#2: Love Live! School Idol Project
(Spoilers ahead, you have been warned)
This is the hardest anime-related decision I have ever had to make. I can’t discount the effect Love Live has had on my life and I will be forever grateful. Before I get into that, I would like to touch on the show a little bit. The cast is absolutely fantastic and I grew to love each member of µ’s as well as the side characters. Nico has become my favorite character of all time across mediums and she is a character that I truly believe has changed my life for the better. My room is covered with Love Live merch from figures, posters, fanbooks, and everything in-between. The music of Love Live is absolutely amazing and some of the catchiest music I’ve ever heard, being permanently featured in my top favorite songs. The stories the show tells are heartwarming and spectacular, ranging from the happy, triumphant moments to those that just rip my emotional self apart and leave me in ruins. But, the effect of Love Live on my life goes so far than within the show.
Love Live has easily been one of the biggest things to impact my life in the past two years. If not for Love Live, I never would have started talking to some of the people I consider my absolute best friends today and I’m thankful to the show for introducing me to such amazing people. Love Live re-inspired a passion for writing in me that has influenced the direction I want to go with the rest of my life. Love Live has introduced me to a new fandom that has welcomed me in with open arms, introducing me to some of the most interesting, fun to talk to people I’ve met in my entire life. It has eaten up more of my money over the past year than any franchise perhaps in my entire life and I hold absolutely no regret for any of the purchases I’ve made in my fandom. It’s truly a franchise that has changed my life and I will forever be grateful for the profound impact Love Live has had on me and my life. If you want more of me gushing about how much Love Live has impacted my life, check out my I Love Love Live rant and my Love Live and µ’s: More Than… write-ups from my personal subreddit.
Favorite Episode: Season 2 Episode 11, “That Which We Decided”
I wanted to pick Nico’s time to shine in Season 2 Episode 4, I really did. But, there is no other moment in Love Live that has impacted me as hard emotionally as the combined beach and train platform scenes from Season 2 Episode 11. This is a scene that has me losing myself in tears even now after re-watching the second season five times to date. It’s a beautiful, poignant, and also bittersweet scene as the nine members of µ’s face the realism that their time as a school idol group of 9 is coming to an end, With the third-years’ graduation fast approaching, the underclassmen decide as a group that µ’s will end with the third-years graduation, which brings an onslaught of emotions from every corner. I can’t even begin to put into words what a beautiful scene this is and how much it impacts me emotionally every time, so really just go watch it yourself if you have finished Love Live. Another watch would leave me a teary-eyed mess and I need to finish this write-up.
Love Live is a franchise that has had more of an effect on my life than I could ever accurately put into words. It’s a beautiful entity that has taken my life and put me on a better path and was no small part in making 2016 likely the best year of my life. I could never downplay the importance this franchise has had on my life and it greatly pains me to have to put it as only my #2 anime. It really deserves so much more than that and if I didn’t feel it would be a major cop-out, I would have two number one entries on this list. However, there is one other series that I can say has had as much of an impact and it’s one that came into my life only a week before Love Live…