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"Song for me! Song for you! SONG FOR ALL!"
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Love Live! Superstar!! is the fourth anime series overall in the Love Live! series. 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.

The building of the defunct Jinguu Music Academy is set to be demolished but an alumni bought the school and reopened it as Yuigaoka Girls' High School. Due to its roots as a music academy, Yuigaoka has a dedicated music course alongside the general course.

Kanon Shibuya, a talented singer, plans to enroll into the music course but failed due to her inability to sing in front of people ever since she was a child. Since then, she has resigned herself that her future in music is over. However, a chance encounter with New Transfer Student Keke Tang leads her into discovering school idols, reigniting her passion for music and hoping that she would be able to overcome her shortcoming.

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They eventually form "Liella!", Yuigaoka's school idol group, together with Former Child Star Sumire Heanna, Kanon's Childhood Friend Chisato Arashi and the Student Council President Ren Hazuki.

A Season 2 has been announced on October 24, 2021 and started airing on July 17, 2022.

Promotional Videos


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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.
  • Absurdly Divided School: Yuigaoka has a general course and a music course available for students, with the students in the music course generally receiving preferential treatment due to the school's focus on music. Kanon and Keke, both in the general course, initially have a tough time getting their idol club started up as they have to first prove that they can perform at a high enough level and are even met with some opposition as school idols initially aren't viewed favorably around them.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Parodied in an Imagine Spot in Season 1 Episode 7 where Keke imagines Ren's reign as student council president as the School Idol Club being forced to become a secret society that gets found out by Ren in a military uniform, backed by a platoon of students dressed in military uniforms, who has come to shut down the Club.
  • The Ace: After Season 1, the original five members of Liella! are so highly well known and regarded that many of the new first year students of Yuigaoka have been fans of them prior to attending. This creates a problem for them at the start of Season 2, where they initially have trouble gathering new members for their club due to the first years being intimidated by their tough practice schedules and not being confident enough to match up against the current members.
  • All or Nothing: In series, the Love Live competition has gotten so competitive that regions that have a lot of School Idol groups, such as Tokyo, are required to go through a preliminary and qualifier round in order to compete, with the qualifier round only letting the first place move on. Though Liella, and in particular, Kanon, go into the qualifiers expecting to just be happy to perform on stage, the mood dies down significantly when they see that they get second place to Sunny Passion, effectively ending their Love Live run for the year. Realizing that they have nothing to return for the effort that their school and community went through for them, they get frustrated at their loss and resolve to try and win future Love Live events.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Ren explains that her mother Hana referred to "the place where they can gather again" and assumed that she was talking about Jinguu Music Academy, her alma mater. Kanon, who was recently told that Hana was a school idol, realizes that she was actually talking about the School Idol Club and goes there to retrieve Hana's missing memento.
  • Animation Bump: The 2D animation looks noticeably better than usual during the Season 1 Episode 3 insert song, "Tiny Stars".
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Season 2 Episode 6, Kinako asks Natsumi what her dream is and then Natsumi realizes that she just wants to earn money because she has no real dream.
  • Art Shift: To go with the series' timed exclusivity deal with NHK, every episode has a "bonus" segment after the credits called "Liella no Uta" with a short original song and animated segment depicting the characters as Super-Deformed with soft pastel colors and a sketchbook style.
  • 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.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: In Season 1 Episode 4, Keke does one while waiting for Sumire to arrive on the roof.
  • Beach Episode: Season 1 Episode 5 has Kanon, Keke, and Sumire heading off to Kozushima Island on Sunny Passion's invitation to perform at a concert there. Predictably, they get into summer shenanigans there, including swimsuit scenes.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Season 2 Episode 3 shows Natsumi delivering for "Lber Eats", an imitation of Uber Eats.
    • Season 2 Episode 7: One of Ren's game consoles is a PS1 that's branded "SUUNY". When Mei looks at the Mega Drive tower, its CD attachment underneath is a "NEO CD" by "Saga".
