451st G-View: Love Live! Superstar!!

Here we are once again reviewing another entry in my favorite idol anime franchise, Love Live! This time we will take a look at the 4th generation, see what this unique five member group of Liella (“Lii-ell-uh” not “Laai-lah”) brought to the dance and find out where they stand in Love Live! Superstar!!, aka Love Live! 4.

Love Live! Superstar!!

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Idols, School Life, Slice of Life

Themes: Music

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: The story is set in the Yuigaoka Private Girls High School that lies between the Omotesando, Harajuku, and Aoyama neighborhoods of Tokyo. Kanon Shibuya, eager to enter the music course failed to do so. On the first day of school a Chinese transfer student named Keke Teng (pronounced “Kuukuu Tong”) heard Kanon sing to herself and greatly admired her voice. She eagerly invited her to become part of her school idol group but she refused. After much deliberation Kanon eventually accepted and thus began their journey to become future Love Live! legends alongside three other girls who would join them over time.

Another preview of Liella togetherLeft to right: Ren, Chisato, Kanon, Keke and Sumire.

The best way to describe Love Live! Superstar!! is a return to basics. What I mean by this is of all the groups that came after μ’s Liella’s journey felt the most similar. This does not mean they are a carbon copy or they aspire to be “just like them” since Aqours already tried that in Sunshine S1. No this felt like a journey tailor made for fans yearning to see a return to form. Without spoiling anything longtime fans of the franchise will either feel a sense of deja vu or like an old friend returned after the journeys of Aqours and Nijigasaki. It is about a group of girls coming together aspiring to achieve greatness while treading familiar ground and adding their own spice to the classic formula. Some of the ladies took notes from their legendary senpai and again added their own sauce to their assigned by the school idol goddesses archetype. Heck, whether intentional or not one of the girls’ personal obstacles was to show what made them unique from their senpai.

Kanon and Chisato phone callStaying on the topic of obstacles the most common one most of the girls face is lack of confidence, be it on stage or not believing they are worthy of being in the spotlight at all among other reasons. As is tradition no matter how simple or complex the girls show they are all worth rooting for and want to watch succeed at all they aspire to be. Also like their predecessors they have superpowers because as was established long ago school idols are almost superhuman. How much power they use I leave to viewers to see for themselves.

Sumire's poop disguiseAs always when not facing life head on and kicking butt on stage school idols are a bunch of lovable dorks and the girls of Liella are no exception. Some show their magnificence right away while others, aka the last one to join, unleashes her dormant power then becoming my unexpected favorite member.

Liella OPSunny Passion's surprise visitLiella in the OP and their main rivals, Sunny Passion.

The presentation is as good as it gets four generations in. By now most fans know what to expect from the franchise, vibrant colors, tons of excellent and references to iconic facial expressions, great songs and of course stellar performances be they solo or together as a group. Special nod goes to the drawing like Bonus EDs after the “next episode” preview so be sure to stay tuned afterward for lovely extra songs.

Before we get to what is usually the most important part I was admittedly surprised Superstar!! is the first ever entry in the franchise that a season ended in 12 episodes over the usual 13. I say season because the ending left room for either a 2nd season of movie. Not that the finale was inconclusive but rather there was room left for more in the future should there be a continuation.

Update: A 2nd season was announced. Huzzah!

Kanon meets KekeEver since Sunshine Season 2 I have been very wary of anime entries botched the yuri for the sake of pandering to specific fans. In Superstar I admittedly had to wait a bit before getting a grasp of which girls were most likely to get hitched. I will say wait a bit unless you are a trigger happy shipper. Near the end most viewers will have a better idea.

Overall Love Live! Superstar!! was a return to basics with Liella adding their own spice to the traditional formula. Most of what Love Live! fans who chose to continue the franchise is here and accounted for: Cute, fun, quirky and sexy girls, good character arcs, very colorful presentation, nice songs and of course yuri material. Nijigasaki currently reigns supreme on the yuri front but Liella delivered some bliss of their own. Highly recommended to aforementioned fans still watching the franchise.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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24 Responses to 451st G-View: Love Live! Superstar!!

