Interest Stacks

Best idol anime

May 21 2022, 10:24 AM | Updated Sep 21, 6:31 PM
"Idol" as an anime genre is closely related to the CGDCT genre as well as bishounen anime, although this list only focuses on female idols. There are many different ways of making an idol anime and they can lead to varying results. Some idol anime like to offer you a lot of cute girls without having any ability to properly show you who they are, like Tokyo 7th Sisters, some prefer to focus on a smaller cast while might not deliver the proper idol experience you might expect, but have deeper characters as a result. A large portion rely on 3DCGI for the dance sequences, which make hand animated dances a treat. I've selected a couple shows from the genre that I personally think did the best job all around.
Love Live! School Idol Project
TV, 2013, 13 eps Me:- Author:8
If you haven’t been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of Love Live!. It’s one of the most popular anime in Japan and for good reason: it has idols and yuri, a great art style, and a story that perfectly caters to the otaku fandom. It’s not quite as popular among a younger female audience as it is among an older male audience, but Sunrise already has Aikatsu for young girls so Love Live! is essentially the late night version of that. This anime has a lot of mixed opinions which is reasonable since anyone outside of the targeted audience isn’t going to see the appeal, but there are enough people in the targeted audience that it’s a perfect anime for a lot of people. The very fact that it is so popular can also be a draw for some people since it has a lot of good memes, fan art, and other media that is all translated for the most part. I will talk about the story first. This is a show about girls who become idols to save their school. It’s really quite similar to Girls und Panzer in that regard, but with the opposite reaction from the teachers. Honoka is confident that becoming idols would save their school while everyone else is skeptical, and rightfully so. After all, not only is not reasonable to expect to become popular simply from trying something you see other people getting popular from, as anyone who has tried created any kind of entertainment would know, but even if they did become popular that doesn’t exactly guarantee that their school would be along for the ride as well. Despite how improbable that would be, these are our protagonists and Sunrise isn’t going to show us some random idol group who failed to do what they sought to do. That would be boring. Naturally this is a success story and considering the way it’s set up this isn’t even really a spoiler. What is a spoiler is the opening theme song animation since it shows all nine of them dancing together which is the entire plot of the first season. It’s a cast building so it starts with an incomplete cast and collects them as they go along so it’s a spoiler which girls end up in the group. My next topic will be the art. The art looks very shiny and sort of 3D like which makes it perfect to make accurate anime figures of but it isn’t so 3D that it would give the cringy 3D CGI effect. There was certainly a lot of CGI used in this anime, especially in the dance scenes, but while the dance scenes themselves don’t look the best the rest of it looks very pretty. It’s too detailed to be drawn by hand but they clearly didn’t just leave everything up to the computers. When you ignore the hair and eye colours as well as the hair styles their faces are all very similar, but they do have some things to make them distinct. One important part of the character arcs of two characters who I won’t name for sake of avoiding spoilers is gaining weight and then having to lose that weight, which wouldn’t have been as nice to watch if the character designs weren’t so good. The problem with their weight was the fact that they wouldn’t be as mobile on stage so the fact that they still looked attractive in their overweight forms wasn’t a problem in my eyes. Not completely art related, but they have a lot of great moments they designed like Nico Nico Nii which this whole review is designed to look like, if you hadn’t noticed. The clothing designs were really well done. The skirts were very much on the short side and Sunrise didn’t have the “idol school” excuse like they did with Aikatsu, but this isn’t exactly unrealistic since most Japanese girls do tend to roll their skirts up. The outfits they use for their performances always fit the song and dance well and are always always very pretty. The music videos that serve to be part of the franchise are also very well drawn and designed, especially the later ones. The next