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Love Live! School Idol Project - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 08 January 2013 23:24
Otonokizaka Academy is due to close due to lack of applicants, much to the shock of second year student Honoka Kosaka, who loves the school. As she and her classmates Umi Sonoda and Kotori Minami try to think of a way to make the school more attractive to prospective students, Honoka is surprised that her younger sister Yukiho wants to go to a different school, UTX, instead of Otonokizaka. As Honoka decides to investigate UTX, she finds it attracts a lot of students due a school idol group known as A-Rise - which gives Honoka an idea...

Right. On the one hand, I'm not really an idol fan - you'll not find me buying 300 copies of AKB48's latest or gushing over the latest all-girl J-Pop act. I also don't get the appeal of IdolM@ster. On the other hand, I've been taking a certain guilty pleasure from AKB0048 (Kawamori! Madness! What's not to like!!), and I understand the idea of loving your school enough to not want to see it fail (it pains me to see what's become of my old high school since I left it, although I don't think an idol group would have been much help there...). So there was a certain appeal to Love Live! from the start. Add in that some people who I really wouldn't have expected to go for an idol show have said "Hey! This is actually quite good!", and... yeah. Anticipation levels were high.

And, I have to say, this episode easily beat them. Production values are sky-high - the episode looks beautiful - and the lead trio are a blast to watch, from Honoka's general exuberance and enthusiasm, Umi's little flights of fancy once she gets the idea of being an idol into her head. There's also a subtle sense of humour that underpins the whole thing, and a form of fanservice in the way that the series goes out of its way to tease plenty while not actually showing anything.

THE GOOD: I could write a lengthy list. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's all good, but it's taking a pretty good shot at getting there.

THE BAD: There's a little voice inside me that keeps pointing out that being an idol - a job that's based on rather fleeting popularity backed by equally fleeting youthful looks - isn't really a valid career path. In other words: it's a bloody stupid idea for saving the school, really, but then this isn't reality and I should just chill.

I liked it. A lot. If Love Live! can keep this up for the rest of its run, I'll be happily along for the ride.

Love Live! School Idol Project is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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