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Starting from Season 1 Episode 5, Keke and Sumire have this relationship, but unlike the previous Yoshiko/Hanamaru pair from Sunshine!! where the roles were clearly defined, Keke and Sumire flip flop between being the gag and the straight man depending on the situation.
  • Book Ends: The "Starlight Prologue" cover for the final Season 1 single is similar to the cover of their debut single, "Hajimari wa Kimi no Sora".
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Liella! began with only 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. Because of this, they are also the first group to have aged up within a series.
    • 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.
    • The Childhood Friend doesn't join first; in fact, she takes longer to join than three of the other five members.
  • Brick Joke: In Season 1 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 Season 1 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.
  • Character Focus: The initial members of Liella all have their chance at the spotlight in Season 1.
    • The first 3 episodes deal with Keke and Kanon establishing the school idol club while exploring Keke's motivation to be a school idol and dealing with Kanon's insecurities at being one.
    • Episode 4 focuses on Sumire, exploring her personality, motivations for joining the School Idol Club, and the Club's attempts to convince her to join.
    • Episodes 5 and 6 deal with Chisato's growing interest in school idols and how it conflicts with her current pursuit of her dreams in dancing.
    • Episodes 7 and 8 focus on Ren's background and why she adamantly opposes school idols.
    • Episode 10 focuses on Sumire again, as well as her relationship with Keke.
    • Episode 11 completes Kanon's character arc and focuses on her past and the present.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The school withdrawal form. It's introduced in Season 1 Episode 2 as part of a gag where Keke tries to convince Kanon to quit Yuigaoka to go to another school where they can start a school idol club. It's later played far more seriously at the end of Season 1 Episode 5, where a copy of the form is seen in Chisato's bag.
    • Kanon finds a red ball in the Hazuki mansion guest room, which is used in short order twice. After Chibi starts chasing the girls around the house, Kanon realizes that she's still holding the ball she grabbed and throws it to chase him away. Later, when Ren gives Chibi the ball, Chibi recognizes Kanon's scent from it and pounces her in the adjacent room, revealing to Ren that they were eavesdropping on her conversation with Saya.
    • When Ren gives Kanon the keys to the School Idol Club clubroom, two keys can clearly be seen on the key ring. One of the keys goes to the clubroom door, but the presence of the other key is never addressed. Season 1 Episode 8 reveals that the second key is for the locked box that Hana left behind with her diary in it.
  • Close on Title:
    • Season 1 Episode 8 doesn't show its title until the very end.
    • Season 2 Episode 1 ends with the title on the Liella flag at the rooftop, which is also the last line of the episode.
  • Connected All Along: Based on school uniforms, Mei and Shiki attended the same middle school as Kanon and Chisato, though this isn't brought up among them and they don't appear to recognize each other when they first meet face-to-face in Season 2. This is likely due to Mei and Shiki being natural loners.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: At the end of Season 1 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
    • The portraits on Sumire and Ren's student council president campaign posters are taken from their very first official artwork when the group was officially revealed.
    • In Season 2 Episode 3, Keke says that "Failures are just warm-ups to future success", which is a line from "Hajimari wa Kimi no Sora".
    • In Season 2 Episode 7, Shiki uses an extending claw toy which first appeared in a Sumire-Keke short story/image from the Love Live! Days magazine.
  • Cooldown Hug: At one point, the realization that her inability to perform in front of an audience could cause Keke's dreams of becoming a school idol to come to an end becomes too much to bear for Kanon and she breaks down crying in front of her. Keke's response is to hug Kanon and assure her that no matter what happens, performing alongside her is just as good a wish that she could ask for.
  • Cutaway Gag: In Season 1 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The ending song of Season 2 "Oikakeru Yume no Saki de" starts usually as background music a few notes before the ending begins. In Episode 7, these few notes are played diegetic, when they got exactly timed with Ren playing on her piano.
  • Dramedy: Superstar!! leans more into this genre than in previous series, with more time given to the personal and interpersonal struggles of the cast balanced with more lighthearted moments interspersed throughout.
