SF 4

The key difference between being an idol singer and a pop diva is warmth. Even if you’ve got perfect pitch and unshakable rhythm, if you want to succeed as an idol, you still need a heart-melting smile. Really, as long as you’ve got the smile, idol fans will even cut you a lot of slack on not having the other two.

So it’s a little unusual to gaze upon this trio of anime idols and feel a chill run down your spine, and not just because they’re made of snow.

We’re just about a week away from the opening of the Sapporo Snow Festival. Just like it has since 1950, this year’s event, set to start February 5, shows off amazing sculptures made out of snow and ice. Some artists choose to recreate famous works of architecture, while others pick a pop culture icon as a muse for their extra-large snowmen.

▼ Snow Vader, seen behind the Caterpillar backhoe, seems to be coming along nicely.

SF 1

This being Japan, you’d be right in predicting at least one team of sculptors was inspired by their favorite anime characters. To that end, three of the characters from smash hit high school idol series Love Live! Will be making a wintry appearance at the Sapporo Snow Festival, with an exhibit featuring animated vocalists Umi, Honoka, and Kotori.

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But while the three idols have the warm, inviting gazes you’d expect in their anime forms, their oversized eyes don’t have the same inviting effect when rendered in snow, at least for the time being.

Twitter user Ho-san was passing through the venue on January 25 when he came across the sculpture, and while it’s still an impressive feat of artistry and engineering, compared to their anime counterparts, the eyes seem to have lost something.

▼ Like their souls

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The photo freaked out more than a few online commenters, with some finding them laughably creepy and at least one wondering what’s up with making the perky and fluffy Love Live! look more like a horror franchise. Ho-san thinks that this alternate angle may be less unnerving, and while we agree, we’d add the qualifier “barely.”

Thankfully, there’s still more than a week until the Sapporo Snow Festival starts and the snow idols make their official debut. As Ho-san points out, this is a work-in-progress, and the artists should be able to use the time they have left to make the idols’ faces a little more appealing. In the meantime, though, we wouldn’t blame you if you averted your eyes when you walked by the sculpture, or just avoided it altogether if it’s past sundown.

Related: Sapporo Snow Festival
Source: Jin
Top image: Twitter
Insert images: Sapporo Snow Festival, Wikia (1, 2, 3) (edited by RocketNews24), Twitter (edited by RocketNews24)