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