Kai’s Question #7 – Best Girls of Love Live!

μ's.full.1769076 As I had been playing LLSIF, I had been exposed to a lot of Love Live, much more than the anime series seems to be able to offer. As a result, I keep getting attached to Love Live more and more. A little while ago, I initiated a random twitter survey asking everyone who watched Love Live/play LLSIF who their Best Girl is. While fair to give my own choices as well, I decided to tackle on the challenge as to answer why they are the Best Girls for me as well.

Maki4

Maki

As typical as it sounds, I always had an infatuation with tsunderes, even now, and with that, Maki becomes a Best Girl material for me at first glance. Her tsundere qualities are actually quite clear – she acts cold and withdrawn, and while she is awkward in doing so, she also seeks the fun and enjoyment from the forging of friendships deep down, which fortunately the girls of u’s are more than willing to give it to her. Other than being a tsundere, she also has a certain class in a way she carries herself, perhaps in due part to her origins from a wealthy family. I mean, just look at the way she crossed her legs, hmmmmmmmm Furthermore, she also listens to Jazz music, a genre which also recently becomes one of my favorite, and also certainly not a genre girls of her age, especially ones from Love Live at that, listen to. All this paints the “cool” characterization to her character, and there is actually another term for that “kuudere”, also another one of my favorite archetypes. And when you think about it, Maki actually seems quiet and reserved, and because of Honoka’s constant bugging, her tsundere qualities came bursting out instead. Her tsundere qualities, other than being shy and awkward in accepting companionship, could also be a defense mechanism to retain her “cool” image. One of the reason why I’m so affixed to Maki – it is as if she is an epitome of two of my favorite -deres. In the end though, I think my main reason for liking Maki, all these analytic jargon aside, is simply because she’s a tsundere. I guess I’m just biased towards tsunderes like that, and it seems her tsundere qualities had even earn herself some love from a certain someone. Which reminds me…  
 

nico

Nico

While getting myself heads over heels for Maki, other girls seem to become a lesser focus for me until a little later. Nico at first took my interest because of her character design; black hair and red eyes, sound just a little familiar, no? She also has twintails, something I’m weak of. I think an interesting characterization to Nico is that while designers seem to like making characters like her “full-frontal” cute; admittedly, there’s no “full-frontal” here. Other than being cute during her idol performances and her cutesy acts, Nico spend the rest of her days pouting, whether or not it’s from her inferiority complex at Eli’s maturity and Nozomi’s boobies, and her failed attempt at seeking attention and so on; resembling a pouting of a small animal, a little bit like this. To me, this much more cute compared to just being stereotypically cute. This is the interesting bit here – Nico arguably isn’t someone who is cute, but tries diligently to be. Not only just the cute facade however; Nico is someone who sets big expectations to herself, most evident example being her backstory, and also during one episode where she blatantly told her sister she was the center of u’s. Nico’s whole character is built upon the concept of effort and expectations; and the desire to be a perfectionist. Outside of the anime’s scope, one last reason I like Nico is that she is a well-matched contrast to Maki. Yes, in case you haven’t already notice, Maki x Nico is a very heavily shipped pairing, and for good reason; admittedly, shipping them is also one of my latest obsession. Did I mention Nico can cook too? That is totally waifu material!  
 

umi

Umi

Umi is basically the Mio (K-ON) of Love Live; although Umi is a bit different in a way that she also seems to possess leadership qualities, a trait I don’t see Mio has, other than a few jabs and retorts at Ritsu. Archetypes preferences aside, one of the thing I find appealing in girls is self-dependance, and Umi excels in it-she just seems to get her act together. Especially during the early days of u’s, Umi was pretty much the cogwheel of the group, training Honoka, Kotori and some other early members of u’s; and writing lyrics for their songs. If Honoka is the fearless leader and Kotori the rear support, then Umi is someone whose in the middle and assists both sides. If Honoka is Roman Reigns and Kotori Dean Ambrose, then Umi is Seth Rollins; she is the architect of the group. I think it’s not too exaggerating to say that u’s rocky formation wouldn’t had survive if not for Umi. Along the way, she even conquered her stage fright, in due part to her strong willpower, but with also, the support of her friends. Furthermore, who wouldn’t love someone who can throw pillows at supersonic speed? Oh, and also, tsundere.

