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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is an anime in the Love Live! series and the third anime series after Love Live! School Idol Project and Love Live! Sunshine!!. The first season premiered on October 3rd, 2020 as part of the Fall 2020 anime season, a second season premiered in April 2022 following Love Live! Superstar!!, with an OVA announced for Summer 2023. The show prominently features the titular club originally introduced in the video game Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS.

The story takes place at and around Nijigasaki High School, a vast, sprawling complex located in the heart of Odaiba, an artificial island off the coast of Tokyo, Japan. When two of its students, Yu Takasaki and Ayumu Uehara, witness a performance from the legendary school idol Setsuna Yuki, their love for school idols instantly blossoms, and Yu sets out to realize her dream of supporting a team of school idols by joining Nijigasaki High's own School Idol Club. But when Student Council President Nana Nakagawa announces the impending closure of the club, it will take heart, friendship and determination to unite a brand-new School Idol Club and make their dreams of painting a 9-colored rainbow a reality.

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This anime contains examples of:

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    A-B 
  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • The layout of Yu's room is slightly different from the Protagonist's room in the game. Most notably, there is initially a bookshelf where the keyboard would be but it is later replaced with the keyboard as Yu bonds with the School Idol Club, which serves as a Chekhov's Gun for a critical interaction late in the first season.
    • Yu and Ayumu's apartments are switched around in the anime. Originally in ALL STARS, Ayumu's apartment was on the left side of the protagonist's. Here, her apartment is on the right side of Yu's own instead of the left.
    • Yu addresses Ayumu as just "Ayumu" unlike the protagonist, who addresses her as "Ayumu-chan"note  in the game.
    • Yu is the one who comes up with the idea for the School Idol Festival in the anime, whereas the Festival is an existing and well-known event whose ownership is passed down to the Nijigasaki School Idol Club in the game.
    • Some Japanese traditions seen from the other series and game adaptations, such as visiting shrines, weren't present. This makes the show generally more accessible to viewers given the fact that many scenes take place around the school.
    • A conflict between Yu and Ayumu occurs towards the end of Season 1 just like in the game, although the circumstances and context surrounding said conflict are much different.
    • Lanzhu doesn't agree with the School Idol Club's ideals, much like her game counterpart, but rather than making her own club she instead chooses to fly solo and forges a rivalry with the Club.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Episode 11 pulls together multiple plot points from the School Idol Festival arc of ALL STARS Season 1 and smashes them together without making the viewers watch 10 chapters worth of setup, with many major issues such as volunteers, training, venue choice, recruiting other schools, and prep being handled both offscreen and on-screen in a much shorter length of time.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The first three episodes are essentially Chapter 1 of ALL STARS but drawn out over a greater length of time and with more explanation on Setsuna's involvement in the original Club.
    • Setsuna's role in general is vastly expanded and rewritten compared with the game. In the game, while one of the most prominent idols in the main story, she's for the most part written as a supporting character, and virtually all conflicts she's a part of are resolved with little drama. The anime meanwhile gives her far more focus, in particular much more strongly highlighting the contrast in her double life and past mistakes which were largely ignored in the game itself.
    • A big selling point of the anime is that it greatly expounds on characters who are Out of Focus in the game, such as Emma, Rina, Shizuku, and Kanata.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Much like the game, Setsuna is added to the club shortly after The Reveal, although she does so before waiting for the rest of the main cast to join. Kanata, Emma, and Shizuku are also added to the club simultaneously as the explanation as to why they stopped attending the club was changed.
    • The digital pixel mask version of the Rina-chan Board is created first before Rina gets the idea to use a notebook with her face on it.
  • Adaptational Explanation: While the game explains that the original club's roadblock was the inability for the members to work cohesively as a unit, the anime further explains that the members originally had their sights set on competing in Love Live, the world's largest school idol competition, and that Setsuna wanted to enter as a unit but gave up when Kasumi lashed out at her. The goal of getting to Love Live is ultimately put on the backburner when Yu tells Setsuna that they don't have to win Love Live to succeed as school idols.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance:
    • The Rina-chan Board doesn't appear at all until Episode 6, with Rina simply showing her real face to the camera until her Character Development inspires her to create the Board.
    • Shioriko debuts in Season 2, despite being integral to the plot of ALL STARS throughout the School Idol Festival story arc.
  • Adapted Out:
    • One of the biggest changes from the game is that µ's and Aqours have no presence in the anime, allowing the show to focus more on the original cast.
    • Shioriko Mifune doesn't appear at all in Season 1. Amusingly, this inadvertently brings up the topic of Setsuna attempting to use her position as Student Council President to the club's benefit, as unlike the game she does not get replaced.
  • Alternate Album Cover: The solo Insert Songs throughout both seasons are released on CDs in groups of three. The last CD of Season 1 is in a group of two. However, there are multiple cover art versions for each CD, one for each character/the Club whose song is on a CD. (They can be seen here.) Completionist fans who want all the covers would need to buy multiple copies of each release.
