It’s time to move on.
Here’s my review!
I’ve been saying it for a while and I know many people have been voicing their opinions on it too, but Aqours really needed to do their own thing instead of trying to match Muse at every step. It took 12 eps but Chika finally realized this and came to the conclusion that this is how they’ll shine the brightest, by going down their own path to greatness, not by traveling the one Muse took. This should be a no brainer and I’m sure many people breathed a long sigh once Chika finally came to this realization, I’m just happy it finally happened. Love Live Sunshine is at its best during moments like this, when they’re doing their own thing and being their own group. That’s what I really wanted to see more of out of this show so I hope S2 will build on that. Granted there is another season. I’m sure there will be.
Aside from that, there were some fitting references in this ep that really made this ep special. From returning to the shrine Nozomi worked at, to going to the lounge in UTX, and finally stopping at Otonokizaka. Instead of beating you over the head with Muse references at every point, they worked them into the ep in a nice way and added to Chika finding to the answer she needed. Also the whole scene at the beach was perfect. It’s the same beach where Muse decided to disband after Love Live in S2 ep 11, but this time around it’s where Aqours decided to forge their own path. It was the perfect place for a moment like this to happen. While that was the core of the ep, there were some other parts that are worth talking about too so let’s get into that now.
After a spectacular performance last week it’s no doubt Aqours would qualify and pass the prelims. The passion and energy they brought to the stage for the performance was amazing and even though Riko wasn’t there with them they were still able to get the job done. Speaking of Riko, she had her own success at the piano competition, winning 1st place but more importantly overcoming her personal struggle in the process. Good job, Riko! So now that Aqours have qualified, they can save the school right! Right….?
Well not just yet. Mari is the one to break the bad news to them. Even though their PV has gotten lots of views, nearly 160k, that doesn’t translate into people signing up for the open house and in turn applying to the school. Once again they’re back at 0. Insert another Step! ZERO to ONE reference here, I really hope they sing that in the final ep. Even though they were so popular and everyone wanted to take a picture with them or get an autograph or handshake, they’re still not at the level they need to be. Kanan makes a good point when she says because of their location not many people would apply for the school, unlike in Tokyo where schools get a lot more applications. But as Chika brings out, that can’t be their only excuse for not doing well. She wants to figure out how to be great like Muse and save their school like they did. But the only way to do that is to get to the place where Muse began. That’s right, it’s time to return to Otonokizaka.
I loved the part when they arrive in Tokyo and meet up with Riko. Seeing her try to hide her collection of yuri books was hilarious, especially when they spilled out and Chika almost saw them. Looks like Riko was able to keep her secret intact still, she’s gotta be more careful in the future.
I know many people have wanted to see them return and yes they did in this ep. Saint Snow made another appearance and this time around we learn that they actually attend UTX, something that I don’t think was ever mentioned. I guess somewhere in the past few years UTX decided to change their uniforms from mostly white and black to mostly navy and red. Oh well, I liked the other uniform a lot more. I loved how excited Dia and Ruby got when Chika said there were going to the shrine to talk to someone special. Of course they expected it to be the one and only Nozomi, but instead it was just Saint Snow.
While Saint Snow couldn’t help Chika with coming to the answer she needed, it gave her some food for thought. Much like A-RISE, the group they were inspired by, Saint Snow wants to be at the top and win Love Live. And while that’s a nice goal to have, their approach is very competitive and it’s not something Chika is looking for. Sure she wants to win as well but she doesn’t want to be driven by that factor alone. Would going to Otonokizaka finally answer her question though?
While the answer wasn’t jumping right out at them, with the help of a Otonokizaka student and a little girl who looked a lot like Honoka, it was one more piece that Chika needed to help her come to the conclusion. And from there we return to the beach where Chika tells the group what their motivation should be going forward. And I’m pretty sure the Otonokizaka student they ran into was actually voiced by Inori Minase who you might know as Rem in Re:Zero or Chino in Gochiusa. Someone please, confirm this for me.
We end the ep with one more reference to the great school idol group as the torch is finally passed to Aqours. Yes the feather that we see each Muse member hold in the ED for S2 has finally reached Chika and Aqours. It was the icing on the cake for this ep and from the moment you see if drifting down towards her hand you can’t help but smile (or cry a lot) as Chika reaches out and takes hold of it. It’s among the best moments of this ep and while it took 12 eps to finally reach this point, it was an amazing journey that brought together this group of girls who wanted nothing more than to shine as bright as they could in their own way.
So that’s gonna wrap up this review. We’ve got just 1 ep left now and I know that I’ll probably shed a couple of tears while watching. It’s been a bumpy journey but Love Live Sunshine has really been a great show and one that I’ll really miss once it’s over. I really, really hope they make another season as I’m sure lots of people will want that.
As always I’d love to hear what you thought about this ep so be sure to leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter (@SkyCorps) and let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you right back here next Saturday for the grand finale!
P.S. The fall preview post will be out next Saturday!
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