THE IDOLM@STER 765 MILLIONSTARS FIRST TIME IN TAIWAN

taiwan

Unlike my usual writeups, I will only focus on the live in this one, adding a little bit of analysis and theories as to why the setlist is done this way. (I’ll do a general Taiwan trip post later).

In the years prior to the announcement of this event, I actually promised myself that I’ll only go overseas for imas once a year as it is hard to do while I’m living Indonesia with limited leaves and funds, but after the announcement sometime last year, I decided to break that rule in 2017 as this will be special.

An overseas The IDOLM@STER live is an event that people have been wanting for a while, and I do not mean just us Producers, but also the cast. Hirorin talked about it in the movie pamphlet, and so did Asapon somewhere else. Choosing Taiwan as the first step was also safe, as it is relatively close to Japan, and the local Producers are passionate about the franchise, to the point of creating callbooks for bigger festivals where The IDOLM@STER is participating, and even camping at the airport with huge banners to greet the cast as well as the staff as they land!

Recently, even if the majority of the cast is the same, The IDOLM@STER lives have been showing off different setlists, but this time around, with the exception of two group songs, every song was the same across the two days. The first day was only streamed in Japan, but Hong Kong and Korea also got the second day streamed, so their choice to only change a few songs makes perfect sense (plus it’ll let them sell two BDs later!)

My seats for both days were on the left side of the venue (with day 1 seats being closer than day 2), while day 1 was closer, my day 2 seat let me see everyone better, so the general pattern was me going wild in the first day, and properly watching it (while going somewhat wild) on the second day.

Before the live, President Takagi did the usual speech, and Kotori told us about the rules as usual.

1. READY!! – 765 MILLIONSTARS

Back when I was living in Japan, READY!! was common sense in a post animas imas live. After all, the series popularity got boosted massively after the anime! Its a song that everyone knows, and its the perfect amount of hype to get everything started. Personally, I was happy because people did not spam UOs for this song in Taiwan. READY should be colorful after all! 10th was the last time I got this song, so getting it again felt good.

The cast did their introductions in this. Highlights included Machico trying her best to say something in Mandarin on the first day, Pyonkichi being cute. Mocho being Mocho. On the second day, Nomura ended up coughing for real after doing the Chizuru high pitched laugh > cough combo. Eriko also reiterated the announcement that Mikku will not be participating due to influenza as announced officially.

Pyonkichi started the next corner, saying that as this is their first overseas live, they want to try something for the first time. Then boom, came the solo song corners, but they’re not done solo this time! All of the solo songs were the shorter versions too, and I feel that it was a great way to give everyone a sampler of what the solos are like.

2. Happy☆Lucky☆Jet Machine – Watanabe Yui, Nakamura Eriko

As the music starts, Yuiton’s laugh HAI HAI HAI HAI she did the usual 「関西の星横山奈緒!」 before Eriko followed with a 「関東の星天海春香!」. On the first day, EVERYONE went mad as this came out of the left field! But their combination worked surprisingly well, as Eriko managed to keep up with Yuiton’s crazy energetic movements throughout the song!

3. Bouncing♪Smile – Inagawa Eri, Numakura Manami

HIBITAMA IS PERFECT FOR THIS SONG. I’ve always wanted to experience it live after watching Nagoya as Inarin is the perfect Tamaki, but adding Nunu to the mix made it even /better/.

4. Hatsukoi no Lesson Shokyuuhen – Machico, Shimoda Asami

DOUBLE YELLOW. Holy shit this was so much fun. My brain defaulted to shouting L O V E LOVELY MACHICO on the first day, but I ended up shouting L O V E LOVELY SHIMODA on the second day to make it fair.

5. Tokimeki no Onpu ni Natte – Asakura Momo, Asakura Azumi
Pretty sure they went with these two because they’re both Asakuras. On the first day, I had enough space on my side to furicopy, so I finally managed to furicopy this song properly during the live! After the song, the two stayed on stage, and asked if we wanted to see a cool song, before summoning Aimi to the stage.

6. Praline – Aimi

The Ryuuseigun at budokan was on a different level, but Praline is SOLID as usual. One regret though, is that on the first day, one of her garters snapped during this song and I couldn’t see that! BD hayooooooooooooooooo.

7. bitter sweet – Suegara Rie

After watching 3rd Osaka, I was really looking forward to this in Budokan but got Orange Sora no Shita instead (WHICH WAS GOOD TOO) but holy crap Suzie is a vocal monster. Her kind voice soothes the aching soul.