  • 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.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Discussed in the beginning of Season 2, Liella! originally has trouble getting new members for their club because the original five members form a powerhouse group of members who had talent prior to forming a group and that nearly made it into the Love Live finals despite only being school idols for a year. Specifically, Kanon is an exceptional singer, Keke has unmatched love for school idols and can design excellent costumes, Sumire has show business experience, Chisato is a top-level dancer, and Ren has years of piano and ballet practice.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Season 1 Episode 3, Kanon and Keke have to get the first place at the Yoyogi School Idol Festival. They have some hopes at first, but then Sunny Passion announces that they will participate in this event. As a total Fangirl, Keke excitingly starts to explain how incredible Sunny Passion are and that they will win this festival without any doubt. When Keke realizes that they cannot win, Kanon and Chisato remarks that it took long for her to realize it.
  • 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.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Established and popular school idol duo Sunny Passion suddenly entering the Yoyogi School Idol Festival at the last minute turns Keke and Kanon's chances of winning 1st place into this, as they are nowhere near close to competing on Sunny Passion's level, something Keke (humorously) realizes after singing their praises while bowing to a gigantic poster of them. They do, however, manage to win Best Newcomer as a commemorative award, which is effectively the best possible award they could have won.
    • Despite having a good run in the Love Live tournament in Season 1, the girls ultimately lost to the much more experienced and more popular Sunny Passion.
    • In Season 2 Episode 3, Liella once again competes in the Yoyogi School Idol Festival, this time without Sunny Passion competing. However, it is revealed that they lost to the much younger Wien Margarete off-camera. They only win the honorable mention award for their second time at the festival.
  • Foregone Conclusion: With Liella coming in at second place during the Tokyo qualifiers, Sunny Passion takes the Love Live championship for that year.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The plot heavily hints at Ren and Yuigaoka having some sort of secret relationship with school idols. The former is far too tight-lipped on the subject for even the main cast to not be suspicious of her, and in the latter case the main school building already having a School Idol Club room on the premises is a massive red flag. In Season 1 Episode 8, it is finally revealed that Ren's mother, Hana Hazuki, used to be a school idol at Jinguu Music Academy, Yuigaoka's predecessor.
    • In Season 1 Episode 7, Ren ominously demands to know enrollment numbers for the next school year from the Director. Given the franchise's track record with enrollment numbers this is usually indicative of a plot point the franchise is very familiar with. Further evidenced by Ren revealing that her family can no longer pay to keep the school open at the end of the episode.
    • In Season 1 Episode 9, The 5 members catch the dilemma of not having a group name yet in order to officially join Love Live!. They brainstorm names, and after rejecting Chisato's proposal of 'Maru Maru Circle', the girls turn to Ren, who had been secretly writing down name suggestions. She denies it, and we see a glimpse of names she's thought of, including '九', the kanji for 9.
    • The image colors of the Season 2 members were initially shown in the Season 1 opening as part of the large globe of colored balls on the stage.
    • Ren started playing video games on her phone after playing a game in Keke's video game console. Two episodes later, she got addicted to video games to the point that it's affecting her negatively.
  • Friendship Trinket:
    • Chisato treasures a hair tie given to her by Kanon when they were still children.
    • Sumire kept the Nonfiction!! tiara that Keke made. It is a reminder of the moment when Keke saved her with her words in Season 1 Episode 10.
  • Gay Euphemism: Chisato says that Mei has entered the "Forbidden World"note  when she (incorrectly) assumes that Mei and Ren are dating.
  • Got Volunteered: Subverted in Season 2 Episode 4. Liella has to choose a club president for a meeting and all the members are looking at Kanon in anticipation of her accepting this job. Kinako even thought that Kanon had this position all along. In the end, Chisato volunteered for the position of club president instead.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Narrowly averted. Right before Chisato is due to perform at the dance competition, there are suddenly gray clouds outside, but after Kanon arrives and the two talk out their feelings the sky begins to clear up.
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: A gag during the segment of Season 1 Episode 7 while the girls are stalking Ren involves the group sending Sumire out wearing an absurd mascot outfit with sunglasses that barely hides her identity. She accidentally runs into Ren, but by sheer luck Ren only stares at her for a few seconds before completely ignoring her.
