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Anime: The iDOLM@STER

The iDOLM@STER is the second TV series based on the video game series of the same name. It is produced by A-1 Pictures and aired through the the summer and Fall of 2011.

The anime follows the exploits of an unnamed rookie Producer starting work at 765 Productions, a struggling talent company who manage Idol Singers. He immediately gets thrown in the deep end by being assigned twelve aspiring idols, each with their own particular talents, personalities and ambitions. It will be a long and tough road to stardom, but by spending time with his charges and bonding with them, the Producer stands the best chance of learning what makes each girl tick and where their strengths truly lie.

Legally available to watch on Crunchyroll.

For the original video game and history of the franchise, see The Idolmaster.

For the first anime, an Elseworld Real Robot story largely unrelated to the source material, see Idolmaster: Xenoglossia.

The anime provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the idols gets their own episode that focuses on them and their issues.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime combines story elements from all of the game routes, and Miki, Takane, and Hibiki are already part of 765 Pro from the start instead of eventually defecting from 961 Pro.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: See All There in the Manual below.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Used as a joke at the expense of Yayoi in episode 15.
  • Alternate Continuity: The anime is based mostly on Idolm@ster 2, but it tweaks it a lot and uses several elements of the other games too.
  • The Anime of the Game
  • Ascended Meme: In the seventh episode, a Nonowa doll can be seen on the floor next to Yayoi's little sister's leg.
    • As of episode 15, Robo-Chihaya (guest starring Black Haruka) is now a reality. Or at least a movie.
    • Mujin Gattai Kisaragi can be taken as an Ascended Meme as a whole. In there we have Black Haruka, The Washboard on Kisaragi, and Yukiho's hole-digging antics are referred to in Takane's (Yukidrill's pilot) catchphrase.
  • A Friend in Need: Centric part of the plot for the whole show, more visible during some characters' Heroic BSOD's
  • All There in the Manual: Some events in the anime series make a lot more sense if you've played through the game and unlocked the backstories for the idols.
  • An Aesop: The second episode teaches Ami, Mami, Yayoi, and Iori about individuality.
    • The seventh deals with running away, although it's not any of the idols who runs awaynote 
    • Really, each episode gives a lesson to at least one character. In Episode 6, the Producer learns to trust his idols' abilities.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The characters keep stressing that even though 765 Pro is a huge success, this is only the beginning for them. Plus, they're financially back at square zero after getting scammed by Kuroi.
  • Animation Bump: The majority of the dance numbers flow quite nicely, especially in Episode 13. And when Chihaya regains her voice.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Miki can sleep most anywhere. This includes the trunk of a van, two or three foldable chairs, and even while Haruka is piggybacking her in episode 26.
  • Aren't You Forgetting Someone?: The Producer repeated this word-by-word when the girls forgot him buried in a sand castle.
  • Art Shift: Whenever Kotori gets into an Imagine Spot, this happens. Thus far, the art sometimes shifted into Shojo style, or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure style. Then it's back with a vengeance in episode 26.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Hibiki stops in the middle of her swimming race with Makoto in ep 5 to catch a fish.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Several girls' stage outfits, specially the ones from the concert in episodes 13, 20 and 21.
    • Miki, Ami and Mami in casual clothes
    • Miki', Hibiki's, Makoto's and Yayoi's training outfits, though these last two appear only in episode 1 ending.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 5.
  • Beat: Episode 25 gives us this exchange.
    Miki: No, no! I'll not give Honey up, even to you, Haruka!
    Haruka: Eehhh?!
  • Bears Are Bad News: Subverted and discussed by the girls in episode 15, when Hibiki is shown being in front of a "Beware of the Bears" sign.
  • Beauty Mark: Kotori. It seems to jump around her face from time to time.
  • Being Watched: Takane feels the presence of the Paparazzi during episode 19.
  • Big Damn Heroes: On the Live For You OVA. Iori sends a helicopter to pick up the girls that are stranded somewhere in the middle of Japan, so they can make it in time for their live.
