Tenth episode of Love Live! S1 is the much anticipated training camp episode that every high school club series has. One thing that set’s Love Live’s one apart is how laid back it is. So laid back that it comes across as purely a fan service episode. This episode should really be called Fan-service Galore and not No Sempai allowed!
When I first saw the episode title I thought, we’re gonna be short on a few of the girls. But nope, not the case what so ever, all nine girls were present. It’s just that in this episode there will be no sempai’s or kohai’s, just friends, equals. Their goal for doing this is to boost teamwork. I’ve seen plenty of sports series where they don’t abandon the sempai/kohai system and their teamwork is pretty solid. This move was cute but in a lot of ways unnecessary. Have no idea why they had to do it.
So let’s talk about why I initially thought this to be a training camp episode. Really quite simple, everything adds up nicely. The middle of summer, the blazing sun, the scorching heat, a school club, a big competition right round the corner, what better time than this to have the girls go on a training camp. There was no training, just the girls enjoying themselves on the beach and bonding with each other. And how can I forget, a whole lot fan service for the audience. I’ve seen comments online where they say the fan service is at a minimum, sure there weren’t all that many panty/boob shots but Love Live! isn’t selling sexiness they’re banking on moe. Moe in itself is fan service. If this episode contributes to the bigger picture what so ever I wouldn’t label it as a full episode of fan service but it doesn’t. We get a beach scene in daylight, an osen scene at dusk followed by a pillow fight at night. With such a line up, can’t really go asking for plot progression. Can’t be too greedy now can I?!
This episode also hammers in just how rich Maki’s family is. Her family’s summer house that the girls are camping at can easily pass as a fancy beach side resort. The beach as the front yard and an osen in the back. And that’s how you enjoy life. In an earlier episode (4?) we found out that her family is well off and owns a hospital but this episode showed just just how off she is. I mean just in case the luxurious house doesn’t get the point across we find out that her family employs a chef to do all the cooking. And like usual Nico has to prove her existence by sticking her nose in everybody’s business. She proudly boasts that her family too is wealthy and employs a chef. This white lie of hers gets busted not all that much later in the episode. She showed us her very impressive knife work that you don’t pick up on a day or two and how comfortable she is in a kitchen all nicely show us and the rest of Muse that she is no novice in the kitchen. For some this side of her comes across as unlikable, embarrassing/cringe inducing at one point in the past I too would have found her annoying but the currently me, find her quite adorable. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the loud and obnoxious type of characters.
Since we’re on characters lets talk a little about Eli (can’t seem to get enough of her). Eli’s character did a complete 180. The her that we see in this episode might as well be a completely new character. I just don’t see how joining the school idol group can make a bitch into everyone’s ideal older sister?Had she only been a bitch to Muse, no problem her joining them is more than enough to explain her change in attitude however from what we saw she was also a bitch to everyone else around her. This change is a little too drastic and it happened a little too fast. These changes should have happened gradually.
In a lot of ways this episode felt like a filler much like the previous episode. I’m little disappointed. Season 1 only has 13 episodes and they dedicate two consecutive episodes to fluff? Like come on, quit fooling around, the Love Live is right around the corner, shouldn’t we focus a little more on the girls preparing for it as a full team? The two episodes where they have 9 members has been dedicated to everything but practice. Chemistry doesn’t develop over night. They need to train together to get a feel for each other. You can be the best of friends but that doesn’t mean you can dance in sync with each other or harmonize.
Complaints aside, I did enjoy this episode. It was another moe packed episode, how can anyone say no to moe? I just hope that they don’t end up rushing the ending of this season because of these two fluff filled episodes. They were very pleasing to watch but when there is no meat there is no meat. In the end I’m a carnivore through and through, I can’t be satisfied unless there is meat.