「ファーストステップ」 (Faasuto Steppu)
“First Step”

As much as I like characters having to experience hardship to grow, I’ll let Sunshine pass this time. Not only because the damn scene almost had me tear up, but the follow up afterwards was executed with just the right tone that it didn’t annoy me all that much.

Third Year and Director

After a brief shot of her flying overhead during the first episode, we finally get to meet Mari! Totally not what I pictured after hearing her “accented” Japanese, I was happily surprised to discover she wasn’t your typical airhead that gets lost in her own pace. That and I appreciated how she provided an avenue for Chika, You, and Riko to finally get this whole “idol” thing off the ground. Even with her pretty ridiculous requirement to fill an entire gymnasium, there’s no getting around that Mari is looking a couple steps ahead and is patiently waiting to see how Chika handles the challenges ahead of her.


Even though it’s pronounced like Aqua and has a katakana reading (アクア) to back it up, I think I’m going to forever call it “a-core” in my head. Be it habit or just stubbornness, something about my incorrect way of pronouncing it seems more correct in my brain

Awkward pronunciation of words aside, I sure hope I’m not the only one who really wants to know who wrote those words in the sand. Written in a slightly different style than the other English words that we saw, I’m really hoping the person behind it all has a special meaning for it. Because for those of you who went through the original show, there was a special reason why Nozomi picked the name μ to begin with!

The Actual Performance

Okay, before I rave about how much I loved the performance let me get something off of my chest. Had the performance ended when the power went out and the episode cut to black as Chika started to cry, I think I probably would have joined right alongside her. Something about watching all their effort literally get blown to pieces by the storm would have hurt in such a great way that I’m afraid I’m entering some dangerous territory even thinking about it. Because honestly, what great story has its characters find success without a little misfortune on the way?

Anyways, I freaking loved everything about the performance. From the shout out to μ’s first performance where almost no one showed up to the heartwarming moment when the portable generators got things up and running, seeing the huge crowd of people show up was just icing on the cake.

Looking Ahead

With one big obstacle out of the way, I can’t help but feel that we’re about to dive into the part of the story where all those naysayers start coming out from the woodworks. Luckily, it looks like most of them seem to be pretty onboard with the whole thing (minus Dia, but we all know how she really feels) and hopefully we won’t be subjected to too much nonsense.

Anyways, I’ll catch you guys next week. See you!

General Housekeeping

In an effort to provide the most information possible, I’ll throw the names of things like insert songs down here or important facts for your reference.

  • Insert Song Name: ダイスキだったらダイジョウブ! performed by 高海千歌(伊波杏樹)、桜内梨子(逢田梨香子)、渡辺曜(斉藤朱夏)




    1. Im very surprised they brought the groping back seeing how they got rid of the act during Love Live season 2. Glad they did cause it ended up killing a part of Nozomi’s personality when they did.

      1. The first couple episodes have already shown that while there may be some similarities in character personalities, which can’t really be faulted in of itself as such a thing is very common in sequels/spin-offs of a series’, especially (still-growing) popular ones, each character has pretty differing motivations, goals, most likely back-stories, etc. that set them apart from Muse to keep them from simply being “clones”.

    2. So the anime is keeping up with copying the predecessor’s plot and stuff. I am fine with that.

      I love Mari, her cheerful personality, and her attractive voice. No doubt the Nozomi of Aqours. Not only just that but she is also turning into the show’s resident meme girl. Knee Nin Bury Desk Car, everyone?

      Dia looks awfully like Satsuki from Kill la Kill. I would label Ruby as Ryuko but Ryuko is not as bashful as her.

      And LOL at Chika trying to be smooth. And Riko is becoming a meme girl as well.

      John Hayabusa
  1. You know, Episode 3 was highly metaphorical. Notwithstanding any spoilers here’s why –

    Aquor’s finally has their “Start:Dash” moment and the initial crowd pretty much represents incoming Love Live fans and/or the pioneering corps of Aquors fans.

    The black out that happened in the middle of their “Start:Dash” represents the veteran Love Live fans that have nothing but spiteful feelings towards Aquors and the townsfolk are us who are willing and also have welcomed Aquors to Love Live

    Dia’s remark about Aquors is an undeniable fact. Love Live was founded and built upon by “Use” and “Use’s” fans and she’s implying that Aquors must fill in the shoes left by their senpais from Oto.

    But what really took the cake was Chika’s admission to what DIa implies and also the resolve to make Aquors, Aquors and not just one that inherited Love Live from Muse.

    Now Aquors has truly start and the chapter of Muse has come to an end.

    TLDR – Aqours finally have their Start:Dash moment only to be interrupted by spiteful fandom. Nonetheless, they recovered with the support of the fandom. Dia than implies that Aqours has inherited big shoes from their Otonizaka senpais and seeks that Chika makes Aqours a name for themselves and not just inheritors of Muse.

    Velvet Scarlantina
  2. Mari’s memorable entrance this episode made up for her absence last week. I still couldn’t believe that she also fills Kotori Mama’s role as director of the school. I’m probably overestimating her here but her parents must really trust her that they’re willing to give her the role. Mari’s profile did say that she’s business minded and I like that’s she’s still as eccentric as she was from the promotional materials. I liked Mari from the drama CDs and she’s still one of my favorites now.

    Another thing I noticed in terms of location, Aqours had things going for them. Since they live in a seaside town, it looks like they won’t have the same trouble of looking for a practice area since they got beaches. Also it was nice that they were able to promote through a public broadcast. From past slice of life shows I always had the feeling people living in towns in the countryside have a closer relationship so I thought it was the same here. I wonder if that’s also what Dia meant by they able to fill the auditorium partly through the people’s goodwill. And speaking of Dia, she definitely went up in my best girl rank. She definitely had something to do with restoring the power, with help from Ruby and Hanamaru. And Hanamaru, she may have had smaller screen time but bringing out that cart of books was cute. Her traditional side even shows that she carried them with a cloth. I’m just going to say it, Mari may have stolen the show with her entrance but I really just can’t find a best girl because all them have their charms.

    1. That’s who I’m guessing as well. Given the angle of the writing, it was someone coming in from the sea. I can imagine her scuba-diving and then sneaking up to write it while the 3 were busy 😛

    2. I also suspect it’s Kanan. I seem to see a lot of hints that’s it’s her, but it’s the motivation that eludes me. I’m also sure, if it is her, that she has a personal connection with it, just like Nozomi.

      This does go with the almost the same but different theme that we’ve been seeing. In Nozomi’s case, it gave more depth on a seemingly normal girl. While Kanan’s circumstances is anything but normal. She doesn’t regularly attend classes after all. The official website also doesn’t mention her age.

  3. 2nd trio with their start;dash moment at episode 3? such a creative storyline. also that preview that shows the 1st year (or atleast maruruby) joined, like u’s as well. doesn’t lessen my enjoy when watching the show, though.


    the moment when dia helped the 2nd trio is really twist for me lol

    also best girl with the best entrance is best

  4. About the Aqours pronunciation, it seems to be based on the word rhyming with tours. My Japanese colleagues pronounce tour as tu-a (or tsu-a to be more correct) so Aquours would be A-ku-a

  5. Was I the only one who spent most of the episode going “Stop, stop, stop. They’re going to repeat Muse’s first performance. I don’t want to see the sadness”?

    I keep rewatching the scene after the opening. Mari’s English remains enamoring


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