Love Live!

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Love Live! School Idol Project Series
Love Live! series English logo.svg
English franchise logo
Created by
Original workLove Live! School Idol Project
Print publications
Magazine(s)LoveLive! Days
Films and television
Film(s)Love Live! The School Idol Movie
Television seriesSee below
Games
Video game(s)Love Live! School Idol Festival
Audio
Original musicLove Live! discography

Love Live! School Idol Project Series[a] is a Japanese multimedia project created by Hajime Yatate and Sakurako Kimino and co-produced by Kadokawa through ASCII Media Works; Bandai Namco Arts through music label Lantis; and animation studio Sunrise. Each of the individual titles within the franchise revolve around teenage girls who become "school idols". Starting in June 2010 with Love Live! School Idol Project, the franchise has seen multiple anime television series, two anime films, light novels, manga, and video games. The rhythm game series Love Live! School Idol Festival features characters across multiple Love Live! titles.

Overview[edit]

Each title in the Love Live! franchise focuses on groups of teenage schoolgirls who become "school idols" as an extracurricular activity,[1] and their main activities involve singing and choreographed dancing to self-written songs they perform at concerts or other music events. Other activities include designing their own costumes, as well as filming promotional videos and music videos. Top-class groups are very popular among fans of school idols, aided in part by exposure in magazines and other media,[1] in addition to merchandise of school idols sold in shops catering to otaku-related items.

The ultimate school idol competition featuring the best groups in Japan is called Love Live, and entry into the competition is determined by the popularity of each group.[1] The size of these groups can range anywhere from solo idols to groups with nine or more members. Due to the highly competitive nature of the Love Live competition, some school idols opt not to attempt entry and simply take part in performing at other events. However, participation in the event is very prestigious, and any group that wins the competition is afforded legendary status.

Franchise history[edit]

No. Title Introduced
1 Love Live! School Idol Project 2010
2 Love Live! School Idol Festival 2013
3 Love Live! Sunshine!! 2015
4 Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club 2017
5 Love Live! Superstar!! 2020

Love Live! School Idol Project was first announced in the July 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine, which revealed that the magazine would be collaborating with the anime studio Sunrise and the music label Lantis to co-produce the project. The project officially began with the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine, which introduced the story, characters, and a more detailed explanation of the project.[2] The original plan for the story was written by Sakurako Kimino, who also writes short stories and light novels for Love Live!. Yūhei Murota created the original character designs.

Starting in August 2010, online mobile phone popularity contests were periodically held to rank the characters, which influenced the positions of the idols in the anime music videos produced by Sunrise. For example, the idol who ranked first in a given contest would be in the center position in the front row in the music video that followed. Other polls were used to determine different aspects of the idols, such as hairstyles and costumes.[3] Fans also determined the name of the initial school idol group, ultimately choosing the name μ's (/mjuz/, muse). Lantis released the group's first single in August 2010,[3] and they continued to release several more singles and albums over the course of the next two years, including performing their first concert in 2012 at Yokohama Blitz in Yokohama, Japan. This was soon followed by an anime television series that aired from 2013 to 2014, and an anime film in 2015.[4]

Japanese franchise logo

The rhythm game series Love Live! School Idol Festival developed by KLab and published by Bushiroad's Bushimo for Android and iOS platforms launched in 2013. The initial game is free-to-play with an in-app purchase system. It features songs and characters across multiple Love Live! titles, along with newly introduced girls, and stories that are not included in other media. The English localization was released worldwide in 2014,[5] and it also was localized in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and South Korea.[6] An arcade version of the game developed and published by Square Enix titled Love Live! School Idol Festival: After School Activity was released in Japan in 2016,[7] and a PlayStation 4 port was released in North America, Japan, and Southeast Asia in 2021.[8][9] Another spin-off game titled Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars was released in 2019 in Japan and 2020 worldwide.

The next major installment in the franchise was the spin-off Love Live! Sunshine!! announced in 2015.[10] Fans also chose the name of the idol group for Sunshine, deciding on the name Aqours (/ˈækwə/, aqua).[11] Similarly to Love Live! School Idol Project, Lantis released the group's first single in October 2015,[12] releasing several more singles into the following year. This was followed by an anime television series that aired from 2016 to 2017, and an anime film in 2019.[13]

In March 2017, the official website of Love Live School Idol Festival launched the "Perfect Dream Project",[14] which featured nine new girls that would be incorporated into Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club; a tenth member was added in 2020. Unlike μ's and Aqours, they are not a traditional group, but rather individual school idols who compete with each other are referred to collectively as the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. The idols are featured in Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars alongside μ's and Aqours, and also appear in the main Love Live! School Idol Festival game.[15] Lantis released the debut album for Nijigasaki High School Idol Club in 2018,[16] and this was followed by two more albums and several singles over the course of the next two years, including performing their first concert in 2018 at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza Festival Square. An anime television series premiered in 2020.[17]

