THE iDOLM@STER Splash Red for Dearly Stars
THE iDOLM@STER Splash Red for Dearly Stars manga is a series of three volumes focusing on the events of THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars. The storyline depicts Ai Hidaka'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 Splash Red Volume 1
- 2 Splash Red Volume 2
- 3 Splash Red Volume 3
Splash Red Volume 1
|THE iDOLM@STER Splash Red for Dearly Stars 1|
Chapter 1 -
After losing another idol audition, Ai Hidaka walks around town trying to console herself. Ai tries to control her emotions, only to end up shouting in determination. She overhears two passer byes talking about the legendary Mai Hidaka, an idol who had become Top Idol. However, while all of Japan adored her, Ai never found anything to like. It turns out that Ai is Mai's daughter, but the girl didn't seem to inherit the natural abilities of her mother. When Ai arrives at home, her mother is revealed to have read her diary and constantly states that her daughter isn't idol material. The two still manage to have peace and eat their dinner.
The next day, Ai goes to another audition. While noting that she may never be as good as her mother, she does her best while singing "GO MY WAY!!". She fails the audition and asks the judges why. They only reply that she did everything wrong. Ai soon makes her way to the park and sits on a bench while lamenting over her loss. The thirteen year old bursts into tears and starts wailing at the thought of giving up her dream so early in her journey.
Without warning, a girl walks up to Ai and asks what's wrong. Ai composes herself and gasps in amazement as she realizes she is talking to the famous 765 Production idol, Haruka Amami. The older girl reveals that she was one of the judges at the audition she just participated in, and she searched for Ai to make sure she was alright. Ai that she is feeling saddened by the fact that she has failed auditions so many times that she's lost count. Haruka smiles and teaches Ai to think positively by showing that she can stand up no matter how many times she trips and falls. Ai regains her cheerful personality and thanks Haruka.
Chapter 2 -
Haruka asks Ai if she would be allowed to introduce her to an agency that might hire her. However when Ai arrives for her interview, the office is empty. Despite trying to act like an idol, Ai is nearly pushed out of the office when her loud voice disrupts an idol manager. Ai tells the woman that Haruka Amami invited her for an interview, and the manager immediately apologizes. The manager, Manami Okamoto, leads Ai to the agency president, Minori Ishikawa.
President Ishikawa leads the interview and repeats what Haruka told her about Ai, including the part about her bawling in the park. When the president asks about why Ai decided to become an idol, the girl proves that she has good intentions. Ai wants to make people happy and carry the dreams of people from all over the nation. Ishikawa hires Ai on the spot after learning about her true personality. Overjoyed that she'll finally get to debut, Ai is introduced to her fellow 876 Production idols, Eri Mizutani and Ryo Akizuki. Ai shouts her introduction (scaring the idols), and terrifies Eri into forcing her producer Reiko Ozaki to speak for her. Ryo's personality and looks make Ai feel very inferior.
After the three are dismissed, Ai is called in for a meeting with Manami Okamoto and the president. Worried about the girl's idol career due to her lack of experience and abilities, the president reveals that she has a backup plan for Ai to use during her debut: to reveal that she is the daughter of Mai Hidaka. Okamoto gasps at the information, having not known the truth about Ai's life. When Ishikawa reveals that Ai's only strong point is her connection to her mother, Ai refuses to debut under those terms. Arguing that she wants to be her own idol and not be "Mama's daughter", Ishikawa eventually allows Ai to debut as herself. The president notes that if the girl is unable to succeed as an idol on her own, she will use her mother's fame to boost her own.
Chapter 3 -
A few days later, Ai is in the conference room with Ryo and Eri. The younger girl admits that she's been having trouble in her jobs, but the other two encourage her to keep trying. President Ishikawa sends the trio into town to buy a cake for a guest that will be joining them in the evening. Pumped up that she finally has a job with the other idols, Ai's energy for shopping spreads to Ryo. Eri, still working in her communication skills, winds up talking about pollution.
