My original review was already really long. And I still stand by all of it. So, I'm just gonna link a pic of that here (https://imgur.com/a/4Bfs5) so that I have more space to talk about a revelation that dawned on me recently. I swear I'm not going to do this often.
So, I'm now 6 episodes in. And I've bumped up my scores for:
Story: From 3 to 6
Art: Remaining at 9
Sound: From 7 to 8
Characters: From 5 to 7
Overall: From 7 to 8
Enjoyment: From 7 to 8
So, you may wonder be wondering. What could have possibly happened to change all of these scores? Basically, the performances are even better than I thought they were. So the thought came to me when I saw the main character Chika do this absurdly complex move on stage. The first thought that came to mind was, "Okay, I don't care how many days she trained, she did not just pull that off flawlessly"
But then I looked back at the dancing there, and some from previous episodes, and some from last season, and it hit me. The reason why I didn't like the last season as much as this one was because the dancing was INTENTIONALLY bad. The choreography was INTENTIONALLY boring.
Seriously, go back and watch Mijuku Dreamer and Yume de Yozora wo Terashitai. Watch how basic the moves are. They aren't even really working as a team yet, they just need to have enough unity to synchronize actions. And they are often just standing in rows and walking back and forth. Really boring stuff. But that's the thing, they're a brand new group. Of course, they can't pull off cool stuff yet.
I genuinely think this was all planned because even watching Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare from episode 11 of season 1, nearing the end of the season, it's clear that the choreography is already a huge improvement over where it started. They're interacting with each other much more. And are playing around with weird positioning and aesthetics.
But it only gets better as season 2 goes on. Every live is stronger in some aspect to the last and they are growing in a way that we can track. Rather than that asinine ranking system from the original Love Live outright telling us, through a number, how much they've improved.
This gives credibility to the narrative that Chika could actually do what she does in episode 6. And it gives the entire series a new layer of depth and complexity that I never considered up until this point. Character growth is clearly presented through their craft so they feel so much more real. The plot points assist in that growth, so the story (even if it's still kinda boring) feels more impactful.
That kind of storytelling through what I thought was already fantastic visuals is what has now made an anime that I reluctantly watched, to now being something I can confidently say is very good.