It’s no real secret that I like Idol Music. Just search through my history and my music collection. And one of my favourite groups at the moment has to be μ’s of Love Live! School Idol Project. You got to love that pun- Muse, even if it’s a bitch to try and google it every time. So for the rest of this post, I’ll just be calling them Love Live. If you read Ann, you’ve probably heard that they will be getting an anime in 2013. The plot is in the time-honoured tradition of Japanese anime, damnably stupid.
1.Group of Friends make a Club- Nine Girls at some school at Akihabara
2. What’s at stake- The School will be closed down
- The Revival- The Girls become Idols to save their School.
Yes, this will probably be the plot of the anime when it’s released in 2013. But questionable story aside, I find their music upbeat and awesome. And I suppose that’s the reason I will watch the anime in 2013. I never got why anyone would make a Katy Perry movie until it was announced that Love Live is getting a full length anime in 2013. It’s at that point I knew how those Perry fans felt. I’ve been a dedicated fan of the group for 3 years now, a huge fan. And as long as it has the familiar Rabu Raibu logo attached, I’ll take the bait hook, line and sinker.
To give you the short version of the story, Love Live was officially started back in August 2010 as a colab between the magazine Dengeki Daioh, the music company Lantis and Sunrise, whom you may remember as the producers of every Gundam Anime. And in the past 3 years, Love Live has released a number of animated music videos and singles. The next release will be on October 17th. So what’s the difference between this and say another comparable 2d Group like say, 765 Productions? The main difference with Love Live and other Idol Groups is that fans get to vote on on group names, what costumes the girls will wear and who gets to be the next leader singer. A bit of AKB48 thrown in there.
In a group like this, there’s a certain pecking order in the group that’s decided by fan votes. Idols ranked first get to be lead singer in the next group single. The more popular idols just get the better perks. The 3 most popular Idols; Honoka, Kotori and Umi got to record brand new songs and had their characters CDs sold in shiny coloured cover. And the rejects got the no-frills white cover. Sadly, in a franchise decided by popularity contests someone had to become rejects. It’s a shame because there are decent singers in this group who ought to be the lead singer for the next group single.
So here’s a post dedicated to the rejects. The one’s still waiting for the chance to be lead, and the one’s still waiting to get that elusive 3rd rank. In the past fortnight, I’ve listened to one character single per day from the remaining six, and gave my personal fifty cents on it. Sure, I know about as much about music, singing, recording, writing, production as a man who reads golf book knows how to play golf but who gives a shit? Onwards to the review.
Eri Ayase- Thank fuck this is the first single I listen to, because the seiyu is a familiar one. It’s notable that Eri is voiced by one of three Milky Holmes seiyu in this project; Yoshino Nanjo. The other two ex-Milky Holmes involved with Love Live are Suzuko Mimori (Sherlock Shellingford) and Sora Tokui (Nero Wolfe). Personally, I have to wonder about YoshiNanjo. She has to sing image songs for her anime roles, is the lead singer of fripSide AND she’s part of School Idol Project. She probably goes home with a hoarse voice every day and goes to bed wishing to get tonsillitis when she wakes up. Listening to the single, I think Yoshino Nanjo’s voice doesn’t match for any of the pop songs like Yuujou no Change or Bokura no Live. Her voice is just too low for these up-beat melodies. But for a ballad-inspired piece like Snow Halation, she blows me away. If she ever wins the next election, a piano and violin song sung by Eri would be like mint and yoghurt.
Don’t like her mix of Track 6: Love Novels. The forced older sister shit (horahora) and the crappy remix at 2:45 almost made me want to break my speaker in half. That shit belongs in lolicore not a pop song.
Rin- You ought to know one thing about Rin. She’s probably this series’ Makoto Kikuchi. From what I understand of the material, she’s a sporty girl. As for her singing? Well, her voice just doesn’t stand out. Sometimes, I even swear she singing with such a soft voice that she needs to stand up and speak up! I think she’s hitting the right notes with these songs but that’s all I can say. No real mistakes but nothing outstanding either. By Koi no Button, it sounds like she’s spoken up but again nothing outstanding. Her best piece seems to be Shiranai Love, Oshiete Love. It’s one of the Pop Songs that relies a lot of doof doof beat and her voice seems to complement those kinds of songs.
Her mix of A.NO.NE Ganbare is decent. The song is a mix of drums and brass that would probably be played in a gentlemen club where the wealthy men in suits are drunk, the dresses are short and there is more smoke then a Factory on work day. And her voice gels well with that probably because she’s so average. When you listen to a song like that, it’s the blasting sax that stand out first not the voice. And her end song, Mermaid Festa 2 just proves the point. She’s a singer for loud, energetic music not the upbeat ones.
