THE iDOLM@STER (Novels)
THE iDOLM@STER novels are a set of two books centered around the 765 Production idols. Chihaya Kisaragi stars in the first novel, which is written in diary form. The second book follows Ritsuko Akizuki and her job at 765 Production in the unit Proro.
Melody of Serenity
|THE iDOLM@STER 1: Melody of Serenity|
Written in Chihaya's point of view, the first part takes place on Main Street on October 24th, Tuesday evening. An idol agency office is the opposite way from her school. She heads towards there when school ends everyday usually, but she remembers that day during summer break. She meets 765pro's president Junichirou Takagi and he introduces himself. He mentions her being an idol scout cadet but she doesn't believe him. As the sky starts to darken (she mentions it's midsummer), Chihaya tries to leave suddenly but Takagi follows her. He shows her a business card and an idol magazine but she still doesn't believe him. He continued, wearing out her patience, and said he'd take her to a lesson on the condition she'd come to the office. That was the first time she believed his words. Before her eyes, a strict lesson unfolded. She saw 765 Production, nicknamed 765pro, as an a place where she as a cadet would receive lessons. Then she talks about how this is preparation for her becoming a singer.
Chapter 1: To Aim To Become A Pro
10/24 - Chihaya receives a sample of her debut song. Hiroyuki Yoshino arrives in Japan. President introduces him to Chihaya as her producer.
10/31 - Chihaya receives a message from her childhood friend, Yuki. Yoshino hasn't been to the agency after the first meeting.
11/1 - Chihaya is about to ask President to change her producer, but Yoshino gets back just in time and they begin their first vocal lesson at a training place, where she meets Proro, a unit consisting of Haruka Amami, Yukiho Hagiwara and Ritsuko Akizuki. She is impressed by Yoshino's organ skills.
Chapter 2: Their Distance Doesn't Get Closer
11/3 - Introduction of Proro's current producer, Takenori Yamazaki, and some background about their former legendary producer who made a debut for the unit in just a month and then disappeared. President asks Yoshino to take care of Proro's lesson along with Chihaya's. Yukiho digs a hole.
Chihaya receives a second message from Yuki, saying he'll cheer her on, which is a great support since he's the only person she wants to work hard for.
11/9 - President, Yoshino, and Kotori Otonashi have a talk at a bar. Yoshino gives President lyrics for the song "Sayonara étranger" (Goodbye, Foreigner), and asks Takagi to keep it a secret from Chihaya that he wrote it. President informs Yoshino about Chihaya's debut event on Dec 2nd.
11/14 - She sends Yuki a message with details about her debut event. She goes to a studio to record her debut song but Yoshino doesn't come with her. It goes well, but the composer says her song still lacks charm, color, and interest.
11/15 - The photo shoot for CD cover takes place. Yoshino isn't present again, but he asks Ritsuko to take care of Chihaya's makeup. Yukiho digs another hole.
11/17 - Yoshino is back. Chihaya asks where he had been, and President says he asked Yoshino to do an errand, which is choosing her image for her cover as well as making a leaflet. He promises he'll spend the rest of the time on producing her. They go to a record shop to hand out leaflets. Nobody takes them, so he suggests Chihaya sing a song. People gather and the leaflets are all distributed.
11/18 - Chihaya overhears Yoshino telling Ritsuko the exact same phrase he told her before during a lesson: "You have talent. You're going to be one of the top-ranking singers. Your song has a power to capture people's heart." She thinks Yoshino's a kind of person who sweet talks to everyone, so her distrust starts to arise.
Chapter 3: Important Feelings That Started To Be Forgotten
11/22 - Chihaya doesn't go to a lesson. Proro suggests that Yoshino should visit Chihaya's home. Chihaya is still hurt that she trusted Yoshino's word.
She has a flashback about her younger brother (his name is never mentioned in this novel) and her childhood friend, Yuki. One time, her brother's toy broke and he cried hard. She brought him to the park and sang, but he didn't stop. Then, Yuki accompanied and played acoustic guitar, and finally her brother's smile was returned.