  • Alternate Character Reading:
    • The title of Episode 13 is written in all kanji and can be translated as "The Place Where Everyone's Dreams Come True", but it is read as "School Idol Festival".
    • Similarly, the title of season 2 episode 8, it is translated as “The Place Where the Rainbow Begins”, but it can be read as TOKIMEKI Runners.
  • Alternate Continuity: The anime is one to ALL STARS canon, which is itself an alternate version of anime canon with the Nijigasaki idols in it.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
  • Ambiguous Situation: The show doesn't clearly explain how the music video setpieces tie into what's actually happening, since it's made clear that all performances are actually seen by other characters in-universe, but other characters don't see the "music video" parts, such as the unique backgrounds and outfits. Even weirder is that in Episode 5, background characters are seen watching Setsuna perform "DIVE!" on their smartphones with the whole music video setup and all.
    • However, a passing comment from Ai when the group is watching the footage of Setsuna's performance suggests that Rina was in some way responsible for its presentation. This suggests that the original performance was serendipidously filmed and Rina digitally edited in the stage outfit and other special effects seen on the video. Alternatively, the performance was redone with the stage outfit and special effects as the in-universe viewers see it.
    • The club members wear the music video costumes in Episode 13.
    • Lanzhu is back in her uniform after performing "Eutopia" in Season 2 Episode 1, but she wears the music video outfit in Episodes 2 and 4.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Episode 11 has noticeably more significant use of cinematography techniques than the other episodes in the season, many of which convey an eerily unsettling sense of isolation and distress.
    • The character designs in the second season were redesigned to be more refined from the first season to look more consistent with the rest of the characters.
  • The Anime of the Game: Based (somewhat) on Nijigasaki's debut material, Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS.
  • Artifact Title: The titular competition is not the main goal of the group this time around. It is only mentioned exactly once in Episode 3 as part of Setsuna's original goal for the club, but it is swiftly set aside as Yu motivates the girls to improve as individuals rather than as a unit, and ultimately the School Idol Festival becomes the main goal for the club.
    • The Love Live!! finally occurs during season 2, only the main group doesn't participates, rather the secondary characters do, and remains minor overall.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: This series uses noticeably different character designs from Love Live! School Idol Project and Love Live! Sunshine!!, as well as having a more muted color palette compared to the previous two anime.
  • Ascended Extra: Himeno Ayanokoji, an extremely minor character from School idol festival, is given a voiced supporting role in the anime as the main representative for the Touou Academy School Idol Club.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The opening of Season 2 Episode 1 looks like your average shounen anime opening... until the final end card shows, revealing that it's a trailer for the 2nd School Idol Festival that Shizuku and Rina are working on.
  • Be Yourself: Much like the game, a major running theme throughout the show focuses on individualism and true colors. This plays into the Character Development of multiple girls; Ayumu's episode focuses on her realization of being true to herself, Ai's episode focuses on who she really wants to be seen as, and Shizuku's episode focuses on the conflict between the image she presents to her peers and the person she really is on the inside.
  • Beach Episode: Double subverted, as the Episode 10 training camp still takes place at the school. Kasumi even complains that she thought that they were going to the beach. However, the last third of the episode takes place at a rooftop pool, with the cast changing into their swimsuits.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The beginning of the first episode has Yu and Ayumu do some shopping in a mall with "ONIQLO", this anime's counterpart of UNIQLO.
    • In international airings, the 7-Eleven branding in the show is replaced with a generic fictional convenience store brand due to licensing issues.
    • Season 2 Episode 4 shows "Arch Jacoes" and "Diezel", imitations of Marc Jacobs and Diesel; Episode 10 has a "Jonga" game; and all cinema names in Episode 13 were altered.
  • Boarding School: Nijigasaki Academy is one of these, with dormitories for students who do not live in the surrounding city. In particular, Emma and Karin live in the dorms, the former because she is from Switzerland and came to Japan to be a school idol.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Keeping in tune with Nijigasaki girls twisting norms previously established by School idol project and Sunshine!!, Nijigasaki High School Idol Club alters the formula a few ways:
    • Every main girl gets A Day in the Limelight since the importance of the girls as individual characters is much higher. In the previous anime, focus episodes were sporadic and not every girl got one.
    • There is pretty much no overarching story this time, as the girls are not trying to win Love Live, and there is no Saving the Orphanage plot.
    • The girls are all solo idols instead of forming an unit.
    • Unlike the previous series, where the protagonist idol clubs had defined rival groups (A-RISE for µ's and Saint Snow for Aqours), Nijigasaki does not. This is at least in part due to their decision to not participate in Love Live, and thus they do not have an external group to vie with for the competition. Rather, any rivalry seen in the series is largely internal, as the characters are all solo idols who compete with each other for perks such as participation in events with limited participation slots, as was the case in Episode 9. While the school idol clubs of other schools have made small appearances in the series, their interactions with Nijigasaki's idols are largely amicable rather than competitive.
