Love Live! School Idol Project – 02

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Umi is making unwanted progress towards the nice boat ending.

Out of the two idol-based shows going on this season, Love Live caught my attention more then AKB even though my first thoughts were less positive for this series. Yep. It still might turn out less fabulous than AKB, but I am quite interested to know where this school idol group idea will end up. This episode seemed to move the plot along at least.
I am not liable for any pain or discomfort directly or indirectly caused by µ-themed puns in this post. They are not something I am proud of, but I am only human, sometimes the urge is too great. With that said, please enjoy our µ-sings on this week’s episode of Love Live.

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Step 1 to becoming an idol: …

µ-tual Effort

Karakuri // The girls all seem to have their own ‘role’ in the group set out this episode, which is interesting. For one, it makes them seem SO unprepared for their first live. Another thing though is that it does bring about the reality that since they’re self produced, they do technically have to set up everything for themselves. They’re lucky to have a skilled seamstress, a song writer and a person to write the lyrics at their disposal. It’s rather convenient that everyone in the group seems to have a different talent, and so I wonder what the rest of the group’s personal skill sets will be. Eri would (probably) be a good manager since she already organizes things as the council president. They could probably use a dance coordinator later on, but that’s the only other job I can think of at the moment that they might need. I don’t know how successful the end result of doing everything themselves is going to be, but I’m interested in finding out.

Hawthorne // “Teamwork” seems to be one of the most prominent themes in idol anime, and it’s a thrill to watch that teamwork play out in Love Live. Rather than the group already being an established unit (a la Idolmaster), or being chosen by a mysterious godlike entity (a la AKB), these three average, high school girls must do everything on their own. The task of writing, producing, choreographing, and planning a live performance within a month isn’t exactly an easy task. In line with what Kara was saying about each girl having their own role, perhaps Honoka’s role is simply to be persistent. Without Honoka, there would be no song writer, or composer, or seamstress. She has an endearing personality, through which she’s able to inspire others, and I can see that being the exact reason why the other six girls join Muse. In that sense, she reminds a lot of Haruka from Idolmaster, in that from the outside she doesn’t exactly stand out, but despite that she’s the glue holding everything together. That’s also why I’d say that she’s easily my favorite character in the series so far.

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Something tells me this wasn’t in the cards.

The Sound of µ-sic

Hawthorne // There was an obvious lack of music this week, which is understandable. The first episode drew in potential viewers by showcasing the music and dancing, but the second did a wonderful job of establishing both the story and characters. That said, it looks like we got our official ED this week, which was replaced by Honoka’s performance in the premiere. The song (“Kitto Seishun ga Kikoeru“) was well sung, but I admittedly prefer “Continue → Tomorrow.” That’s not to say it was bad in any way, but definitely not as exciting or catchy as the original. On the bright side, the ED provided some scenes of the girls interacting, which was cute and it’s a good sign that the show will only get better with the added characters.

Karakuri // Ever since Hawt pointed out the vice president’s voice last post, I can’t help but agree. Something’s off there with her voice. The acting was alright, but her character sounded like a different person every time she spoke. …Or maybe that’s just the fact that my neighbor has a bigass radio tower in their back yard for no apparent reason and my computer (somehow) sometimes picks up on their conversations, making it rather difficult to hear anime dialogue. Also, I was rather disappointed in the lack of singing and dancing this episode. Sure, we heard Maki sing, but it somehow seemed… less stunning this second time around. I’m still looking forward to the next episode’s performance though.

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D’awwww. 。◕‿◕。

Future of µ’s

Karakuri // As for the plot, things are looking up for the characters a bit more. Eri is still depressingly pessimistic about the whole thing, but it seems like everyone else is supporting the idol group. They even won Maki over this episode through… well, bugging her until she caved and wrote a song for them. Honoka’s enthusiasm seems to be contagious throughout the school and it’s good to see things looking up from such a hopeless beginning. We even saw glimpses of the other characters like that shy megane girl and more of the vice president. Their personalities still seem a little flat, or they somewhat overlap like Umi and Maki, but they are improving as time goes on and that’s the important thing. I’m waiting to see how the other characters decide to join the group since some of them (coughEricough) seem a bit reluctant over the whole thing. The plot is still moving pretty slowly (yet the time lapse in the actual anime is pretty fast), but things are happening. Let’s see µ’s (lol Japanese pronunciations. I would have never gotten ‘muse’ out of that.) make this thing work.

