Tag: 2016

GATE 2nd Season

GATE 2nd Season

GATE 2nd Season anime series cover art
GATE 2nd Season

Overview

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! Fire Dragon Arc, also known as GATE 2nd Season (Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season / GATE 自衛隊 彼の地にて、斯く戦えり 第2クール), is the second season of the anime series GATE — sort of. I’ll come back to why it may or may not actually be the second season in a bit.

It’s been over a year since I reviewed the first season of this series, and because of that I actually had no idea what was going on when I picked up this season. I knew the protagonist, Itami, was an otaku and I knew Rory Mercury existed, but other than that I had no idea.

Luckily for me, it didn’t take long for the series to remind me that it has a character with one of the best names in all of anime: Princess Piña Co Lada. I guarantee I mentioned how good her name is in my original review, and I just want you to know that it’s still amazing over a year later.

So, the first season was (probably) all about Itami and the rest of the JSDF conquering the people beyond the gate. He made some friends, blew some stuff up, and helped to bring about an inter-dimensional peace treaty — sort of.

But this second season isn’t quite the same. The JSDF no longer need to conquer territory — they have a base camp set up beyond the gate. Now, their primary mission is to strengthen their ties with the empire in which the gate is located. And to do this, they need to defeat some new, and returning, enemies.

First there’s a fire dragon which needs to be dealt with, then a crazy prince, and finally a bunny girl.

Second Cour or Second Season?

However, before I get into the fire dragon, crazy prince, and bunny girl, I mentioned that this might not actually be a second season. Really, it’s more like the second cour of the first season and there just happened to be a break between the two.

The first season aired during the Summer 2015 season while the second aired during the Winter 2016 season. That means there was only the Fall season separating the two. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly normal — though Overlord has done this since then.

The Rose-Order of Knights from the anime series GATE 2nd Season
The Rose-Order of Knights

The fact that these two seasons were so close together makes me think that they may have originally been meant to be a singular season. Further proof for this is in how the second season starts us off right in the middle of the action.

This is the main reason why I was so confused when I started watching this season. Sure, for those who watched this series as it aired, they probably remembered where the first season left off. But for me, someone who had gone a year without watching the second season, the first episode made little sense.

For example, I had completely forgotten that Tuka Luna Marceau existed, let alone that she was mentally broken due to the death of her father. Basically, I didn’t remember any of the main characters’ origin stories. Well, except for Rory Mercury, but how could I forget about the best girl?

I actually did forget about the best girl, because it’s Piña Co Lada, not Rory Mercury.

“New” Characters

The first new character isn’t actually new. This is Yao Ha Ducy, a dark elf whose clan lives in a forest nestled within a canyon. She plays some role in the first season, but other than showing up and asking for Itami’s help, I’m not sure what else she did.

The thing she needs Itami’s help with is slaying the fire dragon which wiped out Tuka’s village. After killing all of the wood elves, the dragon made its way to the dark elves’ domain. And the reason Yao is seeking out Itami isn’t just because of the JSDF’s overwhelming strength. She’s also heard that he’ll help anyone in need.

The next character is actually new as far as I know. His name is Zorzal El Caesar and he’s the elder brother of Piña Co Lada. That means he’s the prince of the empire — well, one of two princes. The other prince isn’t quite as ambitious as Zorzal is and so isn’t named as the crown prince.

If there’s one thing Zorzal hates, it’s the JSDF. After being named as crown prince, Zorzal takes an anti-peace stance against Japan. He also somehow believes that the empire’s army can stand up against them despite the fact that the JSDF could wipe the empire off the map.

Former Queen Tyuule from the anime series GATE 2nd Season
Former Queen Tyuule

The final character I want to mention is Tyuule, the former queen of the Warrior Bunny Tribe and current sex slave of Zorzal. If there’s one good thing we can say about Zorzal is that at least he isn’t racist — and he has good taste in bunny girls.

I’d say Tyuule is the third best girl after Piña Co Lada and Rory Mercury.

