Anime Review: Love Live! Sunshine!!

love live sunshine

Spoiler Warning – If you’re only interested in my ratings, scroll all the way down~

Basically, this new season of Love Live! is pretty much a clone of the very first Love Live! season, only with slightly better animation and characters with different names:

love live sunshine chika
Oops. Sorry, Chika!

Genki girl Hono-, I mean Chika, one day decides that she wants to be a school idol and thus starts looking for more members. Of course, the student council is—for mysterious reasons—not too happy about that, but they make it through anyway, gain more members on their way, and even get their initial opponents to join the team. Sounds familiar?

Anyway, the characters seem pretty similar to the μ’s girls as well, but I think I should let pictures speak instead.

love live sunshine characters

love live sunshine characters

With that out of the way, despite how very similar the characters feel, they still had a very unique charm to them. Be it Yoshiko’s absurdly funny “Yohane outbursts”, Mari’s awkward Engrish moments, or Hanamaru’s annoying “zura’s”, the whole mix of this crazy, yet super charming and intriguing set of characters made this Love Live! season, no matter how similar it might have been to the first season, a very unique experience. And that’s what this show heavily relies on, since we can’t really say that the story was able to deliver anything new at all.

They go through almost the same steps of becoming school idols that μ’s had to, be it having troubles to get enough members, having to take on the student council, wanting to save the school from being shut down, and even finding a worthy rival group to compete against. It’s basically all the same, though the way the characters deal with these situations partly varies, largely from how the μ’s girls would have done it. However, I still would have preferred something a little more unique and different, though, I also can’t deny that I liked the way the creators seemed to be very aware of the similarities in the story and even embraced this fact by plainly pointing it out and having Aquors react to those similar problems their way. In the end, the girls even realize that chasing after μ’s would not be the right way to do things, and this realization nicely wraps up their starting career as school idols.

love live sunshine characters

To be honest with you, I had my problems with this show at first. Not only did it seem too similar to the first season, but the characters seemed to almost all be a little too crazy. Though, I forced myself to just keep watching, and I was heavily rewarded for that, as the show—and especially the characters—grew on me a lot.

Another important factor to keep in mind is definitely the yuri subtext in this season. Seriously, I am close to just cut out the part about subtext and simply call this a yuri show. Not only are there yet again no male characters involved, this time they decided to dive a little deeper into the girls’ relationships instead of focusing on their development as a school idol group, and oh boy, did I like that! Basically, there are three major pairings that emerged:

The first one would be Mari x Kanan, which is by far my favorite pairing of this show. Their whole story, as short as it might have been, was so full of great drama and heartbreaking moments that their final reconciliation just felt like the best moment ever, especially with that super emotional haggu~

love live sunshine kanan mari
Those two are seriously the best~

Then we have the Riko x Chika x You love triangle that involved a flat out love confession from Riko to Chika and the burning flames of jealousy this triggered for You. Pretty damn great material, if you ask me~

Finally, let me also add that I was actually able to watch through their numerous live performances, as they looked a lot better then the ones from previous seasons. I still don’t like the animation style they use for these, but since the songs were pretty good and each of the performances usually also told a story, it was far easier for me to enjoy them this time~

All in all, I had my problems with this season of Love Live!, but I’m very happy that I stayed with this one, since it simply delivered what Love Live! should deliver; cute comedy, cute girls, nice music and a lot of yuri subtext~

Story: 6/10
Characters: 8/10
Animation: 8/10
Music: 8/10
Yuri: 6/10 – Very high amount of yuri subtext
Total Enjoyment: 8/10

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21 thoughts on “Anime Review: Love Live! Sunshine!!

  1. Wow with this review…u just broke my heart…
    Anyway, no one can deny that this was the most “yurific” season of love live’s saga and i terribly enjoyed!

