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Love Live SIF and its impending demise.

Demise. Perhaps that is a bit of a stretch. But I honestly think the art is steadily going downhill.

Do you remember these cards?

They were from quite some time ago, when SIF was still filled with well thought-out and dynamic poses for cards, even for SRs. Nowadays, these are limited to just URs and some URs even have repeated poses. But worst than that...

The frequency of broken anatomy is increasing!

What do I mean by that? Well, just look at that image of the first Honoka UR ever in the game:
It is definitely one of the most deformed cards in SIF, with a broken neck and waist. Her jaw is sticking out to the side at an unnatural degree for her pose. Her center of gravity (marked out with the black dot at her waist) would cause her to topple over. If you try to hold her pose, you'll probably break a bone or snap some ligaments. How this card is allowed to stay in the game with no edits while the first Rin UR had tights drawn over her idolised form will forever remain a mystery to me.

Anatomy misses continue to be a thing pretty much until 4.0. The majority of the broken anatomy are with Honoka, and involve legs.

SIF had never been able to nail that 'leg behind the body' thing well, as seen with SLG Honoka. The shading makes the limb look flat and hence, horribly distorted. With Momo Honoka, that pose with the leg to the side is just strange. It's not that holding the pose is totally impossible, but extremely tiring and hence illogical if you add in the swing of her hips.
However, illogical swinging of legs to the side is something SIF loves to have. And it would be fine for this Maki, if not that the swung-to-the-side leg appears to be raised. Evidence? Her right knee is a tad lower. But of course, Maki could have been drawn in motion, which she most certainly seems to be, but I don't think someone jumping forth, using her back right leg as a pivot, would have her left leg posed like that in any frame of the motion.
Another case of flat shading as with SLG Honoka. Funny how this looks like the leg of someone darting to Eli's left, with how the shading is making it look like it is from behind Eli; and the art making it look like the owner is facing Eli's left -- in other words, it doesn't look like the leg belongs to Eli.
Since you're a good boy, I'll let you in on a secret. Actually... you see my left leg here? It isn't mine. It's Hanayo's. She was crouching behind me, using me as a cover as she ate rice out of sight. Where's my left leg? That's of course a se-cr-et! 
Poor Kotori, who broke your leg? You don't need to smile if it hurts, you know? (Purple arrow)

But of course, that's not all. You know there are some with center of gravity issues too, and others... I'm wondering how they can stand with those super-slanted legs.
Sometimes, missing body parts also do happen!
Where's my neck you ask? Of course it's there just hidden by the blue ribbon that's blended into the background color. Why isn't some part of it shown in between the knot area? That's because my neck is so slim that one ribbon knot is totally enough to block it out of view! Harasho!
There are also some that are just weird on the whole, but you simply can't answer why they are to you.
And whole anatomy mistakes because those rule!
Hey, I think I just twisted my entire body... and my head is a little detached... Um, but I still need to smile right? I understand.
Minna! Keep SMILING~ Faito dayo~

At first, I couldn't put my finger to what was so weird about this card. But I decided it was due to her center of gravity being just slightly off and how twisted her torso is. And she actually looks quite small, like an elementary school Honoka instead. Does this count as loli-fying?

But that's not all. As School Idols, not only do you need to smile no matter what the circumstances are, and be an expert at dancing and keeping your balance, you also need to know how to make people laugh! Humor is important!

And so here we have Cross-eyed Honoka with a huge thigh gap, trying to get the masses to laugh at with her!
Hello everybody, my name is Honoka Kosaka! Hehehe.
But jokes aside, it is true that the art for SIF has been deteriorating recently. The Idol Outfit set featuring Honoka and Nozomi as URs has a more than usual number of broken anatomy. I have shown Eli and Maki as an example earlier, but if you don't recall, here are them again:

A set that is even more recent is the Birthstone set, where Nozomi and Eli are featured as the URs. Of this set, I found the idolised version of Nozomi to be very strange.
I might be nitpicking but the way Nozomi's left leg is raised and thrust to the front is quite unnatural when matched with her hunched over pose. Casting aside anatomy issues that might have only affected me, the background and colors on Nozomi is really spectacular.

And as we are speaking of URs, the weirdest one that sparked a lot of dissatisfaction is probably Promo UR Nico, with her lack-luster pose and sword strapped to the side. If you don't find this UR weird, you're definitely the minority.
This art started a lot of re-drawers trying to better it and finally one caught my attention:
But enough about them, what about Love Live Sunshine? They are the ones that are The Hot Topic now, and probably coming up with a lot of new cards. How is the art for them?

Well knowing that a whole new team of artists was put together for Love Live while the old team was transferred to work on Sunshine gives us players a great deal of anticipation for the upcoming Aqours cards. They should be near perfect, save one to two strange broken leg cards in each set, like it was before 4.0 came in.

But no. Let me use the Initial SR set of Aqours to illustrate why I think that is so.
Firstly, Chika. There's something weirdly bent about her upper body that I can't discern but she is mostly fine and passable. This is already one of the better ones in the set.
The main problem I have with this set is You-chan. The area of concern is marked out with a red line in the image, and before you think that there is nothing wrong with it, let me remind you that the span of her breast from her shoulder to the peak of her breast takes up one entire jacket/vest length. Any girl will know that that just doesn't add up. And if you compare to Chika's vest, the cloth is definitely aren't small enough for that unless You-chan is carrying around jugs with her as boobs -- and we know she isn't that large. So. No.
And Riko bears the trademark of SIF, the twisted leg to the side thing.
Ruby has a slight broken waist that makes her lower and upper body seem very disengaged. If you don't think so, try to strike her pose, and make sure your body is as twisted to the side as hers is.
Hanamaru is looking great, as expected of a pose that has her standing mostly straight.
And now, cue in another strange one, Yohane. How is she strange? Well, first, look at that clenched right hand of hers. Then at her slight thrusting out of her hip. And lastly her buckled knees, barely seen at the bottom of the illustration.

What do you get? A Yohane frantically trying to look cool and blow you a kiss while attempting desperately to resist the urge to rush off to the washroom to relieve herself. At least, that's the vibe I'm getting with this tense pose.
Her unidolised version is pretty screwed too. Her bent knees, widely spaced feet, and the slight bow... now, where is her centre of gravity? Oh no, Yohane-sama is about to fall!!!
Returning back to the idolised forms, we see that Kanan has a twisted torso. This wouldn't be weird on her own if not for her legs which are 100% facing the front. I think only someone as flexible as Kanan can pull off this pose.
Mari is mostly okay except for the unusual curving of her back which places her head too far behind her chest. And if you tell me that is so because her chest is huge, you need to go back and study human anatomy all over again =n=
Dia's pose is definitely okay for me, as expected of someone standing mostly straight again. Her left leg is bent to the outer side too but this is believable due to her right leg being straight, hence perfectly able to support her body weight.
And here we have You-chan again, looking slightly weird because she suddenly adopted Love Live's SSR art style while the other Sunshine-ers have smoother art and shading styles.

Oh! And behold, SSR Mari's missing lower left leg!
And... that's it!

It has been a long article and thank you for reading to the end. Hope this article got you thinking a little about the current and possibly future art in SIF would be. It is definitely getting from good to bad for me but that doesn't mean I would stop playing the game. Do share if you have any other cards that has this blinding imperfection you just can't un-see!

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