There was a music contest recently. There was an invasion, the winner was utterly mad, as gimmicky as they come. And I imagine the voting pissed quite a few people off.
But enough about Eurovision.
The 7th Idolmaster Cinderella Girls election is now over, and the results are in. And contrary to what my previous post on the preliminary rankings hinted at, everything is fine.
The preliminary rankings set the tone for this lot, pretty much. Everyone who was there, is here…with one big, big exception.
First of all, yes, Nana did what she was supposed to. Win the election number 7 that she is so closely attached to. Mio made it a lot closer than I expected, though. She’s earmarked for the next election win. She’ll bloody well deserve it since she’s better than all but 3 or 4 girls. For now, though, she is still second place. Now watch someone rise up and keep her there next year. The poor sod.
And our cool winner is Karen, a girl even I am coming to like more and more as time goes on. I mean, did you see her with that ponytail in Mayu’s card? And aren’t her and Kanade basically the most low-key pairing of all time and isn’t she just wonderful- Wait a minute, what’s this?
Kako was on the outside looking in come the preliminaries. Given who she had to overhaul, I thought it would be another case of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ for her. So much for that. All unvoiced P’s appear to have come together as one and launched her not only to a richly deserved voice, but all the way to fourth place. What an outstanding effort. She is our first new voice, and will also feature in the top 5 song. Thankfully, despite many’s worst fears, she won’t be the last.
Fumika is together with Karen at the top of the cool second-tier that is now rising through as the franchise ages and they come to greater prominence. The very best of the cools have, by and large, had their day. Fumika is immensely popular and a top 5 ranking for her is no surprise. She deserves this, too.
Then comes the cute wall, along with the seemingly ever-present Kaede. Starlight Stage helped them no end and the result is all the quirkiest idols get a place in the top 10 too. In the all important top 3 race though, Shiki and Mayu won out. Joy. Nana, Shiki and Mayu is the kind of hell from which I would wake up screaming. Still, at least I get to laugh uproariously at SachikoPs. Not so self-proclaimed brilliant now, is she? Anzu provides some respite by breaking into the top 10, and rightly so. She’s an example of a gimmicky idol done properly. So well done to her, too.
And now we turn to the top 5s. Except we don’t. Because the cute top 5 is all there for you to see. And if you’re wondering who the 5th cool is, it’s no surprise; it was Ranko. Hell, she even came 11th overall, albeit some 120,000 behind Anzu. I would be sore as a KanadeP, but given that Rankofes happened literally in the middle of the election, there was nothing she could have done. That’s how you vault from 9th in the prelims to 5th. As you’ll see a little later, I’m still proud of my girl.
That leaves the left-out passions. The vote totals are miles off their pink and blue colleagues, but the all important 2nd and 3rd places behind Mio give us the two saviours of the election.
And I call them saviours because it’s what the former would want to be. She, Hikaru Nanjo, is the second of three new voices. And joining her will be Hinako Kita, who made a run from 5th to 3rd to grab the third and final new voice. As you’ll see, their actual rankings are not pretty compared to those around them, but that doesn’t matter; we have three new voices. The fears of unvoiceds being shafted have proven unfounded.
I explained Hikaru a little previously, as the only girl initially in position to get a voice; she’s a superheroine fan and wants to be one herself. She has some pretty cool outfits on hand, most especially anything she has with goggles. She hasn’t had one of those in a while, instead choosing to relay important messages to the world.
Make no mistake, though. Once she inevitably gets a Starlight Stage SSR, it MUST have goggles. Without fail. This is non-negotiable, Bamco.
Hinako is a bit harder to talk about, mostly because I didn’t expect her to have a voice at all. But she turns out to be alright. Far from perfect, you understand; she is effectively a living out-of-body experience and is the most literal airhead of them all. If Hikaru is the hero, Hinako is the Cinderella. Literally. But to be honest, she’s fine. She’s mostly harmless and, depending on how I see some of her quotes, straight up funny at times. Actually, some of her quotes remind me of a better version of Mayu. And that’s fine by me.
