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YMMV / THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls

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    Tropes Present in the Franchise as a whole 
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: While Mayu is canonically a Yandere, some fans like to exaggerate a few other idols' personality traits to behave similarly. Specifically, Chieri and her dependency issues, Yukari and her obsessive traits, and Kyoko, who is simply portrayed as The Sociopath (likely due to her Beware the Nice Ones card). It should be noted that all of these girls are in the Cute category, and there are four of them.
    • To top it off, we got these cards for Kyoko. Fans are either amazed that Kyoko managed to pull it like it was nothing, or terrified because it's just too good to be true.footnote 
    • Riamu's display of her state-of-depression, combined with her self-loathing and occasional badmouthing gives an impression that she might be just making it up to gain popularity.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Many who were dissatisfied with the Cinderella Election in 2019, where unknown names managed to get into the Top 10, were delighted when the 2020 voting gauntlet added a voice election so that unvoiced idols can get their voice without having to invade the annual election through meme votes.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Anzu Futaba was widely detested by a small, but very vocal Western fanbase and accuses Bamco and/or Cygames for designing her to pander on a certain crowd without feeling guilty over it as she's on a legal age. It doesn't help that her character and personality traits might rub some in wrong way. Others enamored her especially from the more college-age adult part of the fanbase that finds her relatable to some degree.
    • Mika Jougasaki was widely contested in some, more critical part of the fandom like in 4Chan, specifically the The iDOLM@STER general threads. Reason is that her voiceover and Image Song is considered too bland for her supposedly Gyaru Girl archertype and she doesn't live up to her character that much and she ended up slowly being the generic Cool Big Sis instead, which the franchise already had too much to begin with, citing that the writers won't take too much risks for her. Doesn't help that both of her image song chart is considerably difficult thanks to copious amount of Fake Difficulty. Others who defended her saying that almost everyone in the franchise is a one-note character archertype and doesn't start off with much character to begin with and it's still considered a good step over flanderizing her into a stereotype. A third party doesn't find her to be a perfect fit for a Passion-type idol as she doesn't feel as dedicated to the gyaru fashion or passionate as her little sister, and finds her better as a Cool-type idol instead, where her cool big-sis-senior idol character fits better there.
    • Recently, Kanade got herself a flak from the other side of the fandom as Bamco tried their best to shoehorn her into many duet events (with Kaede and Minami respectively) that screw up many ship from the paired (Minami and Anya, the most well-known yuri ship from the anime, is almost ignored, while Kaede pairings are very niche) and ignoring Kanade's other, more well-known ship (the ones with Fumika, Arisu, or the combination of two). Others doesn't find it bothersome as the shipper suggest and does appreciate Bamco's acknowledgement of the Les Yay side of the fandom by giving them a well-made event song, acknowledging that Yuko Iida (Kanade's Voice Actress) is the one with the most availability among other well known idols in the production.
    • A big one came from Starlight Stage, the Duo Servant and Master Chiyo and Chitose respectably were divisive and widely contested by the community (and sometimes just outright hated) thanks to their inclusion in the franchise; getting their voice and duet song immediately after being announced. Keep in mind that there are many idols that weren't voiced yet and there are really not much ways for them to get voiced other than being in the top 10 spot of the general election, being a part of an unit that will receive their event song in Starlight Stage, or getting a voice through the anime (like Chie and Atsumi), or that one time Anniversary voice election. Even then, there's only a sliver chance that the idol could even getting involved in events that allow them to have a singing role, which both Chitose and Chiyo had just by release, which draws ire to fans who wants their idol got voiced, enough to the point that the playerbase plummets. Defenders however cited that the detractors are overreacting with their hatred and find the event both were in were pretty good that does fleshes them out in short time, plus the fact that Million Live Theater Days has done the same with Kaori and TsumugiExplanation . The same thing can also applies to the Hisakawa twins (Nagi and Hayate), through they aren't so divisive compared to the previous two.
  • Broken Base: A lot of fans weren't satisfied with the Producer-and-Idol dynamics introduced with the launch of the original mobage. Many remark that the writing felt like a bland, washed out or/and watered down version of the OG games has introduced, as if trying too hard trying to pander to everyone's interest. There's also complaints of how lacking the Idol-and-Idol dynamics and relationship in the base game, which irks shippers, initially. This slowly died down as the game goes on, and pretty much a moot after the release of the Anime, alongside the release of the Rhythm Game Starlight Stage, which considerably adding more to the character writing and the Idol-with-Idol dynamics, as well as launching many pairings that the fandom was accustomed with.
    • Bandai Namco's decision to merge the 7th Cinderella Girl election voting from both games rubbed some players in the wrong way. The top 10 ended up being very different for each game, other than both games ranking Nana and Mio very highly. Both of them would take top 2 for the election.
      • The fact that can you can bulk-buy your voting ticket by simply buying them using 2500 paid jewels really speaks to itself. This ensure that the idol will always receive hundreds to thousands of votes, and might end up killing the competition. This applies for both games (the original game wants you to buy votes for MobaCoins, Mobage's premium currency, for better or worse), with Starlight Stage ramping it up to eleven.
      • To add to grievance, characters that got their rear ends in the top 10 for overall or idol category will be voiced and receive their CD soon, resulting in players that simply exploit the voting ticket to vote on specific unvoiced characters so that they will receive their CD soon. With a few, more dedicated examples (Fumika, Shiki, Mayu, Kaede, Karen, and Aiko), this gives an impression that most of the voting gauntlet were only vote x idols out of cynicism. Some were fine for this, since it gives a random but resurging idol to finally got that spotlight they were promised. Others weren't as impressed, and loathe it at times, citing that the top 10 should only be given towards idols that deserves it, namely idols with dedicated fanbase that worked hard for the rank as shown above, keeping the title namesake clear. It doesn't help that outside of the Cinderella Election, Starlight Stage events, and that one time Anniversary Voice Election, there aren't much any other way for an idol to get a voice.
    • To an extent, there are some people who are dissatisfied with the changes done by Nippon Columbia (and maybe Bamco) regarding the Master Versionnote  of Deresute original songs in STARLIGHT MASTER albums, mainly the changes of the singer's position on the lyrics and how it sounds off from the one that appeared in the rhythm game.
      • In the weird inversion, people were actually upset with the changes done to the music from the Gekijou miniseries endings when they got adapted to Starlight Stage. Not only do already present issues such as rearranging the vocal placement and the lyrics still exist here, but also the pacing of the song is butchered due to cut-downs in order to fit in with the two-and-quarter minute standard the game usually presents.
      • The decision to leave the second and third season endings into the game left mixed impression. Some were alright with it, since Gekijou endings were just supplementary to the discography, while others were disappointed and writ it as wasted potential as they liked the ending, specifically the third season batches.
    • Cygames attempt to filter out players that uses hacks in the game becomes this since accounts that uses mods (like a HD render .apk) were also got filtered out, leaving legitimate users permanently banned with no chance to recover their account.
  • Cant Unhear It: Admit it, you can no longer unhear Nao Touyama playing a mature, older character that's far from what she usually portrayed.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Typical to the main franchise, Cinderella Girls garners quite a rivalry with several other fictional idol franchise, especially with other idol franchise that has a free-to-play mobile rhythm game like Love Live! School Idol Festival and BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!.
    • Recently, the fandom gets into a fiasco with the ARMY after the latter managed to flood the #MAGIC Twitter hashtag that was meant to announce the release of the fully-functional Grand Version of "M@GIC!" for the Starlight Stage game with the ones referring to the "MAGIC SHOP". While the large portion of the fandom only reacts in cringe and mild disappointment, some of the more vocal ones won't take it that easily, and let's just leave it at that.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Unexpectedly with the Metal Gear franchise, due to David "Solid Snake" Hayter and quite a few other VAs endorsing Natalia in the 8th Cinderella Election. Which resulted in the long-running fan campaign to get Natalia voiced finally succeeding.
    • The fandom also has a significant connection with other Cygames IP like Granblue Fantasy and Princess Connect! Re:Dive. The latter being a special case since a lot of effort was done for the promotional of the Cinderella Girls collab rerun event.
    • Many of the subculture-related idols are naturally popular among the fandoms they represent, such as Miyo Harada being popular among motoring enthusiasts and fans of Top Gear.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Recently, a lot of newcomers went only for the game (and to an extent, Starlight Stage) just to get to know Mio Honda because of her memetic Fried Chicken video listed on Memetic Mutation below.
    • Similarly in Starlight Stage, people would only farm Star Jewels or whale for an SSR just for the costume design.
  • Memetic Badass: After winning the 8th annual election and the Fried Chicken video spam and edits (listed below in Memetic Mutation), Mio Honda became instantly known as A. a ruthless, unstoppable empress that channels her power and gather her followers through spamming the aforementioned Fried Chicken video, turning everyone who's irritated or even detested by it into her follower or B. a ruthless, unstoppable war criminal.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • IF there is a type that does stand less among the others, the Cute type takes the cake. Unlike other types that converges into different interest as long as it's still defer to it's core concept, The Cute type by it's core concept is to be cute or adorable but nothing much else, with very few exceptions arises (like Shiki, Sae, Mayu, and Makoto for the original mobage). It doesn't help that most of the Image songs were either formulaic (S(mile)ING! for Uzuki, La Vie en Rose for Momoka, Naked Romance for Miho, to name a few) or downright obnoxious (Märchen Debut! for Nana, Ki-ma-gu-re☆Cafe au lait! for Frederica, Anzu no Uta for Anzu) among other things. While they have a strong following, most of them agreed that the Cute type as a whole isn't as interesting as the other two, and proceed to meme-ing them ever since.
