As the competition heats up, so do the tensions around the highly coveted center position. Who would take that spot?

Let’s find out!

Over the years Love Live! has become a bigger and bigger deal and this year it’s bigger than ever. In fact it’s so big and has so many schools entering that not all of them will even get a chance to qualify. That’s the situation our girls in Liella! are facing right now. While having a rock-paper-scissors battle to decide who stays and who goes would be quite the sight, that’s not what’s been decided, much to Sumire’s dismay. The way they’ll be deciding who gets to qualify is based on a theme chosen by the Love Live! organization, and the theme for their region is rap.

That’s right, the girls will have to incorporate rap into their performance somehow and that will be what they’re judged on. If they can successfully pull it off they qualify, if not then this is the end of their journey. But before they even get to the rap aspect of their song, which has yet to be written or anything, do any of them even know anything about rap?

Close enough

I loved the scene back in the club room with each girl trying out their interpretation of rap. Kanon started off strong but faltered and couldn’t keep it going. Chisato also had a strong start but just started dancing instead. Ren’s turn was very Ren-like. Keke actually was quite good at it, I wanted to hear more from her. Sumire was a big surprise to everyone, especially Keke, who didn’t think she could do it but Sumire proved her wrong. All the time in showbiz really did pay off. While I think Keke would’ve been a good choice, the role ultimately landed with Sumire. What came next was quite the surprise.

With her chance finally here, Sumire could now show everyone just how amazing she is in the center position. Except she didn’t really want the center position all that much. While she talks big most of the time Sumire would end up giving the position away to Keke or Kanon in the past, something that comes across as strange given how she’s always jumping a the chance to be noticed. What exactly is going on here?

The long and short of it is that while Sumire is extremely talented, great at singing and dancing, she’s super pretty, and has the aura of a school idol, what she lacks is confidence in that main role. All her time in showbiz back in the day was spent just out of the spotlight. Be it a background character, a best friend, a runner up, or a giant iospod, Sumire never had her chance in the spotlight. Fast forward back to the present and now this chance has finally landed with her, the only thing she can think about is that they’re giving this role to her out of pity and nothing else.

It’s true Keke can be a little harsh with her, but we all know how passionate Keke is when it comes to all things school idol related. Even after Keke made her a beautiful dress, Sumire still feels they’re giving her this role just to make her feel good for a change, not because she actually earned it. Chisato and Kanon reading comments from around the school about Sumire not being center material wasn’t really helping the situation either, especially when Sumire overheard them talking about it.

We get some drama through the middle half with Sumire and Keke as the topic of center position still affects the group. Interesting to note that we learn an important detail about Keke here as well, that being she made a promise that if her school idol journey doesn’t work out, then she’ll return to China. It’s a shocking detail, one that Sumire overhears and takes to heart. If they really want to stand a chance at winning, Sumire feels they’d have a better shot with someone else at center, not her. But that’s where she’s wrong.

Keke wants her to have this position. She didn’t make that dress for nothing after all. While she might not have been for the idea at the start, after seeing how hard Sumire was working towards this goal and what it meant to her, Keke realized that Sumire really does deserve the spot and without her in the center they won’t be able to qualify for Love Live! either. So with that in mind, Keke presents to Sumire the finishing touch to her dress, a sparkling tiara. It was the final gesture of her approval to Sumire that Keke, and in turn everyone else, wanted her to have that center role.

With that finally settled it was only fitting to end with their performance. I didn’t feel they had a big rap element to it aside from the opening few lines, but overall it was a fantastic performance. By far their sexiest one to date too, which is an added bonus. Take a look!

With their ticket to the qualifiers punched, it’s time for Liella! to move on to their next challenge. If the preview is any indication, it looks like this will be a tough one for Kanon to pass!

Another great ep this week with the focus back on Sumire. It was nice to expand on her character, something that couldn’t really have been done with we were dealing with 9 girls in the group. What did you think of this week’s ep? Let me know in the comments below!

That’s it for me, thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!

As always, stay safe and healthy!