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To Become Your Own Idol – Love Live!

The anime today we are talking about is Love Live! School Idol Project. It’s a thirteen episode anime about a bunch of cute girls forming an idol group to save their school and deliver some subtle shoujo-ai along the way. Life is good. Let’s read on.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!
The anime is about a group of friends trying to find a way to prevent their school from closing. They love their school and they’ll do anything to keep it going. One day, Honoka Kousaka had a brilliant idea. She will form a school idol group that will attract people to attend their school and hopefully convince the school to remain open. The plan seems solid enough but being an idol isn’t easy. It needs tremendous dedication and talent. Honoka is prepared to give her best though and achieve tremendous popularity if it means saving her beloved school.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!
This anime is an idol anime. It’s along the lines of the Idolmaster. I rolled my eyes after seeing this particular anime on MAL and felt a bit defeated that it existed. I hate myself for watching every anime in a lineup and double checking my list to discover I missed this one. I watched this though and I instantly fell in love. This is an amazing anime in terms of concept and production values. I’ve always had a less than pleasurable experience with idol anime. They’re always devoid of actual experiences that viewers can emotionally invest in.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!
The Idolmaster is a game and the anime was a mess. I learned in that anime that as long as you have an agency then you will automatically become famous. Yeah, you can work hard or not but it will pay off eventually. In fact, majority of the episodes involves the supposed idols in misadventures like saving some animals or eating cake rather than actually practicing till they bleed. They were laidback and they still became famous. The game adaptation was certainly muddled and I understand that.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!
The premise of the anime is actually a bit ridiculous. The school is closing down so the only way to save it is to form an idol group and sing to a lot of people. In paper, I also find it a bit laughable. The anime has seemingly set itself up to fail but I am amazed at how they handled the story. Their journey into saving the school is actually pretty secondary to the actual focus of the anime: the girl’s forming a school idol group. Remember, it’s a School Idol Group. They’re not an official group that makes money but something apparently famous in other schools and it has a huge following. In fact, a lot of schools have School Idol Groups and the characters are determined to be recognized and become popular. Saving the school is a bonus of sorts.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!
The show’s spectacular visuals consequently highlights just how ambitious Love Live! could have been. My favorite parts of Love Live! are when the girls react to people asking for their autographs, or seeing their merchandise in stores. It is an interesting study in being “internet famous”. I was disappointed how little the show explored being an idol. Most of the struggle was administrative, and while it was rather convenient how all the antagonists join the idol group, they don’t really go anywhere with the group together. The show dangles this internet idol competition at us, but doesn’t really show the competitive aspect of idol life.

To Become Your Own Idol - Love Live!

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Love Live! doesn’t even mention any of the other idol groups in the competition, focusing instead on μ’s and their internal story. Love Live! is a well-made show about a bunch of girls who work to become idols. There’s not much to the show past face value, but the presentation is good enough that I cared for the anime to show me more, and explore what it has. That’s not something every anime manages to achieve.


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