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  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 67 / M

Love Live! Superstar!!

Oct 16, 2021

Having seen all the previous versions of Love LIve! (SIP, Sunshine!!,Nijigasaki), it was nice to see that the fourth offering Superstar!! had some pleasing aspects, along with a touch of 'what? this again!'  Formula-series have the bad habit of repeating,  but Superstar!! made efforts to break old habits.

First, the pros.  Superstar!! gives us a smaller ensemble called Liella.  Five girls!  I  could memorize names quicker than those nine clones of the nine originals.  Real characters without the quaint characteristics as verbal tics, strange chunibyos, or a pattern of meeting three-second years first, join them up with three-first years before finding three third years.  While it may yet come down to featuring Liella vs. one other school idol group, we know of eight groups in the regional competition by season’s end.  A second season could do well to develop more than the old-formula ‘main team vs. nemesis.’

But we do have a few cons.  Some are not that big at all, just little glimpses of what was done before, as the sudden close-up of a girl in the opening theme (I mean you Chisato!) though she was not as 'in your face’ as Ruby or You.   But the big heartbreak was ... the high school is in danger of closing.  Again?  µ’s saved theirs.  Aquors lost theirs.  What?  Is Superstar!! the rubber match?  Do a little brainstorming for new premises, as ...

The all-girls academy is in danger of being forced to allow boys (gasp! a horror scenario for shojo).  Only the school idol group can dance and sing their way into keeping them out (or letting them in, if the producers are so minded).

An extremely arrogant school idol group from another country (i.e., let's say ... Russia) has toured Japan and have been humiliating established groups (we can have  µ’s, Aquors, and the NHSIC come out of retirement only to fail).  Only the new school idol group can draw deep down inside to thwart the hostile школьные идолы.

Aliens from outer space .... ok let's drop this one.

Magic girls form a school idol group, take on three generally pathetic groups to engage in an epic last battle with the boss song and dance unit.

Anything ... just don't threaten those high schools with closures.

Strong characters make Superstar!! supreme in the school idol universe ... for there are only five to develop.  Enthusiastic Keke.  Talented Chisato.  Matronly Ren.  Starstruck Sumire (closest thing to Nico Nico neeee).  But the best is Kanon, a talented singer battling a bout of stage fright.  That epic encounter of high school Kanon with the elementary school Kanon on the very stage where Kanon failed ... inspired writing!

And the music just gets better.  Each girl is featured as Lielle forms with the friendship of Kanon and Keke, who learn to put up with Sumire, and are blessed with Chisato's training in choreography, leading up to the incredible backstory behind Ren's resistance to school idols.  As a group, the animation involves intricate movement between girls as in SIP and Sunshine!!

At end, I liked the new elements of the plot as reduced size of group meeting more of possible competition.  Not a clean break from formula, but there is this thing called the second season.  Here we might see all the new twists on the old schema.  Looking forward to it.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.6/10 overall
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