With the details from the TD announcements, I ended up thinking about Million Live, and to try and make sense of my worries and hopes, I’m actually writing this up.
So they’ve announced more details about Million Live Theater Days. (Millitheater), and with that Kaori and Tsumugi, two completely new idols complete with two completely new seiyuu. That came out of nowhere. Is it necessary? I don’t know, and a part of me feels a bit weird as Kokkochan (Koiwai Kotori) talked about how Million Live won’t be getting more, nor less people before, does this addition invalidate her feelings? I sure hope not, because she is a great person. If anything, this is similar to how Takane and Hibiki got included in 765 Pro for the Second Vision after their introduction in SP.
In terms of setting, Theater Days is set in another timeline, one where there are 39 (because thank you) new idols in the 765 Pro Live Theater and their 13 765 Pro All Stars senpai idols. A typical timeline reset for a new imas game, so this is nothing new. What I am curious about however, is their plan with the 13 AS girls and the 39 Theater girls.
As of now, they are planning on releasing 2 new CD series: one is the MILLION THE@TER GENERATION series that has Brand New Theater and Dreaming sung by 765 Pro All Stars (minus Kotoha as Tane-chan hasn’t recovered yet); the other one is the M@STER SPARKLE, a new solo CD series. Generation has the senpai girls included, but from the first four M@STER SPARKLE CD performer list, only the new theater members are shown. They’ve said that they’re going to be doing 5 members per CD (except some CD will have 4). The members for 4 CDs have been announced, and they said its the first half, so you can assume that the second half will have another 4 CDs. Given that they currently have 39 members, the split would most likely be 7 CDs of 5 idols plus 1 CD with 4 idols (or 6 CDs with 5 and 2 with 4 considering Tane-chan’s situation).
That means that 37/36 theater girls will get their third solo song while Kaori and Tsumugi will get their first solo. But what about the senpai girls? Well earlier this year in P Meeting, The IDOLM@STER MASTER PRIMAL series was announced, a new CD series for 765 Pro by Columbia (as opposed to Million’s Lantis.) Cast-wise, giving the busier people several new songs all at once is definitely tough as they’ll have to practice and record, so this split was probably done intentionally. But that does bring up the question of how they’ll be treated in game, will it be the same as the current Million Live mobage where the 13 AS girls get equal treatment in terms of appearance (be it in events or gacha), or will they treat them as legendary figures a la Kamen Rider #1 & #2, the Gorangers or even the Jutenshu in GBF?
What about the preexisting units from Platinum Star Live and LTF? Excluding the in game event/eigyou units the current Million Live has 10 PSL units with 5 members each (that a lot of people including myself are attached to), in addition to the Zodiac based theater units + Sol/Luna/Stella for the 13 AS girls. Right now neither Kaori nor Tsumugi is included in any of these, so Millitheater will most likely end up creating new ones similar to Dereste.
Personally right now the curiosity is stronger than my feelings of worry, so I’m honestly excited for Millitheater. ARE WE GONNA BE ABLE TO PAITOUCH AGAIN????????
The ‘Budokan’ we built together
I talked about it before, but Budokan is an important concept in Million Live. Not only it is an actual venue that exists, but also mentioned in the lyrics to Thank You: 「みんなでつくったの遅くまで残って手作りの 「ぶどーかん」 看板は虹色 」. This particular song was particularly meaningful during the 4th live, because they finally reached that important milestone, with everyone to boot (Kotoha danced on screen, and Tane-chan wrote her message on the rainbow flower that was empty before the live.) After Budokan, the Millions went to Taiwan alongside their 765 Pro senpai girls, and also performed for Choukaigi, but interestingly, they did not perform Thank You in these lives. Excluding release events, they ALWAYS perform Thank You in their appearances, be it at group lives like M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD or festivals like Anisama and Lantis Matsuri, so not performing it after the 4th live was honestly a mystery to me. In its place was Brand New Theater, their newest song.
But then Budokan 2: 765 MILLIONSTARS HOTCHPOTCH FESTIV@L was announced, and it hit me. I have a theory that they will seal Thank You until they can perform it together with 765 Pro AS in Budokan. With the exception of festivals like Anisama and Lantis Matsuri and release events, Thank You is generally only sung by the Theater members, and I honestly wondered about this during 10th because the 765 AS girls also performed it in the CD. I feel like they’re saving it for this exact moment!
Budokan is not the only important venue for Million Live, Nakano Sunplaza is also important, as not only it is a place where a small miracle happened on Sunday (Koroazu’s return in Wanst), but it also ended up getting used as a base for the theater in the manga. Its a place of beginnings, and now the two new girls will also experience it in their first Million Live appearance for MEG@TON VOICE next September. I have a feeling they’ll start with Brand New Theater instead of Thank You this time around.
Burning Girls Blaze Up!
I still have other thoughts that needs sorting out, but this time I’ll end with this last point. I was really excited when they showed off the ML Magazine Vol 2 cover featuring Burning Girls with Kotoha in the center wearing the Royal Starlet outfit. Despite the circumstances, you can still feel that Kotoha (and indirectly Tane-chan) moving forwards with the rest of the girls.
Similar to Yukiho getting a new voice in Second Vision, they could have done the same with Kotoha in the reset for Theater Days, but it’s not happening. I’m bringing this up as there are other contents (F/GO, Shokugeki no Soma) where Tane-chan had her characters recasted for others. The circumstances are realy different sure, and I’ve accepted Azumin from the very start, and I’m glad she’s also Yukiho, but I’m grateful they are not doing the same with Tane-chan.
I have other thoughts regarding this matter, but they haven’t completely formed yet, so when they do form I’ll probably write something else. So until then.