Monday, 8 April 2013

ぷちます! -プチ・アイドルマスター- / Puchimasu! – Petit Idolm@aster –

As spin-offs go, this is one of the sillier ones. A little like Hetalia, this is a collection of sub-5-minute animations for the web that are so short they can’t exactly outstay their welcome, even when they’re not very good. I had much fewer fundamental problems with the property than I did with Hetalia, and indeed as I fell a little in love with some of the characters from The Idolm@ster, I was happy to see the characters return.

Yes, this is a cheapo flash spin-off gag series based on The Idolm@ster, based on a silly 4-koma comic from Dengeki Daiohs vidya-centric sister publication Dengeki Maoh, which largely revolves around the cute little idols finding cuter, littler, SD versions of themselves that speak in baby-talk versions of their catchphrases or names and have strange and stupid powers, from multiplying mogwai-style in water to being able to teleport when they hear loud noises.

I must say that it took a while for me to get interested, largely because my favourites didn’t appear until rather later than expected. But again, these episodes were so short that a bit of silliness is really all they need to satisfy. The animation was largely very linear and bouncy, in a similar style to the 2011 HunterxHunter skit segments after the credits, and in a bit of a departure from the main Idolm@ster series, the Producer is faceless again, like his game counterpart – though not because of a first-person perspective here. Instead, he just has a head that is a giant letter ‘P’.

Although by 64 mini-episodes (and an introductory ‘Waku waku’ special), we’ve seen quite a lot of the little petit idols, they’ve travelled the entire world and blown up the office on more than one occasion, this is light fluff and never feels like anything else. It does exactly what it promises and nothing more, giving fans another fill of their preferred idols but offering no surprises. I have no problems with that, but I must say it just makes me want another Idolm@ster season. Perhaps I should actually go and watch Xenoglossia. Meh. Sometime.

Additional - OVA

An OVA for Puchimasu! has been released for the DVDs, and unsurprisingly for such an inconsequential little spin-off series, it was inconsequential. The Producer sends the idols off to investigate some shrines to one of the little chibis, and about eight minutes of silliness ensue. I would kinda like to see these little characters in some epic, ridiculous situation, but this was fun too. 

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