So, that’s the important stuff covered. But how about the rest of the top 50? Let’s have a look and talk about each and every one of them, just a bit.
I’m sorry the quality isn’t much good. I haven’t found anything better than this. But that’s OK, because I’m putting it in writing anyway.
11. Ranko – Yup. Amazing what finally getting your SSR3 can do for you. By putting Ranko in actual idol hell, the idol who looks most likely to pass as a Touhou character got a shot at the top 10. Alas, she missed out.
12. Hotaru – And so did this one. The power of the cute wall was simply too strong for Hotaru to overcome, and alas, she will be kept waiting. Unless Bamco give her a voice out of pity before next year/a voice election.
13. Kanade – 13th! I couldn’t have imagined Kanade would get quite this high. Especially since I only counted for 83 of at least – let’s ballpark it – something around 700,000 votes for her. Sometimes, I feel my love for Kanade is plowing a lonely burrow, especially where I am out west. Of course, I should have known better. On home turf Kanade has some amazing producers who bring out the absolute best of this simply astonishing girl. Shoutouts to the likes of Mairo, Hagane Soushi, Oimo, Romi, and all my fellow KanadePs. Let’s get her in that election song next time, eh? At least the nine-idol bonanza…maybe the top 5 song? Far too early to get designs on that. All I know is, she’s my Cinderella Girl. ❤
14. Chieri – Holding a spot in the top 10 come the prelims, that was never likely to hold once the unvoicedPs made their move and pushed for one of their own to get a voice. Kako cleared her easily, and Hotaru did too, but not far enough. Mind you, the fact Kanade beat her out in the end is telling… Hmm. Top 10 would have been amazing. But asking a lot.
15. Uzuki – The cute wall even extended this far down, but realistically Uzuki was never going to be a big part of the structure. She had her surprise day in the sun two elections ago. She’s still gonna roll in votes as one of the faces of the franchise, but she, like plenty of others coming up, doesn’t really need election results to confirm her popularity.
16. Nao – I’m surprised Nao didn’t hang more closely with Karen. She’s in that tier as well and I reckon she could be a good bet for a top 10 spot next time round with Kanade. What might happen inside a year, though, is anybody’s guess.
17. Hikaru – Yes, the 17th place girl is the second placed passion. Says it all about the strength of the type, really. Of course, the important point, as I’ve already noted, is that is good enough to get her a voice.
18. Yukimi – Another unvoiced girl who tried to surge late on. But getting votes when most had already set eyes on Kako was always going to be a tall order.
19. Hinako – We live in a world where 19th in an election gets you a voice. But that’s the important thing – it is a voice and that, to a whole bucketload of players, is what matters in this election.
20. Aiko – Look at how close Aiko came to breaking everyone’s hearts. She might be nice, but her P’s bloody ain’t if they were gonna pull that off.
21. Anastasia – I have to say, I’m impressed with her Ps here. The event she got will have helped a bunch, but she’s done a bloody good job here. And if I had her way she’d be even higher than this. It’s hard to state just how effortlessly cool an idol Anya really is. She is among the best of them all.
22. Shin – You know, I was half expecting Shin to be a lock for a top 10 spot, judging by the utterly rapturous reaction to her mere existence any time she is even brought up in the Discord, and also the fact she literally finished top 5 in the more accurate 6th anniversary survey. And yet she’s hanging all the way down here…what happened? Clearly not as sweetie as everyone thought.
23. Mika – Here’s a drop-off I didn’t see coming. Mika is undoubtedly a popular idol – on historical merit, she’s top 10, maybe even top 5. But here, from a place in the top 3 in the prelims, she sunk out of the passion top 5 entirely – some achievement when, as we know, they weren’t ranking at all well in the first place. I was giving a few votes to her here and there, but clearly, her real producers blew their load too soon. And wouldn’t they just, given who they’re voting for?
Wait, don’t answer that.
