The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars is a slice of idol life

How do the not-so-rich, but wannabe famous people live? Apparently, they’re a lot like the rest of us. In The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars, we’re bombarded with slice-of-life moments. Our group of hopeful singers want desperately to be the best in Japan. They’ve worked for it for most of their young lives (and through what’s now seven games)! But, when it comes to time off-camera, they’re ordinary young women.

The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars takes opportunity to show how typical these teens can be. At the beginning of each “day,” you’ll see the girls preparing for the day somehow. Maybe they’re eating snacks. They could be doing stretches before an exercise session. One of them might even say good morning to you.

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When you’re planning their schedule, you see what some of the girls are up to in the house in the background. The main menu only occupies a brief part of the screen. One time, Chihaya was taking pictures of the birds in the area. Another time, a group of the idols were out for a morning run. A few girls could be sitting around, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

At night, the girls are gathered around together. It’s like a slumber party. If a major Live happened during the day, they could all be watching it on TV in the living room. Maybe they’re snacking on some treats. It also seems like Iori is quite the master of rock-paper-scissors, as I’ve seen her take on multiple challengers. (Ritsuko is the only one that seemed her equal.)

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There’s a sense of community in The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars. The characters celebrate each others’ birthdays. They cheer each other on, before leaving for Lives. People in the same group will talk to each other as they go from place to place, encouraging one another. There are implied interactions that show these girls all get along, even though they’re technically each others’ competition. In The Idolmaster 2, we even saw the girls pitted against themselves. Ritsuko had put together Ryuuguu Komachi, made up of Iori, Azusa, Ami and Ritsuko, and the group regularly acted as a rival to the player’s team. While that suggested animosity, there’s no such threat here.

It’s encouraging. The thing about The Idolmaster games is, we can think of the characters as tools. Yes, we can interact with them occasionally, but we otherwise only see them as parts that appear when we need to push our group to success. The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars show that they’re just like ordinary, human girls. They’re silly. They’re working hard to achieve their dreams. Most importantly, they’re doing so together, even though they’re each other’s competition. Regularly seeing these scenes makes the game a little more heartwarming.

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