It was a question of when, not if, regarding when Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club would give some of the original club members their dues. Even so, I must admit that I was getting a bit worried because they do frankly start off rather underdeveloped. Fortunately, the show is finally getting around to that as the episode centers around Emma. It also has Karin joining the club and most impressively, these two arcs intertwine really well.
The thing I find most interesting about Emma is the fact that she is 100% a foreigner. She’s not like Eli or Mari who were both of mixed heritage but rather an exchange student from Switzerland (and judging by her use of language, she’s from the Italian speaking part of the country). What is she doing studying abroad in Japan? To become an idol of course! I don’t want to say that’s far-fetched but it is quite the career choice to take, especially when you consider that idols is strictly a thing in Japan and others of Asia. I suspect this is largely backstory or flavor text though I do wish to know more about this part of Emma’s character. Like, does she plan on staying in Japan indefinitely for her career? Will she get homesick and be split on where she wants to be? You definitely could do something along those lines.
For now, I’ll have to contend with what the show has Emma doing for the moment and at least in this case, it’s quite good. Emma catches on that Karin is interested in school idols and tries to encourage her into joining the club. Karin however resists that notion as she’s already busy working as a model and she feels her personality doesn’t make her fit as an idol (which obviously, isn’t true). While dejected at first, Emma feels more resolved to convince Karin otherwise. Her aim as an idol is to make everyone she performs to happy and she decides can’t do accomplish that if she can’t do the same for her best friend.
It’s fitting then that Emma’s first insert song in the show is performed in front of Karin. You do have to contend with the usual issues that comes with how stylistic these performances are. In particular, you have to wonder how Emma is performing in a museum without attracting much attention (must be a slow day for the place). Still, it works in terms of the narrative with Emma’s dream of putting smiles on people’s faces via her music, starting with the person closest to her. It also helps that the performances remains as good as ever. I especially like the more European affectations to Emma’s attire and the backgrounds, even if they are on the stereotypical side.
And thus we have the full club assembled. In record time too. The question does remain however of how Karin will juggle between her modeling career and her idol hobby. Hell, she’s the only one living a double life as Setsuna and Shizuku have their duties in the student council and the drama club respectively. I’m curious if Love Live! will fully tackle that detail in a future episode.
Thanks for reading!