Chihaya's mother asks her to go downstairs and she sees Yoshino sitting with her father. Her parents have a bad fight and Yoshino leaves.
11/23 - Yoshino meets Chihaya's mother at a crossroads. Yoshino asks her to give his flower to Chihaya's deceased brother. He talks about Chihaya's dream to become a professional singer. He says Chihaya must be lonely, and she is actually a cheerful and joyful girl, but then his tears flow down and he can't finish the sentence. "As I thought, you are…", says Chihaya's mother. She tells him she'll get divorced and states various reasons regarding Chihaya's feelings.
Chihaya goes to a lesson. She recalls composer's word on what her song's lacking, but still can't find the answer. She asks Yoshino to stop flattering her after every single song because she thinks it's not good enough. Proro agrees with Yoshino's compliment that Chihaya really sings well and says they're worried about her. Ritsuko says everyone counts on her talent, but she replies she hates the word 'talent' and doesn't sing for their sake. Then, Yoshino asks her "for whom?", and she answers it's for herself.
He shouts and slaps her cheek. Ritsuko asks Haruka and Yukiho to go outside, bring a cold towel, and buy drinks.
"You sing for the sake of someone else." She recalls her brother's smile. She sings because she wants to see his smile. Even though she'll never meet him again, she wants her song to be delivered to him.
Chihaya says it's Yoshino's fault that he takes the word 'talent' too lightly and uses it with everyone. Ritsuko gets what Chihaya meant and asks if she overhears her conversation with Yoshino. She explains that because Chihaya had a rare smile when she took a lesson that time, Ritsuko asked Yoshino what he told Chihaya that time, and that made Chihaya misunderstand. Ritsuko asks Yoshino to apologize to Chihaya. That night, she sends two messages, one to Yoshino and one to that person…
Meanwhile in the park, Yoshino receives a message from Chihaya: "Thank you for today. I was too shy to apologize you face to face, so I sent my apology via this message. If you didn't scold me, I would have approached pro debut while forgetting something important. I'm still inexperienced, but I'm looking forward to working under your guidance from now on." He gets a call and says he'll leave on Nov 29. He's finished all preparations for her debut event. Then, he receives another message from his PDA. "Sorry, Chihaya-chan", he mutters.
Chapter 4 : I'm Not Alone
11/26 - Chihaya's father still opposes her debut, but her mother approves of it and signs a contract for her. Ritsuko and other unit members invite Chihaya to a lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Ritsuko forces Chihaya to call her by her first name, and Chihaya yields since she knows Ritsuko won't give up until she does. Haruka asks her the same, but Chihaya refuses to call Yukiho by her first name because she is one year older than her. "But Ritsuko is also one year older than me", says Yukiho with disappointment. "I'm the only one who can't get along with Chihaya-chan. A girl like me…" "Okay, stop! Yukiho, that joke is prohibited," Ritsuko warns. Haruka says, "Yukiho, I'll take care of it." The duo snatches Yukiho's shovel that seemingly came out of nowhere, and hide it out of sight. "Amazing. Where did it go?", Chihaya thinks to herself.
Chihaya receives a message from Yuki, saying that he can't go to her debut event, but he'll cheer her on. Proro asks Chihaya who sent her the message. "Ah, umm… could it possibly be your boyfriend?", asks Yukiho. Chihaya blushes, and they continue to tease her until she shouts "Please stop!", not because she's angry but because she wants to cover her shyness.
11/28 - Yoshino reminisces about various things in his room. He plays a song "Sayonara étranger" with his acoustic guitar.
11/29 - A meeting at the training place with everyone takes place. President tells everyone that Yoshino will resign and go to America tonight. Miki, the legendary producer that was mentioned earlier, wants Yoshino to go back and debut as a musician. Chihaya is shocked, but she promises she'll manage her event on her own, and she wishes him luck on his debut. Afterwards, Yoshino goes to the airport and sends Chihaya his last message.
12/1 - Chihaya stays in her bedroom, sorting out her feelings before the event tomorrow. She checks her phone that has been left untouched for several days, and sees a message from Yoshino revealing that he is in fact her childhood friend, Yuki. Proro calls Chihaya and they try to sooth her. After hearing their kind words, Chihaya cries out of happiness that she is not alone. She has Haruka, Yukiho, Ritsuko, and producer supporting her.
