I’m tryin’ to tell you now it’s sabotage!
For the last two weeks, Love Live! has been my #1 APR vote. But this week’s not going to continue that trend, unfortunately.
Not My Favorite Message
Mom and Yukiho break the bad news
I realize that the world of idols is all about image, and the particularly unrealistic ones that permeate the world of Japanese idols are fairly odious. And I also understand that you do what you have to if you want to win a competition and the hearts of the fans. But even knowing that, this episode of Love Live! was problematic for me for the bare fact of body shaming. I realize it’s a fact of that life, but that doesn’t mean I have to like a show that focuses on it.
Kotori’s not helping
I will give the show some credit in some places. It didn’t deform Honoka to show her being fat and ugly. It didn’t even show us (or even Umi and Kotori) Honoka’s not fitting into her first live outfit. It also didn’t make either Honoka or Hanayo obviously thinner or prettier when they met their goal. Heck, they didn’t even ever state what either girl’s weight was. In fact, they did a fairly good job not making disparaging statements about either girl, just that they looked bigger and didn’t fit those old outfits. And they also did show cause and effect: Honoka eating bread all the time, and Hanayo with a gigantic onigiri with the promise of more. But there’s still more that should have been included or discussed. These are 16 and 17 year old girls, presumably (Hanayo could still even be 15). As far as I know, that’s still an age where girls are filling out (since Honoka mentions her height hasn’t increased), in many ways without any overt bad habits as a cause.
Neither is Hanayo
So What Else Happened?
Kotori is REALLY not helping
Noone wants a whole post of me haranguing the show for fat shaming, so let’s see what else happened in the episode. Well, apparently Honoka is not just lazy about what she eats, but she’s lazy about the administrative work for the student council. This really was ‘Pile on Honoka’ week. But the big mess-up wasn’t Honoka’s fault, as Kotori accidentally put the Art Club’s budget request in the ‘Approved’ box. Not only does their full budget get ‘approved’, but it does so before the budget meeting, and going back on something like that is a very difficult thing, culturally.
At least it got fixed
So to try to fix it, not only do Honoka, Umi, and Kotori stay late night after night to finish all the paperwork, but they develop a draft budget taking the realities of the school’s reduced finances due to falling enrollment into account. While it’s not what anyone wanted for their budget, it probably is a fair allocation, and as such, it passes the budget committee without further debate.
This was without doubt my least favorite episode of this season so far. I realize that it’s a reality for teenage girls to worry about their weight, but I don’t really have to like that it’s portrayed like this, even if it was close to the best of a bad situation. The story part about the student council was also kind of a weird message, in “It’s ok if you slack off, just work hard to catch up”. And really that was kind of the message of both themes in the show, not one of ‘adopt better habits’ but ‘slack and focus’. It did prove that Honoka-tachi could handle the business of the student council, letting Eli and Nozomi rest easy, but one hopes that they’d be a little more diligent all the time and not have to work in crisis mode. Now we just have to find out what the meaning of that wistful look by Nozomi was, which I’m thinking has to do with the seniors becoming redundant and realizing that they’ll have to leave not just the school, but also this group of friends.