The main band of Love Live Superstars Liella is getting four new members. This brings their total group number up to nine members. These new idols will be introduced in the anime’s upcoming second season.
It has been announced that those four members are: Kinako Sakurakoji, Mei Yoneme, Shiki Wakana and Natsumi Onitsuka. They are all first years, partially because within Superstars’ plot, the idols attend a newly opened all-girls school, meaning that the school only has first years.
As the original cast moves into their second year in the new season, these newcomers will be enrolling in the school.
The reaction from fans has been mixed. On one hand of course many are happy to see more cute girls be introduced however it also removes one of the more original aspects of Liella as a group: they had only five members.
The previous Love Live groups, µ’s and Aquors also had nine members so many found it refreshing that Liella cut the number down to five and made them all first years. The smaller group led to the five girls feeling closer and brought about a tighter team dynamic.
The reveal that they always planned to return to the nine-girl idol setup has been criticized for feeling redundant, which has been a common complaint with the Love Live franchise. There is even a hashtag trending on Twitter called ‘#LIELLASTAY5’.
honestly crying at how love live can’t keep itself from being original they really were dying to make liella a 9 person group
— cross⁰⁴⁷ (@settledownsoul) April 27, 2022
I’m SO disappointed. Love live superstar finally was realistic with just 5 members. It had so warm atmosphere, you felt like you’re right here with em. Their hair color was realistic
But now… 9 again.. Why the heck? I cannot accept it..
Star symbol also ruined… #LIELLASTAY5 https://t.co/ddJQMxpono pic.twitter.com/HrlZbcQZ6T
— Nasu🤍💙🤍 (@Nasu_Senpaiii) April 28, 2022
#LIELLASTAY5 I think the section2 needs to show the audience how they’ve grown in senior 2, instead of adding 4 new members. Of course there’s nothing wrong with the new members.They’re such cute girls and I like them.But Liella! is a group of 5, they’re shining on their own. 😭
— 饼饼 (@mochitan0610) April 28, 2022
It should be noted that the third Love Live anime, Love Live Nijigasaki School Idol Club, while originally having nine idols is adding three more in its currently airing second season, bringing the total number up to twelve. That being said, Nijigasaki is debatably a spin-off series and its club consists of multiple idol groups as opposed to one single unit.
I suppose we can’t really judge these new characters until we actually meet them in the anime. Perhaps their personalities will shine through and prove the naysayers wrong, but we’ll see.
Love Live Superstars will be airing its second season in July 2022.