If you're looking for anime similar to Love Live! School Idol Project, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
Ichigo Hoshimiya is an average first-year middle school student, but after her best friend Aoi encourages her to enter Starlight Academy, a famous idol-training school, Ichigo's whole life changes. She meets various rivals, becomes proficient in abilities that are integral to idols, and uses Aikatsu! cards while challenging herself with an array of auditions.
Well they are both about teenage girls who want to become a top idol of some sort. They are also quite similar on genres, they are both based in a school and include some comedy.
Even though Aikatsu is a bit more futuristic in a way there are many things similar in both of these animes. So that is why I think if you liked one you would like the other.
Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent, the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president's orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl….
Both anime feature idols who just about come from nowhere, who work hard to get popular. They both feature a group of girls who look up to a more famous group and they both aim for a certain concert as such. Love Live was more based around the school that the girls go to and how they develop throughout their school live whereas the Wake Up, Girls! Movie is about the agency developing. However even if this is the case the basic story is very similar. And I believe if you liked one you should like the other.
Chihaya Ayase is a famous beauty at her school, but she’s far from a conventional girl. Three years ago in her final year of elementary school, Chihaya and her friend Taichi became infatuated with the card game, Karuta, after connecting with a lonely boy named Arata Wataya. But when the trio graduated from elementary school, they each went their separate ways but shared one common goal: to excel in the game and meet each other at the national championships. Now, Chihaya is attempting to share her passion for the game by creating a competitive Karuta club at school, but when she reunites with Taichi it seems that maybe she’s the only one with the intention of fulfilling their childhood promise...
While these two shows aren't exactly similar on the surface, I couldn't help but be reminded of Chihayafuru while watching Love Live! Both series concern an energetic but sometimes childish redheaded high school student that drag people along into her dreams of becoming the best at whatever she's passionate about--karuta in Chihayafuru, idol singing (and saving a school) in Love Live!
On top of that, both shows are generally feel-good, but don't at all deny the difficulty needed to accomplish becoming good at a skill. Both shows focus a lot on the hours of practice and planning that can go into achieving your dreams. They also focus a lot on the groups of misfits that come together to form their respective clubs, and the interpersonal relationships between all of them. Chihayafuru does this partially through romance and a love-triangle, while Love Live! is exclusively about the friendships between the girls, but it's still rather similar in tone.
And really, when it comes down to it, both shows felt really similar to me because of how inspiring they are WITHOUT denying how difficult learning a skill can be. In fact, they even cover a lot of similar tropes for the hardships encountered (illness due to neglecting your health, strained relationships, having to go up against the best-of-the-best, etc). They're like happy, colorful sports anime without the sports.
So if you felt really inspired and comforted by one show, I think the other would give you the same feeling.
Both series feature a large and diverse main cast of middle school/high school-age girls who are striving to become Idols and work as a unit. Friendships are forged and adversity overcome together. Love Live! has more school and homelife-centric storylines whereas iDOLM@STER generally focuses on the professional/working lives of the girls rather than their personal lives.