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Love Live! S2 – μ’s Music End »« Love Live! School Idol Project – 01

Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season – 01

「もう一度ラブライブ!」 (Mouichido Rabu Raibu!)
“Another Love Live!”

The second season is off to a sprinting start, but the narrative is leaving me a little worried.

A Very Musical Love Live

I laughed when the episode started out with a musical bit where Honoka danced through the hallways and sand about becoming the seitokaichou. It was a good laugh! It was so over-the-top silly that I couldn’t help but smile! It did give the episode a very Glee feeling, which the revelation that they’re now going to have regionals to get to the nationals didn’t help. (Alternately, Saki with singing and dancing, and more pantsu.) I did think the whole Honoka-as-seitokaichou thing was going to be a dream though, but turns out no, it was just her competency that was a fantasy. That sounds like the Honoka I know.

No Time To Waste!

They wasted no time bringing up what this next season is going to be about – a straight shot at the Love Live tournament, from regionals to (hopefully) nationals. The pace felt blistering really, like they’re not at all interested in easing us back in or welcoming new viewers, they’re just happy to serve the audience that already watched Season 1. I don’t have a problem with that in principle, but even as someone who watched Season 1, it felt fast to me. I can only hope this means they have so much story to get to that they need to rush, otherwise it will feel somewhat pointless.

Over In An Episode

The plot was where this episode gave me some worries. One thing I forgot to mention in my preview of this season was that unplanned sequels have a low success record. The main characters’ goal in the first season was to save their school, and they did, but just working towards the next Love Live tournament doesn’t have that same kind of punch. That’s not even touching how suddenly there’s a 2nd Love Live in the same year, which is clearly only happening so Sunrise can use the 3rd year characters for another season.

But this episode had a more immediate problem – I never for a second believed Honoka would stay against them entering the tournament. Also, her reasons for doing so – she wants to make sure she doesn’t screw up as seitokaichou – are silly when she would deprive her friends (and herself) of a dream when those same friends would be happy to help her out. (Also, Eri was the seitokaichou last season, so stop sucking Honoka.) There’s also the simple reason that it would pit Honoka against the team, which isn’t in line with the Love Live! ethos, and that the plot can’t progress until she was on board. With all those things in the way – combined with how it was against Honoka’s character to be anything but gung-ho for something like this – the plot of this episode ended up being a giant waste of our time. It felt manufactured rather than natural. I’d rather they have gone slower and avoided this stupid one-episode plot instead of going fast and wasting our time with it. Oh, and this being their last chance to perform with the 3rd years? Duh.

Honoka Is A Rain God

Did anyone else get a Disney feeling from this episode? Partially it was the soundtrack, which felt like it was yanked straight from the beginning of an old Disney cartoon. Then there was the part at the end where Honoka stopped the rain by yelling. What. I liked the moment right before that, when they brought back the Season 1 insert Susume Tomorrow, but when Honoka ran out and shouted the rain away, that was just stupid. There are ways you can prove that “anything is possible” without something that so clearly shows the hand of the writer. Get your shit together, Sunrise!

Looking Ahead – Onwards To Love Live!

While this first episode was rocky, I’m still hesitantly excited for the rest of the season since Love Live! is one of the few idol anime that I actually like. (Refer to the second paragraph of the series’ season preview for why.) I don’t have any plans to continue blogging this, but I’ll probably be watching it, so check in with me on twitter if you want to yak about the episodes. Until next post!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Off to a rocky start with a disney-esque episode plot that’s not trying hard enough. Start with the idoling already! #lovelive s2e1

Random thoughts:

  • That long, lonely slow clap from Eri was painful. I wonder if that was part of the dream or not. I hope so, ’cause awkward…
  • That much work, really? Ya’ll need to hire some administrators. I think these kids have to study occasionally.
  • Were Niko & Maki always this close? I don’t remember that from the first season. Not that I mind!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Useful lies; Missing the point; You don’t get credit for the words you don’t write; and Right, not best.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「それは僕たちの奇跡」 (Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki) by μ’s

Preview

April 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm
46 comments »
  • April 7, 2014 at 3:12 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    • April 7, 2014 at 3:42 pmJohn Hayabusa

      I loved the first season and I am glad to see more of Love Live this season. Step aside, Madokami, Honokami has risen. And NicoxMaki is no doubt the OTP of show.

