Kashikomadness is setting in.
In terms of storyline, this episode is fairly pedestrian. It continues on from the previous episode, with Lala and Non attempting to figure out who Jululu’s mother is without causing too much of a scandal in the idol community. The problem is that, in a greater fandom context, “scandal in the idol community” makes this episode tougher to watch. Not because of anything going on with this show, but because of Love Live!. I won’t address it, because again, this blog isn’t the place for it, but my general thoughts are summed up as “Dammit, fandom. You’re the reason you can’t have nice things at least half of the time. Show some decency.” This applies to the Japanese fandom, but the English fandom doesn’t have the cleanest track record either.
In terms of visuals, this episode got really freaking bizarre. There’s the whole montage of the girls talking about where babies come from, and things like the picture above. Nene spent the first part of the episode tailing Lala in search of a story, and then her eyes started blinking like a metal detector. (Also, every day in Amamiya’s planner is a “Minami Anniversary Day.” Lala’s not the only one coming down with a case of madness.)
Then there’s the meeting with Principal Okanda. There was a lingering bust shot as Lala figured out Jululu was hungry… isn’t Gloria in her 40s or 50s by now? Her days of being Sugar are far behind her. Then Lala asked her about Rina’s “birth”, which led to a strange flashback about a vacuum that wouldn’t be out of place in a more surreal late night anime.
I haven’t even gotten into the strange floating game/ritual that Sophie and her fanclub were playing out in the school yard. At this point, the characters’ quirks are so much a part of their being that the show – and Moriwaki, most likely – is taking them in directions that push even the already elastic reality of the show.
On a slightly different note, there was a lot of earthquake warnings overlaid during this episode. Understandable, given recent events. However, the title and the preview were both hyping up the debut of Junon. She said almost no words, speaking in cryptic “ice” related phrases. Like a LEGO Mr. Freeze. Pinon also appeared, but never in person. And Triangle’s manager? Usacha. The Starmiya-voiced pink bunny is proving her brother and her stalker wrong and taking on the new trainees.
This is the new status quo we’re living in, and I’m still adjusting to it. While Aroma and Mikan left things feeling a little off-balance in their early episodes, the show was still establishing itself. Now with two seasons of characterization and the animators going wild, this episode felt as much like a dream as it did something designed to move the plot forward.
I haven’t even mentioned Meganii moonwalking and generally acting like Michael Jackson. There was so much strange going on this episode that I feel like we may have hit an apex for weirdness really early on in this season. But that’s why I cover this show and not one of the 40 or so others. Making sense out of nonsense is why I’m here.
Jululu has an adventure of her own. And the world is thrown further into chaos.