In January 2020, a franchise-wide concert, titled Love Live! Fest, were held at Saitama Super Arena, in commemoration for the franchise's ninth anniversary. All three groups at the time performed at this concert, including μ's, which was their first performance after a three-year hiatus since their "final" concert in April 2016.[18][19]

Another spin-off titled Love Live! Superstar!! was announced in 2020 as an anime television series.[20][21] Fans also chose the name of the idol group for Superstar, deciding on Liella! (/lɛlɑː/).[22]

School idol groups[edit]

The artwork shows 3 groups from the franchise, with 29 members in total. The 9-member group on the left side is μ's, wearing "It's Our Miraculous Time" costume. Another 9-member group on the centre is Aqours, wearing "Aozora Jumping Heart" costume. And the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club with 10 members, wearing their solo costumes from "Tokimeki Runners" album.
The main cast from the Love Live! franchise. As distinguished by their costume sets, the group on the left is μ's, the centre is Aqours, and the right is the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
Name Members
Main groups
μ's μ's Honoka Kōsaka
(Emi Nitta)
Eli Ayase
(Yoshino Nanjō)
Kotori Minami
(Aya Uchida)
Umi Sonoda
(Suzuko Mimori)
Rin Hoshizora
(Riho Iida)
Maki Nishikino
(Pile)
Nozomi Tojo
(Aina Kusuda)
Hanayo Koizumi
(Yurika Kubo)
Nico Yazawa
(Sora Tokui)
Aqours Aqours Chika Takami
(Anju Inami)
Riko Sakurauchi
(Rikako Aida)
Kanan Matsuura
(Nanaka Suwa)
Dia Kurosawa
(Arisa Komiya)
You Watanabe
(Shuka Saitō)
Yoshiko Tsushima
(Aika Kobayashi)
Hanamaru Kunikida
(Kanako Takatsuki)
Mari Ohara
(Aina Suzuki)
Ruby Kurosawa
(Ai Furihata)
Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Ayumu Uehara
(Aguri Ōnishi)
Kasumi Nakasu
(Mayu Sagara)
Shizuku Osaka[b]
(Kaori Maeda)
Karin Asaka
(Miyu Kubota)
Ai Miyashita
(Natsumi Murakami)
Kanata Konoe[c]
(Akari Kitō)
Setsuna Yuki
(Tomori Kusunoki)
Emma Verde[d]
(Maria Sashide)
Rina Tennoji
(Chiemi Tanaka)
Shioriko Mifune[e]
(Moeka Koizumi)
Liella! Liella! Kanon Shibuya
(Sayuri Date)
Tang Keke
(Liyuu)
Chisato Arashi
(Nako Misaki)
Sumire Heanna
(Naomi Payton)
Ren Hazuki
(Nagisa Aoyama)
Rival groups
A-Rise Tsubasa Kira
(Megu Sakuragawa)
Erena Toudou
(Maho Matsunaga)
Anju Yuuki
(Ayuru Ōhashi)
Saint Snow[f][g] Sarah Kazuno
(Asami Tano)
Leah Kazuno
(Hinata Satō)
Love Live! School Idol Festival
Seiran High School Marika Ichinose Minami Nagayama Aya Sugisaki Ayumi Torii Seira Kujō Sachiko Tanaka Akira Shinomiya Yumi Fujishiro
Chitose Bridge High School Yū Aizawa Fumie Nishimura Akemi Kikuchi Iruka Suda Reina Saeki Nanaka Morishima Saki Shimozono Rū Tatara Nagi Shiraki
Shinonome Institute Coco Miyashita Sana Yūki Christina Yuri Midō Rika Kamiya Haruka Konoe Kasane Hasekura Mizuki Sakkiwa
Tooh Academy Shun Kurosaki Fumi Shitara Tsurugi Kadota Yūki Kirihara Fū Saiki Misaki Shidō Himeno Ayanokōji Koyuki Shirase Ryō Aikawa
Shion Women Institute Chizuko Sakamaki Hitomi Shiga Mikoto Fukuhara Akira Kizaki Yuka Tsukishima Sayuri Hyōdō Sakura Kurobane Sakuya Kurobane Mutsuki Takamagahara
Y.G. International Academy Ranpha Rakshata Rebecca Isabella Jennifer Maria Leo Yukari Saotome

Media[edit]

Anime series[edit]

