Compared to the other girls, Haruka is a rather ordinary girl. Other then being clumsy, she is not immediately characterized by any simple traits such as Makoto’s tomboyish nature or Yukiho’s shyness. Despite this, Haruka stood out to me from the very first episode when she explained how she easily passes the time during the two hour commute every day to reach 765 Pro. In my post for the ACAA, I talked briefly about how the iDOLM@STER inspired me as a person. Though all of the girls contributed to this, it was really Amami Haruka’s kindness, continual optimism, and way of life that caused the iDOLM@STER to leave a lasting impression.
Haruka is one of the nicest characters I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. She is always the first to reach out to her friends when they are in need of help. She is first to praise, and always sees the best in people. Haruka was reaching out to Chihaya since the very beginning, and even when Chihaya harshly pushed her away, Haruka refused to let her friend be alone, resulting in a very close friendship between the two. For the majority of iDOLM@STER fans, episode twenty’s concert performance probably remains one of the most memorable moments. But were in not for Haruka quickly running to her friend’s aid when she stumbled, that scene would not have ended on such a happy note. Not to say that the other girls aren’t kind or caring, but Haruka just takes it to another level.
I can’t talk about Haruka without also mentioning her extreme optimism. Seriously, she is so cheerful that it took an entire episode of shit to get her to break down. But more importantly, Haruka’s acted as a powerful support for the group. Her incessant encouragement and cries of “let’s do our best” motivates the others and keeps the group together and moving forward. Such a cheerful character is not something I have seen since the likes of Mizunashi Akari from ARIA (a character that I like very much), and it is contagious in its own bizarre fashion. Maybe I’m the only one, but every time Haruka was supporting one of the other girls with words such as “Let’s do our best!” I felt like I was also being supported by her.
Last, I can’t forget about her simple, but inspirational lifestyle. Haruka approaches each day with a smile and aims to simply enjoy life and her time spent with the people she cares about. Perhaps such a lifestyle can only exist in an idealized world, but that is also what makes it so beautiful, because it is an ideal that we can chase after.
Though some may dislike Haruka for the reasons I have discussed here, I find it impossible to be cynical towards her. Haruka is a bundle of cheerfulness and optimism that has caused me to smile many a iDOLM@STER episodes. But more importantly, her kindness also inspired me to keep going. Not often is it that a character can reach out an affect me as a person, but when they do, they are something special, and Amami Haruka is one such character.
Alright! Almost done with this project, next time I take a look at the IDOLM@STER anime series as a whole and give it a final review, so stay tuned!