    • The obligatory Episode 10 training camp doesn't take place at the beach (but still features a swimsuit scene).
    • It is the first anime series in the franchise to have another Love Live! anime premiere in-between seasons.
  • Brick Joke: In the first episode, Yu remembers Ayumu's "Ayu-bun" act she used to do as a kid, which causes Ayumu to react with embarrassment. In the very next episode, Kasumi suggests Ayumu do a bunny act and call herself "Ayu-bun", much to Yu's delight (and Ayumu's even further embarrassment). In Episode 4, when Ayumu asks Ai what nickname the latter came up with for her, she replies with "Ayu-bun", once again to Ayumu's predicable embarrassment.
  • Broad Strokes:
    • Due to the more character-focused aspect of the show compared to the original game, the show only carries over the most critical plot details of Chapter 1 (the School Idol Club having a falling-out, the reformation of the School Idol Club and the Nana/Setsuna reveal and her subsequent re-addition) and leaves the rest of the show to develop the cast.
    • Season 2 rewrites the entire focus of the plot to the subunits, giving them more attention compared to them being a byproduct of the plot in ALL STARS. Accordingly, Lanzhu's role in the story is completely overhauled to make her less of an antagonist and more of a driving force motivating the independent idols of the School Idol Club to join together under shared ideals.

    C-E 
  • Call-Back:
    • In Episode 3, Yu finds herself in the music room and tries pressing some piano keys to the tune of "CHASE!", which cues Nana to interrupt. In Episode 10, Yu wanders into the music room in the middle of the night and plays "CHASE!" again, but with a proper piano arrangement, highlighting her quickly-developing piano skills.
    • The scenes directly before and after "Dream With You" are recreated shot-for-shot for "Awakening Promise", with the only change being Ayumu's more confident composure. "Awakening Promise" itself also takes place on the same stage as "Dream With You".
    • A giant-sized version of the Kasumin Box from Episode 11 appears in Episode 13 as a moving prop that Kasumi rides on.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Kanata's Sleepyhead traits are Played for Laughs until her Character Focus, which reveals that she's so terribly overworked that she falls asleep randomly out of sheer exhaustion.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A strange meta example with the keyboard in Yu's room. It's present in the player character's room in the game, but as the player character is part of the music course having a keyboard isn't out of the ordinary and no attention is drawn to it. However, the keyboard is also present in Yu's room as her room is identical to her game counterpart's, especially odd since Yu takes the general curriculum course. The significance of the keyboard is realized in Episode 11, when Ayumu notices it for the first time and realizes that she hadn't known Yu was practicing the piano while Setsuna knew, causing her to finally snap and trigger the Drama Bomb. Later, Yu opts to switch to the music course by the start of Episode 13.
  • Close on Title: Season 2 Episode 8 doesn't show its title until moments before the credits.
  • Club Stub: Just like the game, Kasumi is still the last remaining member of the School Idol Club after the other four members leave. In this case, it's because Nana officially disbanded the Club and Kasumi doesn't actually have a club to go back to anymore, with the club room already occupied by the Wandervogel Club by the time she gets back to it. Yu and Ayumu show up at just the right time to help Kasumi reform it, although in this case their efforts only extend to convincing Setsuna to rejoin, with Shizuku, Emma and Kanata rejoining at the same time and the rest showing up later in the season.
  • Continuity Cameo: Many N-rarity girls from Love Live! School Idol Festival, starting in Nijigasaki season 1:
    • Himeno Ayanokoji and Koyuki Shirase show up together on the cover of a school idol magazine Karin owns in episode 5.
    • Christina and Kasane Hasekura have voiced cameos in episode 7. The rest of the Shinonome Academy members, except Rika Kamiya, appear there as well, though unvoiced. There's also a Hitomi Shiga lookalike seen in the same episode, however that may be a subversion as said lookalike was wearing a NijiGaku uniform...
    • Likewise, Misaki Shido appears alongside Himeno to watch the play Shizuku's in during episode 8.
    • Episode 9 has the most "N girl" cameos in Season 1, with the previously missing Rika being presentnote , as well as the remainder of Touou Academy. No new voice though...
    • Fumi Shitara, another girl attending Touou, appears with her chameleon Gyoro in one of the stills near the end of episode 13.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The vast bulk of Episode 13 features references to all of the previous episodes of the season. All of the girls are seen wearing their outfits from their respective solo songs during the episode, and clips from their songs play throughout the episode. "Yume ga Kokokara Hajimeru yo" not only has the girls performing in their solo song outfits, the music video parts features stills from all of the previous episodes, and each girl has unique choreography taken directly from their solo.
  • Continuity Nod: A school club bakes cookies shaped like the 9 performing members in Season 1 Episode 11. They make them again, shaped like the 12 members, in Season 2 Episode 12.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The first season has nine episodes dedicated to Character Development of each of the School Idol Club members, one at a time. To wit, the following episodes focus on the following characters.
    • Episode 1: Ayumu, which doubles as the setup for the initial arc. Part of the episode is devoted to Ayumu realizing that she doesn't want to suppress her true feelings anymore.
