We’re kicking off a new segment today, one that we’re all excited about at Japandaman HQ, we present Idol Time! This is where we take a look at the many idols that pop up in Japan and are known for being voice actors, screen/TV actors, models or performers, in general. And we thought we’d kick off the segment by featuring Arisa Komiya. Arisa started as a model and then venturing into the world of voice acting, landing the coveted role of Dia Kurosawa in Love Live! Sunshine!!
If you’ve seen Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine and are pining for more school idol shenanigans, then this is the movie you’ve been waiting for.
Love Live! The School Idol Movie continues after the events of season two Love Live! and sees μ’s taking part in a event to raise awareness for an even bigger scale Love Live! idol contest to be held at Akiba (Tokyo) Dome. Due to the stakes being higher by holding the contest in a much larger venue, the organisers send the nine girl idol group to New York where they’re holding a concert in Time Square. This results in some mini adventures along the way but none more evocative than the chance encounter Honoka has with a female Japanese singing busker who imparts some valuable advice to her which helps her along the way in deciding what to do with the impending demise of μ’s, now that the third year students are about to graduate.
Before too long, they’re back in Tokyo where they realise they’re now celebrities complete with fans who are clamouring for pictures and autographs. All this attention begins to have an effect on Honoka and the others as they begin to see the expectations placed on them now that they’re a fully fledged idol group very much in the public eye. μ’s decide to hold a concert in the lead up to the Love Live!, however they enlist the aid of unexpected allies which has to be seen to appreciate the scope of the performance.
The movie has everything what you’d expect from such a highly polished anime and in that regard, it doesn’t disappoint. The songs are great and catchy and very idol-y (not a word, I know). The costumes during the performances are so cute, detailed and very colourful with that Kotori touch we’ve all come to love. The artwork has been elevated a touch from the series, I’m guessing because they had a bigger budget, in either case it shows with the backdrops which are very detailed and not so static like some that were in the regular series.
And the script itself while not 100% strong like the series, is still very cute with a heartfelt message behind it. Once again the choreography is on point however I found some of the dance animations looked sharper and more intricate in the series. Maybe I was expecting too much as I absolutely loved the first two seasons. One thing I did find surprising maybe even disappointing, was the lack of songs in the movie from μ’s. I honestly was expecting a lot more considering that it was a full length movie and not a twenty minute episode but that’s a small observation.
All in all, it’s a very enjoyable watch and definitely a movie that warrants repeated viewings, if anything just to hear the songs and to watch them dance. The girls are as cute as ever and it’s great to see them together again.
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!
Itano Tomomi, Kashiwagi Yuki and Watanabe Mayu recently took time out from the music duties in group AKB48, to participate in a commercial promoting Nissin Cup Noodles. Well, actually it was more for a new series of noodle timers that act like little transformers and can play games with you as well. Interestingly enough, there was no script for this commercial, the whole thing was ad libbed with the director telling them, “The CM contents aren’t fixed so please do it in a way that makes the audience want to own a robot timer.”
The CM’s for the “Robot Timer Trio Campaign” involve the ladies and the robot timers which have been designed to look like a cup of noodles. It’s been made to promote the September 18th anniversary of the Nissin Cup Noodles. The timers themselves can also play rock-paper-scissors and have a series of exercises built-in which they perform letting you join in with them.
There’s a preview clip below which shows some behind the scenes action as well as the CM itself along with the robots. Those things are cute!