Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

15 December 2013: The problem with the Hibiki episode is it isn't a Hibiki episode

Hibiki and Hamzou
The Hibiki episode should have been a real-time broadcast
about Hibiki competing in a 5k road race.

I've been re-watching THE iDOLM@STER TV and thoroughly enjoying it even more than the last time. A big part of this is because I'm more familiar with the franchise and its characters now. I still haven't played any of the games besides Shiny Festa, but I've watched countless numbers of their all-singing, all-dancing videos, and I think I'm more in tune with what the characters are like (or at least what their fans claim they are like).

Inumi, Hamzou, and Hibiki
Go on, Hibiki. Curse the bitch out.

Granted, with such a large cast to develop over the course of relatively few episodes, most of the girls only get the barest treatment. (Yukiho, I'm told, is criminally neglected.) Really, only Miki, Chihaya, and Haruka receive a decent amount of attention; everyone else essentially gets one spotlight episode and a bunch of supporting scenes. In Ganaha Hibiki's case, the viewer is treated to an absurd assortment of talking-animal gags playing up Hibiki's "good with animals" and "has an unusual assortment of pets" traits. It's no coincidence that episode 16 is often regarded the weakest of an otherwise excellent series.

Hibiki nearly dies.

This is not to say the Hibiki episode is that bad, but I certainly can't claim that it's good. Besides the talking-with-animals shtick and the rather unremarkable "trouble at home" crisis Hibiki suffers with her pets, there's also the subplot with 961 Pro which involves a prank that's arguably a felony even before Hibiki complicates matters by falling off a cliff.

Nice boots.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Hibiki spends much of her own episode stranded on a ledge doing fuck all. In a way, due to [spoilers, I guess] this event transforms the Hibiki episode into a Hamzou episode. As far as talking animals go, I suppose Hamzou is fine, but I personally would have preferred the Hibiki episode remain a Hibiki episode, perhaps with her doing more BEST PROJECT, BEST FAIRY things with Takane and Miki. I'm also sad we didn't get scenes of Hibiki doing that thing she does with her hands when she gets aggravated. It's a charm point. At least she provides a lot of exasperated sighing in Puchimas.

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