Love Live! School Idol Project
"Do you know what's the most important thing to remember when climbing a mountain? It isn't to have the courage to push on. It's to have the courage to back down."
Now in all honesty, I was a bit iffy starting this anime from the get-go. It looked a bit childish and more targeted towards the female audience. And after watching another all-girl music-based anime a few years back and being very disappointed with the series in general, I was dragging my feet to watch it like a university student drudging their way to a class they're about fifteen minutes late for. So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get to the actual review, okay?: Love Live! School Idol Project.
(Also, just as a side note, this review will not include Love Live Sunshine!! mainly because at the time this review has been written, Sunshine!! has not been given it's own series...yet.)
Really, the story for Love Live is both unique and not unique. It's not unique because it's your standard high school drama/comedy, but it's unique because of the premise of the show. It follows the story of a group of nine high school girls trying to raise notoriety for their school in order to prevent it from being shut down. I found the idea interesting because of the fact that it follows all the hardships and tribulations each of the girls must endure to not only attempt to keep their school from closing, but also how each girl finds the potential to keep it open. The only real complaint I can say about the story is the fact that I thought that the movie was an unnecessary add-on to the series. And with that, let's get to characters.
Love Live's characters are also an interesting bunch because of one thing that I've noticed after the few times I've watched it: depending on how the viewer looks at it, there is no centralized main character between the nine, but if anything, Honoka is considered the most central main character being the leader of the idol group. Now as to personalities, there's a huge lot to pick from the nine main characters. It'd take me a bit to list all of their personality qualities, but I can say this: by the time you finish this series, you will have a favorite and there are quite a few individuals on the internet who will fight tooth and nail to declare who is "best girl". But really, the biggest thing that I came to like about the characters is the as the series went on, I began to bond with them and identify with them in a sort of way (building up confidence, wanting to be a part of a group, insecurity about your own personal characteristics, etc.), which made it all the more painful as to when the series ended.
Being a music-centered anime, you can expect to have a plethora of insert songs every few episodes for the live concerts and, like the characters, you will most likely be picking a favorite by the end of the series. As for the background music in general, the majority of the music is fitting when it needs to be. Whether it be a funny, upbeat, or somber scene, the music seems to fit just right.
At the time I've written this review, I am in the process of watching the dub of Love Live!, and in my opinion, and it may just be because of the fact that I watched the sub first because at that time NIS America hadn't even licensed the series yet, I prefer the sub to the dub. Albeit, I will watch the dub if presented to me, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch it. But even with that, I would like to give special mention to three voice actresses for their performances that I felt were not as good as the original Japanese voices, but pretty damn good: Caitlin Glass, Erica Mendez, and Cristina Vee as Maki, Nico, and Kotori respectively.
If there was really any complaint that I could have about the series as a whole, it would probably be the artwork. But please note that this rant is both big and small. It's big because it's what the viewer remembers most about the series, but it's small because of the fact that it only happens in the dance sequences. The complaint I have is the fact that during the dance sequences the characters very noticeably switch from the standard art to CGI art. Some people can look past this, but in my opinion it's kind of like trying not to look at a mole on someone's face. Aside from that, the artwork (minus the CGI) was brought to you by Sunrise who have a very good track record of producing quality animation.
What can I say? A decent story, great characters, and above-par music. If you're a fan of music and dancing, I'd definitely recommend this to you. If you're a fan of comedy and drama, I'd still recommend it. If none of these are really your cup of tea...well...give it a try and see if you'll like it? And honestly, though it doesn't have as big of a presence compared to something like Clannad, if you're in the mood for watching anything to bring a tear to your eye....well, what are you waiting for? Stop reading the bloody review and get to watching!
If you'd like me to review a show, go ahead and comment down below and I'll see what I can do so long as it's not an extremely bulky series (Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, One Piece, etc.) ^_^