An elemental workshop.

The iDOLM@STER’s latest episode is an intensely atmospheric display of immersive cute idol action – the first major concert gets underway in an incredible display which takes the girls to their limit.

As P-san’s girls arrive at the venue to prepare within the little time available before the concert, they learn Ritsuko and her Ryuuguu Komachi crew are trapped at the mercy of a typhoon. Of course they attempt to keep focused with P-san unwilling to let down simply because of a silly delay – yet as the crowds pour in and the event gets underway, a few of the girls clearly become quite jittery in suspense, anxiety, and excitement of this grand stage.

With thousands of eyes locked on them, the girls put forth their best effort to entertain the crowds whilst they await the arrival of Ryuuguu Komachi – yet unfortunately, the crowds aren’t catching on. The girls are simply overwhelmed in the midst of it all – falling into a shaky state of uneasiness as they feel they’re incapable of comparing with Ryuuguu Komachi, a negative thought aggravated by the poor response of the crowd.

Panic inevitably overtakes the idols as on top of the prevalent squabbling over scheduling issues, missing items, and other worrisome things, the heat of it all begins to burn. A serious argument ensues between Hibiki and Makoto, as Hibiki inadvertently knocked a bottle of water onto Makoto’s outfit, thus soaking it. Adding to the commotion, Mami accidentally pulls a bit too hard on Yukiho’s skirt whilst hoping to help zip it – effectively ripping it instead.

Thankfully the scorching sound of this dreaded tear captures everyone’s attention, getting them to finally listen to Haruka who arrives to find a developing calamity amongst her peers.

Haruka reminds them of all the work they poured into reaching this point – calming everyone down a great extent, and successfully bringing up their morale to an amazing high. Throughout the episode, Haruka has been brimming with confidence – not only that, she’s been legitimately striving to keep everyone motivated, and she does just that. Her dedication truly sparkles among her other beautiful qualities in this episode even more so than usual.

Thanks to Haruka, her friends are now performing again at full energy – entirely refreshed, and revitalized. The single issue remaining however is that the audience is becoming dissatisfied with the lengthy stalling of Ryuuguu Komachi’s showtime. Back behind stage, another concern arises – Miki Miki is set for several songs in a row, prompting others to question whether she can physically manage such an exhausting feat. Miki Miki however refuses to back down, she challenges herself to the fullest and asserts she’s willing to lead the way.

Once Miki Miki takes the stage, one can only say “good game” to Ryuuguu Komachi – Miki Miki completely captivates the audience, including ourselves, with the majestic grace of her singing, outgoing personality, and overall gorgeous appearance. As Miki Miki concludes with her segment on stage, she walks over to P-san fatigued and physically worn, yet satisfied – then asks him as to whether she indeed managed to shine brilliantly.

Being an honest man, P-san could only tell her the blatant truth – she shone so spectacularly, her presence was as an angel of music that has transcended upon mankind.

We feel as if actually in attendance at a real concert.

With P-san’s girls all broken from the ongoing singing and dancing – Ryuuguu Komachi ultimately arrives to the rescue, giving P-san’s girls a much needed break.

As the end sequence rolls, we cannot even believe what we’ve actually witnessed – this episode surpasses what is imagined possible with 2-D animation in more ways than one. Emotion of all kind comes roaring off the screen whilst the setting surrounds one in a manner as if actually a member of the audience. Adrenaline kicks in with the passionate vigor vibrantly resonating alongside the lyrics sung by the girls. Basically, this leaves us feeling as if we’ve been experiencing this all first hand.

One could even see sweat being whipped violently off of the idols as they danced as if watching from a front row seat.

This episode shows the result of all the training, hard work, and determination put forth wholeheartedly by the girls – in a manner which is realistic and relatable to our very own lives. Nothing went easy for the idols, they all overcame a seemingly endless wave of trouble and conflict – setting their own goals, while also assisting one another to reach this current pinnacle of their current success.

We’re as hyped as ever to see how far beyond the stars these girls will ascend.

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