Thankfully they’re better idols than spies.
A 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
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.
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.
Gotcha! Well, what there is of you.
Pride Goeth Before the Fall
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.
Nico’s last ‘solo’ performance
Evening Things Out
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.
Where Nozomi can’t, Rin has no problem, but she doesn’t like it.
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.