THE iDOLM@STER Innocent Blue for Dearly Stars
THE iDOLM@STER Innocent Blue for Dearly Stars manga is a series of three volumes focusing on the events of THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars. The storyline depicts Eri Mizutani's attempts to become Top Idol. 765PRO idols also make appearances in this manga. A drama CD's was released with the limited edition third volume.
- 1 Innocent Blue Volume 1
- 2 Innocent Blue Volume 2
- 3 Innocent Blue Volume 3
Innocent Blue Volume 1
|THE iDOLM@STER Innocent Blue for Dearly Stars 1|
Chapter 1 - Together...
A girl sits in front of a computer system rigged with a boom microphone and stares at the screen in awe of a video she just created. The girl in the video is dressed in cute clothes and standing onstage and is an exact copy of the girl sitting in the room. The girl onstage reveals her name: "ELLIE". She lives within the monitor and the other girl quickly uploads her. As she watches ELLIE dance, the other girl questions if she really is happy.
A small notice appears on the screen and a person practically jumps through the monitor. The girl is surprised to see Cineria, her chat friend, wanting to talk, especially since she went full hikkimori. Cineria compliments the video she just posted and gasps as the girl admits it was just something she threw together. The blond laughs and says it's probably to be expected of the "Queen of Net Idols", and admires the way she can get the viewing counter to skyrocket. Cineria notes that she wanted ELLIE to sing because her "senpai" has a pretty voice, but the other girl decides to sign off after reading this. The other girl tries to sing a few bars and sounds beautiful... for a while. Not long after she starts, she gets into a coughing fit and declares that she simply can't sing.
A dinging noise resounds from her computer, and the other girl finds that it is an e-mail from a person named "Ozaki". This person has been wanting to meet her and has sent e-mails for quite a while very consistently. As she notes that she never has ever responded, Cineria logs back in and surprises her senpai. Cineria finds out about the e-mail and quickly tells the girl not to respond. The letter is probably an idol scouting letter, but Cineria says she's getting trolled by people who will only use her and throw her away. She tells "ELLIE" that being a real idol is a terrible idea, but the other girl begins to wonder. Eventually, the other girl decides to meet this person anyway.
The girl goes out of her room for the first time in a long time, and goes to the decided meeting place, a cafe in town. She finds that she can't seem to calm down until a woman walks in and introduces herself. Reiko Ozaki thanks the girl for meeting with her and interviews her, asking her questions and even suggesting that she should sing in her videos. Reiko tells the girl that she is an independent contractor for 876 Productions and that she job is to raise stars. Reiko asks if she will become and idol in the outside world, but the girl gives simple excuses that Reiko quickly pushes aside. Reiko smiles and says that the two of them should work together.
Chapter 2 - First Step Forward
"ELLIE" is still unsure of what to do as Reiko tries to win her over. When the girl mentions that she can't sing, Reiko promises they will work on it while they practice. Reiko quickly says that the matter is settled and quickly dives into the business side, making "ELLIE" terrified and confused. Reiko also asks "ELLIE" to give her real name, and the girl calmly says, Eri Mizutani. Reiko and Eri decide to officially become an idol and producer pair.
Reiko proudly leads Eri to the production office, 876 PRO. Eri is introduced to President Ishikawa, but finds that she doesn't know how to greet people. Ishikawa teaches her to say, "Good Morning!" and worries that she's being too quiet and that the industry will chew up timid people. Reiko defends Eri and a loud voice shouts out a greeting, notifying the president that the other new idols are present. The two women lead Eri to meet her new coworkers.
In the room are two girls and another woman, who turn to her as soon as she walks in the room. Ai Hidaka and Ryo Akizuki introduce themselves, and Eri struggles to say anything. A reassuring pat on the shoulder calms Eri down and they prepare for their first lesson together. Eri admits that she can't communicate very well, and sits by herself in a corner. Ai and Ryo quickly walk over and make sure she is feeling okay. Ai is surprised at Eri's great body and feels Eri's breasts. Eri watches as Ai suddenly tries to touch Ryo's too, and feels somewhat better knowing that she has found some interesting friends.
The girls talk and Eri begins to realize that while Ai and Ryo have pure reasons to want to be idols, she has no idea why she's even participating. She talks with Reiko about her feelings, to which the producer states that she's always there for Eri to tell her feelings to. Eri thanks Reiko for her work.
