Love Live! Best Songs

Music has always been a huge part of anime, from the rousing opening numbers that kick off shonen action to the melancholy closers that pull the curtains on seinen heartbreak. In some anime it’s part of the backdrop, while in others it’s brought to the forefront, taking a prominent player in the story and characters’ lives.

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Love Live! School Idol Project is one of the most popular music anime around, and it’s easy to see why. The sugary J-Pop music of girl group u’s (pronounced “Muse”), quickly won the series a legion of fans. Even those who have never seen an episode can enjoy a taste of the franchise’s excellent music, however. Here are just a few Love Live! songs that any anime fan owes it to themselves to hear.


7 butterfly

Kanata Konoe’s “Butterfly” is sweet and sentimental, touching on love, personal potential, and so much more. It doesn’t have the raucous energy of some other songs in Love Live! but it more than makes up for this with the depth of feeling it brings. Energetic pop songs are wonderful, but sometimes they feel superficial. “Butterfly” feels like it touches on something genuine. This song shows exactly why many fans rank Love Live! amongst the best music anime.

Keeping the focus on Kanata’s vocals rather than having them as part of a chorus is also an excellent choice, as it lets the quality of her voice shine through. The music is light and enjoyable, and rather than keeping more-or-less the same feeling throughout, it switches from more delicate, contemplative tones to more upbeat and active ones, keeping listeners engaged.

6 Donna Toki Mo Zutto

“Donna Toki mo Zutto” by u’s is the ending song for Love Live! School Idol Project season 2, so there’s plenty of pressure on it to convey a variety of complicated emotions without feeling discombobulated or broken. It pulls this off with considerable style.

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No, “Donna Toki mo Zutto” isn’t one of Love Live!’s most complicated songs, either in vocal composition or musical arrangement, but it doesn’t need to be. It keeps things clean and simple for the most part, letting fans of the series come down from the highs and lows of the season without being overwhelmed by too many musical distractions. Even when one listens to the song apart from the anime, it’s easy to get swept away.

5 Nijiro Passions!

Nijigasaki High School Idol Club’s “Nijiro Passions” feels like an anthem for new beginners. Specifically, it feels like the theme song for all the potential that comes with being young and having a whole world of possibilities ahead of oneself. In a way, that’s exactly what it is since this is a school anime after all.

The characters of Love Live! are still discovering their own identities and learning to understand their place in the world, and as hard and messy a process as that can be, it’s also an invigorating one because it feels like there are no limits for where the characters might go. A number of Love Live! songs touch on this feeling, but “Nijiro Passions!” does better than almost any at really capturing it and conveying it to viewers.

4 Yume De Yozora O Terashitai

“Yume de Yozora o Terashitai” feels is the perfect compliment to a song like “Nijiro Passions!” While the latter song is all about the possibility of youth and what’s to come, the former is nostalgic, looking back on what has already occurred.

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It’s a song about friendships, choices, and making mistakes. While the verses capture this introspective feeling to a degree, the chorus is where the song really shines, tying the girls’ voices and instruments together. Love Lives extensive catalog addresses pretty much everything at one point or another, so listeners get the chance to experience thoughts and moods from a variety of angles. “Yume de Yozora o Terashitai” ranks amongst their best for this particular mood.

3 Bokutachi Wa Hitotsu No Hikari

“Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari” is performed by u’s and features in school idol movie, so the expectation for greatness is high. This song is superb at passing the torch between singers, letting an individual vocalist shine before bringing in the rest of the group. It may not be the greatest anime of all time, but Love Live! has an undeniable charm because of songs like this one.

One of the biggest factors that separate a great idol group from a merely good one is its ability to give its members equal opportunities to shine without the entire production feeling like five soloists fighting over a microphone. That’s an area in which Love Live! has always excelled. “Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari” is a fabulous demonstration of the strengths of each of its vocalists, but it nevertheless feels cohesive, exciting, and optimistic, like the best of the group’s work.

2 Dream With You

“Dream with You” by Ayumu Uehara appeared in the first episode of the first season, setting the tone for everything that came after. The first few songs in any musical anime have tremendous pressure on them not to disappoint, because a lackluster opening can be enough to kill a musical anime before it even gets underway.

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The song didn’t disappoint. in fact, it became a staple in many fans’ playlists thanks to the clarity and warmth that come through in the vocals. It’s a song about being scared of one’s own feelings, of wanting to take a leap of faith but being scared to, of believing in a better future for oneself despite not having evidence for it yet. With optimism shining through even in some of its more unsure lyrics, “Dream with You” successfully set the tone of the show.

1 Snow Halation

“Snow Halation” may not be the greatest title in Love Live!’s discography, but it should be counted amongst their most enjoyable songs. This u’s song appears in season 2 of Love Live! school idol project, and just like the series itself, it builds from humble beginnings into something far more epic and special than listeners and viewers could have predicted.

“Snow Halation” is the kind of anime song that one puts at the top of their Inspiration playlist when they just need something to give them the little bit of extra motivation needed to push through something difficult. Simultaneously sweet and powerful, “Snow halation” shouldn’t be missed by any fan.

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