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.
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.
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.
I've enjoyed VRO, Love Live! School Idol Project, Little Busters!, Psycho-Pass, and Shin Sekai Yori. Of the 4 of those you haven't seen, I think you'd probably like Love Live! the best. There's a lot of good drama and plot twists in it, and a fair bit of yuri subtext and heartwarming friendship dynamics.
I also haven't decided what Spring shows I'll be following.
I see, I still think you're missing the definition of objective. Probabilistic analysis will reach a conclusion, but that "objective conclusion" will address both the likely and unlikely outcomes. For your statements to be objective, they must address other potential arguments and conclusions. You are being subjective, not objective, but open to criticism and alternate interpretations.