The fun loving Ai joins the cast this week and brings her high energy vibes to the School Idol Club!

Once again I’m enjoying how different Nijigasaki is compared to previous Love Live! anime as they’re really giving each girl her own ep and performance too, something that wasn’t done before. This week we take a closer look at the blonde haired, fun loving Ai Miyashita, who has officially joined the School Idol Club now.

We start the Ai journey last week actually as she was among the people watching the fire performance by Setsuna on the rooftop and like I’m sure many were, she was deeply touched by it. It looked so fun and exciting that Ai just had to be a part of this. So with that in mind, Ai and her friend Rina Tennoji decide to join the School Idol Club and be a part of this fun. But first they need to figure out what exactly the School Idol Club is actually going to do.

You’d think it would be pretty obvious, sing, dance, put on concerts, but each girl has their own idea of what the Club should do, and while that’s great and all, they still need some sort of vision for them to progress. But first they need to train and practice or else they won’t be able to put on a decent performance.

Nana has a weird obsession with fire.

A good chunk of the first half of the ep is the girls training, be it singing, stretching, running, or being quizzed by Kasumi. One interesting point to mention is during the stretching scene, Karin is asked if she plans on joining the School Idol Club, but she says no. Of course we know that’ll change in due time and she’ll end up joining their ranks, but for now she’s content with staying on the sidelines and making sure Emma is happy. I’m sure we’ll get that Karin ep soon and all will be revealed.

Another point I liked was how we’re getting to know Nana some more now and she’s actually a really fun girl. From the start all we saw her as was a strict student council president or dancing idol on stage, but we never really saw her just hanging out and chilling with friends. The scene in the recording booth was nice as we got to see Nana open up about her passion for anime and she really connected with Rina, who is also a fan of the series Nana was talking about.

The second half brings Ai back into the picture here as the group now ponders the decision of going the solo idol route. Once again this is a nice way to change things up and do something different. But for Ai she’s so used to being in a group or playing on a team, that the thought of being a solo idol is a new one for her and she’s unsure how to proceed with it. In a way all the girls share similar thoughts, can each of them really hold their own on the stage? Not everyone is at Nana’s level and can perform like her, but even so Ai isn’t going to back out now.

With the thought of being a solo idol still on her mind, Ai goes for her morning run and meets up with Emma along the way. The discussion the two of them have really help Ai come to a realization about her journey as a solo idol and what she should do. Having fun and watching other have fun is what she loves the most, and being a school idol means she can not only have fun herself, but she can also spread that fun and excitement to others too. Since she’s joined the School Idol Club, Emma has noticed how much more everyone is smiling and enjoying themselves. Ai really brightens up the room she’s in and just being around the rest of the girls and having fun with them, that’s more than enough to get everyone out of their slump with the previous School idol Club and back to having a good time.

All this leads up to Ai’s performance in the park, which I’ll update this post with a video of in a few days time. But the main takeaway point from this is that Ai is more than capable of holding her own on the stage and her solo performance in the park really impressed not only the other girls in the club, but also other watching in the park too. Ai’s overflowing joy and fun loving nature is something the group needs if they want to overcome any challenge that stands in their way.

You knew it was coming, so I’ll say it now. I still think they shouldn’t have changed Ai’s character design for the anime. Yes I’m warming up to her new look now, but still looking at the original art for her, I just wish they kept that look for her. It’s a better look and I’m sure everyone was used to it since she was revealed. I don’t know why they decided to change her look, but there was nothing wrong with her original design and it would look fine in the anime. We kinda got a bit of that during her performance, but I don’t want that to be the only time we see hints of the original Ai. Oh well, is what it is. Like I said, I’m warming up to her anime look and by the time the final ep rolls around I’m sure I’ll love her, I don’t think I’ll fully be able to let the original Ai design go so easily.

Great ep this week and I really do enjoy how they’re giving each girl their ep and performance, it’s a nice refreshing change and it highlights each of the girl’s personalities too via the performance at the end of the ep. What do you think about this new approach to the anime?

That’s it for me. Be sure to leave any comments or feedback below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week for what looks like an Emma ep!

Take care and stay safe!