The iDOLM@STER 2 – Major Overhaul!

Been a while since I last posted anything here. Well, now I’m back.

As everyone knows, The iDOLM@STER 2 will be scheduled to be out in Spring 2011. And there’s been some major changes.

First off, the idols of Project Fairy (Miki, Takane, Hibiki) are now in 765 Production, meaning they are considered fully playable. Selectable right from the start. Yay for Takane! =)

Secondly, what most (if not all) of us deemed as bad news. Four of the original 765 idols are taken off the playable roster. Yes, you heard me right. They are Akitsuki Ritsuko, Minase Iori, Futami Ami, and Miura Azusa. The story is, during the one year gap between iM@S and iM@S2, Ritsuko became a producer (just like you, the player), and now has her own team, consisting of Iori, Ami, and Azusa. So, basucally, now in iM@S2, 765 Productions has two producers, the player (you), and Ritsuko. So far, there isn’t any sign of competitive-ness. Doubt there’s any anyway. Easily the worse news of all, for now…

Third, somewhat interesting. After the Project Fairy girls jump-ship to 765 Productions (not that I’m complaining, I actually welcomed them with open arms =X) and causing 961 Productions’ director Kuro-san to discontinue Project Fairy, Kuro-san went in search for new talents. And guess what our black guy found? Three boys! Now under the name ‘Project Jupiter’, we have Amagase Touma [天ヶ瀬 冬馬], Ijuuin Hokuto [伊集院 北斗], and Mitarai Shouta [御手洗 翔太] as our rivals. Pitting a group of girl idols against a boyband is unfair, we all know female idols generally have much shorter idol-lifespan than male idols. =X

Fourth, seems like an upgrade. Now, you can have five idols in a team. And in order to do that, you, as the producer, need to get the highest rank, to unlock it. Pretty neat. Gonna be really interesting, in-game-wise, and also MAD-wise. XD

Fifth, and currently the last for now. It seems Ritsuko, Iori, Ami, and Azusa can appear on stage alongside your team as guest idols. And to be able to do so, you need to produce a top ranked idol first. So it seems they are not completely gone, but I have no idea how much control do you have over them. Still, gonna miss Azusa. Damn. >.<

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So now, here’s the full list of idols that will appear in ‘The iDOLM@STER 2’.

Here’s a full list of the idols in iM@S2:

天海春香 [Amami Haruka]

双海真美 [Futami Mami]

菊地真 [Kikuchi Makoto]

双海亜美 [Futami Ami]

我那覇響 [Ganaha Hibiki]

四条貴音[Shijou Takane]

三浦あずさ [Miura Azusa]

星井美希 [Hoshii Miki]

高槻やよい [Takatsuki Yayoi]

水瀬伊織 [Minase Iori]

秋月律子 [Akitsuki Ritsuko]

如月千早 [Kisaragi Chihaya]

萩原雪歩 [Hagiwara Yukiho]

天ヶ瀬 冬馬 [Amagase Touma]

伊集院 北斗 [Ijuuin Hokuto]

御手洗 翔太 [Mitarai Shouta]

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For the past few months, Namco had released five PVs of iM@S2. Here they are:

The iDOLM@STER 2 – PV 1st [HD]

The iDOLM@STER 2 – PV 2nd [HD]

The iDOLM@STER 2 – PV 3rd+4th [HD]

The iDOLM@STER 2 – PV 5th [HD]

PV 1, 2 and 3 features the five idol team capability, PV 4 tells you about Ritsuko and her team, PV 5 introduces you to Project Jupiter.

In the third PV, Chihaya and Takane was holding on to my attention the entire time. =X

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Music is <3.
Project iM@S is <3<3.
Chihaya & Azusa is <3<3<3!

