My exposure to the Japanese Idol industry has been pretty much Love Live and Idolm@ster, so I have no idea what it would actually look like as a business. That is except maybe until I got introduced to Hololive, which is pretty much just part of the picture, wouldn’t it?
We were given access to a game called Idol Manager and me believing I’ve handled a game or two about idols, would be able to manage this quite easily. Because Idol games have some rhythm elements to it and relationships, right? No. This game floored me the first few tries.
Buuut if I knew a few things about how this game would work, maybe I wouldn’t be trying to escape a debt trap for the entire playthrough. So let me share with you some of the knowledge I gained through the many hours I spent trying to date an idol and not get in trouble for it.
Don’t forget to take a break
The tutorial kinda skips this but you automatically see the importance of having a break room once you read the description. Giving your idols a place to quickly regain some stamina will save you a lot of time and money since they can remain active for much longer.
Let them do the work
Your talents and staff can actually work on their own if you let them. They can automatically find jobs and even develop talents without having to be asked. This requires though that you let the talents automatically seek out training or development and that the corresponding people that provide that are also set to do it automatically. Do this and watch your talents bloom into some real head-turners (in terms of stats).
Don’t forget to thank the sponsor
The sponsor (Fujimoto) is probably going to be your best scapegoat out of financial troubles. Borrowing from banks means having to deal with interest rate but with good old sponsor-man over here you don’t have to deal with any of that (you still have to pay him back though. There appears to be a cap on how much he can do this for you, but if you thank him for winning an award, he appears to be happy enough to be in his good, 0% interest graces again.
Read between the lines
There will be several situations presented to you where you’ll have to make a choice on how to handle it. It can be a scandal because one of your idols was spotted with a man, or people trying to make an issue out of their costumes, or whatever else. You can’t answer these situations in on a simple cost vs benefit analysis. You have to be able to imagine what the situation is really like, and view the situation as a member of the public, the company, and as the individuals involved in the actual situation.
Sometimes it’s actually better to do nothing and let the heat blow over, other times there’s no easy answer where the people you care about can go unscathed. Don’t rush the decisions and really think about what’s the best step to take for your idols and the company’s image.
Keep friends close, and idols closer
Like in the real world, problems won’t arise just from external threats but internal ones as well. It’s quite possible that your talents may decide to get a boyfriend, or do something to sour the relationship of one girl with others within the company. To keep things like that in check, you’ll want to keep a good relationship with your idols.
This way, they can disclose important information on you and even use your influence over them to turn a situation around. Ignoring internal issues will slowly ruin your company from the inside, so make sure to keep a close watch on it.
Yep, you can date ‘em
Like every irresponsible producer, the prospect of being able to date your talents is not off the table. The girls you’ll be able to charm seems to depend from person to person. Eventually you can date them and develop a relationship like how a normal visual novel would let you.
Be aware that the risks are much higher for being discovered, I haven’t seen where this goes if you push it far enough. So whether it actually ends well, I’ll leave it to you to find out.
And with that you’re more or less as knowledgeable in the game as I am, good luck!