Love Live! Superstar!!

Love Live! Superstar!!

Love Live! Superstar!! anime series cover art
Love Live! Superstar!!

Series Overview

Love Live! Superstar!! (ラブライブ!スーパースター!!) is technically the sixth season of the Love Live! School Idol Project anime. But, since the series isn’t chronological for the most part, you could start with this season if you wanted to.

For anyone who’s new to the Love Live! series, though, here’s a list of the current seasons.

Obviously, the entries that have “2nd Season” after them chronologically follow their respective original seasons. However, aside from that, you can watch School Idol Project, Sunshine!!, Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, and Superstar!! in any order. In that respect, it’s pretty easy to get into Love Live! as a newcomer.

Anyway, this time around the main idol group is known as Liella! They select their name pretty late into this season (there’s going to be a second), but the name itself isn’t a spoiler in any way. What’s really interesting about Liella, though, is its number of members.

Every other Love Live! anime group has nine members. Liella! only has five. Why is this? Probably because all five of the girls are voiced by novice voice actors. This is the first anime voice acting role any of them have had, which is pretty cool.

I believe the voice actors from Nijigasaki High School Idol Club weren’t all that experienced, but they at least had some credits under their belts.

Other than the number of girls in the main group and that fun fact about the voice actors, there’s not much that distinguishes this entry from any of the other Love Live! anime. It follows basically the same plot as School Idol Project and Sunshine!!

Liella! Members

Kanon Shibuya, not to be confused with Kanan Matsuura (my favorite girl from Sunshine!!), is the protagonist of Superstar!! and one of the two founding members of Liella! She writes the lyrics for the group and also has orange hair because that’s apparently what every Love Live! protagonist has.

Keke Tang (pronounced Kuku) is an exchange student from Shanghai, China and is the second founding member of Liella! She’s obsessed with school idols, falls into speaking Chinese when she gets excited, and is by far the most annoying character of the series. Keke also makes the group’s costumes.

Sumire Heanna is a former child actor who always brings up the fact that she has experience in “showbiz.” However, her experience amounts to playing an isopod character in a commercial. She’s a bit annoying, but nowhere near Keke levels of annoying. Sumire’s role is to teach the other girls how to behave like stars.

Kanon Shibuya from the anime series Love Live! Superstar!!
Kanon Shibuya

Chisato Arashi is the fourth member of the group and by far the best character in all of Love Live! Look, I like a lot of the School Idol Project and Sunshine!! characters, but Chi-chan beats them all. Chi-chan is the choreographer of the group.

Ren Hazuki is the final member of Liella! She’s the musician of the group. Additionally, Ren fills the role of student council president who originally hates idols and wants to shut the club down before eventually joining it. You know, a Love Live! staple.

While not members of Liella!, there are two other school idols featured in this series. These are Mao Hiiragi and Yuuna Hijirisawa of the group Sunny Passion. Sunny Passion basically fills the same role Saint Snow did in Sunshine!! The only real difference is that Mao’s and Yuuna’s character designs look like they belong in Pokémon Sun & Moon.

The Inevitable Comparisons

Look, you knew it was going to happen. I can’t write a review about the latest Love Live! anime entry without comparing it to the others. But, somewhat surprisingly, Superstar!! stands up quite well against the competition.

It’s a bit weird that there are only five girls this time, but I do understand why. As previously mentioned, the voice actors are all new to the profession. I’d guess that directing five new voice actors is a lot easier than directing nine.

But, what about the things that matter? How do the characters, plot, music, and art/animation compare?

As much as it pains me to write this, Superstar!! only had the third best cast out of four. Nijigasaki’s characters are trash, so it obviously beats that. But Chi-chan is really the only character I liked from Superstar!! At least School Idol Project and Sunshine!! had multiple characters I enjoyed.

Chisato Arashi from the anime series Love Live! Superstar!!
Chisato Arashi

Again, Nijigasaki had the worst plot, so Superstar!! beats in there too. But, I can’t say Superstar!!’s plot is any better or worse than School Idol Project’s or Sunshine!!’s. It’s the same plot. The school is going to be shut down, so the idols do their best to bring in new students.

Music is a hard one for me to rank. I’m no musician. However, I think Superstar!! may have had the songs I liked the least of all four series. And I wasn’t a huge fan of every episode ending with a music video that was disconnected from the events of the episode.

Obviously, the 3D CGI animation in this series is better than it’s ever been. That’s something Love Live! continuously improves upon. But, I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the art style and character designs (other than Chi-chan’s because she’s perfect in every way).

Conclusion

Overall, Love Live! Superstar!! is a 6/10 from me, which is on par with the other Love Live! anime. If you like Love Live!, then you’re going to like Superstar!! It’s exactly what you expect it to be.

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