12/2 - Debut event. Everything goes well. She sings her debut song, and then Proro's songs. Audience asks for an encore, but the speaker is broken, so she has to do a cappella. The moment the music starts, she notices it's a melody from acoustic guitar from behind. She turns back and see that person standing there.
"A foreigner who came from a distant town, what are you looking at?"
I reflect upon the meaning of the lyrics while singing.
"At the boundlessly distant world? At the dream you're waiting for?"
Our dreams, together… the timbre of his guitar envelops me gently.
"I don't want to hear that you'll leave to a place far away. Because I want you to always stay together in this town."
My feelings go on with the song.
I know that my feelings are following my own voice.
"The foreigner who is chasing his dream, I want us to dream together."
This song, this lyrics, they are…
"The foreigner who slips into the dusk and disappears, like a wind blowing through…"
I see… That's what it means.
"Leaving without bidding a word of farewell."
I close my eyes after finishing the chorus.
Yeah, that's what it means.
I found the answer while singing.
What the composer told me during a recording.
Lack of charm, color, and interest.
It seems like I've been eager about it.
It's hard to believe that it's what I've been eager about this much.
Surely, it is…
Because of him… Yoshino Producer's melody of serenity.
That's what I think.
Yuki says he wants to see the moment when Chihaya's dream comes true, so after he made an announcement on the debut song he wrote, he returned to Japan to attend the event.
"To me, producer… no, big brother, you are an important person."
"Is that a c-confession?"
"Chihaya-chan! Do your best!"
"Ahh… umm… I…"
Proro pops out of nowhere, and then they bid farewell.
Heart-Throbbing Summer Days
|THE iDOLM@STER 2: Heart-throbbing Summer Days|
Ritsuko Akizuki has an interview for a manager position at Saionji Production, but gets rejected. One of the interviewers tells her "We never thought there'd be a person who swallows the exam manual we sent out", and explains that the purpose of the exam is to fail an applicant like Ritsuko, because the manual contains false information on purpose and they can't entrust a manager who can't distinguish them. Afterwards, Ritsuko decides to do an internship at 765 Production during the summer break.
Chapter 1 - I'll Win This Producer Showdown
7/21 - Ritsuko comes to the agency for the first time. Azusa Miura and Yayoi Takatsuki having their posters on the wall, but no appearance is made. Kotori Otonashi gets a call from Yukiho Hagiwara saying she's in trouble during her work, so after they introduce themselves to each other Haruka Amami drags Ritsuko out. Ritsuko is excited for her first work as a manager, but it turns out that Yukiho just encounters a puppy on her way back to the agency.
They return to the agency and meet Ayano Miki who holds the title "legendary producer" and is in charge of producing Haruka and Yukiho. Ayano looks down on Ritsuko, saying she's too young and President shouldn't hire her if he's serious about rebuilding 765 Production. On the other hand, Ritsuko recalls her first impression on Ayano during the interview at Saionji Pro and says she doesn't believe Ayano deserves the title "legendary producer". After Ritsuko argues that even she can't do a perfect job when producing two idols at the same time, Ayano takes her word as a challenge and asks President to let her produce Ritsuko also. President refuses since he wants Ritsuko to work as a manager, but then Ayano challenges Ritsuko to produce either Haruka or Yukiho so that Ritsuko will admit how incompetent she is, and Ritsuko accepts.
Ritsuko interviews Haruka and Yukiho, taking notes based on her first impression. "Haruka = hasty person and birdbrain" and "Yukiho = very pessimistic person" (and yes, she digs a hole.)
7/24 - Ritsuko hasn't made a decision yet. From her point of view, Haruka is clearly more suitable to be an idol, but then she's curious why Yukiho passes Miki's audition, so she goes ask Miki directly. However, Miki says she'll teach her if Ritsuko pays for a lesson, which costs 5 million yen, about half of her two month contract at 765Pro. Ritsuko gives up on trying to get information from Miki and finally decides to produce Haruka.
