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Love Live! (ラブライブ!) School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's magazine, music label Lantis and anime studio Sunrise that started in 2010 and resulted in short stories, music videos, music CDs, actual live performances by the voice actresses behind the main characters, anime, manga, light novels, and video games.

The Original Series follows the adventures of "µ's" (pronounced "muse"), a fledgling school idol group in Tokyo, as they try to save their school from closing due to lack of students. In 2016, µ's performed their Final Live and is now on "indefinite hiatus"note . In 2019, the group briefly became active performers again for the franchise's 9th anniversary.

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A spin-off sequel called Love Live! Sunshine!! (ラブライブ! サンシャイン!!) started in 2015. It focuses on "Aqours" (pronounced "aqua"), a new school idol group from the remote seaside town of Uchiura, as they try to find their own radiance. They are currently the "face" of the franchise.

In 2017, Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (ラブライブ!虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会)note  was introduced, which follows another school idol club in Odaiba. However, unlike their predecessors, the club focuses more on solo acts with the girls competing with each other to be the top idol, thanks to audience participation.

In 2020, a new franchise spin-off was announced and is only known as Love Live! New Series Project. Set in Harajuku, it features a new cast of first year students as they attend a newly reopened school. This spin-off is notable for having an open audition to voice one of the cast members.

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The works in this franchise so far are:

Animated Music Videos

Anime

  • Love Live! School Idol Project (January 2013 - June 2014): Composed of 26 episodes divided into 2 seasons
    • Love Live! School Idol Project OVA (November 2013): Bundled with µ's 6th single, Music S.T.A.R.T!!
    • Love Live! The School Idol Movie (June 2015): The Movie which serves as the Grand Finale of the series
  • Love Live! Sunshine!! (July 2016 - December 2017): Composed of 26 episodes divided into 2 seasons
    • Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (January 2019): The Movie which serves as the Grand Finale of the series
  • Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (TBD): An upcoming anime focusing on the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Love Live! New Series Project (TBD): An upcoming anime set in Harajuku featuring the school idols of Yuigaoka Girls' High School.

Video Games

  • Love Live! School Idol Festival (April 2013 - present): A Rhythm Game developed by KLab and released on Android and iOS in Japan in 2013 and overseas with an English localization in 2014. The game focuses on assembling a team of 9 members of varying stats to create an optimal high-scoring team.
  • Love Live! School Idol Paradise (August 2014): A series of Rhythm Games developed by Dingo and released on the Playstation Vita in Japan.
  • Love Live! School idol festival ~after school ACTIVITY~ (December 2016 - present): The arcade spin-off of Love Live! School Idol Festival.
    • Love Live! School idol festival ~after school ACTIVITY~ Next Stage: The update which adds Aqours to the game, released on December 2018. Saint Snow would later be added on September 2019.
  • Puchiguru! Love Live! (April 2018 - May 2019): Developed by Pokelabo and released on Android and iOS in Japan in 2018, Puchiguru! is a puzzle game starring the adorable nesoberi plushies in digital form, tapping and matching them for the highest score possible.
  • Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS (September 2019 - present): A mobile rhythm RPG game released in Japan on September 26, 2019 and released globally on February 25, 2020.

Manga

  • Love Live! School Idol Project (January 2012 - present): An Alternate Continuity from the anime.
  • Love Live! Sunshine! (May 2016 – present): An Alternate Continuity from the anime.
  • Maru's 4-Koma (May 2017): A Hanamaru-centric Yonkoma that started in Dengeki G's and was later turned into a full manga.
  • NijiYon (December 2018 - present): A Yonkoma Webcomic series centered around the lives of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. After 2 seasons, the series changed to a Motion Comic format and releases weekly on the offical YouTube channel.
  • The Dengeki, Famitsu and Bushiroad Yonkoma webcomic series focusing on the original divisions of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.note  Notable for the Alternative Character Interpretation and Early Installment Weirdness for some of the characters.
  • Transfer Student Festival (September 2016 - October 2017): An official weekly Yonkoma webcomic series revolving around the N cards in Love Live! School Idol Festival.