    • Episode 2: Kasumi, which focuses on her discovery of letting everyone shine in their own way.
    • Episode 3: Setsuna, which focuses on the event that broke up the original School Idol Club and her indecisiveness between her life as a school idol and her commitment to the student council.
    • Episode 4: Ai, which focuses on her trying to figure out who she wants to be seen as an individual and school idol.
    • Episode 5: Emma, which focuses on her trying to get Karin to open up.
    • Episode 6: Rina, which focuses on her trying to overcome her inability to show emotions.
    • Episode 7: Kanata, which focuses on the relationship with her younger sister Haruka and the effect her overprotectiveness of Haruka is having on the both of them.
    • Episode 8: Shizuku, which focuses on the dichotomy between the kind of person she wants to be seen as and the real self that she tries to keep locked away, and her realization that it's okay to show your true self.
    • Episode 9: Karin, which focuses on her split perception of friends and rivals and her realization that they can be one and the same.
    • Episode 10: Yu, which doesn't really develop her character but does focus on her motivations and dream as a school idol supporter.
    • Episode 12: Ayumu again, which focuses on the emotional impasse between herself and Yu and her realization that no matter what happens, the bond that she shares with Yu will never change.
    • Season 2 Episode 2: The episode primarily focuses on Emma, Rina, Kasumi, and Kanata and the events leading up to their decision to come together as a unit to find a connection with their fans and decipher Lanzhu's real motives for coming to Nijigasaki.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Played with in Season 2 Episode 3: Yu's music class has to compose a song for an assignment and play it on the piano. Yu plays "NEO SKY, NEO MAP!", Season 1's ending theme and it replaces the regular Season 2 ending for this episode.
  • Drama Bomb: Episode 11 features the Once a Season drama but with a much more unusual take for Love Live!, as Ayumu's feelings for Yu and jealousy toward Setsuna reach a boiling point and culminate in Ayumu confronting Yu and begging Yu to only be hers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Yu's first actual anime appearance is in the Mirai Harmony MV, where she is briefly seen with Ayumu but her face is hidden by the camera angle. A plushie version of her also appears momentarily in Kasumi's solo MV Muteki-kyuu*Believer.
    • Following the scene in the first episode where Nana officially disbands the School Idol Club, the remainder of the main cast besides Ai and Rina are momentarily shown reacting to the news in a quick montage.
    • Himeno Ayanokoji appeared on a magazine cover in Episode 5 and made a voiced cameo in Episode 8 before she introduces herself by name to the club in Episode 9.
    • Kaoruko Mifune appears in the Season 2 opening as early as Episode 2, as the only other character besides Yu in the entire opening with hair that has more than one color. The character then appears in The Stinger to Episode 4 and reveals her name in Episode 6.
    • Rakshata and Jennifer, two Y.G. International students, make a voiced cameo in The Stinger to Season 2 Episode 1. The following episode, they introduce themselves and propose a joint concert with the Nijigasaki club.
    • The Kurobane Sisters, Sakuya and Sakura, both from Shion Girls Academy, make short, voiceless cameos in Season 2 Episode 2, within a crowd watching Lanzhu's guerilla concert outdoors. Their introductions by name happen four episodes later, when they tell the club they can perform at their academy.
  • Elaborate University High: Nijigasaki High School is based on Tokyo Big Sight, the largest convention center in the country. As a result, it looks really freaking huge and similar to UTX in modern design, with some of the characters living on campus in dorms. The school supposedly has over a hundred school clubs. It also has numerous specialized departments and courses, making even its educational structure seem more like a university than a high school.
  • Elevator School: On top of already being huge, Nijigasaki consists of a middle school and a high school. It's mentioned that Rina previously went to the associated middle school.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Shioriko overhears Setsuna talking to Ayumu and Shizuku in the club's room and discovers that Setsuna and Nana are both the same person.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is a show about the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Excuse Plot: Unlike the previous anime and ALL STARS, there is no real "story" to speak of. The show's sole overarching conflict is resolved by Episode 3, and all future conflicts are explicitly character driven and self-contained and not related to the club or the school whatsoever. Best exemplified by Episode 12, which almost completely glosses over the preparations for the School Idol Festival in favor of addressing the emotional rift between Ayumu and Yu.
  • Eyedscreen: Contrasting all of the other insert songs, Kanata's "Butterfly" and Mia's "stars we chase" are done in a cinematic Letterbox style. There is one shot in the former's video where the girl in question stands in front of the screen bars.
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    F-O 
  • Failed a Spot Check: After getting lost on the way to a dance school, Karin shows Yu, Ayumu, and Setsuna a map of the school's location. The girls take one look at the map and immediately point behind Karin to the giant pink dance school sign directly across the street.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The prologue that begins Season 2 Episode 1 features the club members in formal suits and looks pretty normal... and suddenly there's fire, moving statues, and an explosion. Turns out it's a video the club's making to promote the second School Idol Festival.
