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First Impressions: Death Parade, The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls

Posted on the 12 January 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Death Parade

Helen: Back in 2013 I enjoyed both the Little Witch Academia and Death Billiards shorts from the Anime Mirai production quite a bit (I did not enjoy the third title I saw and the one I didn’t see was reportedly crap, in case anyone was curious). I even commented at the time on my own blog that Death Billiards really had the potential to extend the story into a full TV series and make it either an episodic tale featuring different pairs each time (a la Mushi-shi) or that it could dive deeper into whatever strange mythos the story was functioning based on. Funny enough I discovered that my write-up had been linked on on a forum later in the year with people saying that this was an “announcement” that it was getting a TV series so I would like to take full credit for predicting that this would be a show before even the creators themselves!

If you’ve seen Billiards then the set-up here is very familiar: two people enter a strange bar (which the old fansubs had translated as Queen Decim which makes a little more sense to me) and are told that they must play a game and that they must put their lives on the line for it, there is no alternative and no hope for at least one of them. Viewers who have looked at the title for the series can quickly guess what the “twist” surrounding these minor characters is and, to it’s credit, the show doesn’t take overly long to reveal to the viewers that these characters are dead and in a strange version of purgatory.

I did find the game and characters more interesting in Billiards to be completely honest, not only did the game of pool lend itself more to some fantastic shots and animation and the characters there were more morally ambiguous. Quite honestly by the end of this first episode I was wondering if there was a rule that one person must go to hell and one must go to heaven, since neither seemed deserving of that reward, and I’m sure that will be touched on at a later date.

I am especially sure of this since in this episode’s stinger we see our taciturn bartender talking to two other women and not only does one of them seem new to this whole situation but she also lacks the distinctive eye pattern that all of the other characters in the opening had which sparks theories all by itself. The preview for the next episode seems to confirm that this series will dive more into the mythos behind the bar (and more than likely, purgatory in general) and I’m excited for it. Despite my earlier comments, I never thought this would become a full series and since it was announced so late I doubted it would even be part of the winter season. But lo and behold it’s not only here but great so far, looking forward to seeing what happens next and to looping that rather fun opening song quite a few times as well!

First Impressions: Death Parade, The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls
Kuuki: Are you lady? I am lady~

I just couldn’t help but make the joke (which you will only understand if you have watched the previous installments of Im@s …). That being said, I had no idea that Cinderella Girls would be so different.

If you are new to the party you shall know that The Idolm@ster is an incredibly successful game and that it’s about raising idols.

If you are new to the party I shall also tell you that I have a huge soft spot for anime about idols. And so obviously I would watch this.

It’s a bit difficult to tell first impressions of what’s essentially a slice of life anime that focus on idols. Yet, the first thing that struck me is how different this one is from the previous series.

I don’t really know why, maybe because the girls are different, maybe because the producer is different (and glorious) maybe because it takes more time to actually introduce the story. From what I understood there are tons of girls (or at least I have seen tons of promo pictures with a huge number of girls) and yet we have only seen two in the first episode.

First Impressions: Death Parade, The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls
I appreciate anime that don’t do huge info dumps on their first episodes. Cinderella Girls did that. It introduced a grand total of three main characters. I don’t remember their names because I obviously watch way too much stuff but it introduced only three characters and, while I may not remember their names, I totally remember their faces and their personalities.

I already care about them, I want these girls to succeed! (We all know they will but the interesting thing is to know how, because it’s not going to be an easy feat with such a producer. Or so it seems.)

First Impressions: Death Parade, The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls
As I said, it’s hard to talk about it. We haven’t really been introduced to any of the actual idol stuff yet, that first episode was mostly character introduction.

In a way it’s smart, it’s not like we really need to be introduced in-depth to the story. We already know what is going to happen, the girls will struggle, they already do, they aren’t even a proper idol unit yet anyway, but the girls will become huge stars. See, no need for a proper story introduction.

From what I have seen though I can already say it’s engaging, a lot more than the previous series were. The 20 minutes of the episode passed in a breeze and I finished it already wanting to see what was next.

Obviously a recommendation from me. (Who is an idol anime baka, this is something you need to know …)

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