Chapter 3 - Doki Love Happening
On Sunday, Eri finally has the day off. After working all week in lessons, Eri was praised by Reiko and is feeling pretty good. As she updates her blog, her cellphone rings and she picks up. Reiko is calling to ask if she has anything going on today, and Eri admits that she doesn't have any plans. There is a knock at the door, and Eri is shocked to find that Reiko invited Ryo and Ai over for a sleepover. As the two walk in, Eri asks how this happened. Reiko explains that she wanted to surprise Eri for working so hard, but Eri silently whimpers that it was too much of a surprise.
When Ai notices Eri's uncomfortable expression, she asks if she's okay. The two other idols look around her room and find Eri's computer equipment. Ai and Ryo ask if they can see any of Eri's works and are amazed at how beautiful her videos are. Ai finds a folder labeled clothes and is startled when she sees pictures of Eri in almost gravure pictures wearing various clothing. Embarrassed, Eri explains that Cineria gave those to her. At that moment, Cineria logs in and sees Ai and Ryo. Initially believing Eri has found two lovers, Cineria becomes suspicious when Ryo mentions that they are from 876 PRO. The net idol angrily accuses Eri of making fun of her, but immediately apologizes upon seeing her hurt face.
After Eri turns off the computer, Ai spots a picture on her desk and asks if it was made for the Idol Ultimate. Eri asks what the Idol Ultimate, and Ai explains that it is an annual idol festival where the winner gets to perform as the Top Idol. Excited, Ai decides they should all aim for the Idol Ultimate, but Eri quickly says that she is incapable of performing in front of people and simply believes that she can't possibly complete this feat. Eri's view upsets Ai so much that she begins to cry. Ai states that even though the Idol Ultimate isn't guaranteed, she should still try. Ai runs to the cots for herself and Ryo, and weeps at Eri's negative attitude.
Eri starts to cry and walks over to Ai, all while apologizing and saying that she should believe in herself more. Eri begins to wish that they could be in the Idol Ultimate and openly bursts into tears at the thought. Ai reaches over and hugs Eri, and says that they should all reach the Idol Ultimate together. Ryo watches as the two comfort each other and the trio eventually ends up asleep. Ryo tries to separate herself from Ai and Eri though as the trio lies in the cot, apparently embarrassed that her friends are sleeping in their underwear.
The next day at the office, the 876 idols sit at the conference table with President Ishikawa. The woman tells the girls that they will be forced to compete against each other in an upcoming audition.
Chapter 4 - VOICE
Eri is upset when she learns that she will be competing against Ai and Ryo. Ai complains about being against her friends, but Ishikawa says that the trio were meant to be rivals. Eri worries that her ties with her new friends will be severed after the audition depending on the winners and losers. The net idol begins to feel terrible now that she can see her friends, not as numbers on a counter, but as people who were meaningful. As Eri crouches on the ground, mumbling that she doesn't want Ryo or Ai to hate her, the other two idols notice. Ai takes the opportunity to pounce on Eri, but the girl scampers away without another word.
Later at lessons, Eri tries to sing notes played by a pianist, but can't manage to hit them. The pianist declares that her pitch is fine, but wonders if she's feeling alright. When she doesn't reply, Ai and Ryo (who were spying on her from the lesson room) get worried about their friend.
The day of the audition arrives and Eri is being dragged down the hall by Reiko in her costume. The girl questions if this cool costume is too embarrassing for her, but the producer tells her not to worry and just concentrate on singing though until the end. Ai and Ryo come out of their dressing room in their costumes, and Ai immediately screams that Eri is completely adorable. Ai notes that the three 876 idols are wearing matching costumes, and exclaims that when they appear together onstage they should always wear these cool costumes. Ai and Ryo say for Eri to do her best, which prompts her to ask if they'll hate her afterwords or if they'll remain friends forever. Ai and Ryo quickly say that they'll be friends no matter what, and the trio are ushered into the audition room. As Eri grabs the microphone, she clearly remembers Reiko mentioning that she is not alone and to believe in herself. Eri takes the stage and sings with a pure voice that stuns the judges.
In a building far away, a man watches his television set where Eri's audition is appearing. The mysterious man shrouded in darkness notes that Eri has a special quality about her.
When the song finishes, Eri finds that she actually sang the entire song. The judges smile as Eri walks offstage into the arms of Reiko Ozaki. Her producer hugs her as it all begins to sink in. Eri admits that while she was tense and scared, she sang.
