Lewder cuts of animation are available, but this is a family blog, you understand, and I therefore have standards to maintain.
(Also, not really much lewder, unless you find Honoka’s bare back particularly lewd. I probably wouldn’t judge you if you did)
Anyway, let’s keep this comparatively short this week, because aside from the fact that I don’t really fancy attempting to proof another four thousand words about a mere twenty minute cartoon, I don’t actually have much to say about this episode.
1) Proper usage of Language
As mentioned last week, whilst Rin may be remaining static in her characterless-ness, Hanayo has been learning, and once again she has displayed a new, improved understanding in the usage of positive and negative statements – the fact that they can’t use any of their previous songs in the Love Live is most certainly a negative thing.
Particularly for Lantis, given that they wouldn’t be able to get away with releasing another new CD in short order, and if idol cartoons aren’t all about being able to release a new CD on a semi-regular basis, I don’t know what they’re about.
(Except selling trading cards to little girls)
(And videogames to nerds)
(And maybe cycle jerseys)
(And maybe puchi-Nendoroids)
I guess it’s not really all that surprising that there were too many applicants for the Love Live for them all to be admitted into the event, though, given that the first time we saw our heroines rank in the first series was at position 999, I’d have to presume that there are at least a thousand registered School Idol units in Japan.
2) The ironing is delicious
There’s something rather hilarious about the, as some say, Hanayo-adjacent, and mostly entirely irrelevant, Rin being the one who notices that Honoka is missing. One questions whether anyone would have noticed if she was the one not gracing them with her presence.
I guess they at least take a stab at giving Rin something to do in this episode – she actually as a moderate amount to say for once, and gets involved in several comedic situations – but it doesn’t honestly do that much for her character. She’s still the supposedly sporty one who doesn’t actually appear to be that good at sports, but proves most competent in ending her sentences with silly cat noises.
Also, just a reminder, Honoka is now the student council president, for which she is clearly totally up for the job, ever alert as she always appears to be.
3) Deserving of Capital Punishment
I guess this is what they call “Gap moe”, right?
Normally Maki is the one with her head screwed on, the first-year who is seemingly the most mature of the group, and certainly beyond her years. She’s the realist who didn’t even see the point in something as frivolous as idols. The fact that she retains a naive streak that allows her to not only still believe in Santa, but even feel immense pride in the fact, is, as a result, rendered all kinds of adorable.
Of course, whilst I’d agree that it’d be a crime to shatter her illusions, Nico still proves herself to be the best character through her display of jerkishness in wanting to inform Maki of Father Christmas’s lack of actual existence.
The NicoMaki baiting in this new series, even for those of us (like myself) who don’t wear industrial-strength Yuri-googles, is palpable – I mean, just look at the campfire scene later in this episode. The only way they could be sitting any closer would be for Nico to be sitting on Maki’s lap.
(Also pretty sure that Nico did Edea (from Bravely Defaults) Mrgrgr at one point this episode)
(Nico also had a good point in that campfire scene as well. Everybody gets one, I guess!)
(Except probably Rin)
4) Separate Rooms?
No, I’m not questioning Nico and Maki’s sleeping arrangements, which were not elaborated upon within the course of this episode. Rather, I’m somewhat questioning the approach to song writing taken here – I mean, surely it’d be rather counterproductive to have those composing the music and the lyrics to be doing so independently in differing locales? Aside from the minimal chances of the lyrics actually scanning correctly, it seems like it’d be a terrific way to come up with something hilariously tonally dissonant, like the most upbeat record about puppy slaughter ever written.
(Also, How To Make Words is a pretty good name for a book)
5) This is probably obvious, but…
I’d assume that pretty much anyone who is reading this blog would have immediately picked up on this, but on the off-chance you didn’t, the 25 on Nico’s armband is another 765Pro-style numeric pun. Rather obviously, it reads, well, Nico.
(Also Yukikaze cameo am I right?)
6) What’s Brown and Sticky?
It’s a shame that Nico’s armband has fallen just out of her reach. If only there was some safe way for her to extend her reach. Perhaps, maybe, something long, perhaps made of wood. But, hey, even if they did happen to be in a densely wooded area, it’s not like such things grow on tree’s or anything, is it? That’d be far too convenient.
7) Elegant Lady Thieves
I’m going to continue to believe, as I postulated last week, that Nico (along with Maki) is moonlighting as an elegant lady thief on a nightly basis. I say this partially because this comedic pratfall sequence reminds me a little of the infamous rooftop scene from legendary 1983 video game Cliff Hanger. Mostly in the goofy audio cues when they’re jumping, honestly.
Actually, though, the specific framing of a couple of the cuts – most specifically the one where they are running out of the camera whilst crossing lanes, as it were, reminds me of something very specific which I can’t for the life of me remember. I thought it was from another Sunrise 8 class, Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo, but a cursory scan reveals it’s not from the episode I thought it might have been. If anyone has any ideas, put me out of my misery and let me know!
8) This is also probably obvious, but…
Again, I’d have thought anyone who cares to read this would also be the sort to pick up on this, but the units the characters just happen to randomly split up into here are the same as the “official” subunits – Printemps, Lily White, of course, the hilariously overpowered best unit BiBi.
I mostly feel sorry for Lily White, as I’m not sure if having Umi and Nozomi in the same unit is quite enough to cover for the handicap of having Rin in their unit.
9) Learning from the Mountain
I have to say, surely it should be Kotori, looking for dressmaking inspiration, who should be climbing the mountain? That said, it doesn’t look like the reclusive designer of Angely Sugar lives atop this particular cliff top.
Alternatively, I could make an Arjuna joke here, but I don’t think anyone would get it.
Anyway, Umi being the supposed sensible, often restrained to the point of embarrassment, character makes her occasional tendency to get carried away with things like mountain climbing another example of gap moe, I guess, if rather less effective a one in comparison of Maki earlier in the episode.
10) STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Just another reminder.
We do get to see the new ED this week. It’s cute, with some nice callbacks to the first series ending. It hasn’t left much of an impression on me yet, though.
11) Whatcha do? Whatcha do?
Hey, it looks like A-RISE are making another appearance next week, perhaps even with dialogue, unless they purposely chose a deliberately misleading cut of animation to use in the next episode preview.
The clothes the girls are dressed in here are actually the UTX uniforms, which I think were only previously seen back in the first episode of the first series – I mean, they are school idols, so they do actually go to school. This does beg the question as to what year of school they are in, though – given how popular they are even at the commencement of the first series, it’s quite possible the girls are already in their final year of high school, meaning that this may well be their last Love Live as well.
Oh, and the next episode is called Yume no Tobira – or Door of Dreams as Crunchy conveniently subtitled it. This also happens to be, should the piece of paper waved at the camera be believed, the name of our heroines new musical number, so presumably that’s going to be performed next week. I’m also going to presume it’s going to be rather upbeat, because a number of lines appeared to start with them shouting Yes!, but we shall see.