Following the extreme success of the first season of Love Live! School Idol Project, the series returned in 2014 with Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season. The one cour season picks up where the first season left off with μ’s having succeeded in preventing the closing of Otonokizaka High School despite withdrawing from the Love Live! competition of season one. Having succeeded in saving the school, the group then sets their sights on winning an even bigger Love Live! before the graduation of third years.
The second season of Love Live managed to take the series beyond what it was in its first season. This time around, the plot is much more emotional with the girls realizing that the year that they spend together will be the last year that μ’s will be complete as a group of nine. Obviously, this leads to the desire to make the most out of what time they have left together and makes their goal clearer – to win Love Live! While μ’s is intact.
The nine members of μ’s have all continued to grow even in this season. While we did see them overcome many of their apprehensions and inner struggles in the first season, the girls continue to struggle and grow together. Development is given emphasis by highlighting the connections that the girls have formed with one another. It is touching to see that the girls that we viewers have grown attached to have also developed an attachment to one another that makes their graduation a bittersweet achievement. This feeling is punctuated when Honoka, Maki, and the rest of μ’s take the lead in singing a song to commemorate the graduation of the third years later on in the series stirring up the feeling of nostalgia.
Love Live! School Idol Project has consistently produced songs in line with the idol vibe with this season being no different. In fact, I feel that the best songs of μ’s came out during this season of the series. Yume no Tobira for instance in episode 3 was a great performance that reflected the increase in scale of Love Live! as a competition and as a series. In episode 9 of the season, we see Snow Halation performed during the Christmas season in the show. In this performance, μ’s manages to deliver a stellar performance in every aspect presenting an amazing song coupled with precise and apt choreography and cute, seasonal costumes. What really made Snow Halation particularly stand out from most, if not all of the performances in the series is the focus on the emotion behind the song. Throughout the song, close up shots of each of the members are shown and as the song reaches its peak, Honoka is seen taking the lead in what is probably the most intense display of emotion among any of the performances in Love Live!.
Coupled with the music, in this season, the art style used in the performances of μ’s was consistent with the first season keeping the general feel the same to what viewers had grown connected to.
Love Live! came back for a second season that did not disappoint in any way. Coming into the second part of the μ’s journey, there were a lot of expectations stemming from the first season of the series which performed very well and drew in a large audience and fan base. With many being invested in Love Live! as a series and μ’s as an idol group, there was a lot to live up to coming into the second season. It was great to see then that the second season of the anime didn’t fall short in any department.