I am taking my time in the current season to finish write-ups for the previous one. I felt like I needed to get this one out with all of my might before I end up ‘accidentally’ forget about it, leaving the two-parts thing done half-assed. I am sure going to hit blogger’s wall as soon as I finish writing this so don’t be like me.
This part is going to be random as hell, but even I’m aware that being random well represents three quarters of me and what makes my blog.
I was almost too quick to put Love Live! Sunshine!! among my most favorite spin-offs list.
This show to me felt all new despite having really got used to the usual Love Live! templates of cute girls physically and mentally flying here and there in every few minutes. This is especially true to the protagonists for both original and Sunshine!!
Spin-offs to me, are mostly things with a parent story. Taking it into the case, Sunshine!! immediately validates as a sequel to the parent story albeit without the OG characters, which ultimately becomes the first challenge for when the show tries to “advance”.
How do we continue μ’s story?
Without the original characters, there is unlikely a truest continuation. Just think about Boruto, where it clearly takes off from the original Naruto series but the characters from OG are there to tie up the ends between two series.
The characters in Sunshine!! however are without the obvious strong ties to the original series. This majorly makes up the spin-off tag to the latter.
Now that both you and I probably have the “spin-off” mindset going, let’s look at what the show’s first season does (well) differently to the “prequel”.
As mentioned earlier, Sunshine!! feels almost new, like a reflection of newer generations. Love Live! competition was not as popular as it is now in the times of Sunshine!! so the feeling of nostalgia ensues. Popularity results in improvements in numbers and diversity but also equally in stiffer competition and broader range of variety. It is noticeable from the very start as Aqours has no real top-dog rival (not even Saint Snow) but still have a harder time winning the competition since there are many more competent teams out and about, which none of them got their screen time (lol).
Since Aqours is heavily inspired by μ’s and intends to continue the latter’s style/aesthetic, the first season of Sunshine!! ultimately lays down a valuable lesson on how one should not always follow successful people in literally every single step. The point of them (μ’s) successfully getting there in the first place is that they have done something nobody else has, let alone could at the time. Leave the old times to the old timers; Aqours is in a new generation so the girls should at the very least try something different, if not new.
And all of that ramble brings me to the second season, where I had no freakin’ idea what the purpose of this particular sequel was on my first watch. Maybe it is just me or please tell me I am not the only person in this wide world who initially thought that second season did injustice to Love Live! in general.
I mean come on, no way would they just pull a fat one on me like that! So I put the second season on hold until it finished, then binge the entire thing. Two things came to me clear as day:
One is that Love Live! Sunshine!! Second Season is definitely a binge material; it sucks at keeping up the weekly hype. The fact that so many other shows from the same season had left much stronger impressions in each and every week did not help much as well.
The other is that the sequel did indeed steer away—not totally off road—from everything set in stone by the original.
A bit of serious spoilers from here…
Yeap, they could not save Uranohoshi Girls’ High School from staying independent, so best…
And that was where the show’s meaningful potential stalled like running into a brick wall. So I still am inclined to think that I was right when I felt the pain of watching a show carried itself on for six episodes without actually advancing the main plot. Though let’s be real; nothing beats Endless Eight in this category despite it having actually delivered a message.
The show then turned into a harem visual novel format where for these six episodes, character developments continue. Even when the show went that route, it still couldn’t do well. If anything, I think that Yoshiko was everyone’s number one most expected character to be put through a development course; in which the end result had left many disappointed, myself included. She was however, not to be blamed as the entirety of this section was generally under-performed; no characters were actually developed in meaningful ways but they had all came across tiny little things that might or might not have turned their brains on. Taking that fact into consideration, Riko had definitely won me over as her episode (5) was definitely the most enjoyable one yet. Not only cynophobia is too relatable to many, I was certain that the fifth episode was intended to further develop Yoshiko which she had her spotlight stolen by Riko.
Spoiler mode off now.
So, without trying to be of the exact copy to the original…
What is the second season of Love Live! Sunshine!!?
I say memes, memes and more memes overload. They are actually more humorous than some shows claiming themselves to be of comedy genre.
Love Live! Sunshine!! Second Season ended up becoming Jack of all trades to the entire Love Live! franchise. It surely has done a bit of everything; more time slots for individuals, more running gags beyond Nico Nico Nii~, more banters, more music (lives), wider range of one dimensional characters, less competitions and less drama.
This is as close to cute girls doing cute things Love Live! can get, unless they can prove me wrong with the next installment.
May the second season find its radiance in the future of its fandom. And may the sequel movie tie up loose ends leftover by the TV series.
Because it is a show which I love, I feel hurt every time I have to talk about its negative points.
Firstly, let me say that I was one of the few who’d actually enjoyed and appreciated the hell out of Ni no Sara. I got overwhelmed by how straightforward and faithful the adaptation was. While I had been left amazed by J.C.Staff’s very quirk, many others were on a different boat.
Which brought me into the sequel, where almost everything many others did not want to see got repeated.
Nothing in Fall Season says quick fame better than the third installment of Shokugeki no Souma. The hype came in lightning speed and went away just as quick; that would be my overall impression of San no Sara.
On one hand I have very little of negative points to pin due to the fact that San no Sara still adapts from the manga very faithfully it is actually religiously mind-bogging. On the other hand the show will not survive within realms of anime, where exist many sequels of other shows which performed relatively better and comparatively much more set on their objective: maintaining similar quality presented by the original. I am certainly not to saying that San no Sara did absolutely nothing right!