~Shdwfalcon

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Random WS Card: IM/S07-086U 生真面目 千早

A while ago, someone asked me how to use a certain card from the iM@S series. Here it is:

IM/S07-086 U
カード名:生真面目 千早
Card Name: “Too Serious” Chihaya

【自】このカードがサイドアタックした時、クライマックス置場に「目が逢う瞬間」があるなら、次の相手のターンの終わりまで、このカードのパワーを+3000し、あなたはこのカードの正面のキャラを1枚選び、次の相手のターンの終わりまで、次の能力を与える。『【永】このカードはサイドアタックできない。このカードは他の枠に動かせない。』
[Auto] When this card side attacks, and the climax card “The Moment Our Eyes Met” is in your climax slot, this card gains Power +3000 until the end of your opponent’s next turn, then choose one of your opponent’s character card in front of this card and it gains the following ability “[Continuous] This card may not side attack. This card may not move to any other border.” until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

For those who are wondering, here is the required climax card, “Me Ga Au Toki”:

IM/S07-T16 & IM/S07-099 CC (SP)
カード名:目が逢う瞬間
Card Name: Me Ga Au Toki (The Moment Our Eyes Met)

【永】あなたのキャラすべてに、ソウルを+2。
[Continuous] All your characters gains Soul +2.

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At first glance, “Too Serious” Chihaya’s effect might not make any sense. If you think about it, this card cost 1, has the standard 5500 power, and requires the specific climax to be played for the effect to take place. And even so, you have to declare a side attack for her. Even if your opponent’s character cannot side attack or move to other border, he or she can always replace it with another character from hand. Which, if your aim is to disrupt your opponent’s momentum, is rather ineffective. And the rarity being an uncommon might make it look even more like another random pointless card.

Yes, I know what that person was thinking when he read the card’s effect. Because I was thinking exactly the same thing when I first saw it. However, if you take a wider look at Weiß Schwarz gameplay itself, the iDOLM@STER series is a rather versatile series, and this card is more deadly than it seemed. Tactically. Yes, I have to stress that word. Its usefulness is totally situational, but it can create a big enough problem for your opponent if used at the right time and place. After all, this is a blue card, and blue is the colour of tactics, and hand and field advantage in Weiß Schwarz.

Firstly, you have to know, this effect lasts throughout your opponent’s next turn. He will have one of his character stuck facing a level 1 card with 8500 power. It can’t run, it can’t side attack. It will have to carry out a front attack. At a level 1 power 8500 character. Now, 8500 power isn’t amazing. With the numerous 1/1 7000 characters flooding the scene, its pointless to go through so much effort to get rid of one easily replaced character, considering that your Chihaya will return to a measly 5500 power on your next turn. Not good. And with heavy supports, their 1/17k can go toe to to with your 8500 Chihaya. Level 2? The staples are 9000, and most range from 8000 to 9000 base power. Which, alone, can go head to head with your Chihaya. Add the supports, they won’t even have to flinch to stomp your Chihaya flat.

So, how can this effect be turned to your advantage? One word: Backup.

Yes. Its all about the counter cards. And being blue in iM@S has its advantages. The idea here is to lock down your opponent’s most important (or most vital, or most costly, etc) character, and force it to front attack your Chihaya. Since he can’t side and have to front, you can use your ‘Backup’ character card to boost your Chihaya’s power, ensuring the reversal of your opponent’s character. And being his important character usually means it won’t usually be replaced on a whim, your opponent will have that needle stuck on him, poking and annoying him in his every thinking process step. He will know you have a backup card waiting in your hand, and his quite highly dependent-on character cannot ‘avoid’ the inevitable backup short of not attacking or replacing it. Sure, he can always pay three to encore if he has enough stock, but you only have to pay one for your backup card. Compared to his three stock used, you are definitely better off. In other words, its like paying one and discarding a card to reverse one of his important character. And if its a character that is ‘changed’ out (using “Change” ability to bring out the higher level character with no consideration to your current level), it will hurt even more, because ‘changed’ out characters are usually costly. Most require some stock usage and one discard.

With that in mind, you might have to do some power checking consideration. Most character backup cards boost 2000 power at level 1, and 3000 at level 2. 8500 power with 3000 bonus is 11500. Enough to stop most lightly supported and boosted level 3 characters. But if you lock down his level 3 character, expect some fierce resistance. In other words, 11500 power will probably not be sufficient. How do you increase that tanking capability? The IM series are full of excellent and versatile cards. If you look across the four colours, at level 1, you have a +2500 power green event card (寄り道). At level 2, there’s a +4000 power yellow event card (ポーズレッスン). All at the cost of only 1.

