Title: Love Live! School Idol Project, ラブライブ! School idol project
Producers: Sunrise, Lantis, NIS America, Inc.L
Duration: 24 min. per episode
With Otonokizaka High School planning to close within three years, nine female students come together with one thing in mind—form a pop idol group to revive the school’s popularity and keep it from shutting down. Their goal is simple: Become an overnight sensation and use their nationwide media exposure to promote their school and bring in a wave of new students to the ailing area. A simple but solid plan, they figure. Naturally, they’re nervous and wonder if this plan can really succeed, but for better or worse their new journey has begun…/p>
Fansubs watched: FFF
And now onto my guilty pleasure of the season that features dancing, singing girls in cute dresses and whatnot. The official idol group has been formed under the name µ. The girls are busy training their routine in preparation for the concert. Whilst training, they see Nishikino and ‘abduct’ her to show her their vocals with the song she composed. It’s the start of a new school day and the girl with an ungodly high-pitched voice picks up the µ welcome sheet. On the way to school Honoka, Umi and Kotori are stopped by two students who ask for a quick dance to show off their idol training. But Umi is nowhere to be found and is embarrassed about performing in front of audiences- sounds so bloody familiar doesn’t it? Honoka suggests that Umi should imagine the audience to be vegetables, since that makes so much sense. And Umi begins to imagine everything as vegetables, and she begins to cower even further since she would be alone in a world full of vegetables. Honoka tries a couple ways to help Umi overcome that fear, handing out pamphlets in a busy district- getting overwhelmed when people with giant vegetables as heads start appearing, and handing pamphlets at the school gate, where one person picks up her pamphlet and it’s Azusa- not really.
The high-pitched girl comes and states that she will be attending the concert, much to their pleasure. At night Kotori shows up with their costumes for the concert; a pink dress with a pink tie and is rather short, reaching above the knees unlike what Umi demanded. Honoka explains her passion for the idol group to prevent Umi from leaving the group. It’s the day of the concert and the girls are busying preparing, with pamphlets being handed out by an eager Umi. The girls get changed into their costumes, with some trouble with Umi and her trouble with revealing skin, and are on stage ready to start their concert. They all are nervous and excited to perform their first song and routine, then the curtains roll down to reveal the audience. And, it’s empty. Completely empty, not a single seat is filled. And it is just so sad to see that, after hyping everything up and practicing for so long, no one turns up. Everything is sad, depressing and solemn at this point and the girls are on the verge of tears. But one person is here to save me from this sad mood, that high-pitched girl. She kept her word and comes in the nick of time, and having a member of the audience this prompts Honoka to perform. And so she does, the entire group of girls performs their lovely song and a few more people arrive; the student council president and Azusa- the one that looks like her. After the awesome performance the student president asks Honoka what she will do from hereon since no one came, and she replies that she will continue because she wants to and wants to share that feeling to everyone- awww.
While the first half of the episode was kind of icky, in that most of it was trying to get Umi ready for the concert the second half is pretty much a mixed bag of emotions. Not that it was bad, but I felt both sadness and joy. I mean when I saw that all the chairs were empty, wow it was very miserable. And the music that went with that, that echoing key gives you either shivers or a major impact of feels. But then everything is somewhat fine, having one audience member, and the song they performed was stellar. Though the CGI crap was in there, it was very enjoyable song and somewhat entertaining dance. It was the whole song though, so it did run for a bit. And speaking of the music, I found that the music throughout the episode was nice to listen to. The first half of the episode was pretty much a cheery ride with some comedic bits- with the whole vegetable heads- and was very pleasant to see. And I think Honoka is very manipulative, very much so since she manipulates quite a lot of people… The second half was very surprising, so there is some substance and drama in this little anime about idols. And that’s why I like it.
So, while my friends continue to torture me over this anime- not really- the third episode brought something different among these go happy series, drama. And not forced drama or melodrama, but something that works. Love Live is a fun series, the music is great, the designs are amazing- except when they blush, it makes the redness too unbearable- and the story isn’t half bad. My guilty pleasure is something that is pleasurable, wait that came out wrong. Regardless I am going to continue to watch this anime because I am a man, that loves cute girls in dresses singing and dancing to their heart’s content.