It’s finally time to see all that hard work pay off.

The day has come for the School Idol Festival and the whole city is excited for it! Three schools are taking part, over 20 different idols performing, numerous stages across the city, it was an amazing event that all these girls put together and it really showed off how amazing the school idol community is in this city. Wasting no time at all the clock strikes 12 and the festival begins with Ayumu leading off the montage of performances. I liked seeing all the girls in their stage outfits once again and even though new ones would’ve been nice to see as well, what they wore was still really great. I mean why change what works the first time?

For the most part there isn’t really a whole lot to talk about because a large portion of this ep is just a big montage of each girl at their performance and that’s not worth going into a play by play for. One performance that stood out for me though was Kasumi, Setsuna, and Shizuku, who put on a hero show type performance complete with a massive Kasumi Box robot, Shizuku in a hero outfit, and Setsuna with her fiery performance as always.

As the day moved on and the performances continued, a few issues arose as is usually the case. Ai had some sound troubles at her stage but thankfully Rina got that sorted out, but then a bigger issues arose in the form of a sudden rain storm. Even though the forecast called for sunny weather all day, rain can suddenly creep up like that and throw a wrench into plans. I was half expecting to see another instance of one of the girls wielding power over the weather as seen in previous entries to Love Live!, but this time around things were a bit more down to Earth and as far as we know, none of the girls can control the weather. With the rain coming down it looked like the rest of the festival would have to be cancelled and the remaining performances wouldn’t happen.

But luck would still be on their side as the rain let up, a little later than they had hoped but to their surprise everyone was still out there waiting for the show to continue. With permission granted for one final performance, all three schools took the stage to close out the festival in an amazing fashion.

And while this final performance was one of the best in the show, what made it even more special was the meaning behind it. Earlier in the day Yu had told everyone about her future plans and of course they’re all very supportive of her. They decided to show their thanks and appreciation for you by making this song for her and you can see all the love come across in the lyrics. As always I’ll add in a video of this final performance once it’s posted. I hope they do that, but I’ll check back on Monday to see if that’s the case.

All in all this final ep hit all the right notes and showcased just how amazing school idols are. It was a blast to watch and it brought a smile to my face seeing all the hard work of these girls pay off in such a spectacular way.

Final Thoughts

So after 13 eps of the latest Love Live! anime, what’s the verdict? Honestly I loved it so much! I had some worries going into this as I hoped it would finally be something different than the previous 2 entries and thankfully it was just that. We’ve seen the save the school plot done before, twice now, so it was finally time for something different and new and Nijigasaki brought all of that and then some.

One big change I really liked was no save the school plot that we saw with µ’s and Aqours, no their school was in no need of saving this time. One look at the massive airport like complex with its thousands of students and it was easy to tell they’re doing just fine.

Another new thing Nijigasaki did which I really liked was make each girl a Solo Idol. What this did was allow each girl more time to develop as a character because everyone got their own ep. Doing it this way I thought was so much better as instead of trying to weave character backstory into the main story, it allowed adequate time for each girl to be developed and you got to know more about her, her dreams and goals, and her personal struggles that she had to overcome in that ep. It was a nice change of pace and I really liked that they decided to do that. And the best part about this was how each girl got her own performance at the end of her ep, so that means we got 9 different solo performances throughout the anime.

One more thing Nijigasaki did which previous Love Live! anime didn’t do, was give the anime a main character who isn’t an idol. The addition of Yu Takasaki was another welcome change this time around as she’s actually the unnamed avatar characters play in the Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS mobile game. And sticking with that thought of the mobile game, a lot of the girls in this anime were based off N cards from the game, so if you’re wondering why they seem so familiar, that’s why. While I don’t play the game anymore myself, back when I did I remember seeing these girls all the time so it’s nice to see how far they’ve come over the years.

Moving on let’s take a look at the presentation of the anime. A big feature of Love Live! dating back to the very first performance of µ’s is the use of CG for the big performance sequences. Now CG is pretty subjective when it comes to anime fans, some hate it with a passion while others like it. I’m of the camp where if it’s done right and looks good, there is nothing to complain about. I’ll let it be know that I never had any issues with CG in Love Live! since the day I discovered the anime. True if you go back and look at it now and then compare it to Nijigasaki you’ll be able to see a huge difference, but that’s because over time things get improved and refined. The CG in Nijigasaki is the best to date and going forward it’ll only get better and better.

Along with that comes the music, which is once again wonderful. It’s hard to pick favorites as each girl’s song was amazing, but if I had to, I might have to say Kanata’s song ‘Butterfly‘ in ep 7 was my favorite. A close second would have to be Karin’s song ‘VIVID WORLD‘ from ep 9. Their performances that accompanied each song were also outstanding, Kanata’s possibly being the best in the show. I’ll be sure to get each song once it’s available and put it on my phone for listening all the time.

All in all Nijigasaki hit all the right notes and came out victorious. I really enjoyed all the new and different things done win terms of story and character development and as I’ve commented on it before, it just felt like something new and different while still being Love Live! at its core. As of now I haven’t heard anything about another season, movie, or OVA, but as with all Love Live! anime, I’m sure this latest entry will be supported by the global fan base. For now this is where we’ll part ways with Nijigasaki but I’m sure we’ll see them again very soon.

Tallying it all up I’ll give Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club a well deserved 9.5/10.

So there you have it, another anime reviewed! Thank you all for joining me on another Love Live! journey, it’s been really fun and I enjoyed writing about Nijigasaki each week. As always if another season is announced I’ll be back to review it but if not then I guess I’ll see you here once Love Live! Superstars gets its eventual anime release. As always feel free to leave any closing thoughts or comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to them as soon as I can.

If you missed my announcement on the Anime Corps Twitter about my plans for next season, I’ll be back reviewing another anime, that being Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!. It’s a short one so I’ll be able to handle that without any issues. Hope you can join me for that in the New Year!

That’s it for me! As always stay safe, wear a mask, and practice social distancing!

Take care guys!