In a different building far away, a girl is seen researching on her computer. As the 876 Logo appears on the screen, the girl states that she finally found her senpai. However, when she hears some music from the audition, the girl can't figure out who is actually singing.
Chapter 5 - My Pace Girl
Back at the audition studio, Eri sits on a bench. Feeling blue, the girl whispers a congratulations to Ryo for winning the audition. The former net idol thinks back on the events. A judge had told the girl the good news, but their was an obvious pain in her face as she realized neither Ai nor Eri passed the audition. The judge came back to tell Eri that she did very well and to keep trying. The girl however, feels terrible when she thinks that she let her producer down.
As Eri walks back from the audition in her street clothes, she spies another girl on a bridge. The blond is throwing french fries off of the bridge at a duck, whom she calls "sensei" below. Eri stares in puzzlement at the sight until the girl threatens to throw in her burger too. The girl then notices her and asks if she needs anything or if she wants to feed the duck too. Before Eri can say anything, the girl hears a voice calling for her and decides to drag Eri into the bushes. As a woman runs by, Eri uncomfortably finds herself stuck against the girl's chest. The girls eventually get out from hiding and Eri asks the girl who the woman was. When she answers that it was an office worker, Kotori Otonashi, Eri realizes her job.
The girl standing before her is an idol, and Eri begins to notice her features and nice body. The girl if Eri is a fan, but Eri stutters and admits that she is an idol too. Eri introduces herself to the blond, who comments that Eri is rather plain for an idol. She notes that idols are supposed to shine more, and Eri quips that people around her can't help but look at her confidence. She isn't even singing or danceing, but her presence is powerful. Eri knows that this is what a true idol is.
Meanwhile, Cineria walks by searching for Eri. The girl sees her talking to someone and shouts, "THERE SHE IS!". The crowd begins to stampede towards the blond girl, and the two girls run for a stage being set up. As they near the stage, Eri trips and falls to the ground as the crowd races forward. Eri is separated from the other girl and watches as she quickly begins a TV interview. Eri is impressed at how composed, confident, and her lack of shyness. The former net idol decides that she wants to be just like that girl, even if it means trying harder than ever before. As Eri walks away, the idol prepares to introduce her new friend, but finds that Eri has vanished.
Cineria sighs after losing Eri in the crowd. She feels saddened that she now has proof that Eri has gone away to be a real idol. Not able to accept that her senpai turned her back on her past fame as "The Queen of Net Idols", Cineria heads to to force Eri back onto the internet. Not much later, Eri arrives at the office to find her friend standing at the entrance with a maddened look on her face.
Chapter 6 - REAL vs NET
Eri slightly freaks out when she sees her friend actually in front of her with an angry expression. Cineria explains that since Eri hasn't been on very much, she decided to look her up. Cineria put it together that Ai and Ryo were idols of 876 PRO, the agency Eri worked at, and found her. The girl asks Eri to come back to the internet and quit being a real idol. Wanting her to continue as "ELLIE", Cineria tells her that being a real idol will only tire her out with nothing to show for it. Eri resists and says that she likes being a real idol and likes working at 876 Production. Unsatisfied with Eri's opinion, Cineria leaps forwards to drag her home by force. Without warning, Reiko Ozaki appears, steps in, and blocks Cineria from hurting her idol.
Eri explains that Cineria is her internet friend and a net idol. Upon hearing the word internet, Reiko insults Cineria's odd clothes. The net idol retorts that it's a "Rare Item Goth Loli Outfit", but her angry cries fall on deaf ears. It isn't until Cineria accuses "Long Hair" of being criminal scum who is bringing her senpai to the dark side. Reiko counters her by mentioning that the girl is trying to force her idol back into the internet.
The two get into a loud fight as Eri watches in utter terror until Cineria decides to end the argument. She challenges the former net idol to a singing contest. Claiming that she'll go away without a fight if she loses, she asks Eri to participate so she can take her back to the internet when Eri loses. Reiko agrees for Eri, saying that this is the chance for her to show the results of her practice and prove how great real idols are.
However when they arrive at the competition, Reiko has second thoughts. Cineria lead them to a karaoke booth with three of her fans inside. The cheap room and total concept of it being a game make Reiko annoyed with Cineria to the point of no return. When Cineria's fans start making fun of Eri, Reiko decides to leave until Cineria laughs that they're running away. Cineria says that she'll win by disqualification tells Reiko not to let the door smack her as she leaves. Reiko promptly turns around and slams herself on the couch, scaring a fan. Eri watches as Cineria prepares to sing and notes that Reiko is very fired up now. Knowing that if she leaves she'll regress back into her old life as "ELLIE", Eri decides that she needs to win simply because she can't go back to that life.
