Oh my god, i literally can’t believe what i saw. An emotionally powerful episode of the iDOLM@STER featuring one of the under-rated idols. The last time i honestly cried like this was season 1 of Natsume Yuujinchou. Yes, the last two seasons of my all-time favorite show couldn’t get me to bring down the waterworks but a very over-looked show that i knew little about (never played the games) manage to do just that. Everything was done right about this episode – A-1 Pictures took out the very cheerful opening music, the lighting choices, the overall serious tone – everything was done really well. The last few iM@S episodes have been showing a lack of budget and now i understand why. Everything was leading up to this: Takane’s episode started with a brief glimpse of Chihaya’s past, which i felt was out of place at first but it all made so much sense in the end.
The water works didn’t start until Chihaya started singing “Promise” (Yakusoku) and it only continued after visions of little Chihaya and her brother Yuu showed up right before the credits. It was a powerful experience, and i’m still rewatching the entire scene. Asami Imai deserves praise for a wonderful performance and solidified why i’m fond of her voice as Kurisu from Steins;Gate. A-1 Pictures deserves praise as well: from Director/Series Composition AND Character Designer Atsushi Nishigori (of Gurren Lagann fame) to the hard-working animators, sound technicians and the producers (heh, not that Producer!). They’ve really made a name for themselves this year with AnoHana, but the iDOLM@STER deserves praise as well.