There is something that is just magical about The iDOLM@STER. I'm not sure what it is exactly (other than the marketing that is), that makes people fall in love with it (by people I mean me) but the franchise definitely has that something. The latest installment in the game: Shiny Festa is just a typical rhythm game with awesome im@s songs (Kyun Vampire Girl's PV in Funky Note and Shalala in Honey Sound are amazing). Gameplay wise it's not actually all that special, but then again I haven't been playing them properly yet.
Haven't actually explored the full extent of the game yet, but it's definitely not bad, at least not the songs I've tried out and the OVAs. As you start the game, you get to name your idol groups and your producer name as usual, and the OVA will immediately start. You can replay it anytime from the game's menu, but it does kinda suck to be stuck with a PSP resolution anime. Knowing Scamco however, they'll probably release a BD for it sometime soon enough.
Warning: Short summary of each after the jump. Spoilers everywhere obviously! I'd post pics, but my PSP isn't setup for screenshot so go look for them somewhere else for now!
In general, the OVAs themes are related to the PV of the special songs. The OVAs are generally about the girls figuring out how they're gonna perform during the festival. It's got quite a lot of stills, and I do notice some off animations here and there, but they're still really enjoyable.
Music is a Friend (Funky Note)
Funky Note is all about Iori/Yayoi with Hibiki and Amimami as support. They're technically main characters too, but Iorin takes the main character cake in this. After P's announcement of who were chosen to be the 765 Pro Representatives for the International Music Festival, the girls flew there. On the plane, Producer reminded them not to play around too much, especially since they're there for work. Of course the girls managed to convince him otherwise!
Cue them playing around, and the next day, Iorin was all depressed. Yayoi noticed Charles missing, and Iorin told her that she'd be a failure of a professional if something like this causes her to stop working. The other girls managed to convince Iorin to look for the bunny anyways, and they did. At the end of the day, Iorin's group weren't able to find it, and Iorin figured that this is probably punishment for playing around. But wait a minute! The twins and Hibikin were on the Ferris Wheel when they noticed a girl holding Iorin's bunny. Of course they were able to get it back, and give it to Iorin. Iorin apologized cause they missed practice/fun, and still doesn't have a material for the stage, but then Yayoi's brother told her that today was like an adventure. This led to her getting an idea, and they decided to go with that for their stage material!
Cue Visionary. At the end of the stage, the girls were announced to be the winners of the festival, and everyone surprised them in the backstage. During the encore, everyone came up on stage, and performed Music~! (This part is the same for each episode.)
Music in the World (Honey Sound)
So Chihaya/Haruka/Azusa is not a very good team to come up with things like themes for a performance. They ended up in Azusa's room (where Chihaya noticed that milk is in fact important for your body.) and still couldn't come up with anything. The next day, Ritsuko told them that P wouldn't be able to join in cause he's busy with other things, and told them to use whatever they have to decide what they'll do in the stage. Since Ricchan technically counts as a thing that the girls have, they decided to use her. Cue them going on the island, and on the boat, Chihaya noticed that there are a lot of foreigners there before a pair of Indian kids came up to her and gave her candy. Poor Chihaya, even kids feel bad for her.
In the island, they met Jupiter who is all prepared for the stage with all kinds of 3D and stage lights. Ricchan didn't realise that they can do that, and got depressed for a while. As they walked around, they noticed that the island is packed with people from everywhere because the Music Festival is in fact an international one! Haruka and Azusa decided to go and sing with people, before Chihaya realised something and got Ritsuko to join. At the end of the day, they realise that music is not about winning, but its about having fun with people from everywhere and decided to just have fun in the stage for their performance. P was worried so he came, and noticed
Azusa's boobs that everyone was having fun in the pool, and asked if they're not worried about the stage, but Chihaya (of all people) told her about what they learned. Stage begins, cue Vault the Borderline.
Music of Love (Groovy Tune)
Because they were going to this island, Miki was all daydreaming about all the ラブラブ stuff she'll be doing with honey in the island, but the other girls told her that this is work! Then they realised that none of them have experienced love, and Miki decided to get P to train them in the ways of love. She ended up making plans for everyone to go on a date while they were on the island. The dates started with Yukiho, followed by Makoto crossdressing and wearing girl's clothes. Takane had the sunset date with P (called him anata-sama and everything. You will never have Takane calling you that.) At last its finally Miki's turn, but Producer noticed the concert people, and so he ended up late. Miki, being Miki was all depressed, and got mad at everyone cause they had their dates, but she didn't, and told everyone to leave her alone.
The other girls felt bad, and decided to do something to cheer her up. And so they decided to have Makoto dress properly (like a man that is) and get Miki to go on a date with him. But wait! Producer decided to show up too cause he felt bad for ditching Miki last night, and decided that he should ask Miki to go on a date, since he's the man after all. So everyone decided to go on a date together, and although they still haven't felt real love yet, they'll be okay on stage. Right before the stage, Miki asked Producer for a reward if they win, and didn't say anything. Cue edeN and them winning before Miki ran back and hugged producer. Since they won, Miki wants her reward, and of course being Miki, the reward can't be anything but a kiss from her Honey. Of course she didn't get it since everyone arrived right there and there!
Holy shit that ended up being long. I'm not sure if getting all 3 games are worth it, but then again, each of them comes with a backstage pass that you need to preorder tickets for the Winter Live (and I'll preorder it right away when it opens next Thursday). And I really enjoyed the OVAs that came with the show, but I'm sure people will rip them soon enough. So it's not really all that bad. I also heard the songs live during TGS last month, so that's also pretty cool!
Don't think this is the last iM@S related thing coming up however, as iM@S wise, there's another event coming up in the December, a Shiny Festa + Cinderella Girls live, but it is limited to 600 people, and its a lottery, so getting in is a little hard. I've also preordered tickets for the Lisani live, since iDOLM@STER is coming on the first day~! There's also Puchimasu to look forward to.
This is a good era to be an iM@S fan.