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Anime / Love Live! Superstar!!

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Love Live! Superstar!! is an ongoing anime in the Love Live! series and the fourth anime series overall. It premiered on July 11th 2021 as part of the Summer 2021 anime season. The series is notable for having an open audition to voice the lead character, Kanon Shibuya.

It follows Liella!, the school idol group of Yuigaoka Girls' High School, and their adventures in the Tokyo neighborhoods of Omotesando, Harajuku and Aoyama.

Promotional Videos


This series provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: A staple of the franchise. The seamless integration has been constantly improving since the first installments of the series, so the art shifts aren't as noticeable compared to previous live sequences.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Stars. The project is named "Superstar", the group's logo has a star, the PV for Hajimari wa Kimi no Sora as well as promotional material are all filled with star imagery. Liella! also has a star-shaped hand sign in the ending animation, similar to how Aqours had a "0" hand sign for its Arc Number.
    • The franchise symbol, a glowing white feather, falls from the sky and into the pocket of Kanon's backpack when she musters the resolve to join Keke as a school idol.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Like Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, this series has noticeably different character designs than the previous series, resembling a cross between the legacy art style and Nijigasaki's art style.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Liella! only has five members, all first-years, as opposed to the nine members evenly split across all three high-school grades that the previous Love Live groups initially start with. Though this has to do with the fact that their school has newly re-opened and they are the first class to enroll.
    • Liella! is the first unit to feature a completely foreign non-Japanese voice actress, Liyuu, who is Chinese.
    • They are the first group to release two versions of the same single where the third track and voice dramas are different between versions.
    • The series represents a notable shift in how new groups get exposure. In the past, groups are announced well in advance, eventually getting material in Dengeki G's Magazine as fans decide on specifics like group name and school name. Debut MVs usually release shortly after specifics are finalized, although they are typically produced well before the anime premieres and the content within them is subject to change. The advent of Liella! bucks much of this process; they have very little magazine-related character material, and their debut MV was released just two months prior to the anime.
    • The traditional first insert song features the entire unit rather than just the leader/starting trio, despite the unit not being formed at this point.
  • Brick Joke: In Episode 1, Kanon's mother and Aria pull a Those Two Guys bit when Keke visits to discuss school idols, causing Kanon to angrily tell them to stop eavesdropping. In Episode 2, when Keke shows Kanon a form to quit the school, the bit gets repeated, except this time Kanon deems their reaction as appropriate.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: At the end of Episode 1, Kanon silently rejects Keke's offer of support and walks away. She thinks out loud about it, stops walking, and then runs back to Keke.
  • Cutaway Gag: In Episode 2, Chisato asks Kanon if Keke is doing okay in class since she's so tired from training, to which Kanon replies that she's doing fine. Cue a scene cut to Keke Asleep in Class, and when the teacher calls on her she blurts out the first answer that comes to mind. Her answer is right, and Keke immediately goes back to sleep.
  • Excited Show Title!: Like Love Live! Sunshine!!, it has the exclamation point from the franchise name, plus two for the subtitle, giving it three exclamation points total.
  • Failed Audition Plot: The anime begins with Kanon auditioning for the music course of Yuigaoka and failing, resulting in her being put into the general curriculum course. She tries to play this off to her friends (who all made it into the music course) as her wanting to try something new anyways but by the end of the episode, she embraces her love of singing and decides to try and become a school idol to continue her passion.
  • Idol Singer: Liella!, but like all the groups in the franchise, they're "school idols", not professional idol singers.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it's acknowledged that Ren is overstepping her bounds by being an Obstructive Bureaucrat, her argument about the school's reputation does have merit. Yuigaoka was formerly a prestigious music school before it became a high school, and as such it has a top-class music and performances course; having a school idol club, an amateur production by nature, run by general course students and performing poorly could severely affect the school. This is part of the reason why the challenge set by the director is so much higher than in previous series, because to prove that there is value in having a school idol club, its members must prove that it can perform at a level befitting of Yuigaoka's reputation.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Two of the group name candidates, "Xtreme" and "55'stars", show up in the background in the Hajimari wa Kimi no Sora PV.
    • Several other candidate names ("Yuine", "0sing", "Spica", "Oriesta", "Yunity", "kiraboshi") can be seen as store signs in the anime.
    • The anime has a shot of the crosswalk where the original Superstar!! announcement image was taken. It also features a scene of Kanon with a cat which was adapted from an image in Love Live! Days.
    • "Cafe Honoka" can be seen recurrent in the background.