Light Novel

  • Love Live! School Idol Diary (May 2013 – present): A series of light novels (later adapted to manga) that roughly follows the anime continuity.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!! School idol diary (September 2016 - present): A series of light novels that roughly follows the manga continuity.

Anthology

  • Love Live! Anthology: A manga anthology drawn by a variety of illustrators, different for each chapter.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!! Comic Anthology: A series of anthologies, official compilations of manga by various artists.

Other Media

  • Short stories published in Dengeki's G's magazine or released in booklets with the Blu-Rays.
  • Love Live! Days: The Love Live! General Magazine
  • Radio dramas included in the singles and albums.
  • Radio shows by the voice actresses of the characters.
  • Live streams by the voice actresses of the characters.


Tropes related to the franchise as a whole:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: This is present in most music videos and any scenes in the anime where the characters are performing; while the anime and PVs are primarily animated in 2D, performances will typically have a lot of shots rendered in 3D since that makes dancing easier to animate. The integration of CG has improved over the years, especially by the time the Sunshine!! anime aired.
  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • Most people (especially in the west) don't know that the franchise originated from a series of music videos with short stories that accompanied them.
    • The pre-Anime Manga adaptation (School Idol Diary counts too) is also this in the Western fanbase. Unfortunately, several fans occasionally mistook them as doujins. (And again, not helped to the fact that Anthology manga (officially released manga with chapters contributed by doujin artists) exists as well.)
  • Aerith and Bob: Of the predominantly Japanese main cast, the most blatantly foreign names are Emma Verde, whose name is wholly European in nature, and Tang Keke, whose name is explicitly spelled in its Chinese format despite having a Japanese equivalent. Dia and Ruby Kurosawa also have English given names despite being fully Japanese, which was apparently their father's decision.
  • All Animation Is Disney: As mentioned in the Adaptation Displacement above, this happens occasionally for Anime-only watchers, mistaking the official manga adaptations for doujins.
  • Alternate Continuity: The franchise has a lot of different continuities going on. Nevertheless, the franchise's many continuities do a lot of internal shout-outs.
    • The magazine stories including the pre-anime materials use different characterizations for the cast. The manga uses this characterization but is also its own continuity.
    • The anime uses the characterizations by Sunrise, which becomes the more popular characterization in the fandom. School Idol Festival and ALL STARS uses the same characterization but each game has their own continuities as well.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Specific dates are never given anywhere, with the only indication of an actual time frame being the use of current technology, which can date the series anywhere during the 2010s.
  • Animated Music Video: The franchise started out as a series of these, which were accompanied by short stories in Dengeki G's magazine that fleshed out the characters. Though the franchise has since expanded into other mediums, music videos are still made alongside the releases of singles.
  • April Fools' Day: The franchise loves to celebrate April Fools' Day. Notable entries include:
    • "Love Live! Sunshine!! Live-action Film! Special Movie"note 
    • "Uranohoshi Girls’ High School Store: Online Shopping Program Special PV" with a poorly edited 10-meter high "Hyper Fabulous Ultimate Jumbo Nesoberi EX"note 
    • A special scout in SIF depicting the child versions of µ's and Aqours
    • Uranohoshi Girls’ High School Entrance Examnote 
    • "Love Live! Sunshine!! New Program Special Information Video"note 
    • SIF released a crossover banner on April 1st, 2020 featuring cards of µ's and Aqours in the style of The Powerpuff Girls in addition to Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom as Support Cards (based on an actual Powerpuff Girls collaboration from 2015).
  • Arc Number:
    • 9. All three main groups have nine members, and the franchise had a special celebration for its 9th anniversary.
    • Aqours specifically has 0 and 1, a symbolic representation of their Determinator attitude.
  • Arc Symbol: A pure, white feather is a recurring icon in the series, commonly associated with µ's. Season 2 of Sunshine!! gives Aqours a blue feather.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The original designs for the µ's girls were significantly different, having less exaggerated and detailed eye designs and more "samey" faces between each of the characters, which made it easier to tell them apart through their hairstyles and hair colors than their faces. The overall art style changed over time, with their character designs in "Wonderful Rush" essentially solidifying how they would look from that point on.