section is the sound, which was definitely one of the anime’s strong points. They hired Pile to play Maki for a reason, as she is a professional singer and has barely done any other voice acting. The songs are catchy and the singing is beautiful. In addition to the theme songs and insert songs being good the background music is also great. The voices are all good. They all fully embody their characters from Rin’s nekomimi tomboy persona to Nico’s eccentric fake cutey personality. The dub’s voice actors are not as good to say the least, but if you actually care about watching this anime to get out of it what you should be coming for then I’ll assume you’re not watching the dub. While the voice acting is obviously not masterpiece quality and the music is fairly standard for the idol genre, it is all above average for slice of life anime. I will be talking about the characters next. As an idol anime it naturally has a large cast and since it introduces them one at a time it does give them all appropriate development despite not being super long. This does a lot better of a job characterizing all of its characters than The iDOLM@STER does despite being the same length and having around as big of a cast. All of the characters have distinct and interesting personalities and it doesn’t feel like they’re just exposition dumping their personalities on the viewers. They’re shown in natural situations and are given the time to develop properly. Despite the fact that the anime wasn’t that long, by the end of it you do get to really feel for the characters, provided you have the correct taste to enjoy it. Obviously as idols they aren’t allowed to have hetero love, but we still do see some of the other kind which is beautiful. A lot of the characters have good chemistry together. Even less important characters like Honoka’s younger sister and her friend are good characters despite not getting enough screen time to be as interesting as the main characters. The characters each cater to their own fans which both part of the reason why it’s so popular and also part of the reason why people argue so much about who the best one is. Best girl is subjective in any series, but in this anime they are all equally well developed characters but are made for different people so it’s even more subjective than usual. I’m sure you’ll find at least one character who you really like from the main characters, which is one of the benefits of there being nine of them and them all being very different. As much as everything sort of contributes to enjoyment, it can come from sources other than the previous four so it gets its own category. I got a lot of enjoyment from everything the show had to offer. I watched it on Crunchyroll without a membership so having watch through two minutes of commercials every episode slightly hindered my enjoyment of it in that way, but that isn’t the anime’s fault. Thankfully I saw this anime earlier on and didn’t have the well poisoned for me. A lot of people say bad things about this anime, which is allowed under free speech, but it still is something that can ruin anime for people since you might go in looking for things to hate. I thoroughly enjoyed this anime when I watched it and nothing about it bored me in any way. A lot of my enjoyment of the franchise doesn’t come from the anime itself and instead from the manga, the songs, and the fanart, but those I all enjoyed a lot more because I saw the anime. Fanbases can affect how much I like an anime and although some of the fans of this do go a bit too far overall they’re good people and it feels nice to be part of something bigger. I’m glad at least one anime about cute girls doing cute things has this devoted of a fanbase. In conclusion I thought this was a really good anime. It certainly deserves its popularity and even if the biggest mark of success for the creators was making it making it very accessible for the otaku community to latch onto I’d consider that to be good enough. Objectively or subjectively it’s obviously doing its job well and for that I congratulate it. I wouldn’t consider it to be the best anime I’ve seen or close to it, but it was certainly one of the most enjoyable. Whether if you like music anime, if you’re already into the idol genre, or just like to argue with other people about who the best girl in an anime is this is a great choice.
Re:Stage! Dream Days♪
TV, 2019, 12 eps Me:- Author:8
There’s a lot of idol anime out there and we’d like to think that the cream always rises to the top, so we can just ignore anything that’s been hidden by the users who came before us, but there are always gems like this one which make this assumption untrue.

