My-iDOL Otonokizaka Taisen – Love Live series 2, episode 13

Posted by DiGiKerot in Love Live! at July 21, 2014 on 8:18 pm

This week on Love Live… there was no Love Live, but, hey, there’s nothing quite like the removal of the episodic Sword of Damocles from over ones head to lead to the best part of a months worth of procrastination. Well, that and the Nico School Idol Festival event (I don’t want to talk about it), finding time to play One for All, and all that new anime starting up to try and check out (Could PriPara fill the Love Live-shaped cartoon-idol hole in our lives? Probably not – it’s CG is too good)

Then there’s somewhat the need to actually try to sum my feelings on the series up in some fashion, and, honestly, I’m finding it a little tricky. In aggregate, obviously, I really enjoyed the series, but it’s a little hard for me to think that in a little too much of the second series it managed to get a little too navel-gazing at times – it wallowed in melancholy, and deflated it’s humour with a graduation comment perhaps a little too frequently for my particular tastes. I’m in Love Live more for the humour than the drama, frankly speaking.

Quantifying “a little too frequently”, or rather whether or not the show itself actually earned the right to do it, it’s a tricky proposition, though. It’s kind of hard to remember that the show itself has only run for twenty six episodes, two runs of thirteen episodes with an entire year separating their existence. For a show which spent a good portion of the first series drawing all it’s cast together – Nozomi and Eli didn’t join until episode 8 – it weighed in with the drama pretty early.

It’s difficult to take Love Live as a TV show in isolation, though, or even most other modern media-mix works for that matter. There may have been more than a year in between instalments of the TV anime, but it’s not like the franchise was laying fallow in that time period. There’s been concerts, voice actress events, CDs with drama tracks, a certain mobile game, and all sorts of other things to keep people engaged with the property between series. Whilst a lot of this stuff is rather inaccessible for those of us outside Japan – often by design – even then, there’s been the torrent of fan art and doujin that even the most casual fan has probably had at least some accidental exposure to.

Which is to say, there may have only been twenty-six episode of TV anime, but we’ve kind of been living with these characters for a much more significant period of time than that. Particularly for those in Japan living the true Love Liver lifestyle, who’ll certainly get more out of certain elements of the shows second series than the rest of us, I do wonder how much of the shows melancholia is tied to the feelings of the sunsetting of a franchise that’s been a significant part of the viewers fandom for the last two years as much as it’s earned through the drama itself.

Not to say that the franchise is actually getting closed down any time soon – it’s making way too much money for that, and it’s not like we weren’t well aware that there was already another concert scheduled for next year, or the incoming Vita games, or more LLSIF events, and more CDs to buy. Aside from being somewhat typical of Sunrise 8 (though at least the movie wasn’t announced for 20006), the tonally deflective ending is almost meta in a sense – of course this bloody thing isn’t over yet. The cartoon third years may be graduating, but there’s still plenty of idol-themed wackiness to look forward to in future, so don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.

Ultimately, though, I’m probably just stretching to reach a conclusion here, or at least looking to justify why the way the show handled it’s graduation drama both kind of bothered me but also kind of didn’t. Or just looking to ensure this post is over 1000 words. In the end, though, it’s all fine.

Anyway, for one last time (at least until 20006), let’s take a look at the episode, although I really don’t have anything of particular interest to say about it.

1) The Girl who Leapt Through The Concepts of Both Space and Time

It’s nice of them to reprise Susume->Tomorrow here, though I’m rather pondering what, specifically, this scene is supposed to be referencing, if anything. I mean, it’s somewhat reminiscent, at least to a degree, of the cover for the first BD volume of the second series, but not quite close enough to count. I feel like I’m forgetting a sequence from the first series, but Honoka was running in the other direction when we first saw her, and first heard the insert song in question.

2) In The Name of the Nico-Nico-Ni!

I’m pretty sure everyone is already aware, at this point, that Nico’s mother here was voiced by longtime voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi, famous for her role as Misato in the slightly-famous TV anime Evangelion.

And also Usagi from Sailor Moon, but, alas, I managed to jump the gun and make the joke about the hand-gestures in the Sailor Moon pre-battle pose being similar to the Nico-Nico-Ni one in a prior episode.

Still, if you are going to get an actress other than Sora Tokui to play one member of Nicos family, Mitsuishi is a pretty good get!

(Also, that look on Maki’s face is pretty great)

3) Is That Appropriate for Minors?