Cineria performs Seikan Hikou, but Eri ignores her and focuses on the challenge at hand. Reiko whispers to Eri as she watches Cineria. The net idol is singing for self satisfaction, and her heart isn't in it at all. The producer suggests to focus on just thinking about how to charm the audience. As Cineria hands the microphone to Eri, the idol uses whatever she can muster. Singing to their hearts, Eri performs "HELLO!!" and realizes that songs are meant to be heard to transmit happy feelings to the listener. Cineria angrily watches as her plan fails because her senpai finally can sing. Reiko watches in amazement as Eri performs almost as a different person.
When Eri finishes, the fans immediately apologize for being rude after being clown away by the idol. Reiko gives Eri a hug and tells Cineria that she claims this match as their victory. Cineria admits defeat and sits on the ground, upset. Eri walks to Cineria and explains that while the net idol believed she would never gain anything, she believes different. Eri found that she learned many things she'd never know if she wasn't a real idol and noted that it was a lot of fun. Determined to leave the past behind and to move forward, Eri tells Cineria her intentions. The blond sighs and says that she'll come after Eri for a challenge some other day, which Eri smilingly agrees to.
Extra Chapter - Southern Island Vacation ♪
Innocent Blue Volume 2
|THE iDOLM@STER Innocent Blue for Dearly Stars 2|
Chapter 7 - mission I
A few days later, Eri walks into the 876PRO office, but finds it oddly empty. Ai jumps out of nowhere and surprises her by tackling Eri, all while trying to explain why she is in distress. Reiko finds the idols and calls them into a meeting with the president. Ishikawa explains that she was planning on sending both Eri and Ai together to an audition. However, a problem has arisen in the form of Miki Hoshii. The 765PRO idol has proven that she has very strong stats and will be a difficult person to deal with. Eri immediately recognizes Miki from her adventures a few days ago and is shocked when the president asks her to be Ai's coach for the audition.
The girls go to the lesson studio, where Eri decides to practice vocals. Ai tries to join in but is too loud for Eri. When the former net idol tries to get Ai to make her voice more gentle and fluttery, Ai mistakes the instruction for trying to sound like a bird. Eri gives an example to Eri, but the younger idol tells her that she is singing too gently. Ai pushes Eri's diaphragm, but the two quickly find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Eri quickly realizes that if they don't work together and more efficiently, the 876 idols will be forced into a loss.
Meanwhile, Reiko and Manami find themselves in the hall by the lesson studio. As they choose drinks for their idols, Reiko becomes alarmed when Manami says that Eri has been ignoring her lessons to help Ai keep up. Manami worries that Eri will simply not enter the audition. Reiko storms away, angry that Eri is throwing in the towel. The producer explains that alone, the two girls could never beat Miki at their skill level. However, together Ai and Eri have a good chance. To explain further, Reiko takes the two to a concert.
Once there, Eri and Ai watch in amazement as Miki Hoshii lights up the stage, performing "relations". The blond uses every move to its fullest and literally enchants the audience. Imagining what is at stake, Eri quickly notes that the only way they could win is by planning everything. Eri's serious mood is broken by Ai's enthusiastic pledge to win the audition. Eri smiles at the gesture and announces that she actually managed to find Miki's weakness.
Chapter 8 - mission II
The next day, Ai, Eri and Reiko are sitting at a booth talking about Eri's findings. Miki seems to play everything by ear according to her attitude when Eri first met her. Eri decides to build a plan around this, thinking Miki won't be able to counter it. Reiko wonders if it is truly enough to stop Miki, but Eri simply says that she won't quit even if the plan fails.
Later on in the day, Cineria and Eri go searching for items Eri will need for the plan. Cineria agrees to the situation solely because she misses Eri desperately. Claiming she needs a "Senpai Refill", Cineria follows Eri as she looks for lighting equipment. Miki doesn't seem to take the stage lighting into consideration, and Eri plans on using it to her advantage. Cineria suggests using smoke or renting actual studio lights, but Eri says that they'll either just make people angry or that professional lights are too expensive. As the girls get distracted by different shops, they come up with an idea that will help save the day.
