On the cusp of iM@S CG being broadcast, I went on the record with my concerns about history repeating itself twice, first time as tragedy and second time as farce (and Omo dismissed my worries). Now that we’ve seen 11 episodes, things are even worse than I expected.
To be sure, the series opened on a high note. Rin, Rin, Rin, Rin, Rin. And Producer! Genzai, kikakuchuu desu won the fans the world over instantly. Uzupaka wasn’t bad either. But after Mio’s tantrum, things completely unraveled into a series of unit introductions of idols who perhaps should not be debuting. The stalvarts tried to find endearing qualities in Kirari Godzilla and the like, but if you step back for a wider view, this whole parade was horrible.
The 11 was the worst because it was Miku’s turn, and it highlighted what could’ve been. In the initial episodes, Miku shined, and very unexpectedly. If you do not read her manual very carefuly, she’s just a crazy furry who wears nekomimi and says “Nyan”. The anime explained briliantly that she’s not, in fact, a furry – but plays one on TV. The way Miku keeps her stage persona separate from her own was a sign of professional maturity, which put her above her cohort. It is a truism that the thing idols sell first is their personality, their singing or dancing talent second. And it’s a well-known aphorism that “nothing is as valuable [on stage] as sincerety: if you can fake that, you have it made”. Nobody else in this group of n00bs is sophisticated enough to make something to sell – even something as basic as nekomimi-nyan (footnote: Riina tries w/rock). Therefore, they have to sell themselves. If they’ve got good wares, like Rin, it’s great. If they don’t — the picture is rather pathetic. And then the series spends a half of its screen time to wade through that shameful display.
Meanwhile, Miku is postponed into the last unit. The show did not go as far as to imply that she was bumped into the final slot as a retribution for the labor action. She could be a great rival for the main trio, but nope, that would be much too good for this series. What a waste. Mrs. Takao seriously fumbled the ball on this.
UPDATE: Omo: “I actually like this interpretation. I just think you sell some of the others short.” He is a master of being concise.
Evirus: “My only real beef with Cinderella Girls 11 is that Miku didn’t fall into despair.” If you think that it was mean, remember that it’s the man who wrote:
Part of me sincerely wishes Vita had killed Nanoha in episode one of A’s, with Fate arriving too late to save her but still in time to clutch her still-warm corpse. And then A’s could have been about FEITO losing her mind, hunting down and brutally butchering the Velka knights while useless TSAB pinheads desperately try to get her under control and end her reign of terror with impotent lines such as, “Killing more people won’t bring Nanoha back, Fate!”
It’s the same spirit that animates both fantasies. It’s a protest against mediocrity, if you will.
Note that some people are despair-resistant. The only good character of Muromi-san, Otohime, is like that. But we weren’t shown that in case of Miku. She was pushed off into background and muffled while everyone else debuted for several episodes.