Damn, we didn’t even talk about helicopters and lesbians in anime/manga.
Patches: For the record, I didn’t watch episode 3.
Patches: ITS JOKE
Day: I found the third episode a little bit of a letdown, but I think that that was really just since I was very piqued by two things in the episode. For one, Mari being the school director is a bit too absurd for me. Secondly… ok, fine, I can deal with their first show doing well, but, COME ON, backing up traffic in a rural seaside town?!
Patches: I have a massive Mari conspiracy theory that I can share.
Day: OK, do share.
Patches: So, Mari’s family basically owns/runs the town since they are the biggest business in town. It’s the reason why Kanan hates/dislikes the family, since their resort probably defines whether the dive shop makes money. Mari is therefore angling to make Aquors a hit in order to further the hotel. She’s been told that if the group is a hit and reservations go up, the resort stays open, Uranohoshi stays open, the town thrives; if it doesn’t the hotel closes, and it all shuts down. Which is why Dia hates her, too.
Day: Hmm. I could see it, although I still think her being the director of the school is totally ridiculous. Her mom or dad (lol, what am I saying, its Love Live, obviously it’d be her mom!) could be the director, and I wouldn’t have that issue.
Patches: That’s fair.
Day: And, I agree that Kanan likely despises Mari and her family related to their dominance over the town. I could see it, too, being to do with trying to dictate how different areas of the ocean can be used.
Dia probably dislikes her in part because Dia’s family was likely the big deal in town before the Oharas rolled in and built a massive resort and they resent being displaced in terms of importance, and also resent efforts to “modernize” the area. And, hey, too, if the Ohara family brings a lot of pressure to bear on locals in terms of rights to use of the sea, that’d surely have ramifications for a family that runs fishing boats like Dia’s.
I’m sure, too, that it grinds people’s gears that Mari also seems to not really take anything seriously and just expects to be able to steamroll folks for whatever her own whims are.
Patches: Yep. She’s kind of evil, has great Engrish, and is a little off her rocker. I love her.
Day: I can’t decide how I feel about her, honestly! She’s a total wrench to everything, though, which isn’t a bad thing.
Patches: I like characters who incite. Mari sure incites.
Day: But, hey! I’m curious to see Mari and Kanan interact directly – Mari seemed to be aware of the fact that Kanan was standing out in the rain based on how she was looking out the gym door.
Patches: I noticed you came around on You. HOW BOSS IS THAT HAT?! Let’s be real.
Day: Well, You DID go from zero to harem in less than three episodes, and, hell, it isn’t just anyone who can pull that sort of thing off.
Oh, yeah, there was another thing I didn’t like in this episode – Mari groping Dia. This kind of “lol groping is funny!” thing usually irks me, but I also feel uneasy with the fact that it may’ve been meant as a “lol Westerners!” thing… So, IT’S OKAY BECAUSE SHE’S WESTERN.
Patches: Siiiiiigh YEAH. This was worse than Nozomi in some ways. That whole scene was about dominance, which was pretty squick-worthy. If she drops it, I’ll be pleased. If she continues, I am going back to Dia as my favorite.
Day: I’m assuming that we may get character development out of her in the form of her realizing she can’t just always get her own way? Maybe? Then again, not quite a franchise noted for developing it’s characters for the most part! If her thing ends up being “lmao rich people pushing everyone around is totes hilarious”… That’d be a drag.
Patches: I think the best arc for her has her alienated by the assumptions of her parents. Mari really wants to be friends with everyone and have them succeed, but she’s sort of bound by expectations both of her parents and Kanan/Dia.
Day: Mari, as a classic rich girl, has been brought up with the belief that money can buy anything, and will end up realizing that that isn’t the case with true friends.
…I want her to work as a character since I WANT MARIKANAAAAAAAAAAA
I can see Kanan’s parents poisoning her against Mari young. Mari struggled with Japanese young and therefore couldn’t really resolve it as a kid. Aquors will be her first true friends!
Day: Or, they started as friends, Kanan’s family kept trashtalking the Oharas, Kanan resisted, but then something happened that made her think her family was right all along.
Patches: You got it!
SO. I was hot-and-cold on START;DASH the remix.
Day: Musically, outfit-wise…?
Patches: I felt the way it came together was a little too perfect, but there were a bunch of small things about the moment that I liked. The outfits were better, the song was worse. START;DASH was really, really solid.
Day: I can’t even remember the song already ^^;
Patches: Precisely. But, it was great that Hanamaru and Ruby did something. This feels stronger than the pull of Hanayo and Rin, so I can see Hanamaru and Ruby coming around in the next episode believably – they seem to have made up their minds already.
Day: I also assumed based on what we saw that Dia also had some hand in the generators.
Patches: Well, Dia getting dressed down in front of such a large crowd I thought was way cooler than Eli getting told off in front of a dozen people.
Day: And hopefully unlike Eli she won’t get all her edges worn off once she does get involved with the group as a participant!
Patches: Dia’s position as the show’s Nico should help some. She will have MUCH stronger opionions on how the group looks/behaves/performs.
