Haha. Basically, in my experience for shows which end up having a number of seasons or large casts (i.e. opportunities to put out character songs), certain types of shows end up amassing a fairly large collection of songs such as OPs/EDs or character songs. After building up such a music repertoire, it probably then makes a lot of sense to ask the seiyuus or performers to hold a live concert or music event, in order to promote the property or bring in some extra revenue. In shows in which the music/seiyuus are particularly prominent, these concerts seem to even be used as incentives to promote BD sales, by providing things like early access vouchers for ticket pre-orders (very common) or recorded footage of past concerts (as I believe is being done with some of Love Live's BD volumes).
The particular Saki event I'm aware of was held sometime last year I think called Saki Fes, a torrent recording of which is still floating about online (I actually happen to be one of the only two seeds remaining for it actually , though that's mainly because I haven't found the time to sit down and watch through the whole thing yet). I believe that there are also youtube rips of a few parts of it which have been posted online; lemme look up some links:
Spoiler for space:
If you'd be interested in the whole thing, I can pass the torrent link over to you via PM (I don't recall exactly, but I'm not sure Animesuki allows freely linking to other torrent sites). I will note that it's altogether about 3 hours and 45 minutes of unsubbed footage though (split over 4 parts), and a pretty large file (BD quality, haha).
Thanks a lot for addressing my LL! queries on the the series thread itself. It was very informative. But the reason I'm VMing you about it here is that one of my main takeaways from your reply was honestly... "What the heck does mahjong have to do with pop idols?"
In other words... Did the Saki franchise actually put on a music performance using its seiyu? A Miyanaga sisters duet, perhaps? That I would have to see!
With that in mind, if you're aware of anything like that, and certainly any videos featuring it, please tell me, lol.
Ah, on the note of Honoka x Kotori, or the three second years in general -- actually perhaps I should have said that I felt the anime did a very good job of developing the relationships between all three of the characters involved, so that I am rather attached to them as a trio and not certain about pairing any two of them at the exclusion of the other (alternatively, that I'd enjoy any combination of them but am unlikely to strongly invest in a specific pair). I actually felt that S1 made just a strong a statement for Umi x Kotori as Honoka x Kotori, while Umi x Honoka is probably the most visible relationship of the trio over both seasons.
Haha, actually with that said, in fact I'm aware of at least one piece of fanart portraying Umi x Kotori x Honoka as a yuri threesome. I have to admit that the idea is not unappealing at all; the only question is if it could be developed in a proper/non-18+ story.
With regards to NicoMaki, actually I do think that, even as portrayed in the anime, it has the potential to be one of the most interesting yuri pairings: considering their numerous contrasts, third-year/first-year gap, and indeed their strong personalities. I also think the fact that they don't have a pre-established aspect to them like childhood friendship or having a history of being classmates/clubmates together is fairly compelling; that's one of the factors behind my strong attraction to BuCap from Saki or Yayoi x Reika from Smile Precure (the characters in my avatar), for example. The only issue is that unlike BuCap, NicoMaki don't really have a strongly established in-story reason for why they'd be personally interested in each other (in a positive manner, anyway -- considering Nico's oft-displayed jealousy towards Maki's various ojou-sama aspects, and the occasional friction caused by Nico's self-centered personality). Ep. 2 of S2 provided a very decent start in that regard, but without any followup development I would say their relationship is considerably subtle.
Haha, and anyway, as for the future of the franchise: I would certainly love it if this season doesn't become my last experience with the series. Something like a followup movie would absolutely be great.
You did a very nice job summing up a lot of its strengths. I agree with you on its high quality and its consistent emotional appeal.
My own take on Love Live! is pretty close to your own.
Spoiler for Love Live discussion, to save space, and slight spoilers:
On the topic of the Kotori drama - I think an added factor here, for those of us who commented on it as it was airing, is that it felt like a bit of a weak or at least a "beside the point" way to end the show. I mean, Love Live Season 1's plot is primarily about three things (creation of Muse, trying to save the school, and trying to get into Love Live!), and Kotori's drama fully takes off after all of those things have been resolved one way or another. And back when it was being watched as aired, people didn't know if there would be a Season 2.
Now, since there is a Season 2, the Kotori drama is not really much of an issue any more since it didn't end the entire show. Plus, I have to admit that the Kotori drama did provide some nice yuri hints for a yuri pairing that I'm a little surprised you never mentioned - HonokaXKotori.
This is all similar to my take on the ending of the Madoka: Rebellion movie - As a final end, I don't like it. As a steeping stone to a different final ending, though, I'd probably be fine with it.
As for your take on the yuri in the show - The yuri subtext in the show is admittedly light, and it did some "teasing in all directions" in the first season, but I think things firmed up a bit in Season 2, where a few specific pairings really started to stand out. With those pairings, it's not hard to imagine a romance gradually happening behind the scenes, as it were. I also have to admit it makes me chuckle a bit that your take on MakiNico is pretty similar to my take on KyouSaya in Madoka Magica. Since it is similar to that, I can definitely get your point.
However, MakiNico doesn't really compete with any LL! pairing I'm a big fan of, and they have given it some nice moments in Season 2, so I'm cool with it. Perhaps like yourself, I'm not sure why Maki and Nico were thrown together by the fandom. Perhaps it was just them being perceived as the two most popular "unattached" girls. That, plus the pairing is probably a big treat for tsundere fans because both of them are a bit tsundere.
