"Fight For Home" – iDOLM@STER: Xenoglossia (anime) – 3/10 Flowers


The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. ~Muhammad Ali

Genre: Mecha/Action/Romance/Sci-Fi

Review Status: Complete (26 Episodes/26 Episodes)

Licensed: No, this anime is not licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Decent. It’s slightly better-than-average. The CG blends in decently well, too. But the art is very typical, cookie-cutter designs.

Dub Vs. Sub: There is no dub for this anime.

Summary: 107 years ago the moon shattered, the earth has flooded, and giant robots called iDOLs (Made in Japan!) are used to save the earth from stray meteorites. Highly trained pilots are needed to pilot them, and so periodically they search for new candidates. Who else is suited to pilot them better than cute teenage girls?

Review: *Sigh*

*Bigger sigh* Okay, having been a fan of anime and various review sites for a long time I knew the perils of randomly downloading anime. Did I listen? Consider this show my slap on the hand. My way of looking at it? This could have been worse.

Haruka Amami wants to be an idol, so she goes to the local tryouts and – SURPRISE! She’s recruited by an agency to be their newest idol. Little does she know that the agency is a front for another agency that controls the Idols (the mecha, not the girls) and uses them to save the world. (And just out of curiosity, why does Japan always control all the big machines? Couldn’t they crash-land in, say, Australia? Or Costa Rica? Canada?! Nooo….). In any case, she moves to the big city and must learn to pilot an Idol while becoming one herself. (P.S.- The robots can only be piloted by females. Echoes of Mai Otome?)

Probably my favorite character in this series was Haruka’s best friend Yayoi, a rising idol herself, who dressed up as a penguin (Haruka’s favorite animal) to greet her when she arrived in the city. That was sweet. However, wearing the penguin suit for nearly the entire series did become rather tiring. My second-favorite was one of Haruka’s mentors who kicked butt in a skintight suit. The rest of the characters were a rather bland bunch, with average personalities and standard character designs. Not that the bad guys were much better, though. Of course, my favorite butt-kicking character just happened to have an evil twin *gasp*. Then there was the mandatory evil little girl who was really just a spoiled brat. My one joy was that she walked around with a permanent swirly, which I deemed divine justice for having her in the show in the first place.

With decent animation, somewhat well-blended CG, indifferent OP and ED themes, and a well-worn storyline, I would give the first half of the series a dubious three stars.

Then around episode 17 or 18, things started getting really weird. It was like they had a checklist of ‘things to put in to disturb and/or annoy viewers’! The mentor not only had an evil twin, but was an android and had an affair with her ‘creator’ and father-figure. Android insertion? Check. Creepy incestuous theme? Check. Angsty Sasuke-like betrayal of Haruka’s best IdolMaster friend? Double check! Yet another betrayal of a best friend? If you haven’t got the idea by now, you never will.

As this is also a mecha show, I should say something about that. The robots themselves are decently designed- I mean, there are only so many variations on the same basics that you can make. They also have consciousnesses. They choose their pilots, they reject their pilots, there’s angst between the pilots and the robots, robots feel rejected… And by the end of it all, Haruka and her Idol, Imber, have a disturbing semi-romance going. Don’t ask.

Overall, the ending did make me shed a tear, it was because I realized what a monumental waste of time this was.

Recommended: Not in this lifetime! 16+, though. The first thing you notice in the first episode is you get a good upskirt view of Haruka. This does also have some disturbing themes. There is a massacre of a base, and you do see the guns firing. Some of the people killed are young teens. There are some shoujo-ai themes going on, but these are never taken beyond extreme hero worship and obsession with raising their opinion. There is also some implied incest-while the androids aren’t really blood related to their creator, he nonetheless raises them from child-forms, and this later turns into a sexual relationship with at least one of them. You never see anything beyond them kissing, though. Skimpy and/or tight outfits abound, and in one scene, the little girl is shown to be controlling things from a bathtub. This gets very racy, since at one point she stands up- the most you see is her legs. It’s not the innocent bathing vibes you get from Totoro, it’s much creepier.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Bokurano (anime and manga)
Macross Frontier (anime)
Eureka 7 (manga and anime)
Cowboy Bebop (anime)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (anime)

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