8. Koigokoro Masquerade – Nomura Kanako, Imai Asami

「さあ!」「行くわよ!」

Holy crap this was AMAZING. I knew Nomura was solid after both 3rd and Budokan, but adding Mingosu to the mix was just cheating. There was a part of the song where Mingosu stepped behind and continued singing while Nomura was in front. It was as if Chihaya was the caring senpai, watching her junior from the back.

9. Toumei na Prologue – Imai Asami, Hara Yumi

So during ML1st, Koroazu couldn’t attend day 1 due to illness, and they ended up playing Precious Grain as the final pre-live intermission song, so I wondered whether they were gonna do the same this time around but to my surprise, Mingosu stayed on stage before Harami joined her. It was a beautiful rendition of the song, and they even played a recording of Mikku as a backing track. How the hell was I supposed to hold back my tears???

10. Suteki na Kiseki – Yamazaki Haruka

These days Pyon makes us sing this song, but to my surprise, she did not do it in the first day, but instead, the rest of the millions appeared and sang it! On the second day, she made us sing it too, and that felt great! She looked really happy performing it, and I love her for that. Haaaa Yamazaki Haruka.

11. (D1) DIAMOND DAYS / (D2) Welcome!! – MILLIONSTARS
I really did not expect DIAMOND DAYS out of all the song to appear at this point in time, but it makes sense! All the Millions did their solo, and its an appropriate choice to end the session with. Saikooooooooooooooou!

Up until this point in time of Day 2, none of the songs got changed, so I expected DD to come out, but nope it was time for I KU ZOOOOOOOOOOO! THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN holy shit.

\はるかが大好きだ!/

\もちょが大大好きだ!/

\あいみんが大大好きだ!/

\いなりんが大好きだ!/

\みっくが大大好きだ!/

\のむらが大好きだ!/

\ミリオンが大好きだ!

The first day MC was mostly about their flight there (Machico was super tense, and Nomura basically clung to Suzie the whole time), while the second day MC was more varied, what with all the Pyon bullying because she fell asleep during dinner while eating with Eriko on her side.

12. Otome yo Taishi wo Idake!! – Nakamura Eriko, Asakura Momo

OH MAN MOCHO IN THIS SONG WAS ADORABLE ESPECIALLY DURING THE TEETH BRUSHING FURI! Haven’t heard it in ages too, so it felt great!

13. ALRIGHT* – Asakura Azumi, Aimi, Inagawa Eri

So ALRIGHT* was the first song that made me cry in a live, so its special to me! In the first day I did the orthodox Azumin call, but I ended up shouting Aimin and Inarin for the second day.

14. Start Star – Shimoda Asami, Yamazaki Haruka, Watanabe Yui

MIRAI NO PRINCESS YAMAZAKI HARUKA aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I expected Asapon to do You Ou My Shin because that’s her go to go solo these days, but Start Star was a nice surprise!

15. Pon De Beach – Numakura Manami, Machico

THIS I DID NOT EXPECT EITHER. Holy shit the mermaid combo doing a cute and energetic song was so much fun. Machico is the perfect partner for Nu!

16. Kazahana – Hara Yumi, Suegara Rie, Nomura Kanako

The song that made me go /holy shit/ Suzie is a perfect match for Harami. Nomura was great too! Seeing Harami do a furi for Kazahana was a bit weird though, as I’ve only seen it with her usual no furi.

17. Aoi Tori – Imai Asami

THIS CAME OUT OF NOWHERE ITS CHEATING HOLY SHIT.

18. (D1) Jibun REST@RT / (D2) Happy! – 765 PRO ALLSTARS

Similar to the Millions, 765 also had two songs for this slot. For day 1, I did expect Jiburi, and it was PERFECT. The venue glowed orange, and it was HYPE. I cried.

Happy! was expected as its their newest group song, and they released Platinum Stars in Chinese! Mingosu looked extremely psyched throughout the song, with a massive smile plastered on her face. So cute.

In the first day, Eriko ended up leaving it up to everyone to talk, and Harami ended up talking about how the first thing she asked was the word for toilet in Mandarin. The second day had them splitting into two teams to do a gesture game, with team Haranueriko doing the gestures and Mingosu/Azumin/Pon guessing. They did the gestures for Taiwan with Harami eating, Nunu sneaking a peek at Pyonkichi’s screen on the plane and Eriko turned into a panda. It was special.