    • The CGI animation in Sunshine!! is greatly improved and aesthetically meshes well with the traditional 2D animation, compared to the infamously Uncanny Valley look of the CGI used in School Idol Project. μ's would later get to use the "new" CGI style with their animated PV for "A song for You! You? You!!".
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: While Nijigasaki itself maintains the art style used by μ's and Aqours, its respective anime looks significantly different, best exemplified by the PVs for "Mirai Harmony" and "Muteki-kyu Believer". The fourth group also has an altered art style, although it's more faithful to the standard style compared to Nijigasaki's anime.
  • Artifact Title: The group of nine (characters and their respective voice actresses) was initially introduced by the name "Love Live" and the first single, Bokura no LIVE Kimi to no LIFE, was also released under that name. Following an invitation in the November 2010 issue of Dengeki G's magazine for readers to submit suggestions for the name of the group, and a poll in the December 2010 issue, they became known as "µ's". After that point, "Love Live" appeared to have no particular significance aside from being the name of the franchise. However, the anime then re-introduced it as the name of the school idol competition which serves as a plot point for both seasons.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kanata Konoe, Emma Verde and Shizuku Osaka were Normal rarity characters in School Idol Festival until they were voted into the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club by readers.
    • Saint Snow gets a shared Character Focus with Ruby Kurosawa. They also get to perform live and have their own singles, unlike their predecessor A-RISE.
  • Bare Your Midriff: All 3 groups have at least one set of outfits that show their midriffs.
  • The Bus Came Back: μ's, with the announcement of their 9th Anniversary single in 2019 which marks the end of their hiatus since 2016.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Nijigasaki has several notable changes, including having 10 members (but 9 idols), having a focus on solo songs, and having 2-3-4 subunit composition. They're additionally the first group to debut in a game.
    • Magazine previews for the fourth project subvert the usual Saving the Orphanage plot by being based on a school that's reopening after having previously closed down. The main characters are also all 1st years instead of being divided into different year groups. In addition, the group only has five cast members instead of the usual 9.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Eli is a quarter Russian, Mari is half Italian-American and Tang Keke is half Chinese. Averted with Emma Verde, Nijigasaki's Token Minority, who is fully Swiss.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The franchise had a very humble start in 2010 (its first single, "Bokura no LIVE, Kimi to no LIFE", sold only 434 copies) but has since expanded into various other media such as anime series, books, manga, mobile games, music albums, and even concerts. It wasn't until Love Live! School Idol Festival was released in Japan that the series really took off; the first Blu-Ray volume of the second season of School Idol Project sold over 90,000 copies in its first week, the highest of any anime at the time.
  • Cast Herd:
    • Characters are commonly grouped up by year placement, and are referred to as such by fans: "1st years", "2nd years", and "3rd years", each with three characters. Another common grouping is by subunit; while the anime tends to not refer to subunits, they are often used as the subject of various subunit-specific audio dramas. That said, characters interacting with each other outside of their herd is quite natural, although to what extent depends on the characters involved.
    • Rival groups A-RISE and Saint Snow blur the line a bit more, since they require any member of the main cast to be onscreen to get any character development. They are still recognized as distinct groups, however.
  • Catchphrase: Very common with many characters having an identifying catchphrase if they don't have a Verbal Tic like Rin and Hanamaru. Nico's "Nico nico nii!" is the most famous of these.
  • Childhood Friends: A common dynamic in the franchise.
    • From School Idol Project: Hanayo and Rin. Honoka, Umi and Kotori. The manga version adds Eli to the Honoka-Umi-Kotori group.
    • From Sunshine: Chika, You and Kanan. Kanan herself has Mari and Dia. Hanamaru and Yoshiko were friends in kindergarten.
    • From ALL STARS: Ayumu and her childhood friend (the player character)
  • Character Focus:
    • Used extensively in the anime to flesh out each of the nine cast members in each group, save for the main character. Getting a character arc is a special privilege saved for characters who have much greater plot relevance; Kotori in the original series and Riko and the 3rd years, but especially Mari in Sunshine!!. That being said, some characters do get skipped over, like Umi, You, and Hanamaru.
    • SIF and ALL STARS use the standard Relationship Values model where you can see character-specific stories when a Card or the character gets enough of said Relationship Values.
  • Chromosome Casting: Male characters in the franchise are extremely rare. The only male with any notable screentime is Cotaro, Nico's younger brother; any other male that appears is both The Voiceless and has their face obscured by the camera. There are no male cast members whatsoever as well.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Each group gives each of its members an "image color" that their character is associated with to help identify them easily. Colors are commonly shared across groups; for example, the color orange is associated with Honoka Kosaka from µ's, Chika Takami from Aqours and Ai Miyashita from Nijigasaki.
    • For the 9th anniversary, the three main groups are given their own group colors: µ's is pink, Aqours is light blue and Nijigasaki High is yellow.
    • At "LoveLive! Fest", Saint Snow is given red as their group color, based on the red color of the official 9th anniversary shirts they were wearing during the closing remarks.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the main schools' uniforms include ribbons that are color-coded to indicate which grade the student is in.
    • Otonokizaka: Light blue ribbons for first years, crimson ribbons for second years, and green ribbons for third years.
    • Uranohoshi: Yellow ribbons for first years, red ribbons for second years, green ties for third years.
    • Nijigasaki follows the same general color coding as Uranohoshi does, but third years also get ribbons. Also the first year switch from yellow to light yellow ribbons, third years go from dark green to light green ribbons and the most noticeable being the second years who switch from red to pink ribbons for their summer uniforms
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment:
    • Nijigasaki used to have monthly popularity polls where the character in last place gets featured in a segment called the "Biristar Corner", where they are given Fanservice art.
    • Punishment games for the loser/s of parlor games during live streams are this, ranging from the mundane (pop a balloon) to the bizarre (reveal a secret failed incident).
  • Coordinated Clothes: In general, the outfits match in color and style while still being individually tailored for each idol. Color-Coded Characters is also applied to make it easier to see each idol in group shots. There are some rare exceptions, however.
  • Crossover:
    • Rin, Hanamaru, and Rina were all voted by fans to become "SEGA Image Girls", where they were featured in merchandise alongside Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Sunshine!! had one with virtual Collectible Card Game Shadowverse. In addition to the entire Aqours cast being featured as playable character skins, a special collaboration single called "Deep Resonance" was released alongside the Mitaiken HORIZON single, featuring Yoshiko as the center after she won a poll.
    • An unusual "meta-crossover" exists with Nippon Ichi SRPG The Guided Fate Paradox, where the entire cast of µ's was brought on to voice heroines in the game, with the cast being credited as their Love Live! characters in addition to their actual voice actresses. There was also an Image Song album released for the game that features µ's advertised on the cover, but has the girls performing as their Guided Fate Paradox characters as opposed to their Love Live! characters. There's a bit of a debate over whether the Guided Fate Paradox songs can be considered part of the Love Live! discography.
  • Determinator:
    • Honoka's approach to nearly any problem is throwing enthusiasm at it until it solves itself.
    • Nico will never give up on accomplishing her dreams of being an idol, regardless of circumstances.
    • Essentially Aqours itself. This is why their Arc Number is a zero: it represents their failure as a school idol group as well as their motivation to become better. This accompanies the overarching theme for the entire anime: overcoming failure.
    • The franchise itself. As the legend goes, the franchise's first single, "Bokura no LIVE, Kimi to no LIFE", sold a whole 434 copies on release, 10 of which were purchased by Emi Nitta's father to show support, and several of µ's early singles failed to garner any notable popularity. Everybody, even the voice actresses, believed that the project would be a failure. Fast forward a few years later, and Love Live! has transformed into what is essentially a phenomenon.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: As expected of being an idol show, both µ's and Aqours perform most of the songs in their respective anime. Nijigasaki High School Idol Club also performs the opening theme for Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS.
