Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 anime series cover art
Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Season Overview

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 (ラブライブ!サンシャイン!! 第2期) is the second season of Love Live! Sunshine!! and the fourth season of Love Live! School Idol Project overall. And since this is the fourth season of the series, and every season is basically the same, you should probably know what this series is like by now if you’ve watched it.

But since it’s been almost two full years since my last Love Live! season review, let’s go over the basics anyway.

Love Live! (the event) is a national competition for school idol groups. There are many reasons idol groups would want to participate in Love Live!, but the reason the two groups in this series (μ’s in the first two seasons and Aqours in Sunshine!!) entered the competition was as a way to save their schools from being shut down.

As it’s been two my memory is a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure the first season was all about Aqours qualifying for Love Live and going through the preliminaries. This second season is therefore about the real competition. The original series focused on two separate Love Live! events, not one spread across two seasons.

Sarah and Leah Kazuno of Saint Snow from the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2
Sarah and Leah Kazuno of Saint Snow

Since I’ll be talking about Aqours a lot in the rest of this review, I’d like to take a moment to mention the true best idol group participating in Love Live!, Saint Snow. Saint Snow is a two-girl idol group made up of sisters Sarah and Leah Kazuno. These two are actually good characters and their music is better than Aqours (sorry, Aqours fans).

I’d also say that the main reason season 2 of Sunshine!! is better than season 1 is because Saint Snow is featured in twice as many episodes.

Ranking the Aqours Members

The best piece of hate mail I ever received came as a response to my ranking of the Monogatari girls. So why not continue to make people angry by ranking the members of Aqours from best to worst as well?

Picking a best girl this time around was actually hard. But in the end I’ve decided that second-year Riko Sakurauchi is the best member of Aqours. She’s basically the Sunshine!! version of Maki from the original series, and Maki is good.

A close second to Riko is the third-year Kanan Matsuura. I like the fact that she’s a normal human being and that she has a ponytail. As you’ll see, those two traits alone are enough to put her above the others.

Chika Takami, Dia Kurosawa, and You Watanabe are third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Chika’s your standard female lead — energetic and airheaded with a big heart. Dia is a bit annoying, but I can deal with her. And You is just extremely forgettable because of how average everything about her is.

First-years Yoshiko “Yohane” Tsushima and Ruby Kurosawa are sixth and seventh. This is the territory of characters that are actually annoying. I want to like Yoshiko, but the fact that she has to correct everyone to call her Yohane at least three times per episode is pretty annoying. And Ruby’s just your timid girl trope.

Third-year Mari Ohara is eighth. At first, I didn’t think any of the third-year members would be this far down the list, but Mari’s constant use of English words and phrases really took its toll on my sanity.

And the worst girl of Aqours is Hanamaru Kunikida. She actually says “zura” more than all the other girls with catchphrases (including Mari with her English) say their respective catchphrases combined.

μ’s (Muse) vs. Aqours (Aqua)

In my review of Sunshine!! season 1, I compared all of the Aqours members to their μ’s counterparts. But which school idol group is better? To answer that question, I’m going to look at everything except the music each group made — because that would make way too much sense.

I actually just don’t feel like going back and listening to all the songs made by each group.

Going by members, μ’s has the clear advantage. The only member of μ’s I remember being annoying was Rin with her “nya’s.” And as I’ve already explained, Aqours has multiple annoying characters (five of the nine). I also just like the character designs for the μ’s members more as well.

But the thing that really puts the members of μ’s above the members of Aqours is the fact that they’re more like real characters than tropes. Sure, some of them are pretty trope-like, but the members of Aqours take it to another level — especially the first-years.

Aqours third years Dia, Mari, and Kanan from the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2
Aqours third years Dia, Mari, and Kanan

What about the idol group names? Well, Saint Snow would obviously win if they were a contender (and they would have one members-wise as well). But between μ’s and Aqours, I think μ’s wins again.

Both group names are pretty bad at first glance. μ’s is pronounced “Muse” and Aqours is pronounced “Aqua.” Going by their spelling vs. pronunciation, μ’s is the better of the two. At least it somewhat makes sense because that’s technically how it should be pronounced. But in no scenario is Aqours pronounced as “Aqua.”

I also have to say that μ’s is a better name from a musical standpoint as well. The Muses are the Greek goddesses of the arts (which includes music) and there are nine of them (μ’s also has nine members). Aqours was just picked as the name because the girls live near the ocean — it’s just not as creative.

Conclusion

In the end, Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 is a 6/10 from me. It’s basically the same as the previous season and the second season of the original series. The only Love Live! season I thought was better than the rest was the first season of the original series, and that’s probably in part because it was novel at that point.

I do want to mention one other thing I actually liked about this series besides Saint Snow, though. The fact that the series ended with Uranohoshi Girls’ High School getting shut down despite Aqours winning the Love Live! was pretty good. I liked seeing the girls come to terms with the fact that not everything will always go their way.

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