  • Big Fancy House: Iori's.
  • Bland-Name Product: Miki's headphones are a Somy, Chihaya lives near a Burger Queen, the camera Yoshizawa uses is a Qanon, the bilboard announces a Tricster, there's a PSB in the office in episode 17, etc.
  • Blank White Eyes: Haruka gets this when the Futami twins are trying to discover who stole the pudding.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Miki (blonde), Chihaya (brunettenote ), and Haruka (redhead) fit this trope when they host Live!? On Sunday.
  • Blue with Shock: Yukiho had several of these at the beggining of the series. Haruka, Makoto and Iori also had one in at least one occasion.
  • Blush Sticker: Miki on the Live For You OVA.
  • Bonus Episode: The Live For You OVA came bundled with the Live For You version of the game.
  • Book Dumb: Haruka and Yayoi are implied to be this in episode 11.
  • Breathe on the Fan: Hibiki does this once.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Subverted/Played with in a In-Universe example during episode 15, with Haruka's mention of the script (lampshaded by Miki) and Ami and Mami commenting about the report during the Ramen segment with Takane.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Haruka...
  • But Not Too Foreign: Takane is implied to be this, but never outright stated. There are even some hints that she may be from the moon.
  • Butt Monkey: The Producer. Watered down, but still the focus of a good part of the laughs.
  • Call Back: The girls referencing the Beach Episode (ep 5) on the Christmas Episode (22).
    • Iori and Makoto telling Yukiho to shut up in episode 10 the same way Haruka and Iori do it on the song Danketsu. Works too as a Shout-Out to itself.
  • Camera Abuse: Ami and Mami literally grab a hold of the camera demanding to be filmed in the first episode.
  • Cat Smile: The Futami twins do this sometimes. More prominent during their introduction on the first episode.
    • Makoto has this too when the Producer tells her there's comments about how "sexy" she's becoming.
  • The Cameo: 876Pro's Ai, Eri, and Ryo show up for The Big Talent Agency Sports Competition in episode 10. They also are shown in one of the shots of episode 18's ending, and on episode 25 during an interview with Yoshikawa. The last moment also features Manami, Ai, and Ryo's manager.
  • Character Focus: By episode 19, every idol has had a focus episode.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Haruka's Christmas present for the Producer, a wallet.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Prominent in the final minutes of the final episode when everyone on the 765 Agency goes Cherry Blossom viewing.
  • Chick Magnet: More of a Fangirl magnet, but otherwise fits Makoto fits to T.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 22.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: From the Live For You OVA. Haruka - Red, Miki - Green, Chihaya - Blue.
  • Clark Kenting: Haruka literally puts on glasses (and a hat) to avoid being recognized in public in the second half of the series.
  • Class Trip: Lampshaded by Haruka during the Beach Episode that their hotel had this feel.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Miki's reaction in the final episode when the Producer reveals a wallet he received as a get-well present (really his Christmas gift) from Haruka.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Takane in Episode 2.
    Chihaya: Haruka? What's wrong?
    Haruka: I think my heart is going to leap out of my chest.
    Takane: That's terrible. *gets up* We need to call a doctor.
  • Conspicuous CG: The audience in ep 25.
  • Cooking Duel: An Iron Chef-esque version in episode four.
  • Cool Big Sis: Aside from Azusa, Yayoi is this to her siblings.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Miki pulls this off on the Producer from time to time.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Mostly Ritsuko, but Haruka has one of these on the Live For You OVA.
  • Cry Cute: Yayoi. Later, Chihaya in episode 20.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Hibiki.
  • Dancing Theme: Both openings. At least the first ending (The World Is All One) counts as well.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the first half of the series was very lighthearted, the second half progressively began to take on darker tones, culminating in 765 Pro's rivalry with 961, Chihaya's dead little brother plot, and the Producer getting into a life threatening accident and Haruka's subsequent breakdown.
