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School Idols vs. Pro Idols: The Hints of Sobering Reality in Love Live!

The public face of the idol industry is far different from what lies within. Girls and guys meant to provide images of purity on the surface are often the products of years of intense training, potential exploitation, and an engine of capitalism that tries to extract untold amounts of money from fans in the name of loyalty. It’s hardly unusual that idol anime tend to shy away from that seedy underbelly, which is why it surprises me that the Love Live! anime hints—albeit very subtly—at the harsh difference between fantasy and reality.

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