mini review · mobile · otome gaming

[Mobile] Quick Look at… IDOLiSH7 (Mini Review)

Idolish7 is a rhythm/idol simulator free-to-play app game produce by Bandai Namco Online (Bandai Namco’s app/free to play division), who also produced similar idol games such as iDOLM@STER and iDOLM@STER: SideM.

It released back in 2015 (20th August), I got into it in prolly October sometime and I’ve been meaning to write a ‘quick look at’ review last year but didn’t get around doing it because I had deleted it to make room for more music. But I’m back in because now I deleted all the songs I had on my iPod lol (tho I deleted my old accounted and restarted a new one).

In celebration of the release of ‘STORY 2’ and Re:vale, heres a mini review. I won’t be talking about Story 2 because I haven’t caught up yet but I’ll do a lil retrospective on how the game has improved/grown since my past play of it.


Story

The story follows an idol group, IDOLiSH7, and their Manager trying to make it big in the idol industry. Being part of a small production office and a large idol group, they pretty much have the odds against them. If I had to describe the story of this game I’d say its more like an underdog tale of these guys making their dreams come true.

It gets a bit angsty at times and at one point the rival unit TRIGGER stole their song that they were gonna release, tho it wasn’t the members fault it was their hired shitty scumbag composer’s fault. Almost every character are carrying past baggage, but they all have a dream. A dream thats basically to become the best idol, not just for them but for their fans too. I don’t want to say any more or else it’ll spoil the story for you but its worth the look.

Tbh I really like this story because you really do see everyone grow and when they get closer to their dream you feel so proud of these dorks. Its got something going for it, unlike other stories that I’ve read that just has no development at all.

Another thing to note is that the story isn’t quite heavily focused on romance, its more focused on the development of the characters which is gr8 for me because sometimes it feels so weird seeing romance just happen out of the blue and thats all the story is about. Tho throughout the main story you pretty much see Gaku develop feelings for Tsumugi (he’s got a crush on her how cute).

The best thing about it is that its fully voiced, like, all of it is voiced. They kinda cheat their way about not voicing conversations with Tsumugi on Rabbit Chat but considering its just instant messaging it feels natural to not have voices so I’m not complaining.

Kinda wished that I could read Story 2 but seeing that I haven’t caught up/started over, I’ll prolly won’t get to see it in quite some time lol.

Characters

Heroine

Tsumugi Takanashi

chara_01

No voice actress/You can change her first name | 18 years old | Manager of IDOLiSH7

She works as a manager in her father’s production company, Takanashi Production Office. She’s quite the workaholic and tries her best to make IDOLiSH7 the best idols they can be. Despite being young she’s quite capable and because the company is small she has to do extra jobs.

Takanashi Production Office

Banri (CV:Kazuyuki Okitsu) | 27 years old | is Tsumugi’s manager, so he’s basically a Manager’s Manager lol. He works together with Tsumugi around the office and kinda acts like an older brother figure for her. I’ve seen quite a few fanarts of him with Re:Vale and considering his name kinda follows the pattern* of Momo’s () and Yuki’s(), he prolly has some kind of connection with them.

*(Banri’s name is 理, Yuki’s and Momo’s names, particularly the kanji, are all numbers similar to everyone else’ names. Momo is hundred, Yuki is thousand, Banri is ten thousand)

Kinako is the resident rabbit (?) of Takanashi Production Office that Tsumugi’s father keeps around. Its cry is ‘myuu’ and its cute. Kind of serves as a mascot character along with those Ousama Purin pudding things.

IDOLiSH7

Iori (CV:Toshiki Masuda) |17 years old | is kinda tsundere, I guess? His profile says he dislikes cute things but I’m not too sure about that lol. He sometimes accidentally says that Riku is cute but then stops himself and gets all flustered. He cares very deeply about Riku and his condition. His Oniichan is Mitsuki Izumi and their parents own a shop that sells pastry/sweets, I think?

