Love Live! S2 – 06

Love Live-pose

Time for more dancing!

spring14-highwOk, saying it right now: I think that Love Live! School Idol Project Season 2 is Best Anime of Spring 2014. And even if it doesn’t turn out the best, it’s certainly the most fun so far.

Discovering Yourself

Love Live-conversation

With the backdrop of the Akihabara Halloween Festival, we get a story about µ’s trying to figure out how to raise their exposure so that they can compete with A-Rise. And conveniently, they are invited to perform at the School Idol showcase for the festival… along with A-Rise. So along with practicing and learning a new song for performance, they’re more obsessed with figuring out how to bring the impact to grab people’s attention. And while a lot of shows have messed around with the ‘Impact’ and ‘reinventing yourself’ memes, they do a good job throughout the episode of keeping it authentic and true to the show, with those moments of silliness that you expect from Love Live! Things like the conversation between the pumpkin, ghost, Jack Skellington and giant robot stand-ins for Honoka, Kotori, Nico, and Maki (getting Maki to play along with that? She’s REALLY loosening up).

Love Live-swap time

Everyone managed to get everyone else spot on… it just didn’t work out like they hoped

And just how far behind they are is proven when a video spot by A-Rise completely overshadows Honoka, Rin, and Nico who are there live, and quite a bit overwhelmed. But none of the ideas they come up with really work, not even the ones that shake things up. Using different club uniforms with introductions? Cute, but not really what they’re going for. Having everyone impersonate someone else, down to the normal workout clothes, for practice? A lot of fun to watch, but again not really working. So what can they try?

KISS

Love Live-KISS

You wanted the Best? You GOT the Best!

I nearly died of laughter when they showed up in KISS makeup. And yes, that’s about the closest you’re going to get to how KISS actually dresses and wears their makeup, with even the cape and legguards for Honoka and Maki dressed up like Gene Simmons (and a topknot for Honoka!). I can’t guess that many people reading this article even know who KISS is, let alone got the verisimilitude, but let me assure you, it was there. But even that ends pretty badly, since Kotori’s mom threatens to make them perform in those outfits.

Love Live-Trying out other uniforms

They really don’t need gimmicks

There’s another thing KISS stands for, tho: Keep It Simple, Stupid. And ultimately, that’s what this group needs to do. They already have the chemistry worked out. They need to make their impact through that. And that’s what Kotori finally realizes, that making outfits that just suit everyone individually, and everyone doing their best in them, will bring out more of what µ’s is than any stunt or change. And even accused of all of that being a waste of time, Kotori makes a good point: it was fun, and it was interesting to find out what people reacted to. And it even helped inspire her for their costumes. And Honoka’s realization that they are a fairly diverse group that’s still come together to be friends and work together isn’t a bad one either (although the actual difference between any of these girls is minimal at best in the scope of the world).

Love Live-faux paws

This move was borrowed, but borrowing from yourself is ok.

I was a little disappointed, just the smallest bit, when the music started up, and it wasn’t Loveless World. Especially when it started with that creaking gate and after they’d been teasing us with the idea of Rock. But the song that they played, Dancing Stars on Me! was still a lot of fun, and moving from the set to the street worked well to make the crowd be a part of the song. There might have been a couple of weird spots with the CG, but all in all, it’s still a good performance, and they’re just getting more and more polished. This dance sequence seemed like it borrowed a lot of elements from other performances, both in the show and extra ones, like the paws from Music S.T.A.R.T. and the beginning movement reminded me a lot of No Brand Girls, as well as getting a “Mogyuutto” vibe from the first time through the chorus. Really enjoyable, and a lot of cute costumes.

