Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 Episode 12: Sea of Light
Their big day arrives and they deliver. But before they do that, we get a whole section of self reflection and a summary of each girl’s time in Aqours and of the development they received in the series. You can tell which had more than others if you hadn’t payed enough attention before.
The girls leave Uchiura and head to Tokyo and the first thing they do is go to the shrine to pray. There they see other idols leaving wishes on the wooden plaques, and there Saint Snow meets up with them and Sarah asks Chika this: Do you want to win? Before it was a question Chika had asked Sarah, and after a fun night of pillow fights, the girls go out and do their own things and we get their responses to Chika’s question: Do you want to win?
I enjoyed hearing the girls’ responses, some being better than others and telling of their characters. Hanamaru enjoyed being in Aqours because she was able to come out of her shell, Ruby always wanted to be a school idol and whether they win or not, she was happy to have sung with her sister, and so on. It was nice that each girl had a moment to herself, like I said it was nice to see the progress they’ve made. I think one of the strongest responses was Riko and You. You had another sweet moment with Chika, reminding us that they were finally able to do something together. She wants Chika to be herself, to be normal, and not worry about the future. It all came full circle when You lost the paper in the wind and they ran to the big screen at UTX just like the first time, so it was just a really nice moment between them. And Riko’s declaration of wanting to be a school idol…biased or not, it broke me a little bit. Riko wants to win for reassurance that she made the right choice in going to Uchiura, in becoming a school idol when she was so reluctant in the beginning, while also thanking Chika for helping her when she had her piano struggles. There was a lot of emotional impact in her response, and again, it showed just how far she’s come. And while You had practically no development whatsoever, her showing how important forming an idol group with her best friend was just so sweet. The third years was great too because of their love for idols, their memories, wanting to make the school proud, pride in being a school idol, etc., showed how important this was for them before they would be separated. Ruby was fantastic as well. I loved her determined expression as she was in the store. Just her being by herself in what I guess is Akihabara shows just how much she’s matured and developed to be in a busy place by herself without being afraid. Hanamaru talked about how she’s glad she’s broken out of her shell, realizing being with people and not just books was good for her. But that’s how far Hanamaru’s development goes, and we never get to see her nerdy bookish self this season. Looking back on Hanamaru, I’ve complained that she was turned into the eating zura meme character, and her bookish and slightly soft-spoken personality disappeared, so her talking about her past self from season one was a little jarring because I miss that Hanamaru much more. The most disappointing however was Yoshiko, who again brought up her “little demons”, which she masks her true feelings of making friends? In this case, I really would have wanted a more serious answer from Yoshiko that showed her real feelings and how significant Aqours was to her in and how it changed her. I just feel that her responses are always so uninteresting, what with the “ku ku ku~” and “little demons” and “It’s Yohane!”. You can be chuuni but still say significant and interesting things, don’t just make Yoshiko to be just a chuuni. Either way, it was eh. All of this led to a very nice scene of Chika holding up the paper of their 0 from Tokyo World and it being blown away by the wind, and Chika saying bye. It was a reminder of their past, a motivator, but that’s all in the past and they need to move on. It’s just shown how much Aqours has grown as a whole.
More emotional conversations and running later, the girls give one last roll call and we turn to the performance in Akiba Dome. This might beat MY Mai TONIGHT for my favorite outfits because they looked absolutely gorgeous. I loved Mari, Hanamaru, and Riko’s princess-like dresses, and the other girls’ ice skater type of dresses. The fog, the starry backdrop, the blues and the frills and the shiny! The hairstyles and accessories, I just absolutely loved it. The song itself was also very nice and probably by second favorite of this season, behind MY Mai TONIGHT. I enjoyed how the girls each had their own mini solos because I feel like we haven’t had enough of that. I enjoyed the lyrics of the song, the melody was cool and fun and the tone change in the end was real nice. My one complaint was that the performance didn’t exactly feel like a final performance? The song was great, the lyrics were great, and the outfits and aesthetics were great, but it just didn’t feel final. I feel like it’s leagues above Kira-Kira Sensation, but I think the way with how the episode was structured around the characters’ and their development and less time building up to the actual final live made it feel a little underwhelming. Last season’s MIRAI TICKET felt more final and significant because the Love Live performance was the center of the episode unlike this time. Still, I really enjoyed WATER BLUE NEW WORLD (even though the title is awkward) and I can’t wait until the full version. And because Mari looked like a literal princess. I…love that.
Next week will be the finale and we’ll find out then if they won or not. Maybe we’ll see them transition to their new school, or we’ll see the third years’ graduation. A third season is really unlikely now but we might just get a movie. I see some people wanting to see Aqours in Italy and I’m all for that. International school idols, anyone?
Next week will probably be a pretty long review because I’m going to go into excruciating detail on my ranking of the girls, so expect that and just my overall thoughts of the season. :)