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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Love Live! School Idol Project Season 1 (Blu-ray)
Love Live! School Idol Project Season 1 (Blu-ray)
NIS America, Inc. // PG-13 // September 2, 2014 // Region A
List Price: $64.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kyle Mills | posted September 25, 2014 | E-mail the Author
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Content:
From NIS America comes Love Live! School Idol Project - Season 1, a series about a group of school girls standing up for something they love and willing to do whatever it takes to save it.

The premise of School Idol Project is pretty simple. Otonokizaka Academy, a school that has been around for many generations, is announced to be closing down after the current year ends due to lack of applicants. This comes as a shock to a particular second year student, Honoka Kōsaka (Voiced by Emi Nitta), who loves the school due to her family graduating from the same school years prior. Honoka soon learns that even her sister wants to go to a rival academy due to the surge in popularity of a group of "School Idol's", musical performers who are still learning in their school and are not professionals.

Deciding she must do something about stopping this dilemma, Honoka recruits her childhood best friends, Umi Somoda (voiced by Suzuko Mimori), the voice of reason for the more abrasive Honoka, and Kotori Minami (voiced by Aya Uchida), the daughter of the chairwoman of Otonokizaka Academy, to become School Idol's. After some initial hesitance, the three eventually decide to perform in the auditorium, initially to only one crowd member, but by the end attracting a small audience.

As the girl's popularity continues to skyrocket, the trio must expand their Idol group beyond 5 members to become official. Over the course of the series, the group recruits Hanayo Koizumi (voiced by Yurika Kubo), a timid first year student who wants to break out of her shell. Maki Nishikino (voiced by Eriko Hori aka Pile), Hanayo's friend who convinces her to join the band. Rin Hoshizora (voiced by Riho Iida), the cheery, athletic best friend of Hanayo. Nozomi Tojo (voiced by Aina Kusuda), the student council vice president. Lastly, Eli Ayase (voiced by Yoshino Nanjō), the stuck up student council president that refuses to join the group for much of the season. Together these 9 girls must work together to save their school and become the ultimate Idol group.

The most enjoyable aspect of this show is easily the first 3 episodes of the series, before the Idol BS takes over in a big way. After that, the series becomes a bit of a mess. The writers introduce SIX main characters into the mix that end up receiving no development, as the series then shifts focus onto it's j-pop songs over it's characters.

- Positives:

+ The biggest positive to the series is hands down the production values. They're gorgeous.

+ Decent concept.

+ The voice acting is quite good.

- Negatives:

- No characters receive any kind of development outside of Honoka. Even her best friends who started the group with her. Absolutely no depth to these characters, so why should I care about them?

- Despite the characters being enjoyable, they're walking stereotypes. You got the bubbly lead, the busty cheery girl, the bitchy one, the shy friend, and so on.

- Pretty much a ripoff of The IdolMaster.

- The series was made simply for merchandise sales.

Video and Audio
The Production values of Love Live! School Idol Project are absolutely gorgeous. This is hands down my favorite aspect of the show. The character designs are beautifully done, they're expressive and each one looks quite unique. The general artwork is stunning, with the backgrounds well detailed. An overall gorgeous production.

The audio for Love Live! School Idol Project is presented in a lossless Linear Pulse Code Modulation 2.0 Japanese track. There are no signs of compression with this gorgeous presentation. Obviously the mix is at it's best when the idol group sings their songs. There are no signs of ay kind of audio dropouts or distortions.

Extras: - As per usual with all of the NIS America releases, Love Live! comes with a gorgeous 28 page hardcover book that features cast interviews, character biographies, episode summaries, a photo gallery, cast and crew credits and facsimile autographs of the main characters.

- A carddass (Japanese trading card) of the girls.

- Sticker.

- On disc extras include textless themes and trailers from other NIS titles.

Overall:
Love Live: School Idol Project is an OK show. There's nothing great about it, but the concept is fresh and it can be a fun show when it wants to be. Typically, this genre is not for me, whatsoever, and this show only enforced that. At the very best, I can describe it as a nice little show to unwind to, however, with some character development. the show could have been so much more. Rent it.

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