Love Live! Superstar!! Episode 12 (Final Impression)
I’m just going to combine both my episode review and final review together as there wasn’t much to say about the finale. It was pretty straightforward as Liella fought to win the Tokyo qualifications. Their theme was to perform near their campus and on Christmas, so it was no surprise that we got a pretty winter performance. Most of the episode was spent with the girls practicing and also trying to find somewhere to perform. Kanon’s classmates volunteer to make the “starry stage” for them in the gym, which ended up being a stage down the street. It ended up looking gorgeous. However in the end, Liella ends up in second place behind Sunny Passion.
I expected this to happen as Sunny Pas has beaten them in a competition before, but this ending didn’t really have much of an impact. As I’ve said many times in my reviews, I like Sunny Pas as a group, the two of them are good characters and good senpais to Liella. However, we haven’t really seen them perform. Heck, we’ve only listened to (at most) three seconds of their one song. Keke is a huge fan, we know they’re huge, we know they win competitions and all of that. But it’s still really hard to believe or even care when we haven’t even seen them perform even once. SIP and Sunshine did such a great job showing off A-RISE and Saint Snow, with Honoka watching A-RISE in the middle of the city in a crowd, and Saint Snow absolutely killing it in their performance before Aquors performed (and they bombed). We were able to see their talent and what big presence each group had, but not with Sunny Pas. I just know them as the nice girls, so Liella losing to them was expected as the show TOLD me how great they are, but it never SHOWED me. So it still wasn’t convincing. Still, it lit a fire in them, especially Kanon and I’m glad they didn’t dwell too much on the negative emotions. They’re only first years, they have time to try the Love Live again. They also don’t have to worry about the school as they got more applicants for the next year. Speaking of…
They made a big deal about the school closing, but it was resolved rather quickly. It’s great they’re in a better position now, but that sure was anticlimatic. Like, I’m glad this tired trope is done and over with but it also feels pretty pointless now that it’s been quickly resolved. So…what was the point? They didn’t even spend that much time on it so I feel like that plot point could have easily been cut and nothing in the story would have changed. They probably could have tweaked Ren’s story to where her mom made the school idol group for some other reason. Kinda leaves me frustrated.
After another insanely gorgeous performance, Liella is going to take this loss to win next time! Now we just wait for the inevitable second season announcement, but with Nijigasaki S2 I think Superstar S2 may take longer to come out. I imagine Keke’s family drama will start the season off.
I had really high hopes for Superstar as I fell in love with the first episode. I fell in love with Kanon and her whole story, her fears, and love for singing but being afraid to do it. At first it really felt like Superstar was going to be this special thing, but in the end it sort of became like any other Love Live season. A lot of the story beats and character tropes were very familiar, for better or worse. Foreign girl, meme phrase, anti-school idol student council president, school possibly closing down, etc.
I was hoping that Superstar was going to be different and stray from the Love Live status quo, by shrinking down their group size and all. But in the end, it very much felt kind of same-y. And in that sense, it’s pretty disappointing for me. I’m not saying Superstar ended up being a bad show or anything, in fact it was pretty good. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of people enjoy this season and this one also spawned some news fans and that’s great to see. But as someone that has seen a lot of Love Live and has actually fallen off the series (and not liking Sunshine), I was hoping that Superstar would be the one that would bring me back into Love Live, and to also do something different. I don’t want the same, I wanted them to change up the formula. And even though they tried to do something different, it still felt like I was watching any other past season. As a long-time fan, I just want something that breaks the typical Love Live mold since I think I’m starting to get tired of it. Love Live still holds a very special place in my heart being one of the first few idol anime I ever saw, and actually being the one that got me into rhythm gacha games and my idol obsession in general. I just want something more from this series.
And I know I’ve complained with a good chunk of the show, but in the end I did like Superstar. Liella by far, without a doubt, is the group with the best voices. Usually in each group there’s a girl whose voice I’m not particularly a fan of but Liella is an amazing group in that regard. Their songs have been wonderful and each performance beautiful. I always had a lot of fun watching those. Again, I appreciate the group size being smaller and while in the end I wouldn’t say there’s one girl fighting for my heart, I do like them and they more or less have some depth to them (under their surface-level character tropes). I’m not exactly sure who my favorite is as it kept switching around, especially with some episodes making me question some of them (Keke being a little too mean to Sumire, Chisato keeping secrets from Kanon and tricking her). If I had to pick someone, it would either be Ren or Sumire. Ren fits a character type I like and I really grew to like Sumire after her episode too, so they have caught my eye. Of course the inevitable season 2 could change things up as they usually do, so I’m looking forward to see how that’ll go.
I’m not sure I’ll be covering the second season as sometimes I did struggle to write some of the reviews, but I’ll think about it. In the end, I would give Love Live! Superstar!! a 7/10. Which sort of falls in line with the other seasons, and that doesn’t surprise me. But again, while I have a pile of complaints, I did like this season and had a good time. Slightly disappointed, but still nice. We’ll see what the second season has in store for us, whenever it gets announced. See ya!