「私たちの輝き」 (Watashitachi no Kagayaki)
“Our Own Radiance”
I think everyone found exactly what they were looking for. Also, if you didn’t cry during this episode we’re not friends anymore.
Since I’ve basically said all I could say throughout these past two seasons, let’s jump straight into the Final Impressions.
After experiencing Love Live Project’s first attempt at bringing a group of idols to the screen, I always felt a little odd whenever someone asked me about the show. By no means was it bad, but there wasn’t really anything that spectacular about it. The girls were okay, the songs were good, and if you were a SIF Player you could feel smug as you interacted with fans who just played the game.
Fast forward to the announcement of Sunshine and you could hear me moaning from a mile away. Blinded by my “love” for our original nine, I clearly remember being super disappointed that instead of more µ’s content we were going to get nine new girls. With absolutely nothing to base that discontent on, I remember thinking how these girls looked nothing like the originals and were probably all going to have recycled personalities. I don’t know why I was so salty about this at that time, but I remember the opening episodes for the first season not doing much to alleviate that baseless discontent.
For those of you who don’t remember, I think we can all agree that the first season of Sunshine had its fair share of issues as it tried to find its pace. From Chika getting compared to Honoka to Riko being this curve ball character who we assumed would link this spinoff to the original, it definitely took some time for the show to really figure out what it wanted to do. Toss in drama that the third years had and the rather ridiculous circumstances behind it and I wouldn’t have blamed you if you stopped watching.
That said, I think there was a very clear and specific moment where the show realized what it wanted to do and where it was going to go. That moment my beloved readers would be when Aqours scored a cold hard zero during their qualifying performance. Besides being a giant surprise, I loved how it demonstrated that Sunshine wasn’t going to be some kind of carbon copy of µ’s.
And from that moment late during the first season, this second season turned into a wild rollercoaster that had me shed more tears than I’d like to admit. And while I’ll pass on re-living through all those tough moments since I don’t think I have enough tears left to handle that, I think the strongest point of this second season was the fact that there was so much “failure” mixed in with all the success. Because, without something to keep our girls grounded to reality, I doubt the story would have had the impact that it did. In addition to that, I loved how more than half of the episodes had longer than average run times. With scenes transitioning in or out of the opening or ending sequences, those few extra minutes here and there really helped in knocking out those last few tears that might have been hanging around under your eyelid.
So if you haven’t already figured it out — Love Live! Sunshine!! was absolutely fantastic. With a strong setup during its first season and an impressive finish during its second, we received a fleshed out story that somehow gave ample time to all the characters involved. For those of you who may have tapped out during the first season, I would HIGHLY recommend catching up. You’ll be happy that you did 🙂
Before I go — thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with the posts! It’s been a blast to go on this journey and I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did. And, if you missed it, there’s been a Sunshine movie announced! Thank god there’s still a little more of our girls still coming.