Japan is a weird place. Idol seems to be a thing in Japan and Love Live! is an idol anime. It’s not like Idol anime haven’t been done before. There are plenty of them actually for example, Idolm@ster Xenosaga, AKB0048, The Idolm@ster, to name a few. Then what differentiate Love Live! from generic idol anime? Well, there is a phrase “School Idol” in the title and the setting is that every school have their own idol group that compete with each other. Having a popular idol group as a school mascot seems to make that school cool for some reason.
The show meant to be a show for 2d idol otaku and it shows. The thing about idol otaku is that they support their idol by buying stuff that affiliate with their idol and there is always some people who have more money than sense. I’m not saying that buying stuff to promote your idol is wrong by any means but like any obsession there should be done in moderation, also what you buy will be what you get from the industry. if you wholeheartedly buy shit product, you will get more shit product. keep in mind that this is how most of the industry works.
For what it’s worth, The story of Love Live! is frankly quite generic. Protagonists want to save their school by winning Love Live! idol tournament being an idol in the process. There is a plot twist but still, to me, it’s plot is plain and boring. However, some moment of the show is quite memorable.
Look at it as a mainstream anime, it’s a success but as an anime that making a mark in my heart it failed miserably.
The cast is mediocre, I don’t find myself rooting for a specific character or the whole group throughout the series, Idolm@ster on the other hand did a better job at creating a cast that is attractive and charming. The songs despite being an idol anime I don’t find both the OST and the insert enjoyable, mediocre at best. The animation ,on the other hand, is downright horrible. If we trace back to the beginning of Love Live campaign which is a single and music video. Those music video make use of 3D model which was bad and so we thought that when Love Live! turns mainstream anime the dancing scene should be a well drawn 2D, but No! all we got is the same shit different format. Look at K-ON!, Angel Beats, Idolm@ster they can pull off great stage performance without using 3D character model.
Maybe Love Live! want to try different approach to stage performance but the 3D animation is so poorly execute that in the end all it does is make the series itself looks bad.
Afterall, Love Live! direction is always unclear whether they try to compete with Idolm@ster or being an equivalent of AKB48 in 2D space or even set up their own fanbase. This indecisiveness is the thing that made this show not a worthwhile one to invest your time and money with it.