The future of µ’s seems to be dependent on the girls’ exam results. Or to put it another way: they’re doomed. Which would be just fine in Eli’s eyes – except that her efforts to discredit the group seem to be having the opposite effect…
What They Say:
Otonokizaka High School is planning to close within three years. However, nine female students come together with one thing in mind – form a pop idol group to revive the school’s popularity and keep it from shutting down. ‘In order to protect our beloved school, there’s only one thing we can do…become pop stars!
Love Live: the Superbowl of school idol contests, where the 20 best school idol groups will get the chance to battle it out for the title of best school idols. To Hanayo, even seeing Love Live would be a dream come true – but with µ’s popularity on the rise in the rankings, performing may not be out of the question. If they can get permission to perform. Which is dependent on their performance in the upcoming exams – a condition possibly terminal to their chances. Meanwhile, student council president Elichika is uncovered as the person who’s been uploading the group’s performances to the ‘net…
This is one of those episodes where, while most of the running time is devoted to one thing (the efforts of the group to get their more clueless members through their final exams), the really important bit is further down the running order – which brings us to Student Council President Elichika and her continuing disdain for what µ’s are trying to do.
To start with the more contentious side of this: I’ve never like Eli, primarily because her attitude to the girls is so contrary to the show’s otherwise relentless positive message that just seeing her (and her consistently miserable expression) is like a needle being dragged across a record – she just doesn’t fit or belong here.
With this episode carrying her name, you’d maybe expect it to begin the process of ‘rehabilitating’ her before drawing her into the group, but no – there’s some background information which tries to explain why she’s so against µ’s and idol culture in general, but by the end of the episode she’s no closer to seeing the light – and no likeable, either. If anything, her backstory makes her look even worse, with simple snobbery being shown as the reason for her dismissal of the girls’ efforts. A definite case of really not helping yourself – and with no resolution to her story arc this week, I’ve got another episode of her to look forward to next week. Oh, joy.
Fortunately, exam panic was on hand to lighten the mood. With Nico, Honoka and Rin in deep trouble with their grades, the process of helping them with their studying in an effort to get them over the passing mark is used to great comic effect. Nico continues to be the butt of a lot of the gang’s jokes, but she carries it well; while Nozomi’s frankly terrifying tutoring techniques are almost a joy to behold. In an “I’m glad it’s not me she’s tutoring” kind of way.
A bit of a mixed bag, then, as Eli’s arc drags the series into a bit of a lull. It’s enjoyable enough up to a point, but when focussing on the ‘star’ of the episode it quickly becomes annoying – and with that storyline carrying forward to next week, I’m not holding out much hope there, either.
Content Grade: B+
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2