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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Song of the Week! 24 March 2012


Our IdolM@ster feature month is coming to a close! For our last one, we'll explore the series' many other areas of branding, outside of videogames. Get ready for...

Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DXx3 (106)x2 (130) x4 (286)x6 (392)
im@s MS Bluex3 (106)x4 (130) x5 (286)x6 (392)
Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, im@s MS Blue
Anime -> Game Music
 imasop / imsrdy (im@s MS Blue only)

Opening video

Our month-long Idolm@ster review closes with the first non-Game Music song of the series! Initially distributed as one of PSP DX's download songs, READY!! is the opening theme of the 2011 IdolM@ster anime, simply named THE iDOLM@STER. The plot of the 25-episode show focuses on the story that precedes the events of the PS3/XBox 360 videogame The Idolm@ster 2. A notable fact is that a great part of the popular IM@s songs from the games are all featured in the anime, both integrally or as short cameos! SMOKY THRILL and Kirame Kirari - our previous features - are used as the ending themes for episode 6 and 7 respectively. Yes, each episode has a different ending song!

But this isn't the first time that Namco's pop girls are used in animation; four years earlier, another anime, The Idolm@aster: Xenoglossia features a plot completely different from the games. In the show's post-apocalyptic world, 765 Pro's female idols have to protect planet Earth from several meteor showers by mounting and piloting giant robots. Sounds like an ordinary mecha TV show, isn't it? (Cruel Angel's Thesis, Sousei no Aquarion etc., but with girls instead of cold serious 'chosen one' types)

Even the girls' female voice actors became popular: after the release of the games' soundtracks, the majority of the series' seiyuu have been featured in larger-scale events, such as 7 live concerts, the Dearly Station webcasts and a pair of radio broadcasts, in which the voice actresses also sang several popular J-Pop and anime renditions, even some Namco game songs! (Katamari on the Swing)

But the Im@s merchandise goes further than just mere albums and action figures! More than 20 mangas and novels were released between 2005 and now, not to mention the overwhelming success of several themed expansions for a popular Japanese trading card game, the Weiβ Schwarz TCG, where girls from all manner of Japanese animes take part in a massive otaku strategy game. But now after this long wall of text, let's talk about today's song.

Composed by Akira Kamimae (神前暁) with yura's lyrics - the duo involved in Hakuchou no Mizuumi (白鳥の湖) and many other Im@s song already reviewed - READY!! is one of the latest songs for Taiko's largest Game Music series (17 and counting, as big as the 2000 series!), and also one of the shortest overall. Its short length and low note count makes it the easiest of all the IdolM@ster songs to pass, though being in the Anime genre probably had something to do with it as this genre is usually accessed by casual players more often.

And that's all for our 2nd themed month! There will be no Song of the Week next week, since there's loads of maintenance work and lyrics sheets to complete. But I'll be back on April, so keep on requesting songs for our future picks!