Love Live S2 – 04


Love Live-Not good spies

Thankfully they’re better idols than spies.

spring14-highwA lot of sequels to comedy series are bad ideas. Bad plots, bad developments, bad to watch. The list is fairly long: Samurai Brides, Kore wa Zombie, Nyarlko, a lot of them just look like money grabs, or end up flanderizing their characters too much. Thankfully, Love Live! hasn’t fallen into this problem… yet.

It Was All a Dream

Love Live-Honoka tries to change the future

Honoka’s making her dream come true, against her wishes

This whole show was excellent, funny and engaging throughout. The first gag was well set up, both the initial joke and the follow up. Of course we’re expecting them to wait for the results to the Love Live! Preliminaries, so seeing everyone crowded around was only natural. And when they don’t get into the next round, it actually felt like a serious development (really,“Mutant Girls”? I liked the masks, tho). So to have Honoka bust out the “That’s what happened in my dream!” gives them a chance at redemption, as well as setting us up to see the whole thing again, but this time with Honoka trying to change the future she saw in her dream. And they can’t quite believe that it’s them, not the soap brand, but it finally does sink in.

Love Live-Not original but funny

An old gag, but it always works

Everyone’s thrilled about the news… except Nico, for some reason. Instead she seems to be avoiding everyone, even leading everyone on a wild chase through town. This part of the show was a lot of fun as well, with old standbys for chases like ‘hiding with the cardboard cutouts’ and running out the back door, as well as µ’s callback jokes to Nozomi grabbing boobs for punishment and Rin’s flat-chestedness.

Love Live-Caught momentarily

Gotcha! Well, what there is of you.

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Love Live-Not even good photoshop

It’s not even photoshop, just photos chopped

Nico’s biggest problem is that she won’t lose to anyone, even if she has to make up winning. So we learn that she’s been pretending to be a super idol to her younger siblings, with her ‘backup dancers’ µ’s. Even going so far as to paste her face over whoever else is the center in posters. Of course the rest of the girls don’t like being called “backup dancers,” but to their credit, they don’t really spill the beans and disabuse the kids of that fiction. Instead, they give Nico more consideration of how to impress her brother and sisters, and Nico herself gives up the fiction of being a super idol, saying she’s going to be one of the group.

Love Live-Giving up her 'solo' career

Nico’s last ‘solo’ performance

Evening Things Out

Love Live-Nico shrunk!

Rin’s getting more attention

One thing that I think has been working well this season in Love Live! is that they’ve been giving Rin a lot more attention. While she’s not a super favorite character of mine, she’s pretty inoffensive, and has some pretty good characteristics. And since she and Hanayo were pretty much the forgotten characters in season one, with Hanayo’s big spot being the town crier for new announcements, Rin really didn’t get much in the way of screen time or attention. I think this is fairly understandable, since season one was much more about Honoka and Eli, with some Nico and Maki thrown in. But I’ve noticed this season, and especially this episode, that Rin has been a lot more present and even got a few pretty good jokes this episode. Giving Nico grief for being a small 3rd year, being the one who has to squeeze between the cars because she’s not as well-endowed as Nozomi, and giving Maki grief for being stubborn like Nico. It’s nice to see her get more on an even footing with everyone else. Rin even did the voiceover for this week’s recap from last week (referring to ‘we’ as ‘Rin-tachi’) but without her trademark ‘nyaa’s.

Love Live-Where Nozomi can't Love Live-Rin can

Where Nozomi can’t, Rin has no problem, but she doesn’t like it.

Love Live-Had Enough Nico Nii

Nozomi’s had enough “nico-nico-nii”


A really fun episode, and while it wasn’t anything new that we learned about Nico, she did get to change herself a bit. She also got to sing the ED song solo, which gives her a solo ED in both seasons, something noone else has done yet (Honoka and Kotori also had solo ED’s in the first season, but Nico’s was also first in the first season). Too bad I’m not sure if Sora Tokui really sings like that, or if it’s Nico singing like that, with that almost off-key feel and pretty flat sound, since it’s not my favorite style of voice. And as I said, it’s good to see Hanayo and especially Rin getting more attention in the show, although it seems to be coming at Kotori’s expense so far. Maybe it’s because she had her big storyline in the first season, almost going to America, but Kotori’s the one who seems to be reduced to one line and smiles.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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17 Responses to “Love Live S2 – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    Besides the Big Bravura of the first episode of the first season, this is my favorite of the franchise so far.

    I don’t apologize. Nico is one of my favorite characters. She has so many faults. But to me, that makes her more interesting. She really rose to the fore in this one.

    This just felt like the old Beatle’s film, A Hard Day’s Night. And it’s a given. That title is one of Ringo Starr’s infamous malapropisms. And if any member of Muse is the Ringo…

    • Highway says:

      Heh, it’s no secret that Nico is about my least favorite character, but this episode was a lot of fun. I thought it really funny that she took off a SECOND time, to the same music, when she came home to find the whole group there.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    OH MY GOD best episode! Nico ftw <3 <3 <3 <3

    I am glad we finally saw her home life and all those siblings? WHOA!