Conclusion

Surprisingly, GATE 2nd Season is better than the first. I gave this season a 7/10, and that was actually mainly due to Tyuule. Zorzal was a pretty good character too, but I think it was the inclusion of Tyuule that made him so interesting. Their evolving dynamic was definitely one of the best aspects.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the series actually ends here. The ending seemed to be in an odd spot with a bunch of plot points left unfinished. I assume the light novels continue the story after this point, but I doubt there will ever be another season.

As for the OP, it was very similar to the OP of the first season, probably because it was by the same artists. And, since I also felt like it was similar to the Alderamin on the Sky OP, I looked it up and that’s by the same artists, Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets, as well.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below and follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date. There’s also a Discord server where community members can discuss both past and present anime.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog and the benefits you’ll receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 anime series cover art
Mob Psycho 100

Overview

Mob Psycho 100 (モブサイコ100) is a supernatural comedy series from the same creator as One Punch Man, ONE. And if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure if I would really like this series when I started it. I felt the same way about OPM before I watched it, but I ended up really enjoying that one in the end.

However, Mob is a fairly different series and the circumstances surrounding my introduction to it were different as well. With OPM I was originally hesitant to watch it because I’m not all that into superheroes and everyone seemed to love it. And by everyone I mean a lot of people who don’t watch all that much anime, so I expected something like Sword Art Online.

Now, luckily OPM wasn’t like SAO, which is part of the reason I was willing to give Mob a shot as well. But, while I wouldn’t say that everyone seemed to love Mob, those who do often claimed that it was the best anime series. The fact that Monogatari is the actual best aside, when multiple people constantly hype up a series, it tends to disappoint in the end.

Anyway, what’s this series all about? It’s about a kid with psychic powers who just wants to live a normal life, but always gets roped into crazy situations, partially due to his mentor, a washed up conman. In a way you can think of Mob as simply a supernatural version of OPM, though that’s a pretty broad comparison.

The reality is that while these two series may share ONE’s art style and sense of humor, the stories they tell are very different. While OPM is a story about saving the world, but being bored while doing so, Mob is about being the person you want to be despite the situation you were born into.

It may sound strange, but Mob is actually a much more down to Earth story.

That said, the story wasn’t actually the part of Mob that I cared about. The first half of the season (this is solely a review of season one by the way) was pretty much a supernatural slice of life series. And aside from the episode which introduced Dimple, I preferred it over the latter half which became much more plot-driven.

Speaking of the episode that introduced Dimple, that was by far the worst episode of the entire season. If I had to rate that episode alone it would probably be a 2 or 3/10. Other than the shot that said “Mob loves milk” there wasn’t really anything of interest to me.

Characters

This section is going to include some spoilers. So keep that in mind if you plan to continue on.

The titular character is Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama. Don’t ask me why his nickname is mob, because I actually don’t know. It must have been explained at some point, but I’m pretty sure the only person to actually call him that is his mentor, Reigen. Everyone else either calls him Shigeo or Kageyama(-kun).

Mob has had psychic powers for as long as he can remember, and as far as he’s concerned they simply end up getting in the way. His silverware bends when he tries to eat, and other kids at school think he’s weird because of his powers. However, he doesn’t let that stop him from attempting to live a normal school life.

And because he’s trying to live a normal life, he doesn’t want to use his psychic powers. Instead, he wants to woo the girl of his dreams by getting in shape. To this end, he joins the body improvement club (who just so happen to be some of the best characters in the series).

But there are times at which Mob will use his powers, mainly when confronted by an evil spirit of some sort which he has to exorcise at the behest of Reigen.

Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama and Arataka Reigen from the anime series Mob Psycho 100
Mob and Reigen

Reigen is Mob’s mentor, sort of. He actually just lies to and uses Mob, but he still does seem to genuinely care about and look out for him. Reigen works as a psychic and “specializes” in exorcisms, though he’s actually just a conman who calls Mob in whenever there actually turns out to be an evil spirit.