As far as idol stories go this one isn’t too innovative, and it doesn’t have to be. They do have a goal of saving the idol club at their school, but that’s much lower stakes than Love Live or Zombieland Saga have in what they need to save. At its core the narrative facilitates cast expansion, which gives the structure a similar feel to Love Live.

The art is really cute. The outfits give off a good idol impression without feeling too cut and paste. The girls all look distinct from each other. It’s really cute and colourful. The girls look fairly young compared to the characters in most other late night idol anime. The dance scenes are genuinely well made, which is surprising for an anime this overlooked.

The music is about what you expect from an idol anime, but where this show shines the most is in the characters. In the same way that Love Live introduces its characters individually through a process of trying to recruit new people to join their idol group, this does that as well and the girls they manage to find have a lot of interesting personalities. The slow introduction lends itself to better character development, but the characters were also just written to be more unique than your run of the mill idols.

I personally thought this was a lot of fun to watch, and I think you would too if you’re into idol anime, or even if you’re just curious about the genre. It wouldn’t be a bad one to start with. It plays things pretty by the books, but just does a better job than a lot of other shows do.
TV, 2012, 178 eps Me:- Author:10
Although this anime has a bit of a slow start, the story is one of the better ones that I've seen. Although it is a fairly typical coming-to-fame story, it is well done and unlike most anime that feel unfinished it keeps going until the story reaches a proper end. One very interesting thing is the cast collecting in the anime to the point that the main cast actually switches about halfway through. There are around 100 different characters and they each have interesting personalities, although some of them have unfortunately short screen times.

The art of the main series is well done with the girls being very cute and are all modeled differently, which is important for such a big cast. In the beginning the dance scenes are a bit of a problem since they're bad enough to feel like carcinogens, but that is fixed later in the show. The dance scenes are actually held in virtual reality in the show and when past recordings of dances are shown on screen they have the same animation as when they were first shown so it may be that their own technology is improving making the bad dance scenes slightly more forgivable. The dances at the end have better CGI than pretty much any other anime I've seen.

The music in this show is amazing. There is a total of over 70 songs and although there are both hits and misses the hits are amazing and many are top ten worthy, although partly due to the lack of insert songs in most anime. The voices were all outstanding. Oddly enough, the age gap between the seiyuu for the two protagonists is about the same as for their characters but in the opposite direction. All of the seiyuu do a good job and the ones who speak other languages add a bit of spice to the atmosphere. One character develops an even more cringe worthy version of Engrish, which is interesting to watch.

With such a huge cast it's amazing that they gave every character an interesting and unique personality. There are even some characters who end up in the main cast who you wouldn't expect to because of their eccentric personality traits. The anime is about the characters and they all do a great job at making the anime fun to watch. There are sure to be some characters you won't like, but you can only hope that those characters won't get as much screen time. It's great to see the different characters from different places as they will often use this as a method for world development.

With everything this anime does well it is incredibly enjoyable. As a kids show they try to decrease the character-viewer disconnect so anything the characters view as being good actually is good. There are some foods in the anime that just make you want to try them and some did have a limited availability in real life but none are available outside of Japan. Just like with anything it's more important who you're with than what you're doing so although this is just a really good rendition of a generic story the great characters and great music make it far better.

With every considered this is a great anime that does not disappoint. There are still some questions unanswered, but they did a better job addressing the most probable questions than most anime do. Anime with futuristic settings are bound to have holes in their logic but this one does fit quite neatly. Whether if you like cute girls doing cute things, music anime, or even sports anime depending on your reason for doing so this should be a good anime to watch. As an original anime you don't have to worry about which episodes are filler even though the anime is on the longer side.

Full Moon wo Sagashite

Searching for the Full Moon

Full Moon wo Sagashite
TV, 2002, 52 eps Me:- Author:10
We’re used to idol anime being full of lots of girls, sometimes even to the degree of Idolmaster, Idoly Pride, or Tokyo 7th Sisters where the main cast is so large that the individuals the show is supposed to be about end up getting lost in the crowd, but this anime focuses on a single idol throughout its entire 52 episode run.

The story follows Mitsuki who wants to become an idol in order to make her childhood male friend happy, who she hasn’t been in contact with in years, but having throat cancer makes this impossible without magical intervention. Having only a year to live brings an intense deadline for this dream of hers to be brought to life, which makes it unique compared to other idol anime. Near the end there’s some intense drama that kicks in, which is a highlight of the show and makes it one of the best drama anime out there, in addition to being one of the best idol anime, but the idol stuff at the beginning still makes it hard to recommend it to drama fans who aren’t also into idol

This is an older show, from 2002, but the art style is still really pretty. In her regular form, Mitsuki has a brown twin drill hairstyle which is really cute, and when transformed she’s a bit taller and has long blonde hair, which looks elegant. Her two familiars have animal forms, but they can also look humanoid and still fly around, and their designs are nice as well. The mangaka has a pretty distinct art style and it’s preserved in the anime.