    • Also, the movie trailer in the standalone episode 26. It's for a mafia-esque flick in which almost all of the characters the idols are playing die except four (Iori, Haruka, Azusa, and Ritsuko's).
  • Date Crêpe: The Producer with Makoto on their "date" to the amusement park.
  • Date Peepers: Miki, Takane, Makoto, and Yukiho each spy on the others in their date with the Producer.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: When Iori is telling ghost stories to Makoto and Yukiho at the beach at night.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Chihaya came very close to crossing that line.
  • Does Not Like Men: Yukiho is frightened of any men, though she overcomes this in episode 3. Inverted/played with Makoto, who wants more male fans.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Chihaya during her Heroic BSOD.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The song "Yakusoku" on episode 20. Fits because even if the girls are Idol Singers, they are not song writers.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Well, by the arm, but otherwise fits during Makoto and the Producer's date.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: The audience in episode 15, particularly towards Azusa's outfit.
  • Ending Theme: Subverted. Each episode has a different song sung by the idols.
  • Epic Fail: Episode 15, Makoto tried to wear a cute Magical Girl-style dress and 'cutefy' herself (call herself 'Mako-rin' and make up cute sounds). The audience is not amused...At least until Yukiho fixes her to a more boyish outfit, and the audience instead Squees like crazy.
  • Even Rivals Have Standards: While Touma may look down on the idols of 765, he was clearly disgusted of Kuroi's underhanded tactics of sending a paparazzi at Takane. Later, Jupiter themselves are even more disgusted when they learn Kuroi uncovering Chihaya's tragic past and slandering her in a magazine. They finally called it quits once they learn that Kuroi is trying to sabotage the 765 Pro again. To be fair, the only reason Touma acted the way he did in the first place was because of Kuroi deceiving him and the other two members of Jupiter into thinking that 765 was using underhanded tactics to achieve their popularity, while remaining oblivious to those used by his boss.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Makoto is not only popular with teenage girls, but housewives as well!
  • The Everyman: The Producer so very much. Even his description is nondescript.
  • Evidence Scavenger Hunt: It's played with when the Futami twins are trying to discover who stole Iori's pudding from the fridge. Complete with summation in the end.
    • Another one from the same episode, earlier they are shooting a drama episode where this happens to the three sisters that are the played by the three girls from the Ryuugu Komachi.
  • Evolving Credits: The ending credits always change depending on which idol was the focus of the episode.
    • Following episode 21 Chihaya's singing scene in the opening changes, having brighter lighting and Chihaya smiling.
  • Executive Meddling: An in-universe example occurs when the variety show "Are We Live?", which stars a number of the idols as hosts, is canceled despite good ratings. The main reason for the cancellation is to free up the Sunday timeslots for other shows.
  • The Faceless: President Takagi and Kuroi.
  • Faceless Masses: The audience in episode 25.
  • Festival Episode: The girls make their first stage as a group on Ep 3 during a festival. Episode 19 shows the girls visiting one, and Chihaya remembers her dead brother when they were both at a festival.
  • Flashback: Chihaya gets quite a few.
  • Fragile Flower: Yukiho.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In episode 11, Haruka and Chihaya have a sleepover in an apartment building named "Mber". Haruka, Chihaya, and Imber were in a robomantic love triangle in Idolmaster: Xenoglossia.
  • French Maid Outfit: The outfit Hibiki and Takane use during the "Ribbit Ribbit Kitchen" episode. Complete with Zettai Ryouiki.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Played literally with Miki in episode 24 when she has a chance to become the solo MC of the show to be aired in the timeslot that would succeed the "Live?! On Sundays" show.
  • Full-Name Basis: Takane does this on occasion.
  • Gainaxing: Zigzagged in Episode 10 between Azusa and Takane.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Azusa gets the mumps a few days before a RGKM secret live in episode 18. Ritsuko is forced to come out of idol retirement to take her place.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself, Girl!: In episode 16, Hibiki's hamster does this to her!
