After making it to the final round, the girls are reminded just how high the stakes truly are in Love Live.

Here’s my review!

I really liked this week’s ep. Hell, I like pretty much all the eps, but this one was really good. What stood out for me the most was probably Ruby getting the much-needed screen time she rarely gets. She doesn’t get the attention the rest of the girls get, but she really came through this week and it made for a great ep.

The girls find themselves in a snowy wonderland to start the ep off. No this isn’t Uchiura they’re in, rather they’ve traveled up north to Hokkaido, to be more exact, Hakodate. Why, you might ask? Well Aqours have been invited to watch some prelims for the finals, so they gladly accept thus finding themselves in this snowy part of Japan. Not only is this a nice trip to a new area but it’s a chance to see some of the other groups they’ll be competing against in the finals, and one group they’re keen on watching is Saint Snow.

As we all know, Saint Snow was featured a bit last season but so far this season they haven’t met up face to face until this ep. It was nice to see them in person, so to speak, as Chika has been spending time talking with Sarah over the phone. But as nice as it is to see them again, it’s not really a social visit. Saint Snow has to nail this performance if they want to punch their ticket to the finals. Sarah and Chika have a sort of friendly competition going as they agree the next time they meet, it’ll be at the Akiba Dome in the final round. So the stage is set for a face off between Saint Snow and Aqours in the final round, it’ll be quite a sight. Or will it?

As amazing as previous performances by Saint Snow were, this time they didn’t pull out a win. Sadly they took a tumble and both girls ended up on the stage floor. It’s an outcome no one would’ve predicted as they’re usually so on their game, and from this point forward the ep really starts to get interesting thanks to Ruby and her view on Love Live.

For Ruby this is her one and only time to perform with her sister Dia on the biggest stage in Love Live, so it’s a joyous but also sad occasion. With this view in mind, Ruby can fully understand why Saint Snow had a fight and subsequently ended up failing their performance, that reason being Leah will be without her older sister Sarah after this Love Live because she’ll graduate. It’s something she can’t do anything about and it’s putting a lot of stress on her to make this final performance worth while. Ruby has the same thought as Dia will be graduating in the spring and they won’t be able to dance together as school idols. It’s something only Ruby could pick up on and she’s in this very same position herself.

While out sightseeing the next day, she girls stop for some food at a restaurant which just so happens to be where both Sarah and Leah live and work. Though it was never mentioned before, Saint Snow seem to attend school in Hakodate so they were probably big hometown favorites going into these prelims. While there having lunch, the girls witness Sarah and Leah having an argument where Leah declares her time as a school idol is over and Saint Snow is disbanded. Once again Ruby is the only one to really pick up on it. It’s not until a while later when they’re out eating again (ate a lot in this ep it seems, especially Hanamaru) that Ruby voices her opinion on the situation, something that she’s most likely been keeping to herself.

The scene that follows is my favorite of this ep as it’s another moment with the Kurosawa sisters. Ruby is distraught about not being able to continue being a school idol with Dia when she graduates soon, but as Dia brings out there really isn’t anything they can do about it. Being a school idol is one of the best things that’s happened to Dia over the past while, and being able to share that experience with her little sister has made it all the more special. True it’ll be a sad moment when this dream ends, but that’s something Dia is willing to deal with when they arrive at it. Right now they need to focus on Love Live and preparing for the final round.

The ep closes out with Ruby going to see Leah later the evening. After talking about the situation with Dia she now knows what to do and how to help Leah. Sure they can’t stop their older sister from graduating, but they can make the time they have left with them something they’ll never forget. And with that Ruby proposes her plan to Leah, which is for them to make a song dedicated to their sisters. Could this be an Aqours x Saint Snow team up? Tune in next week to find out!

Like I said at the beginning, Ruby was the real MVP of this ep. She came through big time and really made this ep special. She may not get as much attention as the other girls do, but eps like this really make you remember why all the girls in Aqours are special in their own rights. Looking ahead to next week, Ruby continues to take the spotlight as she and Leah work on this plan of theirs. The results should be amazing!

So that’s it for this week. Sorry for it coming out late once again, poor time management was the cause of the delay. And playing games. I’ll try to be more timely next week and not waste my afternoon playing games.

I’d love to hear what you thought of this ep so leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you. That’s all for me, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!


Bonus Pic!

Pixiv Link

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