He even pays Mob for his work, although it can barely be called pay and is more like he gives him the loose change found in his pocket. However, the real thing Reigen gives to Mob is guidance. He may not actually know anything about having psychic powers, but he does still give actual life advice meant to help Mob.

A great example of this is how Reigen was the one who created a rule for Mob about never using his powers against other humans. Sure, he specifically said humans so that he could continue to leverage Mob’s powers to exorcise spirits, but at the same time he knew that harming humans would send Mob down a dark path.

My favorite Reigen moment of the series came in during the climax of the series towards the end when Reigen actually intervenes in a fight between Mob and enemy espers. Despite not being an esper himself, Reigen was willing to put himself between Mob and the enemy to prevent Mob from using his powers against humans.

Also, a fun fact about Reigen is that he’s voiced by Takahiro Sakurai who you may know from his other roles which deal with spirits, the Medicine Seller from Mononoke and Meme Oshino from the Monogatari Series. I love how he plays the roles of a spirit hunter, a spirit mediator, and a spirit fraud.

Other notable characters from this series are Dimple – an evil spirit defeated by Mob who often takes the form of a gas cloud, Ritsu – Mob’s younger brother who desires psychic powers, Teruki – a psychic from another school who befriends mob, and Musashi – the president of the body improvement club.

I could discuss these other characters at length, but I think I’ll instead end this section with a brief word on Musashi and the body improvement club. First of all, despite already being spoiled on the whole body improvement club thing, I still thought that was a great way to subvert a common, school anime trope.

But what I really love about Musashi and the rest of the body improvement club is that they accept Mob for who he is. Despite him being a small, weak, dork, they still cheer him on and empower him to follow his dream of becoming physically fit. They don’t care who he is, what they care about is that he’s committed to exercising like they are, even though he’s bad at it.

Conclusion

In the end I decided that Mob Psycho 100 was a 7/10. Originally I had it rated as an 8, but after thinking about it more for a few days I decided it wasn’t quite as good as the other series I gave 8s to. For example, OPM is an 8, and I liked that a decent amount more than Mob.

I do hear though that the second season of Mob is better than the first, so perhaps that one will be an 8 or higher. I don’t really feel like it’s going to be a 10 as many people have tried to convince me, but maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content or schedule updates. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

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In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World anime movie cover art featuring Suzu Urano
In This Corner of the World Cover Art

Overview

In This Corner of the World is possibly the best World War II movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a lot of them. Being from the U.S., most of the WWII movies I’ve seen tended to follow American or Allied soldiers fighting on or near the front lines, often in the European theater.

However, In This Corner of the World instead comes from a Japanese viewpoint, but not only that, it comes from a Japanese civilian viewpoint; something we don’t often see in the West. This movie depicts how the lives of Japanese citizens were affected before, during, and after the war.

The first portion of the movie deals with the lead-up to the war in Japan. The war is ongoing at this point in time, but it’s far away and doesn’t really impact the daily lives of the civilians other than the fact that most of the men are employed by the military.

For most of this part, the movie feels like a slow slice of life story about a girl growing up in Hiroshima, but simply from knowing the city she’s growing up in, we should know how the story will end. This section ends with Suzu being married off to a family in the nearby town of Kure.

Once the war reaches the shores of Japan, however, things begin to change substantially. The rations given out to families by the government continuously decrease, the air raid sirens are heard more frequently, and the remains of the dead begin arriving back home.

It’s in this second part that we begin to see just how much the lives of the civilians were affected by the war, something I don’t think we fully understand or appreciate today, especially in the U.S. since the war wasn’t on home soil.

We often hear about how everyone at home had to chip in and do their part to support the war effort, but the same was true of the Japanese civilians, and they were being bombed at the same time. The war wasn’t just a part of everyday life, the war was everyday life.

A great example of this is the character Harumi, who’s about six years old. Despite her young age, Harumi is able to recognize and name all of the various battleships, and other kinds of ships, which are part of the Japanese navy. To her, this was simply common knowledge.

