Anime Review Love Live Series Sunshine Series

Love Live! Sunshine!! 2nd Season ⬢ The Dissapoiment Continues

More from the Love Live series:
School Idol Project


Nijigasaki High School Idol Club


Original Run: October 7, 2017 - December 30, 2017
Number of Episodes: 13
Genre: Idol, Music, Slice of Life
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Love Live! Sunshine!! 2nd Season. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

After failing to reach the prestigious Love Live competition finals, the school idol group Aquors knows this is not the time to quit.

Despite this setback, the group’s leader, Chika Takami (voiced by Anju Inami), has never felt more determined. With her beloved Uranohoshi Academy still on the line, the only direction is forward. That same sentiment drive Aquors’ other eight members:

Though they are nine, Aquors moves as one. Together, they know they can save their school and win Love Live. But in their final push, they must discover that thing that will make them shine.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

Series Positives

Love Live! Sunshine!! (Sunshine 1) was underwhelming. As such, I didn’t have the highest hopes going into Love! Sunshine!! 2nd Season (Sunshine 2). But that is not a good mindset to have when watching any series. Even if a predecessor may not have been stellar, we should always judge a sequel on its merits.

And when we get to it, the original Love Love was a lot of fun. So despite the precedent set by season one, I didn’t want Sunshine 2 to fail.

That said, this season ended up being much like the first – a complete waste of time. Still, we can attribute a handful of positive things to this series.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

To start, Sunshine 2, unlike Sunshine, wasn’t a carbon copy of the original Love Live. There were enough differences for this title to claim it did its own thing.

Now, were there similarities? Absolutely. This story refused to travel out of its comfort zone. It returned to the established formula, often in some heavy-handed ways. Nevertheless, there were pockets of fresh air.

For instance, Sunshine 2 appeared to ditch its overreliance on μ. Where references did occur, they, at least, made sense for what was happening. This season finally accepted that Aquors, not μ, were the primary focus.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

Additionally, the animation seen in Sunshine 2 set a new standard for the Love Live franchise.

The Sunshine series has excelled with its use of color. Seasons one and two were not afraid to throw in every shade of the rainbow, typically in large quantities. There were almost no greys and even less darkness in this show.

But what was a genuine surprise were the various examples of Sunshine 2 excellent implementation of visual storytelling.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

However, this season demonstrated its animation prowess during Aquors’ live performances. These were beautiful. And they were beautiful thanks to what has, up to this point, been a massive gripe against the Love Live franchise – the CGI.

Sunshine 2 abandoned the idea that this series’ idol groups were singing and dancing on stage. Instead, this season fully embraced the music-video-esque style of its musical numbers. And do you what? It worked. The camera movements were neat, the choreography was smooth, and the direction complimented the songs.

If nothing else, these lives were extraordinary for a single reason. It was nice seeing the confidence Aquors had while they were performing. Although I feel no connection towards these girls in any other aspect, it was good to have this version of them.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

Series Negatives

Where to start? Oh, how about this?

Stop talking.

This was one of those shows that thought everyone needed to say something in every scene. It didn’t help that every word a character uttered was either nauseating, annoying, or maddening.

Aquors had nine members, and before anything could happen, each had to add their two cents to everything. That wasn’t necessary, and it didn’t help when everyone spoke in motivational speeches.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

Another thing: Chika Takami was insufferable.

So, in episode one, this season was adamant about Chika’s school closing being a done deal. There was nothing that could reverse the decision. Except, there were twelve episodes to go; we can’t kill the dream yet.

Of course, there was a way out. Despite the big hoopla about no other option, there was another option. Ignoring how lazy that type of writing is, we have to have a story somehow. As long as this series doesn’t immediately do something stupid – here comes Chika.

Upon receiving this unlikely second chance, Chika viewed the situation as nothing more serious than a simple ten-point exam. Aquors was gifted an act of God, and our main character of this series couldn’t bother herself to put in a little urgency. Really?

To make matters worse, Chika’s naivety never got any better.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

This horrid-protagonist aspect came to a head when this series came to the moment that would decide if the school would close.

For one thing, the school closure was essentially a moot point.

Aquors had somehow connected the school shutting down with the end of the group. Except, the third-year members were still graduating, so everyone going their separate ways was always inevitable.

As for the remaining members, they were going anywhere. Their school’s population – as in its entirety – would absorb itself into another nearby academy. Therefore, it wasn’t like the first and second years were saying goodbye to each other.

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

I understand locations hold sentimental value and that the prospect of having to leave a place you care about is a scary thing. Had this series just had it be that I would have let the whole thing go. Except Sunshine 2 took things to a level that ultimately undermined its message of friendship and coming together.

This season indicated that the thing holding Aquors together was their school. If that went away, there would have been nothing. No, if their school fell, they fell. Never mind the hardships, the struggles, and the obstacles the girls overcame.

There came a point where Aquors lost hope. There didn’t appear to be anything left they could do. To them, they had failed to achieve what they set out to do. Despite having the finish line sitting right in front of them – the Love Live finals – their school was their drive, and with that gone, the girls were ready to quit.

All the training they did was pointless. The numerous competitions they were in, so what? The traveling, the bonding, all these things that did NOT happen at school, what did any of that matter?

Love Live Sunshine 2nd Season

It wasn’t until an option benefiting the school presented itself that Aquors found their motivation again.

This legitimately upset me, as in I found this incredibly offensive. Have some goddamn respect for the time you spent together.

Memories don’t reside in physical locations. They live in your head, your heart, and the people you made them with. Don’t attach what’s important to you to something as trivial as a building closing its doors. If a place needs to exist for you to remember something you say is precious to you, I’m sorry, but that thing was nothing special.

The original Love Live had the same plot point – save the school. But in the final episode of that series, μ’s wasn’t saying goodbye to a location. They were saying goodbye to each other. They were saying goodbye to the unforgettable journey they had completed together.

Sunshine cannot claim the same sentiment.

Final Thoughts

Whenever I think about Love Live, it will be μ’s that comes to mind. Someone will need to go out of their way to mention Aquors for me to associate them with this franchise. This is a shame since seasons one and two of this second series could have been so much more.

The animation was strong, and the songs were fun. Had this season taken a risk and tried being its own thing, I could at least respect the effort. But that’s not what happened.

With a story riddled with poor dialogue, never-ending exposition, and a misguided message, I’m happy to let this one go.

Love Live! Sunshine!! 2nd Season is one you can skip.

But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this series; how would you advise Love Live! Sunshine!! 2nd Season? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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More From the Love Live Series

Love Live School Idol Project
A link to the Love Live School Idol Project review
A link to the Love Live The School Idol Movie review
Link to the Love Live Sunshine Season 1 review
Nijigasaki High School Idol Club
Link to the Love Live Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 1 review
Link to the Love Live Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 review
Link to the Love Live Superstar Season 1 review
Link to the Love Live Superstar Season 2 review

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