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The Idolmaster (アイドルマスターAidorumasutā,? officially romanized as THE iDOLM@STER) is an arcade and console raising simulation game released only in Japan by Namco (now Namco Bandai) on July 26, 2005. It was released on the Xbox 360 on January 25, 2007. The game follows the career of a producer who works for the fictional 765 Production studio and has to work with a selection of ten prospective pop idols.

Characters

Idols

Haruka Amami (天海春香 Amami Haruka?)
Template:Anime voices
Age: 16/17
Haruka is the all-around good girl and main heroine in The Idolm@ster. She has enjoyed singing and making sweets since she was a child, despite the fact that she seems to be quite inept as a cook in general. She is easily excited and a bit clumsy, admitting herself that she usually falls down somehow at least once a day. However, Haruka remains positive and keeps a strong resolve, always working the hardest to make the Producer happy. Although her character image color is red, personally, Haruka actually tends to be more partial toward the color pink (which is Iori's image color). Her image songs are "Taiyou no Jealousy" and "I Want." She also shares the image song "Watashi wa Idol" with Iori Minase.

Chihaya Kisaragi (如月千早 Kisaragi Chihaya?)
Template:Anime voices
Age: 15/16
Cool and serious, Chihaya has the greatest enthusiasm towards music (and according to the game, the greatest natural talent for it as well) out of all of the girls, earnestly believing that if she were no longer able to sing, she would rather die. She does not very much care for the title "idol" in fact, and prefers to refer to herself as a "vocalist" instead, somewhat shunning the non-singing parts of being an idol. During her time off, Chihaya enjoys listening to classical music, along with generally spending time by herself, giving an aura of maturity about her, though in actuality, she is really just awkward when it comes to communicating with other people. Despite her age, she has the smallest bust out of all of the characters. Her image songs are "Aoi Tori" and "Me ga Au Toki." She also shares the image song "Omoide Wa Arigatou"with Miki Hoshii.

Yukiho Hagiwara (萩原雪歩 Hagiwara Yukiho?)
Template:Anime voices
Age: 16/17
A terrible crybaby, Yukiho aspires to become an idol in order to one day shed her cowardly disposition. She is afraid of dogs (even chihuahuas seem threatening to her) and also does not do well with boys. Having grown up in a strict, traditional Japanese household, Yukiho's drink of choice is tea, predominantly green tea. Among her hobbies is writing poetry, but she is usually too shy to even share her poems with anyone. Whenever she is depressed, she has a habit of running off, exclaiming she will "go dig a hole and bury herself in it", however whether this is just a saying or if she actually digs holes remains a bit of a mystery. Her image songs are "First Stage" and "Kosmos, Cosmos." She also shares the image song "My Best Friend" with Ritsuko Akizuki.

Yayoi Takatsuki (高槻やよい Takatsuki Yayoi?)
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Age: 13/14
Yayoi is a bright and cheerful girl who cares for her family very much. Due to her father's unstable occupational status, her family is actually quite poor, as indicated by Yayoi's plain clothing, which she has actually had for a very long time. To earn extra money, Yayoi often does cleaning and other odd jobs around the 765 Production building, and continues to do so even after she debuts as an idol. She is endlessly energetic, however, and never lets the weight of the world discourage her. Yayoi is the oldest of five siblings and always has to be the one to look after them, but also wishes that she had an "older brother" type around to look after her. Her image songs are "Ohayou!! Asagohan" and "Kiramekirari." She also shares the image song "GO MY WAY!!" with the Futami Twins.

Ritsuko Akizuki (秋月律子 Akizuki Ritsuko?)
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Age: 18/19
The cool, smart-girl type, Ritsuko believes in theory more than her own inner strength. Originally an intern working at 765 Production after graduating from high school, due to a lack of girls scouted by 765 Production Ritsuko became an idol herself. Despite being an idol, she still has one hand in the business side of her own celebrity, and is quick to chide the Producer if she thinks he is not doing his job correctly. Ritsuko's appearance remains conservative and business-like, as she always wears glasses and keeps her hair in two modest pigtails. No matter the costume or event in the game, she never takes her glasses off, or lets her hair down, with the exception of the pajama costume in The Idolmaster: Live For You! Her image songs are "Mahou wo Kakete!" and "Ippai Ippai." She also shares the image song "My Best Friend" with Yukiho Hagiwara.

