After a fairly strong opening, it’s clear that Superstar wants to be able to stand out from the crowd. The different approach in its storytelling and the way they handle the characters from here on are going to be a major factor in accomplishing that. Kanon’s character is an excellent addition to the Love Live series and her problems are what make her most relatable. The show presents Kanon in a way that allows you to sympathize with her which will make us root for her more as the season progresses. Keke has the potential to be a great supporting character for Kanon since she is aware of Kanon’s difficulty singing in front of people. Episode two expands further on Kanon and Keke and you can already see the character progression right from the beginning. Love Live has always relied on its characters and this episode shows that Superstar is very aware.
Episode two does a good job balancing between character development and plot. The idea of starting a school idol group acts as a catalyst for the girls to grow as characters. Kanon is already going through some changes because of this fact. Rather than having an obsession with school idols, Kanon sees it more of an opportunity to conquer her fear in something that would be bigger than an audition. If she could sing as an idol then the failure to be accepted into her high school’s music program would be irrelevant. I feel that Superstar was careful not to have Kanon’s change be forced for the sake of the plot, but more so because of her interactions with Keke. That’s why I think Keke can end up being a pretty strong character due to her influence over Kanon.
Keke Tang has the potential to stand on her own. Her overblown solutions for normal problems is what makes her stick out from the cast. Suggesting things such as transferring to another school or trying to start a mini revolution on campus just to get her idol group approved are some of the ways we get to see the extent of her exaggeration. Keke is able to channel a combination of being funny and cute, which makes me wonder if her personality has been influenced by her obsession with school idols. We also get to know a little more about Kanon’s friend Chisato, who apparently likes to rap about Kanon’s pet owl, Manmaru. Though, that spontaneous rap was giving me some heavy Kaguya Sama vibes.
The story begins to open up a little more by giving the girls their first task. The head of the school will only allow Kanon and Keke to start a school idol club if they are able to get first place at the Yoyogi school idol festival. Since Ren has forbidden Kanon and Keke from creating the club because it will bring a bad name to their school, it raises the stakes in presenting it as an “all or nothing” situation. Chisato plays a bigger role by being the one who trains Kanon and Keke in dancing even though they don’t have much time to prepare. Kanon is also putting a song together on top of all this, but it actually gives her motivation rather than discourage her. Knowing what I know about Love Live, I can feel something big is being set up here and I really want to see how the story turns out at the idol festival.
I really am looking forward to see how this all plays out in the next episode. So far the balance between character development and plot is better than I expected. I am truly invested in both. Specifically with Kanon, who went from someone who thought her life was over to someone who feels motivated to get a second chance. It really is great to see this progression, but I am also interested in seeing more about Keke, Chisato and Ren in the future.