If anything this might have been the best episode of S2, immediately just as soon as a few beats drop on the song ‘ビタミン(Vitamin) SUMMER!’ I fell in love. Then the neon- mischievous cat’s aesthetic was just the cherry on top. I can’t wait for the entire song to release on streaming platforms so I can have it with me wherever I go. Yes, I will listen to this one on full blast in my car. A perfect song to say goodbye to summer!
The performance aside – I also found this episode to be extremely heartwarming and while we still don’t know exactly why Natsumi wants to make money, even though Kinako really tried to push for an answer, it was still a no dice, however Kanon and the rest of the girls already have the idea that they should be sitting down with Natsumi to discuss exactly what is going on with her. I wonder if the girls will let her keep the youtube money or if they’ll ask her to share it between the nine members.
Lots of talk about dreams in this episode, it seems Natsumi has the big case of being burnt out. her backstory is simple, ever since she was a child, she’s been skipping from one dream to another, and finding out the harsh reality of life is not always what you want it to be. She’s been placed in situations where either she has to admit defeat to life itself, or simply other people put her down. However that’s the reality of dreams, usually, we dream them, only for life to push us against them.
On the other hand, wanting something does not make it so, and to me, it seems like she just gave up way too easily, This is what I was trying to say last week as well, to maybe no avail. But now it’s abundantly clear. I find Natsumi spoiled (Even though she’s the one who gave the not giving up speech). Yes – the show has been hinting that she lives alone or maybe her family has cut her off and that’s why she’s so desperate to make Maney!
And yes it would make sense that she would cry about a hard-earned couple of loose change – sorry scratch that; Shinkansen 7-day pas is around ~220 USD meanwhile a one-way ticket is ~140 USD, erm, yeah, I get her struggles now.
Anyway, spoiled or not, she’s still somewhat of an airhead, but this episode certainly turned her around as she was able to keep up with the first years. Then Kanon suddenly showed up in secret, in a Kuma outfit, at the training camp, and invited Natsumi to join the school idol club; They have a La-La Land type of scene, which was just lovely! It was just a super cute moment. However, that was the moment to reveal why Natsumi is so preoccupied with money. What was the reason?! Why is she playing koi and not allowing herself to be vulnerable with the rest of the group about such a silly subject? I know money can be sensitive to some people, and probably she doesn’t want them to see her as some type of bimbo character, she’s much more than that, I get it, however hiding it is also part of the problem. Especially when the whole of Leilla is showing empathy and wants to help her out.
I really feel with Natsumi, the writing team is struggling to find something tangible to give her in regard to her situation. I mean if they knew what exactly it was that was setting her back so much, they would have revealed it already, right? Kinako really said it best, her reaction when Natsumi talked about her situation with oversimplified terms and just quite superficially honestly, was just how I feel pretty much. There’s a facade she’s putting up and it’s not something that is coming down any time soon. Her secrets are bound to come out eventually, however, Natsumi’s backstory let a lot be desired. It portrayed her dreaming of dreams as quite simple, she has never actually worked hard at anything in her entire life. Even so, the way she makes money is through easy menial tasks, she wants things given to her, and it’s giving that rich family vibe. I really do think she was cut off from the family fund. And now she’s forced to make it on her own as some type of cruel lesson. In the process she finds people who she can share her dream with, it would come as no surprise if her parent’s come to one of Leilla’s shows and see how much she has grown and put her back in the family trust. Just some speculation.
Or I could be completely wrong, however, Love Live tends to go for the softer approach to storytelling and tends to give characters lavish lifestyles. So that’s my bet!
(I’m embedding this week’s song in this post, have a listen and enjoy, don’t tell the RC devs though!)
Full-length images: 39.