Idol-themed anime: no matter how hard I try to resist them, they draw me in. After watching ABK0048, Love Live!, and The iDOLM@STER – the next title in my backlog contained the same basic principles of all three, but a little more bit down to Earth. The title is none other than the 13 episodic, drama-charged story of Chance Pop Session, a tale of three young girls that are inspired after a concert to reach for their own dreams and become idols. This will be short, concise, and to the point.
If my small introductory spiel did not give it away, Chance Pop Session is at best an average, yet okay idol anime series with all the trimmings and themes seen most commonly in other works. It is predictable and you will probably be able to get an handle on things well before the final fade out, but the story does this in way to make it more emotionally poignant as the three girls: Akari (the cheerful one), Yuki (the independent spirit), and Nozomi (the daughter of a wealthy family) reach for their dreams and the journey that lies ahead as their paths converge into one. In the purest sense, the story is a tender character-driven drama rather than relying on the core of what is to happen or will happen. So if you favor something more spontaneous and intricate – this is probably not it by any means. You will want to watch if you enjoy these type of steady and emotional rides with the usual rosy side ending. It is just as simple as that without spoiling any of the details.
Besides the story content vs the adeptness of it, everything else is the typical affair. The musical inserts were somewhat better than expected, supporting cast more interesting than first glance, and more palatable to take in the first time around. Not being the biggest supporter of Madhouse Studios, I have to praise the original artwork and animation jiving together semi-well, but criticize how poor the animation productions values were. After greats such as Cardcaptor Sakura and Ninja Scroll, I was expecting more especially after the series was released from VHS to DVD. That being said, it does also have a dubbed track (if you have the former ADV Films version), but in this case, prefer the subtitled track as it is more in-line with the subtitles and not as liberal with the dub as most productions of its caliber.
Depending on your feelings toward the drama genre and the idol subculture as whole, as aforementioned, it is a take it or leave it series. I know I enjoyed it a little more than I thought I would (especially near the beginning), but wasn’t too much of a difficult sell for me to start with. It was on my backlog list after all. However, even if you aren’t into the whole drama and musical scene, I do think this series is at least watchable for some audiences of the opposite affinity. It doesn’t contain much comedy, no action, or exactly the most enticing developments, but if you are considering it: give it shot. If not, don’t bother – you won’t be missing much for those not willing. On the old arbitrary scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I would give it a 7. Just another okay idol anime series in my record book.