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Yukiho naturally, and, unusually, Makoto, gets freaked out by Iori's scary stories and the haunted house at an amusement park.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Iori is always with her bunny Charles. Makoto is prone to this too.
  • The Glomp: Episode 10. Makoto receives one, initially by Yayoi, Ami, and Mami.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Parodied in episode 9 by Ami when she has to leave for an interview and left Mami to investigate the disappearance of Iori's pudding.
  • Gonk: Played for laughs on episode 2 with Iori, Ami, Mami, and Yayoi trying to look more... erm... "adult".
  • Gullible Lemmings: Touma believes in Kuroi's lies that 765Pro are cheats and cowards, but is unaware that Kuroi regularly uses these tactics.
  • Hands-On Approach: Ritsuko showing the RGKM what they were doing wrong on the dance routine they were rehearsing. Ends up backfiring on her later that episode.
  • Head Pet: Hamzou enjoys being on Hibiki's shoulder or head.
  • Heroic BSOD: Chihaya goes through one in Episode 20. It's so severe, she loses her voice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Producer in two instances. Taking a punch from a thug who was aiming for Makoto in episode 17, and saving Haruka from falling in the stage pit on episode 23 only to fall himself.
  • He's Back: Chihaya tries to invoke this on her own, but fails miserably... until the rest of 765PRO come onstage and sing with her, giving her the final push for her comeback.
    • And a more concrete example comes in the next episode when she starts singing in a capella while the audience looks in disbelief.
  • Hidden Depths: Episode 21 shows that Kotori isn't just a simple Sexy Secretary. She has the skills and the voice talent to rival any of the current idols. She was in fact an idol herself in her younger days, under the tutelage of Takagi and Kuroi before the falling-out of the two executives.
  • Hidden Eyes: Chihaya gets this during the bath scene in episode 5. Kuroi's face is normally hidden, but the only time we see his face he's actually like this too in episode 25.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Ritsuko tells the girls to overcome the heat with their minds... while she's with both her feet in a bucket of iced water. Also a shoutout to a near-identical scene in You're Under Arrest!.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: President Kuroi convinces the audio technician from the Idol Jam to conveniently forget where he put the CD with the 765PRO idols songs. This comes to bites him in the rear, when Chihaya starts to sing "Nemuri Hime" in a cappella, making the tech (and the crowd) be so moved by the scene that he restarts the audio in the next chorus, effectively creating a greater effect on the public than it would be if she had just started singing normally.
    • Also, this little stunt was the last drop for his own group of Idols who didn't want to keep up with his crap anymore and quit his company before "Nemuri Hime" even ended.
  • Idol Singer: Quite obviously a whole bunch of them, not only the girls on the 765PRO.
  • Indecisive Medium: Part of the Red Herring on the first episode, with the Producer's lines not spoken but subtitled, as in the game.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Iori, Mami, Ami, and Yayoi's dresses when retaking their promos.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Parodied by Ami and Mami in episode 9.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ami and Mami have one for almost everyone in the main cast.
    • Nii-chan - Producer
    • Harurun - Haruka
    • Mikimiki - Miki
    • Yayoichi - Yayoi
    • Piyo-chan - Kotori
    • Himechin - Takane
    • Hibikin - Hibiki
    • Yukipyon - Yuikiho
    • Makochin - Makoto
    • Iorin - Iori
    • Ricchan - Ritsuko
  • Joshikousei: Though not displayed as much as implied, several of the girls are in high school.
  • Karaoke Mic: The Producer sings on one during their Cherry Blossom Viewing on the last episode, though we don't get to hear him.
  • Karma Houdini: President Kuroi.
  • Limited Social Circle: The girls aren't shown to have many friends outside their 765PRO ones. The only one with a named friend is Azusa, and even then, Tomomi is never shown (or voiced for that matter). To be fair, at least Haruka was shown in episode 11 eating lunch with her classmates in the ending sequence, but they never appear in the main show.
  • Luminescent Blush: Played for laughs. Chihaya blushes when Miki enters the bath with her and Haruka on the Live For You OVA, though it isn't as much an embarrassed blush and more an envious one.