μ's.full.1556011

I asked this already in twitter and I guess I might as well ask it again – who’s your Best Girl(s) in Love Live? I would like to point out that even when I had pinpointed my own, I actually think all the girls in u’s are all equally likable characters-there is not a single character I didn’t care about, nor is there a single character I hate at all. Perhaps this is why I like Love Live so much? It’s an anime filled with a vibrant, quirky, gratifying but also down-to-earth character cast; and all them are equally likable – all of them are equal Best Girls, and is one of the best damn thing about the franchise.

Kai’s Questions
Kai’s Question #1 – Revealing Figures
Kai’s Question #2 – Android Online Games
Kai’s Question #3 – Storing Anime
Kai’s Question #4 – Light Novels?
Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?
Kai’s Question #6 – Sweaty Hands and It’s Effects on My Gaming Experience
Kai’s Question #7 – Best Girls of Love Live!

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This entry was posted by Kai.

15 thoughts on “Kai’s Question #7 – Best Girls of Love Live!

  1. Hmmmm, The show plays a lot with character archetypes, but manages to give everyone a distinctive personality.
    I like quite a few, only Umi fails to get my appreciation, I always dislike strict and too serious girls, sure her military drill scenes are funny, but she was not someone I could really like.

    Without going too much into detail about them, I love the Hanayo and Rin couple, both are still childs at heart with all their cheerfulness and both are rather dreamy characters. I should probably write more to express my affection, but to break it down Hanayo is megane, Rin is neko, a great combination for me ;D

    I like the smallest and biggest girl the most ^^
    Nico is lovely, she is passionate about the things she likes and don’t try to play the kind character. It’s also cool how she keeps her untamed attitude. I like the gap between her cute & petite appearance and her personality that actually is a little rotten and bold, she’s a devil and I love that part about her. It’s great how she hides her uneasiness with boldness. I also want to add that Nico is no bad person and knows about kindness.

    Nozomi, well physical attributes aside she’s still my favorite character. I like that she cares a lot for others and tries to help with solving their problems, busty girls in animes are often the caring, motherly type, but Nozomi emits a certain warmth and empathy, you don’t see that often. She likes to be around and really cherish her friends. I like that they also made her somewhat playful and naughty, when she is teasing others. Well, she could tease me all day XD

    • Yea, the characters conform themselves within the archetypes, but still possess slight, but just enough complexity to be distinctive.

      I get how neko can be related to “childishness” and cheerfulness but not sure about megane. But think I get what you mean :p I still like Maki x Nico best though.

      Yea, I saw in twitter, lol.
      I didn’t use this term in my post, but we may be a fan of “gap moe”, lol. Likewise, I like how she is both cute and a little rotten at the same time. And that part about how she hides her uneasiness with boldness, does indeed give her a bit more complexity.

      Yea, I get what you mean. If u’s were a family, and if you were to assign a parent role to two of them. Both Nozomi and Eli I think would pretty much fits the father and mother role, lol xD

      She don’t tease you, she only tease young, innocent high school girls xD

  2. I’m not gonna write a whole heap on this (still going through the second season, after all), but i’m going to have to go with Maki as Best Girl, with Umi and Nozomi following behind!

  3. It’s definitely a matter of choosing who you like most and like least when it comes to μ’s. At the end of the day, we like them all xD

    My number one though has to be Nozomi. I’m a sucker for the caring older sister type. Plus, tarot cards.

    Close second is Eli. Head strong. Mature. And quite possibly the harem leader of μ’s.

    Third has to be Rin. She completely won me over with her own episode in season two. I also just love how she can put in “nyaa~” to almost anything she says xD

    Hanayo is an honorable mention for me because of her singing voice. Two of my top three favorite songs in Love LIve! (Kodoku na Heaven and Unbalanced Love) have her singing in ’em.

    • Indeed :p

      Yea, and she can see da future :D

      Not sure about that though, I think Honoka would fit that role more. Even then, u’s seem to have their own designited pairings, lol. Nico X Maki, Hanayo x Rin, Eli X Nozomi, Honoka X Kotori X Umi. Yea, Honoka seems to be the only one to get a threesome.

      Yea, if I were to add more entries here, I think Rin would be in the list as well too. I didn’t really care about Rin much but like her more after that episode in S2.

      Embarrassingly, I’m actually not quite familiar how their voices sound individually. Might want to check out some character songs soon.

  4. All of them have an aura of greatness surroinding them but there is one specific factor for my top 3 that make them stand out from the rest.

    #1: Nozomi. Professional groper, Muse’s goddess in more ways than one and her adorable voice.
    #2: Umi. Her 10000 facial expressions that rival Honoka’s 9000. Her figure. Her “married couple” dynamic with Honoka, though she eagerly engages in megange a trois along with Kotori.
    #3 used to be Kotori but after this girl’s character episode the spot went to Rin. Adorable to the max, Kayo-chin’s soul mate and a master of flatboarding.