    • The "LL!" graffiti seen during the ending animation is colored pink, blue, and yellow.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Subverted; Yuigaoka just happens to have two sets of uniforms. The institution used to be a music academy prior to its conversion to a high school, so naturally the music course students wear different uniforms from the general course students.
  • Non Sequitur: Sumire's one scene in Episode 2 is divorced completely from any context and is irrelevant to the rest of the episode, mostly serving as an Establishing Character Moment.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Ren tries to be one by stopping Keke and Kanon from forming a School Idol Club, claiming that school idols are degrading to the integrity of the school's history as a musical institution. However, the moment Keke and Kanon cause a ruckus, Ren immediately gets her card punched by the director, who (like Mari) allows the School Idol Club to be formed as long as they complete a challenge.
  • Off-Model: There's an animation error in the first episode where Kanon is supposed to be walking down the street but her image isn't moving anywhere, making it look like she's just shuffling in place.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kanon's hilariously shocked reaction when she introduces herself to her class and sees Keke (who had been chasing her across town all morning) beaming at her a few seats over.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Their debut single has two versions with a different third track and voice dramas.
  • One-Gender School: Yuigaoka is an all-girls' school.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: At the start of Episode 2, Kanon, who's normally very moody and blunt around her family, is seen playing her guitar and singing early in the morning before happily greeting her sister and mother and enthusiastically leaving for school. Kanon's mother and Aria just stare at her with a look of extreme concern throughout the entire scene.
  • Real-Place Background: The stage for the Season 1 opening theme, "START!! True dreams", is set in the Japan National Stadium, the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics located in Shinjuku, the city that Superstar!! takes place in. Appropriately, the background features a prominent sports-themed background and bright primary colors similar to those of the Olympic rings. Ironically, this exact event caused Episode 3 to be postponed for two weeks due to Superstar!! airing in a primetime slot.
  • Refusal of the Call: Kanon is at first extremely adamant about not wanting to become a school idol and resists Keke's attempts to convince her, citing her poor track record of Performance Anxiety. Once she realizes that Keke's willing to support her as a singer, she changes her mind and agrees to team up.
  • Saving the Orphanage: In contrast to the first two series, this trope is inverted, as the school was closed before the story begins. Before being demolished, a local celebrity bought the building and reopened it as a new high school. The goal then shifts to attracting more students so the school stays open.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds and settings are exquisitely detailed, with a very vibrant color palette and a hint of a dream-like quality to their art design. Amusingly, the background director is a former Studio Ghibli employee.
  • Schoolgirl Series: A staple of the franchise. All the main characters attend high school as first years.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Much like previous series, Kanon suddenly breaks out into song and dance at the end of the first episode with "Mirai Yohou Hallelujah!" without any preparation beforehand, with the rest of Liella! inexplicably joining in as backup vocals. However, much like the insert songs in Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, Kanon is actually performing the song in-universe, and she finds out that she accidentally sang in front of an audience without triggering her Performance Anxiety at the end of the song.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: "Mirai Yohou Hallelujah!" has the other four Liella! members suddenly showing up for no reason to join Kanon's song. Particularly funny with Ren, who was seen coldly shutting down Kanon and Keke's attempts to make a School Idol Club just 10 minutes earlier in the episode.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While the student council is temporarily in management of clubs in the school, the director stops Ren's attempts to block Keke and Kanon's School Idol Club because it's not in her place to tell general course students what they can or can't do.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: While Keke and Kanon are arguing about Kanon not wanting to become a school idol, Ren approaches them about it and dismisses school idols as something Yuigaoka doesn't need. Kanon immediately comes to Keke's defense and starts drilling Ren about what problem she has with school idols, and it becomes obvious that Ren has no clear answers for her. However, Ren questions Kanon's resolve instead, which makes her back off.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
    • The dynamic between Kanon and Keke in Episode 1 and Keke's attempts to convince Kanon to become a school idol are heavily reminiscent of the second episode of Love Live! Sunshine!!, especially considering Kanon has had a Performance Anxiety-related failure as a musician just like Riko.
    • Also much like Sunshine!!, the school's director intervenes on behalf of the School Idol Club to allow the club to be formed against the wishes of the Obstructive Bureaucrat Student Council President, under the condition that they succeed in a school idol performance (in this case, placing 1st in the Yoyogi School Idol Festival).

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