The girls arrive at the cake shop and try to decide what cake to get. The trio devour a cake sampling booth and get kicked out of the shop before they can get a cake. The idols go looking for another pastry shop and walk by a clothing store. Ai runs in the store upon finding a good bargain, and attempts to give Ryo a dress to try. When the girl refuses, Ai and Eri try to force her into the dressing room. The group make a ruckus and end up getting kicked out of the store.
The girls decide to do a bit more shopping and sit to rest at a cafe. Eri picks up the music news magazine, ViDaVo. A song ranking is listed, with Mai Hidaka's "ALIVE" ranked as the top song. Ai thinks about the song and how it traumatized her. When Mai sang the song as a lullaby, it would make Ai compare herself to her mother and make her feel terrible. Ai is brought out of the reverie when Ryo points out that Mai and Ai's names are very similar, which Ai laughs off in order to maintain her secret. Ai points at an interview of Haruka Amami, and feels excited after reading the inspirational words. The idols decide that they will get popular too, so they can do their own magazine features together.
The girls go back to the agency, and immediately realize their mistake when the president asks if they brought the cake with them. President Ishikawa decides to serve Manami's cream puffs instead (much to Manami's disappointment) and says they have an important conversation to have the next day. The idols meet in the conference room the next day as the president explains their next job. 876 PRO was given a TV spot, forcing the idols to compete for the media coverage. Ai protests in fear of losing her new friends, but Ryo and Eri decide that a competition is a good idea.
Ai immediately worries about this new audition. The idol's new friends are now her rivals, and she is the weakest of the three. Ai sits in the room alone as she wonders if she even has a chance.
Chapter 4 -
A few days later, Ai and Eri are doing their new radio show, "Ai and Eri's MASTER RADIO". As Ai's upbeat personality manages to get rid of Manami and Ishikawa's worry for her, the manager asks if she can buy Ai a drink after the recording. She is disturbed to find Ai lying on the table of the recording room, exhausted and asking for black canned coffee. When Manami asks Eri for help, Eri immediately runs away in fear. Manami's worries are confirmed when Ai admits that her friendship is becoming strained because of the audition.
Realizing Ai is at a total disadvantage, Manami tries to go and negotiate for better terms with the president. Ai jumps up and stops Manami, saying she doesn't want any favoritism. Manami decides to help Ai by supporting only her, and the two go training so they can play by the rules. Ai plans to run 50 laps around the park and do a dance lesson afterwards, but is interrupted by Manami when she stops for lunch. The manager is impressed by Ai's willpower and knows that it will lead to great results in the future.
After thanking Manami for her encouragement, Ai jumps back into her training. Ai and Manami go to the dance studio and practice for two hours straight. Manami tells Ai to take a break after she trips and falls, but Ai gets up and continues to practice. Manami holds Ai down, begging her to stop before she hurts herself. The two struggle until an idol walks into the studio and brightens the atmosphere. As Ai is distracted upon meeting Yayoi Takatsuki, the manager watches Ai in sadness.
The day before the contest, a confident Ai arrives at the audition place only to find a worried Ishsikawa searching for Manami. The president reveals that Manami must have gone to the TV station to solicit the program for a better chance for Ai. The manager's deeds could however cause 876 Production to be permanently shut down, so Ai hunts down her friend.
Chapter 5 -
The idol quickly finds her manager and angrily protests that negotiating unfair terms isn't fair play. Manami argues that she should help Ai anyway possible and that she is a horrible person for not doing anything earlier. The girl explains that all she wanted was for Manami to support her and cheer her on, and that Manami can't be horrible if she continued to support her. Manami decides that Ai and the president are right, and they promise that they will do their very best during the competition the next day.
Mai is cooking in the kitchen the next day when Ai runs in to get ready for the audition. Mai proudly shows off her Idol Ultimate trophy and brags that she had 5 diamond records in a row when she was Ai's age. However Mai does try to show Ai a new skill, to have confidence in herself. Ai hurries to the studio and changes into her costume. A wave of nervousness sweeps over Ai, but is countered by a reassuring handshake with Manami. Ai, Eri, and Ryo assemble to perform for the audition. Ai quickly shouts that she doesn't plan to lose, but the others smile and invite her to hang out with them after the competition. Eri and Ryo both perform very well, and Ai takes the stage to perform the best she can.
