Shooshooshoo! Go Be Awesome Idols!
Yes, they totally did it!
Everyone Gives it Their All
We’re going to MAKE you go with us, Nico!
Yes, the big news is that they sang Snow Halation for the Final Preliminary. And there wasn’t really any suspense to it, since the episode starts off with snow all over the place, Honoka making cracks about the irony, and even the title on a sheet of paper in a stack. The performance is apparently in the afternoon, but there’s nothing else going on for most of the students today, so they’re heading straight to the performance site, an outdoor stage probably in Akiba. But Honoka, Umi, and Kotori have to go to the school to give a speech (I think for incoming students) as the Student Council, so those three are separate from the others.
Mom, you’re embarrassing me!
Everyone’s in their year group as well, as Nozomi picks up Eri and they go get Nico, while Hanayo and Rin wait for Maki, whose mom makes katsu sandwiches for everyone (for those who don’t know, katsu is breaded cutlets, but it’s also the word for victory, so lots of Japanese have katsu before big performances (this was done in Girls und Panzer as well)). But it’s not just Maki’s mom that’s supporting µ’s. Nico’s brother makes snow figures of µ’s for support, and even the rest of the school students shoo Honoka, Umi, and Kotori back inside instead of letting them help shovel.
It Can’t Be That Easy
Fighting the Wind
Of course the snow won’t let up like it was supposed to, and with the train not running, and the roads full of snow, the three 2nd years can’t get to the venue. So they decide to walk there, in the snow, in their miniskirts and outdoor shoes. And just when it’s looking grim (with overly dramatic music, blowing wind and snow, and incipient failure), it becomes clear that everyone from the school is going to help them get there. Snow boots, shoveling walks all the way to the stage, and shouts of encouragement help get them there. I really like the way this works, with everyone taking their own ownership of Otonokizaka’s pride, and contributing to the possibility of success in ways that they’re able to. Sure it’s kinda cheesy and very very television, but isn’t this what we watch television for? I could probably have done without Honoka crying in Eri’s arms, partly because I really don’t like crying in anime (it seems so fake), and partly because it seemed like a weird response to finally making it to the performance venue. But she rallies pretty well, and thanks everyone for their help.
Everyone helps get them to the stage on time
And then it’s time for the big performance. All credit to the show for running the credits early over the setup for the live, to get them out of the way of the big finish. And yes, it really is Snow Halation. Same outfits, same coreography, but no cutaways to the story part of the PV. Not even any cutaways to the crowd, which I was kind of surprised at. And unlike the original PV, this one uses the character models as they’ve evolved, so for the most part it looks just like you’d expect. There are a couple of distracting CG parts, but there are also a couple CG parts that were huge improvements over the original. In order to cut a 4:16 song down to 2:40, they got rid of the second verse and the outro. But they kept the solo and the amazing color change, which probably works even better with this stage setup (although in general, the big flat open stage doesn’t give it the same intimate feel as the original). There’s also a lot more long shots and pans, letting us see a lot more of the choreography, instead of chopping it up into so many closeups. They even added some emphatic touches, like Kotori’s squeeze and Hanayo’s glee at performing (and Nico’s devil horns!). There’s also quite a bit more detail on the costumes, especially the fur. But in general, the more I see the new one, the more I like it over the old one. There’s just much more energy, and even if they song is chopped, the quality is better. Definitely worth it.
Of course, you know what they need to do for the BD now: Put the whole song in. That would just be terrific. We’ll see what the results are next week, and how they end up comparing to A-Rise. There are 4 episodes left, and that’s enough time to have the show continue to the finals of Love Live! if they have managed to win, but they put so much feeling of this being a finale into this show, it wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t win and deal with the departure of Eri, Nozomi, and Nico for the rest of the series. Of course, they could do both with 4 episodes, as well. Oh, and because my current writer avatar here on Metanorn is Umi from the original Snow Halation, I think it’s time to update my gravatar as well. Thanks, Rento, but it’s time to move on.