Love Live-crowd interaction

Audience Interaction is key for impact

Love Live-End

Nozomi rocks the center

header-spring14-highw

Another really good episode, bringing the laughs and the interest. Love Live! really does well at this sorta-slice-of-live kind of episode, and is best when it’s playing all these characters off each other. What’s even better is that both the show and the audience have gotten very familiar and comfortable with all of the characters, so they can exploit even fairly small quirks of the individuals, like we saw in the sequence where they impersonated each other. It was so easy for the viewer to pick up who was who, even if they didn’t explain it, that it really rewarded the audience. And even if you didn’t get much out of that, you can at least watch Nozomi in the OP song (bounce bounce bounce). Yeah, it’s pretty terrible that that’s what I notice, but she really fills out that outfit more than the others somehow…

About

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!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

11 Responses to “Love Live! S2 – 06”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Of all the groups the girls could’ve portrayed, they went with KISS. That’s absolutely hilarious and out of the box. I vaguely know the band myself so I can’t say much. To show how much attention that’s drawn, even KISS singer Gene Simmons noticed and reacted to Love Live’s parody.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, but who knows if Gene Simmons is going to go after them for not licensing the look from him. :)

      The singer in my band is a huge KISS fan, and I’m not much of one. I always say “If it sounds like hard rock, but there’s absolutely nothing distinctive about it, then it’s KISS.” But they have a couple good songs to play.

      • skylion says:

        Remember when they performed without the make-up? No one wanted ‘em. So they went back to it! But then Lick it Up probably made people not want them…dreadful tune.

        • Highway says:

          I’ve never been able to decide which song is worse from that era, Lick It Up or Heaven’s On Fire. Lick It Up is just atrocious, but Heaven’s On Fire has a far worse video.

          And the “we took off the makeup” is a convenient excuse for them to have come on some harder times, but that also coincides with half the band being different, and a lot better hard rock music being made by other people. They’re still big now because of the stuff from the 70′s.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      FKYA!!! Death Metal!!! All we now need is Metallica and Black Sabbath.

  2. skylion says:

    This reminds me of something Joss Whedon said about Buffy in reaction to the (in)famous singing and amnesia episodes of season six. “Well, they are an ensemble cast, let’s do improve, right?”

    This made for a terrific “middle” episode for the season. It reminds of who and what they are without being so cheap in the methods. This easily could have been a wistful sort of “oh let’s sit around and reminisce” sort of affair.

    • Highway says:

      Maybe it’s just me being a fanboy, but the show really hasn’t put a foot wrong all season. It’s been consistently fun, but also consistently meaningful. Every week has been about the other characters, not just the audience, learning about their friends and group mates.

      We’ll have to find out what the big news that Yukiho discovered is, tho. I don’t know if they’ll reveal that next week or hold it for a while. At least the envelope being opened seems to indicate that Honoka has at least read whatever’s inside.

      Something else that helped me: frequently when characters swap places, with one character’s VA impersonating another, I have a difficult time determining the difference, because they tend to make the character look almost exactly the same. But this character swapping was a lot easier on me, since they all still looked like themselves, just trading clothes (and hairstyles, a nice touch). Plus, they fell out of character a few times to help remind. It ended up working really well for me, while still being very funny.

  3. HannoX says:

    I loved their KISS parody! And it would have been appropriate for a Halloween show. However, the costumes they went with were also appropriate for a Halloween show and unlike the KISS ones the audience could still see who they were. So for making an impact and raising their profile that was the better choice. I also really liked the song they did then.

    I won’t call this the best show of the season, but it’s high on the list and very enjoyable.

    • Highway says:

      By my completely subjective “Which show do I look forward to and enjoy watching the most” criteria, this is it. The only other ones coming close are Soul Eater Not! and Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii.

      I really love the number of songs they’re throwing in to this season. They really keep the interest going, and I like that the whole show isn’t “Let’s watch them practice a new song” even though I know that work-wise that’s what’s taking most of their time. It’s good that they imply that the work is being put in (talking about practice time, and showing just a little of it), so there’s still the connection, but they’re not bogging the show down with practice issues. It’s just what you do to learn a performance.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    Best comical episode of Love Live EVER! I loved the personality swapping, Detroit Metal City/Kiss outfits and of course the Halloween outfits+dancing at the end :D

    • Highway says:

      Something I noticed that you can see in the personality swapping picture up there: Everyone took on not just the overt mannerisms, but even the resting postures of the person they were impersonating: Rin playing with her hair like Maki does, Honoka with the very upright straight posture that Umi has, Kotori more relaxed like Eli usually is, etc.

Leave a Reply