Shokugeki in this cour, specifically the ones in the tournament somehow felt more dramatic and less tense from a (battle) shounen point of view. No matter how much was ‘at stake’, it never felt engaging simply because I could not give a rat’s ass about some of the characters which were forced into the fray. That feeling was almost no different to being forced to watch a boxing match between two athletes you could not care less, let alone know anything about the individuals. Obviously I am saying that Souma’s instances of shokugeki often succeeded in delivering what almost no other characters within the show could; every villain wanted a piece of him so in absolutely no way was there never anything at stake.
Judging from everything you probably know about my narcissist self, I am still a newbie to ‘tournament arcs’. To me they mean any kind of tournament set-up battles where literally everyone play by the rules. Trust me I am not specifically targeting Boku no Hero Academia but the evidence of me having not touched the franchise at all kinda says something (oops). It may be cliche but like proper tournaments, I also love seeing rules broken, intentional or not. Let me talk about this one a little more:
I was absolutely shocked (the first time) when Vegeta took on Majin mark and wrecked the hell out of the tournament just so he could fight Goku. Now that is one good example of a once iconic and now cliched battle shounen scene.
Gaara slowly becoming a tailed monster during the Chuunin exam?
Yeap. I felt serious surge of indecency from there on.
Even your technobabble Mahouka had intruders and interruptions to the Nine Schools Competition. That was actually pleasant to watch and follow through.
Do notice that I have not mention anything along the lines of ‘hype’ and that is because I was not. None of these stories hyped me like a normal competition—a proper tournament with an actual winner as the ultimatum, which brought me to the one thing in San no Sara that outshone the rest of the cour’s content: Mimisaka Subaru.
One of the few key actions of a battle shounen tournament arc is the introduction of a new character. They almost always come in strong and Subaru is pretty much Shokugeki no Souma‘s instance of the key. He came outta nowhere like Randy Orton and quickly sat on his plot-driving seat within the story. It is also a good thing that he is not used once only for the arc and continues to casually fill some important roles along the way after.
Ever since Ni no Sara, I’d taken a huge liking to Arato Hisako mainly because of whatever *spoilers* I anticipated from the manga. For a supporting character, she has gone through some serious amount of self-reflections. There is a clear difference between the first time she appeared…
And the most recent her—how she will now actually think of herself first, setting priorities straight most of the time.
Her saucy but delicate friendship between Erina had always captivated me in a very weird way (not Yuri for sure).
Is it admiration?
Maybe it’s Maybeline!
Hisako has always been a caring person; she was just living in Erina’s shadow despite the latter not being fully aware. Until the third season Hisako was literally just Erina’s copy without the God tongue. Her little arc with Souma in the second season impressed me a lot more than it should as not only it got right to the point quickly — it was the one arc that actually betrayed the show’s style by not having foodgasms.
Having been shown de wey by Souma, Hisako came to understand his passion for cooking and his purpose of coming to/staying at Toutsuki. She also came to accept that if she was to ever improve, the first step was to acknowledge that there had always been more to cooking than just her own specialization.
Oh and this obviously meant she also joined Souma’s harem. She worried about his recklessness and all that jazz just like every other females rooting for him.
Personally I will always find it amusing off-scene because when I have to think about seiyuu involved, this is not the first time Oonishi Saori voiced a character who is in the harem of a character voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu. They have worked together for Saekano before, where they voiced Eriri and Tomoya respectively. Just knowing that Hisako is voiced by Oonishi-san is enough to have me smile as she is probably one of the most ‘fun’ female seiyuu in the industry right now. I also expect some more Tsundere out of her character.
To conclude, if you are looking to compare this installment of Shokugeki no Souma to anything else within the same season — don’t. It doesn’t stand up well on its own and it will unlikely do well for newcomers of anime in general. Have them watch the debut season, first. As a sequel, San no Sara did exactly what a sequel is meant to do, though it is sad to see that not even the hype for this season can lift the bridge which ties with and has been brought down low by Ni no Sara.
And came my personal sleeper hit of the fall season. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou managed to mix and match some boring elements of slice of life and endless suspense from humanly wonders, creating audiovisual art form that actually became truly engaging.
I think that I have held back for long enough but it is about time I repeat a roasting quote from the anime community:
“This show feels more like a journey than Kino’s Journey (2017).”
I also think that if I am to receive a dollar for every person saying that they would not re-watch this show, I would quickly become a millionaire. I will drop a post regarding my thinking methods for anime shows later so at least for now, let me babble on about some of the thing you can probably relate.
This show utilized weekly broadcasting format to its utmost advantage; that alone should guarantee your applauds. This was my dose of catalyzer for when my life’s purpose went through weekly contemplation. Its hidden messages are enough to segregate those who understood the subtlety and become fully in awe to those who could only see it as ’empty’. I could be making a joke about how you might need high IQ to enjoy this show as if it is a shitposting type, but really — Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou was absolutely pleasant while it lasted as I am sure some of you were also taken on a serious journey, rediscovering little things in life that matter to us as humans.
Now if I am to talk about its longevity; this show will unlikely stand to test the future times. When I’d began to see more and more of the same comments regarding this show being empty, I’d also wonder if there was a way I could get into their shoes and it turned out that I actually could!
By simply re-watching the show a month later.
Anime fans today are hard to please after all. But at the very least for loyal ones, there is the manga. And if you are dying for some more adventure type anime shows, obviously go and watch the original Kino’s Journey!
I am glad it is over. I hope you are too, especially after having read a wall of text. 2017 Fall Season has been absolute delight for myself as mentioned more times than I can count with my two hands. While it is unfortunate that I cannot write about all seventeen shows I have seen from the season, I am more than satisfied with being able to write at all.
Thank you for reading and actually let me move forward to the current season with you all!
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