Most The Idolmaster games have a rival of some sort. After all, players are joining 765 Productions as their latest producer, and 765 Productions has a history with 961 Productions. 765 Production’s Junjiro Takagi and 961 Production’s Takao Kuroi were friends who had a falling out years ago, and there has been a competition between the two ever since. The Idolmaster: Stella Stage’s Shika is only the most recent in a string of many. Like Takane Shijou and Hibiki Ganaha, she is a great addition to the cast. But even better, there are two secrets surrounding her.
Editor’s note: there will be spoilers for The Idolmaster: Stella Stage below.
Okay, let’s jump right in with the big secret. Shika isn’t just the latest idol in 961 Production’s idol mill. There is a reason her last name was not revealed prior to The Idolmaster: Stella Stage’s launch. It isn’t because sometimes Bandai Namco does that, like they did with Leon in The Idolmaster: One for All. It is because she is Shika Kuroi. As in the aforementioned Takao Kuroi’s daughter. That’s why she is with 961 Productions. Her father is in charge of it.
Fortunately, this has no effect on her personality. Shika is a sweet and kind young woman. While her father is vindictive, willing to sabotage the 765 idols, can be incredibly cruel and is generally a jerk, she is not at all. She grew up as a rich young woman in Austria, but is not spoiled. Whenever you or the idol you are currently working with meets her, she is kind, supportive and genuinely excited to see people who are competing in the same industry. In fact, one of Haruka’s rank up opportunities has her doing a radio show with Shika where the two get along very amicably. Even Hibiki, who is concerned considering her experience with 961 Productions, comes around.
Which brings us to Shika’s second secret. She can be produced in The Idolmaster: Stella Stage. I’m not talking about Stage 4 U, where she unlocks as a performer not long after you begin playing. After I beat the game with Azusa and Hibiki, I realized that there was a 961 Live performance in the column where I could produce Shika. (I have no idea how it unlocked, but know I had completed all of the Duo lives with Azusa and all of the Solo lives with Hibiki, as well as all previous 961 lives and one of the 765 ones.
What’s neat about Shika is her possible songs in The Idolmaster: Stella Stage. Once you have her unlocked, she has four songs available to her. You can have her perform “Acceleration,” “Blooming Star,” “Overmaster” or “Top!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Now both “Blooming Star” and “Top!!!!!!!!!!!!!” make sense, as the former is her image song in the game and the latter is the highlighted performance for this installment. But both “Acceleration” and “Overmaster” are there because they are notable 961 Production songs from previous games. Project Fairy performed “Overmaster” in The Idolmaster SP, while “Acceleration” was Leon’s song in The Idolmaster: One for All.
Shika is quite an addition to The Idolmaster: Stella Stage cast. Her backstory is interesting, what with her father being the most aggressive and conniving person in The Idolmaster history. Yet his influence hasn’t rubbed off on her. That you can eventually produce her in the game is another thing that makes her special, since it gives you a chance to see her performing her song and ones from other 961 Production idols. It is great to have a rival that really stands out in the game. Here’s hoping she becomes a permanent member of the cast in future installments.
The Idolmaster: Stella Stage is available for the PlayStation 4 in Japan.