Love Live! Sunshine!! – As Good as the Original?

“i’m still in idol hell guys” -alfredo

Hello and finally, I am reviewing the alternate setting of the series Love Live, Love Live! Sunshine!! made by Sunrise.

  • If you would like to see my review on the original Love Live series Love Live! School Idol Project, please click here.
  • If you would like to see my thoughts while I was in the middle of watching this show, please click here.

Alright, here we go.

The story goes that in a town right next to the sea, Chika Takami, a regular girl who has never been in any school clubs and such, has recently been introduced to school idols and the most popular school idol group ever, µ’s (from Love Live! School Idol Project, the original series). She is now obsessed with becoming a school idol, singing, dancing and shining brightly on stage. Now that she’s in high school, Chika is determined to make a school idol club at her own school, Uranohoshi Girl’s High. With the help of her good friend You Watanabe, they try really hard to recruit people for their school idol group.

Image result for love live sunshine chika you gif

The problem? The student council president. Dia Kurosawa HATES school idols and denies the request of the formation of the school idol club from Chika. Not once, not twice but I think three times (or more).

Image result for love live sunshine dia gif

But, Chika does not give up. She meets a city girl named Riko Sakurauchi who plays piano but recently lost inspiration and motivation to play anymore. Chika and You then help her get back the passion of playing piano by hearing the sea.

Image result for love live sunshine riko gif

Then comes in Mari Ohara, a half-Japanese, half-American third year. After coming back from studying abroad, Mari is now the director/chairwoman of Uranohoshi, yes, that big of a position. She’s a friend of Dia but after hearing about a school idol group forming, Mari decides to help out the group and override Dia’s decision. But on one condition. When they perform their first concert, they MUST have a full house in the extremely big school gym.

Image result for love live sunshine mari ohara gif

The trio perform their first concert as the idol group called Aqours (pronounced “aqua”). After resolving some problems that could’ve ruined their whole performance, they successfully sing, dance and shine brightly on stage.

As result of the concert, certain people join Aqours. Yoshiko Tsushima, a chuunibyou-like person who thinks she’s a fallen angel, and the friend duo of Hanamaru Kunikida, an avid reader and someone who hasn’t seen a computer in person, and Ruby Kurosawa, a shy idol enthusiast. Also, she’s Dia’s little sister.

Image result for love live sunshine first years gif

Later on, another third-year, Kanan Matsuura, who helps out at a local surf shop, comes back to Uranohoshi after taking care of her injured father. Mari then tells her that she should join the school idol club, but refuses due to reasons that I shouldn’t tell you cause that’s spoilers k?

Image result for love live sunshine kanan gif

i totally put this gif in just because she’s in it

To summarize, this anime shows the different story of being in a school idol club, how hard it is to succeed now that the school idol competition has increased due to the popularity of µ’s and A-RISE and the drama and fun that this group of people have together in a town by the ocean.

So, my thoughts on this show:

If you have read my post on the problem with Sunshine, you already know my stance on it. If you didn’t, I talked about the massive amount of times µ’s, the school idol group in the original series, was referenced and spoken about in this show. While it was cool that School Idol Project was mentioned, I feel like Aqours was a little bit TOO influenced by them, making it what I thought was “a show about a µ’s fan club at this point”. I was actually losing interest in watching this anime.

When I made that statement, I was in the middle of the show. Later on though, it got pretty interesting and good. I also thought that this show was really slow, it got much better when all nine members were together, which was around 8 or 9 episodes in.

Characters are GREAT. The development of some such as You and Dia, really made the story interesting. If you want to know, the best characters are You, Riko and Ruby. Fight me in the comments rn.

  • See my comparison of characters from µ’s and Aqours here!

What Sunrise (the company who made the Love Live series) made better from School Idol Project was definitely the art. The quality of the art in Sunshine is much, much better. On the other hand, the scenes where they were performing, was still CG/3D. I really do not like when action/dancing/etc. scenes in anime are in CG. It does not look smooth at all. While Sunshine still had CG, I guess it looked a little better but not really lol.

Image result for love live sunshine performance gif

Love Live is a music-based series, so let’s talk about the songs. They’re pretty darn good, to be honest. For the most part, Aqours’ songs were nice to hear. I may be a little biased when saying this but, the songs aren’t as good as the original series. Here are some that I enjoy:

So, to answer the question in the post title. It’s a pretty decent show. I watched this show right after I watched the Love Live movie and the greatness of µ’s was still in my mind so I couldn’t really get over the fact that the original series was finished and after finishing Sunshine, I still thought it wasn’t as good as School Idol Project. That is pretty much why I only call this show decent. If the amount of influence from µ’s lowered, more interesting story was inputted and the originality of Aqours was expressed more, then I would really enjoy this show.

But, who knows. Second season might blow my mind.

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