Yamato (CV:Yuusuke Shirai) | 22 years old | is the self proclaimed Oniisan of the group and the leader of IDOLiSH7 because he’s pretty much the oldest. Doesn’t like mentioning about his past, kind of like a freeloader type, pretty chill and seems to have experience with women seeing that he’s such a smooth talker lol. Likes drinking beer.

Mitsuki (CV:Tsubasa Yonaga) | 21 years old | is smol but strong. He’s always energetic, bright and is Iori’s Oniichan. He’s always dreamed about being an Idol just like Zero, an idol that Mitsuki looks up to even now as a 21 year old. He sometimes drinks with the older members of the group.

Tamaki (CV:KENN) | 17 years old | is one of the youngest members in the group and part of the spin off idol unit MEZZO” with Sogo. He does things at his own pace but if something involves pudding then he’ll do anything. Sometimes lazes around playing video games. It seems like he’s looking for his sister and thats the reason why he wants to be on TV so much for a chance for his sis to see him.

Sogo (CV:Atsushi Abe) | 20 years old | is kind and diligent and quite the opposite of Tamaki. He’s part of MEZZO” and takes care of Tamaki/keep him in check whenever they do public stuff. He’s a fanboy of TRIGGER and seems to be a weak drinker, sometimes saying stuff that reveals his past when drunk.

Nagi (CV:Takuya Eguchi) | 19 years old | is basically a weaboo, sorry Nagi but its the truth. He’s half japanese half Northern European, but I don’t think they really specify where in the game… maybe. He uses English quite often, one of the things I love about him. He’s a huge fanboy for Magical☆Kokona and loves all women. Most of the time flirts with Tsumugi who is used to it by now.

Riku (CV:Kensho Ono) | 18 years old | is the centre of the group and is a cute patoot that must be protected. He’s actually a twin and his Oniichan is Tenn, who he looks up to despite Tenn cutting him out of his life. He has a sickness and if he exerts himself too much during lives he could collapse. I think he wants Tenn-nii to notice him and show that he can be an idol too. At first I thought he was the leader but he’s actually the centre lol.

 

TRIGGER

Gaku (CV:Wataru Hatano) | 22 years old | loves soba. He just loves it. He also has a crush on Tsumugi, prolly likes Tsumugi as much as he likes soba. He doesn’t like losing and he doesn’t like those who don’t value their family. His dad is the president/owner of their production company, who seems to dislike Takanashi Production Company (particularly Tsumugi’s dad), and he doesn’t seem to get along with his dad. Theres a soba/udon delivery boy that frequently delivers food at Takanashi Production company that bears a striking resemblance to Gaku…

Tenn (CV:Soma Saito) | 18 years old | is a stripper idol you don’t want to mess with. He seems like a big meanie that doesn’t care for his Otouto but he kinda does. He cut off his entire family and ran away to become an idol. He often competes against Gaku to see who’s the better guy. Kujo isn’t his real last name btw.

Ryunosuke (CV:Takuya Satou) | 23 years old | used to be quite shy when starting as an idol but changed his image to become quite the opposite: a sexy and wild character. He pretty much had to change everything about him, even cover up his dialect/accent which he sometimes slips into like on a phone conversation. He likes alcohol/beer.

 

Re:Vale

I don’t know much about Momo (CV:Soichiro Hoshi) and Yuki (CV:Shinnosuke Tachibana) but I have a feeling that they’re prolly the best idols, even better than TRIGGER. They’re aged in their late 20’s so it makes me think if they’re gonna retire as idols or something (I don’t think theres a lot of 30+ year old idols out there, unless I’m not looking properly). The two of them get along pretty well, I guess its because they’ve been working together for quite some time now.

Gameplay

The rhythm game is pretty solid, it throws in some stuff that I haven’t experienced before in a rhythm game lol. Its not too easy and its not quite so hard that its impossible to do stuff. Also theres no life bar/game over if you get a lot of notes wrong it just keeps playing until you finish the song. I kinda like this concept of no damage taken when I mess things up.

