Manga: The iDOLM@STER 2: The World Is All One!!
This, this is their story. A story of an idol unit and their producer. The relationship they shared might have been a little strange, but their story was, without a doubt, about "Unity".
Once upon a time there was a nameless
, nonentity of a man working at the idol talent agency, 961 Production, doing doing nothing but tedious office work. That changes one day when he's sent to the office of 765 Production, a rival agency whose president his boss has a grudge against. A run in with several of 765's idol singers and a case of mistaken identity leads to some trouble but once everything is cleared up, our nameless protagonist is offered a job as a producer for 765 Pro! Much to his surprise his own president orders him to take the job, figuring it's a perfect opportunity to spy and sabotage his hated rival from within.
Enter Haruka Amami, Hibiki Ganaha, and Yukiho Hagiwara - the three "house sitters" of 765 Production. Despite having debuted as idols a year ago, they have no auditions, no jobs, and no popularity and thus spend all their time at the office doing nothing. Basically as nonexistent as their new producer. For indeed, the 961 Pro spy is appointed as the producer for the three fledgling, and failing, idols with the hope that some professional management will turn their fortunes around.
It's at this point the Producer discovers that A) He does in fact make a pretty good producer and B) He finds himself growing very fond of the girls placed in his care. Together, they form the idol unit SprouT. Their optimism, dedication, and blind faith in him being able to do what they couldn't on their own inspires him to work hard on their behalf with the hope that they will be successful. But how can he build up these young girls' dreams when at the same time his real mission is to crush them?THE iDOLM@STER 2: The World is All One!!
is an adaption of The iDOLM@STER 2
, taking Haruka, Hibiki, and Yukiho as a unit along with Producer filling in for the player. It was released in 2012 and is an ongoing series.
This Manga Provides Examples Of:
- Adaptation Distillation/Adaptation Expansion: A bit of both. As a possible route for the game dealing with these three girls, the rest of them and their stories are given little attention. But without having to deal with the set schedule of the game, the comic expands and explores more of the star characters' lives and personalities.
- Ambiguous Syntax: President Kuroi leaves instructions for the spy/producer on what do do to sabotage 765 Pro. Fortunately Producer finds most of these orders so vaguely worded that he's able to get SprouT out of trouble while remaining true to his orders. Being told in no ambiguous terms to shut down the theater fuse box during a concert however, requires an act of God to get him out of.
- Beady-Eyed Loser: Producer. Even his coworkers at 961 Pro thought he was a slouching, unmotivated, and untalented good-for-nothing. The girls eventually take him out to buy a pair of much needed glasses, which have the added affect of giving his face more variety.
- Becoming the Mask: It doesn't take long for Producer to find that he really likes being SprouT's producer and views being a mole for 961 as just a big blotch on his life.
- Breaking Lecture: Poor Hibiki is browbeaten to the point of tears after a 961 Pro manager tricks her into showing up to a show alone when the whole group was supposed to come. He nearly comes to getting the devastated idol to humiliate herself in front of the entire business before Producer arrives and browbeats the manager back, forcing an apology to Hibiki and and a hasty retreat out of him.
- Comical Angry Face: After a confrontation with Jupiter the girls wear frozen, fake smiles. Projected behind them, however, are their inner expressions, which look like angry samurai. Hibiki is even wearing a demon mask.
- The Conscience: It's stated more than once that Haruka is a lot like her Producer and this is played out whenever they're alone, with Haruka speaking for his inner concerns.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Producers finds himself in a bind between his real boss at 961 Pro and SprouT, the idol unit he personally brought from obscurity into the limelight.
- Crash-Into Hello: Producer first meets the girls after Haruka trips on her way into the office and crashes right into him.
- The Determinator: Haruka knows fully well she doesn't have the raw talent or abilities everyone else does so she always pushes herself to the limit and hones her skills through practice, practice, and more practice. Even the otherwise imperturbable Miki is begging for a break from Haruka's training session when she just won't stop.
- Does Not Like Men: Yukiho's fear of men is alive and well in this adaption. Her first instinct when facing Touma is to hide behind the only man she is comfortable with, her Producer.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: True to iDOLM@STER tradition, Producer is only ever called Producer. Even when off the job.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Complete with black, cracked-like background. Seeing that they are intimidated by the giant auditorium that they are auditioning in, the Producer tries to boost SprouT's confidence by saying it'll be just like the other jobs they've done before. After listing off their pathetically short amount of gigs, they girls realize they've never done anything like this before. All three promptly chicken out and try to run away.
- First Name Basis: As part of SprouT's reconciliation with Producer after his outing as a spy the girls insist that Producer call them by their first names. When he gets embarrassed doing it in front of others and starts slipping back to their last names, they immediately call him out on it.
- Guest Star Party Member: Mami and Yayoi are literally last minute guest stars for a SprouT and Ryuuguu Komachi concert when they show up to support their friends but end up going out to sing to buy time for Haruka to arrive. They had so much fun they even formed their own unit, One-Two->Tails because of it.
- The Heart: Yukiho. Normally just the gentle and mild mannered voice of reason for her two bickering partners, she also goes out to plead with their Producer to come back after he's outed as a spy, saying she still believes in him and SprouT still needs him.
- How We Got Here: The first chapter opens up with the Producer sitting in the 765 Pro office, half naked and shivering. The rest of the chapter goes back to earlier that day to explain the series of events and Haruka-induced incidents that led him to that situation.
- Idol Singer: Well obviously. Though their singing is just one of the many jobs they do as idols.
- Improbable Age: Discussed between Producer and Ritsuko, after the latter is going through a crisis of confidence. Producer notes that Ritsuko probably had to take a lot of flak from people who thought a 19 year old intern had no business being a producer and admires her perseverance.
