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Love Live! School Idol Project (Seasons 1 and 2)
by Chikage_Shampoo

Page: 1/2

When she learns that their school is about to close, Honoka convinces her two friends Umi and Kotori that they must form a pop idol group to boost the school’s popularity and ultimately save the school. Thus begins Love Live!: a silly, not really that good, yet strangely endearing anime that is sure to charm even the most surly of viewers if they let it. Fans of series like K-On! will be especially appreciative of this feel-good musical comedy, where obstacles resolve themselves pretty readily and almost every episode ends with a new song featuring cel-shaded girls dancing in matching outfits.

The original trio.

Idol mode on!

For those who aren’t as into series like that, I recommend not taking it too seriously. Just clear the mind and let it soak in. Otherwise, you might become distracted—or, like me, left wondering why you’re still watching even though you’ve been grumbling nonstop about things like the flatness of the characters and the sheer unbelievability of the story.

There’s always blushing going on.

Also a lot of dreaming and wondering.

Don’t get me wrong: the characters are cute. By the end, there are 9 girls in the idol group μ’s (pronounced “muse”), each with her own distinctive personality. But not one of them is particularly memorable except for the ever annoying Nico, who tries to cement her catchphrase “Nico-Nico-Ni!” by spouting it and waving her arms at every opportunity. One is left wondering why Honoka is advertised to have such a charismatic personality even though she just seems like another ditzy protagonist. I’m not going to go into the details of the other girls, as they’re all pretty unmemorable, if not stereotypical; it’s only been a few days since I finished both seasons, and I’m already having trouble remembering names. It gets a little worse in the second season, as the characters lose the few distinctive quirks they have to similarly melodramatic personalities.

Meet Nico. She always has a pose ready for you.

No, seriously.

Having fun.

Now for the happy-sad, sparkly expression.

The characters go hand-in-hand with the story, which seems to push ahead at a very consistent pace—perhaps too consistent. It doesn’t really feel like there’s a sense of priority for one thing or another, even though there’s a main plot. For example, it takes about the same amount of time for every problem to present and ultimately resolve itself, with some overarching ones taking a little longer. Girl won’t initially join the group because she hates it and/or has absolutely no interest? You can bet that an episode or two later she’ll somehow decide to join because secretly, she just really wanted to. Here’s another example. Even though one of the members is the only one noted for her overall musical ability and another for her dancing, the girls can all somehow sing and dance to at least some good-enough level even if they don’t audition. Throughout it all, μ’s grows more and more popular, even acknowledged by some of the best groups even though they just started. I guess I might believe it if they posted a YouTube video and became viral, but I don’t remember that happening.

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