Love Live vs. The iDOLM@STER – Tuesday Tunes
Posted September 7, 2010on:
Do you know what Love Live! is? Yeah, I bet you don’t. It’s a collaboration between Dengeki G’s magazine (Sister Princess), Lantis (a music label that includes Chihara Minori and Kuribayashi Minami), and Sunrise (Gundam) that seems aimed squarely at the iDOLM@STER crowd. The formula seems simple: take some relatively talented voice actresses and have them sing over cutely animated idols, then profit off of all the CDs and games.
At some point, though, the train to ludicrous guaranteed profits got derailed. Do you want to know how many copies the Love Live single “Bokura no Live, Kimira to no Life” sold in its first week after the August 25th release?
434. That is not a typo. Four hundred and thirty-four copies in its first week, good for 167th on the charts. Check after the jump on some of the reasons it failed so spectacularly.
Reason #1: Putting the cart before the horse
Have you heard of Love Live before? Of course you haven’t, because other than a single CD release, they haven’t done anything! While Dengeki G’s gave the world Sister Princess and Futakoi, both of those properties were games and anime before they made serious drives to sell merchandise. Releasing merchandise without any kind of established fan base is like asking people to take a leap of faith that your product won’t suck, and the 50 seconds of trailer that Lantis released before the single didn’t offer any of that. Speaking of which…
Reason #2: Poor marketing
Even without undermining themselves by pre-selling a few thousand copies of the CD at Comiket a few weeks before the single released (I wish I could have been there to see if there were lines or sellouts, the “thousands” is an estimate)… Have you SEEN the trailers? They’re pretty much 15-second snippets of a music video that don’t seem like they connect to each other at all. Compare the last “Bokura no Life, Kimi to no Live” trailer to the latest iDOLM@STER promo and see what the difference is:
One of the above trailers promises actual content, and a super-catchy tune. The other… plays you the bridge of a song you don’t care about. And on top of that…
Reason #3: It’s ugly
Compare that cheap, cut-and-pasted animation to the iM@S 2trailer, which shows off the animation engine. Compare the character designs. It’s like night and day, where iM@S looks every inch like a product that has been in the works for years, while Love Live! looks like it was crapped out as a student project.
The few Love Live! materials that have been released barely resemble each other, either – the material ranges from acceptable to arguably ugly, and that adds to the general feeling that the whole thing is half-assed:
End result? I think I’m going to stick to iDOLM@STER. They’ve had 5 years to refine the product, and dammit, I have “The World is All One!” stuck in my head again.