Love Live! Sunshine!! – 06

Love Live Sunshine - insert song

I can’t say I’m a fan of the big bow

winter15-highw You know, they didn’t have to go there. But since they did, let’s see how it went.

The Score for Composition

Love Live Sunshine - all in their own little world

A bunch of mixed reactions

I’m a big fan of the Olympics, and I’m really enjoying watching it now. I’m even taking a week off from work to watch more of the Olympics (it’s a good enough reason to use up some vacation time). But sometimes, it can seem like the Olympics are kind of the same thing over and over again, especially with regards to the US athletes. “Oh, Michael Phelps is winning a gold medal.” “The US women’s gymnastics team is the favorites.” “Beach Volleyball…” Sometimes the storylines repeat, and even though it’s a few years later, and different supporting and surrounding characters, the repetition gets a little too much.

Love Live Sunshine - getting chewed out

This is definitely called on the carpet

Where am I going with this? Well, Love Live! Sunshine!! of course (that is the name at the top of this post, not “Olympics”). They’ve been hitting a lot of the same story beats that the first series of Love Live! did, and generally that’s been ok. But I think they may have pushed it a bit too far with having the crisis in this series be the exact same crisis as the first series. “Save Our School!” has always been kind of a facile goal to put out there, but this time it seems especially overused. There are really fundamental demographic problems with Uranohoshi High School, a situation that didn’t obtain with Otonakizaka. That school was located in Tokyo. It was just less popular, and lifting its popularity with more visibility and fun is the perfect prescription for µ’s saving the school. But Uchiura is different. There’s a big town in Numazu, a ways over the hill, but who’s going to come to Uranohoshi? There’s just not the pool of people to draw from, so the idea that they can use the same pathway to success is just not nearly as believable.

And now the Score for Execution

Love Live Sunshine - always drippy

“You’re dripping on the floor”

So enough complaining about perhaps over-reuse of major plot arcs. What matters just as much is how they carry the story off. And here is where I think that Sunshine!! has done better than the original show. There’s a lot more believability to the idea that Aquors forms out of a love for school idols, and then tries to apply themselves to a purpose. But they still have to figure out what they can do, and how they can do it. Their initial attempt at a PV is, frankly, poor. It even causes Mari to fall asleep watching it (or at least fake falling asleep). But she’s right: they need to find what makes Uranohoshi special, not just put in work to put in work. And as usual, it ends up being something that you don’t even really notice in your day to day life, a feeling that you can only really appreciate when it strikes you, leading to a nice insert song routine, albeit one that left me a little “this is way over their heads cinematically.”

Love Live Sunshine - history there

More history for these three than anyone else

But there are other feelings that are going on outside of Aquors, as they continue to slowly develop the stories of Dia, Mari, and Kanan. It’s been made clear at this point that the three of them tried to make a school idol group at Uranohoshi in their first year, one that ended badly leading Dia to forswear school idols, cause Mari to leave the school entirely, and has apparently hurt Kanan so bad that the other two won’t even mention anything about it for reasons of protecting Kanan. They’re actually doing a very good job in stretching this little drama out, not overplaying it, and giving all three of them the chance to get over their previous traumas. We can see Dia coming around, no longer hostile to Chika and the others yet still not ready to jump in, with Ruby even stopping Chika from calling out to invite Dia when Ruby thinks it’s too soon. And Kanan, having had the idea planted in her head by Mari a couple episodes ago, is obviously thinking about trying again.

Love Live Sunshine - not now Chika

Ruby asserts herself


I think my favorite character of the show, based entirely on characterization, is Ruby. Someone who started out so shy around Chika has really come into her own, and from things like her pride at being singled out in their Fallen Angel video to her “Ganbaruby” name in this week’s bad PV to her standing up for her sister this week in a very sisterly way: “I know she’s getting there, but if you say something now, you’ll just make her stubborn, so let her work through it on her own.” And even though I’m not the biggest fan of her use of her name in conversation (it’s trying to hard to be kawaii, imo), I think she’s been the most fun of the group so far.


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!! – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    I think they’re setting the stage for something different. They lean heavily into some similarities with previous seasons, but that feels more like context. So while Chika is riding high on the opportunity to save her school, I think something else is percolating in the background.

    Can it really be saved, and should it? It seems like they’re showing us past failures – citing Dia, Mari, and Kanan – quite deliberately, using comparison and contrast…So save the school, or be champions to combine the two? Who knows, let’s see it play out.

  2. Hoshi says:

    ~I know that Sunshine has enough sense to tweak the story from the original, but damn it’s still an annoying cop-out lol (though a school at a small seaside town with low attendance is a lot more believable).

    Overall Sunshine is definitely turning out to be more interesting than the original for me, mainly because there are more realistic (??) problems, and it’s more complex character-wise with the 3rd years. The original characters were fun, but feel so plain now compared to the Sunshine characters. Plus as a spin-off series there’s actually history behind it, so it’s interesting to see how these new characters fit into this world and how they branch off from their predecessors.

    • Highway says:

      The characters are definitely more complex and seemingly much less to type. But yet they don’t feel like they’re just a collection of character traits. That can make it harder to pin down characters like You, or even Riko, but it gives more of a feel of them being people.

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