THE iDOLM@STER Movie: Haruka's disappointment with fat people is less than my disappointment in this movie

Oto. Streeeeeeeetch. Finally. It’s over.

Pon. Sweet merciful fuckness. Could that have been any longer? I submit to you that it could not have been … okay. Deep breaths. Let’s talk about the good things. What did we like about it?

Oto. Well, for the first half they’re just kinda doing their job. I like that.

Pon. Yes. There’s work in it. That’s one of the things I liked in the show. Of course, talking about the work stuff just makes me want to talk about what a tremendous missed opportunity this was.

Oto. Are we just gonna open the shit gates?

Pon. No, no, no. Okay. I’m okay. What else did we like?

Oto. That opening sequence. That was fuckin cool. I want that show.

Pon. It set unrealistic expectations. That and the President Namco x Zun yaoi manga. That stuff was awesome.

Oto. Miki/Producer is still super strong.

Pon. The strongest. There’s no need to be sad about P-head’s sabbatical. He’s just fucking off to America so he can be with his girlfriend while she’s doing her movie thing.

Oto. Chihaya always wears little ties now. I like little ties.

Pon. Everybody knows you like the little ties.

Oto. There was a part where I thought Ritsuko was wearing a little tie and she wasn’t. I was disappointed.

Pon. I was disappointed, too. About a lot of things. Twitter set all these expectations, man! I was supposed to sob until I died of dehydration. I was supposed to cry as I haven’t cried since I was a newborn babe crying for my mother’s teat.

Oto. I don’t want to think about our mom’s teat.

Pon. That’s not the point. The point is, scenes from this movie were supposed to emerge from my subconscious, and I was supposed to start weeping at work or at the store or whatever. Instead, I’m going to think about that moment where Kana removes her hood to reveal, gasp, horror of horrors, her totally normal but culturally unacceptable ten-pounds-heavier face, and I’m going to laugh. I’m going to laugh to keep from crying in mourning for the two hours of my life I spent watching this.

Oto. This movie. This fucking movie made us sit through half an hour of Haruka being a fucking idiot just to reveal that Kana eats when she’s nervous.

Pon. They set it up, but it’s so peripheral to what the actual issue is that it never occurred to me that it might be foreshadowing.

Oto. Kana had them held up for a while without practice because Haruka was worried about her. She had them spread out in the city searching for her because she wouldn’t answer anyones’ calls. All because she refused to tell people that she thinks she can’t be an idol anymore because she put on a few pounds. You’re fucking fired. I sound like I’m being insensitive to her problem, but it’s not presented as the core problem. The movie makes it sound like a joke.

Pon. This could’ve been Haruka’s lesson in failure. She could’ve grown as a leader. As a music industry professional and as a human being. Instead we get that fucking line from Iori, something like, “Haruka might not be very professional, but she always makes it work.” That line is everything that pissed me off about the second half of the show. Like I said before, maybe I made a mistake when I set my expectations, but, fuck, don’t establish a baseline level of workplace realism if the conclusion’s just going to be the cheerful slice-of-life protag magicking everything around her into conforming with her worldview. That totally works for me in other shows, and in some manga, but it requires its own kind of context groundwork.

Pon., cont. And another thing! It’s easy to imagine someone who’s expected to stand at the forefront of an image-obsessed subculture worrying about and struggling with their weight. Performers struggle with eating disorders sometimes, and they have to deal with intense and often cruel public scrutiny of any slight change in their bodies. That’s an issue. My problem with this is that all that potentially interesting territory is condensed into something dangerously close to a punchline. And what does Kana’s going from anime character weight to realistic human being weight even add? The real issue is her insecurity and lack of support from her friends/coworkers. Take out the binge-eating thing and you’ve removed literally nothing except an uncomfortable visual cue unburdened by any acknowledgement of the body-image problems that people in the public eye have to deal with. The only way they could’ve gotten me behind this is if they said, “Yeah no worries, we’ll order some bigger pants.”

Oto. U mad bro? Nice wall of text.

Pon. I feel bad that this is my reaction. The movie’s supposed to be this nice, uplifting thing … why isn’t it that for me? Why didn’t my heart grow three sizes this day?

Oto. It doesn’t even do Kana’s anxiety right. They don’t go into it at all. You can’t just tell someone to feel better and suddenly it’s alright.

Pon. That’s true … it’s more complicated and therefore more interesting a topic than the treatment of it here.

Oto. Well, at least one good thing came out of this. It introduced the best im@s so far.

Pon. You mean Shiho, that character who is me trapped in the world of Idolmaster? She may not be the best. I’m holding out for that metal kid in Cinderella Girls.

Oto. Syoko is fucking amazing. I have my doubts that she’ll be in the show. She might be too good. She is one of the voiced characters, though, so … There are some pretty good Cinderella Girls im@sses in general, but there are so fucking many of them. You thought 13 was bad. There are 200 Cinderella Girls.

Pon. What? No.

Oto. According to the wiki there are exactly 200 as of now. Including the original 13, I think. But still.

Pon. Surely they can’t all be in a TV show. Right?


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