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:
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.
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.
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~
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