    • It doesn't help that there aren't many new Cute candidate that managed to breach the top 10 outside of the long runner, with almost no new voiced M@STERs candidate outside of Hiromi Seki from 2017 (this excluding other Cute idols whom have finally getting voiced from Starlight Stage events like Mirei for example), with the three new candidate from 2018 are both Cool and Passion types. Averted as for recently, with Hotaru finally got voiced.
    • This trope is taken to an extreme in the anime. Mishiro's goal for the production is to go professional and beyond, by get rid of the quirky idols which include Nana. Imagine being extorted out of the company you worked with so hard just because the executive producer doesn't like your quirky attitude, even if it is just a stage act.
    • Before claiming the crown of the 8th Cinderella Girls General Election in 2019, Mio Honda was this to an extent. Mio always ranked high in the Cinderella Election and many wanted her to take the namesake title. However, things weren't as pleasant as she wasdogged since the 4th election (thanks to her own Adaptational Jerkass of the anime), and was always kept under the rug by both long runners (Kaede is always expected to win the election since her inclusion because of the obvious) or the unforeseen consequences (Nana's inclusion to the voting gauntlet was unexpected to the least, since her winning vote was mostly came from the pun surrounding her name. Though she always ranked high since the very beginning, therefore downplaying this) resulting her to be memed on to death by even her fans, with the English speaking fandom being the most vocal about it.
    • Like Chihaya, Aiko is also a source of A-Cup Angst-themed posts.
    • For Shipping reasons, Mika is often portrayed as being bullied by her coworkers on LiPPS. She also has a other kind of memetic presence below.
    • Poor Karen Hojo will never catch a break, as her weak body makes her a subject for mockery, on whether she'll die from collapse, or if she's a ghost who already died long before.
      • Interestingly enough, this doesn't apply to Chitose, despite being an Ill Girl herself and even have less chance of survival than Karen. It has something to do with the fact that she is mostly dominant in conversations.
    • Sachiko is already a resident Butt-Monkey by canon, but the fandom is merciless towards her, always being the receiving end of baps and bullying.
    • Nao is this compared to other members of Triad Primus, even moreso than the aforementioned Karen. Being constantly teased and pranked in canon by her fellow Triad members, and being the least standing out of the three (Rin and Karen has better development out of the three), and the fandom (especially fanartist) often portray her as being smug and cocky at first, only to be flustered and step aside like a Butt-Monkey she is.
    • Haruna Kamijo has gotten hit with this hard as she hasn't recieved an SSR since August of 2016, especially after unvoiced idols started to get second SSR's. This escalated even further after she got a solo through the Cingeki anime and merely got a very short commu and a 2D-only MV in Starlight Stage. It is not until September 2020 that a second SSR of her has been implemented in Starlight Stage.
  • Memetic Molester: Atsumi is often portrayed as a groper who lunges towards any female idol's breast at any time given.
    • There are a lot of fanworks that portray Rin as being a stalker to the anime version of the Producer, sometimes even sniffing his clothes. See Fanon in the Anime section below.
    • Combined with the episode with Miria and the fact that Mika's voice actress is a self-proclaimed lolicon, Mika herself has received a reputation as a lolicon herself. She became more of a memetic molester thanks to her song, NUDIE, which is very sexual being release on the same album that features the Little Marching Band Girls.note 
    • By any chance avoid Kaede everytime she hits any form of liquor of something, as the fandom tends to portray her as a merciless predator that hits and anything in close radius.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Already a Memetic Badass before, Mio Honda yearns for a following and will eradicate anyone who is not on her side or simply is on her walking path, whether it be the BLU Team from Team Fortress 2, Jerma, the Zone in STALKER, the Soviets, you name it, no one is safe, not even yourself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • BE MY BABY explanation 
      • *Both faces thrown away* A~HUHUN
    • ちゃんみおっぱい explanation 
    • #おっぱい大成功高校生美玲ちゃん explanation 
    • "This is a message from Snake... I'm here to remind everyone to vote for Natalia for this year's Cinderella election. Huh, she's pretty good. Snake out." explanation 
      • "Let's do it for Natalia! Campbell out." explanation 
      • "Hey, that's Natalia! She's a Brazillian idol that's really talented at belly-dancing!" explanation 
    • Incoming meme votes.explanation 
    • Mio Honda's Step! Music Video/Mio Honda Fried Chicken Video.Explanation 
      • need Tomboy.Explanation 
    • Taberungo no UtaExplanation 
  • Self-Fanservice: Some of the characters is this, notably Mio (as mentioned in the Memetic Mutation above), Mayu, Miku, Ranko, and even Fumika.
    • In a more recent case, Riamu Yumemi is the latest addition of this after her reveal. It help that she measures her bust as "big".
  • Shipping: With over 190 idols you can choose from, plus the staff and characters that are introduced in the anime, not counting the many producers from extra materials, this is bound to happen.
    • Averted with Idol and Producer, as it is self-insert nature alone, it cannot be counted as a ship. However some fan artist likes to create an original producer not based on any self-insert material and paired them with an idol they're designated with.
    • Character specific ships;
      • Due to her sultry and indiscriminate nature, Kanade seems to be paired just by almost anyone by the fandom, with the candidates came from units she was in (like Syuko, Mika, Fumika, Kaede, and recently Minami among many others) or just plain random. Some even calls her Shipping Fodder for this.
      • With Drunken!Kaede, fanbase likes to flanderizes her as a drunkard mess that likes to cling to any possible idol that passes by. Otherwise, Mature!Kaede is much more reserved and is shipped strictly with Mizuki, the other Yoi Otome member Miyu, and recently Kanade.
      • It looks like Shiki is going to pave her way to as many unfortunate victims (potential pairings) as possible in canon, with some of the teases like with Frederica and Asuka receiving duet songs (Crazy Crazy and Babel respectively) that explores each character's personality and relationship with each other. It doesn't help that her curious and no-sense-of-privacy personality quirk does allow her to be dynamic in every pairing scenario imaginable. It's up to Bamco whether they're going to at least give a nod or outright ascended it into canon to other potential tease like Minami or other LiPSS personnel above.
      • On the younger side of the spectrum, Haru also receives a lot of pairing candidates from the U149 Manga, with Risa and Chie being the most prominent.
    • From the anime;
      • Upon their first appearance in the anime, pairing of Producer x Rin explodes. See Fan-Preferred Couple in the anime tropes section below.
      • Producer/Kirari is somewhat popular as well, considering the Producer is taller than Kirari, which helps to overcome her insecurities with her height.
      • Rin also gets paired with Uzuki, due to how the latter was the one who caused the final push for her to join the Cinderella Project. How this doesn't lead to a One True Threesome situation for the fandom, with Rin in the center of it all, is a mystery for the ages.
      • Rin being noticeably more affectionate towards Uzuki compared to the other girlsnote  probably helped fuel this, though people have already been shipping them since episode 1. Rin tightly holding on to Uzuki's hand in NO MAKE 24 even after the fans chasing them were gone brought it up to another level. Rin didn't even notice that she was still unconsciously holding on to her hand until Uzuki told her so!
      • Due to a few scenes in Episode 23 and 24 where the Producer and Uzuki are alone, their being paired together as well as Rin's jealousy over them has become fodder for fan material. Some depict Rin's senses somehow picking up on the Producer and Uzuki all alone despite being back at the 346 Productions, or Uzuki deliberately misrepresenting an inspirational moment with the Producer as an intimate one, all the while the Producer is begging her to clarify the misunderstanding as Rin holds him in a death grip.
      • Following episode 17, Mika/Miria started growing in popularity.
      • Thanks to episode 22, the Arisu/Fumika pairing goes up and high after Arisu comforted her during her collapse and allows her to call her by first-name basis, even if they are minor characters in the anime. They would go together appearing in Starlight Stage events such as Seizon Honnou Valkyria and Saite Jewel, adding further heights to the pairing.
      • Because of the Big and Small girl dynamics, Anzu x Kirari pairing is bound to happen, with them receiving a nod in the form of a scene in the anime. They even got themselves a unit (HappyHappyTwin) and a song in Starlight Stage for that.
      • Speaking of the ship that got acknowledged by the higher-ups and has received a nod for that in the anime, Miku x Riina pairing has pretty huge following thanks to their opposing dynamics that supports each other. They even got an anime exclusive song written by their voice actress as shown in the Awesome Music above.
      • Minami and Anya is probably one of the most popular yuri pairings second to Rin x Uzuki especially in the anime thanks to the fact that they are already pretty close and has been assigned in a unit and receives their own duet song (LOVE LAIKA and Pure White Memories respectively) to the point of almost Les Yay by some. So much that apparently few shippers have shown disapproval when Anya leaves the CINDERELLA PROJECT to (temporarily) work with Project Krone, with /u/ being vocal for this.
      • While minor, since her introduction and frequent clashes with the Producer, fans have also taken to shipping Mishiro with him.
    • Pairings based on Starlight Stage;
      • Many fans noticed that Mika is recently assigned with Miho often on events like shabon song and Twintail no Kaze, with them getting closer on each event they're involved, especially in their card illustrations.
      • While shippers already got their nod on Ranko/Asuka (Dark Illuminate) ship from the original Mobage, it's not until the start of the Souyoku no Aria event where fans starts to pair them more often.
      • Hagoromo Komachi (Syuko/Sae) gets this treatment too, with their own event song getting released and Hagoromo fans do what the Dark Illuminate fans do.