Now, you might say “But I don’t play yellow or green!”. Yes, not incorporating yellow or green into your deck means the two iM@S event counters are unplayable. And the iM@S Trial Deck (TD) is red and blue. So you only have the 2000 and 3000 power character backup cards to work with. Without considering the usual characters with assist abilities, how do you increase Chihaya’s power to higher than 11500? Here’s a not-so-often used, but rather handy card:

IM/S07-079 R
カード名:研究熱心 律子
Card Name: “Enthusiastic in Researching” Ritsuko

【自】この能力は1ターンにつき1回まで発動できる。あなたが『 助太刀 』を使った時、あなたは自分のバトルしているキャラを1枚選び、そのターン中、パワーを+1000。
【起】[② このカードをレストする]あなたは自分の山札を見て《音楽》のキャラを1枚まで選んで相手に見せ、手札に加える。その山札をシャッフルする。
[Auto] This ability can only be used once per turn. Whenever you use a “Backup” ability, choose one of your characters involved in battle, during this turn, it gains power +1000.
[Startup] [2, put this card to rest position] Search your library for a character card with 《Music》 trait, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library afterward.

Its rare for a good reason. Whenever you use a ‘Backup’ ability, your battling character gains +1000 power. Even though its only once per, turn, 1000 power can turn the tables around utterly. And you can tutor out your music characters, which is also equivalent to thinning your library by one card. And you can browse through your library to see what cards are in there, and how many.

Okay, back to our “Too Serious” Chihaya. With the above mentioned Ritsuko support, now your Chihaya can go up to 12500 power with a 3000 power backup after counter phrase. And usually, I have 癒し系あずさ (Refreshing Azusa) along side Ritsuko on my backstage, meaning Chihaya can tank with 13000 power. Definitely enough to stop plenty of standard level 3 characters with decent supports. Even if both of them have the same power, you are still better off. Unless you pick a target with the “Encore: Discard a card” ability, which makes you the one worse off.

Something to take note. As the ‘Backup’ abilities exists only on character cards, you can use the above recommended Ritsuko card to pull them out into your hand, since she tutors out character cards. Also, if you run with red colour, iM@S has plenty of ways to pull back character cards from your graveyard back into your hand (素直で前向き春香, 歌への情熱 春香, プレゼント), in addition to ‘Door’ triggers. Quoting from someone (I forgot who), “Infinite Counter Works“.

The climax itself is also pretty much the best choice for this kind of effect. With +2 soul on your Chihaya, she will have a base 3 soul attack, meaning if she side attacks a level 3 character, all it takes is just a 1 soul trigger to be able deal minimum damage to your opponent. And the climax gives +2 soul to all your characters, which, even without your Chihaya’s effect, it is in a way a heavy damage dealing climax card on its own. Good stuff indeed.

Now, counter moves against this card. Short of ensuring that locked down character has encore or paying three stock to encore it during encore phrase or replacing it, the only way is to calculate in advance and try to out-power a potiential 13000 power tank, 13500 power if he or she happen to have two 研究熱心 律子 in play. Seriously serious indeed. Not attacking might be an option, but shortage in one stock and some potiential soul damage might cause you to lag behind. Sometimes, its better to just try for your highest power without pushing your resources to its limit and carry out a front attack, in an attempt to force your opponent to use his or her (strongest) counter card. He or she might only have one counter card left in his hand, you never know. After all, luck factor is heavy in Weiß Schwarz. At the end of the day, power doesn’t matter, soul damage does. You will still win the game when your opponent reach or surpass level 4, regardless of how big his or her characters might be.

So, like I said before, 生真面目 千早 is not as useless as it seems, its just very situational and difficult to fully utilise. It all depends on the current situation, and what your opponent does, or is capable of. This is just a seriously serious Chihaya afterall. You can’t be more serious than her. Seriously.

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Music is <3.
Project iM@S is <3<3.
Chihaya & Azusa is <3<3<3!

