「サンシャイン!!」 (Sansyain!!)

This week’s episode was rather bittersweet for me. Bittersweet solely for the fact that even though I want a second season, I think things ended so well that I think I could be satisfied even without one.

Quick Thoughts Before the Final Impression

Before we jump into the final impressions which is probably going to devolve into a talk about the three main groups that compromise Aqours (maybe four if I can find enough to talk about), can I just say just how amazing this final episode was? From the new found passion Aqours found to the retrospective that our girls gave us before their final performance of the season, there was almost nothing I could find wrong. It’s really a damn shame that this was the final episode since this would have been a perfect place for the show to finally hit its stride. In any case, let’s jump into that final impression where we’re all going to get sad thinking about all the great things that happened over the season!

Insert Song: Aqours – Mirai Ticket

Show Spoiler ▼

For your viewing pleasure! Click the Spoiler Tag to open the video.

↓ Scroll Down for the Final Impressions! ↓


Final Impressions

For a show that I thought would end up being a shameless spinoff of a successful series that’s experiencing tons of success both in the corporate and cosplay world, Sunshine’s first few episodes took that fear and curb stomped it into oblivion. With a new cast of characters that drew from their predecessors as they grew into their own unique selves, I never expected I’d love all of them as much as I did. Unlike the original series where I had some pretty big beef with certain characters (Sorry Kayo-chin, Nico, and Maki lovers), everyone in Sunshine had their own problems and insecurities that the story worked through in some form which led to just the right type of character development that made me fall in love with the entire Aqours cast.

Starting with the first years, I never thought that Hanamaru-zura-chan would end up being my number one favorite. I mean, literally, there’s absolutely nothing that I don’t like about her. She loves technology (or maybe you could say is impressed with it?), she eats and snacks all the time, she has that adorable zura~ catchphrase, AND she’s part ninja? Seriously, how could you stuff all this into a character and not have them turn into a complete mess? Sure, she might be the shortest in the group (this final episode did a fantastic job at highlighting that), but she packs so much attitude into everything she does that I can’t help but lover her. And don’t get me wrong – I also have a lot of love for the other first years as well! Ruby and Yoshiko both had their own unique charm points that almost won be over (but I’ll always be for zura-chan). Ruby filling the “cute” girl slot that any group needs while Yoshiko was the unexpected chuuni who totally rocked the part by constantly having me smile and cringe at the same time (she was also the reason we found out Hanamaru was part ninja).

Jumping to our second years and the first three members of the group, I must say that compared to Honoka, I can’t believe just how much Chika grew on me. Starting out as a simple Honoka clone that constantly moved at her own pace, she grew into this charismatic leader that grew from her failures and never let hardship rock her to the point where she lost her way. Especially when that hardship was hitting literal rock bottom and having the strength to not give up in the face of total defeat. Then you have You who sits at spot number two with Kanan in my books. Energetic enough to the point she could keep up Chika but grounded just enough to keep a watchful eye on her best friend, it was a pleasure to watch out costume designer whenever she got some screen time. That and her yosoroo catchphrase was awesome. Finally we have Riko who I honestly disliked right up until the last few episodes. Feeling like she was just coming along for the ride and not liking how she made You feel insecure with herself, I loved how both of these were addressed right at the end leaving me with a sense that instead of being a disrupting force, she truly became a great friend for both Chika and You.
Last but not least, we have our third years who managed to enter fray just before the show came to a close. And while I have some complaints with the “issues” they all had that led to the catastrophic meltdown of their friendship (misunderstanding and breakdowns in communication irk me), the resolution and payoff at the end of it all definitely did feel good. Of the three girls though, Kanan ends up as my favorite with Mari and Dia trailing close behind. I don’t know what it was, but before the series started I thought Kanan would have been my favorite. Something about the way she looks just clicked with me and had she not been part of the third-year drama arc, I think she would have had a good chance. With Mari and Dia though, their unique personalities and their dynamic in the group always rubbed me in just the right way. The former being the “oomph” of itjoke to get Aqours rolling and the latter being the tough love mom who turned into the doting mother, things wouldn’t be the same without the two around (and don’t even get me started on the DiaRuby combo moments!).

Now, even though Aqours only has nine members, I think it’s 10th member deserves a quick shout out. Comprising of the entire city and school that Aqours exists in, I never thought the story would integrate its side characters so well. With random classmates reappearing every now and then to the entire school showing up for one of Aqours’ most important performances, I just love how they weren’t pushed to the side in favor of trying to keep the show solely Aqours.