  • Drama Bomb: Both anime have at least one major subplot that is far more serious in tone compared to the rest of the anime and suddenly hits its climax with little warning.
    • In Love Live!, it's Kotori deciding to leave μ's to study overseas.
    • In Sunshine!! Season 1, it's the resolution to the 3rd years subplot that uncovers the truth of their Dark and Troubled Past.
    • In Sunshine!! Season 2, it's the school closing.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The original nine girls were initially referred to by the group name of "Love Live!", with their group name of "µ's" being given later following reader polls. "Love Live" would become an Artifact Title after that, until the anime where it was brought back as the name of the school idol competition the characters enter.
    • Early versions of the Otonokizaka uniform originally made no distinction between character year placement with bow colors; every character either had blue bows in summer or red bows in winter. The winter uniforms (from "Snow Halation") also used a black blazer and red plaid skirt instead of simply having a navy blazer over the summer uniform.
    • The Uranohoshi uniforms used by the Sunshine!! cast were originally black in very early promotional material. The year placement of some of the girls were also different prior to the anime.
    • Whenever a group is introduced, the character dynamics between the cast tend to be inconsistent to their portrayal in the anime (which usually serves as the basis for their characterizations in the rest of the franchise thereafter).
      • In "Bokura no LIVE, Kimi to no LIFE", Nico is seen handling the costumes which she will continue to do so until "Natsuiro Egao de 1,2,Jump!"note . Nozomi is also pitched as the shy one, and Umi is depicted as being the closest to Eli instead of Nozomi.
      • In "Kimi no Kokoro wo Kagayaiteru Kai?", Kanan is part of the initial group with Chika and Younote , and Mari is shown as reluctant and reserved. The anime reverses their roles; Kanan wants nothing to do with school idols, and Mari is quirky, outgoing, and enthusiastic. Riko is also seen wearing the Otonokizaka uniform throughout the PV, while she only wears it briefly in the first episode of the anime and subsequently never wears it again.
      • The characterization of the Nijigasaki idols in the early 4-panel webcomics vary depending on the author.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • A-RISE, the rival group of µ's. Saint Snow, Aqours' rival group, falls more under Ascended Extra.
    • Most of the parents count with Honoka's father being the most popular.
    • Some of the School Idol Festival Normal rarity characters like Kasane Hasekura, Hitomi Shiga and Sachiko Tanaka.
  • Fandom Rivalry: More like a "Fandom Civil War", but μ's fans occasionally butt heads with Aqours fans. When it gets out of hand, it's not pretty.
  • Fanservice: Surprisingly, the franchise has a whole generally tends to avert this, taking care to avoid unnecessary fanservice outside of the requisite Beach Episode. The Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is notably less conservative in this department compared to μ's and Aqours, even designating Karin as the group's Ms. Fanservice.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Due to the fact that Love Live! has a Rhythm Game spinoff, Love Live! School Idol Festival, there is some overlap between general rhythm game players and Love Live! fans; in fact, some LL! fans who got into the franchise through SIF end up watching the anime too.
    • The fandom also get along well with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's fans (due to both being currently the popular series in the 2010's), which also resulted in many enormous crossovers. Further cranked Up to Eleven for Sunshine!!, making both of their series' harmoniously blending like coffee and cream, to the point of associating the Love Live! franchise with Jojo, mostly as a "shared universe".
    • Ditto to Doki Doki Literature Club!, which is also crossed with a few µ's characters, at least until the 3rd Solo Live Album had Eli (coincidentally) doing the Monika pose.
    • Also Ditto to Initial D fans post Sunshine!! Season 2, Episode 10 (mostly during a scene of Mari driving).
    • There is a significant amount of overlap with the SiIvaGunner fanbase due to the channel's use of "Snow Halation" as a Forced Meme partially contributing to the song's popularity and giving the series exposure.
  • Gratuitous English: Common enough in song titles and lyrics. Special mention goes to "Yuujou No Change" where the "No" part of the title is written in katakana, which means it is actually the English "No" instead of the hiragana "no" (の).