At the lesson studio, Ai asks Eri why she can only practice her dancing. The older girl explains that they will be using their strong points to their advantage, and shows off her rudimentary lighting system. As Ai cheers up upon learning how much Eri did for her, she inquires about what Eri will do during the audition is she is dancing. Eri clenches her hands in a fist and exclaims that she will sing. Reiko watches from the audition studio door and smiles.
The day of the audition quickly arrives and the 876 idols find Miki in the hallway towards their dressing room. Ai scares Miki away by threatening to bite her, and Eri tries to calm her down. As Ai finds herself fired up and Eri remembers all of their hard work, the two head into the audition.
At the 876PRO office, Ai and Eri celebrate their victory with Manami, Reiko, Ishikawa and Ryo. When the idea for the plan is said to be solely Eri's, she quickly corrects them by thanking Ai, Cineria and her producer for their input and lessons. As Reiko is nearly brought to tears, Ai slams past Reiko and jumps into Eri's arms.
Chapter 9 - Setting Off
Weeks later, Eri is at a photo shoot and is struggling to find a "cute" pose. Reiko helps Eri ease into finding a happy and cute pose. The cute photo is used on a major magazine cover, which winds up in the 876PRO office. Manami and Ishikawa talk over Eri's recent success and fame. However, Reiko finds an envelope whose contents seem to disappoint the producer. Eri notices and asks what is bothering her, but Reiko nervously mutters that nothing is wrong. Realizing that Eri has caught her in a lie, Reiko breaks down and explains that she just lost two important jobs to high level rivals. When Eri learns that one of the commercial jobs was a new electronic piano ad, Eri becomes determined to try even harder.
At the "IDOL ULTIMATE" party, Eri nervously waits for Reiko to show up. As the room fills up with cool looking idols, Eri updates her blog and finds many supporters cheering her on from the internet. A man at a podium starts the opening ceremony, identifying himself as Director Yukio Igarashi. He welcomes all of the idols to the festivities and Eri realizes that she is doing exactly what she promised Ai she would do when the other 876 idols slept at her house. The girl finds the road to "IDOL ULTIMATE" to be an intense battle, and she quickly finds her goal to become Top Idol. Eri tells Reiko that she wants to participate in the competition, which makes their goal even brighter.
However, neither of them notice the dark shadow watching them from a distance.
The next day, Reiko tells Eri that she somehow got both of the jobs she had been previously turned down on. The producer explains that one girl had gotten into a car accident, and the other simply didn't want the job anymore. Eri worries at the thought of the dangerous events, despite Reiko's explanation of the bad occurrences to be a coincidence. Yumeko's furious stare remains burned in Eri's mind as she walks away.
Chapter 10 - Evil! Spirits! Begone?
In a mansion at night, a police officer is being led by a man. Reporting to hear the sound of dripping water, the men are horrified as they turn around to see a ghost.
The next day, Eri arrives at a job with Ryo. The second girl admits that she is surprised that Eri would fill in for another girl who was supposed to appear. When Ryo mentions that the other girl suddenly became ill, Eri's suspicions are aroused. As the two idols are about to dash off to change, Eri notices Reiko hiding her phone behind her back. The girls continue to go to their job and quickly dress up. Within the "haunted house", Ryo and Eri announce the beginning of their show "Charge☆Undercover Investigation", and their intentions to find the truth behind the rumor of an idol's suicide. Disguised as reporters, Eri notes Ryo's legs are violently shaking.
Suddenly, a loud crash rings out through the building. Ryo's petrified face shows that the crash wasn't planned and came from the second floor. The director quickly calls "CUT!" as Eri tries to explain the crash rationally, saying that it was most likely something that fell over. The two investigators resume filming and head to the second floor, but are starting to get more and more nervous. As Eri wonders if the suicide rumor is true, a figure rushes in front of her. Absolutely terrified, Ryo jumps back and falls onto Eri. Realizing she fell into her chest, Ryo launches herself backwards and apologizes. Eri waves it off.
Ryo notes that Eri is actually calm despite the figure and her fall. When Ryo compliments the fact that she didn't even look scared, Eri smilingly reveals that she still has three bars of cell phone service. However, as soon as she turns the phone to show Ryo, the bars disappear and the phone service vanishes. When Ryo tells Eri about the loss of service, Eri's attitude completely changes. The shorter girl begins to panic as she races around the room, trying to find any reception. Ryo quickly becomes disturbed at the turn of events and is about to say something when something echoes into the room: the sound of water dripping. The idols turn around to face a door, from which the sound originated. When Ryo attempts to say that it could be a leaky faucet, another crashing sound goes off. Eri whimpers that it sounded closer than the first.