    • “Muse’s goddess”
      Yea, I think you summed up Nozomi pretty well, lol.

      It’s over 9000! And hey, I bet she’s fine having a threesome with Kotori and Honoka.

      Adorable to the max indeed for Rin, I can see why you like her so much, especially with her episode in S2.

  5. Ah, Love Live! How nostalgic!

    Before the game even came out, I saw the anime (which wasn’t really too hyped in the Western community for some reason), and started playing the game as soon as it came out. I’m pretty damn good with rhythm games, and I loved the School Life Festival due to its simplicity.

    The thing I really hated about that game is that the douchebags who always score in the top rankings are hackers. I know Bushimo removes most of these assholes, but they just do it again and it makes it so hard for genuine players like myself to actually score the SR cards at every event…

    One thing I do like is that they give you a lot of Loveca Stones, and you might even be lucky to pull off a limited UR (which I did: twice), and score a lot of SRs too. Ranking cards isn’t so bad either.

    I just wish there was a system for players who achieve “Full Combo” during events or “Full Perfect Combo”, which I did without much difficulty. The only ones I couldn’t clear were those crazy-ass 11-star songs. Oh shit, I was like WTFFFFFFF
    Every other song, I managed to get Full Combo like a badass.

    I digress. For some reason, I never had a girl that really jump out at me. As an avid eroge player who spent over 1/2 of my conscious life to anime and games, each character is really a derivation of an archetype, and while I don’t really blame the people who can’t see it, those “derivatives” get pretty annoying. As for Maki, I would’ve liked it if there was a reason for her personality as a ku-dere character (Yeah, having experience in psychology sucks in the sense I can’t take things for granted)

    In a sense, I actually liked Nico and Hanayo, Nico cause of her “two-faced” personality and her “dumb” personality which is really unique. In addition to the fact she gets “bullied” by other characters you never really see that kind of a heroine nowadays. Hanayo because the poor girl gets dragged into pretty much everything and her quote “Uuu… Someone help me!” (obviously in Japanese) is pretty hilarious (Admittedly, I was tapping her in game until she said multiple times 8D)

    Let’s see…
    My analysis of the characters are as follows. I never watched the second season (kinda put it off until I forgot ._.;;)

    Honoka – The oblivious main character who seems to be the archetype of the “sekenshirazu” (Not knowledgable about the world) character. Not really a bad thing, but I kinda wish there was a more serious side to her.
    Kotori – Didn’t really like Kotori that much due to how her personality shifts from “friendly” to “isolated” within the first season. Doesn’t show trust in her friends in this sense, which was “meh”.
    Umi – Adorable in the sense he tries her best to keep Honoka and the others in line, but fails. Best part about this girl is the pillow fight scene.
    Maki – Generally, I’m not too favorable of tsundere, and Maki wasn’t an exception. Kinda hoped for a character (male or female) who plays an instrument (such as a guitar) that compliments her piano well: I can think of so many great stories just with this plot
    Rin – Speech pattern annoying as hell.
    Hanayo – Great design, except it wasn’t exactly followed-through. She has the potential to become a “good idol” and has the right personality, but I guess they’re just trying to keep her theme and personality as “ambiguous” as possible for the possible future seasons or something
    Nico – Already discussed
    Eri – Student Council type heroine………………… Not sure what else to add
    Nozomi – I’ll be honest and say that in that one scene in the anime where she holds up the tarot card with the “I told you so” face to Eri was one of the best scenes. She jokes around, but makes up for that with serious sides of her own, and ultimately become that “underrated” character.

    In the end, Love Life isn’t that great: it’s as good as some other “all-girls” anime series like Fantasista Doll. The real selling point is the music and the music videos that gets produced: those are some good stuff and I can definitely see how this series got popular.

    Other than that, I really don’t understand people drooling over characters. Eh, might just be me.

    • What I like best is that LLSIF is specially designed for simplicity and the fact that you don’t marathon on it (especially with the LPs and all). Although getting SRs on events can be a bit difficult, lol. Such designs seem like a normal thing as a smartphone game, but it really works great on LLSIF.

      Oh they do? Actually the only score match I was active in was the Kotori one, lol. I ended up missing most of Maki’s much to my dismay. When I’m on Kotori’s score match, I didn’t even notice some were bots, lol.

