「雨の音」 (Ame no Oto)
“The Sound of Rain”
If this is the direction Sunshine wants to go in, I’m totally down for it.
If there’s one thing that the first run of Love Live didn’t have, it was a sense of dread and urgency related to the real life issues a bunch of high school girls would run into trying to compete in a country-wide idol contest. Not that Muse needed that kind of drama since the story back then was supposed to be a super happy one, but had the writers for Sunshine strayed down that same path we’d probably have a really unfulfilling show on our hands.
Which is precisely why this week’s episode ended up being one of my favorites. Besides the added benefit of getting an episode devoted to both our first and third years, I loved how the story decided to address the problem of what happens when you have a large-ish group that enjoy vastly different things. Instead of just assuming that everyone was on the same page (which I’ll admit was something they were kind of doing up to this point), I loved how we got to see how difficult it was to figure things out. Sure, there was some stubbornness involved between Kanan & Mari and Hanamaru & Yoshiko, but I think it was specifically because both sides were so adamant about not conforming that this week’s episode ended up being so good. What also probably helped was that every attempt to bring everyone together felt like it was something that could have worked. By the end of the episode though, we had a really touching moment where all our girls came together to address the task at hand. With the need to work together overcoming all the shortcomings from earlier, it was fun to finally see some true results.
At this point, I think it’ll be tough for Sunshine to continuously pump out episodes like this. That said, if it’s able to maintain this level of storytelling, I think we’re going to have another situation where a second season to a Love Live show ends up being exponentially better than its first. Luckily, we have the whole situation of the school actually getting closed down looming over our girls’ heads, something that I hope manages to keep things moving down the correct path. In any case, I’ll see you guys next week!