  • Idol Singer: Liella!, but like all the groups in the franchise, they're "school idols", not professional idol singers.
  • Intertwined Fingers: After sorting out their feelings, Mei holds Shiki's hand and Shiki responds by moving her hand so that she could intertwine their fingers.
  • 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.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Chisato reveals that she used to get bullied frequently when she was young and was too weak-willed to fight back until she befriended Kanon.
  • Landslide Election:
    • Sumire convinces the Club that they should choose a center in a gambit to steal the spotlight from the other girls; however, they decide (without Sumire's input) to leave it to popular vote from their own class. The results from said vote skew overwhelmingly in Kanon's favor; Keke earned 2 votes, and Sumire earned none.
    • When the Student Council elections open up, Ren beats Sumire 101 to -20 due to Sumire getting a penalty for trying to get votes with free takoyaki. It's said however that the penalty wouldn't have mattered anyways since Sumire didn't earn nearly enough votes.
  • Limelight Series: "From the Passion Island" featured in the Love Live! Days magazine, an illustration series about the daily life of Sunny Passion during Season 1.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Any evidence about Hana's career as a school idol is explicitly hidden from Ren; nothing was left behind in the Hazuki mansion, the Director explicitly kept Hana's school idol memoribillia out of Ren's reach, and Ren never thought to check the School Idol Club to see if her mother left anything there. This causes her to convince herself that her mother regretted her experience as a school idol and takes out her frustrations on Kanon's school idol group for the better half of Season 1.
  • Lonely Together: During middle school, Mei, who has a hard time fitting in, decided that she'd rather be lonely with Shiki, who is a natural loner.
  • Love at First Note: Of the romantic friendship kind. Keke's first lines to Kanon is praising her beautiful voice (in Mandarin) and chased her down in the streets of Harajuku to recruit her as a school idol. In Season 1 Episode 3, Keke even claims that Kanon's singing stole her heart and performing on stage with her has become one of her dreams.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "Honoka Coffee" can be seen recurrent in the background.
    • At the beginning of the story, Kanon is playing a mobile rhythm game that looks suspiciously similar to School idol festival on her phone.
    • The "LL!" graffiti seen during the ending animation is colored pink, blue, and yellow.
    • The format of the headline news on the board is stylized from the Nijigasaki logo.
    • The "soft-serve ice cream hat with sunglasses" disguise that Sumire wears in Season 1 Episode 7 is very similar to the one that Nico dons in School idol project Season 1 Episode 5. The hat even gets mistaken for poop like Nico's hat.
    • A scene in Season 1 Episode 7 has Kanon sitting in front of a row of trophies in the Hazuki mansion's guest room. The trophies are identical to the trophies that Maki owns in School idol project, even down to the order that they're placed in.
    • Alpaca plush toys that resemble the alpacas in School idol project can be seen in the club room.
    • In Season 2 Episode 5, Keke and Mei, in response to assuming Natsumi wanted to join their group, remark how they've finally gained nine members and that school idol groups in the past have historically made miracles happened once they gathered nine members, referencing how µ's and Aqours won the Love Live competition during their respective runs.
    • The main school idol groups in Superstar!! are partially inspired from previous main groups: Liella! closely resembles µ's, inheriting their Team Hand-Stack and overall tone of their discography with tracks such as "Starlight Prologue"; Sunny Passion is a school idol duo from a sunny seaside town, taking cues from Aqours and Saint Snow of Sunshine!!; Wien Margarete is a solo school idol from overseas whose personality and backstory is similar to Nijigasaki's R3BIRTH members.
    • The Season 2 Episode 7 title card "UR Hazuki Ren" features the UR icon and stars from Love Live! School Idol Festival.
    • Season 2 Episode 7 starts with Ren playing her VR rhythm game with "HOT PASSION!!" as the selected track, which uses the CD cover of the single of the same name for the track image.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sumire accidentally trips over a power cable while trying to sneak into the Yoyogi School Idol Festival, causing the stage lights to go out right before Kanon and Keke are set to perform. Luckily, this inspires Chisato to bring out the penlights that Keke gathered for the audience earlier, and Sumire manages to find the disconnected power cables just in time for the duo to gather the courage to sing.
