470th G-View: Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club S2

I stated in my review of the first season that the 3rd generation of the Love Live! franchise is my favorite so while I am always excited for every anime installment since the 1st generation I was especially hyped for the 2nd installment of this one. Question is whether “NijiGaku” impressed yet again among fans and possibly changed minds of critics who were not keen on the different direction from the norm this group took? Let us find out as we take a look at the 2nd season of Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.

Review of the 1st season HERE.

Love Live! Nijigasaki Season 2 Cover

Alternate Title:

  • Love Live! Nijigasaki Season 2
  • Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 (Japanese)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Idols, School Life, Slice of Life.

Themes: Music, Yuri

Number of Episodes: 13

G-Rating: 10/10

Plot Summary: The Nijigasaki High School Idol Club are still in full swing after the first School Idol Festival. It went so well they announced plans to host a second one. As they were ready to rock once again they were greeted by a new foreign school idol Lanzhu Zhong who made a strong first impression. However, when they extended an invitation to join the club Lanzhu refused, disagreeing with their approach to what school idols should be. Meanwhile two other girls, Mia Taylor and Shioriko Mifune would also play major roles in this new story of NijiGaku’s.

Nijigasaki Promo videoFans knew they were in for something special when this was the first thing they saw.

Like other 2nd seasons in the franchise this one served to tell more stories the heroines had to tell or take care of unfinished business such as Setsuna’s. At first I thought this would be a story of the girls coming together to show Lanzhu the true power of teamwork as they became a fully fledged group on their way to becoming legends but that was not exactly the case. They do learn more about the power of teamwork through Lanzhu’s challenge but there is more a focus on forming units (small sub-groups of two or three members), such as A・ZUNA and DiverDiva growing their bonds that way by learning more about each other and themselves. I also thought this would primarily shine the spotlight on the three new girls Lanzhu, Shioriko and Mia but again that was not entirely the case. As far as screen time before their full story was revealed Lanzhu got the most followed by Shioriko and Mia who at most got one or two scenes per episode before her big moment. That is not to say one’s development before their big episodes was worse than the others as all their stories were done quite well, just a heads up to prepare fans.

Lanzhu about to performLanzhu Zhong gives off a strong first impression. Cool, confident, charismatic and sexy. However, like other antagonistic girls before their truths were revealed there is more to her than her shiny outer shell lets on.

Yu asks Mia for adviceMia Taylor is similar to Lanzhu in that she has a tough outer shell but she is more a tsundere willing to help when the need rises. She has a good ear for writing music, something to keep in mind when it is her turn. Being half-American expect her to have some American tastes.

One nice touch about these two is with Lanzhu being from Hong Kong and Mia the US they randomly say things in their native tongue. This is especially important for Mia. Viewers will know what I mean when the time comes.

Shioriko MifuneLastly but certainly not least is the newcomer I did not expect to love most of the three Shioriko Mifune. The first surprise was unlike many fanged girls before her who are energetic Shioriko, before and after joining the team, is calm, well-mannered, kind and caring. Very rare seeing a mostly chill fanged beauty. She enjoys listening to and supporting people in need, something that plays an important role in determining her future goals.

Jennifer and RakshataAlong with the new trio more N. Girls from the Love Live! School Idol Festival mobile game make their anime debut. However, not just on merchandise or silent background characters but some of them are voiced such as Jennifer and Rakshata here and have small but important roles in both the story but the overall theme of Gen 3. That is to show the growth and influence of Love Live! in the lives of lesbians (and some het women) of this universe. How motivational and life changing the work of school idols generations past has become not only in Japan but across the globe as girls like Lanzhu, Mia and Emma show. While not as big outside their home country the awesomeness of school idols motivates girls to become great themselves and/or inspire others to do the same. Naturally Haruka returns with her own little side-story along with a surprise debut. There are actually several surprise debuts observant and cultured peeps will greatly appreciate. I do not mean more school idols, hehe.

Yu still trying to find her sparkI made it a goal this season to show how beautiful Yu is every time she let her hair down. She is already pretty regularly but becomes even stronger at home. There is another important reason I showed this screen grab of her.

That is mostly it for the newcomers and side-characters. What about the beloved 10? It is a mix of ongoing stories, such as Rina and Shizuku and unfinished business like Setsuna and Kasumi. Besides that is one very important detail. See, what we usually get from the Love Live! franchise are a group of girls over time coming together through their shared interest in school idols, overcome challenges and become stronger through performances and inter and intrapersonal character development then go on to try and become champions. Here it is different. When we last left our heroines they were a group of girls with individual goals who come together to form a school idol club to help each other find their path through the world of school idols. This is exemplified in Season 2 with a second focus on most of the girls thinking about their path forward thanks to everything they have learned/are learning about themselves, their homies and peeps. They become physically, mentally and socially stronger to find their dream of strengthen the ones they already had be it music themed or something else. This along with the aforementioned personal obstacles left to settle or new ones to overcome. Everything mentioned in these two paragraphs are not unique to Gen 3 but there is a stronger focus on them across both seasons.

