First Impression: Yohane the Parhelion -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR (a Love Live fan’s perspective)

Note: This post covers episodes 1 and 2.

In another world, Yohane is a small-town girl with dreams of making it big as a singer in the big city. Unfortunately, she’s not only failed all of her auditions, but is nearly broke, and now her mother wants her to return home to watch the house while her parents go out of town for work. With her only companion being her giant talking dog Lailaps, she wanders around town until meeting an old acquaintance, Hanamaru, who eventually reminds her of her love for singing. After a solo performance creates a magical staff for her out of nowhere, Yohane finally feels like her life is moving forward, so she tries to make some money working as a fortune teller. However, ominous things seem to be happening in the town…

Oh good, they kept the most important thing from Sunshine-zura.

So this opening episode didn’t seem to go over well with someone completely new to the Love Live franchise, and watching the episode, I can see why. Even as a Love Live fan, the first episode did very little for me as far as appealing to what I loved about the Aqours girls and the Love Live Sunshine branch of the franchise overall. Much of this is because Yohane’s chuuni personality has pretty much been completely stripped away, I’m guessing because this is a fantasy AU side story so her fantasy acting gets “canceled out”, so to speak. The lack of any of the other Aqours girls besides Hanamaru (who was great, at least) did not help either. The one part I did really like was the musical performance, which was well-executed all around.

She’s not interested in dark souls that doze off at 3:04 AM.

The second episode was a little better, in part because more of the girls in this AU were shown off. Their appearances were all rather solid, and the teaser at the end only enhances the intrigue of these girls’ alternate selves. Unfortunately, this all has the effect of making Yohane feel even blander as a protagonist, with her plotline in the episode basically boiling down to becoming less immature. Overall, even for me, I didn’t enjoy these episodes nearly as much as I’ve enjoyed the mainline Love Live episodes, and while I am curious about how the other girls will be portrayed, it says something that I’m least interested in the girl whose name is in the title.

Yohane the Parhelion is streaming on Crunchyroll in the US.


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