Azusa Miura (三浦あずさ Miura Azusa?)
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Age: 20/21
The oldest amongst all idols in the game, Azusa's personality reflects that of a kind-hearted but ditsy "big sister" type. She has a very easy going and carefree personality, though also an incredibly terrible sense of direction, and while walking her dog will occasionally end up in strange, distant places with nary a clue of how she got there, or how to get back. Azusa also enjoys giving and reading fortunes, and has a firm belief that she will one day fall in love with her "destined someone". One of her motivations for becoming an idol, in fact, is for her someone to one day perhaps find her first. Her image songs are "9:02 PM" and "Tonari Ni..." She also shares the image song "Massugu" with Makoto Kikuchi.

Iori Minase (水瀬伊織 Minase Iori?)
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Age: 14/15
The daughter of one of the associates of the 765 Production president, Iori is a spoiled rich girl who flaunts her family's wealth. Although she is quite polite and refined on stage and in public, when with the Producer and other girls she has a very sharp tongue, and is quick to berate other people's intelligence (especially the Producer's). As a result of having two older brothers, Iori has grown up with a deep complex of hating to lose, and thus rarely shows any weaknesses. She does, however, have a much softer side that she shows from time to time, making her personality that of a perfect tsundere character. The stuffed rabbit that she carries around with her constantly is named "Usa-chan". Her image songs are "HERE WE GO!!" and "Futari no Kikoku." She shares the image song "Watashi wa Idol" with Haruka Amami.

Makoto Kikuchi (菊地真 Kikuchi Makoto?)
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Age: 16/17
Makoto is popularized as the "pretty-boy idol" within 765 Production, and has accumulated more female than male fans because of this. She was already rather popular among her fellow students at the all-girls school she attends, and her current work as an idol does not make the situation any easier for her. While not ungrateful of her popularity, underneath her gruff, boyish exterior Makoto is actually an honest, sensitive girl, and wishes to make herself more feminine. Therefore, unbeknownst to her father she decided to become an idol in order to find a way to a new, more feminine presence for herself and to show others that she can have a girly side as well. Her image songs are "Agent Yoru wo Yuku" and "Meisou Mind." She also shares the image song "Massugu" with Azusa Miura.

Ami and Mami Futami (双海亜美・真美 Futami Ami and Mami?)
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Age: 12/13
A playful pair of twin sisters who make a two-girl singing sensation. Ami and Mami both enjoy doing impressions and teasing their friends, though Mami seems to somewhat be a little more mature than Ami (even though she is technically the younger one). The only way to tell the two girls apart is through their hairstyles—Ami ties her hair to the right, Mami to the left—otherwise, they are completely identical. They use this to their advantage by switching their hairstyles and both performing as idols, but only underneath Ami's name, However, in iDOLM@STER2, Mami grows her hair longer. The only people who know about it are the council of the 765 production. Ami and Mami's image songs are "Positive!" and "Start Star." The Twins also share the image song "GO MY WAY!!" with Yayoi Takatsuki.

Project Fairy / Studio 961

Studio 961 is a rival company, and has the group 'Project Fairy', which is specifically set up so that the members harmonize perfectly, and have different specialties in singing.

Miki Hoshii (星井美希 Hoshii Miki?)
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Age: 14/15
Miki has rarely had to work hard for anything. It is because of this that she always approaches tasks with a very laid back attitude. She manages good grades with minimal effort, and was born with good-looks that belie her age. She even receives around 20 confessions of love per day from boys. She's grown up in a very laissez-faire family, who had no problems with her becoming an idol. While she doesn't really have cruel intentions, she believes like everything else, she can make her way to becoming top idol easily. As she appears only in the Xbox 360 version of the game, Miki is in some ways the second main character (behind Haruka) and her character is developed considerably over the game's year-long timespan. Later in the game, she cuts her hair short and no longer dyes it blonde. Originally, Miki wasn't supposed to be in the game (as seen in the promo). This could be why she does not appear in anime spin-off Idolmaster: Xenoglossia. In the PSP games, Miki is unsatisfied with the way she is being managed, and switched to another production company, '961 Production', as a member of the group 'Project Fairy'. Her personal song was at first Relations, but it was later changed to 'Overmaster' upon her switching to 'Project Fairy'. In the Xbox 360 port, she shares the image song Omoide wa Arigatou with Chihaya Kisaragi.She is the only idol in the 360 game not to appear in Idolmaster: Xenoglossia.