After the audition, the 876 PRO idols walk in town and congratulate Ryo on her win. Ai talks to Manami and despite the loss, they feel very good that Ai is getting better quickly. Ai smiles and runs with her fellow idols into the sunset.
Chapter 6 -
Days after the competition, Ai and Manmai learn of some terrible news. Ryo admits that she may have a stalker who follows her to school. Disturbed by the actions of this fan, Ai declares that she will act as Ryo's bodyguard and keep her safe. Manami tries to talk her out of this by mentioning that she should be practicing for an important audition, but Ai says that she can't abandon her idol friend is her time of need. Ai plans on both passing her audition and protecting Ryo from her stalker.
Ai follows Ryo to school and searches the area, until she finds a boy hidden by a tree. Ai threatens to call the police and the boy fools her by getting her to believe Haruka Amami is walking boy. Disappointed that she let the stalker go, Ai tells Manami about her failure but notes that Ryo appeared soon after the boy left. Manami tries to keep her positive by telling Ai that she will pick up Ryo from school when she calls the office. Ai realizes that it's getting rather late and immediately worries that her stalker may have already kidnapped her.
As Ai runs to the school, she comes face to face with the boy. The bespectacled boy tries to convince Ai that he is Ryo's relative, but is reluctant to take off his glasses for Ai to see the family resemblances. When he tricks her again with the Haruka Amami plot, the idol chases him to the waterfront. Ai yells at the stalker that he has hurt Ryo and in the process finds that Ai really cares about how the other idol feels. The stalker begins to cry and Ai tries to comfort him by removing his glasses to offer him a tissue. The boy spins around before she can see his face and jumps into the water below. Ai bursts into tears as she realizes that he never told her where he was keeping Ryo.
Later on, Ryo walks into the office sopping wet from cleaning her pool. Ai runs over and hugs her friend in joy. Not long after, Ai receives a letter saying that she passed the audition. Ai feels very excited and proud that she managed to complete both of her goals. In fact, she loses the fear of her next audition.
At a job far away, a producer asks a blond girl if she is ready for an audition next week. She quickly replies that it'll be no problem.
Extra Chapter - Southern Island Vacation ♪
Splash Red Volume 2
|THE iDOLM@STER Splash Red for Dearly Stars 2|
Chapter 7 -
As Ai is riding a train to her next job, two fans ask for her autograph and wish her luck. Ai feels great as she later walks downtown, noting the signs that she is becoming more and more popular. She quickly finds that her next job is working at a maid cafe with Eri and Ryo. She asks Eri why they aren't working at the television interview they'd been promised, but the girl assures that this is just to help out a man at the president's suggestion.
The owner thanks the girls for their help and notes that Ryo is doing great with the customers. As the dojikko idol attempts to do a better job, Eri is called over to bring coffee. The terrified girl is mistaken for a tsundere and Ai finally receives her assignment. She delivers the food to her customer's table, and is noticed to have a very hungry expression. After eating a little with the customers, she finds Manami who came to deliver a message. Ai smilingly listens, but hurries to help customers before Manami can say anything.
Eventually, the 876 PRO idols go to the interview and have a lot of fun. However, the audience seems somewhat bored and leaves Ai feeling a bit worried. The interviewer stands up towards the end of the interview and calls out their secret guest. The 765 Production idol, Miki Hoshii, steps onstage and the audience goes wild. The 876 idols are shocked by the fired up audience and Ai is stunned by Miki's beautiful features. The youngest idol is especially put off when Miki tells her that she should relax more.
As the trio head home with Manami, the manager apologizes for not being able to tell them at the maid cafe. Ai thinks that Miki was actually shining and tells Eri that she's glad that they would never face Miki in an audition. Manami overhears the comment and quickly mentions that she needs to talk to the two of them. In the conference room, President Ishikawa and Manami tell Eri and Ai the truth about their upcoming audition. Eri and Ai will both be performing against Miki in the unranked open audition. Manami and Ishikawa ask the idols if they want to forfeit the audition, but Ai declares that she will surely defeat Miki.