~Shdwfalcon

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Random iM@S Song – 夢見る頃 (Yume Miru Koro)

Song Title: 夢見る頃
Title Translation: Those Days Dreaming (yume miru koro)
Album: THE iDOLM@STER RADIO 歌姫楽園 (utahime rakuen) [COCX-33906]
Track: 08
Length: 4:27

The iDOLM@STER RADIO ~Utahime Rakuen~

“夢見る頃”
作詞 : Chang Jung
編曲 : 大橋恵
歌 : 今井麻美 (如月千早), たかはし智秋 (三浦あずさ)

どうしているの? 今 新しい空の下で
思い出すのはそう いつだって君のことさ
自由な翼 持つ君が何故だか(羽ばたく音)羨ましくて

キラキラと揺れる 木漏れ日の中で ずっと夢を見てた
キラキラと君の 放った光で 僕はきっと輝けた

河原に座り、ずっと 話したね 夕暮れまで
同じような季節が 続いてくと信じていた
夢見る頃 それは眩しいから(気付かぬまま)むしろ短い

それぞれの道で 宝物見付け いつかまた会えるね
ありがとう 何も持ってない僕を 知ってるのは君だけさ

キラキラと揺れる 木漏れ日の中で ずっと、夢を見てた
キラキラと君が 放った光は 今でも僕の(時が過ぎても)心の中で、輝く

“Yume Miru Koro”
Lyrics: Chang Jung
Composer: Megumi Ohashi
Vocals: Asami Imai (Chihaya), Chiaki Takahashi (Azusa)

dou shi te iru no? ima atarashii sora no shita de
omoidasu no ha sou itsu datte kimi no koto sa
jiyuu na tsubasa motsu kimi ga naze da ka (habataku oto) urayamashiku te

kirakira to yureru komorebi no naka de zutto yume o mi te ta
kirakira to kimi no hanatta hikari de boku ha kitto kagayake ta

kawahara ni suwari, zutto hanashi ta ne yuugure made
onaji you na kisetsu ga tsudui te ku to shinji te i ta
yumemiru koro sore ha mabushii kara (kiduka nu mama) mushiro mijikai

sorezore no michi de takara mono mitsuke i tsu ka mata aeru ne
arigatou nani mo motte nai boku o shitteru no ha kimi dake sa

kirakira to yureru komorebi no naka de zutto, yume o mi te ta
kirakira to kimi ga hanatta hikari ha ima demo boku no (toki ga sugi te mo) kokoro no naka de, kagayaku

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Fan-made Video:

[MAD] アイドルマスター – 夢見る頃 (The iDOLM@STER – Yume Miru Koro)

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“Yume Miru Koro” can be found in the iM@S album “The iDOLM@STER RADIO ~歌姫楽園~” (Utahime Rakuen), track 08. The album is a compilation of songs that were sung by the seiyuu of Chihaya and Azusa.

Its been my top favorite iM@S song ever since I first heard it more than a year ago. On youtube. lol And I was already a Chihaya/Azusa fan then, which was pretty much a big bonus to me. Its quite a slow, relaxed, and easy-paced song, compared to the numerous energetic, upbeat, and rhythmic songs that mainly dominated Project iM@S. And a fairly low profile song, may I dare to add so. So low that when I came across topics or comments about their favorite iM@S songs, I never saw this song came up. In fact, Project-iM@S (iM@S-wiki), an english wiki for Project iM@S, at one point, did not have this title in their song list. Well, at least till I decided to move my lazy ass and stirred the forums, posting the lyrics up for them to pop into the wiki.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this random song post of the… Erm, week? Month? Whatever. There are a lot of iM@S albums out there, and there are many hidden gems in that huge pile. This is one of them. So enjoy it~

Music is <3.
Project iM@S is <3<3.
Chihaya & Azusa is <3<3<3!

~Shdwfalcon

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The iDOLM@STER Artbook.

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Hey guys, Hideyoshi here! Anyway its about time i contribute abit to this blog if not its gonna dry out. Anyway, i bought this iDOLM@STER art book a few days back, its a totally awesome book. Check out the pics at the top.(sorry about the low res pics) Im not gonna reveal too much to you guys if not Kino will go out of buisness(thats just rubbish).

Favorite Character?
Hideyoshi – Makoto
Jing Min – Chihaya?

Leave a comment and tell us who your favorite character is!
Do Check out on our next post!

CHIAOZ~~

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Project iM@S Reveals The iDOLM@STER 2!

THE iDOLM@STER 2
アイドルマスター2
765 Production, Rest@rt!
2011年春。新765プロ営業開始!

The Idolm@ster 2

Yes, I know this is late news. But whatever, I still feel the need to put it in here.

