Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club - Reviews

Alt title: Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai

Novo44's avatar
Dec 29, 2020

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.


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

8/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.9/10 overall
krofire's avatar
Apr 8, 2022

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.

1/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall
jameton's avatar
Oct 19, 2021


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

2/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
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LittleHanna's avatar
Sep 19, 2021

This is better than sunshine in all aspects. The evolution of love live i'd say has started

7.6/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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DGFischer's avatar
Jul 5, 2021

When I began viewing Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, Love Live!'s third adventure in the world of singing/dancing girls, I had misgivings whether it would just ape the previous versions, my main gripe of the franchise.  Sunshine! was patterned too closely to SIP that it was nothing more than an exercise in déjà vu all over again.  I set out three rules which I felt would be good markers whether I could enjoy Nijigasaki:

1) No stock characters, girls looking sooo much like that other girl.

2) No repeated premise.  No all-girl academies are to be harmed in the production.

3) Personalities before performance.  I got to have to feel I'm getting to meet somebody new and different.

Thankfully, Nijigasaki powered through all these demanding provisions.  There is something unique about the third production in the Love Live! series.   But, not all unique is equally good.  Nijigasaki does break the mold, and that is good for starters.

The characters are memorable.  And they need not have eccentric qualities that jump at you, vocal tics, or other over the wall traits, though you will find some pleasant ones in Nijigasaki.  Ai Miyashita is the sweet girl who supports those fearful and uncertain types in the group; having a sweet tooth helps.  Kasumi Nakasu is a pint-sized megalomaniac who feels it is up to her to save the day and shine on stage.  Kanata Konoe is a narcoleptic girl who can take a snooze anywhere, and this scares her little sister into having her own school idol dreams cut short.  Rina Tennoji is a girl who cannot express emotions beyond what is on her somber face, but her techno skills allow her to perform behind a mecha-mask which flashes the cutest smiles.  Setsuna Yuki leads a double life, one a school council president who cracks down on school idol groups, one the premier school idol in the club (rather a Jekyll and Hyde type)  Karin Asaka already has the stage presence as a model, but she must push hard to become as adept on the stage as an idol.  Emma Verde is a Swiss transfer student who brings her own sense of optimism to the group.  Quick time out on characters, while I move to Nijigasaki's spin on main characters.

The first two Love Live! series involved the trio of second-years who are instrumental in creating the idol group.  The formula was: two established friends find the new transfer student and these three charge forward to find the first-years, then the third-years.  3+3+3=9.  Nijigasaki tosses that.  Two girls are the linchpin to the storyline, and they first meet each other in episode one.  Ayumu Uehara is the klutzy girl who has the zeal to perform on stage; Yu Takasaki is the girl who will support her dream (green-tinged pigtail? quaint character design).  As the episodes proceed, you sense a touch of yuri to this relationship, but nothing serious develops other than a desire to be at each other's side in the challenge of being the new school idol group in the world of school idols.

There are uniques that are not as cool.  The mission of Nijigasaki School Idol Club (the only thing in the series that was in danger of folding) was to give its members the experience of singing on stage ... as solo idols.  This helped give us great back stories for all the girls, but it lost on the feel for choreography.  Worse, when the final episode gave this team a chance to perform together, the animation method was still shots of the performance.  No sweeping position changes as seen in SIP and Sunshine!  Plus, the added mystery.  The Nijigasaki school idol group that performed for the School Idol Festival then were nine in number, but in the opening theme sequence, you watch ten girls dance on stage.  You might ask what is up with Yu, the supposed hold out?  A second season will hold the answer, I suppose.

The music was tailored for each girl in the group, and this could reflect the personality.  Ayumu's song of aspirations was more memorable than Kanata's brisk number which I could have slept through.  Kasumi's reflected her lively, though a touch conceited nature.  Rina's was upstaged by her mask and video graphics.  The animation was less developed than SIP and Sunshine!  The drawings were simpler, and the routines of the solo idols were less integrated, almost placid in comparison with the first two versions.

But the best thing about Nijigasaki is its difference.  Its look and feel were nothing like the first two editions of the Love Live! franchise, and the further development of this school idol group and the challenges beyond the School Idol Festival hold great promise.  It will be like nothing I've seen before, I'm sure.

8/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
8.7/10 overall
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