Do I like Love Live? Yeah, I guess. I’m more attached to it than Idolmaster but I can’t say I would die without Love Live in my life. Hell, I even forgot to do a Love Live pilgrimage on my vacation.
Did I enjoy this first season of Sunshine? I… guess? It just kind of existed. It was neither great or bad.
As a show, it was fine. It was melodramatic and silly at times but not nearly as egregious as the first series of Love Live was. I’m pretty sure we can all agree the first season of Love Live made some pretty awful narrative choices.
Those narrative choices are addressed in Sunshine though. So as much as I hate Sunshine’s cheap tactics of “oh now we have to save the school” or “I’m the Eli and you’re the Hanayo!” that really made this seem to lack integrity, I do enjoy that callback to the story itself.
My main problems were, as I said, how cheap it felt. They were outright stating “hey, we’re like this character from the first series!” and while it makes sense in the show, it still is way too on the nose for me to ignore and accept.
Hanamaru being inspired by Rin is one thing, sure. That’s nice and I can accept that. But Ruby and Dia’s flashback conversation was too much.
It’s mostly because these characters didn’t feel original at first that made it so much more annoying. You’ve got another screamy shy girl, you’ve got another eccentric weirdo bullied by the cast, genki orange haired leader girl, redhead who composes their music, you’ve got another who plays up sexual harassment for laughs. All kinds of things that are too similar to the original to ignore.
Cinderella Girls has soooo many interesting characters who don’t get the spotlight (and we really didn’t need ANOTHER chuuni idol). Hell, even some of the School Idol Festival girls sound interesting. They could have deviated a lot with their characters but they didn’t. They took the safe and easy route out for a lot of things in Sunshine. I just couldn’t respect that.
But I did say I enjoyed the parallel to the worst parts of the first Love Live. That being all of Honoka’s drama from failing Love Live to stopping Kotori which I’m still mad about being you disbanded not even a year later and she gave up such an amazing opportunity GODDAMMIT.
By the end of the series, the girls have distanced themselves a lot from μ’s and that itself was super satisfying. It gives me hope for the second season which will obviously be announced at Aquors first live.
Kanan (best girl) lets Mari pursue her dreams by giving up on being a school idol. Maybe Kotori would have been mad like Mari was. Or maybe stupid teenagers shouldn’t give up promising opportunities to study abroad for fleeting hobbies like being school idols. Who knows.
Of course, Mari and Kanan (best girl) get to be school idols again but at least she was thinking of her friend and not just of herself. Not to mention that the episode where Mari and Kanan ‘make up’ was probably my favourite of the series.
This comes up again with Chika and Riko. I’ve found Chika to be manipulative (protip: if someone has a severe phobia, the way to help them isn’t to trick them into facing that phobia) so I was pleasantly surprised that she did something as selfless as that. Maybe Honoka is just garbage trash all along.
I’ve done all this complaining even though in the end I did enjoy the first season of Love Live Sunshine. As someone eloquently put it: “it still makes my heart go doki doki”.
I dislike a lot of the new characters but I like them a lot more than I did at the beginning of the season. I think Mari is annoying as hell but since she’s the girlfriend of the best girl (Kanan), I’ve grown to tolerate her. Likewise, Yohane is awful when she’s doing anything chuuni but she wars thigh highs a lot and that is visually appealing. Yohane has a nice butt, is what I’m saying.
Hanamaru and You were characters I didn’t expect to like as much but after Kanan, Hanamaru is probably my favourite with You or Dia not too far behind. I liked You a lot less by the end, though.
I’m able to enjoy this show due to a lack of cynicism (despite how it may seem with all my complaints and all the hours of complaining I did to the people I was watching it with) but I think if you don’t like idols or Love Live already then you won’t enjoy this and you probably shouldn’t waste your time.
I’ll just be waiting for more of my precious, fleeting Kanan time.