As the sound gets consistently closer, Ryo tells Eri to stand behind her. Eri does and holds onto her fellow 876 idol for dear life. A figure appears through the darkness of the room and asks who is there. Ryo screams and quickly passes out. Eri watches as a man with a flashlight and a bucket walk out of the darkness. Ryo stirs from the ground and realizes that the man is not a ghost. The man reveals himself to be the manager of the house and angrily shouts that her building isn't haunted. He angrily quips about the two men who showed up a few days earlier probably believed the same thing. Ryo enbraces Eri in relief and is almost in tears as she admits that it really was just a rumor. Eri asks the manager if the building is on the sight where an office was where an idol committed suicide. The manager admits he's heard this before but tells the idols that they have the wrong building. He thinks on it and realizes that a new office building is currently there.
After the job, Reiko finds Eri and Ryo sitting in the rain. The idols admit that the job was a failure, but remark that it'll sell well for showing themselves so terrified. Ryo apologizes to Eri for only being in the way for most of the show. Eri quickly says that Ryo actually gave her a lot of encouragement. Even though her fear didn't go completely away, it was only half the amount of fear with Ryo at her side. Eri smilingly thanks Ryo as Reiko recieves and urgent call from Manami. Ai's manager shouts into the phone that Ai had suddenly collapsed. She was on the way to the hospital with her in an ambulance, but she asks Reiko to meet them at the hospital with Eri and Ryo.
Chapter 11 - Suffering
Eri and Ryo sit beside to Ai as she stays unconscious in a hospital bed. Reiko, Manami and Ishikawa walk out of the room to the doctor and ask if the girl will be all right. The doctor turns to the women and decides to put it bluntly. Ai simply ate too much. The room fills with silence as Manami tries to comprehend the problem and Ishikawa face palm in embarrassment. The doctor explains that she got acute gastritis from forcing herself to eat. He explains that they'll keep Ai overnight just in case, and Ishikawa drags Manami back into the room.
Soon later, Ai wakes up and laughs that the waiting room at her audition room a lot of good looking food. Manami scolds her, to which Ai apologizes and shouts that she had never seen a gourmet spread before. Eri is surprised that the room could hold that much food, but is even more shocked when she finds that Reiko knew about Ai's predicament. Reiko quickly runs out of the room with the excuse of forgetting to have turned off some lights. Manami explains to Eri that Reiko has been working extremely late hours recently. Eri hesitantly says that Reiko will be okay, but talks about it with Ai and Ryo.
Ai asks about how the haunted house recording went. Ryo admits that the reports of a ghost were false, but Eri follows up with the fact that they searched the wrong building. Ai sits straight up at the mention of this and begins to panic at the thought of a ghost haunting some other building at that moment. Ai buries herself in the hospital blankets and starts thinking aloud. The youngest girl asks if the food she ate could have been cursed by an idol and sent her to the hospital for revenge. Eri replies that she thinks it's just Ai getting her just desserts. Ryo interrupts with the fact that the idol Eri replaced was actually hospitalized. After Ai asks if she was hospitalized for eating too much as well, Eri notices a pattern developing. Every job that she has gotten recently has something bad happen, to the point of her wondering if it really isn't a coincidence but a curse instead.
Eri finds Reiko on the phone, but can't bring herself to interrupt her call. Instead, she chats with Cineria for help. When Cineria eagerly agrees to help Eri, the idol explains that she wants her to investigate the rumors of a ghost idol. Upon reading the word "ghost", Cineria logs off. Desperate for help, Eri shouts that she'll take her to a maid cafe if she helps her. Cineria quickly logs back on.
The next day, Cineria meets up with Eri to get the ghost hunt over. Cineria wants head over to the maid cafe with Eri in a maid dress too, but the girl quickly responds that they probably wouldn't let her wear the dress inside. Cineria gets a little disappointed, but admits that she would've posted pictures on the internet anyway. The girls walk to the true haunted building: 765 Production. Cineria and Eri walk in to investigate and wander around the halls. The friends find that the building doesn't look very haunted and Cineria spies a secretary she could ask for help. As the girl with braids walks by, Cineria calls out to her. The girl turns around revealing a tray with glasses of water she had been carrying and a pair of spectacles. She spies Cineria's "Rare Item Goth Loli Outfit" and asks if she wouldn't mind taking her cosplay someplace else. Unfortunately when the young woman tries to step forward, she trips on a cord sticking out of an outlet. Her tray and water go flying through the air towards Cineria, much to the girl's horrified face. Cineria ducks just in time, avoiding the mess above her. Sadly, Eri received the brunt force of the water and was soaked everywhere.
