12 Days of Anime #3: A Fresh (Re)Start With Idolmaster and Penguindrum

There’s a satisfaction with following a show week in and week out until the end of the season. This is particularly due to some extent of fandom towards a show that causes one to keep watching every week. Even if such fandom is general and directed towards anime as a whole, there’s a draw that keeps appreciators waiting  for a new episode to come out. Look no further to one’s own feelings after an episode is aired. “Next Episode FUCKING WHEN” or similar rhetoric is indicative of restlessness for the weekly fix.

On the other hand, there’s a similar feeling of gratification when such experiences are held back and delayed to the very end. Some people are unwilling to deal with such week-to-week restlessness, and at some point, have to resort to waiting until the end of the show’s televised run. In this case, the fan forgoes the weekly motions of sifting through endless blog entries containing deep retrospection and sometimes outrageous speculation regarding the future of the series. Good things come to those who wait, and the reward for those patient enough to hold off their enjoyment until the end is the opportunity to experience something in its entirety in one go, uninterrupted.

This year, I applied such a tactic to two shows from the second half of the year, flagship titles representing the summer and fall seasons after the end of such favourites as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, Tiger and Bunny, and Nichijou. Both have reached their end. But for me, the show has just begun. Those two shows in question are Te iDOLM@STER and Mawaru Penguindrum.

Yesterday, I spent my entire evening watching the latter two-thirds of the Idolm@ster series, and ended up going through 15 episodes spanning from episode 10, the idol sports competition, all the way to 24, the melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Haruka Amami. Episode 25, the much-anticipated finale, is waiting for me at home when I finish work.

But I digress. Idolmaster, for all of its faults, including a very interesting 1st-episode presentation that is never revisited, a horrid case of androphobia (fortunately never visited again after episode 3), and a Hibiki spotlight episode that didn’t do justice to my favourite character in the show, it was purely entertaining. Performance sequences were remarkably produced. Characters were impressively fleshed out for a cast of 10+ and many more side characters.

And most importantly, the team itself, 765 Pro, truly established itself in the show as a true unit, with members who treat each other like family, something that I can truly get behind. Say what you will about which girl is superior to which girl, but they are who they are because of the impact made on them by the rest of the cast. Take one tiny cog from the machine, and it simply stops working. 765 is a master work of character dynamic, and the best-formed ensemble in recent memory. I will be greatly saddened after watching the finale, knowing that our time with the girls will end afterwards.

As for Mawaru Penguindrum, I’m about to go through the same experience with the final act of the series. After watching episode 17, I’ve committed myself to waiting until tonight, after watching the finale of Idolmaster, to watch the remaining 7 episodes. I’ve become quite the fan of the camp in this show, which has stark similarities to the camp in Star Driver (Takuya Igarashi and Kunihiko Ikuhara, each in charge of their own respective series, both have common ground in working on the utterly magificent and campilicious Revolutionary Girl Utena). I expect the finale to be nothing short of fabulous.

’tis the season to watch as much anime as possible before 2012 comes along. With a remarkable Fall season coming to a close, it was necessary to delay this post as far back as possible until the big series of the season have ended. Thursdays will never be the same.

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5 thoughts on “12 Days of Anime #3: A Fresh (Re)Start With Idolmaster and Penguindrum”

  1. Didn’t start marathoning Penguindrum yet, but I’m in the process of marathoning Suite Precure and iDOLM@STER. I’m going to be so sad when I finish these two shows, I love them so much ;_;

    1. Suite will still continue into 2012, but not for too long. I’ll miss it as well, but at least there’s Smile to look forward to!

  2. When I heard the announcement over The Idolmaster! I will admit I cringed a bit, I had previous experience with that Idolmaster XENOGLOSSIA such a lame series. However I gave episodes one through three a shot and found myself addicted! With characters like Haruka, Miki, Makoto and so many others! Well maybe not scare-of-men-and-dogs-Yukiho. I can’t really pick just one girl! They all have great personalities and mash up so well.

    This series offers lots of shipping wars via Twitter,aniblogs and personal tastes it always makes me laugh and smile seeing people praise this series! And well deserved makes me sad that I did not follow it for blogging…well always next season, OVA or Movies right? Damn….I will be sad when I watch 25 tonight.

    Favorite character of all time? Haruka! She reminds me of myself, I am usually happy and carefree 90% of the time…and I also like to cheer people up if they are down in the dumps..or try to at least haha…The 965 team reminds me of my second family of twitter friends and of course the great team at Metanorn! Well were not all moe chicks but whatever ❤

    Last thing! Have fun with Penguins! No spoilers but ya…enjoy.

    1. I will! have a merry christmas, Fosh!

      And by the way, for those interested, my final Idolrankings are as follows:

      1. Hibiki
      2. Makoto
      3. Haruka
      4. Takane
      5. Miki
      6. Yayoi
      7. Chihaya
      8. Azusa
      9. Iori
      10/11. Ami/Mami
      12. Yukiho

      1. Hohohoho that is a fantastic list! I don’t even have one, but we can all agree Yukiho is on the bottom of any Idolmaster ranking…but I bet there are some Yukiho lovers out there lurking in the shadows…

        Yep Merry Christmas buddy!

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