Rambling about Superstar
I am probably really jumping on the gun too quickly here, but I think that Superstar is possibly the best love live series we’ve ever gotten. The first show is an incredible watch and everyone should give it a try, but there is something about the way Superstar is handled which gets more of its cast then even the og series did and that was a show that worked on every level. Every writing decision in Superstar just works. The first season had built such a fantastic cast out of its original five members with everything they accomplished.
This is something that I could keep on going on and on about, but I am really getting ahead of myself right now. If I was a better blogger, I would have just started with Superstar is about and then move on with my life and the post. Probably without mentioning that I would be able to do that. So yeah, I am just going to do that. Pretend you didn’t see this paragraph.
Following Season 1
Season two starts a short time after Leila lost against Sunny Passion for the Love LIve competition. A lot of things happen though. Sunny Passion mentions that Leila is the only idol group they consider their competitor. Yuigaoka does get a larger student body as a result, but the press is all over Leila because of the reputation Sunny Passion gave them. Which really sucks considering that Leila wants to get new members in their club, but most of the student body considers it too hard for them to even try. It’s just that Chi, Kanon, Sumire, Ren, and Keke are too good.
So is the one of the ideas behind this season that adds so many layers to this show. I’ve never seen a Love Live series that actually started with one generation and adds another later. Because four members did decide to eventually take on the Leila challenge. Kinako (an outsider), Shiki (scientist genius), Mei (an insanely high leveled idol fan), and Natsumi (social media influencer troll), eventually started training by joining at their own pace. There is obviously a gap in skill and there was a lot of work just making that believable as the girls work towards love live again. Though there are a few wrinkles.
If there is a major thing going on with this season, it’s that nothing is ever certain. For a lot of the show, Leila feels like a major balancing act. Just too much to do, so many parts you don’t know are going to be there. For instance, Keke might head back to Shanghai soon and the only person that knows it is Sumire. Or what about the fact that Leila just earned the same award they got from their first competition because another mysterious competitor showed up. Or what about either taking school idling seriously or just doing it for fun? There are a lot of gambles at play.
As usual, Leila finds a way around them by talking to each other and really good character chemistry. The cast of Superstar is just really good and the writing behind the show allows for them to feel like they connect to each other by taking each of their voice actresses’ chemistry and acting, then putting them in the anime in ways that make sense. It allows each character to grow a little bit, even if they aren’t the focus character, and shows they know a thing or two about problem solving. Another major part of Love Live which this show adds more dimension to this idea.
Well Used Humor
Another thing about Superstar is that its a really funny show. Something about its balance between drama and comedy just works. Like Sumire and Keke continually doing their old married couple bit almost every episode leads to the one scene that should have been the two of them kissing. Or we can see what cool invention Shiki builts and how the girls react to it. Same with Ren just learning about things that aren’t associated with the club and getting addicted to video games. Something which pushes Kanon into taking a Vice President role and allows the group to have fun with each other.
One action, whether it’s comedy or not, is a human moment that can lead to some comedy. Which is cool because this is also a pretty experimental season in terms of camera framing and direction. I’ve never seen a Love Live series take a beat saber and just put it on screen in a way that puts the audience into it. It’s really well done and you don’t know what is going on until you see Ren after he is exhausted. Or all of Natsumi’s social media schemes where she takes camera shots and you can see the camera perspective in the goofy moments that happen around Natsumi in different environments. Just really good and innovative comedic moments.
The Growth of Kanon Shibuya
As one would expect, Kanon is the main star of Superstar. The rest of the cast are great and full of the best sort of energy possible, but Kanon is where the real arc of the show lies around. It was Kanon who decided to help Keke form her idol group and eventually form Leila itself. It was Kanon, this shy and dorky girl, who failed to learn how to sing in front of other people. Everything was about her and her relationship with others. She has grown so much in season 2. Especially from that camera shy girl we all knew in the first season and with her ability to actually take charge and improvise on the air. Gasp, she can talk.
I think the biggest change is that she actually stands up for Leila and continues down their path. Or she could be the sith that seduces people to the side of idol and find an improvement in their lives. Natsumi wouldn’t have joined Leila if Kanon didn’t show up and push her in that direction. Or we could talk about the mysterious Gundam villain that appeared in the first half. I feel like even if she is her own character, she represents a lot of Kanon’s doubts and feelings which Kanon had to conquer. Especially since this person did push Leila in different directions before they discovered their uncertainty. All because Kanon’s ghost was following them around and they, with Kanon’s lead, were able to destroy them.
A Pandemic Series
This has no bearing on the series itself in terms of quality, only in terms of how Superstar functions compared to a lot of other love live series. As in, almost nothing happening in the competition regarding announcements, interviews, or the order of competition is in person. There are live in person events, but the main body of everything is through zoom calls. That does lead to some creativity because the girls have to create their own stage to perform on yet again. I suppose Superstar’s first season had something like that, but not completely. It does make the show feel more in the now which helps differentiate it a bit more perhaps.
Wrapping up Superstar (for now)
This show just looks pretty clean and exceptional on cool bits of levels for them too. Especially since it didn’t suffer from a lot of the production issues and delays that the first season had. Hopefully because the pandemic didn’t surprise people in the middle of their production too. But yeah, it really is such a creative little show with so many good bits of idol music sense with music and dancing all over the place that just look so good with so many good bits of chaotic energy there too. Same with a lot of good environments in the snow and other places for them too like in the snow. Or the special camera scenes or even just characters being absorbed in the snow.
So yeah, I can’t wait for season 3. This is the love live series that would actually make sense that it has a season three. There are so many possibilities. Especially since Kanon’s world expanded to where she could have traveled to other places in the world because she was ready for it. That twist ending happened, so it’s not going to occur now. What does a big fish do in a world that is now too small for her? We will have to figure out in the next season where there is so much potential for it to go somewhere and do something interesting. Should be a fun time because I hope it continues being probably my favorite love live series at this moment.