Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club – Ep. 7

Before getting into this episode of Nijigasaki, I want to address some related news that dropped earlier today. First is that the OVA is slated for a theatrical release in Japan on June 23; a Blu-ray release will be sold at the screening and then at retail on August 30. The OVA will probably get English subtitles around either of these dates (whether or not it’ll be an official translation is a whole other matter). Right now, I’m mostly concerned with finishing Season 1 but I’ll keep these dates in mind in case I do go through with covering the rest of the show (as well as Superstar!!). Along with the OVA’s release date, it’s also been announced that Koko Hayashi will be replacing Tomori Kusunoki as the voice of Setsuna. This was to be expected since Kusunoki is stepping down from the role at end of this month. I’m not familiar with Hayashi’s work, be it as an actor or a singer, but best of luck to her with filling in some big shoes.

So at long last, I’m finally writing the first new post in this series of episode reviews. It’s been a long time coming. I wish I kept up with Nijigasaki back in Fall 2020. I also wish I wasn’t so darn behind on this franchise. Oh well, better late than never.

For this episode, we have Kanata in the spotlight. A running gag that’s been going on in this show is that Kanata keeps falling asleep throughout the day. It’s been cute and funny up until now so imagine my surprise that this episode gives it a significantly more serious justification. Turns out, Kanata has a lot of stuff on her plate. In addition to the Idol Club, Kanata works part-time at a grocery store, studies to maintain a scholarship, and she does the chores around the house. Damn, no wonder this girl is so sleepy. Mind you, I don’t think Kanata will stop taking naps after this episode but I have to hand it to the show for turning this trait into something more meaningful.

Kanata’s workload and sleep schedule catches the attention of Haruka (Kaede Hondo), Kanata’s younger sister and a school idol at a different school, Shinonome Academy. Worried for her older sister, Haruka decides to visit Nijigasaki for a day. When she sees Kanata falling asleep and asks the rest of the Idol Club about it, Haruka’s suspicions are confirmed and she decides to quit being a school idol to help Kanata with her housework. This decision creates a rift between the two sisters. Kanata doesn’t want Haruka to give up on her dream and tries to persuade her sister that she’ll be fine. Haruka is only more convinced to stick with her decision and refuses to reverse course.

The following day, Kanata talks with the rest of the Idol Club on what she should do. Kanata considers quitting the Idol Club as a counterproposal but as her friends point out, all this would do is reverse the positions the two sisters are in and the plan would leave neither sister happy. While Haruka’s plan is a bit flawed, she does have a point in that Kanata does need a healthier schedule to work with. For Kanata to balance things out, she needs her sister’s assistance. Really, the only thing stopping Kanata from accepting this is her being protective of her little sister. Fortunately, the other members of the Idol Club points this out to Kanata and helps her realize that Haruka isn’t so little anymore. The plot of this episode is Kanata persuading Haruka to change her plan but in a way, Kanata is arguably the one who actually needs convincing.

Before Kanata gives a counterproposal to Haruka, she decides to give her sister a little surprise. During what is supposed to be Haruka’s last school idol performance, Kanata takes the stage and performs as the opening act, with approval from the Shinonome Idol Club. I do wonder if the concert goers are aware of this change ahead of time. Otherwise, they must be mighty confused. Joking aside, I really dig Kanata’s insert song. Befitting of Kanata’s personality, her singing and the instrumentals of this song have a very calming tone to them. I also love the inclusion of Haruka into the scene, either with pictures or with her actually watching her sister’s performance. This song is clearly dedicated to her. Even the lyrics use both sisters’ names at one point.

After the performance, Kanata suggests to Haruka that the two of them tackle the housework together and support each other in their endeavors, which Haruka accepts. We then see this demonstrated with the two of them cooking breakfast together (though Haruka appears to have a long way to go before she’s as good as her older sister). With Kanata having a featured episode, the only original club member left who hasn’t had one is Shizuku. Fortunately, it appears that she’ll be the star of the next episode.

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

Read my Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club reviews

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