Love Live! is a Japanese multimedia franchise created in collaboration between ASCII Media Works publisher Dengeki G’s Magazine, Lantis music label, and Sunrise animation studio. The project revolves around various groups of high school girlfriends who decide to become school idols. LoveLive! was announced in the July 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s and has spawned two manga series adaptations, a light novel cycle, several anime television series and feature films, and multiple CD releases since launching in August of the same year.
While we’re waiting for more episodes and seasons of Love Live! anime project, we have decided to bring you a full and detailed watch order of the series so you know your way around it.
Love Live! watch order by release date
In this section, we are going to bring you an overview of Love Live! works in the proper release order:
- Love Live! School Idol Project (anime, 2013–2014)
- Love Live! The School Idol Movie (movie, 2015)
- Love Live! Sunshine!! (anime, 2016–2017)
- Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (movie, 2019)
- Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (anime, 2020–2022)
- Love Live! Superstar!! (anime, 2021–present)
- Nijiyon Animation (anime, 2023–present)
- Genjitsu no Yohane: Sunshine in the Mirror (anime, 2023–present)
In the next part of this article, we are going to tell you how you should watch the series in chronological order.
How many Love Live! seasons and episodes are there?
As you can see, the overall structure of Love Live! series is not that simple. Namely, there are six anime series in total, two of which are yet to air, and one of which is still ongoing; the only OVA so far has been released as part of the first anime project. On top of that, there are two feature-length anime movies that form part of the whole series. So, in total, as of now, there are three completed anime projects with a total of 78 episodes and two movies, but that number is certainly going to increase in the future.
In what order should you watch Love Live!?
Fans of Love Live! will need to start with the first season of the anime, but they will then have to follow the release order of all the works in order to normally follow the evolution of the plot. It’s a lot of material, we know, but the best way to approach it is to simply follow the release order, as it coincides with the evolution of the plot.
Love Live! watch order by release date:
Love Live! School Idol Project (2 seasons, 26 episodes)
High school student Honoka Kōsaka loves her school and is saddened when it is about to close because there are not enough new applicants. While attending her little sister’s school, she meets her idol school band, A-Rise, which is popular at school and beyond. Honoka then founds her own idol group μ’s with her friends Umi Sonoda and Kotori Minami to make her school better known and to attract new applicants. They succeed and soon they take part in the national competition Love Live for school bands.
Love Live! The School Idol Movie (movie, 99 minutes)
In a scenario from the second year, Kotori encourages Honoka as she attempts to jump across a puddle left over from the rain while Umi watches from behind a tree. Kotori keeps telling her to give up and go home, but she manages to get past him in the end. Following the events of the second season, the Love Live! organizers announce their intention to host the third competition, with the expectation that it will this time take place in Tokyo Dome. This is where the story takes place.
But they require more publicity if they are to succeed in having a sold-out show. They have made the decision to send the school heroes to the United States where a television agency has offered to produce a cover for them in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. In order to increase support for Love Live! while they are still the school’s favorite band through the end of the month, they agreed to perform even though they had already made up their minds to separate ways. The insert song “Hello, Hoshi o Kazoete” plays at the end of the montage as the group continues to enjoy themselves as tourists in New York City while they get ready for the show and receive their coaching.
Honoka, however, separates from the group at one of these moments. While stranded in a new location, she comes across a lonely Japanese street singer and is captivated by her beautiful voice as she sings “As Time Goes By.” On the walk back to the motel, Honoka asks about her past and learns that they are the same. With her closest pals, the singer used to perform music together, but after multiple relationships and breakups, she was left living alone in New York.
Honoka was securely driven back to her hotel by the singer, but by the time Honoka turned to present the singer to the other group members, the singer had already vanished. The most important query is, “For what purpose are you singing? ” As she stood holding the singer’s microphone setup, Honoka still had a question from their chat lingering in her mind. As the movie’s opening performance, they perform “Angelic Angel” at Times Square and Central Park in New York.
After returning to Japan, μ’s incredibly well-known, and Akihabara was entirely covered in their merchandise and advertisements. Since the New York video was aired in Japan and they are now famous, the girls must sneak out when “Heartbeat,” the insert song, is playing. The fans’ assurances that they want them to stay together forever cause the girls to start having second thoughts about their choice to break up. They are aware that they have a choice and must answer their fans.