Overall, I think Sunshine managed to capture everything that I loved about the original Love Live and changed things up just enough to really transcend into being a proper sequel that I wanted. With loveable characters and a story that was filled with all kinds of emotions, I’m really sad that it’s all coming to an end. But with the hopes of a second season and more new songs constantly coming out on SIF EN (School Idol Festival, the Love Live Game), I’ll be patiently waiting for another chance to watch our new girls do their thing as they hopefully make it to the grand stage known as Love Live. Also, thanks to all of you loyal viewers who’ve been coming back week after week to catch the posts. It’s been fun interacting with everyone and I hope you’ll be back if we get anymore Love Live!

Anyways, I’ll see you guys around the bend when the Fall Season rolls around. See you yosoroo-zura-itjoke!


  1. This must get a second season. Its gotta get a second season. Weekends are really not going to be the same as waiting for Love Live Sunshine was already a muscle memory. And I’m with you Takaii. Pre anime Mari was my favorite, post anime Aqours became my favorite. All of them. But I really have to give a shoutout to Yoshiko this episode. Hugging her friends must really show how much she loves being in Aqours, that and her bad luck at least showed before the season ended.

    I really didn’t expect her to appear from there and it made me smile because of how random Yoshiko can be. Could be wrestling influences. Really in all the anime including season 1 and 2, there is only one Datenshi Yohane and that makes her special…that is unless Sunrise decides to make a 3rd group and put another chuunibyou.

    – And you can’t mention this episode without mention the Aqours mamas. I honestly had no idea who that “kid” next to Chika was. And Yoshiko’s mom is already pretty hot. The looks, and hair bun, runs in the family. Was anybody able to check who voiced Chika’s mom?

    – Hanamaru maybe the shortest, but don’t forget Takaii she’s second to Mari in other…ahem measurements. I’m curious about what you meant too about Hanamaru being a ninja.

    – Also gotta say Aqours looked really cool in their outfits in this episode. It was a combination of cool and sexy, especially the skirts on some of them.

    Can’t stress it enough, I hope this gets a second season and movie.

      1. Now that’s a surprise. Rie Kugimiya used a different voice range here that I didn’t recognize her. Guess this means in a way iDOLM@STER’s Minase Iori managed to cross over into another idol universe.

      2. The fact that she can voice two contrasting characters like Kagura from Gintama and Al from Full Metal Alchemist already convinced me she’s talented. But guilty as charged that I didn’t recognize her here as Chika’s mother. She impresses me the same way Mamiko Noto has been voicing characters different from her usual roles.

      3. Rie Kugimiya? Really?

        Damn, Chika’s mom is just as petite as the “Tsundere Wonders” (Shana, Louise, Nagi, Taiga, Aria) Kugimiya used to voice! Also, @Zhinvu: I’m now imagining that Iori Minase is now Chika’s mom…

        Come to think of it, I can’t remember any other memorable Rie Kugimiya role where she’s playing against type besides Mizore Shirayuki (Rosario to Vampire–yes, the anime adaptation wasn’t good, but Mizore was one of the best girls of the show), Nena Trinity (Gundam 00), Hasta (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san–a freaking shota, for a change!), and more recently, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei‘s Beatrice Flowerchild. (Sorry, haven’t watched Gintama or FMA yet. orz)

      4. @Incognito – When you said that, I gave it a thought. Almost the same hair color, almost the same eyes, same voice, both are short. Could Chika’s mother’s maiden name be actually Minase? That’s a pretty awesome theory. That or it could be the animators having fun because they possibly knew Rie Kugimiya voiced an idol before. But it’s actually fun thinking about it because personally it’s not so far off that Chika’s mother could be Iori Minase. I wonder if the fans of both series noticed too. iM@S and LL have collaborated before already, and I’d like to see it again.

    1. I am pretty sure this anime will get S2 no matter what. This was an okay episode even though I expected it to be a little bigger for a finale. Speaking of little, just look at Chika’s mom! She is so adorable and she is even voiced by the tsundere master.

      This has been a wonderful and amazing (and yurilicious) ride. LLSS is my most hyped anime of the summer and I want more. With Aqours finally stepping out of μ’s’ shadow and being their own group, I am very curious how S2 will look like. And Yoshiko remains as the best Aqours!