  • No Budget: In-universe. Yuigaoka has no funds left to operate beyond the first class, as the Hazuki family is out of money. This is strongly implied to be related to Ren retracting her campaign promise and making the School Festival centered around the music course rather than treating the music students and general course students as equals.
  • 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. Season 1 Episode 7 reveals that the general course uniforms are the original uniforms used by the music academy; the music course uniforms are the new ones.
  • Non Sequitur: Sumire's one scene in Season 1 Episode 2 is divorced completely from any context and is irrelevant to the rest of the episode, mostly serving as an Establishing Character Moment.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Chisato proposes that Sumire is much like Kanon was prior to becoming a school idol, stuck in a rut in life with no real way of overcoming it without having someone reach out to them and propel them to act on their dreams. Kanon realizes that this makes her the perfect person to convince Sumire to join the School Idol Club, and she successfully does so by the end of the episode.
  • Obsessive Hobby Episode: After being introduced to video games at Keke's home, Ren becomes addicted to them to the point that she'll play for hours on end in Season 2, Episode 7, foregoing sleep, studying, and composing in the meantime. She comes to terms with it by the end of the episode after talking with the rest of the club.
  • 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.
    • Ren also has an epic one in Season 1 Episode 11 when she thought that Liella! were being summoned to the principal's office due to her opening up a suggestive takarazuka content on the clubroom laptop.
  • Old Retainer: The Hazuki household has one maid left. Ren tries to dismiss her since she doesn't have enough money to pay her for another month, but she refuses since leaving would mean Ren would be living alone with Chibi.
  • Old School Building: After they get approval from the Director, Kanon, Keke, and Chisato are directed by Ren to a small clubroom at the back of the top floor of the main school building. This strikes odd for Chisato as she points out that the rest of the clubs are in a separate building on the grounds, and the room that they've been given looks like it hasn't been touched in years. It's also noted that the room already has an old "School Idol Club" nameplate with antiquated writing when they get there, which Keke chalks up to the Director being nice enough to put the nameplate there for them.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Whenever Keke wants to get a rise out of Sumire, she always teases her about the giant isopod dance she did as a kid, which Kanon was forced to tell Keke about to get her to agree to Sumire re-joining the Club.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Liella! is the first group in the franchise to have two versions of their singles with a different third track and set of voice dramas.
  • One-Gender School: Yuigaoka is an all-girls' school.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with the Yoyogi School Idol Festival, which happens to share its name with the School Idol Festival that is featured in Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. There appears to be no relation, however.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Season 2 Episode 9, Sumire suggested that only the second years would perform in order to defeat Wien in the Tokyo Regionals. She gets into a fight with the usual levelheaded Kanon, escalating to the point where Kanon had shouted angrily at her.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: At the start of Season 1 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.
  • Piggyback Cute: At the end of Season 2 Episode 7, Mei carries Shiki this way after the latter gets dizzy due to the events in the episode.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Not only present but invoked by the Director. She is the only one among the current administration aware of Hana's history as a school idol, but rather than telling Ren anything she keeps Ren Locked Out of the Loop to allow her to form her own opinions and decide for herself if she wants the school's legacy of school idols to continue. This gives Ren the wrong impression and causes much strife for Kanon and her friends, and it's likely that the entire school would have gone down the tube had Kanon not solved the mystery on her own.
  • Portmanteau: Keke's prototype name for her and Kanon's school idol group is "KeKa", combining the first syllables of both of their names.
  • Real-Place Background:
    • A franchise staple; the streets of Harajuku, Shibuya, Omotesando and Aoyama (and in a few episodes, Kozushima Island) are rendered in great detail with the only difference being the removal of brands and store names.
    • 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 Season 1 Episode 3 to be postponed for two weeks due to Superstar!! airing in a primetime slot.
  • Red Armband of Leadership: Yuigaoka's Student Council members wear white armbands.
  • 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.
    • Kanon absolutely refuses to run for student council president despite Keke and Chisato's insistence that she'd be popular and good for the position (and mocking Sumire's attempts to prove she could run instead of Kanon).