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: If a girl's mother appears, you can bet that she has the exact same hairstyle as her daughter.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Every single character has the same hairstyle as children as they do now with the exception of Nico and Riko. Amusingly, Nico and Riko have swapped hairstyles; Nico had long hair as a child (only on her SIF card) while Riko had pigtails. Nico currently has pigtails while Riko has her hair down.
  • Idol Singer: The basic premise is idol singers who are also high school girls, thus combining this trope with a Schoolgirl Series.
  • Image Song:
    • Commonly known as "solos", each main girl in the franchise has at least one song where they are the only singer. In most cases, the song is tailored to the respective singer's vocal strengths, such as "New winding road" (a rock ballad where Aina Suzuki uses her deeper, more powerful voice) and "In this unstable world" (where Aika Kobayashi uses both inflections of her Yoshiko voice).
    • Nijigasaki's main gimmick is that their entire discography consists almost exclusively of these, with far fewer full unit songs.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The bulk of the plot in both anime series involves the leader and her friends recruiting other members into her school idol group. The full cast for each group is revealed long before the anime even premieres, meaning that following the franchise in any capacity will result in knowing every girl before they even appear on-screen in the anime. And if you didn't follow the series before, then the Spoiler Opening will provide the same effect.
  • The Leader:
  • Les Yay: Has a long list of examples for each group, and with ALL STARS, expect more to come.
  • Letter Motif: Of a sort, since all three leader characters feature the kanji "高" somewhere in their family names: Honoka Kousaka, Chika Takami, and Yu Takasaki.
    • New main character Kanon Shibuya shares the same "ka" sound as Honoka and Chika.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Though the franchise is mainly aimed at a male audience, it's quite popular amongst lesbians and bisexual women (especially on the West), mostly for all the Les Yay between the characters and the pretty outfits in School Idol Festival. This image perfectly sums it up. As a result, a large portion of the fanbase was very upset to find out about KLab's Cut-and-Paste Translation of School Idol Festival, since it removed a lot of the Les Yay. Later they did put the Les Yay back in.
  • Licensed Game: School idol festival, a mobile Rhythm Game, School idol paradise, a PlayStation Vita Rhythm Game, and Puchiguru, a mobile puzzle game. While Puchiguru eventually closed, SIF was popular enough to spawn an arcade spin-off.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The "Smile" subunits love this. Quite a few songs from them have very upbeat and cheery music but bittersweet or depressing lyrics.
  • Minority Show Ghetto: Not the Anime itself, but the Manga adaptation (and in a very lesser extent: the School Idol Diary novels).
  • The Movie: Both anime have a movie that acts as the Grand Finale for their series: Love Live! The School Idol Movie for μ's, and Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow for Aqours.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Some characters will wear their school uniform differently from everyone else:
    • Nico wears a long-sleeved pink cardigan under her blazer; she also wears it during the summer, unlike most of the other members of μ's who wear the standard cream-colored vest with their summer uniforms. Rin doesn't wear the vest at all with her summer uniform.
    • While most members of Aqours wear their uniforms normally, Hanamaru wears a yellow cardigan over her winter uniform, while Mari sports a pale green vest over her summer uniform.
    • Most of the Nijigasaki idols have a distinctive way to wear their uniform; of these, only Ayumu and Shizuku wear the uniform straight without any additional flairs, while Karin and Emma only have very minor changes to theirs (wearing tights and wearing the blazer open, respectively).
      • Yu is not seen wearing any blazer or vest whatsoever.
      • Ai wears a brown sweater over her winter uniform instead of the standard black blazer.
      • Kasumi wears her winter uniform partially buttoned with a yellow sweater underneath the blazer.
      • Kanata wears her winter uniform completely unbuttoned with a red sweater underneath. Her tie is also sloppily tied compared to the others.
      • Rina wears an oversized blue hoodie in place of a blazer. She also wears thigh-high socks instead of knee-high socks.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A running theme for the Student Council Presidents in the series, who all oppose the main characters' School Idol Club idea.
    • Eli rejects the idea on the basis that there's not enough members. Later on, she also rejects the formation of the club, citing that there's already an existing idol-related club at school. On Vice President Nozomi's suggestion, µ's ultimately joins the existing club, the Idol Research Club, instead.
