After a wonderful performance last week and their spirits high, would Aqours be able to make it to the final round along with saving their school?

Here’s my review!

We start off right where last week ended, with the girls just finishing their performance and waiting for the results. Thankfully going all out was just what they needed as Aqours finished at the top with the most votes! Yay! It’s not a dream, it really did happen. They beat the regional qualifiers and are moving on to the final round! Not only is this a big moment for Chika, but it’s probably an even bigger moment for Dia, Mari and Kanan, as this is their last shot at Love Live. So now with this hurdle cleared, it’s on to the more pressing matter of saving the school.

The give away is in the title for this ep “The Time Left.” I had a feeling that seemed like a bit of an ominous title, even after we get the news of Aqours making it to the final round. My fears were confirmed by the response Mari gave the group as they relaxed outside following the performance. The deadline for new applicants was that night and the number still at 80, just 20 short of the goal. The tension during the next little bit is great as the clock is ticking away and the number is moving too slowly. After talking with her father once again, Mari is able to get the deadline pushed back 5 hours, giving the school one absolutely final chance to get the last few applicants in. But even as powerful as the girls all are, sometimes it’s just not enough. The clock strikes 5am and the page closes, at 98 applicants. So close, yet so far.

By far this was the most dramatic and emotional ep to date, especially during this scene and pretty much for the remainder of the ep. It’s a crushing blow and one that’s hard to accept, especially being just 2 students short. But as Dia brings out, they’ve been given 2 extensions already and they can’t push their luck anymore. This time it’s really over. No more miracles can save them from this. It’s yet another moment of winning the battle but losing the war. Aqours came back and won the regional qualifiers, the stage where they lost last year and now they’re going to the finals, but they failed to save the school. It’s hard for Chika to accept as they did everything right yet still failed.

The process begins right away and the next scene is Mari giving the speech in front of the student body. Uranohoshi will be merged with another school come spring time, where the current students will continue their high school life. From here on we start to see just how hard this is for Chika to accept. Even when she’s congratulated by classmates for making it to the final round, You and Riko can see right through the smile she’s putting on for them. It’s eating away at her and sooner or later you know the tears will start flowing, both hers and yours.

While they can’t do anything further about the school, they do need to focus on the final round and what they’re going to do for that. This is what they’ve been wanting yet now that they have it, it’s not really that important anymore with their school being closed. The after school practice session is where things start to get emotional. Even though Dia wants them to refocus their thoughts on the upcoming performance, it’s hard to let go what happened the previous day. They don’t even make it past their warm up stretches before Chika has tears streaming down her face. Kanan, Mari and Dia really put the question not just to Chika, but to everyone: is it still worth performing in Love Live at this point?

This kicks off a montage featuring the song “Sora mo Kokoro mo Hareru kara (Because Our Hearts Will Clear Up Just Like The Skies) as each of the girls ponder over what they should be doing at this point. We now reach the final scene where if you’re not already crying, you soon will be. After a good night’s rest and chance to think it over, Chika presents her thoughts to the group as they’ve all assembled on the roof top. After everything they’ve been through, Chika feels they can’t find their radiance anymore. Uranohoshi was the place where they all connected and became friends, it was a place that was very close to Chika’s heart, but now that it’s gone it’s like nothing matters anymore. She doesn’t care about Love Live, she cares about the school and wanting to save their time together. What follows is something truly special.

They’ve always played a small role, but the three unnamed classmates who have been supporting Chika since the beginning really came through big time here and gave her, along with the rest of Aqours, the answer they needed. Sure they can’t save the school, but if they win Love Live they can immortalize Uranohoshi in Love Live history, so everyone will know where Aqours started and which school they represented. Sure it won’t do anything about the current situation, but it’s the moral victory they can all live with. They can still shine, they can still move forward with their heads held high. Sure things didn’t go the way they wanted but if all good things must come to an end, then they may as well end on the biggest stage ever.

Dramatic, emotional, powerful, this ep really had it all and it furthers my love for this second season so much more. Going in I was slightly cautious and worried that they might not be able to make it too different than the original series, but they worries have been blown out of the water. This season has been so much better than I could’ve ever imagined and I can’t wait to see what more will happen in the remaining eps.

And just a really quick point I wanted to make before ending this. If you recall back to ep 12 of S1, when Aqours visited Otonokizaka, a student they ran into informed them μ’s didn’t leave anything behind when they all graduated. No belongings, trophies, or pictures, nothing. They didn’t do this because they knew everyone’s hearts were connected and they didn’t need material things to leave a legacy. They wanted it to be that way and for μ’s and Otonokizaka that’s what worked. On the flip side, Aqours wants to leave a mark in history. They want to make sure everyone knows who they were and what school they attended. Maybe it’s because μ’s saved their school so they didn’t feel the need to leave anything behind, but for Aqours they want it much the other way. Hopefully I read into that correct, if not correct me in the comments.

So that’s it for this ep, I really, really liked it and I want the very best for these girls moving forward. As always I’d love to hear your thoughts about the ep so leave a comment below and we can chat. Sorry once again this post is coming out late, like I said last week I was out-of-town on Saturday so I couldn’t get this worked on. As on now I don’t think I’ll be doing anything next Saturday so I should have the ep 8 review out then. Keep it locked to the Anime Corps Twitter along with my personal one for future updates.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!


Bonus Pic!

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