A 13-episode anime television series of Love Live! School Idol Project produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan on Tokyo MX from January 6 to March 31, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll.[23] An original video animation episode was released on November 27, 2013.[24] A second season aired on Tokyo MX from April 6 to June 29, 2014, also airing on TV Aichi, Yomiuri TV, and BS11,[25] and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. Both seasons are licensed in North America by NIS America, who released the premium edition of the first season on Blu-ray on September 2, 2014[26] and an English dubbed version was released with the standard edition of the first season, along with the premium edition of the second season, on February 14, 2016, as well as the standard edition of the second season on April 12, 2016.[27][28] The Blu-ray set for season one has since gone out of print and season one was removed from Crunchyroll.[29][30] MVM Entertainment released the first season in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2015 on DVD, with plans to release it on Blu-ray Disc in 2016 with an English dub.[31] MVM Entertainment also released the second season in 2016.[32] Madman Entertainment released the first season in Australia and New Zealand on June 10, 2015 on DVD.[33]

A 13-episode anime television series of Love Live! Sunshine!! produced by Sunrise, directed by Kazuo Sakai, and written by Jukki Hanada aired between July 2 and September 24, 2016 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll.[34][35][36] A 13-episode second season aired between October 7 and December 30, 2017.[37] The series is licensed in North America by Funimation, in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment.[38][39] An English dub by Funimation began streaming from July 30, 2016.[40]

A 13-episode anime television series of Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club produced by Sunrise, directed by Tomoyuki Kawamura, and written by Jin Tanaka, aired between October 3 and December 26, 2020.[17] It was also streamed live through the Bandai Channel, Line Live, and YouTube Live.[41]

Love Live! Superstar!! was announced in 2020 as an anime television series.[21]

No. Title Start date End date Eps. Director
1 Love Live! School Idol Project January 6, 2013 June 29, 2014 26 Takahiko Kyōgoku
2 Love Live! Sunshine!! July 2, 2016 December 30, 2017 26 Kazuo Sakai
3 Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club October 3, 2020 December 26, 2020 13 Tomoyuki Kawamura
4 Love Live! Superstar!! Takahiko Kyōgoku

Films[edit]

An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was released in theaters on June 13, 2015.[42] The film was released theatrically in South Korea on September 3, 2015,[43] in the United States on September 11, 2015[44] and in Indonesia on October 21.[45] As of December 2015, the film had been shown in several other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam,[46] and was also scheduled to be released in Canada at the start of 2016.[47] It was released on Blu-ray in Japan on December 15, 2015. The film was released in North America by NIS America on June 28, 2016 in a premium edition, and July 26, 2016 in a standard edition, both with an English dub.[48]

An anime film titled Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow was released on January 4, 2019 in Japan.[49] An English dub of the film was released on February 25, 2020.[50] The main staff and cast return to reprise their roles for the film.[51]

No. Title Premiere Runtime Director
1 Love Live! The School Idol Movie June 13, 2015 99 minutes Takahiko Kyōgoku
2 Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow January 4, 2019 100 minutes Kazuo Sakai

Magazine[edit]

The front cover of LoveLive! Days volume 9, featuring Chika Takami and Honoka Kōsaka.

A dedicated Love Live! magazine launched on July 1, 2019 as a spin-off of Dengeki G's Magazine published by ASCII Media Works.[52][53] Initially untitled, the magazine offered readers the chance to suggest names for the magazine and vote on them,[52] leading to the magazine's title of LoveLive! Days starting with volume 3.[54] The magazine offers information on the entire Love Live! franchise including the latest information on school idol groups, media adaptations, and also includes serialized Love Live! manga. The magazine also gives fans the ability to influence the franchise by voting on ideas for songs and costumes.[54]

Reception[edit]