  • Magic Skirt: Despite all the dance routines, there's not a single Panty Shot during the whole show. Maybe justified since the stage outfits are, well stage outfits and therefore made to be this way. The only time this is almost averted is with Azusa in episode 15 when she's wearing the same clothes as the workers from the daycare center they're filming at.
  • Male Gaze: The cameraman on Ribbit Ribbit Kitchen certainly knows where he's aiming.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-universe example — sweet and kind Haruka plays the Big Bad of a movie according to the trailers. She apparently was enjoying it.
    • Happens again in the yakuza style movie with the Futami twins who are the most violent characters in it.
  • Megaton Punch: The Futami twins apply one of these on the Producer on ep 6, lampshaded even.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: One of Azusa's old promo pic has her doing this, complete with the white dress.
  • Meet Cute: 14 of them in the first episode, each with their own little quirk.
  • Mockumentary: The premise of episode 1 and the Producer's introduction.
  • Modesty Towel: Miki in episode 5.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 19 ends with quite a predicament for Chihaya, but the ending theme sung by Takane is strangely cheerful. Only justified in that this episode, the character focus was Takane, but even then...
  • Mythology Gag: Mujin Gattai Kisaragi. The idols piloting giant robots — where have we heard that before?
    • In episode 26, Ami ad Mami remark about how the Producer has gone to America. He shows up shortly after, although he actually does go to America in the Good or True endings of Idolmaster 2.
    • The "Chihaya vs. the Karaoke Machine" scene is a reference to an incident in the production of the game. When Asami Imai was recording "Ohayou! Asagohan", she sang it in a more natural/classical style, which the staff didn't think matched the mood of the song. They kept telling her to make it more staccato, and the result led to the Robo-Chihaya meme. Cue this scene, with the machine standing in for the staff.
    • Episode 12: "Your visual stat increased!"
  • Named by the Adaptation: Chihaya's younger brother, previously unnamed in the games, is now given the name "Yuu".
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Makoto will NEVER get out of her fame as The Prince. When she tried 'cutefying' herself, she ends up making an Epic Fail instead.
  • No Name Given
  • No Romantic Resolution: Considering that the story is about a male producer around 12 female idols (two of which are not JailBait), a female producer and a female secretary it's a wonder that this anime didn't go down a more cliched road. One of the reasons the Producer is called Broducer.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The Futami twins love to tease the other girls (specially Iori and Makoto).
  • Not a Date: The Producer trying to defuse the bomb Makoto throws as soon as they get back to the office from the amusement park.
  • Odango Hair: Miki in the bath scene on the Live For You OVA.
    • One of Yayoi siblings sports this too.
  • Oddly Visible Eyebrows: Take a look at the characters page' pictures.
  • Once per Episode: The frontal shot of the 765 Pro office building, with the exception of the 13th episode.T hey're doing their first large-scale concert and were nowhere near their office.
  • One-Girl Army: Makoto beat the relay race practically by herself, since that (no thanks to Yayoi) Iori passed the batton to her in second-to-last place. And with an injured knee.
  • One Steve Limit: Played almost too close for comfort with Ami and Mami, and lampshaded in the introduction of the movie Majin Gattai Kisaragi. Ami plus Mami equals Amami. (Granted their written names are sufficiently different).
    • And in the game we have Ai and her mother Mai.
  • One of the Boys: Much to Makoto's dismay.
  • Onion Tears: Iori in episode 3.
  • Only Six Faces: 765 Pro idols, like in the games, albeit less noticeable.
  • Paparazzi: An unnamed one is hired by Kuroi to dig up dirt about the 765PRO Idols.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Even more than Haruka's Clark Kenting, Makoto dressing up as a boy so she wouldn't be recognized.
  • Photo Booth Montage: Miki in episode 12 and Makoto in episode 17.
  • Pinky Swear: The Producer twice to Yukiho (episode 3) and Miki (episode 12).