  1. skydragonx8 says:

    I absolutely loved Superstar so much!!! Liella’s journey was just so beautiful like their senpais before them! I got attached to every single one of them like I did μ’s, Aqours and Nijigaku!!!

    Though my favorite would probably have to end up being Kanon, she is just adorable and honestly I related to her really well also she is a nice change of pace from Honoka, Chika and Yu-chan as leaders since they were the genki type girl while Kanon is kind of the opposite of that (I still love Honoka, Chika and Yu-chan ofc).

    As for the many ships, just like their senpais before them Liella has so many cute ships that I can’t choose, I just love all of them so much since they’re just all cute in their own way!!!

    The music is absolutely amazing, I just love Liella’s songs so much!!!

    Overall I just loved Superstar and I can’t wait to see more of Liella and their journey. Season 2 here we come!!! Well after Nijigaku’s season 2 lol either way I am excited!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      They added to the ongoing excellence of the Love Live! brand as we hoped. So good.

      Kanon was a nice breath of fresh air indeed. Nothing against the other leads at all, just a welcome new kind of lead.

      Great stuff overall. Hope for more as there’s clearly room for more.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I never expect there to be a time where I don’t love a new chapter of the LL franchise, so of course, Superstar!! was no exception. I loved that the cast was smaller and so it allowed a more intimate look at everyone and their arcs, but otherwise, like you said, it was familiar. Liella did a nice job at staying unique, however, and I liked them as a group, as I have all those before them.

    I would agree that Nijisaki still reigns supreme as my favorite entry of the series and definitely had the most overt yuri elements, but there was good stuff to work with here too. I really loved Chisato and Kanon the most of the pairings in Superstar!!

    As far as MCs go, though, I think Kanon might be my favorite. She just has such a unique and attractive design and her personality is unlike the others, as the above poster mentioned. She’s more laid back and mellow, and I find that agreeable, perhaps because I can relate to that kind of personality more since I’m similar. Of course, all our leads have been wonderful, so the margin is thin.

    All in all, I think Superstar!! was a great addition to the series and I’m expecting a season 2 sometime in the future. LL continues to be the greatest idol series, so as always, I’m eager to see what group will be next.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Precisely.

      Same here. Kanon and Chisato currently have the strongest couple potential.

      I can easily imagine peeps relating to Kanon. Plus she has beautiful eyes.

      Fingers crossed for more Liella after Nijigasaki S2.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Alexis says:

    Love Live es una de mis franquicias favoritas y cumplió su función de entrener, muchas referencias a la primera generación pero lo suficientemente independiente y adorable para que brille con su propia luz. Por lo menos el primer blu-ray se vendió muy bien y de seguro regresarán para una S2.

    “Cinco” fue el número mágico para desarrollar la historia de las chicas, para una futura e hipotética nueva generación me atrevería a hacer una alineación con siete integrantes pero creo que nueve ya no es práctico o por lo menos tengo esa sensación … y gemelas, Love Live necesita gemelas y una belleza latina.

    Una de las cosas que se deben mejorar es el papel de la kaichou y el equipo rival, considero que sería más interesante que la presidenta sea la que arme al grupo y que las rivales tengan tiempo suficiente para demostrar por qué son el objetivo a vencer.

    Los emparejamientos aún pueden desarrollarse más, pero me gustaría que Ren se acerque mucho más de lo que pudimos ver con Riko. Mi personaje favorito es Sumire, su canción fue la mejor, sobre todo el baile, hay que tener mucha habilidad para hacer esos movimientos por lo que sería buenisimo verlo en vivo.

    Love Live Superstar volverá…
    Love Live Nijigasaki regresará en 2022 con Lanzhu incluida

    Galaxy!!!!!

    Like

  4. tbiscut74 says:

    Another wonderful entry in the Love Live.

    Of the group, Ren was my favorite! From the beginning I knew she would be my fav, and she did not disappoint! Sumire is a close 2nd! They are such treasures!

    Though best girl goes to Mao of Sunny Passion, for obvious reasons.

    Sumire’s rap song was my favorite!