  • Fantasy Sequence: The performance of "CHASE!" in Episode 1 is essentially just Setsuna standing on the stairs and dancing, but the viewers are given a look at how Yu imagines her performance with a scene that wouldn't look out of place as the Desperation Attack of a Final Boss.
  • Fanservice:
    • Season 1 had couple of shots such as Rina's butt at the end of her solo concert and a glimpse of Yu's underboob near the end of Episode 13.
    • The music video for "Eutopia" includes a few shots of Lanzhu bathing, with anything other than her head, legs, and arms hidden by camera angles.
    • The MV of "Eternal Light" contains some provocative shots of Ai and Karin's back.
  • Fish-Eye Lens: Used subtly in a few key shots in Episode 11 to emphasize Ayumu's increasing fear and distress.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After the club is reformed in Episode 3, Kanata is seen in the next few episodes spontaneously passing out in the middle of club activities, and is typically Played for Laughs like usual. During Kanata's episode, the club members inform Haruka that Kanata's been passing out in the middle of the day a lot more, causing Haruka to realize that Kanata's so overworked that she's literally sleeping on the spot.
    • Unlike her non-anime appearances, Kasumi isn't seen wearing her moon hairpin in the anime. Shizuku gifts her the hairpin in the middle of Episode 13.
    • The Season 2 opening briefly shows images of the original 9 members in their subunit configurations, hinting at what the main focus of the season will be.
    • In the post-credits scene for Season 2 Episode 5, Shioriko notices a gold decoration in Nana's hair. The next episode has an Internal Reveal.
    • Yu often mentions the word "tokimeki/thrill" for the first half of Season 2, leading up into composing the song "TOKIMEKI Runners" for the 2nd School Idol Festival with Mia's help.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Double subverted. In episode 8, Kasumi throws a punch at Shizuku that stops short. Then Kasumi flicks her forehead.
  • The Glomp: Lanzhu runs up to Ayumu and tackles her with a big hug when they first meet in Season 2 Episode 1.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Subtitle example. In the Global version of ALL STARS, the Wandervogel Club got subtitled as the plainer and more straightforward "camping club" when mentioned in Chapter 1 Episode 2. In the anime, it is called the "Wandervogel Club".
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Haruka announces that she's planning on quitting the Shinonome School Idol Club so she can help take some of the pressure off Kanata's shoulders, Kanata's response is to insist that she'll work even harder so Haruka can stay a school idol. Haruka, already knowing that Kanata is almost literally working herself to death and realizing that Kanata doesn't understand her, snaps at her sister and runs off.
  • Kawaiiko: Kasumi is a natural cute girl, but this doesn't stop her from forcing the idea of being cute in order to be a school idol.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • After the more drama-filled and generally less idealistic Love Live! Sunshine!!, Nijigasaki returns to a fairly low-stakes story of Yu and Ayumu forming a School Idol Club and getting to know their potential club members. It helps that unlike the first two anime, there is no Saving the Orphanage plot motivating the cast.
    • The story is generally more upbeat than ALL STARS, Nijigasaki's source material. Largely due to the absence of Shioriko Mifune and far fewer trope deconstructions compared to the game, there are very few major obstacles that the girls encounter throughout the story. Even with the appearance of Shioriko Mifune in the second season of the anime, she lacks any antagonistic feelings for school idols that her game counterpart had and is even willing to support them, thus having no tension between her and the School Idol Club.
    • The 2nd Season in general, in spite of introduction of their rival member Lanzhu Zhong, has less drama and tension than the 1st Season and from ALL STARS. It helps that the main conflict of the school and its members are completely absent here.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Pets are forbidden at the school. But there is no rule saying that a stray cat cannot be assigned as the student council's official trekking officer, as mentioned in Episode 3. Ai even lampshades the strangeness of this.
    Ai: "I call BS, but I'll happily accept this BS."
    • The Diver Fes event in Episode 9 only has three performance slots for school idols, of which two are already taken by Shinonome and Touou Academies, leaving the third for Nijigasaki. However, because Nijigasaki's school idols perform solo, only one of their members can perform at the event, an issue not shared by the former two schools, whose school idol clubs perform as a group. The club initially thinks about bypassing this restriction by having every member perform a Medley of their respective solo songs, which would count as a single song. However, they ditch this idea when they realize such a performance would be way too long.
  • Loose Canon: The show declines to mention any specific details that would firmly lock it into a single continuity, meaning that Nijigasaki can be theoretically canon to almost any canon that isn't ALL STARS (as the show's existence directly contradicts the events of the game).
  • Love Confession: At the end of Episode 11, Ayumu tackles Yu to the bed and pleads with her in sheer despair to only look at her.
  • Lucky Charms Title:
    • Season 1 Episode 2 is called "Cutest♡Girl".
    • Season 1 Episode 6 is called "The Shape of Smiles (〃>▽<〃)".
    • Season 2 Episode 5 is called "Dreamland is Now Open!↑↑(*'▽')".