      • Generally speaking, any duo units originally from Mobage such as ROCK THE BEAT (Riina/Natsuki), HappyHappyTwin (Anzu/Kirari), and Familia Twin (Mika/Rika) getting their own events are the peak moments for fans to pair the duo of the respective units.
      • Albeit minor, some fans prefer pairing Arisu with Momoka more than with Fumika, all thanks to the Near to You event. Arisu's unawakened Near to You SR card has her and Momoka share drinks together. Watch as these two 12-year-olds become those two girls, both appearing in Nina's main commu episode and the epilogue of the Illusionista! event. Moreover, the two have been officially featured in a Mobage unit (and given the duo a unit name, MomoBerry), almost one year after the pairing's inception in the Near to You event. So... cross fingers for this duo's new event song. When the epilogue of Illusionista! was out, supporters for both Arisu/Momoka and Arisu/Fumika didn't expect the three of them meet each other for the first time.
      • While they're already close since their inclusion, the duo trouble Frederica and Shiki finally get themselves an equally as bizarre event that fleshes out their relationship.
      • The "Pretty Liar" event gives us Kanade x Kaede, in a surprisingly well written event. Fans were intrigued, since they're hardly ever met outside of event cameos.
      • The "Secret Daybreak" music video featuring Minami and Kanade (again) no longer gives a damn about subtlety with their yuri undertones that it looks like it was deliberately made to pandering to the yuri crowd. It's also stated that both girls ended up dating by the end of the story event, fueling the ship further.
      • Since the fandom tends to pair them together due to their dynamics, both Hotaru and Kako get their own event song "Shiawase no Rule".
      • During "Sun High Gold!" event commu, when Riamu glomped on Karen and called her "mama" as a joke, much to Karen dissatisfaction. Fans start shipping them together despite being obviously one-sided and it only happened during that moment and that moment only.
    • Units with more than 2 characters are also a shipping fuel itself.
      • The entirety of U149 manga series is choke-full of this, expanding much more of popular kid idol pairings like Haru x Risa (Beat Shooter), Momoka x Arisu (MomoBerry), and many more. The same goes to the LMBG (Little Marching Band Girls) unit.
      • LiPPS can be summarized as Mika's Harem (Kanade, Shiki, Fred, Syuko) or the other way around. Most fan artists tends to make the entire gang to bully Mika for many reasons.
      • Triad Primus pits Rin, Nao, and Karen in the same ship, with Karen and Nao being prominent ones.
      • The same thing goes for PCS (Kyoko, Miho, Uzuki) and Positive Passion (Aiko, Akane, Mio).
    • The extra material also features pairings as well. Most of the well-known ship also came from the extra material (such as the Gekijou short or the radio showcast).
      • Episode 4 of Shiny Numbers radio web series featuring Rin and Nono was released to promote both idols' top 10 position in the game's 5th anniversary election. Days after the broadcast, the Rin x Nono ship spreads like a wildfire and stays for years to come. Witness.
      • Miyu is also often shipped with Nina, usually seen on Gekijou yonkoma. It doesn't help that Miyu is often seen as a big sister, even motherly figure among younger idols. Then the card art of Chie's new limited SSR released...note 
      • From the MASTERS SEASONS Spring Drama CD, there are Anya x Kyoko.
      • The newly revealed idols Chitose Kurosaki and Chiyo Shirayuki also gained some attention as a Vampire-and-Servant play.
  • Uncanny Valley: In the older cards, most of the idol arts have them positioned their face towards the viewer with them in any position imaginable, resulting in some of them look rather unsettling for some, especially if their eyes aren't looking at the viewer. This problem is also persist in some newer cards.

    Tropes Present in the Mobile Game 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The starter idols for each category, Uzuki/Rin/Mio, could be considered this, despite being the face of their categories. Since they are Com Mons, one would expect them to be overshadowed easily. Instead, Rin consistently places high in popularity polls, even taking first place in 2014's election, and although it took a while for Uzuki and Mio's popularity to reach Rin's level (Uzuki only won the election in 2016), they still finished at a respectful fourth and fifth place in the same poll. Both Uzuki and Mio's popularity came about from their underdog status.
    • Since they literally won the yearly election, any of the Cinderella Masters could be considered this, but special note goes to:
      • Airi Totoki, the Innocent Fanservice Girl and winner of the 2012 election.
      • Ranko Kanzaki, the Elegant Gothic Lolita and Large Ham chuunibyou, who won the 2013 election.
      • Anastasia, the Gratuitous Russian idol who didn't even have a voice actress at the time, took 2nd place in the 2013 election.
      • Kaede Takagaki, the Hard-Drinking Party Girl and Pungeon Master, a regular high ranker in the elections, jumping from 11th place in 2012 to 3rd in 2013 and 7th in 2014 following the reveal of her drunken personality, and ultimately winning the 2017 election.
      • Sachiko Koshimizu, the Self-Proclaimed cutest idol, which was true in 2013 when she was indeed the only Cute idol in the top five. She was 4th place in 2013 and 9th place in 2014.
      • Nana Abe, the "eternally 17" "alien" idol, and Chieri Ogata, the Shrinking Violet with a penchant for collecting Four Leaf Clovers, took 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the 2014 election. Chieri, like Kaede, consistently places high in all polls, having placed 6th in 2012 and 7th in 2013, and Nana outright won the 2018 election.
      • Fumika Sagisawa, the shy Bookworm idol, ranked 6th in the 2014 election and placed 5th in the 2018 election.
      • Arisu Tachibana and Syuko Shiomi. Arisu, a logical young idol, won the Voice Idol Audition, a separate poll where the idol in first place would be given a voice and CD. Syuko, a Kyoto-born idol, came in second place, but got her voice after being crowned Cinderella Girl in 2015.
      • Shiki Ichinose, the Mad Scientist idol, who ranked 5th in the 2015 election and ranked 6th in the 2018 election.
      • Cat Idol Miku Maekawa jumped up a full twenty places from the 2014 poll to 2nd place in 2015. Her Character Development in the anime was likely a factor.
    • Other Cinderella Master idols of note include:
      • The Jougasaki sisters, Mika and Rika. Mika tends to be the more popular sister, since she takes Mio's place as the Passion representative in the radio 4komas.
      • Anzu Futaba and Kirari Moroboshi, due to their juxtaposition and Ascended Fanon pairing.
      • Nao Kamiya and Karen Hojo, Rin's classmates and friends who are frequently shown together. The two, alongside Rin, would later form the ever-popular Triad Primus unit.
      • Miho Kohinata, part of the Pink Check School unit with Uzuki and Kyoko, for her innocent traits and her Idiot Hair.
      • Koume Shirisaka, for her Shrinking Violet personality.
      • Mayu Sakuma, for her Yandere traits.
      • Syoko Hoshi, for her Ax-Craziness.
      • Frederica Miyamoto, for her Gratuitous French and her annoying little piece of humming song.
      • Kanade Hayami, for her mysterious, yet flirtatious aura.
      • Momoka Sakurai and Nina Ichihara, the last two idols who appeared in the PV for Onegai! Cinderella and later received their own solo albums, one for her Proper Lady Ojou demeanor and one for being a Token Mini-Moe.
      • Asuka Ninomiya, The Philosopher chuunibyou idol. Together with Ranko, a similar chuunibyou idol, she is part of a unit named Dark Illuminate.
      • Kyoko Igarashi, a housewife-material idol, part of the Pink Check School unit.
    • In an odd subversion, some idols who don't place anywhere in the top 50 still receive voices and CDs, or otherwise given The Cameo in the anime. Examples include:
      • Chie Sasaki, while fairly popular in doujins, is notable for being the first CG to receive her voice from her cameo in episode 2, instead of a CD. Haruna Kamijo is also voiced along with her in the same scene.
      • Sae Kobayakawa and Yuko Hori from the sixth batch of releases fall under this category. In the anime, Yuko receives a small cameo in episode 5, while Sae gets both an Early-Bird Cameo and a larger role in episode 9.
      • While they don't have a song, Shizuku Oikawa and Kurumi Ohnuma deserve mention for TWO BIG reasons. So far, Shizuku has received the most cameos, appearing in episodes 2 and 9, and being voiced in episode 5. Sanae Katagiri also joins her, being voiced in the same scene in episode 5.
    • Some winners of the Election but haven't received their own Cinderella Master albums include:
      • Takumi Mukai, a Sukeban gang-turned-idol, who placed 3rd in the Passion category for the 2015 election. It doesn't help that she has her own spin-off manga.
      • Nono Morikubo, the cynical lonely idol, who placed 4th in the 2016 election.
      • Shin Sato, a "teen-like" "sweety" idol, who ranked 9th in the 2016 election.
      • Kako Takufuji, a New Year festival-themed idol, is a big example. She jumped from UNRANKED in prelims to rank 4 in the final rankings, even exceeding Hikaru Nanjo, who's been a Passion solid contender since the prelims. It must have something to do with her Limited SSR card.
    • Riamu Yumemi, a newly introduced idol for the Mobage and then released for Starlight Stage, receives a great amount of fan following based solely on her design reveal alone. In the latest election batch, she has the highest vote of the unvoiced idol with only being rivaled by Yukimi, Kozue, and Natalia, and is currently at the 3rd place in the first batch overall.
  • Fanon: Many fans consider Clarice from the Cinderella Girls series to be blind because all of her cards have her with her eyes closed.