  • Saving the Orphanage:
    • Played with in that the school this time was already saved before the present day. The school was formerly a musical institution that had already been shut down, but a local celebrity purchased the building before it was scheduled to be demolished and reopened the institution as Yuigaoka Girls High School. However, Season 1 Episode 7 reveals that the Hazuki estate is out of money, putting the school's future in dire jeopardy.
    • Season 1 Episode 8 reveals that Hana Hazuki attempted to save Jinguu Music Academy by becoming a school idol, much like how µ's and Aqours attempted to do so with their schools, however, this was decades in the past, long before the mere concept of school idols became a widespread phenomenon. While her school idol club claimed great fame and honor, they couldn't save Jinguu's declining admission rates and the school was forced to close. Despite this, Hana treasured the time she dedicated to being a school idol and did everything she could to preserve the legacy of Jinguu and the school idol club up until her death.
  • 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.
  • School Idol: Due to the events of Season 1 (and Sunny Passion name-dropping them in an interview), Liella had become the "stars" of the school, with many fans enrolling to Yuigaoka as a result. Their newfound popularity backfires as the first years thought it was too intimidating to try out for the school idol club given each member's high level of skill. As a result, the club had a hard time recruiting new people.
  • Second Year Protagonist: As a result of moving up a year, the original five members of Liella are this in Season 2.
  • Senpai/Kōhai: In Season 2 Episode 1, Kanon got really excited at being called senpai by Kinako.
  • Shout-Out: Season 2 Episode 7 begins with Ren playing a Beat Saber-like VR game with pineapples and apples instead of blocks.
  • Shown Their Work: Ren's gaming room in Season 2 Episode 7 is home to a vast array of video game consoles gifted to her by her father as a rather expensive apology for the whole Parental Abandonment deal. Her collection is all based on real life game consoles with minor changes to get around trademarks and includes a PlayStation 2, Xbox Series X, a Sega Mega Drive (with 32X and CD attachments), a Sega Dreamcast, a PlayStation Portable, an Atari Lynx, a Game Boy, a Famicom, an Atari Jaguar, a Playdia, a Pippin, a PC Engine with CD-ROM attachment, a Super Famicom (with Satellaview attachment), a Philips CD-i, an Xbox, a 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, a Sega Saturn, a Sega Genesis, a PlayStation, a Game Boy Advance, a Game & Watch or a Game Boy Micro (Famicom Edition, no less), Tamagotchi, the original Digimon Digivices, a Nintendo Switch, an Xbox 360, a Nintendo 64, a Sega Master System, a PlayStation 4, an NES, and (of all things) the SNES CD-ROM.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Downplayed in Season 2 Episode 4. As the girls of Liella! were hiding from Mei (since they were spying on her), Ren's hair tickled Kinako's nose causing the latter to sneeze, signaling their location and letting Mei know that they are there. Or it should have been, but it turns out that Mei has terrible eyesight and dismissed it.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Keke and Kanon's Portmanteau school idol name is variably spelled as either "KuuKaa" or "KeKa" since the name explicitly comes from the "ke" in "Keke" and "ka" in "Kanon", but Keke writes the "ke" in katakana using the Japanese equivalent of her name's Chinese pronunciation. It's notable to point out that Keke herself spells it as "KuuKaa" on the banner she designed.
  • 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.
  • Stealing the Credit: Sumire tries to goad Keke into taking credit for the Shanghai-style dinner that she prepared after Keke screwed up the recipe. Keke refuses on the grounds of it basically being lying.
  • Suddenly Shouting: In Season 2 Episode 9, Kanon suddenly angrily shouts at Sumire, for her suggestion to bench the first years in order to increase their chances of winning the Tokyo Regionals against Wien.
  • 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.
    • Kanon's Performance Anxiety simply doesn't go away after performing in front of a crowd once, and her struggle to overcome it in addition to Keke's chances of fulfilling her school idol dreams weighing on her mind becomes a major focus of Season 1 Episode 3.
