Kanon Shibuya loves singing, but she has difficulty singing under pressure, which led to her failing the audition to get into Yuigaoka High School’s prestigious music program. Enrolling in the school’s general program, she does some no-pressure singing on the way there, and encounters Keke Tang, an overseas student from China who wants to start a school idol group and decides Kanon must be one of its members. Kanon might have no interest in actually singing but she does want to support Keke, especially in the face of opposition from those in the music program who feel that school idols don’t belong there. But can Keke convince Kanon to face her fears and try singing herself?
This is the fourth time around the Love Live! circuit, and once again the story of girls pursuing their dreams despite the obstacles in their way is off to a great start. Many of us can relate to the difficulties of performing under pressure, and how terrible it feels to not be able to do something as well as you know you can when it really matters. This makes Kanon’s story immediately engaging, which is great for a franchise that has always leaned heavily on its characters. One interesting thing to note is that, compared to the nine-member ensembles of past Love Live! series, this one only seems to have five girls in its core group, which will make this experience unique and likely to appeal to those who prefer smaller main casts. And of course, the musical number at the end is great, but that’s no surprise at all from this franchise.
And yes, they do say “hallelujah” in the song. I did always feel like the one thing idol anime was missing was some influence from Christian worship music…
Love Live! Superstar!! is streaming on FUNimation.