Miki grows her hair at the front in iDOLM@STER2

Hibiki Ganaha (我那覇響 Ganaha Hibiki?)
Template:Anime voices
Age: 15/16
Hibiki is a member of 'Project Fairy', and appears in the PSP Games as a rival. Hibiki has long, black hair tied into a wild ponytail, and is usually seen in sporty outfits, and usually wears hoop earrings. Hibiki is from Okinawa, and is highly energetic and cheerful, and despite rivalries with the other idols, she always remains friendly and happy, without becoming overly competitive like Takane. Hibiki has an outstanding amount of pets, who she happens to lose quite frequently; her pets include a mouse, a hamster, a gerbil, a parrot, a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a pig, a flying squirrel, and oddly enough, a crocodile. Her personal song is 'Next Life'.

Hibiki joins Studio 765 in iDOLM@STER2

Takane Shijou (四条貴音 Shijou Takane?)
Template:Anime voices
Age: 17/18
Takane is a member of 'Project Fairy', and appears in the PSP games as a rival. Takane has long, white, wavy hair, and fringe cut bangs which she accessorizes with a hairband. She is usually seen in elegant outfits, and has a snobby, stuck up attitude due to her wealthy upbringing. Her mother is deceased, so she lives with her strict Butler due to her father's frequent business trips. Her father owns a large company - like Iori's father - which causes tension to spark between the two. Takane has an amazing passion for music, and is a typical tsundere archetype. Her personal song is 'Flower Girl'. She is considered one of the smarter characters in the series, and is fluent in numerous languages, one of which being German.

Like Hibiki and Miki, She also joins Studio 765 in iDOLM@STER2

Studio 876

These idols make an appearance in Dearly Stars, however, have yet to make an appearance in any other Idolmaster game, as of yet, It is known they might appear in iDOLM@STER2

Ai Hidaka (日高愛 Hidaka Ai?)
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Age: 13
Considered as a younger clone of Haruka, Ai is described as the unstoppable mini-tank who never loses heart. Her mother, Mai Hidaka, was one of the most well-known idols in Japan, and became pregnant with Ai when she was 15 years old. Her theme color is pink. Her character song is 'ALIVE.'
Eri Mizutani (水谷絵理 Mizutani ELLIE?)
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Age: 15
An internet celebrity coerced into debuting in real life, and a former hikikomori. Her theme color is blue. Her character song is 'Precog'
Ryo Akizuki (秋月涼 Akizuki Ryo?)
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Age: 15
Ritsuko's cousin, though very soft-spoken compared to her. Ryo's actually a crossdressing boy trying to pass himself as a loli idol, and keeps that as a secret from the other idols. He wanted to become a male idol, but when he goes to see Ritsuko about it, she takes him to Studio 876 to become one. There, he ends up covering for a female idol. He does so well, the studio hires him as a female idol. His theme color is green. His character song is 'Dazzling World'

765 production staff

Producer

The protagonist of The Idolm@ster and character through whom the game is played. He is a young, rookie producer who has been put in charge of a new set of pop idols. In the game, his name is never given, and is decided by the player. His personality is also dependent on the player's choices, and can range from sweet and protective, to very perverted. However, in the Drama CDs, he's most usually portrayed as somewhere in between.

Junichirou Takagi (高木順一朗 Takagi Junichirou?)
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The president of 765 Production. He takes the Producer under his wing and monitors his performance in charge of the girls. He is never seen as anything but a silhouette, and rarely encountered outside of the 765 building, except at the final performance in the Idolm@ster game.

Kotori Otonashi (音無小鳥 Otonashi Kotori?)
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An office clerk at 765 Production, while Kotori only appears at the end of the actual Idolm@ster game, she is a recurring character within the Drama CDs. Originally featured on the Idolm@ster arcade game webpage in the F.A.Q. section, she has accumulated enough fans to appear in other aspects of the Project IM@S franchise. Among the few things disclosed about her personality and character, we know that Kotori is a little older than Azusa (making her somewhere in her twenties), and despite not being an idol herself, loves to sing. Her last name literally means "soundless".

961 production staff

Takao Kuroi (黒井崇男 Kuroi Takao?)
Template:Anime voices

He is the producer to Hibiki, Miki and Takane, and like the other producers, in not seen, but like the Studio 876 idols, is seen from a sillotte. His idols join with Studio 765 in iDOLM@STER2

876 production staff

Ishikawa (石川社長 Ishikawa?)
Manami Okamoto (岡本まなみ Okamoto Manami?)