  • Plot Tumor: Chihaya's issues concerning her dead little brother keep popping up in various episodes, even when the focus isn't on her, and are constantly foreshadowed throughout the series, before it eventually blows open in episode 20 when the series does focus on her.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Producer to Miki on episode 6, setting the chain of events that almost made her quit for good on episode 12. Though, to be fair, he was in the middle of what seemed to be an important phone call, and the fact that Miki kept talking to him despite the fact probably didn't help.
  • The Power of Friendship and Trust
  • The Producer Is Useless: Mostly through the first half of the anime and in the Live For You OVA. When Chousuke (Yayoi's brother) ran away from home in episode 7, he just runs around without stopping to think about it (Iori calls him out on this afterwards). When Azusa disappears in the next episode, he started running around without doing much of anything while Makoto is beating up thugs.
  • Put on a Bus: The Producer in episode 26...or so the twins lead us to think.
  • Red Herring: The Producer's lines in the first episode aren't voiced, leading to believe that the adaptation of the game would be a literal adaptation.
  • Refusal of the Call: Ritsuko really doesn't want to be a pinchhitter for Azusa when she gets the mumps. The thing is, she doesn't have a choice.
  • Rehearsing Montage: Several, with the first one going along the credits of the very first episode.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hamzou. Arguably also a Hypercompetent Sidekick, especially since said critter can understand a TV show on cable.
  • Seamless Spontaneous Lie: The Producer to Makoto in episode 17 (helped by Haruka).
  • Serious Business: Well, 765 PRO is an Idol Agency, after all.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Miki, Ami, and Mami in episode 22.
  • Ship Tease: A good portion of the second half of the anime has this with several of the girls, particularly when the girl is the focus of the episode.
  • Shout-Out: There's probably some staff from Sora No Woto working on the series, given Sister Yumina's appearance as a minor background character (the photographer's assistant) in episode 2. Wait, why does Chihaya in the anime look like Rio?
    • Episode 5 gives us Azunyan (see Stealth Pun below).
    • In episode 6, Miki is wearing a Mr. Driller T-shirt in one scene.
    • The Oil Baron's henchmen who fought in the epic kung-fu fight with Makoto atop the ladder in episode 8 looks very much like one of the Bakusa brothers from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Hint: both shows share the same character designer!
    • In episode 10, a possible reference to Perfume is made with the "three member technopop unit Barium." One of the members is even named Necchi.
    • There is a Taiko no Tatsujin arcade booth in episode 12, and also a logo of Mr. Driller is been seen.
    • Episode 14 gives a nod to the iM@S spin-off series Puchimas!, with Chihyah, Haruka-san, Makochii, and Yayo trinkets.
    • Episode 15 also had an incident where Haruka was hit by a box with Chihaya beside her. Funny on its own, hilarious when you find out that Haruka's seiyuu Eriko Nakamura and Chihaya's seiyuu Asami Imai were in that same position back in 2004.
    • Episode 24 showed a preschooler had an uncanny resemblance to Kanata. Likely intentional since the character designer for Sora No Woto was involved in the production of the episode.
    • While they do use a different name, episode 5 had the Futami twins give one to Hedorah, The Smog Monsternote 
    • Blink and you miss it, but in episode 2, one of the old promo photos of the idols has Azusa dress up in Marilyn Monroe's famous white dress, complete with the up-skirt wind blow.
    • In the first episode, Ami does the famous Ultraman arm pose.
    • A trailer for a mafia flick in episode 26 makes a homage to Battles Without Honor and Humanity, of all things.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • "Ribbit Ribbit Kitchen" from episode 4 is a frog-themed cooking show on Frog TV.
    • Episode 15's "Live?! On Sundays" is a variety show hosted by all of 765's idols. Inside that show, we get Mujin Gattai Kisaragi.
    • Episode 26 brought back "Live?! On Sundays", plus a trailer for a mafia flick (a homage to Battles Without Honor and Humanity, of all things).