  • Mythology Gag: A lot. Now has its own page.
  • Nice Girl: Overall, the nine main girls are all genuinely good-natured and pleasant individuals.
    • Shioriko Mifune definitely qualifies for this trope in the anime, while Lanzhu Zhong and Mia Taylor tend to vacillate between this and Jerk with a Heart of Gold. While they do maintain some core traits that they had in the source material, differences in backstory and circumstances have altered how they interacted with the School Idol Club. Any negative traits were either toned down (Mia, who is still somewhat aloof and standoffish, but helps Yuu composing and then joins), characters were able to establish a level of respect even if there is disagreement (Lanzhu, who is still a bit stuck-up and arrogant but respects the group and ends up swallowing her pride when she joins) or even support the cause of the School Idol Club, even if they don't want to be one themselves or decide to join only later on (Shioriko, who is the nicest and even before she joins is shown to be nothing but supportive and kind towards the group).
  • No Name Given: The president of the Nijigasaki Drama Club as well as Nana's Vice President go unnamed in the anime series and are only referred to by their titles whenever they're addressed. The twin secretaries in Nana's student council were originally this, until their appearance in ALL STARS confirms that their names are Satsuki and Uzuki Sato.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In Episode 2, Kasumi realizes that forcing her idea of a "cute" school idol on Ayumu is just like how Setsuna forced her idea of "passionate" school idols on the other club members, which causes her to reconsider her stance on the club.
  • Offhand Backhand: When Kasumi wakes up in the middle of the night to play a prank on the others in Episode 10, Setsuna immediately sits up and hurls a pillow at Kasumi's face with enough force to send her sprawling... while asleep!
  • Once per Episode: The first nine episodes each have the character in focus perform an Insert Song near the end.
  • One-Gender School: Like every other school in the franchise, Nijigasaki is an all-girls school.
  • Origins Episode: In addition to being Rina's Day In The Limelight, Episode 6 reveals how the Rina-chan Board was created.
  • Out of Focus: After her prominence in the first three episodes, Yu takes a backseat from episodes 4 through 9, with the other school idol character development occurring mostly on their own or with the assistance of their fellow idols.
  • Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat: Hilariously, Ayumu begins sweating profusely after a Beat when Karin catches her practicing her school idol introduction.

    P-Z 
  • Poor Communication Kills: Actively averted for once, as when it comes down to it Yu lays out in plain terms her feelings and intentions for Ayumu and is the first to clear the air between them when an emotional divide becomes apparent. Setsuna, a major element of Ayumu's angst, also takes the first possible opportunity to clear Ayumu's doubts the moment she notices that something is bothering her. Most of the conflict that springs up throughout episodes 11 and 12 is largely the result of pure happenstance and Ayumu's anxiety and not a failure of communication between the two of them.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A lot of it, in large due to the original game being very much not written to work as a streamlined narrative. It's trickier to name an aspect which wasn't altered in some form:
    • The original game is written as an Alternate Continuity to the previous Love Live series that features all three casts attending school at the same time, with the first two heavily influencing the plot, an aspect completely removed for the anime to instead focus solely on the new cast. Much of their role as an inspiration for the protagonist is instead given to Setsuna.
    • In the game, Ayumu primarily joins the school idol club because the protagonist asked rather than out of her own volition. While this makes sense for what is essentially a tutorial, it is needlessly anticlimactic in an actual story, so, in the anime, she declares her love of school idols to Yu in an effort to convince her not to give up on her dream, and performs an entire song ("Dream With You") in front of her to affirm her resolve.
    • Rina's personality is given a considerable overhaul. In the game, she is seen hiding her face and using her "Rina-chan" persona at all times, and it's not until until well into her bond story that her real personality and face were even revealed. This makes sense for a gatcha game where characters can be developed at their own pace, but is far more cumbersome for a serialized anime, and is also difficult to show visually outside of the limited VN format of the game. The anime thus has those things on display from her introduction; she only uses her notebook to cover for her inability to show emotions.
    • The event that broke up the original School Idol Club is treated as less of a misunderstanding between the members and more of an actual falling-out, which becomes a major backstory point for both Kasumi and Setsuna.
    • Since most of the show's target audience is familiar with Setsuna's secret (as it is revealed no less than an hour into the game's story), The Reveal is simply said out loud by Karin at the end of the second episode instead of waiting for the club to reform.
  • Product Placement:
    • A 7-Eleven can be seen in the background in a few scenes, most notably during the Season 1 opening.
    • Many places around Odaiba are shown throughout the anime and Season 1 opening. These include shopping malls Odaiba VenusFort and Diver City Tokyo Plaza, as well as Joypolis, an indoor amusement park owned by SEGA. Their logos are only seen on Japanese TV airings and Blu-rays even though a character does mention Joypolis by name in both the Japanese and English audio.
    • Kasumi's performance during the second episode takes her to Aqua City, a huge mall near Daiba station, and shows her taking a foot bath at the Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari sentō.