    • April 7, 2014 at 4:57 pmZhinvu

      Though it’s probably just coincidence, that scene really made Honoka look god-like, commanding the sky to stop raining and all.

  • April 7, 2014 at 3:19 pmkatsudon

    I’m not going to lie, despite the flaws of the first episode- I enjoyed it a lot, the characters are as cute as ever and the humor was great, it had me smiling from ear to ear as I watched it. And Honoka as student council president is hilarious, as we all know damn well Umi is going to be doing all the work…

    And Nico and Maki were always close, they were depicted as such in the PVs- but I don’t remember Sunrise showing their relationship in season one. (not sure why this is, however)

    All in all, I’m glad Love Live! is back and I’m rather excited about the second season- here’s hoping it’ll end up being just as good (if not better) than the first one!

  • April 7, 2014 at 3:24 pmKuntzy

    Oh man. When they first announced Honoka as the seito kaichou, I seriously thought it was a dream sequence. The singing and dancing through the halls thing only added to that suspicion and then, BAM, not a dream.

    I think that school might be doomed.

    I’m not really too sure why, but to me the art felt a bit off from what I remember… Might have something to do with the fact that Studio 8 was doing Buddy Complex just before this.

    Lastly…

    http://randomc.net/image/Love%20Live!%20School%20Idol%20Project/Love%20Live!%20School%20Idol%20Project%202nd%20Season%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    ALL OF MY HNNGHS! Best girl is indeed best girl. (Honoka’s nice too though. As is Umi, and Niko, and Maki, and Kotori… you get the picture.)

    I still can’t believe that’s an actual human being behind Kayo-chin’s voice though. How does one even create that kind of pitch?

  • April 7, 2014 at 3:39 pmc2710

    Ex-seitokaichou, Umi and Maki…. That’s all I need.

    Oh and not forgetting the music as well

  • April 7, 2014 at 3:45 pmZhinvu

    Not sure about this one but aside from not screwing up in her new position as president, I thought Honoka was hesitant too because she was scared of repeating last season where she collapsed and caused the group their shot at Love Live. She might have thought her gung ho and persistent attitude might make it happen again so she’s playing it safe now. Ill prolly need to rematch if I understood the dialogue right. Either way, it really wasn’t like Honoka to act that way, since she’s known to never give up. In the first place, I also thought her being the president was just a dream. I gotta question Eri’s choice of a successor since personally Umi looks more suitable for the role.

    • April 7, 2014 at 3:56 pmStilts

      That’s a good point. In fact, you’re probably right – now that you mention it, how she agreed with Umi’s reasoning was a bit suspicious. Hopefully that’ll come up again later on, because that’s a far better reason.

      As for Eri’s choice of successor, Honoka isn’t a bad one to be honest. Being a leader is about more than just keeping the wheels turning. Far more, in fact – you can do the hard work when you’re two or three steps down from the top, but the boss’s chair takes special skills. Honoka has them more than Umi does.

      • April 7, 2014 at 4:16 pmZhinvu

        Hey good point too Stilts. I guess I was thinking more on attitude towards work alone, seeing that Umi is one of the more logical thinkers, similar to Eri, and immediately thought she’d be right to take over when Eri graduates (It’s also because in most anime, it’s the smart, serious ones that are usually presidents, so someone like Honoka was the last thing I’d expect). I’d guess the special skill you mean would be Honoka’s…charisma I guess, and how she can inspire others. She is after all one of the major reasons Muse exists, and you could say it’s because of her starting this whole idol gig that they still got their school. I gotta reverse my statement this time. Eri definitely knew what she was doing when she recommended Honoka.

