When SideM anime gets announced first, Million Live Ps go into nervous breakdown.

To preface the context-heavy post, in brief, getting a proper TV anime treatment has been the dream of all fans of IM@S since forever, and the franchise today is as prominent as it is despite of the missteps the managements have committed all along the way. From the TGS incident to Xenoglossia there were a lot of bad moves–and by that I mean literally bad for their bottom line and alienating fans–that the management had to recover from to get to the point that they are today. Long-time fans of 765Pro suffer it with their staff and cast to get to this point, so the feeling we cheer for during Producer Meeting is one of mutual support and as people who have been through the ups and downs together over the years.

The point of this post is to improve understanding. I don’t want to or care to persuade anyone how to feel about their personal investment of time or energy, but learning about the same facts doesn’t always mean two people with different background and inclinations will come away with the same reaction. It’s just my attempt to explain a different point of view.

To be clear, a lot of pre-SideM Ps are interested in SideM. In fact thanks to the way IDOLM@STER conducted itself of trying to be inclusive, many producers (male or otherwise) keep tabs on SideM. They might not be into the series but they are cheering it on like what producers do. Sure, there are also plenty of people, producer or not, who find it difficult to support all or any number of branches of the IP. This sentiment is more prominent and easier to see in 2017, when massive event plans roll out along with the mobile game juggernaut Deresute. When you tax your fan base to the max, straining cracks do form. Do people remember 10 years ago, when we had maybe 2-3 IM@S events a year? In 2017 it’s like, 3 events a month.

And this isn’t something limited to Million Live Producers, who are understandably a little salty–I would know since I am one–but it’s worth writing about because there’s a thick context behind it.

  1. SideM tour was announced ahead of the live–this sounds like great fuel for “the sound girls make when they’re excited” on top of the SideM anime. But no, this gets announced 2 weeks earlier? Something or someone messed up.
  2. The grapevine on Million Live anime has been that A1 is busy with all these projects for 2016-2017, as of 2015. Why 2015? That’s when ML anime was first “teased” by the trailer similar to how CG got a trailer just months before the Dereani TV series being announced. Fast forward to 2017. The word from the same grapevine has been more or less the same, but it’s a matter of time. As a separate note, SideM may or may not carry with it the Anim@s tag in terms of the production team, but Million Live both uses Anim@s illustrators for in-game art and is basically all but confirmed to be A1 or else. (This is basically the sins of Xenoglossia being repaid.) For the record, CG is an year older than ML, and ML is about a year older than SideM.
  3. Unlike SideM, Million Live is both a reboot of 765Pro and its own thing. This is why there are songs for the 765Pro all stars in Million Live, and their characters appear in ML game (in a non-cameo basis) as well as the excellent Gessan manga (which is kind of like the bible for MiliPs in terms of those who care about story and development). Oh, the Gessan manga ended recently. Oops.
  4. ML4th Budokan is a month too far… But in terms of timing, SideM anime details won’t emerge until 3/15, so it’s really just hitching a ride on SideM 2nd. ML4th day 3 (if they were to announce ML anime then) is 3/12. Which goes up to point #1…
  5. The ML anime announcement, basically by indirect admission, is coming soon. I have separate rumor to confirm but GamiP’s behavior at least acknowledges this, for his apology only makes sense in this way.
    • Basically, during day 2 SideM 2nd, GamiP came on stage after the anime teaser to apologize to people waiting for ML anime, that SideM anime is announced first because guys walk with longer strides or some joke. The idea is the demand is higher so it got higher priority–or because they’re locked into the Anim@s crew for ML and they may be not for SideM.
  6. For folks reading into the sakuga tea leaves, they understand what this means when you’re stuck waiting for that same prolific crew. A lot of us are OK with Dereani but a lot of us are also weary of that production given its issues and delays. And as you can see, delays with these things do happen, and it can happen in various ways. A part of us want a good work that has been given the time to be properly produced, but we also realize we can only wait so long in this war of idols.

This really doesn’t have anything to do with “fujoshit” or anything like that (and those who think this way probably should be kindly reminded). It’s just that Milim@s Producers have been waiting for a while now, and in some ways, the future of our original ladies depend on it too, because surely they will also appear in the anime…

With that all said, I’m not making any excuses–it may suck but everyone has to deal with it. SideM Ps and folks happy about the anime news (which, to never lose sight of the big picture, is almost all of us here at HPT and most Ps out there) shouldn’t have to get soured by a few salty Ps among our midst. It’s not an excuse to be negative.  It’s just an opportunity to learn about the bigger history and picture here. In some ways I almost regret publishing this because it’s almost like mansplaning a good thing as if it’s not that good.

I guess the reason why I’m writing it down is to both collect the info and feelings into words, and also address it in case people are not aware of what’s happening.  Truth is both sideM anime and the Million Live adaptation in the future will have a big impact on the future of the main franchise, too. And until we know what SideM and ML anime are actually going to be detail-wise, it’s not something we should assume in the pessimistic direction. My hope is having a fuller understanding people will at least come to appreciate that things are not so black and white, especially with a franchise going onto its 12th year.

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