    • Karin and Emma's date in episode 4 leads them to the Miraikan, a museum dedicated to science. Emma sings her song at the Geo-Cosmos section, with its real-time weather pattern globe changing into a sphere of flowers for the occasion.
    • The beginning of Episode 6 shows the girls playing one of Joypolis's attractions, a VR shooting game called ZERO LATENCY VR, as a Mythology Gag to a live event held on the AbemaTV Ultra Games channel. The developers of the game even pointed it out.
    • One of the shots in "Tsunagaru Connect" takes place inside the Dippin' Dots store in Joypolis Tokyo, and a signboard and tables with the Dippin' Dots logo can be seen in the background. The logo is omitted from international releases.
    • Karin passes by a Yoshinoya restaurant and a Gamers store in Season 1 Episode 9 while following directions to a dance school on her smartphone. Lanzhu stops by Gamers in Season 2 Episode 2.
    • The "Eutopia" music video includes shots from inside the Tokyo Cruise Ship and the Hilton Hotel in Odaiba. The latter is used as Lanzhu's residence in Season 2 episode 2.
    • The Season 2 opening has Mia sitting in front of a sign for the Odaiba location of Kua 'Aina Sandwich.
    • One shot of Season 2 Episode 4 has Ai and Karin play a Taiko no Tatsujin arcade game, with the title screen clearly shown. This game is by Bandai Namco, which also owns Sunrise.
  • Real-Place Background:
    • Aside from the locations already mentioned in the Product Placement section, a lot of spots shown are parks, streets and train stations in Odaiba proper (which includes many scenic shots of the Rainbow Bridge). Most notably, the school building is based on the Tokyo Big Sight, with some flourishes to make it look more like an actual school, making it positively massive for its supposed function.
    • Season 2 Episode 13 features shots of actual worldwide theatres (with the names altered) that played theatrical viewings of the real "First Live with You" concert in 2019.
  • Recursive Canon: The school idol merchandise seen in episode 9 resembles the old versions of N-rarity cards from School Idol Festival. They use the original background and text-banner style from the game's launch in 2013.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Unlike Lanzhu or Mia, Shioriko's addition to the cast is treated with no fanfare, being given no proper introduction and presented as a previously-existing member of the Student Council. The only reason she stands out at all compared to all of the other extras is her more unique design and scenes showing her interacting with Lanzhu.
  • Ret-Canon: In The Stinger to Season 2 Episode 12, the club's live concert name is revealed to be "Nijigasaki First Live with You", the name of an actual concert in 2019 based on the characters introduced in School Idol Festival ALL STARS, who in turn got this anime. It even uses the same logo.
  • The Reveal: During The Stinger for Episode 2, Karin reveals her deduction that Setsuna Yuki is Nana Nakagawa's secret identity.
  • Right in Front of Me: At the end of Episode 11, the Student Council Vice President reveals that she looked up some school idol stuff in her spare time and tells Yu that her favorite school idol is Setsuna Yuki, right before delving into a long monologue praising her performances. During this entire sequence, Kasumi gives Nana Nakagawa a knowing Aside Glance as this girl attempts to keep her composure while visibly sweating bullets.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The Student Council all have shiny glasses as they look over the School Idol Festival application form. Amusingly, Nana's glasses become transparent as she falters after the Vice President comments on her knowledge of school idols. Toward the end of the episode, Nana also dons the shiny glasses look as she nervously listens to the Vice President gushing over Setsuna.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Episode 13 ends with Yu taking the exam to enroll in the music course (like her game counterpart), while the Club receives a massive outpouring of support from both school idols and fans around the world saying they would like to take part in the next School Idol Festival.
    • An easy-to-miss detail during the very end of the Season 1 finale hints at the appearance of a future character. When Yu is in front of the classroom to take the exam to transfer into the music course, a bulletin board in the background shows a notice with the word "Volunteer" on a jade-green banner. This likely won't mean anything if you aren't aware that Shioriko Mifune does volunteer work on the weekends.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The life-size Unicorn Gundam statue in Odaiba is seen multiple times throughout the first season: first in Episode 1 as a foot in the background of a particular scene, next in Episode 11 as a leg, then thrice in Episode 13 in all three of its modes. Doubles as a Production Throwback.
      • The Aran avatar Rina uses in a video game in Episode 13 is equipped with weapons similar to the funnels from the Gundam franchise. Also a possible reference to Haman Karn, who Rina has a resemblance to.
    • The anime scene that Setsuna geeks out over in Episode 4 is lifted directly from a scene in Episode 21 of Doki Doki Precure with the names changed.
    • In episode 6, Rina hiding in a cardboard box is similar to Akira Renboukouji doing the same thing 7 years ago (bonus for both characters having similarities such as being Gadgeteer Geniuses and Shrinking Redheads). Also, another Sunrise anime shout-out.
    • The illustrations featured in the ending theme are similar to the ones used in the anime adaptation of Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight. Yet another Production Throwback, as the same artist worked on both.
