THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars

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THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars
Cover Art
Video Game Data
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games Inc.
Developer: Microvision
Selling Agency: Namco Bandai Games Inc.
Release Date: September 17, 2009
CERO Rating: C (target over the age of 15)

THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars (アイドルマスター ディアリースターズ Aidorumasutaa Diarii Sutaazu) is a video game in THE iDOLM@STER series released for the Nintendo DS on September 17, 2009 (at a price of ¥6,279), starring Ai Hidaka, Eri Mizutani, and Ryo Akizuki of 876 Production. It is notable for being the first title in THE iDOLM@STER 2nd Vision Project. The game features a story mode with one of the three idols, a multiplayer wireless cheering mode, as well as a Download Play mode.

THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars is the first game in the series where the player takes the role of an idol, making this the second game where the player does not take the role of a producer following THE iDOLM@STER Live for You!. Namco Bandai Games has classified the genre of this game as being Top Idol Adventure. It makes use of the DS's Wi-Fi, wireless and Download Play features. Pre-orders of the game came with a limited edition WeißSchwarz trading card.

It is also the first and so far the only THE iDOLM@STER title to be released on a Nintendo platform.


Each of the three playable characters have their own story, starting shortly before the idol in question joins 876 Production, a talent agency that serves as a central element of the game´s setting.

When the player acquires the best ending for all 3 idols, an "epilogue" chapter will be unlocked.

Ai's story

Ai, wishing to become an idol as famous as her mother once was, has been participating in tests at various talent agencies, but she has failed every single one of them. Her inability to even begin to follow in her mother's footsteps becomes a complex to her. As Ai bursts into tears, alone in a public park, she is approached by 765 Production idol Haruka Amami, who was a special judge at one of the tests Ai has taken. Having sensed something special about Ai's singing, Haruka comforts her and introduces her to 876 Production's president Ishikawa. The president is very quick to invite Ai into 876, as she believes that the name of her mother -- Mai Hidaka -- alone should be enough to propel Ai to the top. Ai protests, stating that she wants to become an idol using only her strength. She is then given one chance to prove herself at a rookie idol audition. Ai won the audition and slowly became a popular idol herself. Later, her mother Mai Hidaka suddenly came out from retirement and challenged her with Ai's old manager Manami Okamoto. Ai will have to either avoid dueling with her mother on a singing audition or win and shine by completely step off her mother's shadow.

Eri's story

She was an internet celebrity and hikikomori famous on the net as Ellie. She is a shy and reserved girl. One day she receives a message from a producer named Ozaki who encourages her to debut as a real idol. Eventually, she builds up the courage to meet Ozaki. Ozaki asks her for her real name, and she says that her real name is Eri Mizutani. Then she makes her debut at the 876 Production. She meets Ai and Ryo there and decides to give up her life as a net idol and hikikomori. There she is given a chance to prove she can succeed as a real idol.

Ryo's story

Deeply worried by his feminine image and hoping to become more popular with the girls, Ryo has been considering becoming an idol for a long time; but when he visits the 765 Production office to discuss this idea with his cousin Ritsuko Akizuki, she appears skeptical towards his plans. However, she is prepared to introduce him to Manami Okamoto, a manager at 876 Production. Manami, in deep trouble because of an 876 idol having become unable to perform at a live concert that is about to take place, is glad to accept Ryo as a substitute. Much to his disturbance, he has to go on stage dressed as a girl.

Ritsuko, noticing Ryo's charming on-stage appearance, decides that he should make his debut with 765 Production after all. Ryo immediately refuses because Ritsuko wants him to debut as a girl idol, and he does not like the idea of being toyed with by his cousin. He chooses to join 876 Production instead so he will be able to debut in his way.

However, when he is officially taken in by 876 Production, president Ishikawa decides that Ryo will continue to perform as a female idol for the time being. His fans and his fellow 876 idols Ai Hidaka and Eri Mizutani are not aware that Ryo is male.

Shortly afterward, Ryo is asked to join an audition in which he will face Ai and Eri to decide which one of them will be allowed to make a stage appearance in a unique TV show. Ryo feels that he is at a disadvantage as both of his rivals have an experienced mentor by their sides to lend them advice. Ryo's cousin Ritsuko, however, is too busy to help him out. Instead, she introduces him to Makoto Kikuchi, a popular and successful 765 Production idol to be his mentor.

After interacting with Yumeko Sakurai, Souichi Takeda, and the other 765 production idols, Ryo has become a popular and successful idol himself. However ultimately, he has to face a difficult choice to either find a way to realize his goal to become a male idol; or continue to become a female idol to avoid hurting his fans' and fellow 876 colleagues' feelings.

