There was a big part of me that, when I heard the new Love Live anime, Love Live! Sunshine!!, was going to focus on an entirely different school following in the footsteps of the original characters, was pretty disappointed. I had grown attached to the nine main characters of the original show and was already heartbroken that they were choosing to no longer be together. But I figured that if the new show followed the younger siblings of the muse then it would at least be bearable. But obviously I didn’t get what I wanted and we carry on, don’t we. With that said, This is a first impressions review of the new series and, I have to say, thus far I am enjoying the ride.
One major change is the fact that the new idols that we will be following, don’t really have a goal other than to becoming ‘bright’ and ‘shinning’ idols, whereas the original show’s main characters were at first trying to form an idol group to save the school by raising attendance. Outside of that loft goal, however, the format seems to be pretty similar to this show’s predecessor. It starts off with one main character with a hell of a lot of enthusiasm that was motivated to become and idol after seeing another idol group and becoming star struck. Our main lead, Chika Takami looks similar to Honoka Kousaka in terms of hair color, enthusiasm and charisma, but we will see if the comparisons continue during this season. Chika starts off the first couple of episodes trying to round-up members and skirt the student council president that, like Eli Ayase, refuses to allow a school idol group to be formed.
And that’s where one of my biggest issues (thus far) has come in with the first two episodes: They don’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Granted, it took a while for the original muse to gain all of their members, but at this point in the series they were already going to be holding a concert around episode 3 with 3 full members. By the end of episode two they have two members and a composer, and very little forward progress made in terms of any actual music happening. This is something that can change pretty quickly, however, so I am really not complaining too much. It could also be the fact that I binged watched the first series whereas I have to wait weekly for Sunshine… so again I’m not really holding it against them, this is just a small observation.
What excited me most, thus far, about this series is that the soon-to-be members of this small-town school idol group all seem to have very…. unique and different personalities to put it mildly. They all seem a bit over-the-top in a positive way. To give you a couple of examples, in the first episode, one character Chika approaches seems totally excited by the ‘idol’ idea, and she excitedly asks “DO YOU PUT ON SHOWS!?” and Chika, thinking she may have a new member gleefully replies that they don’t yet but will in the future. The new chick, who looks like Nico and Maki had a love child, immediately hides because she is deathly afraid of performing. Soon after, this random chick drops from a tree proclaiming that she is the fallen angel “Yohane” and quickly runs away when another girl points out that her name is Tsushima Yoshiko and that she has known her for years. I know that I am doing no justice to this scene, go watch it, but this was a pretty funny scene and I get the feeling that we will see more things like this in the future.
So, while I don’t think Sunshine plans to break any new ground, it has set up for some very interesting characters and, as long as the group as a whole wins me over, I plan to root for them as they head towards
koshien Love Live! The biggest hurdle they have for me is the fact that I felt emotionally attached to the old characters of the old show and was sad to see it ending, I hope they’re able to drive that same emotional connection but fear that they cannot achieve that if they are merely just rehashing the same ol’ script. Only time will tell, but for now, this show is entertaining and zany and has thus far been a lot of fun to watch.