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Love Live! School Idol Project Ep. 1
Winter 2013 (13 episodes) (more info)
Inevitably, Love Live is going to get compared to both K-ON and The iDOLM@STER, so I’m going to just get that out of the way. Combining the concept of a school music club with young ladies pursuing careers as idol singers in theory shouldn’t be too preposterous a setup. However, in execution it’s a real flop. At the core of this overlap is music, and the bread and butter of any music anime is that the music needs to be good. The two series it’s borrowing ideas from have that area covered, but Love Live is definitely not up to par.
There’s also the hard-to-swallow plot point about how our heroines have the harebrained idea that they’re going to attract new students to their school that’s suffering from declining enrollment in just a year or two by competing with established idol clubs at other local schools. There’s a level of cheesiness to it that makes me want to smack someone for even suggesting the idea. Combined with some really intrusive CGI-animated scenes when the girls start dancing, there’s nothing to praise about Love Live. I even think there’s room to speculate that this was the product of some money-grubbing committee who saw the success of the aforementioned titles and decided to frankenstein them together into something guaranteed to appeal to both audiences, but really shouldn’t appeal to anyone.