THE iDOLM@STER may have brought the idol vibes into anime but there were still gaps left to fill, some aspects to master (what a pun!).
Anime fans were starting to accept that their voice actors (VA) do pretty much everything a non anime related idol could. Though they were only starting to, not entirely.
What THE iDOLM@STER couldn’t properly do was to stay away from the genre danger zone while following and progressing on the trend (seiyuu can sing well). Personally I enjoyed the show but at the same time I am willing to bet that most people quickly look away from the anime because it involves a bunch of girls under a single man’s view, in other words a harem. I know that it is not a legitimate harem but good luck with trying to convince meatheads out there, people have different tastes after all.
Harem was still niche at the time despite being an unavoidable topic by the likes of Nisekoi (first season) and OreImo. These two took full advantage of the growing trend while remaining fun to watch. Both shows also have two things in common; openings done by ClariS and endings done by the voice actors.
Came in a storm
Just mix seiyu(u) and music together in Google (image) search. You’re guaranteed to come across an anime that has been dominating the music genre since its existence, still is and probably will be in the next god know how many more years.
The closest things to that would be these babes:
Let’s also not forget the relevancy here. Love Live! has its entire discography done by the voice actors and the babes minus Hanazawa-san were voice actors before turning into (singer) idols. Kana Hanazawa actually had it different as she was first a junior idol turned seiyuu then singer.
Love Live! carried on the trend better than ever!
You’d be immediately alerted that the anime was an attempt to recreate K-On! but in a much larger scale while keeping up with the trend; I’d like to remind you that at this point VA’s are practically accepted as idols and that was what Love Live! had to bring to the screen.
In the world of entertainment, what’s better than music on its own?
Of course, a music video!
And boy did Love Live! bring in a lot of those.
The minor problems it did NOT manage to fix (nothing is perfect!)
• In terms of the medium that was used to bring across the idea; anime.
The idol genre usually strayed too far away from the main plot. Often times they became too focused on being cute, and adorable, much like K-On! did, and steered away from the story as a whole, and for many that was a complete turnoff. This overall made it a litter harder for many to ‘get into’.
If you’re going to watch Love Live! to not care about VA’s singing then don’t worry, the second season dispelled almost all of the plot issues first seasons have made. Also, there are actually music anime out there with superior plot and story. They are not hard to find at all.
• In terms of the idea; songs sung by VA’s.
Like majority of music anime out there, Love Live! just happened to be a cliché.
Come on, pop genre got that name because it was popular! With that being said, even today still a large population of the world finds J-Pop weird.
In the world of art there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’. There are lesser known anime cooperating the idea of seiyuu and music together, just in different genre. Try having a look at this and this if you’re absolutely not into pop.
Fate of the first to do anything
Yes, Love Live! was indeed the big storm. I also mentioned that it was a cliché! I guess this is the cue for tiny credits where they are due.
And no, it’s not to THE iDOLM@STER.
It wasn’t unusual for Pop Idol groups to try something else other than performing on stage, after all whatever they do people seemed to only witness a glow on them, like angels they were. Some of the most occurring examples would include doing radio and TV (talk)shows or….
How about anime?! Genius!
Came the anime before Love Live! Based on something that really exists on Earth…
The name couldn’t be any more obvious as it was based on the idol group AKB48.
Right, I didn’t really just slap an anime in there for you to read!
The result of this anime wasn’t the greatest. It was definitely able to carry on within the trend since it lacked the harem tags. Musically speaking they did extremely well, given that they were AKB48 (duh!). I loved their music more than the ones in Love Live!. It however didn’t do anything to improve anime side of the product. Like honestly, having dark tone and over the top first episode just didn’t work out I guess. The theme and setting of the anime did nothing to help either. Might have as well called this Macross0048.
I’m just going to drop in an idea right here. While there are exceptions, for most of the time if people don’t watch the anime then they won’t know about music being sung by the VA. If people don’t know about VA’s being able to sing decent songs then there would not have been a trend. Overall seiyuu and music together wouldn’t have been popular then.
I’m also going to drop in a philosophy here too just to make sure the sub-header makes sense: the first to do anything isn’t usually the one with the credits, it’s the first to do it properly that takes all the bread (this is highly relatable to scientific researches).
This idea/perception is not to be confused with Music Anime!
There, I’ve said it. In the previous two parts and this one included, I’ve been letting you in on the seiyuu x music business with anime only being a medium (the ladder to get there) and a damn important one at that. This is also a good opportunity for me to have you know that there is more to music than just pop and rock. In fact, the most decent music anime out there are mostly filled with classical genres, a bunch of violins and pianos! If anything, this very genre (without seiyuu in the picture at all) is also growing in popularity.
Here are some of the pieces that I like and hopefully you do too!
First up, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April).
Second in line, Piano no Mori.
Last but not least, Hibike! Euphonium.
This leaves the last part for me to write about what is currently happening in the anime seiyuu music industry and probably the future of it. Will there be the end of ‘independent anisong artists’ like ClariS and LiSA?
Looks like I made a big deal out of this. Anyway the question still stands!
To be continued!