Chapter 2 - Complete Defeat, and...
7/25 - Ritsuko takes Haruka out to visit several places and do a greeting, but they're not successful since they didn't make an appointment in advance. They go to a TV station and meet Tazaki Megumi, a self-producing idol from Saionji Pro. Megumi says she can ask her president to employ Ritsuko, but she rejects since she still holds a grudge against the agency. Her music producer, Kounoin Ryousuke, shows up and recruits Haruka to their company as well. They ignore them and return to the agency. Ritsuko starts writing a project.
7/26 - Haruka has a work at department store to hand out balloons in a bear costume. Haruka is disappointed that Ritsuko doesn't come with her, saying she wants to continue working on writing a project. After a while, she goes to see Haruka and they meet a lost child. Ritsuko goes ask a security guard for help but Haruka wants to help him find his mother by herself, and somehow Haruka trips and releases all balloons.
7/27 - Ritsuko and Haruka go to "Kane no Oto" publisher to offer a tie up project for the magazine "Aichu!". The editor-in-chief says her plan is interesting, but they still have to pay for the advertisement on the magazine. Ritsuko persists, and Haruka drags Ritsuko out before she begins to quarrel, leaving their project on the table. Ritsuko scolds Haruka for interrupting her business and speaking too much and says she should have chosen Yukiho who would never talk back. "You're terrible", says Haruka, and then she runs away in tears.
Ritsuko goes back to the agency. Kotori tells her Haruka just called and said, "Sorry for being selfish". Ayano comes later and presents President a project that is identical to Ritsuko's. Ritsuko accuses Ayano of stealing her plan, but Ayano explains that she went to Kane no Oto publisher after Ritsuko left, and editor-in-chief imposed the condition that Ayano uses this project. Ritsuko accepts her defeat and she is about to leave the agency, but then Ayano says Haruka will have to be fired as well. Ritsuko begs Miki since it's not Haruka's fault. Miki proposes that Ritsuko competes with Haruka and Yukiho in the project, in which Ayano will pick one of them to produce in the end, or else she will fire Haruka. Ritsuko has no other choice but to go along.
Chapter 3 - Taking the First Step to Become an Idol
7/28 - Haruka, Yukiho, and Ritsuko partake in a dance lesson. They dance, and they pant.
7/31 - The girls have an interview with "Aichu!" magazine at the agency.
"Please tell us about your dream", the judges ask.
Ritsuko: "I'll stock up experiences while working as an idol, and then become a manager and produce my own idol."
Haruka: "My dream is to have my CD debut. I'm not very good at singing, but since I love it, I've been waiting for a day that I have my own CD debut."
Yukiho: "I-I want all scary dogs and men to disappear from the world!" Ritsuko covers for Yukiho when she asks "Please write 'I want to become a top idol!' with an exclamation mark."
8/2 - Staff at Saionji Pro talk about 765Pro's special project on "Aichu!" homepage, featuring daily updates from idols.
[Scenery from a lesson: Amami Haruka]
Sweat is gushing out
Falling down in pain
It is an old fashioned composition, but it shows her appeal well.
[Today's message: Hagiwara Yukiho] "T-This is Hagiwara Yukiho. I met a dog on the way to the agency today. Because of that, I went to a lesson late... and made Producer angry... uuu..."
470 Name: I love [idol name]: 08/01(Tue) 21:44:00 Akitsuki Ritsuko, the girl with glasses, is strong in a good sense. My impression is that the other two are not capable.
471 Name: I love [idol name]: 08/01(Tue) 21:44:13 Glasses = +50 pt
472 Name: I love [idol name]: 08/01(Tue) 22:12:52 Glasses this, glasses that, you guys are annoying. Are you okay with anyone as long as she wears glasses?
473 Name: I love [idol name]: 08/01(Tue) 22:15:21 >> 472 Yes.
474 Name: Akitsuki Ritsuko: 08/01(Tue) 22:52:04 >>473 I'm happy that you support her, but glasses are just a tool, so glasses = not me. Please post a comment above that you understand.
