LOVE LIVE! School Idol Project

  Love Live: School Idol Festival is a winter 2012 anime produced by Sunrise with a second season that aired in spring 2014. Both seasons contain 13 episodes. Love Live started as a project in the Dengeki G magazine in 2010 and eventually developed music CDs with music label Lantis, as well as a very successful mobile game.

     Love Live focuses on a group of girls who become school idols in order to save their school from closing down. We start with Honoka, a second year who gets inspired by a famous group called A-rise and creates the group called μ’s or /muse/ with her best friends Umi and Kotori. They continue to grow into a bigger group with two trios of third and first years: Eli, Nozomi, Nico, and Hanayo, Maki, Rin.

Characters: 8.5/10

Honoka Kosaka
Umi Sonoda
Kotori Minami
Hanayo Koizumi
Maki Nishikino
Rin Hoshizora
Eli Ayase
Nico Yazawa
Nozomi Toujou

     The characters follow a lot of stereotypical archetypes. We have the ‘genki’ girl, the tsundere, the sports girl, and et cetera. However, throughout the two seasons, each character has a featured episode that focuses on both their past and their motivations. This adds depth and complexity to all nine girls. You also see how the relationships among one another progress and how they move from this senpai-kouhai relationship to being very close friends. Still, character development does not take off for most characters until the second season. As a standalone anime, the first season lacks a lot of character development for most of the girls.

Plot: 7/10

     The plot of Love Live is very simple. It follows the generic amateur idol story. However, what sets it apart is the reason that they start doing it. There is the factor that they do this in order to save their school and the odds of them becoming popular is very low since they promote their own events without any agent of some sort. They also initially fight against the school council in becoming acknowledged as a proper group and to have support from the school itself. It also shows the progression of how the motivations of the characters ultimately change by the end and the reason they’ve been doing the whole idol thing is completely different from why they started it. The plot also centrals around themes of friendship and perseverance and those were well incorporated within the story.

     The second season left from where the first season ends and centers around the girls trying to fulfil their new goal. The journey the girls go through and the ultimate decision they have by the end of the season is very emotional and really leaves you with something to think about.

Music: 8.5/10

𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬

     The songs in Love Live are characteristically fun. They often revolve around themes like ‘never giving up’ or friendship, with the occasional love song. While Love Live does have a lot of love songs in their albums, in the anime, most of the songs center around friendship and things that inspire the girls because the setting is that the girls themselves write the lyrics to their songs – which make the songs very expressive of the mindset and way of thinking of μ’s.

Voice acting: 9/10


     The voice acting in Love Live is phenomenal. Each character’s voice is easily distinguishable and their quirks are clearly shown. It can be noted that even in their singing, the characters’ personalities still shine through and it can be easily analysed from the tone of how they sing.

Animation: 8/10

     Most of the time, the animation of Love Live is beautiful with a lot of great close-ups and background design. However, during the actual dance sequences and performances, the animation becomes 3D and robotic-like. At times, these two style mix and you do not get a coherent scene with the changing styles. The 3D style also makes the girls look robotic when they should be expressing their song through the performances.

Personal enjoyment: 10/10 (not included in final rating)

     I’m a large fan of the game and thought the anime brought so much depth to the characters. It also made the game more enjoyable, knowing now about the background of the whole story and the motivations and personality of each character. I also felt like it was so easy to become attached to these characters and to become emotional with their struggles and what they go through. Their friendships are also fantastic – also Umi best girl.

Overall rating: 8.2/10

Originally written by Tumor baby 

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