      Most smartphone games I play nowadays were of this nature, you can get various items per day simply just by logging in, and sometimes on other special ocassions. But LLSIF does seem to give a lot, yea, lol. In normal events (not score matches), characters’s birthday, daily reward signups, etc… And damn, I only managed a single UR pull,
      I’m about to hit 50 already, so I can give another try soon.

      I can managed to FC most Easy, Normal and some Hard; and not even a single for EX I believe, lol. I think more about survival for the latter.

      I think it may be that you’re just too used to VN’s detailed narrative and characterizations, I don’t know, lol. I think it’s worth nothing that Love Live doesn’t really strive to be overly serious or dramatic or anything. Sure, there’s a goal, there’s an objective, and there may be a little bit of drama (like in the last few eps of S1 and S2’s bittersweet parts) but I feel one of it’s main selling point is that it’s a purely “fun” idol-themed show. So as far as characterizations go, they really can’t go too overboard, but to me, there is still enough complexity to go by other than being derived to stereotypical archetype, or at least, just possess some extra, unique elements that let them get away from their own archetypes, just a bit. I’m going to skip right ahead of your individual character analysis for further discussion. But before that,

      “(Admittedly, I was tapping her in game until she said multiple times 8D)”
      I’m so totally guilty of this! xD

      Honoka – She is shown to has the aptitude for leadership, however, despite not possessing any special roles or skills (she certainly can’t write lyrics like Umi can, nor can she compose music like Maki). Arguably, I think she can also serve as a self-insert character.

      Kotori – To be fair (and if I get you right), and also a bit of spoiler warning, Kotori did mention she wanted to talk about how she wanted to go abroad to study fashion earlier, just couldn’t.

      Umi – Yup. And the pillow fight scene is awesome.

      Maki – That’s a good idea, but I don’t think that works, since this is an idol themed anime, and musical instruments certainly aren’t the focus, lol.

      Rin – I don’t think it’s annoying but I certainly don’t think too much about her speech pattern, yea. But try watching her episode in S2 and see if you can like her better. I think it highlights her insecurities pretty well.

      Hanayo – Well, I’m one of those types that don’t like Hanayo as much. But as far as characterization goes, I think Hanayo is the type of character who supposed to develop from someone whose supposed to be shy and timid to someone whose bold and daring. Arguably, that may had been achieved. At least, shes also shown to be quirky and not necessarily conforming to the “bland” role.

      Nico – Yes, same reasons for me to be liking her as well.

      Eli – That, and she takes on a parental role in Love Live, and also the “training” role of Umi’s.

      Nozomi – Agreed

      Don’t know about you, but personally, I like it though :p I don’t watch Fantasista Doll so not sure about that.

      And says someone who keeps tapping on Hanayo in-game.

      • Yeah, the game itself is awesome. Honestly, I feel really regretful leaving it half a year (or was it a year?) ago, since I had a pretty nice set.

        When I say Hackers, I mean those who modify their score on the rankings, so if you go to the Overall Rankings and take a look (well, this is the JP version) some players have scores like 777777, or 10000000 (ten million even) which are essentially impossible.

        All they (Bushimo) does is remove them and that’s it, so the hackers can just go in and do it again if they so pleased. I don’t know about the English version, but when I quit in JP, you pretty much had to use at least 10-20 Loveca stones (and the time to use your LP) just to get within the rankings for the additional Event SR.

        I don’t know. Asians are more proficient at games like this, I guess… I’m pretty proficient with DDR and other rhythm games, so there’s that.

        But definitely agreed that the simplicity in this game is as best as it can be. It’s what really attracted me at first and kept me going for a while too, after all.

        On that thought though, looks like I’ll be watching the second season by your suggestion after Finals. Let’s see how it turns out.

        • I’m still active, but had to put it on hiatus some time ago for about 2 months or so, as I reformatted my phone and forgot to check the transfer code, lol.

          Oh, never saw that in the EN version, so I guess there’s no hacking as far as I’m concerned.

          “I don’t know. Asians are more proficient at games like this, I guess… I’m pretty proficient with DDR and other rhythm games, so there’s that. ”
          I’m Asian too, actually, lol. I think it’s more of an individual thing.

          Yea, there are some mobile games which pretty much required you to sit there and play for like hours. Don’t know but doesn’t make much sense to me, lol.

          Cool :p

  6. Pingback: Kai’s Favorite Anime of 2014 | deluscar

  7. Highly intriguing reads, both the blogpost and the comments. ‘ ^’

    A bit late to the party since I started the anime a few days ago, though eventually I’ll narrow down my own answer to “who is best Love Live.” Better late than never since I hang around a bunch of Love Live-rs wwww

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