Then someone from Saionji Pro says he'll interfere their project.
8/3 - Ritsuko starts to complain to Ayano that they only take basic dance lessons. Ayano ignores her and tells them she'll declare who'll get to debut the night before the event, and then lets them listen to a debut song she wrote.
Ritsuko persists and asks Ayano the same question again, so Ayano tells them to get ready to leave tomorrow to have a special training camp for a week.
8/4 - Ayano has them wear a blindfold so that they don't know where they are going and drives them to a boardinghouse which used to be an elementary school. Ayano gives each of them a portable music player containing their debut song. Their first lesson is to follow Ayano's dance steps, and when they can't keep up, Ayano will give them a basic strength enhancement tomorrow instead.
Chapter 4 - Idol Debut!
8/4 - A bath scene and some massaging take place. Ritsuko winds up as a victim. After taking the bath, they go to a kitchen but there is no food for them. Ayano gives them ingredients and tells them to make curry themselves. If their curry is bad, she will give it to a dog, and they won't have dinner. As expected, their food is not edible.
8/5 - The girls are training. They pull something (like a cart) around and fail to make an edible curry again. They try to sneak out to buy food, but Ayano sees that coming and leaves a dog at the entrance to block them. She takes their money after she catches them red-handed.
8/6 - Haruka, Yukiho and Ritsuko continue training, but while wearing iron clogs. There is another failed attempt to make curry. Another attempt to sneak out is made. Ritsuko didn't bring all of her money out last night, so she still has money left. She uses a GPS to find a supermarket nearby and has Yukiho escape from the window while she and Haruka buy her time at the entrance. As planned, they meet Ayano, so Ritsuko starts throwing her random question like "How many digits of pi can you remember?", "What's the atomic number of Helium?" and "What's the capital of Sri Lanka?" for over thirty minutes. They succeed and Yukiho gets back safely, but all she bought is chestnut manju.
8/9 - More training takes place. Their curry passes this time. Ayano tells them that Ritsuko lacks carefulness, Haruka lacks concentration, and Yukiho lacks the ability to look at the whole picture. Ayano has them cook to develop skills they're missing.
8/11 - The last day arrives. The girls can now keep up with Miki steps.
8/18 - Their interview that's supposed to be featured in the magazine is replaced by a column of Megumi from Saionji Pro. Their website taken down, and their event cancelled.
Ayano takes them to a studio of her friend, who has a glasses fetish, to record their debut CD. She comes up with a new plan to hold a surprise event with street musician nearby on the same day.
8/25 - They update details about the surprise event on their new website. Chihaya Kisaragi comes to see their lesson and is very impressed in how strict and serious the lesson is.
9/10 - The date of the event arrives. Ayano is supposed to come and announce who she'll produce, but she's not present, so they all sing on stage. They find out while singing that the song they listened during the camp only contains their part, and the pitch is adjusted accordingly so that it harmonizes with the others when they sing together. The audience ask for an encore, but policemen come forcing them to disperse.
After the event, they get on a car and meet Yamazaki Takenori, Ayano's junior, who substitutes Ayano as a new producer of the unit called "Proro". President Takagi reveals that at first Ayano wanted Haruka and Yukiho to debut as a duo, but she saw potential in Ritsuko, so Ayano provoked Ritsuko on purpose so that she can force Ritsuko to become an idol in the end.
"Thank you, Producer..." they whisper to themselves in their heart.
Sayonara étranger (さよならエトランゼ)
|Japanese/Kanji Lyrics||Romanized Lyrics||Translated Lyrics|
Tooi machi kara kita ihoujin
A foreigner who came from a distant town
I don't want to let you go
Yume o oikakeru ihoujin
The foreigner who is chasing his dream
Palpitating Summer Days (ときめきの Summer Days)
|Japanese/Kanji Lyrics||Romanized Lyrics||Translated Lyrics|
Teritsukeru hizashi nami no ne
Shining sunlight, wave sound
Kizuite hoshii no kono omoi
I want you to notice this feeling
Natsu ga owaru mae ni wa kizuite ne
Please notice it before the summer ends