Hawthorne // I’m still curious about the pacing of Love Live, and what the “end-point” will inevitably be. I can see two routes, one where the series uses its eleven remaining episodes to prepare for the first performance by recruiting girls and enjoying SoL activies. The other being only having Honoka, Umi, and Kotori in the first performance  (sometime within the next couple weeks) which would cause the other six girls to join. At this point I’m enjoying the characters, music, and story enough that the pacing doesn’t quite matter.  Another thing I’m curious about is whether or not the singles released before the show aired (like “Snow Halation” and “Wonderful Rush”) will be featured at some point, or if we can expect all new songs. Again, either way, I’m lady for whatever awaits!

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I will never grow tired of this scene.

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Things are still kind of slow, but at least they’re going places. I wasn’t wow’d by the content of the episode either, but at least the foundation of the show isn’t as shaky as it was the first episode where the girls didn’t even know if they wanted to be idols or not. They have plans now and they’re going through with them. Luckily, they have people supporting them, but I guess it’s still a bit of a risk until we see just how well this plan works or not. I’m a bit impressed by how much effort they’re showing the girls to be putting in though. I wasn’t expecting them to bother pointing out how much physical work idols do, on top of finding a separate composer and lyric writer. Yes, it’s still convenient that they manage to find people with just the skills they need, but I half expected Honoka to come up with things and them magically turning out well. Anyways, I’m looking forward to seeing the group slowly form together like it did the last two episodes and hopefully there’s more fabulous musical-like song and dance coming up in the next episode. Really, that’s all this one felt like it was missing.

 

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A wonderful episode without a doubt, and though it might not live up to the standard set by the premiere, things should start picking up within the next couple weeks as Muse begins to take form. The premise might not be all too realistic, but the characters are energetic and story is whimsical fun. Honestly, it’s everything I hoped it would be. What I didn’t realize, outside of the anime, is that the Love Live series seems to be growing greater with each passing week. A quick search will find you a plethora of character songs, duo songs, and singles and apparently, pre-order sales on Amazon are also doing very well, topping the likes of Tamako Market and Sasami-san. If that’s any indication, we might be looking at a sequel in the future! It’s probably a little too early to get excited for a sequel, but Love Live has been incredibly entertaining so far and I look forward to more.

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Yandere mode: activate.

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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27 Responses to “Love Live! School Idol Project – 02”

  1. Highway says:

    This show is just a nice watch. That they actually threw in some of the ‘realism’ was a nice thing to do, that it’s not just “hey, let’s get on stage and just sing and everything will be great!” Performing is no picnic, and performing dance routines so that it looks effortless is really a top skill, and then add singing in and you’re talking something that’s super difficult. It’s hard enough for me to play bass guitar, sing, and remember just to smile and not chew on my lip and stare at the guitar neck when I’m playing with my band, and that’s something I try to practice (you feel really dumb practicing looking out into a crowd that’s not there and smiling at people who don’t exist during practice, trust me).

    I’m sure we’re going to get into some things as we go along that are just completely unrealistic from a production standpoint, but so far I think it’s been merely serendipitous, not unbelievable. Finding one person in a school that can write an idol song isn’t that out of bounds, nor are any of the other people with skills they’re finding. I’m imagining that they’ll come up with a bunch of Live stuff that *is* pretty unrealistic, like a dozen wireless microphones (and the ability to sing in them, this takes a lot more practice than you think), PA system, someone who’s a competent mixer, spotlights, etc. Some things they might get around, since you could come up with a projected background, and the auditorium probably has a PA system.

    It would have been nice to have another song and dance this episode, but just having a montage song was ok. And I think I figured the main thing about what bugs me with the CG: The girls’ necks are too thin. Just looks kinda creepy.

    • Karakuri says:

      The Love Live team could probably use a tech person, but I doubt it would be one of the idols since they have to sing and all.

      I’ve figured out that my main problem with CG is always the hair. No matter how many individual stands you make, the results never look as clean or natural as the same scene animated would look.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Nicely done this week. Hahaha, Honoka should have seriously considered the details and hard work it takes to be an idol before writing a check her butt can’t cash with all those promises (The AKB0048 understudies suffered severely in that department). Also meaning to change her eating habits since she spends almost all her time stuffing her face. She’s lucky Umi was there to wake her up to reality and set a schedule.

    One submission in a contest meant for multiple people is success by the skin of teeth. At least it shows that someone has some faith in their cause and that they have some supporters. 90% of the time, it would be people ready to put you down in a moment’s notice. They’re so negative. The group’s name was odd until the definition was mentioned. So Love Live is using Greek mythology based names just like Zettai Karen Children.

    Boob groping ambush by a closet pervert!! The vice president shows that she’s into the occult with the Tarot cards (à la Persona 4) but I didn’t expect her to be perverted. Honestly, I was expecting prim, proper and straight laced.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, the fukukaichou is a weird character so far. I can’t quite get a handle on her.

