My first experience with iM@S 2? Rough, I would say.
When I first got the game, I've browsed through guides for orientation. Having some forethought, I began producing Miki, Hibiki and Takane at most three times, each of them as leaders -- that Beyond the Stars costume is such a beaut so I figured I might as well get that going first, before producing the likes of Chihaya, Makoto and Yukiho.
For starters, Miki was the first leader. When I said it was rough, it was verily so at first. Being my first play, I didn't really know better, whether it was spreading attention across all my idols or responding to their "afternoon activities" properly. I didn't think much of it at the time... up until they all started fighting. Miki would get at Hibiki, and vice versa; Takane was just straight up uncomfortable. So, I had to call it a day for them to cool off, and things went better from there; I wised up, we made fans, we finished concerts... yet in the end it was all for naught.
Yeah, turns out I got the Bad End. I never made 300,000 fans for the last festival, and it didn't occur to me that I could've only went for the Normal End upon completing one of those "boss festivals". I was absolutely gutted. It genuinely felt like I failed them, and I immediately saw myself as a horrible person... so I vowed to never get this ending again. For what it's worth, I kicked Jupiter's ass and got our song number 1. At the very least, I then took my experience and made amends when I produced Hibiki and Takane as leaders.
Hell, I even produced Miki a second time and made her happy, since I needed the first-completion achievement on my Japanese account for some items to carry over. Despite all the ups and downs I had with this unit, it felt real. Real in a sense that I went into a completely different world and had no real bearing on proper tasks as I would on subsequent playthroughs. What's more to this is that outside of the story, my subsequent tasks felt more and more autonomous since I pretty much know of the meta at this point. Quite a personal experience, I'd say.
I didn't suffer much with the vending machine, either, since I was running off a guide to help me make my way somewhat. Admittedly, I'd do the tutorial scene even on subsequent playthroughs since I find Iori's reaction adorable. That, and the gentlemen in me just had to appeal to her request. :3