Love Live! School Idol Project: Yuri Musical

Love Live School Idol Project is a multimedia project. There were a lot of different companies behind this. ASCII Media Works, Lantis, Dengeki G’s Magazine and Sunrise. The overall project included games, music, manga, light novels an anime series and an anime film. Today we’ll be looking at series one of the anime brought to us by Sunrise in 2013.

Story:

Our heroines happily attend Otonokizaka Academy when they get some bad news. Due to a lack of interest in the school, it’s slated to close with their current first years being the last class. The student council President and Vice President, Eri and Nozomi, are determined to find a way to gain interest, but have no idea how to go about it. Meanwhile, second year student Honoka is also trying o think of a way when she happens to pass a very popular school and notices something. One of their big draws is that they have a popular school idol group attending. Honoka decides that the best thing to do would e to form a school idol group for Otonokizaka and gets her best friends, Kotori and Umi to join her in the endeavour.

On the downside, the anime delves into artificial sources of tension overmuch. What do I mean by that?Well, they’ll introduce a character and make a production about whether or not that character is going to join Honoka’s idol group, μ’s (pronounce Muse). And this is something they do thrice. Well, I saw that character with the group in the opening sequence but maybe that actually isn’t going to happen said no one ever. To be fair, this is the first series and it is important to show how these girls all get involved in μ’s. The problem is the pomp over whether or not they will. There are a lot of things done well in the series too. The pacing is really good and I like that the girls are allowed to actually fail at a few points. Which does create some genuine tension that actually really works. The story is simple, but it’s effectively executed and it ends with a good note.

Characters:

The characters are pretty archetypical. I will say, to the series’ credit, that several of them are allowed to develop and grow over the course of the series. I will also say that, in all fairness, they aren’t poorly done archetypes, the execution does work in the context of a series like this. The characters are a lot of fun and there are some really good interactions. My biggest issue is with the character of Nozomi. To be specific, with her tendency to go into bad touch mode. She gropes the other girls without their permission on several occasions. The worst part is that most of them would probably totally allow it if she asked properly. I don’t think Rin would since she only seems to have eyes for Hanayo, but the rest probably would, assuming she asked nicely. Even if they wouldn’t, that would still be inexcusable behaviour.

Art:

To the series’ credit, the costume and character designs are really well done. It’s also really good at doing the lighting and dance numbers during μ’s lives. The backgrounds are also nicely detailed. My only real complaint is that this is one of those series where noses don’t exist. It may be a stylistic choice, but it’s a really head-scratching one.

Sound:

The casting in this is really good. Due to the nature of the series, they needed ladies who were good singers and actresses. As such, we have the singer Hori Eriko (stage name Pile), Tokui Sora, Kusuda Aina, Mimori Suzuko, Nanjo Yoshino, Uchida Aya, Nitta Emi, Kubo Yurika, & Iida Riho. Most of whom gravitate more towards singing and don’t really have many acting credits. Still, they all do well in their roles. The music and singing are both really good.

Ho-yay:

There’s a lot of les-yay in this. It might just be on the level of Yuru Yuri. We’ve got Honoka with most of the other girls, particularly Umi, Kotori, Eri, & Maki. There’s also the dynamic between Rin and Hanayo. Which is incessantly adorable. We’ve also got Nozomi and Eri, who come across as a couple who have been together for several years. There’s also Nozomi in general with her totally uncool bad touch tendencies. Incidentally, she’s another shrine maiden yuri girl.

Final Thoughts:

Love Live School Idol Project is an enjoyable series. The story is well done. The characters are mostly good. The music and acting are impeccable and the art is good. If you enjoy musical school anime, give it a go. My final rating for it is going to be a 7/10. In future, I’ll look at the second series. But next week is going to be Divergence Eve.

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