Usually during Thanksgiving, I end up marathoning an anime from start to finish. Two years back, I ended up watching all 52 episodes of Full Moon wo Sagashite in the span of two days. Anyone who knows about this series will tell you that it gets pretty depressing towards the end. Anyways, this year I ended up watching iDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA. If that title sounds kind of strange, that’s probably because you have never heard of THEiDOLM@STER before. THEiDOLM@STER is a game created by Namco originally for arcades in which you take the role of a producer who has to take a group of up-and-coming amateurs and turn them into the most popular idols in the nation, thus the name “THEiDOLM@STER.” You can check out the wonderful song Go My Way!! in the video below.
Despite the original premise of the game, iDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA is only vaguely-related. Although I would have liked to see a faithful adaptation of iM@S complete with cute singing like Full Moon, I was pleasantly surprised with how XENOGLOSSIA turned out. XENOGLOSSIA is what happens when you take the iM@S girls and put them in a world more akin to the Mai-HiME/Otome universe. XENOGLOSSIA was created by many of the same staff members responsible for the Mai- series so it is in many ways the unofficial successor to Mai-Otome.
XENOGLOSSIA takes place in the near future in a world where the moon has been destroyed leaving a belt of “drops” orbiting earth. Inevitably, the drops’ orbits will decay causing them to plummet towards the earth’s surface. Although some will burn up in the atmosphere, those that don’t must be destroyed to prevent wide-scale destruction. The main agency tasked with this mission is Mondenkind. The Japanese branch of Mondenkind uses robots called iDOLs to destroy drops. Amami Haruka ends up joining Mondenkind after entering and winning an idol audition that was actually a front to find a new iDOLM@STER.
On the way to Tokyo, Haruka meets another iDOLM@STER named Hagiwara Yukiho and they decide to travel together. Neither of them having ever been to Tokyo before, they get lost and end up making it to one of the flooded areas of the city where they are attacked by the rival organization Turiavita that also poses an iDOL. Haruka is saved when the sealed-off iDOL Imber is re-activated by his desire to meet her and is able to fend off iDOL Nubilum. After the incident, Mondenkind rescues the 2 pilots and they soon begin training to pilot iDOLS. The rest of the story follows Haruka and her relationships with her teammates and Imber and the conflict between Mondenkind and Turiavita.
XENOGLOSSIA ended up being surprisingly good. This is definitely one of my favorite spin offs. The engaging story escalated towards epic heights towards the end and there were definitely a good number of highly emotional and sometimes disturbing or just plain weird scenes. Any fans of HiME/Otome-style drama should definitely check this out.