(Warning: The following post is kinda ramble-y and not meant to be taken very seriously. Possible trigger warnings: Hate upon the Love Live! Sunshine!! series, indifference to the original Love Live! anime, someone having their own opinions)
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I don’t hate the Love Live! franchise. I watched the entirety of the first two seasons plus the movie. I didn’t find it anything special, and it’s certainly not worth making an entire post of it. I went into this series with no expectations, albeit a little to optimistic about this show being anything more than its predecessor. Maybe it would have more realistic, down-to-earth characters, maybe the writing would be engaging, maybe the voices aren’t stupidly high-pitched. The universe has read my mind and, to spite me, granted my wish in the opposite direction.
A lot of people in the anime community agree upon the “3-episode test”, where you give an anime 3 episodes to engage you. If it fails, drop it, if it passes, keep watching. A lot of other people agree upon the “do whatever the hell you want test” (including myself). There needs to be a new test. I call it the “3 minute test”. If you’re watching an anime and you absolutely despise it within 3 minutes, drop it right then and there. This is what I originally did with Love Live! Sunshine!!. Naturally, I complained online, and got hit by a wave of fanboys saying that I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. This series wouldn’t even be on my MAL profile if I followed my original test. However, I listened to the others and kept watching. Three episodes later, I started to regret that decision.
Maybe I just don’t like Japan’s idol culture. Maybe extremely high-pitched voices aren’t my cup of tea. But what I don’t understand is how so many people just ignore the pointlessness of this entire series. The producers of this realize that they don’t have to put a lot of effort into the writing, the character designs. They also realize that changing too much from the original series will cause fans to look away, so a lot of the characters from Sunshine!! are rehashes of characters from the original Love Live!. The main girl looks like a younger sister of Hanako, her friend looks like a younger version of Kotori, we have a chuunibyou-ridden girl with long, dark-blue hair, a shy, musically-gifted red-haired girl, and a rich, tall, blond-haired girl. My God, they weren’t even trying to be original.
“You know what? Let’s also have a student council president that somehow hates school idols. Absolutely despises them. Let’s have the main girl walk in for the third time with no qualifications to create an idol club. Let’s have the student council president suddenly go on a spiel about how Muse is the greatest school idol group ever to exist. Wait I thought she hated school idols? Oh, and the main girl accidentally presses on the intercom button while she’s doing this. After all of that, cut away to several hours later next to where the main girl lives. What was that? We just had a bit of character introduction and left it hanging? Did we just cut away from that with literally no reaction shot, no discussion, no other line of dialogue? Are we now pretending that that scene doesn’t even exist?”
What I described above actually happens.
In conclusion, there is no reason to watch this series. It’s not going to have any engaging conflict, no interesting or original characters. It’s just a promotion for more Love Live!-related merchandise. If you’re a fan of Love Live! and you want more of it in your life, then go nuts. Watch this. I don’t care. I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you watch this, but I am saying that you should be mindful of what this series actually is.