Since Love Live! Sunshine!! is going to start airing in three weeks or so, I figured I should sit down and watch both seasons of Love Live! School Idol Project. I would be uncomfortable blogging about LL! Sunshine!! if I didn’t even touch what I would consider to be the starter kit to RABU RAIBU.
First of all, I want to be clear that this was my first school idol anime. I’ve experienced school idol series twice before, but only as manga. Furthermore, one series was about a trap (AKB49: Ren’ai Kinshi Jōrei) and the other one was about a boy who gets turned into a girl (Idol Pretender)…
Why am I bringing this up? Well, one of the critical differences between manga and anime is that anime actually has sound! Correct me if I’m wrong, but for shows in which characters are singing, a quality OST would seem to be mandatory. Love Live!, in my opinion, has that in spades. Don’t get me wrong, Idol Pretender was okay and I think AKB49 is great. However, I watched all 26 episodes of Love Live! in three days. I couldn’t stop! The great songs were definitely one of the reasons why I went on such a watching spree.
Despite how there was only 3 cute idols performing in this particular concert, START:DASH!! was definitely my favorite song.
From reading Idol Pretender and AKB49, I can confidently say that the road to being an idol is guaranteed to be fraught with both peril and drama. Love Live! is no exception. And I have to admit, said drama was what had me fighting tears for most of the episodes. Seriously, this was the highest weepy-time-to-episodes ratio I’ve ever experienced watching a show.
However, I feel like sometimes the drama was a bit much. I mean, some of the characters had sob stories behind why they’re so mean early on, but I found their behavior to be slightly annoying. But I guess it would be unrealistic if all 9 girls suddenly assembled on command to form a hit idol group like they were Yu-Gi-Oh! Exodia cards, so I couldn’t stay too mad at the girls for acting like that.
Another thing worth mentioning is how nearly every μ’s member is divisive as heck (and the dramatic situations that kept popping up like zits on a teenager’s face had a tendency of making select characters look pretty bad). Alternative character interpretation is plentiful here, folks! I don’t think a fan can ignore even his or her own favorite’s flaws and faults. For example, I adore Kotori (super unpopular opinion here in the West, I’ve been told), but I can’t help but agree she is indecisive and is basically a yes-man to Honoka.
Maybe I’m a bit of a S, but I found the moment where Kotori has a minor breakdown trying to write lyrics for a song about Akiba to be my favorite moment in the entire series.
While it may appear that the yuri was suddenly cranked up in the second season, it’s actually the other way around. While other adaptions have quite the amount of yuri subtext, the ship tease was more muted in the first season for some reason. Some viewers may dislike this seemingly abrupt increase in shipping material, I suppose. Personally, I’m all for it!
Also, I couldn’t help but find the way they animated fingernails to be a little strange. The nails were just a bit too pink for me. Very minor; I kept noticing it, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Love Live! That being said, the rest of the animation was still amazing. You wouldn’t be able to tell it was made 3 years ago, in my opinion. Well, the CG during the concerts was a little off at times, but it wasn’t too big of a deal.
Overall, if you’re looking for a show that’ll have you in tears while bombarding you with catchy songs, cute but flawed
girls who have it bad for other girls, and a hefty dose of drama, then you can’t go wrong with Love Live! School Idol Project. And if you do enjoy Love Live!, don’t forget Sunshine!! is in the Summer 2016 lineup!
[Who was your favorite girl and why? What about your favorite song? I’d love to hear your answers!]