Love Live! Sunshine!! – 03

Love Live Sunshine - It's not unusual to have dance moves like this

It’s not unusual to have dance moves like this.

winter15-highw Time for the rubber to meet the road, the money to go where the mouth, the pushes to come to shoves, and all that.

A New Sort-of Ally

Love Live Sunshine - But no Cary Grant

There’s no Cary Grant, tho, so… disappointing!

In other words, it’s make or break time for Chika, You, and Riko. This is precipitated by the arrival of the new school director, Mari Ohara. Who just happens to be a third-year student in the school, and past nemesis of Dia, the dictatorial (at least regarding school idols) student council president. After nearly killing the members of our budding group reprising North by Northwest in her helicopter, she makes a deal with the three of them, over Dia’s objections, to approve their school idol club if they can fill up the school gym for a live performance. And let’s face it, Dia objects to everything. Her look is even an grumpy emoji (>@.- @<)…

Love Live Sunshine - Diaface

See? Look at that face! And hairpins!

And as an aside, while I’m picking on Dia a little, for whatever reason I was thinking about naming, and how Dia and Ruby are sisters. So we have sisters with a precious stone naming convention. And isn’t it convenient that Dia is black-haired and severe, while Ruby is red-haired and relatively cheerful, if shy? It’s like they were named after their hair color. But they aren’t nicknames, they’re given names. Seems like a real stretch to name your kid based on hair color when they barely have any hair, especially something out on a limb like Ruby. I think it might have been funnier if they’d named them the opposite, but that might only work for characters closer in personality.

The Challenge

Love Live Sunshine - It's joke!

“It’s joke!”

Anyway, back to Mari, it’s not really clear whether she’s serious about them filling up the gym for the performance. Even if everyone in the school came, they wouldn’t fill up the gym (big gym, little school). And Mari seems to have a playful, capricious streak to her from her scattered use of “english” – especially her “It’s joke!” – to her tweaking of Dia to her winding Chika up about booking the Akiba Dome for their debut performance to her inscrutable smile during the payoff performance of the show. And I know I’ve said we shouldn’t compare these characters to the ones from the previous Love Live! series, but I at least see Mari and Dia as fulfilling the same relative roles to each other that Eri and Nozomi did, a complementary pair that balances out in combination, with each curbing the excesses of the other, and supporting the blind spots or deficiencies. I’m not saying that the characters map even closely onto those previous characters, just that they have set them in this binary system where they play off each other well.

Love Live Sunshine - Already better than muse

Already they’re better than µ’s first performance

Love Live Sunshine - it's not packed, but pretty full

It’s not packed, but it’s a reasonable definition of ‘full’

One might say that the whole point of a series like this is to set up these character “solar systems”, since we also have Chika, Riko, and You. Riko even comments on You’s repeated challenging of Chika, asking if she wants to quit or give up, with You replying that she does it to fire up Chika more, knowing that she won’t consider giving up. But before we can get further in the show, they have to pass the first hurdle, which is their first performance. You have to let a lot of things go as far as logistics when you consider how much noise an auditorium full of people will make, how long it would take to get them in there, how long it would take to walk from the nearby streets, etc, but in the end the point is made. This isn’t like the first µ’s concert, played to an initially empty house. At least a few people showed up initially, with the rest coming in at the dramatic pause due to the power going out. But in the end, they fight through the troubles, both internal and external, and even seem to convince Dia that they’re doing it the right way.

Love Live Sunshine - Finally convincing Dia

Challenged by Grumpy and giving the right answer

Love Live Sunshine - Here's your Yohane picture

And now we’re back to the Cary Grant spy thing…


Sunrise has a successful route set up for this show, and they’re following it beat for beat. But that doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting to see it. And it’s not like anyone’s watching a show like Love Live! Sunshine!! for its never-before-seen plot. But what they do have a knack for is creating interesting personalities, which is what this is all about. We want to see these personalities interact, moving together or apart or bouncing off of each other like molecules in an 11th grade chemistry film. And now the show is having it all start to come together, as these interesting personalities are revealed more and more. It will take a while for all of them to be familiar to us (like I’ve noted before, characters like Rin and Kotori didn’t get that needed development until well into the second series of the first group), but that’s where the fun in this kind of series is. And hopefully you enjoy the music along the way.


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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3 Responses to “Love Live! Sunshine!! – 03”

  1. skylion says:

    If Sunrise had treated this as an unrelenting 51 episode show form now til the end of (?) I suppose the beat for beat would have been….unrelenting.

    But, like all good stories it knows when to pause and let us take stock, and when to push forward.

    I’m still taken about by Dia’s role in the thing. I know drama needs a bit of a roadblock like her’s tossed in, but when it’s forgone conclusion it just feels like it’s checking the box…ah well, won’t have to see it that way for long, right?

    • Highway says:

      Well, they definitely needed to take a break, and even more importantly wrap up the µ’s story. That gave this ‘reboot’ the breathing space it needs to be something the same but different.

      I think Dia’s role in the setup of Aquors is extremely minor compared to the role her roadblocking is playing in her character setting. Arguably, she’s the one that we’ve gotten the most information on, with the possible exceptions of Riko and maybe Chika. We know not just that she’s been recalcitrant, but why she has been, and how it’s a well-known side of her personality (from Ruby and Mari), and we also know what lights her rocket.

      So I don’t think that her ‘standing athwart history yelling “Stop!”‘ is supposed to really be any sort of dramatic problem to overcome, and as such it doesn’t really get pushed into a checkbox for me.

  2. Namaewoinai says:

    So if the Previous Blonde Girl is aHalf-Russian, this one i believe is a Half-American, but her attitude is kinda like This Girl…and “Shiny”…HAH…yeah right!

    and That Poor Ms. Sanchez, Hmph, still kinda scared of Dogs eh…XD

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