Ever since I got my first bad end in iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars I’ve made great progress on Eri’s story. I redid the audition and this time around I achieved idol rank E. After Eri proved that she could sing she was presented with two more challenges that confronted her new career as a real world idol and her old roots as a net idol. Thus her rough path to the next rank was paved.
After passing her audition and achieving rank E Eri gets her new assignment following a day of rest. It is decided that there will be a competition between Eri, Ai and Ryo. Eri’s isn’t too sure how to deal with this since she really doesn’t have any experiences with how comrades in real life react to winning and losing to each other. Not really knowing what to do she chats with her online friend Cineria. Cineria says that it’s just the same as the internet. Many other idol must have “lost” to Eri for her to have become the top net idol.
Having a little more confidence she confronts her two co-idols and tells them how she’s worried about what will happen. Ryo and Ai answer that they too are worried but whether they win or lose the three of them will still be friends. When the day of the competition arrives Eri who was less weighing in on her mind is able to perform marvelously and win. Ryo and Ai congratulate Eri and say they need to work harder next time. Ozaki takes a picture of Eri and herself which Eri posts on her blog. Cineria sees the image and and talks to Eri about this mysterious long-haired woman but to her dismay Eri drops the subject.
The day after the 876 idol competition Ozaki comes into work and sees something strange that she just has to tell Eri. While walking to the office Ozaki sees a “fairy” outside the building. When she checks to see if she is still there the fairy has already disappeared. The next day Eri and Ozaki meet outside to go to the next job when out of nowhere Cineria appears. Ozaki is surprised by the return of the fairy while Eri is amazed that Cineria actually found her offline. As Cineria and Eri talk tensions between the polar opposites Ozaki and Cineria erupt; Cineria wants Eri to return to being an online idol while Ozaki objects stating that only real life idols exist. A competition between Eri and Cineria is proposed to settle the matter; if Cineria wins Eri will quit being a real world idol else she will continue on. As the argument flares up Eri not wanting to take sides reminds Ozaki that they’ll be late to the job and so breaks up the two.
One day Eri is early to a job at a large electronics store and decides to do a little browsing at computer parts. She runs into Cineria who is supposedly conducting research so that she will win and save Eri from Ozaki. Eri asks Cineria if she has had experience performing on stage. Cineria responds by saying she gets easily exhausted dancing but for one song she can handle it and besides she practices singing karaoke all the time. Cineria also talks about a new software she bought to help her called “Utane Mike” (歌音 ミケ AKA a parody of Hatsune Miku). A little confused Eri parts ways with Cineria.
On yet another occasion Eri and Ozaki “stumble” upon Cineria who is staging an event for her fans. Ozaki is shocked that so many people would gather for such a thing. From the get go Cineria and Ozaki go at it throwing insults at each other like no one’s business. At one point Ozaki uses her trump card against Cineria by saying that no Japanese person by the name of “Cineria” exists to “Suzuki-san.” Cineria greatly angered tells Ozaki that she’s not Suzuki and to stop calling her that but Ozaki doesn’t relent. Once again it’s up to shy Eri to break up the fighting.
Soon the day of the contest to decide Eri’s fate arrives. Ozaki explains the rules saying that the winner will be decided by audience vote which will consist of both the stage audience and online viewers. As the contest is about to begin Cineria and Ozaki get into another argument and they confront Eri about who is right. Eri says that she isn’t really sure; she has experienced many different things because of being both an online and offline idol. Thanks to what Eri says the tension between the two decreases somewhat.
After a brilliant performance by Eri the vote comes in declaring her the winner. Cineria is floored that she lost but Ozaki wallowing in her own self-satisfaction deems it obvious that she would lose. Cineria focused too much on visual appeal and as a net idol forgot to take into account her own singing prowess; those seated at the back would not be able to see her well and would have to rely on her voice alone and those viewing online would clearly be able to hear the difference between Eri’s and Cineria’s singing. In tears Cineria runs off as Eri wonders if Cineria will be okay and still like her. Ozaki says that she’ll get over it quickly and not to worry about it. Eri returns to the office where the President is there to congratulate her. She saw the performance online and is happy to tell her that she now is a rank D idol (100,000+ fans). The President tells her to rest up and keep doing her best.
At home Eri is still worried about Cineria when she receives a video chat invitation from Cineria herself. Cineria is in higher spirits as Ozaki said and Eri is soon relieved that her friendship is undamaged. Cineria is still a little sad that Eri will remain a real world idol for the time being as Eri continues to make up her mind about what kind of idol she wants to be. However Cineria says that she will stop trying to get Eri to quit and tells her that she believes that one day Eri will return to being a net idol once more.
That is the journey with Eri so far as I have yet to start the next chapter. That’s it for a while since I have to ban myself from playing Dearly Stars too much as I have three exams within the next four days. Time to stop typing and get back to studying. ;_;