First Look: The iDOLM@STER – Cinderella Girls


Alternative titles: The Idolmatster – Cinderella Girls, Love Live! Season 3
Game Adaptation by A-1 Productions
Streaming on Daisuki


Big name talent agency 346 Production has initiated the Cinderella Project, an undertaking recruiting new idols from the common masses… which is totally different from the usual idol selection process, because regular idols are usually risen from the grave using corporate necromancy or something. Uzuki Shimamura tried auditioning before, but failed to pass. With the world and Namco Bandai’s wallets in need of more idols, however, 346 Pro decides to give her another shot at making her debut. It’s a Cinderella analogy, get it?

Aqua’s verdict: Reject False Idols

I’d always assumed the iDOLM@STER franchise was a blatant whitewashing of the all-consuming, misogynistic hellhole known as the Japanese idol industry — but in fact, it’s even worse than that: It’s a celebration. Most of the episode is spent on Cinderella Girls‘ new producer stalking and harassing a girl, begging her to come work her butt off for two years of marginal fame and adoration by creepy, lonely otaku who’ll dump her like radioactive waste as soon as she even looks in the general direction of a boy. You know, it’s like Cinderella, only with the prince replaced by a horde of sexist lunatics and the pumpkin carriage by an oppressive contract in blatant violation of work laws and human decency. Yet of course, we’re lead to believe that this honest, hardworking Producah-san is giving Rin the opportunity of a lifetime. Well, at least he’s testing not her singing talent, or her dancing skills, but her ability to stomach creepers. If anything, that’s the one skill a Japanese idol really needs.


So, in stead of watching Cinderella Girls, why don’t you spend your time on something else, such as…

  • … watching Shirobako, for a great example of how to do a lighthearted look behind the scenes of Japanese pop culture without failing to acknowledge its darker side and boring everyone to death with a glacial pacing?
  • … witnessing Seiko Oomori ripping the J-Pop scene a new one in a display of what an idol performance should look like?
  • … collecting stamps? Stamps have more personality than the idols of Cinderella Girls.
  • … reading this blog post and realizing how fucked up the idol industry is and has always been? Or this one? Or this one?
  • … looking at these yorkies? Congratulations, you have now seen the only interesting bit of Cinderella Girls. You’re welcome.

Marlin’s verdict: Perfectly Boring

I think we know the kind of person this show is for, the same type of vapid person that thinks there’s any point to The iDOLM@STER to begin with, outside of exploiting them. It is for that most odious of fan, the idol otaku. Outside of that, the entire episode was incredibly creepy as the producer stalks a teenager and basically browbeats her into joining his shady idol group. I’m not quite sure what they were thinking with this producer character. Were they wanting to create a character so unnerving that it would be relatable to the show’s core audience? If this episode took place in America I would have thought we were watching Law and Order: SVU. Nothing about it is remarkable or entertaining, and the best I can say for it is at least it wasn’t offensively terrible.

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