Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Love Live! School Idol Project Season 2 - Episode 1

Kids, everything that you've heard about peer pressure is true - it can force you down some truly shocking paths that you would never have seen yourself traversing otherwise.  Like watching Love Live, for example.  Having decided to welcome, rather than ignore, the constant chatter in my Twitter timeline as its second season began, I figured I should watch its first series to see what all the fuss was about.  Then I finished in two days.  Then started on season two.

Anyhow, having explained how I got myself into this mess, it seems that our protagonist Honoka is going places - the role of student council president, no less.  After a less than expertly delivered welcome speech, still fresh from the exciting news that their school will no longer be closing, Honoka has to settle into her new role and the absolute slew of paperwork and other activities that it involves.  Given her propensity for being distracted from such important tasks, you'd assume the breaking news of a new, second, Love Live event would be music to her ears, particularly given a change to its qualifying format...'d think wrong, however.  Although the rest of the girls are beyond excited at the prospect of taking part in the event - albeit with the realisation that the new regional qualifying round would put them straight up against current champions (despite seemingly only having one song) A-RISE - Honoka is lukewarm at best about the idea, and seems quite happy to skip entering the contest entirely.  Both worried and confused about this unexpected turn of events, the other girls alternate between trying to get to the root cause of Honoka's attitude and flat-out convincing her to change her mind - perhaps inevitably, the true reason behind her actions resides in how their attempts to reach the previous Love Live ended...

Although Love Live isn't a series that's liable to blow you away, it has a certain easy-going attitude to its story and comedy that is not entirely dissimilar to K-ON in its ability to feel welcoming and to imbue its characters with enough personality for them to feel like more than just a hastily thrown-together group of reasons to make character songs and, as a result, lots of money.  Oddly, it's often the music that is by far Love Live's weakest component, and this looks likely to be the case in this second season - its tunes are forgettable, but this doesn't matter too much when its cast are sufficiently pleasant and fun to watch to create a simple but enjoyable show.  With the actual Love Live event left ultimately unexplored by season one, there's also still plenty for this series to get its teeth into, so hopefully all of that fun will translate into whatever μ's have in store for us this spring.

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