    • Highway says:

      I was trying to figure out if there was some naming scheme going on with the kids, but if there is, it’s beyond my figuring it out.

      Interesting coincidence with a couple characters named Kokoa this season.

    • skylion says:

      We need more of the siblings!

  3. HiroiSekai says:

    Any excuse for more “Nico Nico nii~” is a huge no-no for me, but I have to agree this episode was good fun. Overall, this season feels like it has a lot more quality than the last so far.

    • Highway says:

      Thankfully, Nozomi is on your (and my) side, having had enough of Nico’s persona and catch phrase. It was also funny watching Eli just slowly burn up listening to Nico’s sickly sweet phone message.

      I think this season’s got a bit of a writing advantage, in that they have a lot more freedom to explore different comedy and plot lines. The first season had to spend more than half of its run dealing with putting the group together, and then most of the other half with the Love Live! competition. When they finally disposed of that, we got a good plot arc about Kotori, and the plot lines this season have continued more in that same vein. I think they’re doing really well not making the whole thing be about hammering on practicing for the contest. It’s a constant presence and driver, but it’s not the entire focus.

      • HiroiSekai says:

        Very very true on all points. I find that the change I like the most in this season is actually the background music; they really kicked up the OST for this one so far. Definitely helps the plot that they’ve established all of the characters as you mentioned, and I think more Maki never hurt anyone, ever.

        • Highway says:

          More Maki doesn’t hurt, and I’m enjoying more Rin, as I mentioned, especially since she wasn’t really on my radar at all in the first series. I think it’s funny that Rin has started giving Maki a hard time, both last week when she and Hanayo were amazed at Maki smiling at a classmate, and this week when she was comparing her to Nico.

          OST’s are something that I actually don’t notice much in shows, but I did notice this week’s action music as Nico led the chase. I focus more on the foreground music: the OP / ED and insert songs, and they’ve knocked those out of the park also. It took me a few listens to get into Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki, but I’m really enjoying it, and think that the animation really shows the strides they’ve made in the dance numbers, especially with the CG parts. And I really like the callback in the ED to Rin with the maracas and the simplistic animation for everyone. It has the right touch.

          • HiroiSekai says:

            Rin’s awesome, probably my second favourite after Maki. I know I’ll eventually have to list my favourite to least favourite list of characters again, much like I did for [email protected] (which took FOREVER).

            I usually don’t over-boast about OSTs either, but there was a really sharp improvement from S1 that I instantly felt it. Love Live music has been pretty solid from the get-go for me, so it’s nice to see it improve here. The awkward 2D-3D transitions have undeniably improved too, no doubt.

            • Highway says:

              I completely agree about the transitions. I think it’s interesting to note that the dance sequences have been constantly improving from the very beginning of the “project”. Snow Halation is better than Bokura no Live, Wonderful Rush is better than 1,2,3, Jump, the remake of Bokura no Live for the first series is miles better than the first single, and No Brand Girls and Start:Dash from the finale are the best ones of the first season. And already, the OP and Yume no dobira are better than any of the others, visually. They’ve made the character models much more consistent between 2D and CG, and they’ve made the hair weight more consistent (a big giveaway for me in the earlier things).

              Feel free to list your favorites whenever, and a belated welcome to Metanorn! It’s always great to have new readers and commenters.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    The girl’s made it by the skin of their teeth. The pressure is going to add up from here on out so hopefully it won’t cause too much tension. They’re already boxed in as it is.

    Well, that was an interesting development. I never thought of Nico as the big sister type so it was strange finding out she has younger siblings. She’s real invested in that “Nico smile” thing. I just don’t find anything appealing of it.

    • Highway says:

      Well, they didn’t give vote totals, so we don’t know if they just barely beat 5th place or they were in a close race for 2nd with the other two groups. Not really important, tho, since the only goal that matters is first place in front of A-RISE.

  5. HiroiSekai says:

    Couldn’t reply to your last post, so here I am again with this one!

    I’m pretty much on par with your picks and progression there; love No Brand Girls and Start:Dash. Many of the songs they don’t display on screen are fantastic as well, like Paradise Live, Yuujou no Change and LONELIEST BABY. I really do have to appreciate how many strides the 2D-CG transitions has made.

    Many thanks for the welcome too! I’ve definitely been reading for a decent bit, but I admit that it was when I lurked about and wasn’t really in the anime watching/writing crowd.

    • Highway says:

      I’m hoping to get out a “Music of µ’s” post soonish, at least during the season, that will highlight my favorites and a lot of the songs that aren’t directly from the show. I tend to like the songs that are more rock or even disco (I *looooove* Kaguya no Shiro de Odoritai), but I’ll go into that in the post.

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