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      • because, though you gave an opportunity to the serie, your words say that you didn’t really like it and you did a lot of comparisons. I know is difficult not to make it, but c’mon it was a great show. Not the best, but a good one…..that and because I’m sentimental this week 😆

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  2. just finished and… meh? i mean, it wasn’t so bad but… meh?
    Ok, getting serious (what about not?) the thing i liked the most is its being light-hearted. We got our drama moments nicely placed here and there, but LLS takes a more “funny” route compared to LL. Also the girls are a bit more crazy than their counterparts and this goes well with the settings.
    So? so i don’t know. Did i enjoy LLS? yes. Did it left me a strong impression? no. neither a mild one.
    Whereas i’ve run 4 time through both LL series, i don’t think i’ll give LLS another shot. Not so soon, at least.
    That said, a special mention goes to THAT sequence with Chika & Riko 😀

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      • Lol yeah that last part was very much needed for the comment to be valid 😀
        Though really now, I didn’t like this season at first, but they really grew on me. Maybe you should give it a second chance some day~

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  3. i really enjoyed this season a lot even with all the similarities to μ’s journey, i still enjoyed seeing how aqours dealt with their problems and i did cry many times especially when they reference μ’s since it had only been a few months since μ’s final live at the time and even when the third year’s story was being told and of course when it ended. also the yuri “subtext” was amazing i swear aqours shows more of their yuri side than μ’s and that is one of the very big reasons i loved sunshine so much, i love kanan x mari and the whole chikayouriko love triangle even though i ship all three of them 😛 and i love the ships that come out of it especially chikariko, that love confession had me crying happy tears and i was like omg!!!!!! awwwwwwww riko ❤ and i definitely like the other ships too like diaruby, rubymaru, yoshimaru etc etc i just enjoyed seeing them show off their yuriness and i really hope for more when there is a second season

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now here comes a big shipper, I like that 😛
      And I gotta agree, even though you can’t (yet) ship them 9×9 like we could with the μ’s girls, there’s still a lot of potential and even if there wasn’t, KanaMari is totally enough to make this show super awesome for me 😀

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      • ya kanamari is just so cute!!!!!!! they are honestly the elinozo of sunshine, if a season 2 does happen we need more of them

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just wrapped it up, and I liked it alot.
    I had no problems with them being μ reincarnated, in a way it was kind of comforting.

    Of course the best yuri episode was 10. The confession, Mari and Kanan snuggling up to sleep, Yohane and Ruby doing the same. No complaints here.

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    • Yeah, that one was some good high drama. I keep forgetting how you ship Mari and Kanan (I ship Chika and Riko, though You fits in there sometimes too).
      Loved Chika putting her foot down and helping to pull the three of them back together. And yeah, that teary (almost) confession, resulting in teary Hugs. The song starts out as pretty much a love song too…

      I also remember watching episode 10 thinking “Where’s You during all this? What does she think about what’s going on with Chika and Riko?). Then, bam, episode 11 with cute jelly You.

      Excuse me, I have to go wipe up some drool over here…

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      • Could you hand me something to wipe mine off too? 😛
        Seriously, this season was just super yurirific, and the love triangle was definitely a highlight~

        Liked by 1 person

      • No probs, I keep extra tissues just for such an occasion.

        Speaking of hugs, I totally forgot the other Mari and Kanan hug (in the past), and of course their failed hug in the present that happened in episode 8. Also it had the comfort hug between Dia and Ruby. Pretty hug intensive episode.

        You know the only one I have trouble pair up is Dia, I can’t quite figure out who suits her…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! Glad you went there first since I was hesitant. So come back, come back.

      Actually I avoided the whole incest thing in general for the longest time. Then after a year or so of stumbling into reading/seeing it I guess I kind of got over it. Now it’s just another theme in stories for me. So I seem to be fine with it in anime and manga now, though it’s not something I actively seek out.
      Did the same thing with age gap too. Though now I adore it and do actively seek it out. Thank you Hoshikawa Ginza.

      So yeah my possibilities on Dia are:
      1. Mari (nope, she goes with Kanan).
      2. Kanan (nope, nope, see above).
      3. Ruby (the incest route).

      Though Ruby should really end up with Hanamaru or Yoshiko…

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  5. I finishe all Love live season and movie. I loved that much. Now I watch K-on.
    It’s weird that there is nothing about idolmaster.

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