If you mess up, its mainly your pride that takes damage lol. Each live has a ‘live challenge’ where if you complete a challenge you get a little reward and if you complete all the live challenges for the song you’ll get another bonus. Theres four difficulties (easy to expert) and the AP replenishes at a quick rate.

The grey balls that resemble pachinko balls are for single taps, simultaneous balls happen (they have lines connecting adjacent balls at the same beat), red balls with directions on them indicate you can flick them up, down, left and right (I normally flick up), the green balls with lines going up vertically & attached with other green balls or red balls indicates you have to hold down the note and blue balls with zig-zag lines indicate you have to move the ball at the right direction as the line. The blue balls are kinda tough sometimes especially when you have other stuff going on on the other side of the screen.

2016-02-15 12.30.08.png

Also this is a card collecting game too lol. Surprise, surprise. Theres gachas, your common ‘friend point‘ gacha and the gacha that gives you rarer cards with the premium gacha that uses ‘stella stones‘. Stella stones are kind of easy to come by but still hard to collect if that makes sense. In my first playthrough it was hard to come by because I kept wasting it on one turn scouts and not saving it up. Also 10 turns gives you an extra card. Nice. Gacha tickets guarantee an SR card or higher.

Neat thing about the card collecting is that when you play a live and have another players as your support you can view the card they have in your album. Well its more like the card is added to your card album but because you don’t have it, its greyed out and you can’t view the full card. But I think its quite a neat thing because you can see which cards you’ve yet to obtain.

2016-03-04 16.02.47.png

Cards can have their rarity levelled up by combing two of the same cards together. The highest rarity is SSR. You can level up stats of a card by adding items (these circle things with symbols on them like beat symbols etc) and can upgrade a card.

Btw, other than the main characters theres also sub-characters who you can chat/interact with.

As I mentioned before theres Rabbit Chat where chats between characters happen. Chats are unlocked depending on the affect levels of that card. Each card has different chats. You can choose dialogue options at some points but I don’t think the choice affects anything other than learning small tidbits about the characters.

2016-03-05 10.15.58.png

A new addition that wasn’t there when I played back in October is a daily quest that rewards you after completing quests with stella stones, cards used to level up other cards and gold. Sadly theres no bonus for completing all of the quests ;^(

Events happen too, but lately there hasn’t been a lot of events happening so I can’t really explain how events go. I only played one event and it was the Halloween event with the bingo cards, which was really fun but painful because I sucked and couldn’t fulfill the requirements to clear the bingo cards. I hope I can get to play an event soon because I wanna see how much I’ve improved since then lol.

Graphics

2016-03-09 14.12.35

CGs are clean and nice, seems like they’re going for an ‘anime style’ when it comes to shading. When I mean anime style shading I guess I mean ‘cell-shading’, if thats the correct term, where they use simple shading with one or two colors. Nothing to complicated or detailed and its cheap in terms of time spent shading.

Each chapter has at least one CG to fill that quota.

One thing to note is that the character designer does shoujo manga work and their coloring style/drawing is quite different from the final product mainly used but I really do adore the old-school shoujo manga feel to it. Not sure if it translated well into the second drawing style thats more clean. Either way I like both of them.

The GUI/UI is quite simple in terms of shape, color etc and I don’t really mind. Its quite easy on the eyes. Tho they did some changes compared to the last time I played it and it looks good.

The rhythm game is quite clear to see as well, nothing weird or obstructive is happening. When you hit ‘fever time’ or whatever its called you’ll unlock a video that plays in the background as you play and its not distracting at all because its kind of blurred/melts into the background so you can view it but it won’t obstruct the game.

Sprites in the main story are simple, I think theres one pose per character maybe? Mouths and eyes animate and thats just about it.

Final Thoughts

Its kind of like an underdog app to me lol, in terms of popularity compared to other rhythm games like Ai Chuu but I like it, mainly because it doesn’t crash on me but also for the other things like the story, characters and songs. Oh boy the songs are good and catchy that I get them stuck in my head.

If it were ever translated into an anime I can see it happening, after all the characters already look ready to be in an anime or maybe even an OVA. Bones proved to us it can be animated and still keep the in-game style thanks to the MV they made. Thank you based Bones (I really hope they pick up Enstars too).