Chapter 8 -
As Eri and Ryo sit in the dressing room of the audition studio, Ai stares at herself in the mirror. Trying to shine like Miki, Ai tries to "sparkle", but Ryo replies that she isn't an appliance and shouldn't be physically capable of doing so. Ryo asks the others if they're ready for the broadcast and notes that they won't get away with mistakes since it's being viewed live. Ai nervously screams that she's ready, but the pressure is starting to get with her. A voice nearby tells Ai to relax, and reveals itself to be Miki. The 765 PRO idol smiles and says that she'll be on the show too. A bright flash appears and her aura nearly blinds the 876 idols. The blonde's power has increased since their last meeting and Ai is terrified as her true Super Idol power shines even brighter. Ryo quickly falls to the ground dead and Eri soon tumbles after her. With Eri's dying breath, she asks Ai to defeat Miki.
Ai wakes up screaming in sheer terror. Mai laughs as Ai walks into the kitchen from her bed, saying that her scream carried pretty far this time. Ai tries to explain her fears, but Mai only compares Miki to herself and explains that Miki is nowhere near as talented as herself. Ai ignores Mai and listens to the television, only to find out that she might be late to her lesson with Eri if she doesn't hurry. Mai once again giggles as she has to stop Ai from running out the door with her pajamas on, and remarks that even going to lessons sounds like fun.
The two girls arrive at the studio and immediately begin to practice. Unfortunately as Eri critiques Ai, she uses terms that the girl can't yet understand. Ai struggles to comprehend Eri's logic and finds that Eri's advice is simply too critical for her to get. Ai talks to Manami about the problem and admits that her "stupidness" is making it hard to understand what Eri wants. When Ai begins to feel like the advice is making it hard for her to have any fun anymore, Manami cheers her up by getting her a limited supply roll cake. The manager tells Ai to tell Eri her feelings directly, so they can overcome the problem.
At the next lesson when Eri tries to give advice, Ai stops Eri and decides to be direct. Ai screams that Eri's advice is "WAY TOO CRITICAL" and exclaims that she doesn't understand it all. Ai admits that she is losing her drive to be an idol and doesn't think the two of them should be forcing each other. Ai stops yelling when she realizes Eri is now crying and is horrified as Eri runs from the room, saying that she doesn't know what to do. Manami soon finds out and Ai saddens when she remembers that Eri didn't even show up for the lessons in the past day. Eri walks into the office and immediately sees Ai. Before Ai can explain that she just wanted Eri to hear her clearly, the former net idol runs out of the room at full speed. The younger idol thinks aloud that Eri must hate her.
Chapter 9 -
Ai practices apologizing to Eri with Manami's help, but finds that she can't do it without shouting. Ai realizes that the audition is rapidly approaching and worries that Eri hasn't even talked to her in the past five days. Manami explains that Ai's shouting voice scares Eri as much as being bitten by a dinosaur, so she needs to learn to control herself. As Ai prepares for the outdoor stadium that she'll be performing at, she decides to use her full power during her song so she can get rid of her worries about the situation.
Unfortunately for Ai, her high energy has consequences. Ai is tired beyond belief after her song, and an employee offers her some drinks. When he asks Ai if she can still perform in the second half, Ai realizes that she used all of her energy and wasn't prepared to do two more songs. As Ai hurries back onstage, she quickly realizes that will not be able to last long. Before she can lose all of her energy from performing "HELLO!!", Eri jumps onstage and lets Ai catch her breath as they finish the song together. Eri even surprises Ai by now being able to project her own voice. After the concert, Ai thanks Eri and Manami for saving her. Ai also apologizes for her screaming, but Eri admits that she knew that Ai never meant to hurt her. The two realize that their encouragement of each other helped even better than forcing their methods on each other, and quickly make up.
A few days later, the audition arrives and the idols go to the studio. Miki greets them and is very comfortable during her performance. Even so, Eri manages to calm Ai down from her nervousness and Ai's turn quickly arrives. Ai performs "HELLO!!", but notices something new. Miki and Eri watch in astonishment as Ai practically becomes awakened. The girl doesn't lose energy or passion, she is conscious of the spotlights, and she can sing without straining at all. Ai shines brighter than ever before, and astounds the judges into silence. Eri and Miki are nearly in tears at such an amazing performance. Manami, however, watches from the doorway with a sad look on her face.