News of The iDOLM@STER 2 is out. Scheduled to be released in 2011 Spring, this game is currently set to be XBOX360 exclusive. Yet. Since The iDOLM@STER, which seemed to be forever set to remain in the arcades and on the XBOX360, suddenly appeared on Sony’s PSP (The iDOLM@STER SP), and almost immediately, on Nintendo’s DS (The iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars), about a year after the release of the XBOX360’s expansion set (The iDOLM@STER Live For You! / L4U). Yea. Life is full of surprises. LOL

The Idolm@ster 2
Any idea who is who?

(Re)Fe@turing (From left to right):
菊地真 [Kikuchi Makoto]
四条貴音[Shijou Takane]
我那覇響 [Ganaha Hibiki]
高槻やよい [Takatsuki Yayoi]
如月千早 [Kisaragi Chihaya]
星井美希 [Hoshii Miki]
天海春香 [Amami Haruka]
萩原雪歩 [Hagiwara Yukiho]
双海真美 [Futami Mami]
双海亜美 [Futami Ami]
水瀬伊織 [Minase Iori]
三浦あずさ [Miura Azusa]
秋月律子 [Akitsuki Ritsuko]

Did you guess all of them right? XD

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First Official Preview Release of The iDOLM@STER 2

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Random screenies from the first PV of iM@S 2, going by the idols~

天海春香 [Amami Haruka]

如月千早 [Kisaragi Chihaya]

菊地真 [Kikuchi Makoto]

高槻やよい [Takatsuki Yayoi]

萩原雪歩 [Hagiwara Yukiho]

四条貴音[Shijou Takane]

三浦あずさ [Miura Azusa]

双海亜美 [Futami Ami]

双海真美 [Futami Mami]

秋月律子 [Akitsuki Ritsuko]

星井美希 [Hoshii Miki]

我那覇響 [Ganaha Hibiki]

水瀬伊織 [Minase Iori]

Random group screenies~



Appearance-wise, quite a number of them received changes. Those that does not change look-wise are Haruka, Yayoi, Takane, Yukiho, Ami, and Hibiki. Chihaya changed her middle-parting fringes to side parting, which looks equally nice. Makoto had one of the biggest changes, her hair had grown much longer, and from what I read, it was styled after Gackt. No idea how true was it. Azusa had cut her hair short, to shoulder-length, which is even more <3. Iori decided to have an extra long fringe when she saw how much cooler Makoto looked with longer hair, and as her hair was already long in the first place, there wasn’t exactly much options left on which part should be longer. But since its too long, and she (stubbornly) refused to cut it and is unable to style it properly, she had no choice but to have it swept one side instead. Else she’s gonna be a puny walking highly-volatile super-noisy hairy frea-kidding! Kidding! Iori/Kugimiya fans, DON’T KILL ME!! >.<;

Okay. Back on topic. >.> Where was I? Ah, okie. Ritsuko actually look a lot better now, to me she have the classy look, which kinda suits her very well. Mami is now out in the spotlight, sporting a long single-sided ponytail, not unlike the White Devil (Takamachi Nanoha) in Nanoha StrikerS. No more identity crisis games now, I guess. And I don’t recall letting her watch Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series… -.- Its bad for kids. *puts on straight face* Seriously. Miki’s hair now looks kinda thicker and heavier. Wonder what she did to her hair… -.-

Well, that’s all for now. We all can’t wait for iM@S2 to be released, especially Hideyoshi. He’s even more crazy about Makoto now. (>.>) To the point where he now wants to collect one hundred pieces of Makoto signed cards from Weiß Schwarz. Love is strong indeed. *nodnod*

Music is <3.
Project iM@S is <3<3.
Chihaya & Azusa is <3<3<3!

~Shdwfalcon

Posted in Project iM@S, The iDOLM@STER | 9 Comments

Welcome to Shades of Melody!

Hi all~!

Welcome to ~ Shades of Melody ~!

I opened this blog for us to share information on Project iM@S and Weiß Schwarz. Hideyoshi did mentioned about opening one where we can all chip in, sharing the related stuff, all in the same blog. And so, I decided to start it off. And drag him in.

Well, now that its just started, I might be caught up meddling with the layout and appearance of ~ Shades of Melody ~, as I’m a sucker for all this layout/theme editing. Most likely would take a while before I actually start the momentum. So for now, expect nothing more than stray posts here and there from me. =X

Enjoy~!

C’ya~!

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