I could write a lot of posts about Love Live if I wanted to, which I still might. I was thinking about how this franchise could be a result of the lowering Japanese population and trying to keep older things alive, but that doesn’t matter as much for the first series and when you have an airport like school in Nijigasaki, it’s hard to say that. Or I could mention how the entire Love Live franchise dodges the bullet of going into idol problems because they are under the label of “The School Idol Project” where none of them are professionals. Still might write that at some point.
But no, it’s time to really just rank them. I find that I kind of have to do that after my weird watching order up to now. If you follow this blog, you know that weird and non linear watch orders are usually how I do things when writing about things, but it did affect how I watched the Love Live series. I didn’t see it from beginning to current, so it changes a lot of my perception of how I thought about this series and changes it a lot more now.
Does that mean that there any love live series that I consider bad? Well no. I still think of the series at the bottom being a 6/10 and then it goes up from there. Just that some which were ranked higher when I first started just aren’t as good as they used to be in my mind. So no pain or disrespect towards any series, but some are definitely better then others to me. Some are not even finished yet or there second halves haven’t appeared, and yet I still think they are better then others. Is that unfair? Well yeah, but I don’t care. It’s honestly how I feel.
So with that, let’s do that ranking stuff.
Number 1: Love Live! The School Idol Project
Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. Everything about this first season is almost perfect. Only a small minor issues here and there that I got into on my post from this past week. It was so well thought out, well animated, and just the perfect execution that I can see why it started such a huge franchise. It has the perfect balance between character beats, comedy, songs, and just good times with each of these cast members. I just can’t say that enough.
Some characters are simply outlandish, but they still felt grounded because the narrative is so smartly written that I didn’t worry about it. I know that the concept of the school closing is what got the cast together because they didn’t want to see their school go away, but that didn’t matter in the end. They didn’t even have to win love live to see that happen. It was about the character stories and how they changed when they were together.
Number 2: Love Live! Superstar
Yeah, still not finished but it is just so fun much so far. Cutting the cast from nine down to 5 was a great idea because it allowed the production team as much flexibility as they wanted to get across everything. The entire cast are a bunch of lovable goof balls that each have their problems they need to solve. There is also just a lot of fun visual humor and gags along with just seeing them together. It’s incredible and excellent in general here too. I hope the second part lies up to how good the first part is, but I can easily see that happen.
Number 3: Love Live! Nijigasaki
This show did a very different approach to love live by having the idol girls separately from each other with one of the main cast members who isn’t an idol, but a support. That makes this series a bit of a black sheep compared to the rest of the series, but I find it kind of fun. I like this cast and concept in general, even if I barely know about them at this moment. But they are fun cast to see interact with each other in their own ways and I loved the last episode of season one with the performances each character gave. Season 2 has been fun so far with the new characters. That’s all I want from the series honestly.
Number 4: Love Live! Sunshine
I’m sorry, but I always felt like the original series’ ghost watching over this one since I started watching it. I didn’t even watch the first series then and I felt it. It’s the original series with a little more candy color in the girl’s hair, a little more personality quirks, a little more shippable moments on purpose, and the fact that the Love Live! Tournament was the reason why the franchise is known for saving their school. I mean, it was an important point in the first series at first, but it never was the main point you know? Well, that’s the main point here.
I do like this cast, but I feel like there was just a little too much going on to make it better or more cohesive in anyway. Well, not until the second part that felt like more of its own thing and the movie being a bit better. Still, even the format and the way the movie went about was how the first film did it even if the focus was different. The first part is literally having the Aqours following the steps left behind the Muse point by point and it felt pretty exhausting honestly. It cemented a lot of the Love Live cliches which is why Superstar and Nijigasaki try to move away from them. It’s an ok watch, but it just lack so much by having too much if that makes sense.