The iDOLM@STER’s 24th showing transitions from an unfortunate path promising despair, to a renewed route of determination as Haruka comes to terms with herself – whilst also receiving what she so deeply desired.
Previously only an episode before, P-san had a mighty great fall – literally coming crashing down many feet to a solid floor below, and being hospitalized. Of course in itself, that is a major concern indeed – yet for Haruka, that also is essentially the tipping point for a girl already on the verge of breakdown. Adding to the fact she’s failed in bringing together any of her friends, she was starting to think of herself as selfish for desiring so. And then finally, P-san was injured – which in her mind was acting as the last nail in the coffin.
Haruka is now a way one could only best describe through the popular term for this matter “emotional wreck” – her thoughts are jumbled as they’re blended with feelings, all of which are ones negative as she’s simply been gradually pushed down that distasteful direction. Haruka ends up having scored the leading role for the play – yet how she did it was not through her acting ability, she was legitimately exhibiting the part as per her own sentiments.
As she always attempts to remain strong, even at such a depressing point as this, she kept up with the demands of the play – continuing with the practice for the leading role, while pouring her own ideals into it all, leading her to succeed and gain the part. Yet although she did was awarded the part, she’s not worried about that in the least at the moment.
Our idol goes to Ritsuko, requesting a pause on her practice – Haruka wants her friends of 765Pro to prepare en masse for the upcoming group concert which Haruka feels may very well be their last venture as a whole since everyone is simply becoming busier as days go by. It’s troubling that as Haruka asks this, she’s noticeably frantic, fatigued, stressed, and essentially all of the above – amazingly carrying on somehow in spite of this, still remaining steadfast and sincere to her beliefs of bonding.
Megane equipped Ritsuko sets work first however, claiming it to be too important to merely put off so needlessly – yet Haruka insists, even after Miki arrives and supports Ritsuko’s point, going so far as to even say Haruka is “acting selfish”. Haruka becomes left in a pool of confused disarray as she no longer cant figure out why she became an idol in the first place.
Ultimately Haruka does get a day off as Ritsuko concludes she’s not feeling well.
Haruka spends this off-time trying to locate what was lost. She’s demotivated to the point of hardly moving from her bed – yet as her mother requests she run errands for her, Haruka heads outside. Striding along in contemplation, she considers the current situation – seeing things around her, and further developing a decision.
She crosses paths with bishounen idol unit Jupiter who abandoned their shameful producer – Haruka never gets around to saying much, yet it is apparent she’s not nearly as depressed now. Walking further along, she encounters a gathering of children who seemingly love to sing – they remind her of her own friends and memories, and in the process of sharing a song with them, Haruka meets her childhood identity.
While recalling her childhood, she remembers once more her purpose of becoming an idol – yet more than that, she’s regained her confidence as she realizes her friends remain just that, her friends.
As Haruka was in the process of uncovering herself, Chihaya was too coming to understand a critical aspect overlooked – Haruka’s feelings, and the unity of 765Pro. She gathered everyone to state these aloud and explain them – and as she does so, the idols finally come to perceive this problem. Haruka in the meantime is rushing back to 765Pro’s office as she’s now once again invigorated – and along the way, she’s greeted from a colossal screen in the city sporting all the idols of 765Pro as they mention they’re practicing hard for the upcoming concert.
They state however to be missing Haruka, calling out her name – and as Haruka watches, she’s then brought to life once again, the same Haruka we’ve known and admired, or rather, a revitalized one which will never again lose assurance in herself or her friends.