      John Hayabusa
      1. Takaii, the first volume Blu Ray is currently ranked third on Amazon Japan on the best sellers. Sales won’t be an issue here. Shows like Re Zero, KonoSuba were around this level and ended up doing over 10k sold a volume.

        That said I think people need to wait and see what happens. There’s not a full lineup of Winter or Spring shows released yet. Sunrise may just announce Season 2 for one of those seasons.

      2. Yep there was something like a year gap between seasons. I think Sunrise wanted to get Season 2 right because the shows popularity exploded. One bad season could have sunk the franchise lol.

        I’m hoping if its not announced for the Winter season that they start Season 2 of Sunshine in Spring. If neither of those things occur, maybe Summer? If not Summer any season? lol.

    2. I think the show likely didn’t get a second season announcement after the final episode had aired because Sunrise probably don’t have room on their schedule anytime soon. Usually with second season announcements so soon, you get a few month wait and another season. This may just be a case of Sunrise being unable to do that.

      But let’s wait and see, we don’t have a full Winter schedule of shows yet, nor do we have a full Spring one either.

  2. I will agrre with you all the way . This started slow but in a way was bettert han Love Live especially on the personal level . Also the small town setting made it a bigger obstacle.

    One thing I have seen some complaints about the episode . I get they were talking about the pre-show introduction.??

    Now believe me I have to many many concerts and many an artist / band stop to tell stories about life being funny / sad / or even where they are playing and those local experiences.I have been to shows early and even meet peformers and on some occasions hung out with them. So Aquors trying to be personal is nothing new . I dont get the gripes !

    I was kinda sad we didt get the outcome but it looked like they were moving on.I cant imagine the creators / Production CMT’s passing on more !

  3. For me, the ZuraHanamaru episode, particularly the stairs scene, is the highest point in this Sunshine.

    The camera showing Ruby running up the stairs, while Hanamaru humbly walking down the stairs. Had we not known that it’s a given that Hanamaru is set to be one of the nine, that episode’s greatness will amplify exponentially.

  4. Even if this episode was not as powerful as the final homage to Muse, Sunshine 13 deserves a standing ovation as well. Their rendition of Snow Halation was absolutely gorgeous. I can see it already. When Aqours perform Snow Halation, all the light sticks will light up the entire venue blue

    In hindsight, Sunshine episodes 1 – 10 felt like an epilogue. Aqours’ story really started from this episode in my opinion.

    Now that I got that out of the way, there are some pertinent questions and issues that needs to be resolved. For starters –

    I did not notice this but the 3 of them were together with Muse. Seriously, what are they? A being higher than time traveller Alpha Honoka? Or are they Incubators? Is Love Live an idol show or a time travel sci-fi show in disguise?

    Is Chikan trying to be the next Girl who Leapt Through Time?

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. Their rendition of Snow Halation was absolutely gorgeous.

      I didn’t know there was a rendition of Snow Halation by Aqours (aside from a fan mix of Koi ni Naritai Aquarium & Snow Halation). Care to share a link?

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Love%20Live/Love%20Live%20Sunshine%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2008.jpg
    Yoshiko’s lucky she wasn’t playing Rock-Paper-Scissors with Ken Oyanagi… Also, somebody managed to make fanart of Mari parodying Old Joseph Joestar’s “OH MY GOD!” pose over at the ‘boorus.

    Anyway…how the heck did Yoshiko manage to rejoin Aqours onstage so quickly from all the way up there? Did she freaking stop time, or did she have a freaking Enigma Rune Word on her clothes that allowed her to teleport from the audience to the stage? Reminds me of the time Chika managed to catch Riko on that pier before both fell into the water back in episode 1…

    OK, with that all said and done, while I mostly have no negative issues about that open ending, it does bug me a little how the viewers don’t find out whether Aqours managed to win that regional qualifier or not. Then again, that’s a good starting point for a sequel hook should a second season be greenlit.

    And for the first time in my (short) history of watching the Love Live! franchise, there is nobody in the group that I dislike (when in the previous iteration, Nico kinda rubbed me the wrong way). All of them managed to grow on me–Chika included–and even more so when they had their day in the limelight. Dia being the uptight but eventually not-so-above-it-all idol fan, Ruby being downright cute, Yoshiko and her amusing chuuni personality, Hanamaru’s “big eater” tendencies and unfamilarity with modern tech, Mari’s quirky ideas and gratuitous English, Kanan being the big sis/team mom of the group, You being the patient childhood friend, Riko being the fountain of memes, and Chika…well, being herself instead of being a simple expy of Honoka.