The climax of the movie, at least from my perspective, came during this middle part with the death of Harumi. Other characters had died such as Suzu’s brother who had joined the military, but Harumi’s death illustrated that even innocent civilians could be killed by the war.

The final part of the movie comes with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and the end of the war that follows. At first I thought it was strange that the bombing of Nagasaki wasn’t also included in the movie, but since it’s from Suzu’s perspective, this makes sense since she’s not anywhere near Nagasaki.

I also originally thought that the destruction of Hiroshima was going to be glossed over, since it wasn’t something that immediately impacted the lives of the people of Kure. There was a blinding flash of light, and then a large mushroom cloud visible over the mountains, but that was all for the time being.

Then, over the course of what appears to have been several days, pieces of Hiroshima begin to appear all over Kure, including a door to someone’s house which ends up in a tree outside Suzu’s house. Along with the rubble come the first victims of the blast as well, at least those who weren’t killed in the initial blast.

One was so disfigured by the blast that his own mother couldn’t recognize him because his face had been melted. When his body was removed from the roadside after he died, all that was left was a blackened outline of where he had been sitting against a building.

Even long after the city was wiped out, the effects of the blast still ravaged the civilians who had been living there. Just because they survived the initial blast and the intense heat doesn’t mean they were going to live much longer. At the end of the movie, we see that Suzu’s sister, her last remaining family member, is dying of radiation poisoning.

Characters

Suzu Urano is the protagonist of the movie. It begins when she’s a child and ends when she’s in her 20s, so we get to know her character over a fairly large portion of her life rather than just a single year. Over all those years, art and imagination were the only constants in her life.

When she was a child, she would make up stories and then draw them for her siblings. When she was an adult, she promised to draw portraits of family members who had gone to war so their loved ones would have something to remember them by, but she never actually gets around to doing this.

Portions of the movie have a different art style for the backgrounds which are based on Suzu’s art style. Often, this change in background style tells us that the scene is part of Suzu’s imagination and not reality, such as when Harumi is naming the battleships after her death.

When she’s probably in her late teens, Suzu is married off to Shusaku whose family lives in nearby Kure. Despite not knowing Shusaku before getting married, Suzu warms up to him as she discovers that he’s a much gentler person than she first imagined.

When Harumi is killed in an explosion, Suzu loses her right hand which was holding Harumi. However, this doesn’t stop her from completing her daily chores and doing her best to defend her new home and family.

After the bomb destroys Hiroshima and the Japanese government concedes the war, Suzu is visibly upset because she would rather fight to the death than forfeit. There were likely many civilians who felt the same way as her, that if they surrendered, those who have already died, died for nothing.

Suzu Urano and Harumi Kuromura from the anime movie In This Corner of the World
Suzu and Harumi

Shusaku Houjou is Suzu’s husband. He works as a clerk at the local naval base, but is later drafted into the military once the war enters the later stages. However, despite being drafted, Japan concedes the war before he’s ever actually deployed.

He claims to have met Suzu once when they were children, but since we only get the story of their meeting from Suzu’s perspective, and she doesn’t remember him, it’s unclear exactly how they first met. Suzu’s account involves a monster kidnapping them, and they get away by her tricking the monster into falling asleep.

Shusaku’s favorite thing to do is watch the battleships in the nearby harbor, which is something he seems to have shared with Harumi as she too enjoys this. Despite that, it’s unclear exactly why he never signed up for the navy before being drafted.

After the war is over, Suzu and Shusaku adopt an orphan they find on the destroyed streets of Hiroshima.

While there are other interesting characters such as Keiko Kuromura and Tetsu Mizuhara, the final character I want to talk about instead of them is Harumi Kuromura. Harumi is Suzu and Shusaku’s neice, the daughter of Shusaku’s older sister, Keiko.

While Suzu is definitely innocent for most of the movie, Harumi is the character who embodies innocence, which is why her death is all the more jarring. She was killed by a “dud” bomb that had a timer which went off while she and Suzu were trying to get a look at the ships in the harbor.