Tsubasa calls Honoka when she’s out for a walk with A-Rise to explore the concept of advancing her career the same way they did and to introduce her to her management firm while Honoka stays up at night debating her decision. When Honoka hears someone singing during a raging storm, she immediately recognizes the singer she had previously encountered since she is in a difficult situation. Honoka insists she needs to thank him as he walks her home, but when she gets there, she stops and says it’s sufficient.
The singer then ponders whether Honoka has already discovered the solution to her riddle. Honoka closes her eyes as the two are led to a hill covered with flowers that overlooks a sizable lake. The singer then instructs Honoka to jump across the lake while announcing her unceasing ability to soar. Honoka runs and jumps down the hill, expressing her admiration for the presence of her school’s idols once more. Following their discussion, Eli likewise gives Honoka a note to let her know that she has decided to halt the events at the behest of the third year.
The following morning, when Honoka awakens, she goes back to the rooftop where everyone has made the same choice. Honoka makes her final suggestion there, a concert to promote all the school idols, as her parting gift to the business. She enrolls at UTX High School, where Tsubasa hears her pitch and embraces it right away. Honoka decided that in order for her feelings to be communicated to the school idols, she would need to meet them in person even though she had sent emails to all of them throughout the nation.
After this, the song “Future Style” is played. They travel across the nation in trios to persuade school idols to support their cause using Maki’s money for the train trip. At the conclusion, a sizable throng congregates in Akiba and starts getting ready for the school idol festival to take place. While Maki and Tsubasa work on the song, Kotori and Anju collaborate on the clothes. To everyone’s dismay, Honoka breaks the news of’s disbandment on the final night before the event.
When the festival day finally comes, everyone heads for Akiba at once. Honoka is diverted by a lone petal that is drifting, evoking the flowers on the hill in the illusory world when Eli decides to start a race there and begins sprinting. She starts to run while performing spins and pirouettes along the route, feeling as though she can now soar whenever she wants without carrying any weight. All of the school idols are present and dressed in attire that is identical to her own as she arrives at the location, greeting all of the μ’s.
The “Sunny Day Song,” the song for all school idols, kicks off the festival, and the vast audience thins out to allow place for them to enter the stage. Yukiho and Alisa, third-year students at Otonokizaka High School, carry out the last desires of the deceased student and discuss their plans for the Idol Research Club at the beginning of the new academic year.
The two give the freshman class a welcome address during which they discuss how they saved the school and their final performance. A backstage memory of just before his final performance as an idol follows the scene change. “Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari” is performed in Tokyo Dome to herald the start of the μ’s last performance.
Love Live! Sunshine!! (2 seasons, 26 episodes)
The premise remains the same compared to its predecessor at Love Live! sunshine!! largely the same: Nine high school students form an idol group to increase the attractiveness of their school and thus prevent a planned merger with another school. The action takes place in Uchiura near Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture: The local Uranohoshi girls’ academy is threatened with closure due to a lack of student registrations and a merger with a school in Numazu that has suffered the same fate.
Inspired by the idol group μ’s, Chika Takami, a rather inconspicuous student at the girls’ academy, decides to find an idol group with her friends in order to be able to avert the fate of her school. Their group is called Aqours and they decide on Love Live! Participate in the School Idol Contest, which has experienced a much greater level of competition since μ’s victory.
Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (movie, 100 minutes)
In the movie, Kanan and Dia disappear during their trip to Italy, where they planned on visiting Mari. Seeing how this causes substantial problems for the group, the rest of Aquors also go to Belpaese in Italy to search for Kanan and Dia there, which is where they experience an adventure filled with music and humor.
Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (2 seasons, 26 episodes)
The action takes place at the fictional Nijigasaki High School, located on the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. Unlike the projects in Love Live! the main series, the characters are not trying to save their school from being closed but to save the school’s internal idol club from being broken up.
Love Live! Superstar!! (2 seasons, ongoing)
Yuigaoka Girls’ High School is a recently opened school located in the Omotesando, Harajuku, and Aoyama districts of Tokyo. With absolutely no major history, no older students, and no reputation at this school, a group of five freshmen – all of whom have an important encounter with idols – decide to help spread the word about the school.