Finally! The swimsuit ep!
Here’s my review.
As advertised this week was the long-awaited swimsuit ep and yes did it deliver. We also got to see the true side of Dia, some awesome interactions between the Kurosawa sisters, all 9 of the girls finally together in a group and some activity on the yuri front too. Let’s jump in a take a look.
Swimsuit eps are always a favorite of mine for pretty much the obvious reason. While Love Live in general doesn’t go overboard with the swimsuit fan service, they still give you lots of eye candy to please you. This week we got just that as it’s time for a summer training camp to get ready for Love Live. Now I thought they failed to make the cut after the Tokyo trip, but the prelims are starting soon so they’re going to train hard and take part in them. As expected this ep really reminds me of season 1 ep 10 of the original Love Live where the girls go to Maki’s beach villa for a training camp. I liked the point where Dia mentions through her secret methods she was able to obtain Muse’s training camp schedule. That was a nice touch.
Sticking with Dia here for a bit, man did she steal the first half of this ep. Now that she’s a school idol once again, Dia can finally show off her true idol obsessed self. I absolutely loved the interactions between her and Ruby during the briefing in the club room. Those sisters play so well off each other and seeing them interact like that was brilliant. It was also the first time since that flashback that we’ve seen them both show their passion for all things school idol related at once. I really hope we get to see more of this side to them.
As for how the whole beach day happens, well Chika had agreed to help out with the local beach snack bar but as this would greatly limit the time put into training, Mari suggests they all work there then train in the mornings and evenings when it’s cooler. Sounds like a plan! They’re also hold a training camp at Chika’s house as her family runs an inn, meaning there will be enough room for everyone. While it’s not as glamorous as staying at Maki’s beach front villa, the inn provides them with the space they need to train and get ready for the prelims.
Throughout this first half Dia really dominated nearly every scene. Her presence was felt by everyone as she took this assignment of working at the beach snack bar with extreme importance. With the competition next door bringing in the majority of the people on the beach, Dia took it upon herself to make their beach hut better and attract more people. With the plan set, Dia assigns Chika and Riko to be sign bearers, Kanan to hand out fliers, Mari, You and Yohane to be cooks, Ruby and Maru to be waitresses, leaving Dia managing the whole operation. While it’s slow going, by the second day they’ve got some more people and are making money.
While this is all going on the second story-line in this ep is focusing on Riko and a text message that’s bothering her. We don’t learn about what exactly this message is until about half way through the ep when we find out it’s an invite to a piano competition, that just so happens to be on the same day as the prelims. Riko ends up declining the invite seeing as she’s moved on from that and Aqours holds the more important position in her heart. But has she really moved on? Playing piano meant the world to Riko not too long ago and this is her shot at redemption. She’s grown since that last competition and is more confident now than ever, surely she’d want another shot at that. Chika feels the same way too, as she’s not thrilled about the choice Riko has made here.
That brings us to the final scene of this ep and where things heated up a lot. Honestly it’s a bit ambiguous here as Riko neither says she’ll enter the piano competition or stay with Aqours, because both isn’t an option. Instead though after some touching words from Chika, Riko decides to go down a different path and confess her love to Chika. Wait, what? I’m not making this up here, Riko straight up told Chika she loves her.
But… nothing is ever that easy. As canon as this now is, chances are they’re not going down the full yuri route. Love Live is packed full of yuri innuendos but that’s pretty much as far they ever go, so unless they’re going all out here I doubt we’ll see this confession lead to something more. Plus as much as Riko may love Chika, let’s not forget about the look on You’s face when she saw Chika gazing at Riko. By now it should be pretty obvious that Chika x You is a well founded thing, so it should be interesting to see how You reacts to this sudden confession. Next week looks to be the long-awaited You ep, so I’m sure we’ll see the fall out from this confession.
Honestly it feels like Sunshine has more yuri in it than the original Love Live. Maybe I’m just saying that because of what’s happened in recent eps and I can’t remember all the details from the original, but it really does feel like there is much more yuri. Either way this confession was out of left field (at least I thought it was) and after the preview for ep 11, I’m very eager to see the fall out from this. It’s hard not to get too worked up about this, but realistically this is most likely just another case of yuri baiting. It’s annoying and frustrating but just looking at the big picture it’s what’s to be expected. It still stings though.
So that’s all for the commentary on this ep, but I’ve got a few more things to say about Sunshine as a whole. Here we are at ep 10 of 13 and the school closing thing has become non-extant once again. Honestly what was the whole point in having that be part of the story? Yeah I get that the original Aqours had the same plan in mind… but what about being school idols just because they want to? They don’t need the school to be closing for them to become school idols, if they’re so passionate about it from the start then just go out and do it.
At this point in the show bringing the school closing element back into play is just gonna mess up the momentum that’s been building through the last few eps. After finally finding its footing and making the best of it, just the thought of the whole school closing thing throws a wrench into everything. I’ve said it many times before, but Love Live Sunshine is at its best when focusing on Aqours journey to becoming school idols and competing in Love Live, that’s why eps 8 and 9 were masterpieces. What they’ve got now is plenty to work with, they just need to keep this momentum and carry it through the last 3 eps.
Alright then that’s going to being this review to a close now. Lots going on aside from just the swimsuits, it’ll be good to see where things go from here. As always be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts about it or send me a tweet if you prefer. I’ll try to reply as fast as I can.
Thanks for reading, I hope you liked it and I’ll see you right back here next Saturday!
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