Other than looking at battleships, Harumi also enjoyed playing with string, and looking at ants, just like any other kid her age would. While her knowledge of battleships likely comes from Shusaku, her interest in them can probably be attributed to her older brother, who she doesn’t live with.

Harumi lives with her mother, and her brother lives with their father’s family. Because the two of them aren’t together, Harumi likely became interested in battleships as a way to feel closer to her brother since he liked battleships as well.

Conclusion

In This Corner of the world isn’t without its issues, but they’re so minor compared to the strengths of the movie that I couldn’t help but give it a 10/10. Maybe it deserves a 9 and I may drop it down to that at some point once I have more time to think about it, but as far as this post is concerned, it’s a 10.

If you enjoy history like I do and want to see a different side of WWII compared to what popular media usually shows us, I highly recommend In This Corner of the World. At the same time, if you’re simply looking for a movie with a good story that’s also visually appealing, this movie is for you as well.

The trailer for In This Corner of the World is available here.

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful in any way, be sure to click the like button down below. You can also let me know your thoughts on the movie down in the comment section as well. What scene hit you the hardest? Harumi’s death? Hiroshima being destroyed? Or something else?

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KonoSuba OVA 1

KonoSuba OVA 1

KonoSuba OVA 1 anime cover art featuring Yunyun, Megumin, and Chomusuke
KonoSuba OVA 1 Cover Art

Overview

The first KonoSuba OVA was released in 2016 after the conclusion of the first season, and yet I’ve just gotten around to watching it. Since OVAs such as this aren’t streamable on Crunchyroll, it typically means I don’t see them until long after they’ve aired simply because it’s not as convenient.

While our main cast are all present in this OVA, as you may be able to tell from the cover art, Megumin and Yunyun steal the show this time around. But let’s be honest, Megumin was always one of the best parts of KonoSuba anyway.

The basic plot of the OVA is that Kazuma puts on a magical (cursed) choker he finds in Wiz’s shop, and the rest of the girls must do his every bidding in order to remove it. Now, you may be asking yourself, “why would they need to do that?”

Well, dear reader, the choker will slowly strangle the wearer to death over the course of four days unless their wish is granted. And by wish, I mean whatever they happened to be wishing for at the time they put the choker on. Seems simple enough, except for the fact that Kazuma doesn’t remember wishing for anything.

Normally, since the characters of KonoSuba are literally the worst people ever, you’d expect nobody to really care about Kazuma. In fact, Aqua even mentions that there’s nothing to worry about because she’ll just resurrect him again after he dies, but Kazuma responds by saying he’ll choose to stay dead so she’s permanently stuck in this world.

While Aqua‘s response was easy to predict based on what we know about her character, the rest of the girls, oddly enough, felt that they were in part to blame for Kazuma’s predicament.

Yunyun was the one who dropped the choker that Kazuma picked up, Wiz had it on display in her shop in the first place, and Megumin and Darkness distracted Wiz so she wasn’t paying attention to Kazuma putting it on. Aqua was also distracting Wiz, but as she says, she did nothing wrong.

As you would expect from an episode of KonoSuba, or most anime for that matter, with a plot like this, fan service ensues.

Lalatina "Darkness" Dustiness Ford doing some bad-posture push-ups
Darkness

In order to figure out what his wish was, Kazuma has the girls do a variety of things he thinks his wish might have been. For starters, he uses Wiz as a pillow in a variety of ways, which is pretty tame compared to some of his requests of the other girls.

He has darkness exercise without her armor on. First he tells her to do 100 push-ups (pictured above) and then he tells her to do 100 sit-ups. Despite her terrible form doing push-ups, I believe it should be abundantly clear what his main objective here was.

But Wiz and Darkness are my least favorite of the five girls in this episode, so what about the other three?

Megumin and Yunyun are forced to duel, something which Yunyun was already wanting to do. However, much to her dismay, their duel is in the form of strip Rock-Paper-Scissors, or as Kazuma calls it, Rock-Paper-Strippers.