    And speaking of Idol shows, They’ve Dubbed Dropout Idol Fruit Tart so I’ll still be wating some idol goodness till the next Love Live season.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. philipbaxton says:

    I really enjoyed this season. Kanon was my favorite and ties with Chika as my favorite LL main character. Her design is my favorite right after Dia’s.

    As for the shipping not much to say. This was the 1st season that felt more brotp than otp compared to the previous LL groups. Still I can see why people would ship certain characters together.

    Overall great show and I can’t wait for more

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Little Viktoria says:

    Lovely!

    All the girls are cute, and my initial favourite Chisato stayed my favourite to the end. I love how her cool expression changes to love and adoration when she sees Kanon. Sumire is lovely and sexy, particularly in her miko dress. Keke is so cuddly, Ren is a shy treasure and Kanon has her own special charm (no wonder that she’s the leader and the girl magnet). Especially Kanon’s emotional outbreak at the end really made me fall in love with her. Pouty Kanon is irresistible, and the brief “betrayed and vengeful” Kanon was hilarious ^^

    I absolutely loved Sumire’s little present to Keke. Coming from her, I felt like it was really an enormous sign of affection (and commitment). I ship them so much!

    Can’t wait for a second season, especially since there was no swimsuit episode yet and since I’m still waiting for a cute Chisato with her hair down ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Edith Cardenas Cardenas says:

    Holy moly, I loved this one! I just finished Nijigasaki and moved to this one!…there is one I haven’t watched tho… the sunshine, no, what is it called, the one with Dia? hmm Aquoros one, that one. I didn’t find so much yuri here, well ,some subtext maybe? but the songs were nice and I loved Kuku-chan and Sumire especially :D, but, awesomely, I loved them all. I dare say, I liked this more than even Nijigasaki, because I prefer a group over solo artists.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. chikorita157 says:

    I have to admit Superstar is a nice addition. The characters are enjoyable, probably more so since the cast is smaller, which is good to warm up to the characters. My only real complaint is that the show nearly went to the save the school plot again, which is getting a bit old since they already did this twice already, something that Nijigasaki avoided. I know it’s there just to develop Ren and the mention of it mostly went away and didn’t drag on, but I kind of wish they avoided this all together. I can agree that the yuri is a bit subdued, although then again, the second season might change this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Some peeps wanted a return to classic Love Live after Nijigasaki so the “save the school” stuff had to be part of it. It’s tradition.

      Yuri was about the same level as Season 1 of μ’s journey I’d say. It only has room to grow now, hence the hope for more.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nick says:

    Nice concluding thoughts on this latest entry in the Love Live! series.

    A return to basics is a good way to put it, there were a number of call backs to the OG series and that was nice to see.

    I really liked having the smaller cast as we could get to know them a bit more compared to a big 9 or more group. Not to say that’s bad or anything.

    By far the best looking Love Live! anime to date. Visuals were fantastic, especially the city backgrounds. So gorgeous!

    Pretty sure we’ll get another season, I can’t see them not wanting to continue Liella’s journey. Felt like it was only just getting started.

    All in all this was another fantastic Love Live! anime and I’m happy it was my final Love Live! anime to review as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Funny thing is the feeling of some characters not used as much usually happens around the 2nd season with the bigger groups from what I noticed. With Liella having fewer members it gives them more time to shine.

      This point in the franchise the animation has to be top notch.

      If they want to continue tradition then surely we’ll get a 2nd season and movie.

      A great entry to wrap up your blog coverage of the franchise.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. opaco1234 says:

    I see this number of five member more confortable so we end knowing the girls betters, i also seen that Keke because quited the real protagonist since how big her actions are

    Liked by 1 person

  11. yurimylove says:

    definitely one of my favorite LL seasons ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. K says:

    As with the previous entries I’ve seen, Superstar’s 1st season was very enjoyable. Liella! may have been a smaller group but their passion(and songs) rivals that of the other groups. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do to best SunnyPa next time.

    I liked all of the girls, but at this point Chisato’s my fave, with Kanon being second. She was fun to watch and I loved the support she gave to Kanon throughout the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ricardo Lopez says:

    Season 2 officially announced!!

    Like

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