How do you follow-up the best ep of Love Live Sunshine so far? Easy, you make one that’s even better.

Here’s my review!

After ep 8, the best yet, Love Live Sunshine wastes no time in topping that with an ep even better. From the dramatic conclusion of the 3rd year’s story, the origin of the name Aqours, and the spectacular performance to close out the ep, Love Live Sunshine really went above and beyond this time and it was totally worth it. Also, Kanan is finally here! Let’s take a closer look now.

Coming off the big reveal of last week about the 3rd year’s failed school idol dreams, we waste no time jumping in with the flashbacks and seeing the fallout of the failure in Tokyo. As expected it’s now created a rift in the trio and things have come to a breaking point. Kanan and Dia realize it’s not worth continuing while Mari wants them to press on, overcoming the set back and continue being school idols. But outvoted 2-1 Mari is forced to accept defeat and watch as her two best friends walk out on her. Honestly Mari has taken a real beating these past few eps, I feel bad for her.

So the main storyline this week was getting to the bottom of the 3rd years’ mystery and why they stopped being school idols. So far we know that Kanan couldn’t sing when they were in Tokyo and because of that they had a falling out. But is that really all that happened? Kanan doesn’t seem like the type of girl who would just give up so easily and not even try again. So what exactly did happen? Whatever it is Chika and company want to get to the bottom of it and the best way is to start by finding out everything they can about the 3rd years’ time as school idols. But who are they going to ask for that info? They can’t exactly walk up to Dia, Mari, or Kanan and say “Hey we want to know why you guys gave up.” No, they’ll need to find someone close to them who might have heard something. Someone like… Ruby!

Being Dia’s sister, Ruby must have heard something about what happened. Maybe it seemed small and unimportant to her at the time, but now it could hold the key to unlocking this mystery and finding out what really happened with the 3rd years. While she can’t offer them much, it is enough for them to start investigating Kanan and following her in order to possibly learn something. They don’t have to wait long though as during her morning run, Kanan and Mari once again get into another heated conversation. From start to finish, this confrontation between the 2 girls has a lot going on. From Kanan showing off her dancing skills to Mari questioning her about why she’s so insistent about giving up when they’ve all got another shot. But Kanan isn’t up for games, she gives her the cold shoulder once again and leaves her with the words: “I don’t want to see you again.” Geez Kanan, don’t be so hard on her.

From here on, the mystery slowly starts to unravel, beginning with Kanan returning to school after being away to help her injured father. Going a step further Mari decides to bring their old school idol uniforms out, showing them to Kanan in a more aggressive attempt to win her back. But things get rough and the two girls get into a physical fight, sending the uniform out the window and inadvertently almost killing You in the process. With the attention of the 2nd years now, Chika, You and Riko rush up to see what’s going on. In a very bold move, something that’s probably unheard of, Chika steps into the 3rd years’ room and breaks up the fight, ordering the 3 older girls to come to the school idol room after school. Chika sure is fearless!

While having the 3 of them sit down to discuss the matter sounds like a good idea, Mari and Kanan just can’t seem to do that. Like the previous times, Kanan walks away from the conversation, offering little in the way of answers regarding what happened 2 years ago. Changing locations to the Kurosawa house, Dia finally comes clean about why they disbanded 2 years ago. Not only does this come as a shock to the girls, but also to Mari as well as she finally learns that everything Kanan has done for her. You see, Mari was injured during their time in Tokyo and despite her saying she was fine Kanan and Dia knew it was for the best if they didn’t, so Kanan didn’t sing. It wasn’t an easy choice considering how far they had made it, but it was the right one. Mari was in no position to dance and if she did her injury would’ve gotten a lot worse.

What’s more is that Mari was continually being offered the chance to study abroad, but she kept turning these offers down to be a school idol instead. Chances like this aren’t something that everyone gets offered, so after seeing her repeatedly turning them down Kanan decided that they should stop being school idols so that Mari could pursue one of these opportunities. So that brings us back to the opening scene where we see Kanan and Dia walk out on Mari, ending their short-lived moment as school idols. While Mari would end up studying abroad, her passion for being a school idol never died and when she caught wind of Chika starting up another group, she returned to Japan to seize this shot at redemption. Only Kanan and Dia weren’t up for starting again. But the thing is though, Mari was always thinking about Kanan and how she didn’t sing during the performance. She wanted to somehow make things better and help her sing again, that’s why she didn’t want to quit.

In yet another emotional scene, Mari and Kanan finally bring this matter to a close. It was probably an over dramatic scene, but I couldn’t care less. Finally seeing these two girls settle their differences and restart their friendship after 2 years, it was a touching moment. I also really liked how Kanan was the one to offer Mari a hug this time. If you remember back to last week, Kanan shot down Mari’s hug, leaving her crying, but this week she made up for it and the two shared a tearful embrace.

With all the wounds finally healed and the 3rd years now part of the group, it was time for another amazing performance. Honestly I think this one might be my favorite so far, it was just so good and I’ve watched it at least 5 times already.

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And before we close out the ep, Kanan reveals one important detail I’m sure we’ve all been wondering: who wrote Aqours in the sand? Well if you thought it was Mari, you’re wrong. If you thought it was Kanan, you’re also wrong. Turns out it was Dia who wrote Aqours in the sand. And here’s the kicker, Aqours was the name the 3rd years used 2 years ago. So it was nice to see the legacy being carried on by Chika and the girls. Continuing where the 3rd years left off all those years ago.

So looking back at this ep, wow I’m really impressed. Love Live Sunshine has really found its footing, even if it took some time. At this point I think they’ve moved on from holding Muse as their end goal and have finally started to become their own group. In fact, Muse wasn’t even mentioned in this ep at all. I’ve said this before, but Love Live Sunshine is at its best when it’s focusing on the girls and their journey to be school idols, not trying to be copies of Muse. They’re finally starting to do that and I really hope that from here on in they’ll continue that as they really can shine just as bright on their own.

That’s all for this ep, great as always and I’m loving this show more and more each week. Be sure to let me know what you thought of this week’s ep by leaving a comment here or sending me a tweet too. I’ll be sure to reply in a timely fashion.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 09 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_23.40_[2016.08.27_12.45.51]

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you right back here next week!


Bonus Pic!

Pixiv Link
Pixiv Link

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