      • April 7, 2014 at 4:44 pmStilts

        Yup, you got it! Though Honoka would still be totally screwed without Umi and Kotori around, lol

  • April 7, 2014 at 4:53 pmDerururu

    Stilts-san,

    You should have just seen the amount of shipping done with Nico x Maki after the whole Season 1. HAHAHA It’s even strongly hinted from the live concerts to their small animation cuts and some PV. Even the amount of illustrations on Pixiv, NicoMaki has the highest.
    The fans simply love NicoMaki and its the strongest pairing.
    In S1, Maki and Nico is always tsun-ing each other and remember what elders say a couple that does quarrel is not a true couple. ;)

    • April 7, 2014 at 6:25 pmStilts

      Ahhhh, that makes sense. Give the fans what they want, I guess :P

  • April 7, 2014 at 5:14 pmTheMoondoggie

  • April 7, 2014 at 6:01 pmAggron

    That first song made me feel like I was watching a Disney movie, Highschool Musical or a comes to mind :P

  • April 7, 2014 at 6:07 pmqwert

    I really wish they’d done something like jumping into the next school year, dealing with the upperclassmen leaving and bringing in new girls…

    Instead for some inexplicable reason the organizers of Love Live decide to hold a follow up school idol competition in the same exact school year as the last competition.

    • April 7, 2014 at 9:22 pmfragb85

      That is a bad idea. That’s like making the next iDOLM@ster adaptation with half the cast gone. Love Live is a popular multi-media franchise centered around the nine members. They all have to be present.

  • April 7, 2014 at 6:34 pmyye1

    Despite my best efforts, my body was not ready for Love Live!

  • April 7, 2014 at 6:39 pmkevinball

  • April 7, 2014 at 6:52 pmaquastar831

    Glad to see this series back after a long wait! Nozomi for me, though I do like Honoka too. I noticed that too with the Love Live fans shipping Nico and Maki in a lot of fan art. Hey, I wouldn’t mind that at all either. Nozomi, why haven’t you groped anyone yet? :D

  • April 7, 2014 at 7:49 pmleatherhead333

    Ok the whole making the rain stop because “We can do anything if we try!” bit was a little over the top cheesy but other than that i’m glad to have this show back with a rather entertaining first episode. Honoka not being up to the concert really did seem out of character to me even considering what happened before their last concert. And they unnecessarily dragged out the scenario since Honoka for some reason refused to talk about it for no reason even though she has PLENTY of friends who will listen to her.

    But whatevs. Not enough to make me hate series. Not ever =).

  • April 7, 2014 at 8:39 pmAnnyms

    But this episode had a more immediate problem – I never for a second believed Honoka would stay against them entering the tournament.

    Yes. I was sitting here, watching this episode and was thinking, “Are they really planning on wasting one episode with this plot?” I did not believe for one second that Honoka would go against them entering the 2nd Love Live. I guess it’s as you said about unplanned sequels, Stilts. They probably had to fill the entire opening episode with this to add some plot to the season. I’m hoping the rest of the season makes up for what I thought was a fairly weak first episode.

    • April 7, 2014 at 10:49 pmStilts

      Ahhhhgreed. I honestly think the choice was fairly indefensible other than lazy writing / writing-by-committee, but hopefully they’ll make up for it when they go into training / almost sports-anime mode. I like Love Live! when it’s like that better. Less internal strife, more idol girls doing their best.

  • April 7, 2014 at 8:54 pmNoZaku

    It really feels like Japan is trying to turn their all men into obsessive underage worshipers with these idol series.

  • April 7, 2014 at 9:16 pmfragb85

    That was great first episode. Cheesy and over-the-top, but not too much that it becomes irritating. I love the out-of-nowhere musical. I mean who doesn’t love a good old spontaneous musical? There were also some funny moments like when everyone freaks out over Honoka’s out-of-character moment. I can also actually tell the improvements on the budget when the CG dancing looks better than the last season.

    It’s even full of references to the franchise.

    Like the shot of Honoka tossing the mic in the air:
    http://randomc.net/image/Love%20Live!%20School%20Idol%20Project/Love%20Live!%20School%20Idol%20Project%202nd%20Season%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

    Is a reference to the music video where she did the same thing.

    The NicoxMaki moments were a bit sudden though. The ship was huge even before the anime existed, but there was barely any of it on the first season. I guess the writers finally realized that this was supposed to be the most popular pairing of Love Live and finally tossed it in. So thank you for that writers, now please start pandering the other ships!