Day: I hope she secretly has a really shitty catch-phrase and pose thing like Nico does.
Patches: I can see Dia as a smidge too self-conscious? She seems more likely to heavily workshop YOHANE’s.
Day: Presentation is clearly everything with Dia. But I could see Dia having self-insert school idol fanfiction and having come up with a terrible name for her imaginary school idol group. Her desk will turn out to be full of mortifying school idol fanwork material.
Patches: Yes, but she knows the difference between reality and fantasy. Dia doesn’t seem as thirsty as Nico for fame.
Day: No; but she also seems like she keeps the school idol fanhood on the DL.
Patches: On the topic of the song, it’s fueling my growing hope that Mari is at least partially involved in music composition. I’ve been listening to all the sunshine songs at work on a pair of nice headphones and all of them but the one from episode 3 have these great basslines. I like the idea that Riko is good, but her music lacks something, even if it’s probably too much intentionality assigned to a mediocre song.
I have a creepy fanfic thought for you if you want it that explains Dia’s idol fandom.
Day: Riko is the sort, I think, who would tend to play things quite safe, and would be even more likely to in the wake of failure.
But, yeah, ok, creeper Dia, go.
Patches: Ruby’s been into them longer (see: the book store), Dia WASN’T into them, until she started sneaking into Ruby’s room looking for ahem things left around by Hanamaru. She found the magazines and whatnot there and sort of picked them up out of curiosity.
Day: By the way, yeah, okay, Ruby’s really into “idols”, nice try, Ruby, that shit was OBVIOUSLY a yuri magazine.
Patches: I am choosing not to share the thoughts that this encouraged… INSTEAD. I will talk about Yohane.
Day: I feel horribly deprived of Yohane. There hasn’t been enough for our dark angel.
Patches: Knockoff-Nico’s non-speaking was sad. But man, the gaze she gave the girls on stage?
Day: Yohane’s coat was MUCH CUTER than Nico’s.
Patches: But that’s because Yohane is cuter than Nico, so….
Day: I want more Yohane! *stamps foot*
Patches: the next few episodes should bring more Kanan or more Yohane.
Day: Kanan’s stuff will probably be a bit more dramatic since she’s still got to enroll as a third year.
Patches: Oh, right!
Day: Do you think Dia has µ’s ships?
Patches: Hmm… Can’t say without knowing more about the nature of her fandom. What I DO know is that Dia believes that Nico deserves all the credit for µ’s success. Like, she has the same assessment that Tsubasa made on the surface, but she knows about Nico’s previous failure as a school idol and credits her with steering µ’s clear of those pitfalls. But if you ask her, she says that Nozomi is her favorite member because it’s what people expect.
Day: Hmm. Not sure I buy the idea that she’d know about Nico’s initial failure as it would’ve happened a while ago in-universe and its obscure enough even at Otonokizaka that the second years have no idea about it – or, had no idea, rather. It doesn’t seem, either, like the kind of thing Nico would be willing to be admitted to in “official” histories.
Patches: Yes, but once µ’s became super famous… I can see Dia digging heavily in the name of superfandom.
Day: Sure, they’ve become famous, but even so… It’s not totally clear, either, when this is taking place versus the original.
Patches: Ruby, on the other hand does ship pretty heavily. She likes Eli the best because 1. Eli is a little like Dia, and 2. NozoEli.
Day: But she’s not into the harder core stuff, it makes her feel embarrassed. Relatedly, Ruby has a fairly inaccurate understanding of sex.
Patches: I mostly want to attribute a terribly wrong but erudite fanon theory to Dia because I feel like that look fits her. Since she is the “trash” idol fan, I feel like her having a “trash” opinion about µ’s is sort of par? Either way, who she tells you her favorite member and how she really feels are different. That I can say with confidence.
Day: Yeah. Again, Dia’s the sort who is quite concerned with presentation.
Anyway, with next episode, as long as we’re talking Dia, here’s hoping Ruby joining Aqours is very much played as her asserting herself a bit.
Patches: Yes! She’s been building to it over the last two episodes.
Day: Because I’m sure Dia probably will be dismayed with Ruby hopping onto the idol train.
Patches: I think Dia knows and that’s why she claims to hate it?
I will be interested to see Mari’s continuing involvement in the short term. I can almost see Kanan joining up to try and limit Mari’s influence, to be honest.
I think the thing I will be looking forward to the most is the group dynamic in the wake of these events. They seem a little more extreme than µ’s had to deal with. And maybe more supportive? I honestly don’t know what to expect from episode four and want to feel like it’s a good thing.
Day: At the very least, I think you’re on the money about it being more extreme. The girls in µ’s had more of a blank slate in terms of their interpersonal relationships to start off with, as there wasn’t the same level of people knowing one another like here. It also meant, too, that it was wholly devoid of any animosity between castmembers off the bat, which is something that will have to be addressed here. Some of these girls seem to have tricky pasts with one another. Here’s hoping they don’t just handwave it, considering drama’s a weak point for the franchise!