    • Most of the girls' backstories and personalities are suggested by fandom, actually. An example of this is big sister-like Minami Nitta gaining a more "mature" (as in R-rated mature) sense of humor, and a slew of bad habits.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The three Korea-exclusive characters (Yujin, Juney, and Haena) are often ignored by the fanbase due to the shutdown of the Korean version of the game, and they've made no appearances in CG canon since. Guess which entry of the franchise was also ignored during the 15th anniversary festivities?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Tokiko Zaizen. Her misandristic behavior stems from the fact that she suffered from repeated bad relationships and has a guarded view of other women because she has been a Romantic Runner-Up once.
  • Junk Rare: Some of the Cinderella Girls idols:
    • Yao Fuei Fuei's base card is notoriously common, and due to its extremely low stats, cost and lack of a Skill, is good for little more than vendor junk. Fans have taken to referring to a Fuei Fuei draw as FFDY (Fuei Fuei da yo~/It's Fuei Fuei).
  • Ugly Cute: Pina Korata (Pina for short), a weird giant green cat-like mascot. It's what Honoka loves.
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    Tropes Present In The Anime 
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Mishiro is disliked by the Western fans of the anime.
  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: Because of Mio's actions in Episode 6, 7 and 20, she is often seen as the Designated Hero by some of the fandom (especially from fans that are introduced to the franchise through the anime) and they mostly assume that she had the same portrayal like that in other media, despite it's just a case of Adaptational Jerkass.
  • Base-Breaking Character
    • Mio Honda became a big one after her actions in Episode 6. Her actions caused her to seen as sensitive crybaby that is very naive to how the industry works at best or a spoiled brat who can't take criticism and failure at worst.
    • Mishiro is viewed as this following her introduction for the purpose of giving the anime an antagonist. On the one hand, some fans find her to be an improvement over Kuroi, whose actions to ruin Takagi and his idols were solely driven by a For the Evulz mentality. On the other hand, other fans think that she is an unnecessary addition to the anime and is simply there to initiate drama they view as forced and contrived, evidenced by her culpability in breaking up Cinderella Project units for her own ends.
      • In contrast, Mishiro is not straight up villainous for the sake of it, and her motivations are simply driven by what she feels is the best direction to take 346 Production, affording her a sense of realism. Such fans point to the fact that she is willing to give the Producer a chance to prove his point as evidence of this. Also, even if the Producer wins his wager against her, she doesn't view it as a lost on her part either, as the company still profits.
      • Detractors of her also believe that her single-minded obsession with profit and myopia regarding the bonds between idols, fans, and Producers is Dramatically Missing the Point in even running such a company to begin with, showing a shocking lack of proper business sense for someone in her position, especially since the company was doing very well prior to her arrival. She has also gained the derision of such fans for scouting Rin and Anastasia for Project Krone, as well as her attempts to fire Uzuki, as they view such moves on her part as a violation of her agreement to let the Producer do as he wishes to prove his point. Those actions makes her a Sadistic boss who gets away with it.
    • IF there is a character that managed to get even with Mishiro in breaking the fandom in pieces, then don't look any further than Rin. While her leaving the Cinderella Project to work with Mishiro and eventually allow her friends to finally got their debut on Triad Primus is still tolerable even through the most vocal of detractors, everything else that precedes and succeeds it, including where she admittedly teases off her departure to the currently depressed Uzuki rub the fandom in the wrong way, with the vocal detractor sees it as a dick move. Her pulling out the further depressed Uzuki from her old idol school and just leave her at be further divided her fans, where detractors sees it as nothing more but Rin telling her to stop do dilly-dally with her problem because it bothers her, ignoring the fact that Rin sees Uzuki as the main inspiration of her becoming an Idol in the first place, and seeing her in the current condition upsets her.
    • Downplayed with Anya and her decision to temporarily join Project Krone at episode 20, since unlike Rin, she does it in less selfish fashion and simply just want to challenge herself working in a different working environment and group. Some fans finds it unnecessary and shortsighted for her part as their problem with Project Krone wasn't enough, while others doesn't seems so upset about it, since it does help Anya's development and gives the audience a better perception of what she can do. Also unlike Rin, few does supports her decision, including Minami.
    • To wit, Project Krone as a whole. Outside of the notable few (Fumika, Arisu, Kanade, both Rin and Anya that Mishiro convinced to defect) doesn't serve much of a role outside of being a vehicle for Mishiro to deliver her views and engage against the main cast that opposes her strictly formula. Some fans wished that they should've been introduced as early as the beginning as some sort of a rival or even a pedestal for Cinderella Project aspire and surpass to.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The first four minutes of episode 26 opens with disjointed scenes from a feudal samurai-esque movie, with all the actors being the Cinderella idols. A few idols are even "killed off" in the fight scenes.
  • Broken Base:
    • Episode 6. Mio crying out that she will quit being an idol, and running off, caused quite a stir in the fandom, and not necessarily in a positive way. On one side, people find it more acceptable due to her being a teenaged girl who got a taste of glory a bit too early. On the other side, people are far more critical of Mio's action, calling it distinctly unprofessional behavior that not only was a big betrayal to the efforts of all the other people that made it possible, such as Producer and Mika, it also jeopardized the entire Cinderella Project and hope for debut for other idols, as seen in Episode 7. Thankfully, things calmed down a lot after Episode 7, but among the fandom, do expect some heated argument whenever Episode 6 is brought up.
    • Episode 20 has led to another split in the fandom, particularly with the actions of Mio becoming a solo artist and Rin joining Triad Primus. One side faults Mio for becoming a solo artist without consulting Uzuki and Rin, and labels her as selfish for not being supportive of Rin wanting to branch out and test new waters by joining Triad Primus, despite her assurances that she would continue to be a part of New Generations. Mio running off just like she did in Episode 6 has also brought about sentiments that she has not truly matured and developed from her past experience. On the other hand, another faction finds Rin to be more culpable in causing the drama, as she made the decision to join Triad Primus without informing Uzuki and Mio, implying a lack of respect on her part, for their opinions and feelings, given Mio's Et Tu, Brute? reaction to Rin's announcement. Rin is also derided as being irresponsible, as her actions, especially in the face of the Cinderella Project facing disbandment by Mishiro, could potentially endanger said project. Dividing her attention between two units would likely lead to Rin under-performing with New Generations, thus encouraging Mishiro to dissolve the Cinderella Project and threaten the careers of her fellow idols, with Rin's own career being insulated because of her membership in a unit sanctioned by Mishiro. There is also the fact that Rin joined Project Krone even after Mishiro insulted Uzuki and Mio, adding fuel to the idea that Rin did not value her friends, else she would have defended them and/or turned down Mishiro's offer. This faction of the fandom also defends Mio's actions as her trying to salvage her career, as Rin's actions may lead to the collapse of New Generations, and waste the effort expended by Uzuki and Mio to get to where they are at present. Nonetheless, both groups agree that both idols are selfish for leaving Uzuki in the dust with their actions.
    • However, Rin did inform Uzuki and Mio about her decision, albeit after tentatively opting, but not outright deciding, to join Triad Primus after her experience of singing with Nao and Karen. At the same time, Rin wanted to know if they were okay with it, implying that she would have declined if they weren't so long as they told her. On the point of Rin not valuing her friends, some believe that her reactions after she consulted them, her attempts to apologize to Mio, and her efforts during Uzuki's arc contradict that notion, though detractors instead suggest that Rin's actions were less than genuine and more aimed towards clearing her own conscious by throwing Uzuki a bone after realizing what she had done. Such detractors point out Rin's inability meet or even talk to Uzuki at the end of Episode 22, due to Triad Primus obligations, which rubbed them the wrong way since it seemed as though Rin couldn't even afford to carve out 5 minutes for a friend, and one that helped her rise to fame, no less.
    • Come Episode 21, although the three idols have apparently made up, some fans note that the underlying issues brought up in Episode 20, namely pursuing other interests while not devoting full effort to their unit and jeopardizing the integrity of the Cinderella Project by either not participating in Episode 22's concert or participating as part of the rival Project Krone, still remain unresolved, more so given that New Generations appears to have been put on hiatus for said concert. While these fans do note that such a development does add a touch of realism, they also maintain that to split up a unit runs antithetical to the ideals of unity that both the original Idolm@ster anime and this anime have been preaching to date.
    • The end of Episode 22 confirms that all of the above mentioned issues that split up New Generations have impacted Uzuki greatly, as she dropped Stepford Smiler hints during that episode, as well as the previous three episodes, to the point where her work is affected, leading to the Producer dismissing her early and telling her to go home.
    • While she has garnered her fair share of detractors in Episode 20, as seen above, said detractors gained an even more intense dislike of Rin in Episode 23 due to the "unbelievably" confrontational manner in which she spoke to Uzuki when the latter expressed reluctance to participate in the Winter Ball. This made it seem like Uzuki was responsible for causing the break-up of New Generations, and by extension, everyone else in the Cinderella Project getting depressed. These viewers see Rin's actions as hypocritical, especially since Rin appeared to be playing the victim when she confronted Uzuki (and apparently blamed her for giving a "fake smile" when Rin was mulling over whether or not to join Triad Primus). The hypocrisy comes due to the fact that it was Rin's decision to join Triad Primus that caused all the ensuing problems in the first place. On the other hand, another sector of viewers praised Rin for holding herself responsible for Uzuki's emotional problems and wanting to go and talk to her. Granted she also wanted to do the same with Mio in Episode 7, but the Producer refused to let her do so.
    • However, there is still Nao and Karen's involvement in the conflict itself to consider. Should Rin opt to refuse Mishiro's offer to join Triad Primus, Nao and Karen's debut would've been delayed again and Rin would be culpable for denying them both the chance to shine on stage with her like they've always wanted to (look at her flinch when she heard they were chosen to make up the unit with her). Regardless of which group she'd choose in the end, Rin would still inevitably end up being the "selfish one" for being the center of the mess Mishiro put her in.