      • Karakuri says:

        I certainly can’t get a handle on her voice. Her character might come in time though.

        • BlackBriar says:

          True. At school, her voice was high but once outside and in that shrine maiden outfit, her voice seems to have gotten deeper.

  3. skylion says:

    Excellent work, team.

    Yes. This. This is what I am talking about. The show starts to form into a decent shape. This was my concern last episode; that it had a direction, of sorts, but felt featurless.

    But those concerns are done if they can keep this characterization and pacing. As Highway sez: It’s a nice watch.

    Oh. Student Council VP for Best Girl. She’s awesome.

  4. Highway says:

    May I ask what the ‘nice boat’ comment is in reference to?

    • Karakuri says:

      Nice boat? The anime ‘School Days’? You’ve really never heard of it?

      • Highway says:

        I’ve heard the reference, but School Days is one that I’ve never committed to watching (plenty of people say it’s not worth it).

        Remember, I’ve only been watching anime for a year. :)

        • Karakuri says:

          Er, basic plot description in regards to the reference: getting too close to friendly, perfect girls might lead to having your head cut off yandere style and being carried around on a boat.

          Oh wow, I had no idea it had only been a year for you.

          • BlackBriar says:

            It’s a lot more trouble for you if know they’re yandere but unable to resist them because you’ve been seduced by their charisma. Some characters you know are going to cause you trouble but you end up being drawn in which basically means you’ve become a masochist.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Only a year? Has it been somewhat fullfilling nonetheless?

          • Highway says:

            I actually wrote a two-part article on it a couple weeks ago.

            http://sushigokart.net/2013/01/01/a-first-year-of-anime-from-dubs-to-blogging-part-1/

            • skylion says:

              Thanks for letting me know you passed me….again. I guess I’m getting somewhat Internet Famous.

            • Highway says:

              Hah! That was when you were on your winter break, I had been surprised you weren’t around after Christmas. :)

            • skylion says:

              Yeah, incedibusy time for me.

            • BlackBriar says:

              LOL. I was hugely surprised when both your ranks got inversed. Highway saw an opening and went for it. He got to his current rank really fast and now Dan-go and Tofu are in his range.

          • Highway says:

            And honestly, I’m not trying to link-spam SGK in the Meta comments section. :)

            • BlackBriar says:

              Wow, you had a lot on your mind and in under a year’s time. I admire your documentation skills. Me? I just talk about what’s present and move on to the next thing unless it’s subjects that are memorable like the bloggers personal posts (Overcooled’s Playing Doctor posts for example). I started seriously watching anime in Japanese audio/english subs at the beginning of 2010 and started commenting on Metanorn in November of that year. Anything anime related before then was watching english dub versions shows on Toonami and Adult Swim.

            • Highway says:

              Well, I wanted to write something about the end of the year, but didn’t want to do the same kind of best of the year post that everyone else was doing. So I thought of the angle of “What’s it like for a new guy to go from unaware of anime to watching to reading to commenting to writing.” I hope you guys enjoyed reading it.

            • BlackBriar says:

              @Highway: Yeah, it was a good read. I especially laughed at the part of you apologizing to skylion for passing him up in rank. He’ll forgive you, anyway.

            • skylion says:

              ::tsun tsun::

      • BlackBriar says:

        I keep hearing about School Days myself but I’ve never seen it. What’s your opinion on it?

        • Karakuri says:

          It was unintentionally hilarious, but far from the best anime ever.

          It was an interesting take on the harem genre though since most anime guys can pull off dating all of the women they want with no bad consequences. This guy (I can’t even remember his name; I think it might have been Makoto) obviously paid the price for his indecisiveness, however.

  5. HannoX says:

    I was disappointed there wasn’t a big song & dance number like in the first episode, but I’m sure those will come in future episodes. I loved how they showed that performing is hard, physical work no matter how light and peppy the actual song may be. And all the other details that have to be taken care of, such as lyrics, music, sound system, lighting, etc. A nice dose of cold reality in a show that is going to be filled with what is basically fantasy–let’s become stars and save our school!

    I’m surprised that this show had a boob-grab in it and that the vice president is the one who did it. Doesn’t fit with her character as shown previously, but maybe that’s a good thing. It breaks her out of the stereotype she seemed to be. Maybe some of the other characters won’t be as stereotypical as they now seem. Even a small twist in their characters would be a welcome change from them being total stereotypes.

    • Hawthorne says:

      That VP is unpredictable, but I guess that’s what makes her character so much fun. Some more twists, like you mentioned, would be nice since Umi, the president, and Maki all have a pretty similar character-type so far. The more quirks the better! Especially in a setting like this.

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