24. Kozue – Yet another shot at getting an unvoiced girl voiced, but for Kozue it’s evidently still a little too soon. If the cute idols keep this up, she’s got a doubly hard effort ahead of her. If she’s getting a voice, it’s by an act of surprise.
25. Rin – In a full on popularity contest she would be contending with Kaede every single time. Of course, we all know she’s been Cinderella Girl once and we don’t need a reminder that she is a really bloody good cover girl for the series. Mind you, KaedePs clearly don’t feel the same about their idol.
26. Frederica – You know which Cute idol I didn’t see ranking? Frederica, that’s who. She’s the best of an often wacky bunch but has ranked exactly once, in the 3rd election, at number 40. Finally though, it appears the masses have done her some justice. I’d go even higher with her, to be honest. She’s a terrific idol and teaches the cute idols above her how to be a real cute idol. Or at least Idolmaster’s idea of one.
27. Miku – Was always going to feature somewhere. But she’s really had her time. Her best shot at an election win was taken away by Syuko and she’s devolved into the series’ Marmite. Love her, or hate her.
28. Minami – Minami remains as consistent as ever in the top 30. And still too low. Alas, she’s too popular to have anything to prove but not as popular as the most popular. Of course, the reality is, she’s one of the most sightly idols to behold of them all. Truly stunning, at times. I await her July re-run with some trepidation…because it’s at the same time as the re-run I really want, Syuko3.
29. Arisu – Another almost popular Cute idol indeed. And yet she doesn’t appear to have caught the same boat as the likes of Karen, Fumika, Kanade and Nao. She’s either in the tier just below, or people are still annoyed about the last voice election. Yeah, remember that one? If we get one of those, god forbid they make it the same as the one Arisu won.
30. Koume – And I suppose Koume is in the same sort of boat as Arisu. That, or she is just too gimmicky for a Cool type – the thing with CoolPs is they largely favour normal human beings, being normal. Hence the top 4. (Ranko is the obvious exception, albeit for even more obvious reasons on this occasion.) If Koume was a Cute idol she’d be in the top 10 like a shot. I bet you.
31. Miho – One of the most unsung idols of them all, Miho’s problem is not that of her election position, but her position in the franchise. If she were a truly main character I maintain that she would be a roaring success. As it is, they have never truly cashed in on her truly awesome potential. Still, in the circumstances, 31st is alright. But she’s been even higher in the past…
32. Nono – Also in the same third tier as Arisu and Koume. Which seems odd to me. Nono seems like one of the coolest characters you like, on a par with Shiki at times, and yet she hasn’t caught on. Mind you, she, like many Cool characters, had her moment in the sunshine two elections ago. Now she’s just settled down to be a meme-cum-miserable-git.
33. Asuka – And here’s another one in this young Cool group. Asuka seems like the sort who ought to break out amongst this lot though, given that she can look genuinely brilliant sometimes. The problem is, Ranko does her job more noticeably.
34. Risa – Another unvoiced ranking in amongst the usual suspects, Risa is another popular one for all manner of reasons. They’re all far too many and varied for me to list. Not all of them are good, if I’m honest. She’s another Marmite type, it seems. Although some will tell you that position is misguided.
35. Kyoko – Also probably boosted by a mid-election event. There were a lot of Ps chasing her down then, probably so much so she didn’t rank much higher here. But then the cute wall is very, very tall indeed.
36. Kirari – I’m cool with Kirari, but the truth is there are a fair few people who aren’t. Perhaps that doesn’t explain why her clear and evident popularity hasn’t been rewarded with much higher election rankings.
37. Kana – More unvoicedness. Kana was in the reckoning even in the prelims though, unlike Risa. She promptly stayed there for a solid 37th.
38. Syoko – Screaming does you real good. Syoko was always gonna be around here. Far too notable not to rank.
39. Riina – God knows what tier Riina’s actually in. She’s clearly been pushed as a popular character by the series, but the fans…have never really answered. It doesn’t help that she’s sharing duties with Natsuki. Who should be better, but in actual fact does not rank.