    • It's a tangled mess of issues largely to do with communication. It never takes center stage but the members of New Generations don't communicate with each other very well despite their image as a tight-knit unit who are friends with one another. In Episode 7, Mio tries to push everyone away and Uzuki doesn't tell Rin she's sick, which contributes to her own brooding. Though they get over their issues then, they never quite start communicating with each other more. In Episode 20, Rin initially decides she won't accept Mishiro's offer but leaves it hanging. She doesn't tell Uzuki and Mio until after she's tried singing with Nao and Karen, at which point she's agonizing over it. Mio, likewise, leaves the others in the dark about why she's gone solo. In Episode 22, despite going to the photo shoot specifically to visit and check up on Uzuki, Rin ends up never talking to her until later that night. In Episode 23, Uzuki tries to hide her true feelings from the other two, pushing them away much in the same way Mio did previously.
    • The reason Rin is particularly harsh when she and Mio try to talk to her is because she holds Uzuki up as her inspiration to become an idol in the first place. For her, it's heartbreaking to see Uzuki so down and unsure of herself, but also maddening to see her trying to avoid talking about her insecurities. That said, it felt really jarring for the two to just leave Uzuki in the park after dragging her out and away from her old training school. In short Mio & Rin are seen as "good guys" & Uzuki as "bad guy".
    • Anya is a lesser example due to her actions in Episode 20. While her decision to join Project Krone are seem less selfish on the surface because she just wanted to challenge herself, it seems entirely unnecessary to do it the way she did. After all, she gained inspiration from Ranko, who desired to conquer her fear of the horror genre. While Mishiro's offer did present a good situation for Anya to challenge herself by working with people she doesn't know and working away from her usual friends, it seems very shortsighted on her part to temporarily abandon the Cinderella Project for those reasons. Ultimately, there's less fallout over her decision with fans because Minami becomes a solo artist and performs with the Cinderella Project.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Show of hands, who expected Natsuki and Nana of all people to pair up and join Asterisk? Even though they're respectively Riina's and Miku's "mentor" figures, seeing the four of them come together is as odd as it gets.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Producer, something that no one predicted. He pretty much occupied the number one spot in online polls from the start of the airing, and stayed there.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some fans would rather pretend that the anime ended after the first season and the second season never existed, owing to the introduction of Mishiro and the ensuing drama she caused. It should be noted, however, that this complaint seems to be largely isolated to English speaking viewers. On the other hand, 2ch LOVES Mishiro, as she adds spice to what would otherwise be just Idol vs. Idol rivalries (which were the only ones available in the game). See Base-Breaking Character for more details.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Even though there haven't been any indication of romance in the series proper, pairing of the anime version of the Producer with Rin Shibuya is by now one of the, if not the, most popular pairing in the series and the fanarts of the coupling have exploded since episode 1 and never stopped.
    • Gets played with when other idols like Chieri get close to the Producer, and Rin acts like Mayu. An entire Pixiv tag (荒ぶる凛ちゃん) is devoted to this, with Rin being portrayed as hyper-possessive (but not violent) of the Producer.
    • Amusingly enough, in the June issue of anime magazine, Newtype, Producer and Rin topped the character popularity for male and female character together. The picture arrangement cannot be unintentional.
    • It even got a nod in the anime's 26th episode, with Uzuki, Mio, Miku, Riina, and Anya mistakenly thinking that she was making chocolates for him on Valentine's. Cue the happy shippers.
    • Post-airing, Producer/Uzuki became just as, if not more popular than the Producer/Rin ship, mostly because of her developments in the latter half of the show.
  • Fanon: Already present in the original mobile game, but the anime threw in a few of its own that sort of took off with the existing fandom as well:
    • Rin and the Producer: See Fan-Preferred Couple for most of it. Of course, official supplementary material, like the radio dramas, drama CDs, and even the anime's NO MAKE shorts, point that the Producer isn't even a factor in Rin sticking around in the Cinderella Project at all, but that's never stopped a good ship before...
    • The identities of the three Cinderellas that "got away", which is an important part of the Producer's backstory: Popular consensus points to Kaede and Mika being part of this, as idols who found fame once their management was no longer the Producer's responsibility, but fanartists seems to disagree about the identity of the final idol (who should represent the "Cute" type).
    • It is popular for fanartists to portray Anastasia and Minami living together, either in their own apartment or as roomates at the 346 dorm (which gives them an excuse to interact with Ranko, who is the "unofficial" third member of Love Laika). This flies in the face of the fact that Minami doesn't stay at the company dorm, and still stays with her family at their home.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Episode 24, which is the conclusion of Uzuki's character arc, aired on World Smile Day.
    • The Producer himself becomes an idol as well— in the Pretty Rhythm spinoff movie series King of Prism, Shunsuke Takeuchi plays the teen male idol Alexander Yamato. He has a host of other roles where he needs to sing too (a good number of them music based shows like that one)— and much to everyone's surprise, he does it very well.
  • Les Yay: The close relationship between Minami and Anya. In episode 12, Anya held hands of a worry Minami while the two slept in the same room together. And in a omake, the two went on a "date" to the aquarium and held hands most of the timenote .
    • Uzuki and Rin too. See Shipping to see most of the why below. Although, there was a notable moment during the second cour, when Uzuki returns to 346 pro in episode 24 and she was still hesitating thanks to her Heroic BSoD from the previous episode, Rin's sudden emotional declaration of her wanting to perform with Uzuki together again was a little too over the top even for their relationship as close friends. It was as if Rin was attempting to salvage a break-up with her or something.
  • Narm: The scene where Rin and Mio picking up Uzuki from her old idol school was meant to be tearjerking, but then both of them just leave Uzuki once they were outside, as if they're done with it. It's jarring at best and coldhearted at worst, especially after what they have done to her prior.
  • Never Live It Down: Thanks to her actions in episode 6, Mio Honda is known by the fanbase as a selfish crybaby who can't swallow reality, even when none of this ever carried into the games' canon.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some fans wished that the Project Krone and their fiasco should've been introduced much earlier in the series, since it would gave them more time for development and tension buildup.
    • Similarly, Mishiro also receives the same criticism for only being a straight-up foil for the Producer.
  • Vindicated by History: Fans who were disappointed by SideM trying to play it too safe finds the show is rather interesting on it's own right, portraying the industry in a different, bleaker light through Mishiro's actions.
    • The portrayal of Uzuki's inferiority-induced depression receives more attention in the wake of many work-related depression from teenagers, as it becomes more-and-more concerning recently. Fans also likes her characterization here moreso than the ones from the games.
  • What an Idiot!: Several viewers had this reaction towards Mishiro when she threatened to fire Uzuki because the latter's Heroic BSoD was hampering Rin's Triad Primus activities. While this reflects a businesslike pragmatism not out of place in Real Life top management, such viewers point out Mishiro's blatant ignorance of the very close interpersonal relationships between her idols was a disaster in the making. Were Uzuki to be fired, Rin would likely in all good conscience not want to continue working under the person that axed her friend, if Episodes 23 and 24 are not enough evidence of the camaraderie between the New Generations members. Essentially, were she to fire Uzuki, Mishiro can kiss Triad Primus as she knows it, goodbye.
    • An alternate interpretation is that Mishiro considers it another test of resolve. She tends to frame her methods as doing what it takes to succeed and grow as an idol. Obviously what she counts as growth and success is usually different from the idols'. Thus, she might consider Rin a failure if firing Uzuki affects her so much.

    Tropes Present in Starlight Stage 
  • Awesome Art: The Card Arts were always been a staple in the franchise, but the SSR cards and new SR event cards cranks it up to eleven.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Complains regarding stamina management after the 100 recharge limit change were addressed by making the stamina recharges faster. Recharging stamina is also cheaper as it only cost you 5 Star Jewels to recharge 10 stamina points, although some players would still contested that.
    • Bamco took quite some time off to test out the previous, highly risky and a lot of times just not worth it earlier version of Concentration cards. After the unanimous backlash from the community, the Concentration skill card was reworked to what it is now, being more welcomed by the playerbase as a good team filler.
    • The community were not pleased with the inclusion of Type Princess cards dominated the metagame during the 2017-2018 period, thanks on how powerful and consistent it was compared to other cards back then. It doesn't help that Bamco trying to push the metagame by making a lot of Type Princess cards as limited time gacha cards in almost every limited draw pool available during that time period sans Cinfes, the other being Life Sparkle. In response of the backlash, the less restrictive Type Brilliance card was buffed from 30% to 40% to allow players who doesn't have Princess card to catch up. Moreover, more cards with higher reward but bigger restriction were introduced (like Type Ensemble, Type Crossover and Resonant Appeal) and the frequency of Type Princess card were greatly lessened and the card were given Altenate skill, a skill that's much riskier to pull and less consistent compared to Type Focus cards, that doesn't need to be with cards with the same type to activate.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Expect to use only one idol color type, even on Rainbow colour songs. This is because most of the supporting idol only gives their effect to one idol type (moreso if the supporting idol has Type Focus cards), until cards that has Tricolor center skills (like Skill Boost) and/or cards with Tricolor Synergy skills are introduced and let people have bloodbath with varied unit types, but they all limited.
    • The Type Princess cards (or the Type Focus cards) floods the center support idol list thanks to their one-trick pony versatility that simply increases all idol appeals by 50 percent as long as there is only the same type idols in the team, which you most likely would build upon as they were very easy to build on, and you don't even need to have them in the first place, just get a friend who uses it as their support center cards as their widespread effect were just too good. Even their SR counterparts were pretty decent in budget builds as they were easily found by running on Events or trading them on Live Party prize exchange.