    If there’s news later on that a season 2 of Love Live! Sunshine!! is a no-go, then I will honestly miss Aqours. But I’ll still hope that I’ll see them once again…

    1. Maybe I worded that a bit strong, it’s not like I hate any of those three, but they’re probably lower down the list. Comparatively speaking, I didn’t have anyone like that for Aqours :’)

      The better question is how did Aqours manage to put on their Mirai Ticket outfits in the span of literally 0.5 seconds?

      1. To be fair, once I found out that Nico was being a school idol for the sake of her younger siblings, that made me dislike her less. She’s still at the bottom of my complete personal μ’s ranking though. (Nozomi, Kotori, Maki, Umi, Eli, Hanayo, Rin, Honoka, Nico.) Also, the good thing about idol groups is that if you’re not fond of one (or some) of them, there are plenty more to choose from!

        Also, since I reached the three-link limit in my original post, here’s that fanart of Mari parodying Old Joseph:

  6. First, thank you Takaii for your reviews, it’s been nice reading them week by week. Next, about the episode: Loved it!! Especially the retrospective and the perfomance, beautifully done. Love Live! Sunshine!! is in my top 3 of this season =)

    Now, let’s wait for the 2nd season next year (hope so).

  7. I enjoyed this more than the first season of Love Live! They’ve also improved on the dancing animation. But what surprised me most was the characters. I was totaly prepared to dislike Yohane, ahem.. Yoshiko, but she totally grew on me. Same thing with Mari. Now I’m hoping for a second season.

    As for the final episode, well, I was expecting a musical, so… But it’s nice that they did manage to get at least one.

    After one whole season, I can say my favorite is You. Just the right amount of level headedness and quirkiness. Not forgetting that use of reverse psychology on Chika. Second place would be Kanan.

  8. There were a few aspects of the last episode that didn’t sit well with me. I feel like the brief period where other students were going to join in as singers would’ve been a drama bomb if it occurred a few episodes earlier. Then, as I’ve seen others point out online, Riko states the rules forbid non-applicants to get near the stage. That… didn’t just screw Aqours out of the competition, did it? Wasn’t too fond of the six-minute recap either.

    Let’s end the negativity there, because a few bad gut reactions don’t mean I didn’t adore the entire show.

    The entire final performance was a moment to feel good about Aqours’ success; and seeing Aqours succeed feels great because, between each girl’s specific episode or their interactions thereafter, there wasn’t a girl I just didn’t like (Something I wish I could say regarding µ’s). Sunshine brought us a beautiful new art style, none of the characters felt ripped off from their predecessor, the whole show felt like an evolution to Love Live.

    My favorite characters in the end were Mari, You, and Ruby. Mari and You I was already partial to when they were first announced, but Ruby deserves special mention starting as the character I thought I’d like the least before quickly transitioning to a competitor for my top spot. Too many low blows of adorableness, Sunrise.

    1. Ruby was the unexpected sleeper, haha.

      I didn’t mind the add-on of the students, but I agree that Riko’s reaction was a little strange. I thought that we were about to surprised with more drama along the lines of “Riko doesn’t want Aqours marred by others” or something. Maybe it was how the scenes were timed, but wouldn’t have been easier for Riko to just tell Chika that the other students couldn’t go on stage back at school? Then again, you have the whole issue of the entire school NOT showing up, so I guess it was just a little story flub? :/

      1. https://randomc.net/image/Love%20Live/Love%20Live%20Sunshine%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2001.jpg
        One of my favorite Ruby, and also Dia, scenes in the anime. And as a follow-up also one of my favorite Dia moments.

        Not to mention Ruby picked up another catchphrase aside from Ganbaruby in this anime. I just don’t know how to write Ruby’s little cute scream. Piqui?

    1. She’s actually 152cm which is around 59.8inches which is like 4’11 but if you round up it comes out to an even 5′ because .8 inches is literally like an inch.

      Random Pro Tip — don’t divide the inches by 12 to find the equivalent of inches to feet. You’ll get 4.9 but that’s 4.9 feet not four feet nine inches. (Damn imperial measuring system.)

      Sorry. I don’t know why I know Hanamaru’s height by memory. Forgive me.

