Love Live! S2 09

Love Live! S2 09: Clearly

Pon. I don’t get the metaphor in this song. Halation? So love is like … an optical illusion? A lens-related error? Oh, wait, I get it. They can’t wait for love to bloom naturally, so they pretend to be in love, they create a flimsy, temporary aura of love around themselves, and I think we all know how this ends. Extracurricular activities under the bleachers with someone you don’t even like that much. Pregnant at 17. Regret. When you get down to it, what part of the snow halation is real? The snow. The frozen core. Hey, I like this song. Incidentally, any artists out there want to collaborate on a Love Live doujin?

Oto. These idol love songs are disgusting.

Pon. I wouldn’t describe them as actually disgusting, though. In real terms, they aren’t hurting anything. It’s like that feeling you get after masturbating when you’re 13 and you just got back from the Sunday school session about how masturbation damages your immortal soul.

Oto. Um … Yeah, I get ya. It’s just paying someone for them to pretend they love you. I feel like I’m exploiting these girls. And I feel a little exploited by the whole system. I guess it’s voluntary, though. I did pay for it. I mean, I do kinda like Snow Halation.

Pon. Yeah, it’s okay. It sounds like an 80s pop ballad with a guitar guy off to the side who won’t stop shredding. They hired Inappropriate Sax Guy from Utena to do guitar for this song.

Oto. So isn’t this the episode where we’re supposed to be crying a river of tears?

Pon. We were also supposed to cry about that kid in the im@s movie gaining 10 pounds and Haruka standing around for two hours with a blank look on her face. I’ve been suspicious of anitwitter’s preferences since then.

Oto. Can I go back to watching JoJo’s now? That show’s fucking cool. You want tears? End of the Phantom Blood arc. That’ll get ya going. You gotta earn those tears. Nine episodes of two fated foes earning each others’ hatred and respect and a weird sort of love that can only be found by growing up with someone and devoting your entire life to fighting them. That is a tear jerker. Just me?

Pon. Someone could argue that there’s no real-life analogue for that … but, I mean, it’s not as if Love Live and similar stuff is any less of a fantasy story. What I’ve been thinking about is how I’d defend myself if someone pointed out that Love Live seems similar to a lot of stuff I like. I like K-On, I like Manabi Straight … I think it’s structurally different, though. K-On doesn’t try to staple a needless plot on top of everything, and when Manabi Straight promises plot, it delivers, however interested a given viewer may be in what’s at stake. Love Live gestures at this overarching plot, then proceeds to ignore it. Was episode 9 the first time we’ve seen someone have actual competitive feelings related to the Love Live? Also, is it really the ninth episode of the second season and they’re still doing fucking preliminaries?

Oto. My problem with Love Live is that nothing happens. And don’t give me that, “It’s a slice of life show. Nothing ever happens in slice of life shows.” Fuck you. Actually nothing happens. Slice of life shows are about simple things happening. It’s small, but usually something really personal will happen to the characters. It may not change the world, but it just might change this character. How they view the world. How the world views them. Love Live doesn’t have big things happening. It doesn’t have small things happening. It just feels stagnant.

Pon. I think the problem is that it fails to make a compelling argument as to why we should care about most of this stuff, which is something that every story has to do. It’s part of the storytelling, right? We just talked about how Steven Universe does this. Most of the time it’s not that clear why the idol stuff is personally important to the characters–they say it is, but they don’t demonstrate it that well–and I think the only character who changes much is Nozomi. Nico changes a little, but she has to keep being shitty or else she isn’t Nico anymore. Eli in the first season was just coerced.

Oto. Speaking of JoJo’s, it’s weird to go right from watching JoJo’s to watching shows like Kokoro Library and Love Live. It’s a huge change of atmosphere. I’m just waiting for μ’s to challenge A-RISE to a duel in some ancient colosseum somewhere where some ancient warriors used to fuck the severed heads of their enemies to gain strength … or something like that.

Pon. Any artists out there want to collaborate on a second Love Live doujin?

Oto. I watch these calm shows and wonder why everyone is being so nice to each other and why no one has been horribly mutilated yet.

Pon. Well, one of the things I look for is good banter, right? So I read a dozen Discworld novels and look at a bunch of Touhou fan stuff, and I try to watch something like Kokoro Library, and it’s like, why aren’t they snarking at each other nonstop? Where’s the sarcasm? They must not actually like each other that much.


6 thoughts on “Love Live! S2 09

  1. A Day Without Me says:

    Despite having studied photography for a couple of years, I’ve encountered the term ‘halation’ waaay more in anime shit than I have otherwise.

    Despite my liking Snow Halation, my brain typically transforms ‘halation’ into ‘fellation’ in this song. Ah well.


    1. My favorite variant is the one that describes what they’ll all be doing in a couple years when the fickle consumers have no time for them anymore: “snow inhalation”


      1. A Day Without Me says:

        Based on the behavior of the characters, I just figured most of them would be placed in cold storage once high school ended. For a show about high schoolers, there’s a surprising lack of hemming and hawing over what anyone is going to do after high school… in fact, only Kotori seems to have any goals that aren’t high school-based.


          1. A Day Without Me says:

            Oh, I forgot about Maki… I’ve been reading the manga, didn’t recall that in the anime, too, she was all “uguu parents have decided my career uguuu gonna rebel by cultivating a pedo fanbase”. I think Honoka’s likelier to end up as the host of a third-rate variety show in five years (*and* not be distressed by it) than as an Octave character, but seems a fair assessment for the rest of them.

            I do find Eli’s lack of concern about the future very puzzling considering how she’s set up as that number one student type, or, well, I would if after she’s added to the group she mattered at all as a character.


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