I mentioned before how characters have numbers in their names (Iori has the kanji for ‘one’ in his name, Riku has the kanji for ‘seven’ in his last name). Tenn’s real last name is prolly Nanase but that would ruin the number count for the characters so he’s Kujo (9 is in there). But what I’m trying to get at is the motifs they used for each character, not only numbers but colors and music notes (E.g. Gaku’s music note is the trebble clef). Its just the smallest details that I can appreciate lol. It may seem like something small for others but to me I appreciate that stuff.

Anyway, I hope I can keep playing it when I have time and that I won’t delete it to make more space. Its a good game, something to check out if you find some rhythm games aimed at females not challenging. Like, yeah, there’s no in-game punishment for missing beats so where’s the challenge in that? Tho its prolly the drive to get better scores or better combos that makes it challenging esp with Expert for me because I suck lol.

Sadly I won’t be doing any game diaries on this game because I’m already too busy with other stuff. I would like to but yea, too much on my plate. But I’m looking forward to see these babbies grow into strong idols at my own pace.

Thanks for reading _(:3 」∠ )_

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6 thoughts on “[Mobile] Quick Look at… IDOLiSH7 (Mini Review)

    1. I have seen it and yeah, 3D CGI MVs aren’t that gr8 on a budget and its kind of seizure inducing but they tried their best on what they had lol
      At least they tried to improve it and delayed it for a couple of times.
      Now Utapri Season 3’s ending CGI was really terrible I cringe every time

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  1. It really surprised me when Idolish7 came in 3rd place for the Girl’s Style otome game awards earlier this week. Seems like its actually even more popular than both Ai Chuu and YumeCast which came in 5th and 6th place respectively.

    I’ve played a bit of it and like you mentioned the story is fun and the songs are good too but what bothers me are the cards. They are extremely plain and when you idolize one it’s the exact same card/pose but with different clothes? Some of the SR/UR cards doesn’t even have proper backgrounds. In my opinion the selling point of a card collecting game is the artwork for the cards.

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    1. I know what you mean by the cards, like when it comes to YumeCast and Enstars the common rarity cards usually have more effort into them. But then again I’m not really picky when it comes to idolish7 cards because I have bad luck at gachas anyway lol.

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  2. Yaay, it’s here 😀
    I didn’t liked it much when I first played it because of the music – until I heard Secret Night. I became TRIGGER’s fan immediately. Though I haven’t read much of the story, because most of it still isn’t translated yet, so far I like it and the characters way more then Ai Chuu’s, even the songs. Even though the cards are prettier and there’s bigger variety of drawing styles, in Ai Chuu the singing was often off key and the app crashes a lot to me too, like AFTER EVERY LIVE, how annoying. The only thing that bothers me about this game is that with every update it seems the app is getting bigger and I don’t have enough space in my phone, even though it’s the only game I have in there :’D
    I like that cell-shading. It’s like the only type of shading I can do, so it’s nice for me to know that even this can be used in illustrations, gives me hope 😀
    I read something about how the characters were created, like that Sogo is meant to have yandere look. Now I can’t look at him the same way, when I see him 😀
    Those clips in the game can be quite distracting for me btw, especially when I see them for the first time and I just want to look at the video. Other times it’s when Tenn’s crotch is too close lol

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    1. Ye, I felt kinda the same with Ai Chuu sometimes (mainly with I♥B, thats their name right?). I like TRIGGER too, esp when Wataru Hatano sings. His voice gives me life lol.
      I can only do cell-shading too lol. I’ve yet to learn how to shade complexly www
      Even tho Sogo was supposed to have a yandere look I think the personality comes out of him when he’s drunk (I remember reading a rabbit chat when he was drunk and asked for Tsumugi to come over, I can’t remember what he said exactly but it kinda felt yanderey lol).
      Omg Tenn’s crotch… sometimes its distracting but thanks to muscle memory I can still focus on the video and still hit the notes at an ok rate (not perfect tho lol).

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