The girl apologizes for her clumsiness and offers Eri a towel and tea. When Cineria tries to put the blame on her, the braided girl retorts that she shouldn't have barged in in the first place. Eri asks if she's not a secretary. The girl shouts that she's way off base and introduces herself as Ritsuko Akizuki, an idol at 765 PRO. Ritsuko asks why they're at the office and Eri explains about the "ghost" and rumored suicide. Despite the story sounding a little ridiculous, Ritsuko agrees to help Eri.
Chapter 12 - That Idol's Name Is
Ritsuko recognizes Eri due to her appearances on television, but she draws a blank when Cineria introduces herself as a "Net Idol". Ritsuko explains that she believes the internet should only be used for important news and distributing paid music downloads, much to Cineria's dismay. The 765PRO idol repeats that Eri came over to the office because she heard of a curse and mentions that her research found no suicides. While she did find a girl who almost got run over and another with financial problems, Ritsuko admits that 765 Production is one of the best in the entertainment business because they are so relaxed and stress free. Eri asks if the agency has an extensive history and causes Ritsuko to question if anything happened before she joined the agency. Ritsuko decides to keep looking and give Eri her results in the next week.
One week later, Ritsuko is getting ready in the dressing room when the Futami Twins run in and steal her glasses and scrunchies. As she chases the twins down the hall, Cineria and Eri arrive. Unrecognizable without her braids and glasses, Cineria and Eri ask Ritsuko where she is. The idol asks for them to wait, but the 876 girls begin to think Ritsuko stood them up. As the girls are about to walk away, Ami and Mami Futami run up to them and ask to play. Cineria vehemently says no as Eri asks if they know where Ritsuko is. The twins point to a blushing Ritsuko, and surprises Cineria into a state of shock. Ritsuko admits she was trying to tell them the whole time as Cineria remarks that she transformed. The twins grin and note that she normally looks like a scary demon. Ritsuko did not approve.
After Ritsuko reties her hair up and puts on her glasses, the Eri, Cineria and Ritsuko go to the office. Cineria says that she like Ritsuko better with her hair, earning her a response dripping with sarcasm. The 765 PRO idol tells Eri that after researching the past week, she found that 765 Production did not ever have a suicide. However, the building itself was where the curse took place. Before coming to the large building they are currently in, 765 Production was renting a smaller building and another agency owned the building.
This other agency (described as nasty) was led by an extremely wild president who was the son of someone important in the industry. He was very "extreme" with women and was involved in all sorts of violent incidents. The company suffered and eventually there was only one idol left. She stayed until the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, and was known by the name "riola". Realizing the name was foreign, Ritsuko believes it to be a stage name and doesn't know if this is the idol who supposedly killed herself. Ritsuko admits that if ghosts are real, this one would have a large grudge. Cineria whimpers and asks Eri if she is in danger of the ghost's revenge, but Eri says that they doesn't even know if riola committed suicide. Eri begins to wonder if Reiko's odd behavior could be caused be her knowing something about riola. Eri plans on finding out about riola's existence despite the qualifiers coming soon. The 876 idol thanks Ritsuko for her help and the 765 idol promises to be there whenever she needs her.
Back at the 876 office building, Eri confronts Reiko as she walks down the hallway. She asks her producer for any information about riola and explains that she thinks she has been cursed by her ghost. Reiko's eyes widen at the mentions of that name and tries to calm her down. Because the gig finished, Eri explains from the beginning and talks with Reiko. Eri cries as she mentions how she feels: terrified that so many bad things are happening around her and worried that she can't concentrate for lessons for the qualifiers. Reiko sighs and apologizes for not noticing how she felt. Being stuck worrying if you were about to have an accident you couldn't prevent is not how people should live as idols.
Reiko asks Eri if knowing riola's true identity would calm her nerves and Eri says yes. Reiko then decides to introduce Eri to her.
Extra Chapter - Panic! Children!
Innocent Blue Volume 3
|THE iDOLM@STER Innocent Blue for Dearly Stars 3|