    • To an extent, Life Sparkle is been seen a lot in many team composition by just how good they were after the Overheal update kicks in, as their score combo multiplier increases the more health you have.
    • The Tricolor cards (Skill Boost and Tricolor Synergy) are weird example, as their sole raw gain through their effects weren't as comparable as Type Princess cards, is reliant on team composition as they required three idols with different type to activate it's effect, and sometimes overly specialized stats that doesn't provide the same punch as more flexible specialist in the team. However, stacking them altogether (with the Skill Boost as their centerpiece) with other cards makes them very powerful and potentially dwarfs the Type Princess cards as they will activate their skill often and their complex but versatile conditioning syncs well with other cards like Life Sparkle and Tuning.
    • For budget players, expect to see Concentration and/or Score Boost, Coordination, Perfect Lock, and All Round for your units. Concentration grants you bonus score exceeding the usual Score Boost for every PERFECTs you can do, while Perfect Lock (SR and SSR alike) helps you with it and ensure to secure your current combo. All Round gets the short end of the stick for being weaker than their uncombined counterparts (Combo Boost and HP Recovery), but has the versatility of both especially when combined with Perfect Lock and it's very useful on tap-heavy tracks and endurance events. They also very common (sans their SR counterparts, with all of them being limited to events and caravans). Having 2 Concentration/All Round in your team is wisely advised, in case you don't have Focus/Tricolor cards yet.
    • If you're planning to play a LIVE PARTY match, never ever go without planning with your friends beforehand, or just don't press the quick play button at all. See the Scrappy Mechanic for the reason why.
  • Demonic Spiders: Flick Chains are this with the majority of the players, especially the ones that still doesn't know how it worksnote . It's no surprise that most of the tracks that utilize Flick Chains out the wazoo are That One Levels.
    • Early Installment Weirdness aside, asymmetrical couple of notes with different tempo beat and placing explanation  is often regarded as rather annoying gimmicks for some, even pros. The catch is that while your first finger has to follow other beat that's running in the background, the other finger must follow the other beat that's following either the song or the rhyme, which can be disorienting at times, plus the placement between each other ensures that you can't play it with only one hand. MASTER charts like "Nation Blue" suffers in this regard. Frankly enough, the gimmick is rarely seen on any newer charts nowadays.
    • Slide notes. This gimmick only appears in MASTER+ difficulty and completely replaces the ever annoying flick chains. Unfortunately, it is also twice as frustrating to manage. Unlike flick chains, the player have to hold and slide the note all the way without any interruption whatsoever or else it'll miss, and since MASTER+ tends to put them together with fast paced taps, prepare to have sore fingers.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Certain SSR card's arts has the Idols posing on the stage surrounded by lightsticks. The way the lightstick drawn and positioned makes some player think for something else...
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Some of the SSR designs were more popular than others, so much that it becomes a priority pick on release and every other consequent reruns. They were also the ones that receive considerable amount of fan arts upon release.
      • Special mention goes to the Swimsuit SSR, starting from Syuko's "Blue Horizon". It also helps that it is a Focus Card, which is meta-defining. Other mentions like Fumika's "A Page of Sea Breeze" also qualifies.
      • Cards such as Kanade's "End of the Blue" and Miku's "Aventure Chat" were popular thanks for how hot they look on their respective costume.
      • The more simpler and casual SSR designs were also pretty cute and popular among the fanbase, like Airi's "Elegance Plus".
      • Not an SSR card, but Miyu in Kindergarten's uniform on pre-awakened Chie's "Precocious Little Demon" looks so cute and overshadow the card she was included in, resulting in a short boom of fanarts.
  • Game-Breaker: While the game has nothing much to offer in competitive plays other than the LIVE PARTY!! mode (and not anyone really mind about it's competitive aspect anyway) and 'bloodbath' events, some cards and their abilities can ramp more score than any other.
    • Card Combinations can be this. Combine 2 Concentration cards, 1 Combo Bonus card, 1 Skill Boost card and have a Cinfes card with Tricolor Vocal/Visual/Dance at the center, and you'll be able to rack more score when it's active.
    • CinFes-exclusive Tricolor Vocal/Visual/Dance cards. While their skill provides extra 18% Combo Bonus (higher than typical limited Combo Bonus SSR cards), their center skills raises each stats (Vocal, Visual, or Dance) by 100%, only if you have cute, cool, and passion idols on your team. The total appeal becomes larger when a Tricolor Vocal/Visual/Dance center skill is applied.
    • Type Focus cards (which are exclusive to some limited cards) increase your score based on both of your combos and PERFECTs while there are only same type cards on your team (i.e. Cool Focus takes effect if your team only consist of Cool type cards). Their center skill, type princess, raises all appeals of all one type by 50%, racking up bigger total appeal, therefore, a much bigger score. Having them is one of the easiest way to get into 1000 PRP, and they are as powerful as the Tricolor Vocal/Visual/Dance CinFes cards.
      • BAMCO now added the SR Focus cards as event reward, giving alternative to players who can't get Focus cards on the gacha line, starting from the "Pallete" event. Players are fast to notice they're not a lot weaker than their SSR counterparts, being very short-gaped in numbers outside of the Base stats. A viable alternative for budget players. Thanks to the bonus it provides at the early game and the rampant popularity, Bamco took note and stop providing them as event rewards as for now.
    • A Skill Boost Card acts as a support card for other cards with various skills (which includes said Focus Cards). So far, all of them also have Tricolor Center skills (skills that takes effect only if the unit is put onto the centermost) that increases all Idols skill probability if there's three different card types on your team, increasing the card's effectiveness. Ironically enough, the Tricolor center skill doesn't synergize well with the Focus cards, since they need to be more than just one type on a same team, rendering the Focus skill card useless.
    • Encore skill cards, they might not appeal you as much due to their evenly stat distribution yet excels at nothing in particular, but their skill allows them to copy the previously activated skill with no real costs, meaning that you can get the same skill in a row every 12 second or so, especially well if you have Focus Cards or Life Sparkle in the same team. They also have another effect; if you use them for a centerpiece unit, you will get a bonus rewards upon finishing a LIVE. It doesn't mean much until you realize that in specific events with reward rate up, you can get Premium Draw card out of it.
    • Tricolor Synergy skill cards have quite a problems on it's own. It has a lopsided statline, requires you to have at least three different idol type on your team, and the center skill isn't really that good unless you're using it specifically for grinding fans, but it compensate by giving the card both Score and Combo Bonus at once plus minor healing, making it one of the finest example of Difficult, but Awesome in the game so far, requires you to properly build your team to get it's peak effects. Best yet, it's a Cinfes exclusive, means that you have more chance to get one of these once per three month.
    • Type Ensemble skill cards boosts the currently active Score or Combo bonus skill of the same type idol when activated. While it sounds underwhelming at all, their centerpiece skill Type Unison gives you 55% appeal bonus to the same idol type, even larger than the aforementioned Type Princess cards, as long as you only play song with the same type as the Type Unison idol type. Best yet, it's not completely restricted like Tricolor and Princess cards, means that you can add Skill Boost or the aforementioned Tricolor Synergy cards as long as you have more idols with the same type with the Unison card.
      • Tricolor Symphony skill cards is basically Type Ensemble, except with the bonus Healing enhancement and require you to have all three different type idol in the same team.
    • On a budget side, Perfect Lock SSR cards are this in Endurance rounds or for a Perfect Run. It turns GREAT/NICE/BAD into PERFECT for a some/short/very short time depends on the card, but will activate very often, which makes them useful in any team they're into.
      • A new strat was found by exploiting SSR Perfect Lock cards with Skill Boost cards. When the Skill Boost card activates on a Perfect Lock card, the effect enhances the Perfect Lock specs not just only to convert any judgement from BAD onwards, but also convert MISS as long as both is active at the same time, which allows you to literally win a LIVE by doing absolutely nothing, or at very least give you a really strong safety net as long as both were active at the same time, especially if you were trying to do a Perfect Run on some of the hardest songs. Here's an example of how powerful the combo was.
    • Life Sparkle is just like Combo Bonus, except the modifier increases based on the player's current health and increases based on the bonus health from the Overheal, and the active duration is also pretty generous. Combine it with healing skill like HP Recovery or All-Round, or the aforementioned Tricolor Synergy, you will rack up massive numbers in no sweat.
    • Mid 2018, the game introduces the player with a tasks systems, where players can assign idols to perform several tasks akin to the Mobage. Sounds like an excuse not to play the game properly, right? It was overlooked until you realize you can grind quite a lot of Access Points for normal music events using this method, and since it's generally cheaper just to use the feature over grinding the same music over and over again for access points, the tasks turns Access grinding into no-brainer, even though it has daily limitation (some tasks can only be performed twice per day). Bamco nerfed the feature that it's a little more expensive to do than grinding for access points normally, which met with mixed reactions, and it's still doing pretty well.
  • Growing the Beard: Over the course of the game, both Cygames and Bandai Namco managed to improve the game by giving them new features or just some quality of life changes.
    • During launch, many 27 to 28 ranked star difficulties often incorporates outdated elements in the note placements and pacing, resulting in some songs like Himitsu no Toilette and TOKIMEKI Escalate being harder due to the Fake Difficulty, or songs like -Engel- Adanasu Tsurugi Hikari no Shirabe and Trancing Pulse being considered rather easy for 28. Nowadays, many songs were charted and rated much more proper to their difficulty, and many newer songs are done so that it would still be challenging without actually frustrate the player. They were also paced well with the beat and rhythm so that you can master the chart through learning from the song itself.
