Nijigasaki High School is known for their diverse subjects and the freedom they give to students. Second-year student Yu Takasaki has been turned on to the charms of school idols, so she knocks on the door of the School Idol Club with her friend, Ayumu Uehara. Sometimes friends, sometimes rivals, the members of this club each contribute their own thoughts and motivations to the group.
Love Live: Nijigasaki School Idol Club (hopefully season 1) has ended. What did I think of the season? Very, very good. The characters are great and the interactions between them are fantastic. The art looks a bit off when I first started to watch it (mainly because I went into it with the mindset of the old art animation from Project and Sunshine) but I ended up getting used to it quite quickly. Questions: Can you start with Nijigasaki? Honestly, I can go ahead and say that... yes. If it is your first time actually watching Love Live, you can start here if you want to. The only time it ever references Project and Sunshine is when Setsuna in episode 3 mentions the Love Live tournament but that is the only time it is ever referenced. Are the songs any good? The main criticism I had about Project when I first watched it was the fact that about 30-40% of the songs (IN MY OPINION) were quite forgettable. Sunshine fixed this adding a lot more songs that I can remember off the top of my head. There were a few duds, but it was better then Project in that regard. I can say that every single song in Nijigasaki is memorable in a certain way because the solo songs that each of the characters perform are related to their personalities which makes it 10x more rememberable in my opinion. Do I you need to play the game (SIF All Stars) to understand anything? No. While it enhances the experience and there are some references in the songs PV’s that directly reference costumes from All Stars, you are not required to play All Stars to get the full experience. Is it (in my opinion) better than Sunshine (my favourite series of Love Live)? Honestly, no. But I hold Nijigasaki with a close regard to Sunshine which is still really good. While I personally prefer the songs and the character interactions in Nijigasaki compared to Sunshine, Sunshine has characters that I grew to end up loving more than some of the characters in Nijigasaki, but the story in Sunshine, I ended up loving even more than Nijigasaki. That doesn’t mean I hated the story to Nijigasaki, I just thought, personally, Sunshine did it better. Overall, what do I rate it? Nijigasaki is a fun time to be had that people new to the franchise can start if they want to. While the story is a bit slow and doesn’t start so seriously pick up till about episode 4, it is still a fantastic story. The backstories for every character are very in depth and meaningful that during Rina’s (episode 6), I actually ended up crying. I understood the troubles the characters where going though and really wanted to see how they over came those struggles and grew as a character. As I said, some parts of the story are slow, but when the story gets good, it really gets good and I can commend Nijigasaki to that. The art is absolutely fantastic as well and blends the 2D and 3D animation of the PV’s extremely well, it just takes time getting used to the 2D art style if you have watched Project and Sunshine. I personally 100% recommended this
Sunrise (a brand of Bandai Namco Filmworks) offered this abysmal teen-idol show as a lack-lustre spin-off to the “Love Live!” game franchise in 2020. As with all such game derivatives the audience is built-in hence the story-telling quality suffers accordingly. The action is set in a girl’s High School and concerns the activities of the young ladies in the school idol club. To watch this rubbish through all thirteen episodes you must really like this sub-genre. As you can imagine there is no real story so unless you really enjoyed the game play then this is hardly very entertaining. The ups and downs of the girls focus upon their trivial micro-dramas concerning their own self-confidence. Other little dramas arise for reasons that don’t really get explained. The girls fight for mysterious reasons, their thinking isn’t explained, then they have a sudden change of heart and everything is OK again. It is all so contrived, artificial and unconvincing. Real teenage girls may well be very self-dramatising but nothing in this show makes any sense nor does it resemble the real emotions such girls display. It is almost as if the reasons for their behaviours do not matter and it is all mood music – a backdrop to the idol club’s activities. It smacks of a whole lot of irrelevant filler. Then we come to the singing and dancing. Afterall that is the money shot, isn’t it? Teenage girls dressing in frilly clothes, dancing and singing along to some forgettable pop music? Well, you might think that the girls in such a club would spend most of their time agonising over such matters as getting songs to sing, remembering lyrics, developing their vocal talents, choreography, practising their dance routines, making their costumes and perfecting the ability to sing and dance simultaneously & flawlessly. In fact, they do not. This is the Walt Disney fantasy Princess version of the idol culture. Apart from a few brief moments, when the girls are pictured doing stretching or vocal exercises, most of their activities seem to involve talking and eating cake. When they do start their pop idol routines the stage decoration, lighting, music and costumes all appear magically and spontaneously. Everyone stands around and goes “Wow!” When they stop singing the magic disappears. It is like one of those old-style Hollywood musicals. Such an approach to the complex matter of stage performance completely glosses over why it is so hard in reality. Only one of the girls seems able to even play a musical instrument. Certainly, none seem to be engaged in writing music or lyrics. This is a universe where the songs just appear ready for the girls to perform them. No effort is involved. This is where the true drama lies for any girl wishing to enter show business. As such this show is a fantasy and that is all. Tiresome, dull, almost unwatchable at times. Unless you really love the gameplay, this is one to avoid.
Story: I don't even remember there being an actual story to the show if I'm honest they repeated having someone being against the club joining it just like in School Idol Project and Sunshine which do it a lot better the whole solo idea was poorly executed and made people who were meant to be main characters feel like side characters the solo idol idea would of worked a lot better if it was used in Superstar instead of this show because there was just too many people in it they had the starting up the club after it had disbaneded just like in Sunshine which again did it alot better than this show and it just felt like nothing happened throughout the whole show. Animation: The animation is your average funimation show it's not bad but it's nothing to write home about it's average slice of life animation and the CGI is just meh and is better than older series' CGI for obvious reasons. Sound: The songs I skipped most of them because I wanted the episode to end quicker and it was average voice acting nothing bad but nothing above what you would expect. Characters: Honestly the characters were either very forgetable or just boring there is only one person in the show who I genuinly liked which was Kasumin the other characters didn't have enough screentime or just didn't feel like main character material and just felt like side charcters there is also another character who stood out to me which was Ayumu who I absolutely despised she was by far the worst character and probably held the show back from being actually enjoyable and it puts me in pain to see her in the show and yuu the other sort of actual main charcter was just boring. Overall: It was by far the worst series of love live I hope that the second season is much better than this one and thankfully they learned from the mistakes and didn't do solo idols in superstar.
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