Well it finally happened… and no I’m not happy about it.
Here’s my review.
I said it last week and probably the week before, but Love Live Sunshine keeps swinging between doing their own thing and trying to be like Muse. Well this week they swung far too much into the “trying to be like Muse” territory and honestly I really wasn’t happy about it.
Yes I understand this is still Love Live we’re talking about here and the fact that there will be similarities is unavoidable, but at this point they’ve seemly given up on trying to do their own thing and are now going straight down the Muse path. This week we find out what Mari’s big secret is, and let me tell you it’s a let down. The school is closing and will be merging with another one. Yes the only slight difference is that Otonokizaka was just straight up closing not merging, but that doesn’t even matter because we’ve seen the whole save the school routine before so why do we need to see it again?
Love Live Sunshine has a lot of potential even though it’s very similar to the original show. A group of girls who become school idols and want to compete in Love Live, it’s pretty much the same. But where Sunshine could’ve been different is that from the start they weren’t becoming school idols to save their school, they became idols because they were inspired by what Muse did and wanted to shine like that too. From the first 5 eps it was looking like Sunshine would be just that, the story of these girls just wanting to be more than normal and ordinary, they wanted to shine on stage. Now it’s not “be like Muse” anymore, rather it’s practically “be Muse”.
I still love this show and the girls, but at this point it’s becoming far too similar to the original show that it’s hard to continually convince yourself this is different. Yes there are parts in Sunshine that are new and different and that’s really great, but at the core it’s still falling back to the original show. I like the addition of the chuuni idol Yohane, I like how we have 3rd years with some tragic backstory about a failed idol group (more on that later) and I like how we see the effect Muse had on girls far and wide. Overall though I just wanted to see a new story about these girls trying to take that inspiration and do something with it, something new and exciting and really make a group with their own personality and character. Their motivation for becoming school idols is different from Muse but at this point it’s doesn’t matter anymore because they ended up in the same boat as Muse did.
Among the key points worth talking about in this week’s ep, one is how everyone reacts to the news. Chika sees this as their big chance to finally be like Muse for real now, seeing that the stage is set for them to save the school and become popular. While this still doesn’t change how I feel about this path being taken, it was good seeing that this didn’t put everyone into a depressed state and start going overboard with the drama. They decided they’d save the school now all that remains and figuring out a way to actually do so.
The next part that is worth talking about is regarding the 3rd years and more of their tragic back story. There still are details not fully revealed yet, but at this point it’s becoming pretty clear what happened back then. Mari, Dia and Kanan tried to be school idols and failed. There isn’t a lot actually said, rather it’s more implied or shown through brief flashbacks, but their journey as school idols seems to have stopped short due to Kanan having stage fright or maybe no one showed up at all. I’m saying this because in the short flashback we do see, Kanan seems to be really fired up then suddenly her expression falls and we can see Mari and Dia trying to comfort her. I guess what happened there was the breaking point in their group and because of that they disbanded. We still need more info to fill in the details, but for now it’s good to see this mystery being revealed.
Sticking with this for a bit more, Mari’s been away for 2 years, probably leaving after they disbanded, so she’s been wanting this return to being school idols for a while now. Dia has always wanted to be a school idol, hell she loves them more than Ruby does, but she’s been down that path and knows it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. As for Kanan… we know precious little about her honestly. She’s never around and when she is she’s got maybe a couple lines at the most. Kanan seems to be at the core of this mystery so far, but until we learn more about her it’s just pure guesswork trying to figure out what makes her tick.
There was actually an interesting scene near the beginning of the ep where we see a younger Mari and Kanan hugging at some abandoned fountain overlooking the town as Dia watches on. It’s extremely brief but coupled with Mari’s dialogue about the school being more precious to her than any place, it means something I just wish there was more to it. What I can think of is that maybe Kanan is the one who really wanted to be a school idol and she got Dia and Mari into it, but then it all failed, relationships were broken, Mari left, Dia hated idols… something like that? The point is I really want to know what Kanan’s deal is. What makes her tick and why is every conversation between her and Mari always a tense one. They look like they’re about to drop the gloves every time they come face to face, so what happened to make it this way?
And before I end this I should also mention that the main events of this ep surrounded Aqours on their quest to make a PV. Originally it was to boost their popularity, but it turned into being to save the school. In the end after trying many ideas, they finally figured out what makes their town so special. It’s the people who live there and how much of a community they are. So taking this they turn the feelings of everyone into a song and put on a very good performance to close out this ep. The music was very good and the lyrics were also very fitting too. While it still doesn’t change my overall feelings about this ep, it was a nice touch and it’s probably my favorite part of this ep.
All in all this ep had good points to it, mainly regarding the 3rd years and their story and the performance at the end, but overall this ep has really made the story far too similar to the original Love Live. I’m still trying to remain positive even after the events of this ep; I mean even though it’s pretty much the same now, if they can take a different approach to the whole save the school thing, maybe they can pull out something new and still make things enjoyable. We’ve got 7 eps left (assuming it’s going to 13) so there still is time to make the best of this situation. Maybe it’ll just take a little while but I’d still really like to see Aqours find themselves and become their own school idol group, one that’s still inspired by what Muse accomplished, not one that’s trying to copy them move for move.
So that’ll wrap up this week’s review. More rant than review but considering how things went in this ep I had to do something different this week. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this though, what you think about Aqours new journey to save the school along with the backstory on the 3rd years. Leave a comment below or send me a tweet and we can talk about it.
That’s all for me now, thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next Saturday!
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