Original Run: April 2, 2022 - June 25, 2022 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Idol, Music, Slice of Life
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2. Reader discretion is advised.***
The best school idols have a knack for pulling people in. And once the bug bites, it never goes away.
Such is what happened when Nijigasaki High students Ayumu Uehara and Yuu Takasaki (voiced respectively by Aguri Oonishi and Hinaki Yano) heard their school’s idol club perform. The two friends try to join the next day but discover that the show they saw was the club’s final performance. However, this doesn’t stop Ayumu and Yuu.
The pair gathered many like-minded people and reformed the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. Its members include:
- Setsuna Yuuki (voiced by Tomori Kusunoki)
- Rina Tennoji (voiced by Chiemi Tanaka)
- Kasumi Nakasu (voiced by Mayu Sagara)
- Kanata Konoe (voiced by Akari Kitou)
- Shizuku Osaka (voiced by Kaori Maeda)
- Ai Miyashita (voiced by Natsumi Murakami)
- Karin Asaka (voiced by Miyu Kubota)
- Emma Verde (voiced by Maria Sashide)
Having made a name for themselves, the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club are the newest talk of the town, and their story has only just started.
Although I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard fan of the Love Live series, I won’t act as if I hate it either. I still hold a high opinion of the original, and the franchise has countless examples of beautiful animation and decent characterization. When at its best, Love Live is exceptionally entertaining.
Unfortunately, when at its worse, you get – well – the Sunshine series, which was just a thinly veiled rehash of the original. Or you get this, Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 (Nijigasaki 2), which was as cookie-cutter and bland as you can get.
I don’t really have anything positive to say about this installment. In fact, I was somewhat surprised this series got a second season at all. And for it to come out the same year the far better Love Live Superstar aired its second chapter – which, as of this review’s posting, I have yet to watch – it was hard to imagine how anything worthwhile could happen.
Surprise, nothing did.
If you read my review of Nijigasaki 1, you saw that I managed to put together some positive sentiments. Granted, it ultimately came down to me saying that although I respected Nijigasaki for, at least, trying something different, different doesn’t always equate to good.
I believe I said it best with this:
[W]ouldn’t a goalless story mean there was nothing to get excited about? If so, wouldn’t that just have made Nijigasaki a well-produced excuse to push new songs and sell merchandise? And if that were true, wouldn’t it have made this show not very exciting to watch?
I suppose you might be wondering, “Is he really going to go through the whole review without stating a single thing good about this show?”
That probably wouldn’t be good, would it? Don’t get me wrong; I was tempted. However, Nijigasaki 2 was boring, not broken. Therefore, I say this next bit under one assumption:
The only thing about Love Live you care about is the music and the performances.
If that is the case, you can skip most of this season, including whole episodes. The songs in this installment were what one would expect from a Love Live series. They were well-animated, they were visually eye-catching, and a few were even rather catchy.
Yes, I know; I could not have given a blander answer. After all, it is the constant that links all the Love Live shows. But if this franchise is going to deliver a lackluster attempt, I’m going to give lackluster praise.
Aside from releasing new music and adding to the overall aesthetic of the Love Live franchise, there is one thing the Nijigasaki series relied on: Its characters. Since there wasn’t much story or conflict, this show needed a cast that was, at best, likable or, at a minimum, recognizable.
While I can’t say there was anyone in Nijigasaki 2 I thought was annoying, that wasn’t surprising since no one in this show stood out. Every member of the titular idol club was unremarkable, instantly forgettable, and indistinguishable from one another.
Again, remembering season one, Nijigasaki thought it would be a good idea to balance the “personalities” of ten characters. That is far too ambitious for a thirteen-episode series; there is nowhere near enough time to give everyone a proper build-up. They simply become a name and a face, and I barely remember either.
Fortunately, a second season is where a large cast can get the chance to add more personality. Unfortunately, that wasn’t what Nijigasaki 2 did. Instead, this season thought it was a good idea to add MORE CHARACTERS.
It is already challenging to keep everyone we already “know” in check. Why would throwing in more names and featureless faces be the right thing to do?
As a result, watching Nijigasaki 2 become a chore. Not only that, each episode had about five-minutes worth of actual content. Thus, the bulk of this series was either inconsequential fluff or music videos. That is definitely something I won’t suggest people sit through.
I would say I was disappointed with this season, but I think that would be giving too much credit. I didn’t think Nijigasaki 2 would be special, and I only watched this installment out of obligation. It would be silly to skip this one after making it through the rest of the franchise.
If this series is your favorite aspect of the Love Live franchise, all power to you. But to be quite honest, it feels as if this label is suffering middle-child syndrome. It has struggled to leave behind any mark.
Although the animation is decent, that isn’t anything new. This show failed across the board in all the areas that matter – characters, story, general enjoyment, etc.
Love Love! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 is not worth your time.
But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this show; how would you advise Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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