Love Live! reviewed on Anime Lab.
Welcome to the colourful world of school idols, if you haven’t been exposed to this before then you’re in for a ride and a half. A rollercoaster of music, best friends, emotions, laughter and many, many tears!
Love Live! tells the story of three childhood friends, Honoka Kosaka, Kotori Minami and Umi Sonada. They all attend Otonokizaka High School as second year students and whose school existence becomes threatened when the school announces it’s closing due to dwindling enrolment numbers.
Honoka noticing that school idols are highly popular comes up with the idea of forming a school idol group to attract students to the school to prevent the closure. It isn’t long before her two best friends, Kotori and Umi join up with her and form a trio known as μ’s (Muse). After having a less than a successful debut and vowing to not give up and continue, the trio soon finds themselves with other students wanting to join up, harbouring their own idol dreams.
This results in the other members joining them over time and forming a nine member girl group. The other members are Eli Ayase, Rin Hoshizora, Maki Nishikino, Nozomi Tojo, Hanayo Koizumi and Nico Yazawa. The girls set their sights on entering the school idol project known as Love Live! A competition that pits schools from across Japan in a singing talent quest with a trio of girls called A-RISE riding a massive wave of popularity and success. μ’s realise that A-RISE are their biggest threat and competition despite a few of the girls having massive fangirl feelings for them.
The anime revolves around these nine new best friends coming together despite their differences, working themselves out and sharing their experiences together. From early stumbling beginnings to a very polished unit, it’s a very entertaining ride and a joy to watch. And Eli Ayase has to be one of the best tsundere’s of recent times, this girl is absolutely adorable! From rehearsals to beach trips, family visits and various concerts in different locations, it’s great to see how μ’s learn from each other and work together. As with all great stories though, it’s not without some sadness which I won’t go into (no spoilers!) but the show ends nicely wrapping up all loose ends.
It’s presented as a 26 episode series which translates to two seasons of 13 episodes each. Even better, there’s a new show continuing the school idol experience called Love Live! Sunshine which I’m about to start watching. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this anime, more than what I thought I would. It’s filled with great characters, catchy J-Pop tunes, stunning animation scenes and beautifully rendered 3D dance scenes with a gorgeous fluidity to each scene. The dance scenes themselves are wonderfully choreographed and you can clearly see that dance consultants were used for these scenes, they’re very polished and what you would expect to see in an idol show.
If you haven’t watched it yet, I can’t highly recommend it enough for all the above reasons and more. You’ll laugh, cry, sing and dance along…I guarantee it!
Final score: 10/10