Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club anime series cover art
Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

Series Overview

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai / ラブライブ! 虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会) is the fifth season of the Love Live! series. However, despite it being the fifth season, you could very well watch it first due to how the series is constructed.

The first two seasons are Love Live! School Idol Project. The third and fourth seasons are Love Live! Sunshine!! And the fifth season is Nijigasaki. You can start with any one of the three because they’re all independent despite being set within the same universe.

Of the current three sub-series within the Love Live! series, Nijigasaki is probably my least favorite. That’s probably in part because I had already seen four prior seasons of effectively the same thing — Love Live! always seems to follow the same formula.

**Spoilers start here**

To be fair, Nijigasaki does make some drastic changes compared to the other two sub-series. But the same Love Live! tropes are still there. For example, there’s the student council president who wants to shut down the club but then ends up joining it. This happens in every Love Live! and is something you just come to expect.

I’ll discuss the major differences between Nijigasaki and the previous seasons of Love Live! later on. But one thing I want to point out here is that this season focuses much more on the differences between all of the girls. Previous seasons were about working together as a cohesive unit. This season is about the individuality of the girls.

If that sounds like something that interests you more than the typical Love Live! group structure, it might be worth giving Nijigasaki a try.

Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

While the previous two Love Live! idol clubs each have 9 members, the Nijigasaki idol club has 10. The 10th member is Yuu Takasaki, who serves as the manager for the club and isn’t one of the idols. I believe she’s also an anime-original character.

Ayumu Uehara is Nijigasaki’s protagonist. She’s the Nijigasaki equivalent of Honoka and Chika from the previous two seasons, which is to say that she’s pretty generic. However, Ayumu is my least favorite of these three because she’s also just a terrible person.

Setsuna Yuuki is the student council president who’s secretly also a school idol. Considering she has the same name as the extremely popular idol from the school, I’m not really sure how nobody ever realized they were one and the same until now.

9 of the 10 members of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club from the anime series Love Live!
9 of the 10 members of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

Kasumi Nakasu is this season’s hyperactive underclassman. She’s obsessed with people thinking that she’s cute. But she tends to drive people away because of how overbearing her personality is. The original idol club was disbanded because she and Setsuna couldn’t agree on the direction it should go in.

Rina Tennoji is a shy girl who’s also technologically gifted. She covers her face when performing with an LED screen that displays emoticons. Ai Miyashita is Rina’s best friend and doesn’t have much of a personality aside from dressing fashionably.

Kanata Konoe is the sleepy girl of the group. Her personality trait is that she’s always tired and can sleep anywhere. Emma Verde is a similarly shallow character, with her defining trait being that she’s European.

Karin Asaka doubles as a school idol and popular teen model. She’s seen as the cool and mature member of the club. And finally, there’s Shizuku Ousaka, whom I literally don’t remember. I guess her defining trait is that she’s the forgettable character because I honestly couldn’t tell you anything else about her.

Differences from Previous Seasons

The biggest difference between this season and the previous seasons has to do with the fact that it focuses on the individuality of the idol club members. In fact, it leans so heavily into this individualistic aspect that they aren’t even an idol group. The Nijigasaki idol club is made up of 9 solo idols (and Yuu).

This also means that despite being the name of the series, there’s actually no Love Live! this time around. If there was, it would have meant that all 9 girls would have had to be invited individually, which just isn’t feasible. Instead, they decide to put on their own school idol festival with other idols from nearby schools.

At first, this school idol festival idea seems like a good one. But as the series progresses in the later episodes, it becomes clear just how terrible of an idea it really is. Because all of the girls are solo idols, they all have different ideas about where the festival should be held and what it should look like. Oh, and the idols from other schools all get a say as well.

Setsuna Yuuki from the anime series Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club
Setsuna Yuuki

In the end, the festival is spread out over a large area, with each idol or idol group having their own venue. Effectively, they’ve just split up the festival so their fans have to travel in order to see multiple performances and simply can’t see them all because some are happening at the same time.

That’s not so bad for a real music festival. But when you have school idols who only have about 100 fans each at most, it kind of defeats the purpose of the festival in the first place. What they ended up doing was putting on competing concerts that divide their fanbases, not bring them together.

And the final thing I’ll mention is that because all of the girls are solo idols, they have to divide the series’ screen time between them. Following a group of 9 idols is very different from following 9 individual idols. That’s a major contributor to why these girls felt so superficial compared to those in the previous seasons.

Conclusion

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is a 5/10 from me. Originally I had it rated as a 4, but after thinking about it more, I don’t think it was bad. It just wasn’t good. It followed many of the same tropes that the previous seasons did. And the few new concepts it attempted just didn’t seem to work out and only harmed the series.

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