19. GO MY WAY!! – Nakamura Eriko, Asakura Momo, Watanabe Yui

I saw Eriko and Mocho and thought whether we’re gonna get Legend Girls, but instead we got gomae! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. Mocho was cute haaaa.

20. Jungle☆Party – Inagawa Eri, Shimoda Asami

Budokan let me experience how fun this song can be, but having the original members sing it together was even BETTER. The combination between Asapon and Inarin on this song was so balanced, and it was just so much fun seeing them prance around on stage. Kuro was beside me on the first day, and immediately asked “WHAT WAS THAT????” after the song ended.

That Kuro, was Jungle Party. Welcome to the Million Live Jungle

21. Persona Voice – Asakura Azumi, Nomura Kanako

YO I LOVE FRIPSIDE.

(no but seriously Persona Voice is amazing). The bit where Nomura and Azumin stood back to back and did the chu2 hand movements was cool.

22. Eternal Harmony – Imai Asami, Aimi, Suegara Rie

EVERYBODY UTAO SAWAGOU VOLUME ZENKAI MUSIC HAPPY PARTY ODOROU HASHAGU NO DA DA DA

The announcement of Mingosu, Aimi and Suzie was one of the biggest push for me to fly to Taiwan as I LOVE ETERNAL HARMONY SO MUCH HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE BEST. On the first day, I was completely taken over by adrenaline and just went MAD to this song, crying happy tears throughout while also spinning around in one place and cycloning, and that led to me not actually be able to see what was on stage most of the time. Woops.


I was more calm on the second day (only cycloned a bit), so managed to see how fun this song really is. Mingosu looked ecstatic! At the end of the song, she talked about how she was happy to finally be able to perform this song live, how Chihaya is not alone anymore, and how with this performance, every member of Eternal Harmony has done it live! At the end of the MC in the first day, Mingosu told Aimi to light everyone’s heart on fire, cue my brain going WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO JIREHA WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT (it wasn’t)

23. Shinsou Mermaid – Numakura Manami, Machico

YO THIS WAS R-18 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (also I was completely out of energy after this song in Day 1 because what the hell kind of setlist is this are they trying to kill me)

24. Himitsu no Memories – Hara Yumi, Suegara Rie
Harami and Suzie with Himitsu no Memories was an oasis in a desert of high paced songs, and their vocal qualities mixed well with each other! It healed my broken soul.

25. Haruka na Mirai – Yamazaki Haruka, Nakamura Eriko

Before ML3rd started, Mingosu and Eriko joked in im@studio about how Pyonkichi is the only person who can do this song alone, as she’s both Haruka and Mirai. Personally, I thought this song was pretty great when I first heard it, but as time goes on, it became even more meaningful to me, especially after paying attention to the lyrics more. 3rd Makuhari made it special, and the way Pyonkichi enjoys herself while singing this song made me smile a lot.

26. Dreaming! – 765 MILLIONSTARS

Seeing the 765 senpai join the millions for this song made me really happy. The song means a lot to me after 3rd, and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I don’t have the proper words in my tired brain to describe how I feel about this song. Pyonkichi was good… Oh I cycloned on the first day and the tube of my blade came off woops.

They did another MC session after this song, asking the senpais whether they’re interested in anyone new. Eriko said she was interested in Inarin on the first day because of her energy, also because they’re both Eri. Mocho ended up doing a gesture that Harami interpreted as “I love Harami.” “Oh and everyone else too of course!”

On the second day, Nu talked about how her love for Machico grew stronger, Azumin talked about how Aimin was really serious throughout the practice, and messaged her, asking if there was something else she can do for ALRIGHT* so that she can help Azumin bring the song to its true potential with the three of them performing it. Eriko also talked about how she thought Nomura was really funny. Mingosu ended this final session, saying that she skipped Harami because Harami’s gonna just talk about Mocho.

27. M@STERPIECE – 765 MILLIONSTARS

Maspi ended the main live session, and I thought it was very appropriate. The first day gave me enough space to Furicopy the whole song, and being able to do it properly felt great. It was really cool to see girls who haven’t done this song perform it alongside everyone else.

