Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror Review

Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror Review

Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror anime series cover art
Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror

Love Live! Goes Fantasy

Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror (Genjitsu no Yohane: Sunshine in the Mirror / 幻日のヨハネ -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR-) is a Love Live! Sunshine!! spin-off series. And since Sunshine!! is probably my favorite Love Live! entry, I had to watch it. But, that’s not the only thing this series has going for it.

As you can likely guess from the series’ title, Yoshiko “Yohane” Tsushima is the protagonist. Yohane isn’t my favorite of the girls from Sunshine!!, but she’s a good one. And she’s better than Chika, that’s for sure. Oh, and this spin-off is a fantasy series, so there’s that.

Now, a good question to have at this point is, how does the fantasy aspect change things? Is it still Love Live!? Or, does it simply use the same characters? Does it still have what made Love Live!, well, Love Live!?

Ruby Kurosawa hiding between books from the anime series Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror
Ruby Kurosawa hiding between books

If you’re a fan of the core series, you’ll be glad to know that the songs and dances are still here. It makes a little less sense when characters break out into song. But, the series tries to make the songs plot-relevant as much as it can. And, they’re still good songs from Aqours.

Where the fantasy aspect comes in is with the characters and story. For example, in the image above, you can see that Ruby is a fairy now. And, instead of saving their school from shutting down, Yohane and the girls need to save the town of Numazu.

What are they saving Numazu from? The calamity, of course. Are you curious to know more about the calamity? Well, that sucks, because we never really get much more information about it. It’s bad, it causes animals to go mad, and it’s purple. Also, of course, the power of song and friendship can stop it.

Aqours, Reimagined

Okay so, you already saw how Ruby is a fairy in this series. But, what about the rest of the girls? Is Dia a fairy, too? No. Dia is the town’s chief of staff by day and a motorcycle-riding, katana-wielding hero by night. Makes sense, I know.

What about Chika Takami? She and her sisters run an inn, which checks out. But, they also moonlight as superheroes. And when they do, Chika takes on the name Katy. Then, there’s You Watanabe. She’s a mail courier in this world. But, that involves being shot out of a cannon and flying.

Hanamaru Kunikida is one of the few normal girls of the group. She’s a baker. But, she also has a giant, and I mean massive, pig named Shishinoshin as a pet. Riko Sakurauchi is also normal, being a zoologist from out of town.

Yohane Tsushima and Mari Ohara from the anime series Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror
Yohane Tsushima and Mari Ohara

In Sunshine!!, Kanan Matsuura was my favorite of the girls. What’s she up to in Yohane the Parhelion? Well, this time around, Kanan still has a connection to the ocean. But, it comes in the form of collecting ocean drift waste and engineering it into things.

My favorite of the girls in this series, though, is Mari Ohara. I didn’t care too much about Mari in Sunshine!!. But, she’s great in Yohane the Parhelion. This iteration of Mari is Demon Lord Mari. She has demon horns and lives with a bunch of ghosts on an otherwise uninhabited island.

Finally, there’s Yohane Tsushima. Unlike in the main series, I don’t believe she ever goes by Yoshiko here. Everyone calls her Yohane and she never has to correct any of them. What’s special about her is that she has some kind of magic. That, and her best friend is a talking wolf named Lailaps.

Not As Good As I Hoped

At the start of this review, I was really hyping up Yohane the Parhelion. But, the reality is that it’s not as good as I hoped it would be. I went into the series with high expectations based on everything I previously said about it. It didn’t meet those expectations.

At the end of the day, this is a fine series. If you’re a Love Live! fan, especially a Sunshine!! fan, you’ll enjoy it. But, don’t go in expecting it to be the best entry in the franchise. It’s a spin-off. And if you keep that in mind, you should have a good time.

But, what would have made Yohane the Parhelion a better series? The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone. However, I can point to a few changes that would have improved it, for me.

Lailaps and Yohane Tsushima from the anime series Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror
Lailaps and Yohane Tsushima

The first change I would have liked is for the series to be more adventure-based. For a fantasy series, there wasn’t very much fantastical stuff going on. Ruby was a fairy, Mari was a demon lord, and there was a talking wolf. But, to me, the best fantasy series have some kind of adventure.

It would have been way better if I got to see Yohane and the other girls travel across a fantasy world. Maybe Yohane has to go on a journey to bring the other girls together. I don’t know. But, I wanted something like that when I saw it was a fantasy series.

The other change is the inclusion of Saint Snow. This might be an unpopular opinion, but Saint Snow is the best thing about Sunshine!! And yet, they didn’t appear in this series at all. Why not? Where are Sarah and Leah Kazuno?

Yohane the Parhelion: 6/10

Unfortunately, I have to give Yohane the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror a 6/10. It’s a fine anime. But, I don’t feel like I’d recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a Love Live! fan. There’s just not enough going on for me to recommend it as a standalone anime.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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