Honoka's high school is going to be shutting down at the end of the year due to low attendance. She decides to form a school idol club bring interest back to her school. Honoka and her friends decide to compete in the Love Live! idol tournament.
Love Live is another idol show. As the name suggests, it is about school idols.
The show plays out pretty much how you would expect: creating the idol group, finding members, practicing, and performing. The highlights are the concert performances. Outside of those, while the story stays mostly on point, Love Live! wasn't always all that interesting. Watching the girls train, prepare songs, and even fool around just isn't presented in the most entertaining way, like when the girls try to find a quiet place so they can come up with ideas for a new song. It's not all bad, other parts of the show are entertaining and humorous. It's a mixed bag.
The title of the show is "Love Live", named after the school idol competition all the groups are competing to win. However, you really don't get the feeling that they are competing because you rarely see other groups perform. That didn't really bother me, I just loved watching their concerts. In the end, the show is more about μ's than the actual competition, which would have been fine but I didn't feel that engaged in the characters, either.
The biggest issue I have with the show is that the characters didn't work for me; they felt one dimensional and I couldn't relate to them. While I had some favorite characters, none of them grew on me; there is really nothing special about the characters. There is some fun to be had, but a lot of it feels like by-the-numbers cliché character setups, with some meh character episodes and weak writing. There are 9 members in the group which feels a bit overwhelming at first, but by the end of the show they all have a place.
Love live features high quality artwork and is superbly animated. Again and again, the show surprised me with its stunning visuals. The character designs are beautiful and cute, and the dance performances capture some great shots of the girls. The concert scenes are a mix of standard animation and 3D CG. The CG is pretty good and generally isn't too distracting, but the hand drawn artwork outshines the CG in every way. Typically the distance and group shots are CG while the up-close poses are standard animation. They do a great job with the choreography of the performances. Love Live looks like an OVA and is one of the best animated series I have seen.
The show basically has an idol performance every other episode. The songs are upbeat jpop material, but most are quite average in my opinion, with a few good ones.
I really wanted to enjoy Love Live more than I did. But it failed to really engage me in the story or characters. Love Live is a good show, it's just that certain parts didn't click with me. If you are looking for an idol show, then Love Live! School Idol Project should satisfy you. I don't regret buying it one bit.
Written by Marc Frost on
Beach episode with a bit of fanservice. Some really short skirts with a focus on them flowing up and around at times with some rather low camera angles as well. A bit of breast fondling. But overall, pretty clean, no panty shots or anything.