Finally, although Aqua believes Kazuma is going to “defile” her in a similar manner as he did to the other girls, this doesn’t end up being the case. It would seem that Kazuma doesn’t actually view Aqua in the same way as the other girls, which is something I’ll mention more about later on.

Instead, Aqua is simply forced to run errands for Kazuma by bringing him food and alcohol. That said, this punishment seems to be more than enough because, well, it’s Aqua. She overreacts to everything.

At the end of the episode Kazuma still hasn’t fulfilled his wish and so before he dies he wants to apologize to the girls for things he’s done to them without their knowledge.

In Megumin‘s case, he said that as he carries her back from using her explosion magic he shifts her weight so he can feel her (flat) boobs on his back. For Wiz and Yunyun, he stares at their boobs when talking to them, and for Darkness, he only sees her as her boobs, not a person.

Aqua, on the other hand, is different. You’d expect Kazuma to say something about her boobs, or about her non-existent panties, but this isn’t the case. Instead he admits that he tried his best to see her as the main heroine to his story, but she’s so useless and annoying that he just couldn’t do it.

After he admits to these things, the choker falls off and Kazuma remembers that his original wish was to have some peace. By getting everything off his back, he was able to be at peace with himself before dying, and so his wish was granted.

However, Aqua and the other girls force the choker back on him after learning how he views them and he subsequently dies from it four days later. The episode ends with him sitting in front of Eris in the afterlife as she tells him not to die in such a ridiculous way again.

Supporting Characters

Since I’ve already gone over the four main characters (Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness) in my review of the KonoSuba series, today I’ll be focusing on the three supporting characters who appear in this OVA. Unfortunately, although Chomusuke is on the cover art, he does not make an appearance (I think).

The most prominent of the supporting characters in this OVA is Yunyun. She’s a member of the Crimson Demon clan just like Megumin and is apparently the next in line to be their leader. She’s also Megumin‘s self-proclaimed rival who doesn’t appear to have ever beaten Megumin in a duel.

As previously mentioned, her duel against Megumin in the OVA involves a game of Rock-Paper-Strippers, and is the best part of the entire episode. Even though I’ve seen stills from this scene before, I still cried from laughter when I watched it.

To provide context to the following video, Megumin and Yunyun tied multiple times in a row, so, suspecting they’re cheating, Kazuma declares that if someone doesn’t win in the next three turns, they both must take off a layer of clothing.

The next character is Wiz. She’s the owner of a magical items shop within the town as well as one of the Demon King’s generals. Although she works for the Demon King, she’s simply the one who placed the barrier around his castle and doesn’t play any offensive role.

Wiz is also an undead which is the reason she and Aqua don’t get along very well, or rather, Aqua doesn’t like Wiz, she has no real problem with Aqua. Incidentally, Wiz’s shop is often the place where Yunyun lies in wait for Megumin since she knows Megumin and the gang frequent the shop.

The final supporting character of the OVA is Eris. Eris is the goddess who works directly under Aqua. Her followers are known to be some of the nicest and selfless, which is the opposite of Aqua‘s followers. She’s seen taking over Aqua‘s job of helping souls on to the afterlife since Kazuma took Aqua with him to the fantasy world.

It’s also important to note that according to Aqua and her followers, Eris pads her chest. This has yet to be confirmed nor denied by an objective third-party, but all we do know is that Kazuma doesn’t care.

Conclusion

While I rated the two current seasons of the KonoSuba series at 9/10, this OVA episode is a 10/10. I didn’t really expect it to be as good as it was considering I knew there was going to be a lot of fan service going in, but it actually ended up being one of the funniest episodes so far.

In case you’re looking for the OVA’s OP, it’s the same one as season one, but I’ll link it here anyway.

I plan to watch the second OVA by Friday of this week, so expect a review of that in the near future. But, before we get to that, tomorrow is going to be a review of the next Boruto episode, just as every Thursday is.

If you enjoyed this review, leave a like or comment down below this post. You can also follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to my blog via email to get notified every time a new post goes live.

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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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