2nd Nijigasaki group performanceAs is tradition for the franchise the presentation gets better and better with each new anime, be it a second season or new generation. Nijigasaki S2 is no different. The animation is some of the best non-movie I have seen thus far. Personal bias here but most of the performances, be they snippets or full Solo, Unit and ESPECIALLY Group songs are some of my favorites in the franchise. The fact the Group songs are rare not only make them special when we do get them but the ones here were excellently executed in every conceivable way, especially the entire last episode. Words cannot do that finale justice.

Yu X Ayumu Ferris Wheel dateRina gives Ai a good luck hugMain event time. Ever since Sunshine S2 I have been wary of second seasons mainly due to potential “botches” of established couples in the first season. This especially because, as mentioned, Nijigasaki are my favorite group in the franchise along with their couples. Happy to say not only did the couples remain intact despite them forming units and bonding with different gal pals remain intact but most of them grew even stronger this season. Lilies even started blooming around two of the new trio. The above two couples, Ayumu X Yu and Ai X Rina had the most on-screen development while the other two had cute moments. Nijigasaki remain the gayest group in the Love Live anime universe. Also keep two things in mind:

  • Pay close attention to Shizuku at key points. Viewers will know when.
  • I alluded to the relationship between idols and fans playing a role. Last season I thought they were a detriment to excellence. However, I was very, very wrong. The excellence did not dissipate at all.

Overall Love Live! Nijigasaki S2 continues the series tradition of the second season taking everything that made the first one great and pumping them up big time. From old and new character development. , more side-characters, expanding the world of school idols, even better presentation and performances for the most part and of course ramping up the fluffy gayness with a bit of extra spice. all of this along with that amazing finale solidified Gen 3 as my favorite in the franchise. Fans of the first season will most likely love the second one. Not sure if this will change the minds of critics of the first but perhaps some will have newfound respect for the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. Hopefully another Love Live tradition continues and a movie conclusion is on the horizon.

PS:

RinaShioriko accepts her deepest desireYu's smile of justiceI already mentioned why Shioriko is my favorite of the new trio. Last season I said Rina Tennoji was my favorite member of NijiGaku. After this season I can confidently say that not only does that remain true but she is one of the greatest school idols of all time. Speaking of GOATs Yu Takasaki is one of the greatest yuri harem protagonists.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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18 Responses to 470th G-View: Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club S2

  1. tbiscut74 says:

    This season was fantastic!

    Yu was truly great! She has some of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen!

    Mina was my favorite of the new girls! Her songs were great, a stunning beauty, all those english words, and I love her hair style! Reminds me of my #1 all time Favorite Waifu.

    The finale was amazing!

    We got to see so many beautiful Idol Mamas and older sister this season!

    My 2 favorite couples, Ai x Rina and Karin x Emma, were still going strong! Makes me very happy!

    Fingers crossed for that movie!

    Sad to see it end, but at least we got Superstar season 2 coming soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Much love for Yu.

      Three great new ladies.

      Truly amazing finale.

      Glad to see the couples still intact.

      Fingers crossed they announce the movie during a concert.

      Love the new mamas and Kaoruko.

      The party will continue once Liella return.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Alexis says:

    La serie terminó en un buen punto, me quedo con Shizuku y su visión para hacer ships y que va a pasar con Ayumu en Londresy sobre todo que la viceprez fue leal hasta el final con Setsuna/Nana.

    Realmente me gustaría un multiverso de Love Live, hay tres cosas qué quisiera ver: Dia coqueteando con Eri; Shizuko compartiendo su visión del yuri con Riko y Ren y la cara de Yuu al conocer a Muse, Aquors y Liella., es todo ganancias.

    Love Live no se va, regresará Liella y este será su año.

    Cyao

    Like

  3. Nick says:

    Nijigasaki S2 did exactly what a second season is supposed to do and then some. What a thrilling 13 eps this was culminating in the best performance yet!

    S2 did a fantastic job building on the characters and introducing new ones as well. I liked the continuation of Setsuna’s story and how she overcame her challenges and came out as not only the idol Setuna, but also the student council president. The love and support and gained from that was incredible, both at school and from her mother.

    I loved seeing Rina grow so much as a person and become one of the best characters this season. Rina took the initiative in helping out others and going that extra mile along the way. She had some awesome moments along the way and it was great to see her perform without her Rina Board in the final ep.