    • There's another one from episode 26, a romantic movie about a girl finally getting married that starred Azusa. It ended with a happy but tearjerking end, but ironically used "Tonari ni" as the main theme. A handful of fans argued further that this is a shout-out to a semi-famous fanmade video, 3A07, based on some stylistic similarities.
    • So, Miki is blond, boasts a figure that's the envy of her peers, and likes to call The Producer "Honey". Guess which anime theme song she fits.
    • The puchimasu version of Haruka is one to the Gremlins. It multiplies when wet, is sensitive to the sun, and becomes more aggressive when fed after midnight.
    • In Cinderella Girls, the background of the multi-idol Wonderful Magic series of cards features the silhouette of a castle that has a profile similar to Disney's Cinderella Castle.
  • Significant Birth Date: Yukiho's is on Christmas Eve, so the Christmas party in episode 22 doubles as her birthday party.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Kuroi's. Subverted in that he's never revealed.
  • Sleep Cute: A few.
    • Miki throughout the first quarter of the anime.
    • All the girls (except Iori, Azusa, Ami and Ritsuko) by the end of episode 13.
    • Most of the girls in episode 5 are sleeping soundly.
  • Slice of Life: This show is basically a Slice of Life with an Idol twist.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Yoshizawa seems to always have a cigarette on his lips.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Makoto's battle with some men in black is set to Agent Yoru wa Yoku.
  • Snow Means Death: The climax scene in the Idols' second movie trailer in episode 26.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Kotori whenever she gets out of one of her Imagine Spots.
  • Staring Kid: Episode 5, the kids are amazed by Yukiho digging a hole on the sand... for the sake of digging a hole in the sand.
  • Stealth Pun: In episode 5, there's a scene where Azusa and The Producer are drinking, while Ritsuko is there too but doesn't drink. As The Producer and Ritsuko converse, one can hear the tipsy Azusa going "Neko neko nyan nyan~ Neko nyan nyan~" in the background. Doesn't that make her Azunyan?
    • It seems to be a song that Azusa likes personally. In the Puchimasu subseries, she can be heard humming the same thing while going for work. "Kitty kitty meow meow~"
  • Stock Footage: The final episode has this in spades.
    • Stock Footage Failure: How can Azusa and Takane be dancing on the floor in front of the stairs and in the next take they're still descending said stairs?
      • In a less obvious example, the animators themselves got confused over Ami and Mami's costumes. Ami starts off wearing yellow and Mami with pink, then during the CHANGE!!!! segment, both of them are wearing pink. Mami's costume then changes to yellow during the last bits of the READY!! segment with the close-up of her and Iori, before they revert back to the original costumes they were in.
  • Sweat Drop
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel
  • Tan Lines: More noticeable on Hibiki at the end of the Beach Episode.
  • Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes
  • Taste the Rainbow
  • Team Shot: Several In-Universe, not counting both openings and a few of the endings.
  • Tears of Joy: Several throughout the anime.
    • Episode 10 - Yayoi holding the trophy they won during the competition at the end.
    • Episode 13 - When the girls manage to buy enough time for RGKM to get to the concert hall.
    • Episode 20 - Chihaya coming to terms with her past, and Ritsuko on the moment she hears Chihaya's singing again.
    • Episode 22 - Yukiho upon receiving "Happy Birthday" wishes from the other girls.
  • Tempting Fate: Inverted on the Live For You OVA.
    Miki: At a time like this it would be nice if a giant robot or a spaceship suddenly appeared to take us... *cue a helicopter sent by Iori to pick them up*
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Miki stops showing up when she finds out she's not going to get into Ryuuguu Komachi. The Producer does make sure to get her back, though.
    • Later, Chihaya stops coming after her tragic past is revealed by Kuroi, causing her to lose her voice. It takes the whole crew at 765 Studios to finally help her out.