Chapter 10 - Unexpected Test
Miki congratulates Ai for winning the competition and quickly becomes a good friend of the two. Manami and Ai go back to the office, where Ai tells her manager all about the recent events. Manami notes that she had never heard that kind of cheering before and that Ai has grown quite a bit. When Ai is getting ready to go to her job, Manami says for Ai to go alone. Ai objects, mentioning that Manami has been unable to come to a lot of her events recently. Manami promises that she'll be able to go to work with her tomorrow.
Tomorrow comes, but Manami doesn't. President Ishikawa calls Manami in for work, forcing Ai to go to a studio she's never been to by herself. After all, Manami says, Ai can't keep depending on her. Ai finds that she is worried that Manami is mad at her, and decides to go find the studio herself.
Soon, Ai finds herself lost in Japan. The man in charge of her shoot calls her when she still hasn't arrived, and tells her to take a taxi. However, Ai finds that she dropped her wallet somewhere and loses the job. When the man hangs up, Ai searches for her wallet and starts to cry as she realizes her phone battery is dead. Two men walk by and offer to help her, but Ai gets scared and screams that "MAMA SAID NOT TO GO WITH OLD MEN!" after doing a somersault to escape their company. In the end, Ai ends up curled into a ball on the side of an alley, crying for Manami to find her. Suddenly, someone puts their hand on Ai's shoulder and Ai turns around to see... Not Manami, but a terrified looking girl. She hands Ai her wallet and the two walk into the park.
Ai explains her story to the brunette, who begins to cry. Saying she cries easily, the girl blames herself for being useless and tries to dig a hole to bury herself in. Ai pulls the girl out, who says she knows what it's like to get yelled at for being late to a TV studio. Ai inquires about this, and the shy girl admits that she is an idol. Ai then immediately recognizes her, she is the 765 Production idol, Yukiho Hagiwara. Yukiho smiles and recognizes Ai as well. The two talk about their producer and manager, and Ai explains why she's so worried about her relationship with Manami. Yukiho smiles and tells Ai that there is no possibility that Manami could hate her, and in fact suggests that the idol buy some sweets for the two of them to share.
Ai hurries away to buy a pie for Manami and runs into 876 agency, accidentally leaving her wallet behind with Yukiho. Only Reiko Ozaki is there, who is waiting for Eri to bring some curry she made for dinner. Ai asks where Manami went, but is informed that after a meeting with the president, Manami has resigned from 876 Production.
Chapter 11 - One More Time
Ai drops her cake on the ground in utter disbelief as Reiko realizes Ai wasn't informed of the matter. The idol races out of the room in search of her manager. Ai runs and trips, but keeps running with scraped knees all the way to the seaside park. At the same time, Manami is walking in the park by where she and Ai trained together. Believing everyone has grown so much since then, Manami realizes that everyone will be fine without her.
Without warning, Ai tackles Manami and begs her to reconsider. Promising to be good from now on, Ai cries as Manami explains why she quit. The woman says she wasn't meant to be Ai's manager because she could never argue for negotiations or find very good jobs due to her not being very aggressive. Manami was becoming a troublesome person for the staff and when she couldn't deliver, both she and President Ishikawa decided it was better for her to resign. Manami tells Ai that she now has to become self reliant, and asks Ai not to get lost or trip so easily while putting a bandage on her scrapes. Manami requests that Ai learn to have all the strength an idol will need when alone and that she will see a respectable Ai at the next audition. Ai watches as Manami walks away an begins to cry.
Ai begins to yearn for someone who will go to every audition, will encourage her when she's down, will eat lunch with her, and train with her. The idol goes back home and cries in her bed. When Mai knocks on the door to ask if Ai will come to dinner, she remembers what Manami said. Manami wanted to see Ai become strong and reach Top Idol. Ai gets up and puts on a determined face.
