Love Live! School Idol Project

Title:Love Live! School Idol Project
ラブライブ! School idol project (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: MIMORI Suzuko
R1 License - NIS America
R1 License - Subtitled Only
Honoka Kōsaka loves her school. That's why it's bad news for her when she finds out it's being shut down due to lack of new students. In order to bring in more students, Honoka decides to start a "school idol group", which is certain to get the eyes of the public. To make this dream a reality, she gathers together her close friends and classmates to make the best idol unit possible.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

A Winter 2013 series

13 episodes

[edit] The Love Live franchise:
Love Live! School Idol Project
Love Live! School Idol Project 2
Love Live! Sunshine!!
Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai
Love Live! Superstar!! S1
Love Live! Superstar!! S2
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 7 6 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2666#1552]
It would seem recent anime titles love milking idol themes of some sort. Here for Love Live, the idol theme is used to feature a trio of friends and several of their classmates putting together their own idol group to prevent their high school from closing hence the efforts to recruit more members, prepare for concerts and participate in an idol competition. While this sort of plot does have its potential at exploring online fandom for idols since the concerts that Muse perform go viral, the series doesn't really dig too deep into the premise as it instead focuses on the bonding between members of the group. Since nine characters make up the group, there's obviously limited time to devote equal focus to all of them and the majority of characters either get limited depth or are reduced to simple archetypes. The acts of the group feature typical J-pop musical themes that fit well for the idol theme yet have nothing in particular that stick out greatly compared to other idol-themed titles and the dance sequences from the girls during their musical performances often milk use of CG animation mixed with the regular animation that sticks out like a sore thumb. Overall, this baby seems to only exist to glorify the idol craze as similar titles of its ilk do and would only recommend this if you crave both pop idols and anime.

Last updated Thursday, June 18 2015. Created Thursday, June 18 2015.
Watch Stretch [series:2666#628]
(Watch+ or Rent-)

(All episodes watched):

Well, a lot of Idol series seem to take the attitude that kids will love anything about Idol groups, so there's no need to invest much money and time into creating good jokes or interesting characters. However, I got the impression from episode one that Love Live was doing well enough that it just might be one of the few that makes some special effort to earn it's success. LL struck me as a fairly realistic, plausible story rather than some sort of simplistic animated idol worship. Main character Honoka is a silly but likeable girl, and the characters in general seemed to be growing and becoming likeable people who you can identify with and root for. Love Live had what it takes to interest me and keep me watching 'til the end. In episode three, I thought that the moment when Honoka and her companions get a rude awakening about just how much anybody cares about their group was very clever and moving. It would have been easy to bask in the pageantry and fame of Idol singing and ignore how difficult making that possible is, and the toll it charges on the girls who eventually carry it out, but LL doesn't do that.

Next, the girls go about recruiting additional members for Muses, until they reach the total of nine which we have seen in the OP and ED sequences. I felt that this was less interesting than the establishment of the premise early on; it seemed kind of formulaic. With no less than nine members it's hard to give each one an interesting and distinctive personality. I think at least two have no personality at all and several others (the proud girls who were reluctant to join the group) are so similar that it's hard to distinguish them from each other. The gruff 'Nico' was amusing. I am impatient for the group to get back to work meeting challenges and making some progress towards their goal of saving the school from being closed down. Contrary to what I had expected, 'Love Live' isn't the name of the group the girls form, it's a nationwide school idol competition the winning of which might achieve that goal.

After watching episode twelve, I couldn't see how this series could end after just one season. The Muse group was in disarray, several key members were leaving, yet the group hadn't even earned a place as a competitor at Love Live yet. They had, however, earned the school a sort of stay of execution. I hoped the show would move seamlessly to season two during the spring, because while not brilliant, I was finding it to be fairly fun and was rooting for the Muse girls. But apparently after healing their worst differences in episode 13, the story is finished, at least for now, and this is as far as it goes. I can only guess that the series is based on an incomplete manga and ends with what was originally an arc ending. The OP sequence shows an elaborate performance at what could only have been the Love Live competition, after all. The attitude seems to have been "let's just make season one and if it doesn't do very well we'll just forget about the conclusion". Needless to say, this was disappointing and the abrupt ending doesn't work all that well as a conclusion to the series as a whole. But Love Live was a modestly entertaining show about underdogs struggling to achieve a seemingly impossible goal, and I have no regrets about watching. It had a certain charm all of its own.

Last updated Wednesday, June 30 2021. Created Wednesday, January 09 2013.

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