    • The Dance choreography are also a lot less rigid over the course of the year. Previously, the choreography for most arrangement consist only a motion that all five idols are sharing in the same time, which makes them look awkward and uncanny since all five idols in the set is very well-synced. By introducing MV's with separate choreography for each idols, as well as rehashing the motion concept for each models, gives the MV more life by carefully pacing each idol's movement so they won't awkwardly sync, like how real life idol singer would dances.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: The aforementioned Type Focus cards were overly popular with players, thanks to it's massive usefulness in either stages of the game. Apparently, Bamco knows this, and directed many famous idols into having this type of card in their limited SSR release. There's so many option that many who already had enough of their variants become sick of it, while the ones who doesn't even have one grows tired because Bamco purposely pumping out everything about it. Worse still, these cards were on limited release and reruns, but never on CinFesexplanation , giving players really thin chance and timespan to draw these cards. Eventually the popularity fatigued out and Bamco stop milking them as hard as before in the limited-time batches.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some SSR looks rather familiar from the ones that had been released prior, which makes the fanbase think whether the ones were designing the costumes are running out of ideas.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • #ありすクソコラグランプリ (Arisu's Edit Compilation) Explanation 
    • #蘭子クソコラグランプリ (Ranko's Edit Compilation) Explanation 
    • "Koi Kaze never" Explanation 
    • "we GBF now"Explanation 
    • Syuko's black hair (actually a wig) in her [Furachi na CANVAS] SR card has led the fandom producing a countless amount of alternate hair color fanarts/edits (be it black or of other colors) of other idols, not only just Syuko as well.
  • Meaningful Release Date:
    • Natsuki's second SSR was released on June 9th 2017, celebrated in Japan as the Rock Day.
    • Riina's second SSR came out around Miku's birthday, while Miku's third SSR - around Riina's.
    • Main commu 52 (featuring Hiromi Seki and her image song, Rakuen) involves Hina passing out due to lack of sleep and food as a result of the tight deadlines for sending her mangas to print. It might seem mundane, given it's Hina, but the commu itself came out just before 2018's Summer Comiket.
      • Speaking of Hina, her second SSR (which is also a permanent card, mind you) was released on August 10th 2018, the first day of that year's Summer Comiket.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Much like with other mobile idol rhythm games such as Love Live! School Idol Festival, the game offers no recognition or reward for an all-Perfect run, making such runs completely pointless unless you manually keep track of them.
    • The sliding notes, only available on the MASTER+ difficulty, combines hold notes with the ever frustrating flick chains, resulted in a hold notes that you have to drag and follow like most hold notes did, except that you have to drag it to another side, or else you'd miss. The catch? Most of the charts using it have a very little drag gap between slides, which in turn makes it frustrating to complete.
    • As mentioned in Demonic Spiders above, Flick chains are one of the least liked note type, second to sliding notes. Most of the complaints are from the people who have difficulty registering each flick chains to one another.
    • If you have a card skill with the same effect, they will not stack, the highest bonus granted are the only one that applies.
    • LIVE PARTY in general. Since the center idol skill is still in effect, you want your unit to be very specific and everyone should be at the even grounds since they all share the same team, thus allowing you to position your designated unit in more favorable areas, like Type Princess units for the center position. Using quickplay button will reassign you to the random position with the pre-assigned idol, resulting in an unfavorable conditions where you had to play with an idol you don't want to, or in another case where you finally get to use the idol you want or the position is just right, but the other player have the wrong idol that poorly synergize or doesn't even synergize at all to the team composition (i.e. Type Princess and Tricolor units), and much more, all thanks to the random nature of the game. You can mitigate this factor by predetermining the idols you want to be on the position they were based on the music type and their speciality so that you won't be much screwed up with your positioning and your unit, but you still had to try your luck on the other players you assigned with, whether they're can screw the team formation or not. It's the best just simply avoid quickplay and plan out the game with your friends.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The idea of different motions of each in the 3D MV is often seen as a breakthrough among fans since most of the time, idols are always synced into one motion during dances, with the first one being "Ankira!? Kyousokyoku". Nowadays, with the introduction of "Yes! Party Time", "Illusionista!", and "Mujuuryoku Shuttle", fans are less excited with the idea ever since.
    • Certain songs from the past that were assigned in the 28s were considered this among the playerbase as their chart design doesn't age well with how the gameplay evolves over the course of the year, or because a lot of newer 27s is just harder and more challenging in retrospect. This is because past charts difficulty level are assigned almost always from the number of the notes you had to hit for perfect score, not on how they were designed around it, while recent charts start getting extra stars due to the way the note designed elaborated the note to match it with the song's flow and rhythm (for example, Kaede's "Koi Kaze" would have been considered at the lower 25s if not because of the flick chains), thus leaving older 28s that wasn't updated to the current standard to be rather underwhelming ("Trancing Pulse", "-ENGEL- Adanasu Tsurugi Hikari no Shirabe", "M@GIC") or frustrating ("Anzu no Uta", "Himitsu no Toilette", "TOKIMEKI Escalate").
  • That One Level: Being a rhythm game about idols, expect this a lot. In general, most Level 28 in normal Master charts are this, as well as the newer 27s (HANAKANZASHI, Hotel Moonside, Zettai Tokken Shuuchou Shimasuu!, Märchen Debut!, Kyoumei Sekai no Ontology). MASTER+ charts (29s, 30s, and 31s) take even a lot worse.
    • "Hotel Moonside" would have been pretty easy feast for a 27... if handling the hold flicks is not a problemExplanation . This does not stop it for being incredibly fun gimmick for some.
    • "Chiisana Koi no Misshitsu Jiken" would have been nowhere near 27 if not because of the middle section where a lot of notes jumping all over the place.
    • "TOKIMEKI Escalate", both on MASTER and MASTER+. While its MASTER chart (a 28) can be frustating due to the occasional 16th tap jacks (specifically, the parts that have 16th tap jacks in the middle of the lane for one measure which can be found near the end of the song), its MASTER+ chart is another way to say "good bye fingers". TOKIMEKI Escalate M+ (a 30) takes what its MASTER chart is famous for, and crank it Up to Eleven, with even worse double tap 16th jacks during the ending part.
    • "NUDIE★" by Mika Jougasaki, again. This time, they decided to avoid using the dreaded 16th tap jacks gimmick Mika is known of and instead spread the notes evenly throughout the high speed chart. The catch, they ended up repeating the same formula from the original TOKIMEKI Escalate where they would repeat the same pattern over and over again, especially during the chorus onwards, resulting in basically a chart that plays and feels like the original TOKIMEKI and is as monotonous and twice as frustrating.
    • For its awesomeness, "Souyoku no Aria" MASTER+ is mercilessly hard. After the mostly normal flick stairs intro, the player will be introduced with a lot of jumpy notes, fast paced zigzagging swipe notes and very little gap between notes. The ending part after the vocal ends takes the cake, and the player will probably have to retry for the first time. On other hand, it doesn't relies on gimmicks and artificial difficulty like "Anzu No Uta" or "TOKIMEKI Escalate", making this song a worthwhile to a certain degree.
    • Asuka Ninomiya's image song "Kyoumei Sekai no Ontology" is infamous not just of the small gap between each notes and frequent flick-happy nature, but is also random and poorly paced that some suspect the charter has no real sense of beat placement and just add and throw in notes to ramp up the difficulty that shouldn't be there. Many so far claim that the song is considerably harder than "-Engel- Adanasu Tsurugi Hikari no Shirabe", which is a 28 star, Kyoumei Sekai is 27. Needless to say, this chart considered very divisive.
    • "Anzu no Uta", both MASTER and MASTER+. Being one of the first song to receive a 28 on MASTER, surely "Anzu no Uta" will throw the player to death with its single, repeated slides (especially during the "Mayday" part) and of course, some hard and fast note placements. Its MASTER+ chart, though, takes the already hard gimmick Up to Eleven... and it is a level 30 chart.
    • As if Anzu no Uta is not hard enough, there's another hard song that features Anzu on it. "Ankira!? Kyousokyoku"'s MASTER+ chart is considered to be one of the hardest 30s in the game. Unless the player is lucky enough (with healers, to be exact) to survive throughout the song, the chart will give the player a hell amount of notes and slides to make them fail easily, and it is much, much faster than Anzu no Uta.
    • "Himitsu no Toilette", on MASTER and MASTER+. Its MASTER chart is one of the hardest non-MASTER+ 28 in the game, infamous for throwing players off with a twisty 16th stream taps during the middle part, and the fast-enough-to-break-easily flick zig-zags and tap+flick stairs during the ending. Toilette's MASTER+ chart, while not as hard as M+ 30 charts for "Anzu no Uta" and "TOKIMEKI Escalate", is still harsh for a 30.
    • "Tulip (SP Version)" manages to eclipse "Kyoumei Sekai no Ontology" as one of the poorly piece of chart ever done in Starlight Stage, at least according to the majority of the MASTER player. To start it off, the chart greatly differs from the original chart it's based off, since now every beat is spread all over the place instead of the usual one-spaced drum-like beat the original has done. Then everything went downhill afterwards; the beat spread everywhere, the gap inbetween each note is unrealistically wide and badly arranged, and the overall buildup is just terrible. It strips off the elements that makes Tulip a fun and enjoyable chart for its own right, with some of the player base swear off that Kyoumei Sekai no Ontology, while a divisive chart, is better than this chart.
