The official YouTube channel for The [email protected] franchise began streaming CloverWorks and Studio Khara‘s concept movie for the franchise on Wednesday. The video features the franchise‘s 2021 image song “Voyager.”
Atsushi Nishigori (The [email protected] TV anime, THE [email protected] MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!) was the director and character designer. Studio Khara‘s Shogo Tsurii (DARLING in the FRANXX, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time, Japan Animator Expo) was the visual director.
The project assembles 15 idols from the five different sub-franchises of The [email protected] franchise. The franchise‘s 16th anniversary was on July 26. The concept movie was announced during the franchise‘s live-streamed 16th Anniversary Party!!!!! event on July 25.
The [email protected] franchise began as an arcade game in 2005, with the player tasked with producing idols in a fledgling idol company, managing practice schedules, concerts, CD releases, and time off. The game was first ported to the Xbox 360 in 2007, and had a sequel game in 2011, which finalized the first 13 characters of the franchise. Later spinoffs include The [email protected] Cinderella Girls social game, which introduced the story of a larger set of entirely new characters within the story of multimedia conglomerate; The [email protected]: Million Live!, which includes the original 13 characters alongside new characters; The [email protected] SideM, which focused on male idols all of whom had “unique reasons” for becoing idols; and The [email protected] Shiny Colors, a mobile game and the most recent entirely new entry in the franchise, with new female idols and a return to gameplay features from the first two games.
The first anime adaptation for the franchise was 2007’s Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, a spinoff mecha anime. A-1 Pictures and Nishigori adapted the first two games in 2011’s The [email protected] anime, and also produced the 2014 anime film THE [email protected] MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!. The studio and some of the original staff returned for both 2015’s The [email protected] Cinderella Girls and 2017’s The [email protected] SideM anime. The [email protected]: Million Live! also has an upcoming television anime adaptation.
Sources: The [email protected] franchise‘s YouTube channel, Comic Natalie