Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club – Ep. 5

So I forgot to mention this in the original versions of these first five episode reviews and I forgot about it again while updating these posts until I rewatched this episode. There is actually an explanation of some kind regarding the stylistic choices in the insert song performances. Apparently, all the fancy editing and effects are done by Rina with input provided by Yu. This implies that while the girls are technically singing these songs at the given moment in time, the stylistic performances that we the viewers see are actually music videos that they filmed and produced sometime later in the canon. Mind you, the justification is still weird. For one, it creates a huge disconnect with the continuity. And two, if Rina really is that good at post production, I have to wonder then why she’s still in high school. Still, it is an explanation so I’ll take it. I really should’ve remembered this when I was revisiting Episodes 1-4 for these episode reviews’ revival.

Now, back to the actual plot of the episode. It wasn’t a question of if but rather when Nijigasaki would give the original club members besides Kasumi and Setsuna their dues. Even so, I must admit that I was getting a bit worried because they do start off underdeveloped and needed the spotlight ASAP. Fortunately, the show is finally getting around to that as this episode centers around Emma. It also has Karin joining the club. That’s another matter of when and not if. She’s literally the last holdout in this season so it’s only a matter of time that she joins the club. Still, I must say that 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 are 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 a few other countries in Asia. I have to wonder what Emma’s plans are once she graduates from Nijigasaki. Like, does she plan on staying in Japan indefinitely or will she move back to Switzerland for her idol career? In one scene, she does admit to feeling homesick but she also says she’s content living in Japan since she has her friends at the idol club. I doubt the show has put much thought into this but I’d be down to see this further explored down the line.

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. While Karin has helped Emma with her endeavor a couple of times (including one scene in this episode0, she resists the notion of becoming an idol herself. She’s already busy working as a model and she feels her cool and mature 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 feel “warm and fuzzy” as she puts it. She can’t accomplish that if she can’t do the same for her best friend.

It’s fitting that Emma’s first insert song in the show is performed in front of Karin. I do wonder how Emma is performing in a museum without attracting much attention (must be a slow day for the place) but that’s really just a nitpick. This performance works in terms of the narrative with Emma’s dream of making people feel warm and fuzzy via her music, starting with the person closest to her. Based on Crunchyroll’s translation, the lyrics of the song are about confronting the unknown and being honest to your own feelings, befitting the plot of Emma convincing Karin to be a school idol with her and the club. As is par for the course so far, the performance is fun to both watch and listen to. I especially like the more European affectations to the song and the visuals, even if they are on the stereotypical side.

And thus we have the full club assembled (for now). In record time too. While it’s nice to finally have everyone together, the question still remains as to how Karin will juggle between her modeling career and her idol hobby. Nijigasaki will need to tackle this in a later episode.

This post was originally published on November 7, 2020

Watch Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club on CrunchyrollFunimation, and VRV (via Crunchyroll)

Read my Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s