    • "Honoo no Hana" MASTER+. Looks okay for a 30 during the first few minutes, and then things are getting fishy because the 16th jack triplet taps can catch you off-guard. Especially said 16th jack taps are faster (at 188BPM) compared to how 16th jacks in "TOKIMEKI Escalate" MASTER and MASTER+ run. Even funnier that the song itself has a laughably easy MASTER chart rated 24, making this a huge difficulty jump from 24 in MASTER to 30 in MASTER+. As of this writing, this chart is considered as the hardest 30 in the entire game, even beating the likes of Trinity Field, Ankira!? Kyousokyoku, and TOKIMEKI Escalate (according to the fan-curated tier list found on the Gamerch Wiki for Starlight Stage).
    • MASTER+ Level 31 charts. When 30s are not enough to be hard-worthy... so begets the merciless 31s. A common recurrence in 31s is that they all have at least 1000 notes and up.
      • "Decoboco Speedstar" on MASTER+. It is the first song whose very first chart to have a whopping 31 star difficulty; the amount of flicks and note streams made "Ankira!? Kyousokyoku" and "Trinity Field" looked like Debut mode in comparison. It also surpasses the 999 notes limit (the trend that started with Absolute NIne M+) at a whopping 1077 notes, the first time we saw a 1000 notes and up appearing in a single song (not counting a LIVE Groove or a LIVE Parade set, of course). And the song is at 230 BPM, the fastest one from the 31s.
      • "Babel" on the surface looks and sounds like a cool 128 BPM EDM song that makes you groove with it. Now put a bunch of dense note placements, the abundance of slide-holds and 16th short jack taps, and top it with 24ths in some measures. Congratulations, you've just made the second MASTER+ chart rated 31, even though it's still tamer than other 31s...
      • Then comes "Gossip Club". Again, sounds like it's a tame song with a tame pace at 155 BPM about gyarus and stuff. But its MASTER+ chart is even WORSE than Speedstar and Babel, as if dense, wacky note placements in the first and second choruses are not enough... 16th triplet stair taps can be infuriating too. With little breather sections throughout the song, Gossip Club is the third MASTER+ chart rated 31, and also notoriously hard even the fan-curated tier list in the Gamerch Starlight Stage wiki put Gossip Club M+ as the hardest chart in the 31s section.
      • "Great Journey". The relentless speed of Decoboco Speedstar (though the song itself is at 188 BPM but still fast enough), the already densely-packed stream notes of Babel and Gossip Club, and the true hell that is fast flick chains (especially when the flicks are zig-zagged). Without a place to rest, are you tough enough to get at least rank C and up in combo ranks? Then, good luck with the fourth MASTER+ chart rated 31!
    • For that matter, anything with an overabundance of flick chains.
      • "Tsubomi" MASTER is particularly notable in this regard, to the point where it was re-rated from a 25 to 26 when this event-first song was available for everyone.
      • "Sakura no Koro" MASTER is "Tsubomi" with even worse flick spams, to the point that many players consider this chart not a 26.
      • "Koi Kaze" MASTER managed to be one of the most frustrating flick chains galore. The chain is so long that it 'vanishes' before reaching another flick. Again, it is also 26 on MASTER, the same tier with "Tsubomi" and "Sakura no Koro".
      • Somehow played with "Inori no Hana", a slow, calming song by Yoshino Yorita. While the highlight of the chart is the barrage of flick chains presented on it, it is not any more aggressive as other examples above, and the chart itself is also tap heavy with a lot of thing happened in a single segment, which warrants it 27 star difficulty on MASTER.
      • "Treasure☆" MASTER+, rated 29, lacks any presence of taps in exchange for a flick-feast (especially apparent during the first half, before the chorus part hits) that tests your patience. If you have patience to swipe the flicks in time, the chart is easy for you. But if you don't have one, good luck FC-ing it.
      • The newly released "THE VILLAIN'S NIGHT" has the chorus part that can be summed up as a flick chain hell. Combined with the exhausting "jumpscare" taps before where it tricks you into repositioning your thumb's position like Chiisana Koi above, it becomes one of the hardest 27 ranked song so far.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Over the course of the game's lifespan, certain changes have been done to the game, with some were not as pleasant as the others.
    • The ones that still sparks quite an argument here is the change done to the stamina systems. Previously, you cannot charge the stamina exceeding your current limit, with anything exceeding it "overcharges" the stamina meter, prompting you to use it before recharging back. Recharging your stamina can be done using stamina drinks or star jewels, which will automatically restores it equal to your current MAX stamina, ensuring that the remaining stamina will be overcharged. Certain players were able to abuse the system a little by recharging to the closest point as possible then fully recharge using star jewels, giving you near double the amount you currently can possess. A new update overhauls the system that you can exceed the stamina cap without having to use it, scale the stamina recharge based on how many you spent, and make sure that any recharge done using either method will not exceed 100 and removing the MAX recharge stamina drink, replacing it with the +100 Stamina drink instead. While there are players who prefer the changes (it's easier to reach double cap this way), others weren't as satisfied, since it's possible that there are players who have exceeded the 100 MAX Stamina point and demanded the change to be reverted.
    • The change regarding points for the events doesn't sit well with the fans until these days, as the prizes for each checkpoint are significantly smaller than usual, unless you're willing to grind to 25000+ checkpoints. This is a lot more difficult in events like Live Parade, where the points increases based on area completion over grinding like other event type did.
    • The decision to turn LIVE PARTY from an annual monthly event into a regular gamemode sparks quite an argument, as the gamemode doesn't serve much of a purpose outside of obtaining old event card reruns or checkpoint grinding (which is rather slow and not really economic) and required a good heft of planning with friends as the quickplay is really unreliable if you have certain cards that worked better with some other, like Focus cards.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Abilities that doesn't increase your score or the ones that activates rather short are rather unfavourable with the fanbase, with few exceptions, but most of the time they're not worth the hassle.
    • HP Recoverynote  is often unfavourable due to the fact that the skill is kinda underwhelming over time and most of the time, you're not going to waste much HP for a single song, unless you're playing a MASTER+ chart or attending Live Groove event, or having an Overload character on your party. Most people would rather pick a Score-Boosting skills than maintaining condition, and if they're looking for a healing alternative, they would rather pick All Roundnote  which is basically a Combo Bonus and a Minor Healing at the same time. The latest update of Overheal and the release of Life Sparkle successfully managed to give HP recovery more importance, thought it's utility mostly seen on endurance events, and even then it's not really powerful on it's own.
    • Similar to the HP Recovery above, Damage Guard is also unfavorable due to it's rather underwhelming for it's situational effect and lack of synergy with other kind of cards that uses HP for something. With the introduction of Life Sparkle and Overheal only makes it more obsolete, since it doesn't do much outside of keeping your HP from lowering, which other cards are simply better at it (HP Recovery, All Round and Tricolor Synergy is simply better at keeping your Live and can give a good boost with the Overheal and Life Sparkle combo). It does have use on Overload-centric formations and Skill Boost Perfect Lock strats, but Overload itself is rather cumbersome on it's own, and the strat is so reliant of RNG that you better use it as a safety mechanic rather than a gimmicky way to play the game.
    • Many seems to dislike Overloadnote  due to the fact that it activates quite frequently and only activates for like couple of second, it does more damage than it's worth (Score Boost usually has similar percentage, Combo/Perfect Lock does its job better and you're only going to get NICE/BAD when you really screwing up anyway). Newer Overload cards tries to avert this by making them last longer, to no avail.
    • Unlike Perfect Lock, Combo Lock is not as powerful and simply cast aside once you got yourself an SSR Perfect Lock. While both provide Combo protection if you did one mistake, Combo Lock didn't convert it to PERFECT to keep the scoring like the Perfect Lock do and since most of the skill requires you to at least score PERFECT and GREAT, Combo Lock becomes obsolete and doesn't synergize well with other card type with the exception of maybe Combo Bonus or All Round or something. Just like Damage Guard, they have no SSR counterpart.
    • Pre-rework Concentrationnote , dear God. Many regard it as one of the worst skills ever released on a card, due to the fact that the amount of reward is not worth it with the cost. It gave the player little to no room for mistakes since anything but PERFECT breaks the player's combo, and its bonus multiplier wasn't really worth it either. The reworked versionnote  turned it into a playable, conditionally more powerful Score Boost and managed to regain most of people's favour.
  • Uncanny Valley: It's a stretch for saying that, but the portraits used by the idols for the "Twintail no Kaze" have all of their basic portraits sporting basic down-to-shoulder twintails. This looks fine for Mika since her hair is naturally long and she has been on a twintail herself in most of her cards, but the others, not so much, since both Kanade and Miho are naturally short-haired, and it looked like the twintail were just attached.
  • Unexpected Song Track: The new year 9 million live event exclusive music is, oddly enough, a newly released variant of Koi Kaze titled "Koi Kaze -Hanaba-", complete with her own Stage.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: All the 3D concert were done spectacularly, utilizing various visual effects and camera positioning, especially if you used the 3D Rich option. Special mention goes to "GIRLS in the FRONTIER", "Bi ni Iri Sai o Ugatsu", "Giyu Ninkyou Hanafubuki", "Trust Me", "Crazy Crazy", "Fascinate", "Souyoku no Aria", "Pretty Liar", and "Babel".
  • The Woobie:
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The summer swimsuit themed SSR has been a long staple of fan favorite picks since Syuko's "Blue Horizon" limited print and were seen as player's draw priority, but Mizuki's "Advancing Aventure" was probably the most contested of the bunch because of the surprisingly detailed scarf she wore, which looks off and distracting.
    • Ranko's "White Princess of The Banquet" were pretty fine looking if not the fact that it looks like a haphazardly assembled lingerie.

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