Storyline relations

It was confirmed that in 2nd Vision, Miki Hoshii, Hibiki Ganaha and Takane Shijou would return and join 765 Production. This implies that 2nd Vision, including Dearly Stars, supposes two scenarios; the aforementioned idols were a part of 765 Production all along (meaning Project Fairy was never a part of 961 Production), or that Dearly Stars continues the story from THE iDOLM@STER SP. The latter has been further suggested to be the case by several 765 characters making appearances within the game's storyline as already successful idols.


Story Mode

In the Story Mode, the player takes on the role of one of the game´s three prospective idols. Outside of the story scenes, the gameplay follows a structured pattern. Unlike previous games, this structure is based on a day-by-day basis rather than being based on weeks.

Except a certain scenario, every Monday, at the beginning of the week the player greets one of the other two idols. Like in the other iDOLM@STER games this can affect your tension. After this the player meets up with 876 Pro's president Ishikawa to discuss the current week's popular image. In addition, the player will receive advice and directions and be able to change costumes and songs.

The player should take notice that unlike previous iDOLM@STER titles, the player can only change songs and costumes including accessories at the beginning of a new week. Songs can't be switched anymore after acquiring the idol's image song. The player can also alter the choreography and camera work. These customizations affect the idol's image levels, and there may be benefit in matching them with the current popular image.

Every Sunday the player is given the choice on how to spend the day off, by either staying indoors or going outside and watch the other two idols perform, thus raising some tension. Staying home won't give you any tension but you won't be forced to watch a few seconds of another idol's performance, thus saving you some real life time. Either way you'll either get a random accessory, costume or fan mail at the end of the day. However, you receive nothing if too much time (more than two weeks) has passed since your last audition.

Every morning, including Monday mornings, the player is then taken to the My Menu (マイメニュー) screen, where information such as the player's idol rank, indicating an idol's popularity, the player's vocal (Vo), dance (Da) and visual (Vi) image levels and the current popular image is displayed. Here, the player is able to read mail, save the game and decide how to spend the rest of the day. There are four activities to choose from: lesson (レッスン), promotion (営業), audition (オーディション), and taking the day off (休む). The audition (オーディション) can only be selected once the president considers the idol to be ready for an audition, based on the prefixed amount of necessary "story based" promotions completed so far.


Upon selecting lesson, the player will be presented with a choice of three types of lessons to take. Each lesson raises a specific image. A vocal lesson (ボーカルレッスン) raises the idol's vocal image, a dance lesson (ダンスレッスン) raises the idol's dance image and a visual lesson (ビジュアルレッスン) raises the idol's visual image. The amount by which the image is raised depends on the outcome of the lesson.

In addition to an increase in stats, it is possible to obtain a choreography panel at the end of a lesson. Regular panels can be acquired from lessons in the Story Mode, whereas "idol panels" can only be acquired if you accept the help of an experienced 765 idol after the first time you met them and you obtain at least a 'GOOD LESSON'. Panel 3 of one of the original 9 idol's original personal song can only be acquired from the idol the song's associated with; "Aoi Tori" for Chihaya, "Taiyou no Jealousy" for Haruka etc. 765 idols can only be encountered when you're at idol rank E, D or C, with the exception of a certain idol's D-rank scenario. Although the chance of encountering an idol is random, their schedule is fixed based on the day of the week as well as the type of lesson.

765 idols that have an active role in a 876 idol's story as well as both Takane and Hibiki won't appear as lesson coaches in Story Mode.

For more information, see Lesson.


By selecting promotion, the player will get a choice of various jobs to do. Much like in previous THE iDOLM@STER games, a dialogue between the protagonist and one or more other characters will be shown and at some points choices must be made to advance the dialogue. Depending on the selected choices and behavior, the player will obtain a number of 'memories'. Also, promotions marked with a red exclamation mark (!) are required in order to progress the story and to enter auditions. Memories are reset to 0 (zero) at the beginning of every chapter. Only the story-based promotions are voiced.


After completing a certain amount of story-based promotions, the president will let the player participate in an audition. The chances of passing are based on the idol's stats and the current popular image. The player can influence the odds during the audition by using memories to activate a roulette of 'good' and 'bad' panels and using the stylus to attempt to touch a 'good' panel. If the player succeeds, the interest gauge of the judge that is displayed on the upper screen will rise, increasing the chance of passing. Depending on the idol's current stats, the judges' initial interest and the speed his or her interest drops is modified. Interest only goes up to a maximum of 90% and can drop to 10% at lowest, even if the interest bar is completely full or empty. Also, because the judge's interest is measured in percentages from 10 to 90 percent, one could lose an audition with a full interest bar and win an audition with an empty bar.