Love Live! was ranked No. 1 in top-selling media franchises in Japan for 2016 and ranked No. 4 in 2015. The franchise earned over ¥8 billion in 2016 and over ¥5 billion in 2015. This includes the raw yen totals of Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, music CDs, novels, and manga, but not video games, film tickets, digital downloads, and other forms of media sales.[55][56] In 2013, physical media sales generated ¥2,516.3 million ($26 million) in Japan.[57] DVD and Blu-ray sales of the anime's second season in 2014 sold ¥2,917.5 million ($24 million) in Japan.[58] The franchise's physical media sales generated ¥23 billion ($209 million) in Japan between 2015 and 2018.[55][56][59][60]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: ラブライブ! School idol project series, Hepburn: Rabu Raibu! School Idol Project Series, shortened as Love Live! Series (ラブライブ!シリーズ), or simply Love Live! (ラブライブ!)
  2. ^ Shizuku was originally a member of Seiran High School in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  3. ^ Kanata was originally a member of Shinonome Institute in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  4. ^ Emma was originally a member of Y.G. International Academy in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  5. ^ Shioriko was added in August 2020.
  6. ^ Saint Snow officially started concert activities in December 2017, with the announcement of Saint Snow Presents Love Live! Sunshine!! Hakodate Unit Carnival.
  7. ^ Saint Snow may also have joint performances with Aqours, in which they are collectively known as Saint Aqours Snow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Love Live! Official Worldwide Website | Story". Sunrise. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  2. ^ "Sunrise, Dengeki G's Love Live Project Gets Anime DVD". Anime News Network. June 28, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Sunrise, Dengeki G's Love Live Project Gets Anime DVD". Anime News Network. June 28, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Love Live! The School Idol Movie's Trailer, Story Unveiled". Anime News Network. February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Love Live! School Idol Festival Game App Launches in English". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  6. ^ "Love Live! School Idol Festival Game App Heads Overseas in English". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  7. ^ ""Love Live! School Idol Festival" Arcade Edition New PV Posted for December 6 Launch". Crunchyroll. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Love Live! School Idol Festival ~after school ACTIVITY~ Wai-Wai! Home Meeting!! Official Web Site". Love Live! School Idol Festival ~after school ACTIVITY~ Wai-Wai!Home Meeting!! Official Web Site. Square Enix. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  9. ^ Giuseppe, Nelva (October 10, 2020). "Love Live! School Idol Festival for PS4 Announced by Square Enix". Twinfinite. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
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  21. ^ a b "New Love Live! Anime Confirms Love Live! Superstar!! Title". Anime News Network. July 14, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  22. ^ "Love Live! Superstar!! Anime Reveals Idol Group's Name: 'Liella'". Anime News Network. September 15, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
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  25. ^ 『ラブライブ!』テレビアニメ第2期シリーズが2014年4月より放送開始 (in Japanese). Famitsu. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  26. ^ "NISA's Love Live! Release Slated for September". Anime News Network. May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  27. ^ "NIS America Adds Love Live! School Idol Project Anime". Anime News Network. December 26, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  28. ^ "NISA Adds 2nd Season of Love Live! School Idol Project Anime". Anime News Network. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
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  31. ^ "MVM Announces Love Live and Captain Earth". Anime News Network. May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  32. ^ "MVM 2016 Schedule Includes Flowers of Evil and Kill Me Baby". Anime News Network. May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
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  35. ^ "Love Live! Sunshine!! TV Anime Premieres on July 2". Anime News Network. May 22, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  36. ^ "Crunchyroll Details Streaming for Sweetness & Lightning, Love Live! Sunshine!!, Fudanshi Kōkō Seikatsu". Anime News Network. July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  37. ^ ""Love Live! Sunshine!!" TV Anime 2nd Season Confirms October 7 Premiere". Crunchyroll. September 2, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  38. ^ "Funimation to Stream D. Gray-man, Servamp, Tales of Zestiria, Danganronpa 3, Love Live! Sunshine!!, First Love Monster, Handa-kun, Tsukiuta, Time Travel Girl, XechS, Regalia". Anime News Network. June 23, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  39. ^ "AnimeLab Summer Simulcast Lineup 2016". Animelab. Madman Entertainment. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  40. ^ "Funimation to Dub D.Gray-man, Servamp, Zestiria, Danganronpa 3, Arslan, Love Live! Sunshine, More". Anime News Network. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  41. ^ "【特報!】TVアニメ『ラブライブ!虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会』キービジュアル&番宣PVほか最新情報公開!". 電撃G's magazine.com - ラブライブ!など人気のキャラクター専門誌 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  42. ^ "Love Live! The School Idol Movie's Trailer, Story Unveiled". Anime News Network. February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  43. ^ "Love Live! Film Tops Evangelion: 1.0 Ticket Sales in S. Korea". Anime News Network. October 19, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  44. ^ "Love Live! The School Idol Movie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  45. ^ "Love Live! The School Idol Movie Opens in Indonesia on October 21". Anime News Network. September 5, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  46. ^ "Love Live! The School Idol Movie Earned US$115,840 in U.S." Anime News Network. December 20, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  47. ^ "Love Live Film Gets Canadian Screenings in Early 2016". Anime News Network. December 13, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  48. ^ "NIS America Launches Pre-Orders for "Love Live! The School Idol Movie" Premium Edition". Crunchyroll. February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  49. ^ Loo, Egan (June 9, 2018). "Love Live! Sunshine!! Film's Title, January 4, 2019 Opening Revealed". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  50. ^ "Love Live! Sunshine!!The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow - Movie - BD". Funimation. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  51. ^ "映画「ラブライブ!サンシャイン!!」Aqours全員集合ビジュアル、ストーリー公開". Natalie (in Japanese). July 26, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
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  54. ^ a b "LoveLive! Days ラブライブ!総合マガジンVol.03" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
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External links[edit]