The Love Live! franchise seems to be pushing the production of their upcoming projects into overdrive as another Love Live! anime is in production. Titled Hello!!! Love Live!, this anime appears to be the third generation of the school idols, meaning the upcoming anime about the Nijigasaki idols would be relegated to more of a side project. Note the title, with the same naming convention of adding extra exclamation points to the title (the 1st generation being Love Live! and 2nd generation Love Live! Sunshine!!) and the promotional image released so far having an art style closer to the prior two generation’s shows. The promo image features a busy roadway with one prominent red-haired girl in the middle, presumed to be the new leader of the next generation of school idols. I assume the rest of the idol group is hidden among the other people in the image.
As the Love Live! franchise has had the theme of ordinary girls becoming extraordinary idols, the production team is asking for assistance from both prospective new idols and the viewing audience. According to the Love Live! Wikia’s Twitter account, starting from March 16th fans can send in suggestions of audition songs as well as suggestions for the name of the new school that the new anime will take place in. Audition song votes and name suggestions can be submitted via this link.
The application and screening of candidates who wish to become the voice actresses/real-life counterparts for Hello!!! Love Live! idols will run from March 12th to the 31st. The ones who pass the initial application phase will then go through a secondary screening before being sent to a training camp at the beginning of May. It is here where they will be molded musically and physically for the idol role they will play for years to come, before the final screening on May 24th. It seems likely the reveal of the characters and the girls playing them will be revealed around the end of May to the beginning of June. This process is what the prior Sunshine!! actresses also went through and this process brings out the authenticity of the acting by having them live through a similar type of struggle that their animated counterparts face.
According to Dengeki magazine, the new school in Hello!!! Love Live! that is awaiting fan name suggestions has a very different backstory from prior schools. This school was formerly shut-down but was revived through the efforts of a celebrity. The new anime will take place in the first year of the school’s re-installation, which means every student enrolled will be a first year. This is a big change from every other generation, including the Nijigasaki girls, as before the formula was to have three sets of first, second, and third-year idols.
This is not the first time that fan interactions have decided the course of the franchise. The idol subunits for Love Live! Sunshine!! and Nijigasaki were voted in by fans. Since the beginning of the franchise, fans voted before the release of every new single. Also in regards to the Nijigasaki anime, the official name of the self-insert character from the School Idol ALL STARS mobile game (known to fans as Anata-chan) is being voted on by fans as the anime will make her into an actual character.
The staying power of Love Live! has been consistently strong, even going into their third generation. No official dates have been announced for either of the new anime coming out but it will be worth keeping an eye out as updates come through for the rest of 2020.