© BNEI/PROJECT SideM

The first The iDOLM@STER TV anime premiered in 2011, and had quite a few episodes focused on the conflicts between the female idols of the 765Pro agency and the male boy band Jupiter of 961Pro. They had a fairly conclusive ending. However, the prologue to The iDOLM@STER Side M anime brings these idols back to how the two anime series are connected.

The iDOLM@STER Prologue Side M: Episode of Jupiter focuses on the idol unit Jupiter, a three-man boy band who gained fame through their hit single “Alice and Guilty,” striking the hearts of girls all across Japan in the process. The members of the boy band Jupiter originally started from nothing, gained everything, and then lost it all by choice.

The leader Toma started as a normal high school student, the eldest Hokuto was a professional model, and the youngest Shota’s elder sister applied for him to become a model without him even knowing. These three were hand-picked by the president 961Pro (also known as Kuroi Production, literally meaning “Dark Production”) to become top idols of the industry. Thanks to the president’s influence, the idols were featured on big TV shows, given huge hit CD releases, and got the chance to appear in widely-known music festivals. Whether the president did this through “clean” methods was another story.

While at first the stubborn and hot-headed Toma refused to believe that their president could do something like sabotage a rival unit’s concert, Jupiter’s leader finally realized that he treated them as nothing but pawns to move the agency forward. Fed up with the man who turned him into an idol because of his shady ways, Toma ditched the 961Pro agency, and his two band members followed him. They began holding their own concerts and promoting their unit themselves. When Jupiter subsequently makes an appearance in 2014’s THE IDOLM@STER MOVIE: Beyond the Brilliant Future!, they seem to be doing well, and even ask Haruka—their former rival—for tickets to her arena concert (this scene is revisited in the special).

© BNEI/PROJECT SideM

Day in and day out, Toma and his friends are scouted by sleazy agencies hoping to prey on their former fame. Despite this, Toma refuses every single one of them, insisting that he wants to make the fans happy with his own power. However, he is forced to realize that there is a limit of what he can do as an independent artist. Without the power of an agency he can trust, he will be unable to bring Jupiter any further. Thus, this leads the top idols of Jupiter to join an agency, 351Pro, which has just started business.

This story is almost an ironic nod to the original idols of 765Pro that Jupiter used to be in conflict with so much. 765Pro started as a tiny agency without much work and lots of problems, but thanks to the work of a reliable producer, staff, and of course, the idols themselves, they were able to rise to the top. Jupiter never had to rise to the top, but now stands at the bottom where 765Pro used to be.

Toma was kind of a stubborn and gullible jerk in the original The iDOLM@STER anime, believing the lies his president fed to him about 765Pro being the bad guys and resorting to violence (though if the first episode of the anime shows anything, it’s that that hasn’t really changed). But in this entire episode focused on him—and to a less degree, his team mates Hokuto and Shota—we’re able to see that he really cares about playing fair and taking care of his fans more than anything. He’s actually sympathetic.

© BNEI/PROJECT SideM

It’s a fabulous start to the rebirth of this idol who I’ve been cheering on in The iDOLM@STER franchise for around seven years. With other male idols joining the mix, we’ll have to see how his climb back to fame will go.

The iDOLM@STER Side M is streaming on Crunchyroll with subtitles. If you’d like to see their entire journey, as well as that of the 765Pro girls, you can watch the first TV anime there as well.

Anime News Newtwork Feed

    Close
    Prev
    Next