    • Dia flatly denies Chika's request due to not having enough members and just not wanting her to form a School Idol Club. Mari, the school director, gives them the go ahead anyway after Aqours proves their merit. Ultimately, this is subverted as later events showed that Dia has been helping Chika's group all along.
    • Nana Nakagawa insists that the protagonist and Kasumi get 10 members to keep the School Idol Club open. While they ultimately end up finding only eight, Nakagawa herself rejoins as the 9th member, under her alias "Setsuna Yuki", and the player character, with a bit of push from the others, joins as the 10th member and club president.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content:
    • The reason why the franchise is considered community driven is the ability of fans to submit and vote on different content of the franchise such as the group name, sub-unit names and its members, song centers, etc.
    • Many doujin artists also submitted their stories for the Anthology manga collection.
  • One-Gender School: Basically every school that's featured are all-girls' schools. This helps in the Chromosome Casting department since it means male characters need not appear for 98% of the show.
  • The Rival: A-RISE and Saint Snow to μ's and Aqours respectively. Both evolve into a Friendly Rivalry after they realize their competitors' potential.
  • Saving the Orphanage: The plot in both Love Live! Season 1 and the entirety of Sunshine!! involves the cast attempting to win Love Live to give their high school enough exposure to save it from the brink of closure. Unlike Otonokizaka, Uranohoshi doesn't make it to the end.
  • Self-Fanservice: Nozomi and You are commonly depicted in fanart as being very physically attractive despite having fairly standardized body shapes relative to the rest of the cast. Somewhat downplayed with Kanan, who is considered physically attractive in-universe (by Dia, of all people) and is noted to be the most fit member in Aqours, thus giving her a shapely figure.
  • Signature Song: For the franchise itself, "Snow Halation" by µ's. It is the most famous song within the Love Live! discography, and the only one within the fandom to have a consensus on the penlight colors to be used at concerts during the song: White for most of its duration, until the start of the final chorus whereupon everyone switches to orange, an effect meant to mimic the visuals in the original PV video.
  • Standardized Leader:
    • Honoka and Chika's schtick is their fairly generic personalities: upbeat, overly cheerful go-getters that help bring the group together.
    • The Player Character of ALL STARS fills this role; she has very little direct characterization and zero backstory, but when in her element is highly analytical and persuasive to the other members, which makes the school idols easily gravitate towards her for support.
  • Student Council President: Eli Ayase and later Honoka in Otonokizaka, Dia Kurosawa in Uranohoshi, and Nana Nakagawa (Setsuna Yuki's true identity) and later Shioriko Mifune in Nijigasaki. Despite typically having the final say in most school-related decisions, they aren't an Absurdly Powerful Student Council and are at the mercy of their school's directors (Principal Minami for Otonokizaka and Mari Ohara for Uranohoshi).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Both μ's and Aqours have characters who are viewed as underdeveloped and neglected compared to their peers. Aqours is far more extreme in this department due to kicking almost half the cast to the curb in Season 2.
  • Token Minority: Common to all four main groups: Eli Ayase (part Russian from her grandmother), Mari Ohara (part Italian-American from her father), Emma Verde (full-blooded Swiss) and Tang Keke (part Chinese from her father).
  • Trademark Favorite Food
    • Everyone has one, but only Chika, Hanayo and Emma have it as a major character element and is depicted as their official symbols: Chika's mikans (a type of Japanese mandarin), Hanayo's rice and Emma's bread.
    • Kasumi loves bread; one of her ALL STARS cards depicts her holding bags full of bread, she bakes bread as a hobby and uses some of them to prank the other members.
    • Subverted with Honoka. She's depicted in the anime as loving bread ("Kyou mo pan ga umai!") but her official profile states that her favorite food is strawberries.
  • Verbal Tic: Rin Hoshizora and Hamamaru Kunikida: "nya" and "zura" respectively.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While most characters have hair colors that can be considered normal in real life (like black or various shades of brown and auburn), some characters have hair in improbable shades of red, blue and purple (or in Rina's case, pink). However, it's often implied that those with blue or purple hair are really black-haired and their hair colors are just stylized to make them stand out.

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