40. Yoshino – Still popular. She too was in the event song with Kyoko and Anya, albeit without getting an actual event card.
41. Natalia – The sort of unvoiced character I think deserves a voice. They’ve done plenty of foreignness so far and I think Natalia ought to be amongst the next. The problem is, she’s got so many people ahead of her in the queue. Unfortunate, that.
42. Makino – But I don’t want her as much as this one. Makino might be able to lay a claim as my favourite unvoiced character, bearing as much similarity as she does with another top-class idol, up to an including their names. I still don’t know for sure since I still have no unvoiced rankings and life’s too short, but if a voice election were to come, Makino would be my pick.*
*Although it could just as easily be Seira, because her SSR looks unbelievably sexy. Or Ai, because she’s a cut-price Kanade, as her all new SSR has reminded me.
43. Yumi – Lovely Yumi makes the top 50 again for passions. Amazingly, she is the last of the passions you’ll be seeing here. They made up 12 of the top 50. Cool had 9 more. That, I think, says it all.
44. Momoka – Too far down the cute rankings to make much of a difference, but still, good on her to rank all the same. Managed better than her lookalike Yui, at least. And she has a Cinfes.
45. Nanami – The west was plumping for Nanami to get voiced like no tomorrow. This is a brutal reminder of how little we are compared to the franchise’s home turf, and indeed the rest of the Far East. There is a long way to go for her yet.
46. Shinobu – Here’s the last unvoiced girl you’ll be seeing, and one I kinda sorta would like to see getting voiced too. Partly because she’s part of Frilled Square, which looks half decent. Partly because she seems like a decent sort. And partly because god knows how they will voice this SSR.
47. Syuko – You know who I really wasn’t bloody expecting to rank? This absolute stud, that’s who. Syuko is the ultimate oxymoron, a Cinderella Girl that isn’t popular. She’s one of the series’ best characters, but since that win she hasn’t ranked, and I didn’t see her doing so again. How naive I am. Well done SyukoPs because you are loving a fantastic character. I’d love to see her up at the top again. I’d absolute love it.
48. Miyu – A CM doesn’t seem to have helped her case that much. And people think these still matter? They’re still nice, but they’ve released all too many now. They’ve run their course.
49. Kanako – Wholly unrepresentative of her actual popularity, this. Still, could be worse. She could be Rika or Miria…who are nowhere to be seen here.
50. Hajime – And finishing up is a girl who got voiced last time. She is the only one of those girls to rank this time round. And in the last possible place. That, I think, says a lot about the motivation of voicing girls in recent times. And perhaps even justifies Bamco’s attitude towards them. They voiced those five for the sake of it, not because they were actually, properly popular. At least this new bunch of three look like they’ve most certainly earned it.
So, there you go. Officially, the most popular idol in the most popular sector of the most popular idol series in the world, is a woman who thinks she’s 17, a bunny and from Planet Usamin. What a time to be alive.
Of course, before I finish up, I suppose I had better show off my kind of election. As in, what I’d rank the girls as. As in, my sorter. A sorter with three new voiced girls to factor in…
…Sorry, unvoiced Ps. You’ve had your work cut out this election, and you’re not getting my views on them either. Alas, there are still 107 of them left in Cinderella Girls. I’ve done Touhou sorters recently but it’s getting quite late and, to be honest, life’s too short to sort them all at any given moment, much less right now. And as for a sorter of all 184 at once… Well yes, it would be nice (looking at you here, Discord), but seriously. Don’t get me started on how much time I’d need for that.
…Ah. Hang on a minute. My chosen sorter hasn’t added in the three new girls yet. Ah, whatever. They’d all do pretty decently, to be honest.
I’d also like to apologise for making that one sorter post I did featuring mu’s as well largely pointless. That’s well out of date at this point. In fact, it had been a while since I’d done this sorter…and yet the top 9 and bottom 11 are pretty much the same. So, yeah, that’s my completely irrelevant sorter right there. Bet you looked at your favourite idol and then skipped right ahead.
Anyway. See you next election!