I can just imagine Rin being a singer for a Spanish club. She enters onto the stage while a band is behind. As she starts singing, many couples are dancing with their partners on the floor. Towards the end, her eyes turn to this one admirer in the crowd and their eyes meet. And after hitting that last note, she says good bye to the applause of the crowd. The admirer stands up and walks across the dance floor. She asks the dancer for her name, almost as if she were pleading. Rin smiles and gives her fan, her autograph and number. The admirer smiles and tells Rin that her name is Hanayo… Oh shit, did I get into shipping mode?
Nico: Kasumi, a friend I know (who happens to be a lolicon) will love this girl. Voiced by Sora Tokui, she’s the second of the Milky Holmes in this series. Nico has a whiny, immature kiddie voice. Hey, don’t unzip yet! But she’s 17. It’s little wonder that she’s one of the more popular Love Live Girls. And she has a habit of referring to herself in third person. Some will say that this makes Nico cute. I think it makes her annoying. I could have sworn that in her first track Bokura no Live that there were two Nicos singing weird. Even though she was the lead singer in the 3rd single- Natsuio egao de 1, 2 jump, I found that her best song was Koi no Button. Odd that her whiny voice works better for those kinds of songs then the more up-beat songs that the j-pop industry usually rolls out of their conveyor belts. Oh hell whatever. Koi no Button has a great melody and isn’t too demanding a song to sing. Not much need to hit know how to hit high notes when singing Koi no Button. So I’m saying it now, Koi no Button makes any of these idols look good.
Surprisingly, she doesn’t do a bad job either with Mermaid Festa 01. Her worse song has to be Nico’s track 6 which has too much fucking techno effects. High-pitch voice, low-pitch voice, whistling. All kinds of excessive shit poured down my ears. Looks like this was a official song on her sub-group single BiBis. Can’t do anything about it I guess.
Hanayo: Chan, my co-worker will rip into this girl. It must be the stuttering. The second half of the sameface duo. She has a soft voice and it feels like she could really hit all the right notes with these pop songs. Her version of Bokura no Live and Yuujou no Change is one of my personal favourites. Unfortunately, her seiyu has a bad habit of singing in an annoying, whiny voice at certain parts. You remember when you wanted to piss off a kid on a playground and you made a whiny, voice; like an overly sweet mother? Yeah that voice. And I could I have sworn she changed her voice pitch changed by Snow Halation.
There seems to be a Sweet Hanayo and a Whiny Hanayo. I’ll diagnose that vocal change as ‘it’s her first day on the job-itis’. And for the rest of the single, I swear she’s changing her voice as the track changes. My least favourite track is her cover of Koi no Button. She must have decided it would be cute to sing it in the whiny Hanayo. Other then that, her Solo cover of Love Marginal (which she previously recorded as Printemps) is decent.
Nozomi: For my second last review, I listened to Nozomi. I just had the feeling that she was awful and it turned out to be the right hitch. The obligatory big-busom member of the group and she happens to have the most fucking annoying voice. Listening to her Bokura no Live is like being surrounded by a swarm of bees while a vuvuzela is being blown at both your ears. Not even Koi no Button works for her torturous voice. Her cover of Oshiete Love, Shiranai Love lacks energy. Oh fuck it, her voice ruins every song in her single. Not a fan of Nozomi.
Maki: Uploading this all over net one day. This CD is great! The title of the single is ‘True Diva’. Now I don’t know what that means although my understanding of the word comes from a not so recent time when Aussie Idol was still popular and the word diva was thrown around A LOT. I used to think it meant a singer able to sing difficult, opera-esque songs. Looking the word up on the blessed Google, it seems to mean a ‘highly celebrated singer’. But enough linguistics bullshit. Maki has a more strongly accented voice so she seems tailor made for Pop Songs. And don’t let them tell you otherwise. We need more singers like the vocalists of nano.Ripe or Little by Little. Damn, her seiyu is an amateur but she sure can project her voice. Her cover of Bokura no Live and Natsuiro Egao de 1,2 Jump is great. I hate the Love Novels instrumental but man, she can even make that shit sound half-decent. I would have to say that she’s up there with Honoka (energetic leader) as my favourite singer. Oh hell. I’m saying it. Maki is one of the best voices in Love Live and this is the Best Solo Live.