I’m pretty sure it’s next to impossible to follow up last week’s ep with something better, so instead of even trying, this week’s Love Live was a much more calm episode dealing with the results of all the girls hard work.
Plus, Maki looked absolutely beautiful~!
Here’s my review!
It’s the last day of the year now, December 31st, and Honoka is chilling at home with her sister, watching TV. I love how much Honoka spends her time sleeping, it’s awesome how she can just find a nice place and start sleeping so easily like that. Umi and Kotori stop by her place to pick her up so they can all head off to the shrine to start off the New Year there. Sadly though, while Honoka is up getting dressed to leave, Kotori happens to check her cell phone and realizes that the New Year has already started! Ah man, well I guess you’ll have another chance next year.
On their way to the shrine, they run into Rin and Hanayo, who are full of energy and excited for the New Year. I also like how Rin was wearing a skirt and looking more feminine; I’m sure we all remember that heartfelt episode 5 all about her and how she was able to overcome her demons from the past to start anew. Honestly had they not have had that ep, I’m not sure I’d love Rin as much as I do now. Back to the ep now though; Maki also tagged along with Rin and Hanayo, but she’s too embarrassed about showing the other what she’s wearing. Coming out from her hiding place, Maki sends me head over heels once again as she looks so beautiful wearing a kimono (I’m guessing that’s what it was, correct me if I’m wrong).
But the fun conversation quickly turns more serious as the girls run into A-RISE, also at the shrine. Oh boy. Side note: I really loved those jackets that Erena and Anju were wearing, they looked very nice. Not many words are exchanged between the girls, but Tsubasa offers them some encouragement by telling them to “Win Love Live”. From this point it’s easy to piece together things and with a quick glimpse of the award µ’s got from winning the final preliminary round, beating the reigning champs, A-RISE.
The girls continue their walk to the shrine where they say their prayers; Honoka takes the longest with her prayers, prompting Maki to assume she’s making too many wishes, but she was actually wishing for all nine of them to have a good time preforming until the end. After collecting Hanayo from getting swept off by the crowd, they go find Nozomi, who works at the shrine, remember? She’s busy at work, but she’s also got some others helping her too, Nico and Ericchi. We see Nico first and she’s looking really cute, dressed in the shrine maiden uniform. I love how Rin suggests Nico teams up with Maki and they could form some traditional Japanese duo (as they’re both wearing traditional clothing). Ericchi joins the group a few moments later, also looking fabulous. Sadly though the three girls can’t stay and chat because they’re quite busy; leaving the group they continue on with they duties.
Hanayo brings up the point it’ll be quite sad once the three of them graduation soon, thus leaving µ’s. Umi reminds her though that they agreed not to talk about that until Love Live was complete, as it would only bring negative thoughts to them and that’s the last thing they need once they’re so close to the end. We cut back over to Ericchi as she’s met by her imouto, Arisa. Asking what she wished for, Arisa tells her that she wishes to attend Otonokizaka High School and join µ’s. As nice as her wish is, it’s clearly something that bother Ericchi and the other two a bit. Nozomi suggest that they should all sit down and talk about the future of µ’s.
Back at school Honoka and gang are back to the regular practice sessions on the roof top. I loved this whole stretching montage as all the girls are warming up and talking things over about the upcoming performance. We learn some info about Love Live as well, seeing how nearly 50 groups will be performing on the national stage. They also talk about how they’ll need to make a lasting impression to make sure they can stay strong through till the end. They’re already well known as the group that defeated A-RISE, but Nozomi points out that impression may not last until March. Hanayo brings up the point that a good way to keep that impression lies in having a solid catchphrase, something that most groups have. Honoka starts thinking hard on a phrase that sums up µ’s but as hard as she thinks, she can’t come up with something good.
Later that day as they leave the school, Honoka, Umi and Kotori are approached by Tsubasa from A-RISE, as she wants to have a leader to leader talk with Honoka.They find a nice, quiet place in the park by the pond and talk things over. Tsubasa and A-RISE are still active, but without Love Live as a goal, they’re still performing as the school idol’s they are. Tsubasa has one question for Honoka though, one that gets Honoka thinking: what’s the driving force behind µ’s? In the final round, A-RISE brought their A+ game yet the still lost in the end, Tsubasa is just wondering why. Both groups have excellent teamwork, they’re all great at dancing and they bring the crowd to their feet; on paper they’re pretty much the same, yet µ’s beat A-RISE. Honoka tries to think up and answer, but it’s a challenging question and she can’t think of one. After shaking hands they part ways for the day, both respecting each other for their talent and being rivals till the end. I like this about A-RISE, they show class as they’re not bitter and hardened about losing; sure they’re probably really upset about it all, hell anyone would be, but they don’t outwardly show it. It’s commendable on their part for not getting all bent out of shape about it and it’s commendable on Honoka’s part for not flaunting their win in A-RISE’s face.
The rest of the episode is yet more kindness as Honoka and the girls make mochi to thank the school for helping them out to get to Love Live and overcome all the challenges they faced along the way. Once again I liked how this was done, Honoka took the initiative to do this for everyone. She could’ve just said thanks and be done with it, but she wanted to show her appreciation by doing something nice for everyone who helped they along the way. In doing this, they also are able to think up more ideas for the catchphrase they need to make µ’s the group that stands out and leave a lasting impression
While on her morning run, Honoka notices the wishes that people had made during New Years, on there she also notices lots wishing µ’s good luck in the coming final round. This is the last pieces Honoka needs to think up the perfect catchphrase that summarizes what µ’s is:
Overall ep 10 was the perfect follow up to ep 9 and while it was a huge performance filled ep, it still had lots of good parts and showcased the giving quality that Honoka has. I’m happy they won and are moving on, but as it comes down to the wire, the tension is building for the biggest performance of they’ll ever have!
Let’s take a look at some screen shots from the ep now.
And there you have it, another Love Live review. Like always I’m loving this anime more and more each week, as it’s by far gotta be my Anime of the Season. If you’re watching season 2 as well, how are you enjoying it so far? What song do you think will be the one they sing at the ending? A new one or one we already know? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Alright then, up next I’ll have the Black Bullet ep 10 review and maybe that long over due WIXOSS ep 4 review as well. Until then, here’s what to expect next weekend on Love Live!
I’ll cya in the next post!
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