The music in this anime is glorious. There isn’t as much bulk as some other shows, Aikatsu and Pripara definitely have more good songs in total, but the average quality is way higher than any other idol anime. Lilpri also only has a couple songs over its 52 episode run but they’re not nearly as good as the songs in Full Moon. I’d argue that the first 3 main songs (which are also the ending songs) of the series are masterpieces, and the first OP is also pretty good. Mitsuki’s voice is beautiful. The sound quality overall for the series is pretty good. There is a dub, but it only goes up to episode 28 and from the bit I watched of it, it’s awful. The voice acting sounds very flat and unlike most kids shows they also didn’t bother to dub the songs, which could actually be a good thing since they’d probably mess them up if they tried. Definitely stick to the sub, it sounds much better.

Mitsuki is an inspiring character. She has a dream, and even with her strict timeline that can throw other people off of bothering to do anything, she pushes through and tries her hardest to be the best idol she can be. Her two familiars, Takuto and Meroko are also great characters. They’re technically shinigami, but they tag alongside her and help her achieve her goals. Takuto seems to be a fan favourite, and as a pretty boy in a shoujo series that makes sense. Takuto and Meroko also seem like a good couple. Meroko wears a bra and miniskirt, which is a pretty daring outfit for a kids show. Dr. Wakaouji is Mitsuki’s doctor and plays a fairly important role in the anime as a bit of a parental figure for Mitsuki, and he has some interesting character points that aren’t talked about until later in the show. Being such a long show with so few main characters it’s able to develop everyone involved a lot better than most shows.

I found this to be a really enjoyable show to watch. From the characters to the music to the drama, everything it tries to do it pulls off so well. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who’s into idol anime.
Zombieland Saga
TV, 2018, 12 eps Me:- Author:9
This anime seems to be treated as a sort of gateway idol anime since there’s a lot of stuff in it that would appeal to people who aren’t into idol anime, but that also doesn’t mean you should quit the idol genre after watching it. In the same way that Madoka Magica and Gurren Lagann are comfortable for people to watch who aren’t into magical girl or mecha respectively, if you end up enjoying this show for the merits it has then you should check out more of the genre, since while it might be somewhat subversive, it’s still an idol anime at its core.

The plot goes in a similar way to how a lot of idol anime do: using idols to promote something that needs saving, in this case the prefecture of Saga, but the producer doesn’t want to just hold auditions to find idols for a group, instead he finds the corpses of successful idols from the past who passed away prematurely and brings them back to life to form a sort of undead supergroup. The character we follow, Minamoto Sakura, is the only part of the group who wasn't an idol before, but she did want to be one. Using people who are officially dead as your employees comes with a lot of advantages provided you don't get caught. The producer comes up with some interesting ways of getting the group's name into the public consciousness.

I love the art in this show. The girls get makeup to make them look alive, and they're all really pretty, but their zombie versions also look good. It's one of the rare titles where pretty zombies would be an important thing to have. The lair the producer houses the idols in has a nice aesthetic. I like how distinct all of the characters look. It's not the biggest cast for an idol anime, but idol shows in general have a problem with similar looking characters and this one doesn't.

The rap battle in this anime gets memed, but it is a genuinely good scene, and the music in general is pretty good. Their voices are all nice. Tae has a unique way of communicating.

The characters are where this anime really shines. They all come from different times, so even though they're around the same physical age since their bodies were frozen in time, they all had very different upbringings because of the time periods that they were raised in. The types of idols they were is also quite different, which makes things more interesting than following girls who had never been in an idol group prior to the one we see them in.

This anime has things that both newcomers to the genre as well as idol veterans would be able to enjoy about it. For me personally the diverse cast makes it much more interesting to watch than a lot of other idol anime, since idol shows are supposed to be about the girls, but there’s also still enough performances to engage you if that’s what you’re coming for. Overall I think it’s a great show.

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