    • In Season 2 Episode 10, Rina shows off an Augmented Reality smartphone game she made called "NijiGaku GO". It's reminiscent of Pokémon GO and uses a similar map screen to it, but here the girls must find different cats based on them.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Since all of the artwork and promos are based on earlier Nijigasaki material, Shioriko, the 10th Nijigasaki idol, is conspicuously absent from them despite being part of the main cast. Until Season 2, along with Mia and Lanzhu.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: The anime can be considered a Recognizable Adaptation as there are enough similarities with the story of ALL STARS Season 1, but it strips out almost all of the plot and only leaves in a few key details from both the beginning and end of the game's season. Almost all the characters, while bearing ostensibly similar personalities, are rewritten significantly from their game counterparts, and the focus of the show is changed to almost exclusively focus on the characters themselves. Many key characters from the game are Adapted Out, changing how the show approaches some plot details, and the fact that Yu Takasaki is a similar but distinctly different enough character from the Player Character of ALL STARS significantly changes how some character dynamics are handled.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: While Love Live! Sunshine!! had previously brought the franchise closer to the cynical end, this entry goes to the opposite direction to become an even more idealistic series than Love Live! School Idol Project. Every conflict in the anime can be solved by opening up to your friends and having a heart-to-heart talk, there is no greater power getting in the way of the club after episode 3, and the characters manage to become famous and respected much faster than their predecessors. The huge size of their school also means the remaining student body can provide far more help to the idols than in the previous entries.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: On the Characters end, even more so than the previous entries in the franchise. The conflict introduced at the start of the series is concluded by episode 3, and no new overarching conflict is introduced until the last four episodes. This means half of the series consists of character-centric episodes without any overarching plot connecting them besides the basic premise of the show. And even the few conflicts lasting more than an episode are driven entirely by the emotions and desires of the cast, without any external force interfering.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: In Season 2 Episode 3, Setsuna asked Yu if something was bothering her, to which she agreed silently. Then, all 9 girls are shocked in surprise.
  • Spontaneous Choreography:
    • The first five episodes of Season 1 as well as episode 12, plus Season 2 episode 7 stretches it even by Love Live! standards. Characters who have little to no experience singing or dancing, much less being a school idol, suddenly break into perfectly choreographed musical numbers in the middle of anywhere as soon as they have an epiphany relating to their Character Development.
    • Averted for Season 1 episodes 6 to 9 and throughout Season 2, as the characters in question perform their songs at actual live events that they presumably prepared choreography (and often visuals) for.
  • Spoiler Opening: The season 1 OP has a shot of Setsuna among a series of photos of Student Council President Nana, spoiling that they're the same person. This is a Downplayed Example however, as the OP doesn't play until the second episode, and Setsuna's identity is revealed in The Stinger of that same episode.
  • The Stinger: Most episodes have a scene between the credits and the next episode preview.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While Nijigasaki has lesser doses of this compared to the original and Sunshine, there're still some major cases of this.
    • The girls present their proposal to host their festival in episode 11. As Kanata said after Yu and Kasumi explained what happened, they thought that they would more easily get the approval to host the festival because Setsuna (or rather Nana) is their Student Council President. Unfortunately, because the initial documents were incomplete and lacked details such as not listing a place to host the festival, the proposal was rejected and the girls had to resubmit their application after sorting out things such as the venue(s) of the festival and who they're going to be working with.
    • While planning the second festival, the Student Council found that the number of participants made the event go over capacity. During a meeting with multiple schools' idols, they learned the other schools ran their own cultural festivals the same week and chose to run the second School Idol Festival at all of them, not just Nijigasaki.
  • Team Title: Nijigasaki High School Idol Club features the adventures of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Title Drop:
    • The title of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club appears in the poster at the beginning of Episode 1 shortly before the actual show's title is shown.
    • Episode 10 features the first mention of the titular "School Idol Festival" from the game.
  • Visual Pun: The sequence where Yu sees Setsuna perform "CHASE!" is essentially a literal "Setsuna Scarlet Storm".
  • You Don't Look Like You: Unlike the original 9 girls, who retained most basic elements of their character designs in the anime, the R3BIRTH girls look quite different compared to their game counterparts.
    • Shioriko's hair color is much darker in the anime, to the point where it looks less like dark jade green and more like black with a green tint. Her face also looks considerably different than in other material.
    • Most of the detail on Mia's jacket was removed, and her Peek-a-Bangs on the right side of her face have been extended substantially to completely cover up her right eye, rather than just partially.
    • Lanzhu's changes are possibly the most drastic. Her signature red blazer has had the Nijigasaki emblem (and all of the other gold lining, for that matter) removed. The tied parts of her hair have been moved more towards the sides of her head, which can be mistaken for twintails rather than just elaborate straight hair.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Love Live School Idol Festival All Stars, Nijiyon

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NijiGaku anime, SIFAS outfits

Season 2 episode 3 of the Nijigasaki anime shows some of the Just Believe collared outfits in the SIF All Stars game. Also shown is an in-game clip of those outfits.

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