I have to say, that flag – or rather the pole – looks like it’s been made from a re-purposed antique spear or something – that point at the end of it looks really, really sharp. Maybe it’s intended for use in fighting off disgruntled competitors who don’t agree with the contest results or something…

Obviously, this bears the question – are we going to get Idol Musou once KoeiTecmo are finished with the guys and (mostly) girls of Hyrule? I’m sure there’s cross-over idol franchise combat situations that the outcomes of really must be played out! The WUG-chans, at least, even have appropriate costumes already!

(If Idol Musou isn’t possible, I’d accept Super Idol War Chronicles from Banpresto as an alternative)


One last time!

5) I Like Nozomi’s Hair

‘nuff said, I guess, though I was disappointed when she reverted to her normal style as soon as the ceremony was over.

6) 25lp Expenditure

I have to admit, I burst out in laughter, mostly inappropriately, though most of the graduation ceremony scene. I mean, there’s a few things I find hilarious about it.

For one, it amuses me greatly how they end up making the whole thing about µ’s, effectively. Honoka talks about things specific to the µ’s experience, there’s the carefully-placed spotlights over the members of µ’s singing, and obviously there’s the piano reprise of Aishiteru Banzai (returning from way back in the first series, when Honoka first encountered Maki). It all just makes me wonder how this will be taken by, say the third-year who was previously in charge of the Archery club, who will now be having the fact that one of her most promising underclassmen was stolen both by an idol unit and the student council rubbed right in her face. Honoka might be needing that Love Live award winners flag earlier than she thinks.

Speaking of Aishiteru Banzai as well, the launch of English LLSIF has had the rather unfortunate side effect of having ground some of these songs into my brain in such a way that I can’t possibly hear them, event transplanted into another context, without imagining those icons flying out of the screen. When the projector screen came down and started showing backgrounds from the LLSIF game, I completely lost it.

(The same goes for Oh, Love & Peace later in the episode as well, obviously)

7) Queen of Scrubs

That’s a pretty valuable parting gift that Nico has foist upon Hanayo there, though I’m mostly wondering where they suddenly found the cape and crown. Did Nico secret them in the club room, allowing her to act out her fantasies of being wealthy when no-one was looking, or was it a case of Honoka abusing her position as Student Council President to requisition them from another club for purely frivolous reasons?

Who knows, but what is certain is that with Hanayo in charge of the “research” part of the club, that poor second monitor of their computer set-up is probably never going to be switched on again.


So apparently, in the second-biggest twist in recent idol cartoon memory (it’d be too much of a spoiler to suggest what the biggest was), it turns out that the brown Alpaca was the girl. Who’da thunk it?


As a player of LLSIF, I have to say, I object to the use of a smile song like Oh,Love&Peace! for such a melancholy-fused moment.

Otherwise, I suppose it wouldn’t be right to end the series without Hanayo, for one last time, decrying what is probably a positive situation as being something terrible. Of course, we don’t actually find out what the situation in question actually is – presumably the movie may pick up precisely where this episode ended – so that’s just going to have to be a big question mark for now.

As I mentioned way above, it’s a bit of a tonally deflective development – they’re defusing a serious moment with one last burst of crazy. It’s a bit of an about-face from much of the rest of the second series, which was defusing it’s humour with melancholy, but whilst it’s not quite of the level of Mikoto just being hungry, it’s a pretty typical move for the original works coming out of this particular division of Sunrise.

10) That Song with The Terrible Costumes

That we were going to enjoy one was insert song would probably have been rather more of a pleasant surprise if they hadn’t run the credits listing it just before hand! “Happy What?”, I was wondering as it’s name faded onto screen minutes beforehand.

I do like Happy Maker more than most of the other musical efforts in this second series – Dancing Stars on Me is still the non-A-RISE champ of the second series for me, but Happy Maker is probably a clear second. It’s got a nice, upbeat – dare I say jaunty – tone to it that just feels staggeringly appropriate for closing the series out, and the cameos from the second and third string characters peppered throughout were a nice touch.

That said, I kind of hate the costumes here. I think a lot of it is just those weird socks with the holes in the front of the thigh – they look uncomfortable, impractical, or both.

I do like that one cut right at the end where the camera pulls all the way back from the girls standing on top of the school, all the way to the girls dancing in the street. It’s like one last reminder to the viewer that the show really doesn’t give a damn about your mere mortal concepts of space and time. Honoka’s speech at the end was kind of cringe-worthily cheesey, though.

(Of course, the double-header single including Happy Maker and KiraKira Sensation has come out in the interim period between the episode airing and me actually writing about it. Aside from having absolutely no idea what is going on with Eli on that cover, I got the Kotori card with my copy – I didn’t previously know that she liked Cheesecake. That’s worth bonus points from me!)

(Also, Kotori Face Yay)
(Also Also, Yukiho looks like a reject from Toei Kanon here…)

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