There seems to be quite a few anime out there that follows young characters working their way through school while also making music along the way. For most anime fans, series such as K-On come to mind right away. The latest entry in this growing trend to make its way here is NIS America’s Love Live!: School Idol Project Season One set. Thirteen episodes of cute, choreographed girls singing catchy J-pop songs while dealing with the ups and downs of high school and each other make this a concert of fun you’ll want to attend.
The plot follows a young lady named Honoka Kosaka who absolutely loves her school called Otonokizaka Academy. On a day like any other as she heads for her first class, she learns that the school will be shutting down after the current students graduate due to a lack of people signing up for and attending the school. Devastated, Honoka does everything she can to find a way to save the school, which leads her to discover that some of the nearby schools have J-pop idol clubs and competitions and decides to use that to spark interest in Otonokizaka Academy.
It won’t be easy for Honoka and her friends Eli Ayase and Kotori Minami to start a school idol group, as other students such as the school council president and more have different ideas for saving the school, along with some of those closest to Honoka not believing in her plight. Even when they do form the club and their idol group, things get even tougher as they set their sights on the school idol competition, Love Live, that only the best groups in the country can compete in. As you can tell, this series goes from one uphill battle to another as the girls try to save the school while also following their dreams for their idol group and themselves.
I found myself cheering for the girls in Love Live more often than not, as I’m always a sucker for slice-of-life anime shows. But with the added tension of the ladies trying to save the school and dealing with the competition of the school idol stuff, it just made the show that more interesting and fun to watch. As always, NIS America makes the experience even more pleasant thanks to their spot-on high definition presentation of the series on Blu-ray. The artwork, animation and audio come through with perfect clarity, which is a must for a show that focuses on dance choreography and music. Both the English and Japanese audio are great, though it is a bit funny to watch the English dub and still have the girls sing in Japanese, but I prefer it that way versus trying to translate the songs and make them fit.
I was sent the standard version of this one, so there’s not a lot in the way of special features. There’s the clean opening and ending scenes, original Japanese trailers and TV spots for the series, and more. But anyone who watches this show will know that the thirteen episodes here are the biggest and most special thing about this set.
If you enjoy watching cute anime girls (and who doesn’t?) dance and sing catchy J-pop songs while dealing with the struggles of school life and rising to fame, then the Love Live!: School Idol Project Season One set is for you. Great artwork, animation, and audio come together for a fun experience that everyone should get up on the stage and try out.