Love Live! S2 – 09

Love Live-shooshoo

Shooshooshoo! Go Be Awesome Idols!

spring14-highwYes, they totally did it!


Everyone Gives it Their All

Love Live-Surprise Nico

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.

Love Live-Winning Sandwiches

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

Love Live-Not going to make it.

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.

Love Live-Everyone helps

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.

Snow Halation!

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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.


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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10 Responses to “Love Live! S2 – 09”

  1. thorgriim says:

    Nooo Rento is going! you’ve done well playing at Highways Avatar.. you will be miss… welcome Umi! may your stay be comfy!

    and on that note.. This episode.. I felt it was OVERLY Dramatic and it honestly didn’t REALLY need to go that far in my option. I like drama, even if it’s cheesy and predictable, But in this case, it felt rushed, it felt too forced. I know its suppose to be “True idol power!” like Don’t give up not matter what stands in your way!. Sadly I Didn’t really do feel it, I mean the suspense wasn’t there for me, The storm didn’t feel threatening at all.

    Doing the pacing like this is unneeded, They don’t need to drill it in my head, I already know how they all feel, I already know they wont give up, and I already know they Are NOT going to give up at this point.

    and Yes you could argue this about anything, like a superhero always wins, but it’s how they win. I might of been Better if the episode ended right as the snow picked up.. leaving room for maybe some tiny bit of suspense?

    and I’m guessing the song relates to the whole episode? Snow Halation, more corny..ness!

    But This episode wont make me Dislike Love live, or make me drop the series, It just this episode and many other parts feet flat, So neko’s arc/story episode was the only impact-ful moment for me, Lets hope the end will be a better buildup and most impact on me hehe

    • Highway says:

      The whole series has been about overcoming very minor conflicts with friendship, hard work, and gumption. They just turned the knob on this episode up to 12. I won’t argue it wasn’t corny, it can’t be argued. But I think what’s key is that it wasn’t out of character for the show. I don’t think the show has ever been about suspense or danger or even the barest hint of failure. Even the very first performance they did, where “nobody” showed up (even though everyone in µ’s showed up, and they were the important audience) wasn’t a failure. Instead of suspense, they’d rather blow through it either with a joke or with character growth.

      To be honest, the only thing that the song had to do with the action in the show is that they both had snow. If you watch the original video for it, that’s much more thematic of the song. It’s a falling in love song that just makes up the nonsense term ‘snow halation’. But it’s still a great song. 🙂

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Ari no… mama no… sugata miseru no you~~

  3. skylion says:

    Based Snow.

    This took corny to new levels, they just kept moving with it. Sometimes you can push it, and come out the other side awesome.

    …and I expected nothing less from this production. They get characters spot on, I doesn’t surprise me when they turn the convention against itself.

    • Highway says:

      One thing that kind of surprises me about the show is that it’s so good at making Honoka the main character, without making it so super obvious that she’s the main character. It’s not like the show is All About Honoka. There’s plenty of time that other characters get the spotlight and development, and the show never feels like either it or µ’s revolves around Honoka, and she’s definitely not a diva, even if she is somewhat attention-hoggy (but just because things happen around her). But when push comes to shove, Honoka, this ordinary girl with some bad habits, is the one that rallies the troops, pushes through the problem, and inspires the rest. And also is the one that the rest of the school focuses on, which I think is the really interesting part, given that Eri should be far more recognizable.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    LOL. And here I was thinking you’d keep your old avatar until next season to make a full year of having it. Well, it was close enough.

    Corniest entry to date yet remains to be very endearing thanks to the help of all the students pitching in to lessen the µ’s girl’s overwhelming load. And at least they were grateful to recognize their efforts were for the sake of their school. It’s safe to say the snowstorm was a deliberate enough plot to test the girl’s faith in the face of unforeseen circumstances. Cliché and overdramatic but Love Live manages to get away with it. Hey, it’s one of the things that makes anime just what it is.

    I must say that was a beautiful and impressive stage for them to perform on. The snow scenery does well to enhance what’s already there. It probably wouldn’t look as good without the white powder.

    • Highway says:

      I’ve probably watched the two videos 20 times this week, comparing (and still enjoying). The color change with the longer pan and the motion to the side in the new one is much more dramatic. The stage overall on the new one I’m not as much of a fan of, tho, it just seems too big and empty.

      I have no real attachment to any particular avatar. Rento was definitely cute, but if they’re going to show so much Umi in this video, I’m definitely going to use it.

      Speaking of, Do people find that in performance videos like this, you’re consistently watching one person? In the show version of Snow Halation here, I really am always watching Umi, but for Wonderful Rush, usually my eye is drawn to Eri. And in the No Brand Girls performance, it’s between Honoka and Nozomi. I wonder if everyone looks the same directions, or if your (everyone’s) eye is caught by someone different.

  5. HiroiSekai says:

    God, what a beautiful way to bring back my great Snow Halation memories. It wasn’t an episode that had me laughing out loud like the last few episodes, but I still enjoyed it in a different way.

    This season has surprised me so much, and I just can’t get enough of it.

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