Idolmaster xenoglossia: a review

idolmaster23A year ago, I was browsing through a Chinese forum and heard a wonderful piece of Christmas music. After digging around for a little bit I discovered that it was from Idolmaster. Of course, I didn’t know that it was a xbox360 game and decided that I should go and watch the anime. Somehow I kept procrastinating on it and ended up marathoning it only a few days ago, so here I am writing up a review for it.

Plot in a sentence: a girl, Haruka,  tries to become an idol but instead somehow becomes a pilot for a giant robot that’s used to defend the earth from meteorites, only to realize that things are more complicated than they seem.

Art: 7/10

The character designs aren’t great, but they certainly aren’t bad and some of the side characters are very well designed. The mechas had very interesting designs, and the outfits for the pilots were interesting too, in a bad way (shiny pink fabric should be used in accessories and nothing else). When I saw the first episode, I thought that it looked older than it’s 2007 production date, but as the episodes went on, the art improved.

Animation: 9/10

Very solid. I won’t say that everything was amazing, but There were certainly no faults that I could spot and the entire thing was very consistent. The second opening animation was particularly well done and worthy of praise.


Music and voice acting: 13/15

I didn’t particularly like the performance of Haruka’s VA, but the entire cast did a good job. Music was a central theme in the series, and it was utilized well, although there was nothing that was really fresh or interesting. For some reason I really love the second opening, although I have no idea why.

Story: 8/10

It begins with light-heartly, exploring the history of the different characters, with lots of laughs and the mandatory swimsuit episode. But all the while, a larger story was being hinted at. Episode 17 was, in my opinion, the turning point of the series. After that episode they began to actually show blood, which the studio has conveniently avoided before, and everything starts to come together. However, it didn’t come together all that cleanly and I wished that they arranged the turning point to come earlier.

Typical of Sunrise, the plot was insane, slightly illogical, and full of people who stay dead. Those who manage to stay alive all have some development to them that makes them interesting, from the old man who overpowered a trained group of armed men through brute force to a nurse who took over pretty much an entire military base with a baseball bat.

zankokuyokiboutonare1Gut feelings:5/5

I don’t know why, but this series really grows on you! You can pick at its faults (and plot holes) all day long, but that won’t change the fact that I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s light, it’s fun, it can be touching and all in all it’s really a good series to watch.

Art: 7×2=14/20

Animation: 7/10

Music: 13/15


Total: 79/100 B

8 thoughts on “Idolmaster xenoglossia: a review

  1. Nice review. I guess I’ll give the anime a try, after all I just got the game and I’m not really watching any anime right now (Or at least, the ones I’m watching don’t have any more subbed episodes…).
    Anyway, the game is actually only for the XBOX360 and PSP. There’s no PS2 version. ^^

  2. I watched this recently myself, and I definitely agree that the turn towards the serious ought to have been a few episodes earlier. The cheerful stuff in the first part of the story was just beginning to drag by episode 17, and once the darker stuff began there wasn’t quite enough time to savour the angst.

  3. This anime really took me by surprise. It started off pretty generic, and I thought it was going to be another forgettable moe-meets-action anime, but it really turned into a surprisingly engrossing anime. Yes, there were a few things in it that were pretty stupid (like the loli character with the lollipops), but they somehow did a really good job of making a cast of characters worth caring about. I always find anime that exceed my expectations to be the most rewarding, and this one blew my initial expectations away.

  4. This show was the ultimate WTF for me, having seen the original game, in which these characters are just normal performers wanting to be famous, no robots or anything like that. Even worse is how far out of character, mentally and physically, Chihaya Kisaragi got taken. Chihaya is a shy and loveable stringbean who listens to classical music and wishes she had bigger boobs. Sorry, but I just can’t accept Xenoglossia’s “Chihaya” as legitimate.

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