The outcome of the audition will affect the direction of the scenario, with failing usually leading to either a different story branch or a bad ending. Ranking up requires passing auditions at given points in the story, while failing the rank-up audition will lead directly to an ending. Reaching the true ending requires passing the audition at A rank.

The idol rank report (アイドルランク報告) will be presented to the player, showing how many new fans the idol has gathered in a chapter at the end of a chapter.

Day off

Raises some tension and skips to the next day.

Stage Mode

In the Stage Mode, the player can watch the idols perform. Beforehand, the performing idol, the song, the stage and the idol's outfit can be selected and the choreography and the camera work can be customized.


Like in previous installments, a costume can be chosen from the categories Cute&Girly, Cosmic&Funny, and Cool&Sexy. Accessories are available in the categories Head, Body and Hand. Initially, only a small selection of costumes and accessories can be used, but more can be obtained in the Story Mode and by scanning QR Codes.

In the Stage Mode, an additional costume category called T-Shirt can be selected. By choosing this category the player will be able to design their own T-shirt for the idol to wear. This is done by selecting a basic T-shirt and drawing an illustration for its front and one for its back on the touch screen using a variety of colors and tools.


Using the choreography customization function (振付エディット), players can create an original dance for the selected song using choreography panels. These panels represent dance moves found in the default dances of many songs not found in iDOLM@STER DS as well as a number of basic moves and a variety of some of the "original 10" idols' trademark motions and moves. A list of all of the collectable choreography panels is available below.

A dance is created by choosing up to ten panels and dividing them among all the phrases of a song and setting the timing for switching from one move to the next. Up to three different panels can be selected for an individual line. While using the touch screen to create the choreography, the player can view the panels' details on the upper screen. These details include an attribute out of Visual (ビジュアル), Dance (ダンス) and Vocal (ボーカル), which will have an effect on the idol's image level when the choreography is edited in the Story Mode.

Randomly adding panels or making up a dance that doesn't make sense will drop your image. The exact criteria for raising or lowering the image is unknown but having a fluent animation from the dance to a panel and back to the dance seems to be important; when an idol jumps during a dance or does a hand motion and then the used panel 'forces' the idol in a neutral stance on the ground, the dance will look messed up.

If the choreography is not customized, the song's default dance will be used.

Camera work

The camera work (カメラワーク) can be customized in a very similar way, using panels that represent different camera angles. A number of panels can be selected for each phrase from the songs' lyrics, and the precise timing of the camera switches can be chosen for each of them. This is done on the touch screen, while details of the selected camera angle are displayed on the upper screen. Apart from the UP, MID and LONG camera angles known from previous games, a WIDE camera and a STG camera have also been added.

In total, the following camera angle panels are available.

  • UP
  • UP Center
  • UP Right
  • UP Left
  • MID
  • MID Center
  • MID Right
  • MID Left
  • LONG
  • WIDE
  • STG
  • AUTO


While the idol's performance is shown on the upper screen, a cheering rhythm game can be played on the lower screen. Before the performance the player can select a call set (コールセット) consisting of three different kinds of calls, which include actions such as various cheers and hand claps. These calls can then be used during the performance to support the idol.

Saved performance can be played for a high score and then be sent to Nintendo WFC. Up to 12 performances can be saved at once. A maximum of 10 performances can be added to the playlist, when playing the playlist all the songs in the list will play one after another. Also, when a headphone/speaker etc. is plugged in and when closing the DS, songs on the playlist continue playing, making the playlist function like some sort of an "audio player".

Multiplayer features

Wireless Cheering Mode

Using the Nintendo DS Wireless functionality, the cheering minigame described above can be played with up to 16 players. Afterward, a results screen will show the player's own score, the best player's score, a synchronization rate and a rank.

Download Play

In this mode there are 2 options one can select as a host, 'Share Story' and 'Share Stage'. The names for both options are misleading seeing as how 'Share Story' only allows one to watch the 'Special Interview', a fully voiced self introduction of the three 876 idols. 'Share Stage' only allows one to watch the 'Extra Stage', the "trio" version of the song "HELLO!!". Both Download Play features are the same things as promotion footage used by NBGI in the past.