28. THE IDOLM@STER – 765 MILLIONSTARS

That familiar utamas opening started while the girls returned to stage, and what can I say, utamas is always solid! And because my body is so used to doing calls to it, muscle memory took care of everything while I was free to check out what’s going on (although I mostly looked at Pyon) There’s a usual free session in the middle of the song where everyone just had fun with each other. Machico generally had too much fun and had to run back to her original position both days. Harami hugged Mocho suddenly on the second day (but I couldn’t see this because I was focusing on Pyon the whole time). Pyon chased Mingosu around and got a kiss from her on the second day! Jealous. Not sure of Pyon or of Mingosu.

Everyone did their final MCs after this, and it ranged from Pyon doing アイアス最高! on stage, Inarin staying in character the whole time to Asapon talking about how she learned the mandarin word for toilet. Good stuff. At the end of the session, Eriko heavily hinted that the next song will be worldly and global.

29. The world is all one!! – 765 MILLIONSTARS

And bam came The world is all one!! Everyone must have expected this song to appear at some point throughout the live, and it did! It was so much fun as usual, and this time around, its made even more special because it was their first overseas live! Needless to say, I cried, and hugged whoever I was sitting next to after the song!

youtiao

About the setlist

After the two days ended, while browsing twitter to see what people’s reactions are like, I thought about the live in my own way. Thinking about it, the setlist was done in a way that will introduce people to both the older 765 girls, and also the Millions. In terms of my personal observation, The IDOLM@STER started really picking up overseas around the time after Animas aired, so having READY!! was not just done because its a very hype song, but because its a milestone, a song that most people will know.

Having most songs involve a senpai + kouhai combination was also a great way to show off everyone. Newer Producers will get an exposure to the older ladies, while Producers who may only be familiar with the early days of 765 Pro can also get to know the Millions. The songs performed were also released in different time periods, with songs like Aoi Tori coming from the first CD series (THE IDOLM@STER MASTERPIECE) Start Star from the first batch of Master Artist series to Pon De Beach from the Master Artist 3 batch of CDs!

In addition, the group songs also showed off the maturity of the franchise, having THE IDOLM@STER from the arcade days, GO MY WAY!! from the Xbox 360 days, The world is all one!! from the start of 2nd Vision, READY!! from the anime, M@STERPIECE from the movie, and Dreaming from the latest Live Theater era. Every single era of the franchise, from its starting point at the arcades, to its future with the new Millionstars girls were represented in this live.

Despite keeping everything the same over two days, there were two group songs that were changed between the days: the DIAMOND DAYS/Welcome!!!! and Jibun REST@RT/Happy! pair of songs were the only difference in setlist. Let’s talk about the first pair first. In Budokan, Sunshine Rhythm and Bluemoon Harmony both performed DIAMOND DAYS, but Starlight Melody did not as the performed Brand New Theater, so by putting it at the end of the Million set, its as if they gave Pyonkichi, Mocho, Inarin and Suzie closure by letting them sing DIAMOND DAYS on the first day. I also tweeted about this, but I believe Welcome!!!! is the choice for the first day instead of Thank You because the Live Viewing for the first day was only held in Japan, while both Hong Kong and Korea got the second day viewing too. Welcome was appropriate for this moment, because it is as if the girls were welcoming new Producers from these countries to their show!

In terms of 765 Pro, Jibun REST@RT connected well with the finale combination of Dreaming! And M@STERPIECE. In the show, this song was used in the halfway point to indicate a turning point for the 13 girls, the point where they sprinted forward with all they’ve got. By doing it in the first day while wearing the Royal Starlet outfits, the same ones the 37 Million girls wore in Budokan, it is as if they gave a signal that this is also a new start for them, from focusing in a single country, to expanding across the world.

Dreaming! had a bit near the end of the song where everyone said “Producer, we are 765 MILLIONSTARS!” and this connected well with Jibun REST@RT in addition to the 4th anniversary PV where the 13 765 girls were waiting for their kouhai on stage, while wearing the same Royal Starlet outfit. By having EVERYONE say that, the wall between 765 Pro and Million Live was broken, and now everyone is a part of 765 Pro. This is also why they did M@STERPIECE with everyone to end the main live, singing about how much they’ve done to achieve this dream of theirs!

Eriko said how The IDOLM@STER turned from a content that people had hopes for, to a content that granted people’s hopes, and now they’re back to becoming a content that people have hopes for by taking this new step, a step to the larger world! This is where Happy! comes in, because Platinum Stars was also released in several languages, and it is yet another restart for the 765 Pro girls. By taking this new step, they have another goal to achieve, and this time around, they’ll have all the support they need.

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