    • April 7, 2014 at 10:52 pmStilts

      I forgot to mention it, but yes, the CGI is a lot better this season. Some of the traditional animation was a bit fuzzy, though I’m not sure if that was because of the airing I watched or what. Still, looks to be an overall improvement visually…which won’t mean jack if they don’t bring the story better inline, but that’s just my opinion.

      And the real best ship is the Nozomi x everybody harem ship. Nozomi gropes who she pleases!

      • April 8, 2014 at 9:05 amKah

        Would not even be able to tell they were still using CGI for the dance if they did not pan the camera for it. Especially with they way they seem to splice traditional animated parts into it (or did they? o.o)

      • April 8, 2014 at 4:57 pmZhinvu

        Personally, I’ve been critical of LL’s use of CG since season 1 mainly because I prefer the iDOLM@STER anime’s dance sequences. If they ever used CG in those then it doesn’t show because they looked 100% hand drawn to me, and fluid to boot. I still like both Love Live and iDOLM@STER, mind you. It would be nice if those 2 series had a crossover. I’d love to see what would happen if my 2 favorite girls met, namely Nozomi and Shijou Takane.

  • April 7, 2014 at 11:40 pmRockmanshii

    Love Live’s anime director, Kyougoku Takahiko tweeted some days ago he really enjoyed watching Pretty Rhythm these past three years. He also actually worked on the show and did a handful of storyboards. He said he was stunned many times by how good the CG in Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live was and by the dance animations the CG Director of the show created. And he’ll try his best with Love Live’s 2nd season.
    Stilts you should watch Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live someday *wink wink*

    • April 8, 2014 at 8:24 amStilts

      I’m not going to watch 3+ full years of a little girls show -_- I don’t have that kind of time. Also, pass. I watched just enough of Pretty Rhythm to preview it every spring, and it’s fine, but I don’t care about kawaii fashion that much :P

      • April 8, 2014 at 3:12 pmRockmanshii

        Okay then I understand your reasons. Still a shame but can’t be helped.

  • April 8, 2014 at 2:30 amonion warrior

    was seriously excited for Love Live! second season~ the first season’s ending was kinda seriously rushed, but never mind…i got my season two XD

    really missed everyone here especially our favorite ex-kaichou Eri. More Eri please!

    That aside, i really wanted to see other school idols in action…we get to see other characters aside the main one. Lets see some idol competition! Looking forward for next week!

    best-girl-onesan-ex-kaichou-Yoshino Nanjo’s Eri XDD

  • April 8, 2014 at 3:22 amVaan

    Honoka sa Student Council President!? The school is DOOMED!!!

  • April 8, 2014 at 8:01 amGremmie

    I hate myself to admit that of all the idol-something series “THE iDOLMASTER” is the best. :(

  • April 8, 2014 at 8:14 amChibiAkari

    The beginning of the episode with Honoka singing and walking down the hallway reminded a lot of the ‘Smile Song’ from MLP:FiM.

  • April 28, 2014 at 3:18 pmXeroix

    What happened to episdoes 2, 3 and 4

    • April 28, 2014 at 3:29 pmCrook

      It’s not being blogged. The bloggers on this website like to cover the first episodes of new airing series. That, however, does not assure that they will cover the entire series.

    • April 28, 2014 at 5:47 pmStilts

      What Crook said. Alas, idols aren’t really my thing, and as much as I enjoy Love Live! above other idol shows, not something I would be able to write good posts about every week. There may be a season end post coming though, who knows!

  • May 11, 2014 at 12:45 amWARBLADE

    Whether u like it or hate it. Episode 1 is really awesome. U need to sink in & understand the dude. If you’re really diehard fan of LOVE LIVE! u will enjoy watching episode & every seiyuu concerts every minute of it.

    & THAT’S D BUTTOMLINE.

    NICO?! \m/

  • September 24, 2014 at 9:01 amグッチ キーリング 価格

    je t’envoi ça, mais j’ai du monde qui vient de débarquer , je t’envoi ça dés que possible!