The next audition comes and Manami hurries over to Ai to fix her costume before she goes into the audition room. As they walk down the hallway, Yukiho walks by and quickly begins to cry and tries to dig a hole in the hallway to escape from having to fight Ai. However, Ai tells Yukiho to fight seriously. Ai goes onstage during her turn and smiles her brightest for Manami. Performing her best to thank her manager, Ai wins the audition.
After the audition, the president, Reiko Ozaki, Eri Mizutani, and Ryo Akizuki say goodbye to Manami. Ai stands nearby crying so hard that she struggles to say farewell. She shouts that she will become Top Idol and rehire Manami when she is successful, to which Manami thanks her. Ishikawa also pays her back for stealing her cream puffs.
Meanwhile at Ai's house, Mai is getting very bored. The former idol decides that she should go out and play.
Chapter 12 - The New Rival
A few days later, Ryo walks into the office and notes that the atmosphere is completely different. The idol finds Ai talking to her stuffed animal cat and seems to be taking the loss of Manami pretty hard. Ai sees Ryo and asks why she isn't at the audition she was scheduled for. The girl explains that President Ishikawa declined the audition because it was at her current ability, it was "impossible now". Ai notes that it's odd for the president to withdraw so easily, and gets a text from Yukiho Hagiwara. Wanting to talk and have fun, the 765 PRO idol invites Yukiho to the amusement park.
The girls walk in, excited to be there. After Ai annoys a mascot, Yukiho suggests going on some rides. The idol finds herself going on very extreme roller coaster rides with Ai and quickly asks if they can go to a calmer attraction. Ai leads Yukiho to the haunted house attraction and they walk through. Yukiho asks if anything will jump out, to which Ai responds that nothing scary has appeared... other than the ghostly samurai with an arrow through his back and blood dripping from face following them. Yukiho runs away screaming, dropping her bag in the process, and forcing Ai to chase her down. After a ghost chases them out of the attraction (trying to return the bag Yukiho dropped), Yukiho eventually calms down and laughs at herself. Ai smiles as Yukiho says that she has finally gotten rid of her bad mood. When Ai asks why she had a bad mood, Yukiho explains.
The Idol Ultimate, a competition to find the number one idol in Japan, was an event Yukiho competed in. Ai remembers that Mai won the title a while ago too, and remarks that Yukiho probably won due to her perfect talent. Yukiho sighs and admits that she lost to a very strong person. The person begins to remind Ai of the reason that Ryo was dropped from the audition, because of a strong person.
Yukiho and Ai change the subject and both say that they had fun, because they forgot their worries about losing a competition and a manager. The two walk through the amusement park and spot a crowd where a show is starting. As music begins to play and a voice sings, Yukiho recognizes it as the person who made her lose the Idol Ultimate. The girls ask a staff member what is happening, and he explains that a Super Idol's LIVE is taking place. The staff member recognizes the idols and allows them into the event, which Ai is shocked to hear because it was the first time her face got her into an event. As the idols approach the stage, the performer stands up to thank the audience for coming. Ai immediately begins to cry and gets a horrified face when the idol says she will sing her favorite song of all.
Extra Chapter -
On the day Manami said goodbye, the three 876 idols ask the manager and Reiko to help them eat the cake for the send off party. The cake has little figurines of Ai, Eri, and Ryo on top. The group thanks Manami for all of her work. The next day, Haruka calls the 876 PRO office, but no one answers the phone. Miki quips that everyone is probably out to lunch or on vacation.
After a word from the author (who thanks the reader), the story goes back to Eri when she was making the cake. After accidentally pouting an entire bottle of liquid into the batter instead of a tablespoon and switching granulated sugar for white sugar, Eri declares that she is finished upon creating a liquid in the bowl. Ai and Ryo decide to help her finish, and several hours later the cake is actually completed. While it looks disgusting, Ryo decides to try it for a taste test. When they wake up a passed out Ryo, he recommends that they shouldn't taste it. Ai tries to hold back tears as she realizes they will be forced to give Manami a terrible cake, but Eri and Ryo decide to work together to make a truly tasty cake.
The cake turned out wonderfully and Manami is surprised by the gift.
Splash Red Volume 3
|THE iDOLM@STER Splash Red for Dearly Stars 3|