DSi features

If the game cartridge is plugged into a Japanese Nintendo DSi, a QR Code (QRコード) option will appear on the main menu. By using the DSi camera to scan a QR code, the player could receive items such as costumes and accessories and possibly more. There was only one in-game already acquirable item for "download" with this feature, the Heartache Glasses (キュンキュンメガネ). One had to be signed up for THE iDOLM@STER Mobile and access the site with a supported Japanese cellphone to acquire the QR code.

As the DSi is not region-free, a non-Japanese DSi won't be able to run the game at all whereas a regular DS or DS Lite has no problem running the game at all, but obviously won't have the QR function due to the hardware lacking a camera.

QR Codes for Dearly Stars
QRCOOL&SEXY-SunshineYellow.jpg QRHAND-BlackCatPaws.jpg QRHEAD-AngelRing.jpg
Sunshine Yellow
Black Cat Paws
Angel Ring


Playable characters

The player can select which of these characters to play at the start of the Story Mode. These are also the characters available for performances in the Stage Mode.

Ai Hidaka
Image Stats Profile Image
Vocal High
Dance Low
Visual Medium
Image Song
Img 1008287 21911547 2.jpg
Character Biography
The daughter of a very famous idol. She'll spring forward from this complex and become Top Idol on her own.
Spring forward and hang in there,
just like an assault tank!
Self Appeal
Dashing forward to be me!
Eri Mizutani
Image Stats Profile Image
Vocal Low
Dance Medium
Visual High
Image Song
Img 1008287 21911547 3.jpg
Character Biography
A timid hikikomori who aims to become an idol. Is her networking intelligence her
A little mystified? It's the lost child from the world of the internet.
Self Appeal
First time Googling?
Try "Fountain of Ellie".
Ryo Akizuki
Image Stats Profile Image
Vocal Low
Dance High
Visual Medium
Image Song
Dazzling world image.JPG
Character Biography
The cousin of 765PRO idol Ritsuko Akizuki. Ryo seems to be relying on Ritsuko to help with her debut.
Preeminent style and full of dreams!
This little girl seems to have a big secret!
Self Appeal
I want to be liked as
a girl and an idol.

Non-playable characters

Introduced in Dearly Stars
YumekoSakuraiDS.png AyaneSuzukiDS.png MaiHidakaDS.png ReikoOzakiDS.png ManamiOkamotoDS.png MinoriIshikawaDS.png SouichiTakedaDS.png Bureau Director Igarashi
Yumeko Sakurai Ayane Suzuki
Mai Hidaka Reiko Ozaki Manami Okamoto Minori Ishikawa Souichi Takeda Bureau Director

765 Production Idols
Portrait haruka2.jpg Portrait makoto2.jpg Portrait yayoi2.jpg Portrait hibiki2.jpg Portrait yukiho2.jpg Portrait iori2.jpg
Haruka Amami Makoto Kikuchi Yayoi Takatsuki Hibiki Ganaha Yukiho Hagiwara Iori Minase
Portrait ami2.jpg Portrait takane2.jpg Portrait chihaya2.jpg Portrait ritsuko2.jpg Portrait azusa2.jpg Portrait miki2.jpg
Ami & Mami Futami Takane Shijou Chihaya Kisaragi Ritsuko Akizuki Azusa Miura Miki Hoshii


Seven songs are available to the player directly from the start of the game. An additional three songs, the image songs of the three selectable idols, can be obtained after a specific point in the story of each idol. It is not possible to select any image songs of the other 876 Production idols in Story Mode.

A 'hidden' alternative version of "Dazzling World" is available for Ryo and is selectable in Stage Mode after reaching a certain point in Story Mode. This version can be used by holding the either the [L] or the [R] shoulder button on the handheld when selecting "Dazzling World" for Ryo.

Returning Songs
TheIdolmastersong-logo.jpg Gomayway-logo.jpg Shinysmile-logo.jpg Agentyoruoyuku-logo.jpg Relations Jacket.png Kiramekirari.jpg
New Songs
HELLO!!LOGO.jpg Img 1008287 21911547 2.jpg Img 1008287 21911547 3.jpg Dazzling world image.JPG


Dearly Stars was primarily developed by Microvision[1] in conjunction with Namco Bandai. The game was directed by Toshihiko Kujioka of Namco Bandai and co-directed by Yoshimasa Koyama of Microvision. In 2008, while NBGI was in the process of developing THE iDOLM@STER SP and downloadable content for THE iDOLM@STER: Live for You!, Kujioka and fellow Namco Bandai producer Bunkei Tanaka submitted the proposal for Dearly Stars to Youzou Sakagami, the main producer for THE iDOLM@STER games. On December 5, 2008, Namco Bandai filed to acquire the trademark titles Dearly Stars, Dressing Sweet, and Dream Symphony, the latter of which, would be used for the CD series of the same name. When the names leaked online, speculation began about the next iDOLM@STER game appearing on the Nintendo DS system. It was announced in May 2009 as the first game in the franchise's next stage called "2nd Vision", which was described as THE iDOLM@STER's next project that would further expand the series' world.[2][3]