    • Then later still, Haruka taking several days off as a result of her Heroic BSOD after the producer gets injured saving her life. Like Chihaya, the rest of 765 Studios help her out, however she also gets "help" from her subconsious self.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The relay race in episode 10 with L.O.B.M. playing. A few of the events of the race played exactly timed with the changes in the song rhythm to added effect, such as Hibiki's initial burst, Iori encouraging Yayoi to keep running, Makoto's overtakes and Yayoi cheering/begging Makoto to win. Interesting enough is that L.O.B.M. means Love Organized Boost Music.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Both openings of the show are rearranged and sung at the same time during the live in the final episode. Works too as Title Theme Drop and Last Episode Theme Reprise.
  • There Are No Therapists: Let alone a family one which Chihaya and her parents really needed after Chihaya's brother's death. It would have probably saved her parents' divorce and her breakdown when it's made public.
  • Through Their Stomach: Haruka is always bringing sweets to the office.
  • Title-Only Opening: Episodes 1, 13, 20 and 24.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Makoto and almost any of the other girls, but especially Yukiho.
  • Torpedo Tits: Azuscythe on the Mujiin Gattai Kisaragi trailer in episode 15
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A few episodes in the anime showcase Movies Within A Show the idols star in. All of them reveal the overall plot and major spoilers.
  • True Companions: Notably everyone in 765 Studios. This especially becomes a major plot point by episodes 23 and 24, but it shows throughout the whole series, like during Chihaya's crisis.
  • Two Girl Romantic Friendship: Haruka and Chihaya seem to have shades of this.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The girls are rarely seen using the same casual clothes (aside from the stage outfits).
  • The Unreveal: Three different types/instances. The Producer's real name. Presidents Takagi and Kuroi's faces, and Chihaya's forced smile in episode 2.
  • Verbal Tic: Miki's "-nano" and Yukiho's "-desu"
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Makoto and Iori.
  • The Voiceless: The first episode leads us to think that the Producer isn't voiced.
  • Watching the Sunset: Episode 5 has a scene like this.
  • Wedding Day: Played with in episode 8.
  • Weight Woe: Azusa, and boy can she be dramatic about it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Takagi and Kuroi.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 19, which marks the point at which the show stops subtly flirting with drama and decides to go for the kill. The preview for episode 20 makes it very clear that the tone of the story has changed completely.
    • Episode 23 shows the Producer getting in an accident trying to save Haruka. To make matters worse, there is no character ending theme. Nothing. Just a sad piano playing during the credits. There's even a shot of Miki, Kotori, Ritsuko, and the president at the hospital. This entire sequence makes it the darkest moment in the entire show. The preview to the next episode is even more unsettling.
      • Fortunately, despite Haruka falling into a Heroic BSOD in episode 24, the whole situation eventually gets resolved within the episode in a two-pronged way: the power of True Companions when the rest of the 765 girls realize what Haruka was feeling, and Haruka's subconsious younger self getting her back on her feet.
  • Wing Ding Eyes: Ritsuko and Kotori thinking about the next auditions after the girls retook their promo pictures.
  • Woman in White: Yukiho during the photoshoot on episode 2. Justified since it's her theme color.
  • Workaholic: The Producer doesn't seem to have a personal life... or any at all outside his job.
  • You Are Not Alone: Haruka's pledge to Chihaya on episode 20 when she's remembering her Darkest Hour and all the other girls calling for Haruka on episode 24 during their commercial for their next live.
  • Your Singing Needs Work: Chihaya, an idol who loves to sing and makes a career out of it, gets a sixty from a karaoke machine while singing her own songs!
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Several of the girls stage outfits have this. Kotori's work outfit has this too.

Hidamari SketchCreator/Tokyo Broadcasting SystemInfinite Stratos
Honey and CloverCreator/AniplexIl Sole penetra le Illusioni
Hard Corps: UprisingCreator/Tatsunoko ProductionIdolmaster: Xenoglossia
The Devil is a Part-Timer!Creator/Studio TriggerJoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Gundam Build Fighters TryCreator/Toei AnimationJoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Hyouge MonoAnime of the 2010sIkoku Meiro no Croisée

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