  9. Here’s a bit of trivia: Japan didn’t like this episode at all and shows a sharp decline on the surveys

    Sadly, I have to agree with them, its a pretty lame finale. It’s not a horrible episode per se, but it just didn’t feel like a climatic episode. Heck, if I was the director, I would have switched episode 12 with this one then it would make a better last episode. This episode is like a 5 minute epilogue padded out to 20 minutes. The only event worth noting was the introduction of Chika’s mom but the rest felt dull. It doesn’t help that the final act was basically a series recap. It felt so awkward that I basically skipped to the end (the first time I did that for this series). They try to play it as a drama, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are just telling the viewers something they already know!

    The one saving grace for this episode is of course MIRAI TICKET. I like the song and especially the outfits. I also liked the whole audience participation (Shiitake with glowsticks was hilarious) as that projects a lot of the optimism that the franchise embodies.

    Enough of my cynicism. Suffice to say, I did enjoy this series as a whole. It puts in the familiar tones of the original Love Live, the optimism, the music, the shipping and basically everything I enjoyed on the franchise while introducing new characters. I will wait for the next season which I’m certain will come because this is a cash cow franchise.

    Meanwhile, I will get my LL fix by going back to Idol Hell (4.0 WHEN!?)

  10. I was wondering that why this episode get some misconception lately, (Ya know about 39.5% rating on Nico doga, i mean…Whoa) cuz of that “musical poetry” scene?! for me i see nothing complicated, i mean it kinda fun to watch if you ask me, but then again…BAH, i say overall it’s really great, but yeah i understand the situation of the audience who watch this…at least in the Final

    As for the Second Season…Well, Yes, i’am really agree with that, But 2017 is one hostile year for anime (at least for me) especially in spring, they better not to show up on that time for a moment, and I’am not gonna tell what it is right now…i mean really!

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Finally, a one moral lesson…Zero is a shameful number….But one is

  11. I sadly have to take the opposite opinion as the post. Not saying the series was bad by any stretch of the imagination but neither do I feel that it was particularly great either. It definitely had its moments peppered across the entertaining 13 episodes but I personally didn’t feel that emotionally involved with the cast. Maybe it’s just being jaded or whatnot but I just didn’t.

    On the musical side of things, it’s always been hard to appreciate lyrics when its in a foreign language. There is just something about understanding the language and the way the singer sings that can break the language barrier. I felt that the original Love Live had more of these. While I don’t ascribe this to all their songs, the most glaring example is Snow Halation. It’s one of those songs that speaks to you long before you realize what the actual words mean. Sadly I didn’t have one from this series either.

    TL;DR : It’s good but for me not that great, and I venture to say it is ranked below the original

    1. On the last episode. While I get that they wanted to do that nostalgia trip part. Honestly the whole scene where they were recounting their memories on stage made no sense at all (in terms of this being a competition) why would the group be allowed to do a “play” that long before their performance?

      I feel like it would have been a lot better if they just sang it somehow.

    2. I wouldn’t call it jaded — I’m sure a lot of moments including the last episode’s recap was very hit or miss. The original Love Live was a great show (I’ll fight for that one) and its songs were really good too.

      Also, don’t be sad to take an opposite opinion on my posts LOL. It’s really fun to hear the other side, especially if that’s how you truly feel. Being in an echo chamber is nice and all, but hearing how Sunshine didn’t do it for some people helps round out my opinion and also allows me to see things past my rose-colored glasses.

      (In Mirai Ticket, did you catch it when our second years said “We Say Yosoroo”? It was the crowning moment for me, haha).

  12. Hmm…. this is just my speculation though.
    I think Chika’s mindset for this concert was to get students to enroll into their school. That’s why they went through all the trouble of storytelling and calling their friends to sing with them. That’s their way of saving the school, since they weren’t not really concerned about winning LL. (That’s the feeling I get from listen to Chika in EP12)

    Overall, I’m happy and satisfied with LL Sunshine! I fell in love with Aquors easier then I thought I would be. Aquors have done well to separate themselves from µ’s, especially Chika, whom I originally viewed as a Honoka-type leader. The character interactions are good and the storytelling is a lot better than I expected. I really hope we get season 2 really soon. 🙂

    My favorite Aquors characters after the end of EP13 are:
    Hanamaru, Yohanne, Dia, You, Ruby, Riko, Chika, Mari and Kanan (well she has the least screentime haha.)


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