The development team wanted to introduce a new talent agency that would be separate from 765 Pro to better suit the details of the story, such as how the idols at 876 Pro are just starting out while the idols at 765 Pro already have an establish fanbase. Tanaka would go on to say that the scenario in Dearly Stars would not have worked without having a different company president—in this case, the president of 876 Pro, Minori Ishikawa. The gameplay was adjusted to allow the player the option to quickly play through the game's story. However, Kujioka also wanted to add in gameplay elements that would add another layer of challenge, such as the introduction of the choreography panel to make adjustments to an idol's dance sequence or the positioning and manipulation of in-game cameras. The staff also altered how the lessons and auditions operate in Dearly Stars compared to previous games in the series, which also modified the game's degree of difficulty.

When developing the game's three idols, the staff first decided on going with an archetypal "cheerful" girl and "slightly brooding and negative" girl. When thinking about what to do with the last idol, Kujioka suggested having the idol be male instead, and Tanaka thought this would be okay. It was also suggested that one of the 876 Pro idols be related to one of the 765 Pro idols, leading to Ritsuko Akizuki being chosen to be Ryō's cousin. When developing the idols' characters, creating one idol's details resulted in equivalent changes to the other two idols. For instance, this development technique ultimately led to the image color for the idols being decided based on the idols' surnames. The design of the characters was split between two artists: Toshiyuki Kubooka, who had been the character designer since the original arcade version of THE iDOLM@STER, and Kiyotaka Tamiya, who designed the characters introduced in Dearly Stars.[4]

When writing the story, the staff wanted to incorporate Hibiki Ganaha and Takane Shijou, who had already been introduced in THE iDOLM@STER SP, but because the two games were being developed simultaneously, Hibiki's and Takane's role in the main story of Dearly Stars was kept to a minimum.[5] For the dance sequences during performances, Kujioka chose to employ talent star Fumi Sakura, as opposed to professional dancers who had been used in THE iDOLM@STER games up to that point. Kujioka wanted the dance sequences to be closer to what he calls an "idol's aura"—a certain emotional charm that is not a part of an idol's skill at dancing, according to him. Also, because of the idols in Dearly Stars are young and are just starting out, Kujioka told Sakura to purposefully mess up some dance portions to reflect this inexperience.

Despite THE iDOLM@STER originally being targeted at a male audience[6], there were also advertisements and promotions for Dearly Stars geared towards young girls.[7][8]

Development Staff

Voice cast

NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. Staff

Head Producer
  • Youzou Sakagami (坂上 陽三, Sakagami Youzou)
  • Toshihiko Kajioka (梶岡 俊彦, Kajioka Toshihiko)
Character Design for 876 Production
  • Kiyotaka Tamiya (田宮 清高, Tamiya Kiyotaka)
2D Character Design
  • Tamami Ishikawa (石川 珠実, Ishikawa Tamami)
  • Mizuki Uekusa (植草 みずき, Uekusa Mizuki)
  • Yasuko Fukuda (福田 泰子, Fukuda Yasuko)
Motion Capture
  • Kumi Sasaki (佐々木 久美, Sasaki Kumi)
  • Mizuo Sato (佐藤 水緒, Sato Mizuo)
  • Tetsuya Kouno (河野 哲也, Kouno Tetsuya)
  • Naoaki Ishida (石田 直秋, Ishida Naoaki)
  • Jun Ousone (大曽根 淳, Ousone Jun)
  • Kaoru Suzuki (鈴木 馨, Suzuki Kaoru)
  • Yasuki Samata (佐俣 康喜, Samata Yasuki)
  • Naoko Yoshiyama (吉山 直子, Yoshiyama Naoko)




  1. [ Microvision Products Page (archive)
  2. 2nd Vision Article (Dengeki)
  3. 2nd Vision Article (Famitsu)
  4. 4Gamer Dearly Stars Article
  5. THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars Delicious Album, available at [1]
  6. THE IDOLM@STER Xbox 360 Article (Famitsu)
  7. "Side B-N October 2009 issue" (in Japanese). Bandai Namco Games. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved on July 29, 2013.
  8. New Akiba Article