- Letting Her Hair Down: After some harsh words from Iori hit an already self-doubting Ritsuko she takes the day off. When the Producer goes to see her she's not in her business suit and let her hair out of it's normal bun. This, along with their conversation, serve to remind everyone that Ritsuko, is in fact, a nineteen year old girl.
- Liar Revealed: President Kuroi reveals to SprouT that their precious Producer was working for him the whole time. They don't take it well at all.
- Lucky Charms Title: In addition to the franchise' usual odd spelling and capitalization, The World Is All One!! adds those two exclamation points as part of the title.
- In-universe, the unit Mami and Yayoi form together is named One-Two->Tails, with both the dash and the arrow. It makes SprouT's uppercase T look totally normal.
- The Mole: The Producer, as you might have surmised by now.
- Moment Killer: Hibiki and Yukiho have a tendency to eavesdrop on their Producer and Haruka's chats and reveal themselves, accidentally or purposefully, causing Haruka to get flustered.
- Motivational Lie: In order to to reassure the girls of his integrity after being called out by the boy group, Jupiter, Producer loudly declares that he has never done anything underhanded and that their smiles are all they need to win their upcoming audition. Inwardly he acknowledges that he is lying through his teeth.
- Must Make Amends: After their trust in him is shattered following the reveal that he is a spy, Producer tries to leave 765 Pro so he won't hurt the girls anymore. A passionate plea from Yukiho, though leads him instead to go back to them and fix everything.
- This triggers the same reaction in Haruka, who feels her actions following the revelation are what broke their bonds. Her idea of making amends is to increase her efforts to the point of needing to be hospitalized because of the strain. Both of them spend the rest of the chapter apologizing to each other and blaming themselves for the current predicament until Hibiki tells them both to just shut up already.
- Not What It Looks Like: The Producer's exact words when he notices Sprou T's reaction to him grabbing hold of an panicking fangirl, which to anyone else looks like a man accosting a teen girl. By this point the girls are used to these situations though, and just tell him to let go and explain.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: SprouT's vehement defense of their Producer after Jupiter accuses him of being underhanded and rigging rivals is what finally pushes his guilt at leading a double life over the edge and he resolves to cut his ties with 961 Pro.
- Only Six Faces: Typical for iDOLM@STER, but particularly egregious in one chapter when a overeager fan is basically Yukiho with a hair clip.
- Performance Anxiety: Predictably, Yukiho freaks out at the idea of going onstage during their first concert. Everyone just makes it worse until Haruka arrives and Yukiho realizes she's just as scared but willing to go out for their fans' sake.
- Porn Stash: Looking through Producer's computer files for their schedule, Kotori and SprouT find one unusually named file. Kotori assumes the worst, thinks it's his downloaded porn, and tries to keep the girls from opening it.
- Power of Trust: Trust, its power, its betrayal, and its reforming are all key components of the story. Not surprising when your lead character is The Mole. The climax of the first arc is even titled, The Form "Trust" Takes.
- The Reveal: Twice to the same person. President Kuroi reveals the Producer is working for him in front of SprouT.. Later, Ami blabs the same thing to everyone not already in on the secret after eavesdropping on him and Ritsuko.
- Reformed, but Rejected: The Reformed - The Producer following his reveal as a spy. The Rejector - Hibiki, who didn't take the betrayel of trust well at all.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: The boy idol group of 961 Pro is understandably pissed that SprouT's Producer would stoop so low as to try and sabotage rival agencies, never realizing it's not them he's supposed to be knocking down but his own unit, SprouT, on their behalf.
- Shout-Out: Like most of the iDOLM@STER manga, the title of the series is one of the songs from the game.
- The Show Must Go On: SprouT's very first concert nearly gets ruined when a total accident that the producer had nothing to do with causes a blackout. The girls start to panic but thankfully the more experienced Ryuuguu Komachi is there to keep the ball rolling with impromptu singing. The girls can't help but feel useless giving up the stage and later are seen brainstorming contingency plans for the next time something goes wrong.
- Spit Take: Hibiki's reaction upon seeing that the other two SprouT members have covered her absence from their show with a cardboard cutout of her, each taking turns mimicking what Hibiki would say in a thick Okinawan accent.
- The Team: Greatly emphasized when the girls insist the their Producer start addressing them more familiarly. The four of them are in it together!
- Power Trio: With Producer working behind the scenes, the SprouT girls become this. Haruka being thoughtful but not as talented, Hibiki having the talent at the cost of being thoughtless, and Yukiho being the compromiser between everyone.
- Theme Naming: Subtle, but one might notice that these three particular idols are the only ones in all 765 Pro with both an "H" and "K" in their names.
- Unwitting Pawn: SprouT is this as far as the president of 961 Pro is concerned. Producer is aware of this and can't bear to let the girls he's grown to love be used that way.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Haruka and Hibiki spend much of their conversations together bickering.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: After being outed as a mole by the president of 961 in front of SprouT, Producer takes it upon himself to go the whole nine yards and come clean to the president of 765 Pro. Not only does the president take it pretty well, he asks him to stay on board as a producer. Hibiki, on the other hand, is less welcoming.
- When They Smile: One thing Producer for sure never lied about; the girls' smiles are magic and the key to their success. Protecting that joyous infection if what keeps him going and after offering to resign following his spy reveal, the president points out that Haruka, Hibiki, and Yukiho used to always wear fake, lifeless smiles before he came along.
- Workaholic: The Producer actually enjoys his frequently frantically-paced job compared to the boring and dismal life he led earlier. He still occasionally bites off more than he can chew, leading to scolding from his own idols.