Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2

Alt title: Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai Season 2

TV (13 eps)
3.722 out of 5 from 404 votes
Rank #2,898

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SPOILERS AFOOT. The first season of Niji is the best season of Love Live overall. High drama, the first love triangle I ever loved, cute and colorful characters, good music videos supplemented by lots of solo songs released alongside (or close enough) the anime. WAY higher animation quality than any previous season. And Rina was there. The second season of Niji is not the best season of Love Live overall. The second season of Niji is not the best season of anything. I had hope, you know? And that hope was slowly and mercilessly crushed by a blank outslaught of lost potential. A central theme of Niji, one might think, is that they are SOLO idols. They have their own philosophies and styles of idoling. I don't find sub-units or the occasional group performance to be contradictory to that; of course they can work together! It's Love Live! Love!!! Live!!! But there is no attempt made to dig into how they feel about that and how they make it work. Think of Kasumi and Setsuna's conflict from season one; Setsuna's overbearingly passionate leadership vs Kasumi's desire to project a cute and playful image and not work herself into the ground-- there's nothing like that here. They harass Shioriko until she joins their group (classic Love Live, I admit, we all know she secretly wants it), and then they harass Lanzhu until she joins their group, and 'THE GROUP' WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THE POINT?? OF NIJIGASAKI SPECIFICALLY? And the worst part of it all is how hard they try to get every character into frame. There's twelve of them. And nobody gets any development this season. So you instinctively start thinking of which one you'd cut. They cut Setsuna. Setsuna is barely present. Despite being an amazing character in the first season. WHERE ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR HER COMING OUT AS AN IDOL? WHAT WAS SHE WORRIED ABOUT IF LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENS AFTERWARDS? I agree that everything should be tied up in a shiny bow and everything should be wonderful forever; I understand what this show is about, but there should be conflict ON THE WAY THERE. You cannot imagine how disappointed I am that Ayumu didn't get another yandere moment. I actually enjoy the 'Ayumu and Yu want to do diffferent things' conflict; you can understand why they don't talk to each other (because Ayumu is insane) (LOVE her), and it echoes what, in my opinion, should be the central theme of Niji: THEY ARE SOLO IDOLS. THAT IS WHAT SETS THIS SERIES APART FROM OTHER LOVE LIVES AND THEY JUST FORGOT ABOUT IT. There isn't even a real music video for like five episodes before the very last episode. This is another thing that Love Live usually does well; they have a LOT of fun music! I love to see it! I love to feel Idol Hype! But they took my idol hype and now I feel nothing but sadness. Damn you Sunrise. P.S. WHAT is Shioriko's dress for Emotion??? Why does her anime song not correspond to her original image concept at all....... you will never be Ketsui no Hikari


Of the four editions of the Love Live! franchise (the others being the original SIP, Sunshine, and soon to take on its second season Superstar) Nijigasaki High School Idol Club has been the maverick of the group.  And I mean this as the greatest compliment I could offer.  As for the others, I always had this 'where have I seen this before?' feeling.  To this point: In the other series, a girls' school was in danger of going out of existence.  SIP saved their school.  Sunshine lost theirs.  Superstar might be the rubber match in the world of waxing and waning academies.  But Nijigasaki has been a solid school which leads the way in all fields of achievement (particularly school idols).  Organizing a five-site School Idol/School Festival extravaganza is just a stellar example. In the other series, nine seemed to be the magic number (does the number of muses in Greek mythology have anything to do with this?).  In SIP and Sunshine the nine were gathered through three second-years followed by three first-years finished off with three third years (one of whom nixed school idols, one promoted school idols, one was just there).  True, Superstar ended the first season with a team of five, but anime rumor-mongers hint that four new members will join Liella (5+4=9, math fans) early in season two.  But NHSIC will be a challenge for triskaidekaphobiacs the world over.  At episode ten, thirteen charming girls whose personalities have been honed razor sharp will bring the last two episodes to a novel conclusion.  For ... In the first two series (and no idea if this will continue into Superstar) the Love Live! competition has been the driving force.  Remember all those grueling practice sessions and stair-climbing that µ and Aquors endured?  Nijigasaki abandoned the idea of a national competition (unless in the final two episodes NHSIC have the girls compete, sing and dance, go to Tokyo, wow the next to non-existent competition, and take home the prize ... but that would so not like Nijigasaki). Who needs Love Live! the battle of the school idols when you have so many backstories.  The ideal of the solo idol goes the way of the bad idea and quartet+duo+trio (4+2+3=9, close to the formula, but then you have the tenth wheel Yu Takasaki) form among the club members.  This brings up the one complaint of the first season.  Poor animation in frequent use of the static pose and never used choreography.  Not in season two!  The animation pops as the ensembles move in and around each other, the high quality one saw in the SIP and Sunshine productions.  Personalities rule, and the addition of new characters Lanzhu Zhong, Mia Taylor, Shioriko Mifune offer the complications.  Lanzhu is the new idol on the horizon, hoping to eclipse the Niji girls.  Mia contrasts strongly with Yu.  Both aspire to be songwriters.  Mia is naturally talented, but she wishes to have the courage to sing.  Yu struggles to knock out songs, but her dedication to the school idols gives her the drive.  Shioriko adores school idols but fears whether she could be considered one.  But no cut-throat competition, just girls coming to understand each other, and have a great deal of girly fun in the process. Better animation.  Music that I would consider better than the other three in the franchise.  Lively.  Upbeat.  Introspective.  And the closing theme ends with the simpler character designs which has become the trademark of the NHSIC line.  There is something to breaking formula.  And with two more episodes in season two, we can toss predictability out the window. This makes Nijigasaki High School Idol Club the best series in the Love Live! Universe, IMHO.

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