μ’s are back again to pull at our heartstrings and take us for an emotional ride during in another season of Love Live! School Idol Project. It’s crazy to think that prior to watching the first season of Love Live! I wasn’t sure whether the series would be for me – oh how wrong I was. Season two of Love Live! definitely took me by surprise; I wasn’t expecting our journey to end so soon. Thankfully we still have the movie to look forward to, and the airing of Love Live! Sunshine!!
The story this season again focuses on performing at, and winning, Love Live, the same goal as in season one. With season one introducing all the characters and setting up the story it didn’t leave much time to focus on each of the characters’ back story so only a select few were focused upon. Season two fills the gaps and spends some much needed time with the rest of the cast. Nico, Nozumi and Rin are some of the more unique members of μ’s and their stories are equally as interesting. Personally I would have liked to have seen even more on this front, maybe it would have benefited being a longer series, I feel that Umi and Kotori could have had some more exploration.
There is also another theme that runs throughout season two and that’s the very real and inevitable fact that three of their members will be graduating after the current academic year. The series hints at this during the first half but it soon becomes very real as we near the end. If you’ve been invested in the characters and story up till this point then season two will become one hell of an emotional roller coaster. Just like the members of μ’s, we know that they will inevitably have to say goodbye to Eli, Nico and Nozumi but that doesn’t make it any easier as the series progresses and, come the end, the flood gates may just burst – unleashing a tidal wave of emotion.
Unfortunately, like with season one, there’s a great deal of pixelation and artefacts present on the DVD release due to compression. It’s a real shame when a series is really good and you’re totally invested in the story only for a scene with lots of movement to suffer for it. This happens throughout the series and is not contained to just scenes with a lot of movement. My advice would be to grab the Blu-ray version if you can, then you can experience this wonderful series as it was intended to be. While we haven’t been able to confirm the contents of the Blu-ray version for ourselves we have heard that it doesn’t suffer from the issues present in the DVD release.
Unlike the original release of season one, this release does feature an English audio track but while it does a fairly decent job, the highlight of Love Live is in its Japanese voice cast. Once again Love Live continues to produce some fantastic songs that feature throughout the series and it’s easy to see why the series is so popular. These songs aren’t just good for an anime, they are all-round great songs that many and myself included would purchase in CD form as we would our favourite bands. The songs themselves wouldn’t mean much without the fantastic voice actresses that form μ’s each bringing to life the character they portray.
On-disc extras include standard Textless Opening and Closing Animations and Original Japanese Promos. I’m going to assume that the DVD edition does include an art book like the Blu-ray edition, but without a finished copy to look at I cannot confirm at this time. As far as the on-disc extras go, it’s pretty standard stuff; I’d have liked to see more included, even if it was just the recap episode of season one. It always seems to be the case that when you like a series there’s never any decent extras but when it’s a title no one care about there seems to be endless extras available.
Overall Love Live season two was a fantastic watch, my emotions have rarely been swayed by anime before but Love Live just has something special. While the series is really good this DVD release is not, the quality is way below what I would expect and I wouldn’t recommend parting with your money for it – I wouldn’t. I highly recommend if you can, in buying the Blu-ray edition and watching the series as intended. I’m very surprised that this DVD release can be this poor, season one wasn’t great technically but it was a lot better than this.