    • While Chisato is more than willing to help the School Idol Club get off the ground, she initially declines Keke's invitation to become a school idol herself despite expressing interest in them, citing her prior engagements with dancing that got her into Yuigaoka's music course in the first place. This later forms the crux of a key turning point of her character, as she is told by Sunny Passion that her hesitation towards committing to becoming a school idol is holding her friends back, and she needs to decide what path she wants to take that is the best for both herself and her friends.
    • Funding a school is expensive, especially when you're the only benefactor. When you've already spent most of your money on buying the school and the plot of land it's on in the first place, combined with a lack of sufficient enrollment (and thus tuition income), it's no wonder Ren's already out of money after two school terms.
    • The first years are too intimidated on trying out the school idol club since it would be very hard to keep up with the current members, who are also gifted and/or experienced in various ways.
  • Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss: The On the Next teaser for Season 1 Episode 5 prominently shows a scene of Sumire kissing Keke on the cheek. Turns out, it's not even a kiss, just Sumire blowing Keke's ears. She did it to win at thumb-wrestling.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: In order for Kanon to truly conquer her stage fright, Chisato and the others talk her into performing alone on the stage of her old elementary school.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Keke becomes extremely upset when she hears from Kanon that Sumire just thought of school idols as a quick route to fame, calling that way of thinking a disgrace to everything school idols stand for. She subsequently hits Sumire with this statement and attempts to teach her that school idols require hard work and dedication and aren't just an amateur hobby, but her argument stops short after Sumire effortlessly copies the dance for "Tiny Stars" that Keke trained extensively for.
  • Time Passes Montage: A flashback in Season 2 Episode 7 shows Ren playing on her white PS4 Pro. In fast motion, she plays through sunset and nightfall uninterrupted until she realizes it's late.
  • Title Drop:
    • The title for Season 2 Episode 1 is dropped as the last line of the episode.
    • The title of the work is dropped in Season 2 Episode 3 and refers to Liella as the school's superstar, their pride and joy, and the students believe that one day, they'll shine brighter than anyone else.
  • Training Montage: Kanon and Keke have to go through one in Season 1 Episode 2 to work on their dance routine and build Keke's stamina to a sufficient level to actually perform on-stage.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: A small detail seen in Kanon's phone in Season 2 Episode 11 explains how Wien, a middle schooler, can compete in Love Live, a high school-only tournament: Wien attends an international school so school starts later for her. After summer break, Wien is a first year high schooler and thus eligible to enter Love Live.
  • Visual Pun: Kinako and later Mei lying on the floor after slipping off the door resembles the marketable Love Live nesoberi plush dolls.
  • Wham Episode: Season 1 Episode 7. Ren reveals that not only has Yuigaoka's benefactor, Hana Hazuki, passed away, her family being effectively broke means that she's planning on keeping the school open through sheer willpower alone, heavily hinting at the start of the Saving the Orphanage plot.
  • 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 Season 1 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).
    • The girls recruit Sumire in a very similar way to how µ's recruited Nico in School idol project: by playing into her massive ego and telling her what she wants to hear in order to sway her to their side.
    • Much like Sunshine!!, Hana Hazuki tried to save her school, Jinguu Music Academy, as a school idol but failed.
    • Season 1 Episode 12 is a reference to the Snow halation episode of Love Live! while having a small reference to Yume de Yozora o Terashitai of Love Live! Sunshine!!. Fittingly, all three episodes deal with the students helping their school idol group for a live concert.
  • With Lyrics: "Matataki no Saki e" is heavily based on the recurring OST track, "Musubareta Omoi (Connected Feelings)".
  • The Worf Effect:
    • At the beginning of Season 2, Liella! are invited to attend the Yoyogi Idol Festival again and without Sunny Passion there, they expect to get a win. However, they're handily beaten by a solo school idol, Wien Margarete, who is still only a 3rd year middle school student.
    • Later in Season 2, Margarete also easily defeats Sunny Passion, the winner of the last Love Live competition, in the preliminaries, further showing just how much of a threat she is to Liella!
  • Yuri Fan: While the girls have no issues with female-female romance, Sumire, Keke and Natsumi are the ones truer to the trope since they are the ones most excited about Mei possibly dating Ren.
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