    And of course Yu got lots of time to develop as a character as well. She supported everyone on their journey and in turn they supported her in her journey of writing music. And with a little push from Lanzhu, she was able to overcome her challenges and shine just as bright as the others.

    For the new girls, I think Lanzhu is probably my favorite but Mia and Shioriko deserve all the love and attention as well. I really liked Lanzhu’s story from being the “villain” of the season to being in the club with them. Seeing her change from her cold and standoffish personality to energetic, kind, and caring, it was awesome. Plus she had so many cute moments too, be it wanting to take a picture with everyone, to just hanging out and being in a group of friends. Lanzhu made a lasting impression on me and I won’t forget her anytime soon.

    And of course all the other girls had lots of amazing moments in this season. I loved seeing all the sub-units get screen time. Each has their own personality and it comes out in their songs. I honestly haven’t listened to as many Love Live! songs as I used to, so finally getting a chance to hear these sub-units perform was a treat. Hard to pick a favorite as they all are so good!

    All in all Nijigasaki S2 really hit all the right notes and continued what S1 started. Solo idols were a big change to the usual formula but they pulled it off once and showed that it could be done once again. Yes μ’s and Aqours are excellent groups in their own rights, but having this change was a breath of fresh air and I remember in my reviews for S1, I mentioned this new style was very much welcome and they executed it perfectly.

    I’m sure we’ll get a movie at some point in the future to send these girls off in style, but until then let’s all take a moment to enjoy this incredible experience we’ve been through with the best school idol club out there.

    And the fun isn’t over yet, 3 more months of Love Live! are right around to corner with Superstar S2 about to air. Love Live! fans are eating well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      So much to love about this season I did my best to convey them in this review.

      Rina yo. That’s one if the most badass things I’d ever seen. Her development reminded me a bit of Ruby’s but it’s still incredible to see.

      All three new girls are awesome. Any of them can be a fan favorite and they deserve it.

      Hopefully they announce the movie at a Nijigasaki show. The tradition must continue.

      Let’s get ready to welcome back Liella!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ntnb says:

    Honestly, I wasn’t completely sold on NijiGaku when they first announced, but after playing the game a lot and two excellent seasons of the anime they’ve completely won me over. I doubt that any other LL! group will ever replace my beloved Aqours, but these girls absolutely earned their place alongside all the other generations.

    Kasumin and Kanata were consistent highlights. Would have liked a bit more AyumuYu progress but I’m confident we’ll see it yet – bring on the movie!…or even…shhh…maybe another series? Since they aren’t actually one big group I think it could work this time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      I only care about the anime continuity. Having said that I love all four groups and NijiGaku are my favorite.

      Best not to wish for too much from the anime because there’s only so much they can get away with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cirno9fan says:

    The whole finale was pretty amazing, and that scene with Rina and her fans got my eyes all teary 🙂 It’s really great to have supportive fans like that!

    Niji have always run so very differently from any other LL. One of the biggest differences is they always deal with drama fast and elegantly. And S2 was just as good at this as always! It’s a very low stress Love Live, which is a really nice change from some of the things we’ve seen before. A good example was when Kasumin was all “Big News!!!” and it just turned into something that everyone laughed about XD

    Was nice that they kept the ships in tact, and even gave them a few upgrades here and there, while still having everyone be good friends with each other. Maybe that’s what S2 of Sunshine was attempting all along? I don’t know, but either way, Niji did a way better job of it, if so.

    Some really great performances, though Lanzhu’s songs just weren’t to my tastes, as a character she was great! I think Mia was my favorite out of the new characters. She was a lot of fun! Also had some of the best English I’ve seen on an anime. Even Kinmoza’s pronunciations lost to hers, in my opinion. She still had a bit of an accent, but what she said sounded so natural.

    It was really nice seeing Yu start to come into her own path, especially when she got that flower thing ~ But I was a bit lost how her becoming a professional composer, and Yu being a professional idol….were paths that wouldn’t compliment each other in the future…? A bit of an odd way of looking at things when she’s been making music for their group all this time…wouldn’t that actually be two dreams that would push them together more? I just found that a bit odd, and a little forced to follow the usual formula. Handled well enough, but the reasoning behind it….

    Rina really did step up to things. She was already fantastic in S1 but she started shining even more in S2! And all of them really did in their own ways~

    The girls of Nijigasaki School Idol Doukoukai were ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • ntnb says:

      i figured sunshine was just going with what seemed to work best? i mean, i was a chikayou and yohariko shipper even before s2 so it was completely satisfying to me that things moved more in that direction. it is unfortunate that fans of other ships were disappointed, though. i’ve had it happen to me in other series…even some of the early nijigaku pairings i liked were switched by the time the anime came round.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      F’ing amazing finale! To borrow a page from your playbook, “Rina is Heart”.

