Idol School – its a bit of a silly concept and Love Live knows that. But what sets Love Live apart from the plethora of other ‘idol’ anime series out their is its commitment to its premise. Even when it borders on outright lunacy, Love Live’s dedication to what it wants to be is admirable and even makes for some of the most genuinely joyous anime in years.
There is a reason that Love Live has spawned such an incredible fan base, its wholehearted and passionate approach to the idea of a school of idols is infectious. It is almost impossible to not be swept up in this series and finding yourself rooting for one of these 9 girls. Each girl has a different personality and there is a character for everyone here. Personally I found myself invested in anything that had to do with Nico Yazawa. As a character I found her highly identifiable and a lot of fun to watch. You could even say that I believe her to be the ‘best girl’. This is a series that almost encourages that notion with each girl getting equal screen time and chance to shine.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Love Live is the way in which is caters to both sides of the audience. The show is at its core about cute girls singing and dancing and the girls are sure to bring in some male fans but there is a distinct lack of fan-service sequences opening up the gates for female viewers to enjoy the series on other merits such as the catchy songs, detailed choreography, costume designs and most of all the struggles of relatable female characters.
While female anime fans have Uta no Prince-sama to faun over, Love Live appeals on a more universal level and has higher aspirations than to simply stimulate. The music is excellent and the story telling and characterization is really superb. The journey of these characters is truly memorable and the finale reaches a true emotional catharsis that I was not expecting show like this to be capable of pulling off.
Furthermore Madman’s release of the series is a special one to say the least. Coming in a hardcover sleeve, the collection is bundled alongside a full fledged Love Live compendium book, featuring art from the series as well as interviews with the voice actresses behind these lovable characters.
All in all Love Live: School Idol Project is a pleasant surprise and one that is well worth the look in for both its engaging cast and the infectious tunes they belt out each episode. It is easy to see why Love Live has become the phenomenon it has. Love Live changes the game completely, redefining what ‘idol’ anime really is capable of, proving that these series can provide more thoughtful content than fleeting titillation. A genuine game-changer, Love Live’s school idol project is a resounding success.
You can sign up for the school idol project over at Madman’s Online Store.