Anyway, I look forward to your final review of Love Live! once the final episode airs. Here's hoping we get a movie for it, as some speculation suggests.
Got done marathoning Love Live up to the current episode. Glad I managed to get in before the epilogue, haha. Although I guess I'm okay with coming to the series too late to have really joined in on the episodic discussion: a lot of the negative criticism about stuff like "drama", or waifuing of individual characters isn't really my thing.
First thing I have to say about Love Live is that I'm really impressed with its quality -- both in writing, music/voice-acting and performance animation/choreography -- so that I can easily see why the series is so popular. The second season in particular has just been remarkably solid since about episode 5, which has made for a really consistently excellent watching experience. I think my favourite episodes (so far) would probably be 5, 8, and 9, with 10 and 12 also being very notable.
I think I'd also note that, while my personal sensitivities are towards getting engaged in emotionally positive moments (and it's actually pretty easy to get me to tear up doing so), Love Live as a whole has been very successful and frequent in engaging me on that level so that I also had a very good time almost from the start with season 1. In particular I didn't have the trouble with the Kotori drama that some of the regular watchers here seemed to have, although I guess part of that might also have been the benefit of marathoning the series.
Well, I'll also admit that one of my major motives in picking this up was to serve as a stepping stone to a better appreciation of the yuri content produced for this series. On that level I'm somewhat conflicted. Although I feel that the anime serves as a strong basis for a certain number of pairings on its own, I'm also a bit conscious of pairings based on earlier continuities/the original source material which doesn't necessarily match up. Of the yuri pairings I strongly see in the anime, HanaRin and NozoEri top off the list, but I'm also fairly interested in seeing how the fanbase ran with and envisioned NicoMaki (I'd say the NicoMaki elements in the anime provide a great supplement, but not necessarily basis, for a romantic relationship). That leaves the 2nd year trio, which I have no strong feelings on. The uncertainty towards prior sources I mentioned concerns the existence of Eri x Umi, which I also see hints of within the anime but am uncertain could really compete with NozoEri.
In any case, a fair degree of content exploration now promisingly awaits. I'm also pretty hyped/invested in how the anime wraps up next Monday. Although I will say that I'm fairly glad/accepting of the characters' attachment to mu's as a nine-member unit, I'm also pretty curious about the futures of Yukiho and Arisa. Looking forward to it.
Haha, actually, I still don't know the details myself. I just saw a couple threads with the subject in the topic title a while back on 4chan's /a/ forum, although it seems like some other posters here are informed as well. For now, I won't be actively searching out the spoilers, although I don't know how long that can last. Now that I've heard (as maximilianjenus said) that it was Gen/Gekidan Inu Curry themselves who gave out the spoilers, I might consider hearing them after all.
Madoka's third movie plot has been spoiled? I have to admit I'm tempted to hear them.
Knowing how much I like to talk about my favorite anime shows, and knowing how unwilling I'm likely to be to watch a cam-rip, I'll almost certainly be spoiled on them before I watch the movie anyway. So... if you yourself have already been spoiled on the plot, feel free to share the key points of them with me over PMs. If you don't mind.
I know you haven't been following it in a long time, but I thought you might be interested in knowing that I finally finished off all the Mami Lives! routes (one for Sayaka, one for Homura, various "Madoka loses out" and/or bad ends, and two for Mami).
Here are the things I like about Love Live! vis a vis other idol-themed works:
The cast are all "normal" high school girls. And the predominance of the high school setting (as opposed to some sort of idol talent agency) lends itself to more in the way of character distinctiveness, I find. With IdolMaster, I felt that the girls blurred/overlapped a bit too much because all of them already started out as idols (from Episode 1), and for all of them it was about finding a quirky personality characteristic that they could play for appeal. In Love Live!, the girls all have very distinct personalities that go well beyond trying to be an appealing idol. They're not defined by what they bring on-stage.
Love Live! actually makes me think of a really good superhero origin story, just replace "super-hero" with "school idol". The yuri isn't too much of a problem because the lack of business side means that there's very minimal internal competitiveness between the girls. For all of the girls, the team comes first because they have a team-goal (I'd say more, but it might spoil things).
Love Live! is like VRO, though, in that it teases yuri pairings in every direction rather than picking particular pairs and sticking to them (like Saki, say).
Anyway, I've really loved the show, and so I do recommend it to you. But be prepared - the first episode is probably the weakest. I know somebody who now loves the show as much as I did, but almost dropped it after the first episode, lol.
Haha, yeah, Love Live! has caught my eye a couple times. I usually tend to keep somewhat of an eye on how anime sales go for each season, and Love Live! seems by far and away one of the most successful shows of this season. Of course, the predominantly female cast/yuri subtext would be an attraction too.
For whatever reason, up to now I haven't really done too much exploration of idol-themed anime. I did pick up and continue AKB0048, but that was more due to the absurdity/novelty factor of the proposed setting (government-banned entertainment, sort of like Girls and Panzer (in terms of craziness) lol). Not only did I miss out on Love Live!, but I never got into IdolMaster too.
What's your take on the idol-themed aspect of the Love Live! series? And I guess I'm kind of curious about the yuri subtext too. Generally I've carried a bit of a feeling that those aspects would go against each other. Still though, Love Live! does seem like it's been a bit of a hit this season, so I might check it out down the line (particularly if they happen to get a second season).