Other

Mai Hidaka (日高舞 Hidaka Mai?)
Ai Hidaka's mother and a former well known idol herself. She had to quit because she became pregnant with Ai when she was only 16 years old.
Ayane Suzuki (鈴木彩音 Suzuki Ayane?)
A high ranking net idol who is also Eri's chat buddy. She seems to dislike her name and goes by the stage name 'Cineria'.
Reiko Ozaki (尾崎玲子 Ozaki Reiko?)
Soichi Takeda (武田蒼一 Takeda Soichi?)
Yumeko Sakurai (桜井夢子 Sakurai Yumeko?)
An idol who is the rival of Ryo. She was thought to be extremely talented until it is revealed that she sabotaged other idols so she could get to the top.

Xbox 360 release time

The Idolm@ster has been credited with making Japan's ratio of Xbox Live sign-ups to the number consoles sold the highest in the world.[1] Over four times as many Microsoft points were sold on the date of The Idolm@ster 360 release as on the date before it.[1]

The Xbox 360 release includes additional songs not included in the Arcade version, as well as a 10th idol to work with.

PlayStation Portable (PSP) release

On Wednesday, July 23, 2008, a PSP version of The Idolm@ster was announced by gaming magazine Famitsu. It is a direct port of the Arcade game, but will have three different versions, each featuring 3 different idols to work with. All three versions were released February 19, 2009 in Japan. There has also been shown in a teaser that there will be a fourth group that consist of Miki and 2 new characters to the series, one named Takane Shijou, the other named Hibiki Ganaha.[2] This is also the first and currently only PSP game to feature PlayStation Home Rewards support.

Nintendo DS release

A Nintendo DS version of the game, entitled The Idolm@ster: Dearly Stars was released in October 2009.[3] The story will take place from the idols perspective as they enter 876 Productions. The idols hope to make it big with the help of the current stars. Unlike other games, instead of taking the role of a producer helping the idols, the player portrays the idol themselves. The game will also include Wi-Fi functionality.

Other games

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (another Xbox 360 game developed and published by Namco) references The Idom@ster in special paint schemes for the Su-33 Flanker, F-117A Night Hawk, Su-47 Berkut, F-15E Strike Eagle, and F-22A Raptor as part of downloadable packs of extra aircraft colors made available for purchase on November 22, 2007, December 20, 2007, January 31, 2008, February 28, 2008, March 31, 2008 respectively. The character Miki Hoshii appears on the paint schemes of the Su-33 and Su-47, Yukiho Hagiwara appears on the F-117A, Chihaya Kisaragi appears on the F-15E, Haruka Amami on the F-22A, Yayoi Takatsuki on the Mirage 2000-5, and Iori Minase on the Rafale M.[4][5][6] A stage in Beautiful Katamari set in the Producer's office features a song by all of the girls, titled 'Danketsu.'

Some songs[citation needed] were featured in Taiko No Tatsujin series. Yayoi Takatsuki made a cameo in Namco's RPG Tales of Hearts as a Support Attacker by using a move named High Touch. Haruka Amami is set to make an appearance as a cameo costume for Mel in Namco's RPG Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X.[7]

An update patch for PlayStation Home features Idolmaster slot machines inside the Namco Bandai hubs, where one can win special clothing to look like Haruka.

Sequel

A sequel titled The Idolm@ster: Live For You! was released on February 28, 2008.[8]

It also has an accompanying OVA featuring the voice actresses from the game. It is different from the anime Idolmaster: Xenoglossia (see below) as this one follows the game closely and has Miki Hoshii finally animated for the first time. The OVA involves Haruka, Chihaya, and Miki trying to reach Tokyo in time to catch up with the rest of girls in their latest concert after the trio get lost in the middle of nowhere.

The Idolmaster 2

The Idolmaster 2 was announced at the Idolmaster's 5th anniversary concert, and it is going to be released exclusively for Xbox 360 in 2011.

Anime

The series was later adapted into a television anime series, Idolmaster: Xenoglossia by Sunrise. Directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, it was shown across Japan from April to October 2007. Numerous of the Sunrise staff working on Xenoglossia have also previously worked on Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome. The series centers around mecha and reimagines the ten prospective idols as fighter pilots of those robots, eight of them also posing as students. Some girls were also given different ages. Chihaya, Iori & Yayoi were all made 2 years older (17, 16 & 15 respectively), while Yukiho was made a year younger at 15.

The anime series has no relation in story to the game and is an alternate universe from the game.

References

External links

ja:THE IDOLM@STER sv:The Idolmaster

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