      That’s what makes them special to me. They don’t follow the norm too closely and succeed at doing their own thing. Not that I don’t love the other Gens. You know I do. NijiGaku just clicked with me more.

      Yeah. The nonchalant reaction to her announcement was great

      Again they went to hard with ChikaRiko in S1 then suddenly pushed for YohaRiko in S2. None of this would have been an issue had they not gone as hard as they did. At least KanaMari weren’t tainted.

      Mia’s seiyu was raised in Australia. That’s why.

      Yu’s journey was excellent.

      They all rule at the end of the day. The anime adaptations bring out the best from the Love Live girls, hence why I mainly focus on those over all other interpretations of them, be it the mobile games or music videos.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. chikorita157 says:

    The second season is a good showing indeed. At least they toned down Lazhu’s mean personality compared to the game, which is probably a good thing. Mia and Shioriko are also good additions along with the new units. It’s just too bad that R3BIRTH didn’t get to perform a song, yet. Then again, they are just getting started. Nice to see Yuu’s harem grow even further with some nice Yuu and Ayumu moments as well.

    Also Setsuna’s big reveal was surprising and it’s nice to see the expression on the class representative’s face and becoming the number 1 Setsuna fan.. As always, Kanata never fails to amuse me with her desire to rest and support for her little sister. My guess is that a movie will eventually happen, which makes me wonder if R3BIRTH will actually get to perform in anime form. Maybe someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am 100% with you. NijiGaku is the best of all the main LL units. All versions of LL are fantastic in their own ways, but the Niji crew really just have something special. Their friendship chemistry just feels so strong and natural, while still allowing individual relationships to shine too in parallel.

    I loved that Ayumu x Yu and Rina x Ai got stronger developments, and I’m glad Emma x Karin, as well as the other subtle pairs got to shine a bit more this season too. If there was any group, I would want to see a time skip for, just to see where they all end up, this would definitely be the group. I hope we at least get to see hints about their future plans in the movie. I feel confident we’ll get one.

    Shizuku has been my longtime fav since S1 and I think that remains, but for the new girls, Mia is definitely my favorite. I really like bilingual characters and her blend between Japanese and English was superb. Of course we know why, being her Seiyu was raised in Australia, as you stated. I liked Lanzhu as a performer and liked her songs. The entire group all gave wonderful performances throughout the season too.

    Loved this S2 probably just as much if not more than the first, and I’ll be looking forward to the movie. Yu is absolutely the supreme yuri harem queen of all time and looks stunning with her hair down. Those are indisputable facts. Now I’m looking forward to Liella’s new chapter next season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Exactly right Doc. Team work and individual goals united.

      The two strongest couples along with some other nice ones that remain intact and we are very grateful. Potential new ones hinted too.

      Oh yes. Similar to what we kinda saw with Honoka but expanded. A time skip epilogue for the movie would be fantastic. Again fingers crossed we get one. As you said the odds are high.

      That’s what I saw about her seiyu. Pretty good English even with the accent.

      Songs and performances were so good!

      Much love for Yu. Her beauty, journey and yuri harem power!

      We are so ready for the return of Liella!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. yurimylove says:

    Yu has now collected a full dozen, that’s the biggest yuri harem I’ve ever seen 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. K says:

    This season was absolutely excellent! It improved on the first season by leaps and bounds! Great performances, great cast additions, wonderful character development, all of which led up to a fantastic finale. My favourite part of that concert was how Rina’s fans became her Rina Board in a sense. That was some complete and utter dedication! It was also a cool way to give her a helping hand after all the aide she offered throughout this season. This moment was as good as when Setsunana revealed her identity. The vice-prez couldn’t have signed up to be her most stalwart fan any faster 😉 .

    That finale to me felt like a nice stopping point but I also don’t see why NijiGaku wouldn’t get a movie as the other series did.

    Aqours was the group I started with, I say again, but there’s something special about these girls. The way their stories unfolded was intriguing.

    Of the newcomer trio, Shioriko’s my fave. I loved her personality and her being a calm fanged girl was a welcome surprise. Yu and Rina are still in my top three but Kanata took Emma’s spot. Not to say I hate Emma or anything, I just think Kanata had some pretty nice moments that made her more appealing. Of course the AyuYu pair’s still going strong and then some. Of the sub-groups, A-ZU-NA’s my brother’s(and mine’s) fave.

    I’m with ya on how Yu’s smiles are so very lovely. It’s no surprise that she is a top-tier Harem Queen after all 😉 .

    Liked by 1 person

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