Love Live! Sunshine!!

Love Live! Sunshine!!

Love Live! Sunshine!! anime cover art featuring Aqours
Love Live! Sunshine!! Cover Art

Overview

Love Live! Sunshine!! is the third season of the Love Live! series, although it doesn’t follow the same characters as the first two seasons. In the original seasons of Love Live! we followed a group called μ’s (pronounced Muse), but in Sunshine we follow Aqours (pronounced Aqua).

If you think Sunshine!! is going to be a different story set in the world of Love Live!, you’re probably going to be a bit disappointed. While the location is new, and the characters are technically new, the plot is exactly the same as the first season of Love Live!

Once again, the high school the main characters are attending is going to be closed down, and so the girls form a school idol group in order to attract new students and save their school. Sounds familiar, right?

This story takes place after the events of Love Live! season 2, and the girls of Aqours even explicitly say they want to do the same thing μ’s did, so I don’t really feel like anyone can argue this is a new or unique story. As you’ll see, even the characters aren’t that original.

Aqours

Chika, or Honoka 2.0, is the protagonist of the series. She’s essentially the same exact character as Honoka. They both act the same, and they even have roughly the same hair color, so there’s really no point in calling her a new character.

You is Chika’s best friend and first other member of Aqours. While she’s a bit more unique, she’s the Kotori of Sunshine!! which means she’s the one who designs the costumes and serves as Chika’s right hand.

Rika, the third member of Aqours, is Maki 2.0. In the original series, Maki was a first year student, but Riko is a second year student, so it’s almost like this is just a continuation of the same character. She has dark red hair, plays the piano, and is the composer for the group just like Maki.

Hanamaru is a first year member of Aqours (the previous three were all second years). While she’s technically not a copy of Hanayo from season one, as far as I’m concerned she is because her character annoys me by ending all of her sentences with “zura.” She’s really more of a combination of Hanayo and Rin.

Ruby is the Nico of Sunshine (at least half of Nico). Just as Nico was pretty much the mascot of μ’s, Ruby is the mascot of Aqours. This time around, instead of saying “Nico Nico Ni,” the catchphrase is always something about Ruby doing her “Rubesty.”

The last of the first years is Yoshiko, or Yohane. Unlike the rest of the characters, Yoshiko is fairly original. Yoshiko shows severe signs of chunibyou and thinks of herself as a fallen angel. There is no character from the original series like Yoshiko.

Now onto the third year students. As with the original series, these three join the group later on after refusing to join for various reasons.

The first is Dia, the student council president who doesn’t want a school idol group because of some hidden thing from her past. Oh, what do you know, that’s exactly like Eli. However, Dia is also similar to Nico in that she’s a die-hard school idol fan, but she doesn’t want anyone to know.

Next we have Mari, the Nozomi of the series. She’s one of Dia’s best friends and is the one who keeps pushing the girls of Aqours to continue trying their best. Mari also tends to say phrases in English and it’s kind of annoying except for the fact that I’m pretty sure she made a JoJo’s reference in episode 12.

The final member of Aqours is Kanan. Kanan is the character who rationally thinks things through, just like Umi was. Both of these characters even have roughly the same color hair. Kanan also gives snorkeling lessons for work and Umi’s name means “ocean,” coincidence? I think not.

Riko Chika, and You (left to right) from the anime Love Live! Sunshine!!
Riko Chika, and You

Conclusion

So now that you see how the plot and characters are the same as they were in the first season of Love Live!, I think you’ll understand why I couldn’t rate this season any higher than a 6/10. It’s simply not original.

The key difference between the Sunshine!! and the original that I saw was the ending. The first season ended with μ’s failing to win the Love Live!, but the end of Sunshine didn’t show the results of their performance from what I remember (although they probably lost).

The OP for Love Live! Sunshine!! is available here.

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