If you don’t know anything else about me, the one thing you should know as a reader, is that I’m a huge fan of the original iDOLM@STER series.  The iDOLM@STER had a distinct charm that no other idol focused series has managed to duplicate.  It was fun, cute, dramatic, and did I mention fun?  I actually had fun watching it, unlike with some other of the other idol shows I’ve watched.  By the end of The iDOLM@STER, I genuinely liked all the characters.  There are very few series that manage to make me like all the characters, and The iDOLM@STER did.  They all had their time in the sun, and we got to see them all grow into huge idols.  I’m telling you this so you can understand my expectations for Cinderella Girls, and why I’ve been so excited about it.

Right off the bat, The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls feels the same way to me.  Cinderella Girls feels like it has that exact same charm I fell in love with in The iDOLM@STER.  Its too early to say its reached the same heights as the original series, but it’s definitely headed in the right direction.  Its captured my interest and has me eagerly waiting for the next episodes.  I’m already feeling excited about the next episode as I’m typing this.

Cinderella Girls does an excellent job of introducing its characters in a way that makes them memorable.  Each character is introduced in a unique way, such as Ranko’s chuuni speech, or Anya’s Russian introduction.  All the characters seem lively, unique, and interesting.  Though I should confess I don’t really care about Anzu.  If the series is anything like the last, it’ll make me feel otherwise by the series finale.  Most of our introductions take place in episode two, where we meet all the Cinderella Girls and a few other idols under 346 Production. (click pictures on right)  MiothumbUzukithumbRinthumbAnyathumbRankothumbAnzuthumb Chierithumb Kanakothumb KirarithumbAkagithumb Mikuthumb Minamithumb  Riinathumb Rikathumb

Cinderella Girls is already quick to throw our main three girls into the action.  In the third episode, Rin, Uzuki, and Mio are thrust into their first performance.  They’re just back-up dancers, but it’s still a huge step up for them.  So far, the girls have only been practicing (with plenty of mistakes being made) and have just arrived at the company.  Yet they’re thrust into the world of real idols so quick and suddenly.  If you recall, in The iDOLM@STER the first gig was relatively small concert in the country.  The Cinderella Girls don’t get that luxury.  Despite their inexperience, they perform well and the concert is successful.

I’m glad Cinderella Girls moved quickly with going ahead and letting them get their feet wet.  It makes me hopeful that the series will match the original, in that it won’t let drama or problems stick around.  The iDOLM@STER handled most of its big issues and dramatic points very quickly and concisely, wrapping up everything up in a satisfying manner.  Time will tell if Cinderella Girls can do the same, and I can only hope that the series shines as brightly as its parent series.

Like its predecessor, Cinderella Girls has delivered on the music front.  The opening and ending themes in the series have been fantastic so far, and the live performance in episode three was no different.  The live performance was energizing, the crowd reaction mixed with the song itself was perfectly done.  I can’t wait to hear some of the other girls sing and develop, as I’m sure we’re in for a treat with them too.  The songs themselves sound great and rather catchy.  I found myself almost humming along with TOKIMEKI エスカレート (The song played during the live performance).

The main complaint I have with the series so far, is inconsistent animation.  There were several close-ups in the third episode that stuck out to me as just weird.  The eyes in particular at some points, appeared too far apart.  That wasn’t the only strange animation I noticed during the episode, there were several places I noticed heads getting inexplicably larger than normal.  This might sound like a strange complaint, but I also feel the color differs from the parent series.  Cinderella Girls almost seems to have a darker overall color palette.  However, I love that they don’t resort to CGI for their dancing like some other series throughout the idol anime genre.  In fact, it was one of my favorite things about the original series, and I’m glad it carried over to its predecessor.

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That concludes my first impressions of the series so far!  Thanks for reading, and now I have a few words about the format I’ll be using for this series.  Basically, this series will be getting reviews at the halfway point and the season finale.  I’m doing this so I’ll be able to release quality, critical reviews.  Look forward to the next one everyone; it should be a good one!

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