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Tearjerker / Love Live! Sunshine!!

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While it may be a fun and a joy ride anime, this is also filled with tear-jerking moments. Also, SPOILERS AHOY and bring some tissues!


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     Anime 
  • The third episode is full of them. When the curtain goes up at their first concert, there are people there, but nowhere near enough to fill the hall - which was the requirement they had to meet to become an official club. The realisation is obvious on all three members' faces, but they still go on with the show. After the power goes out, Chika keeps singing, only to begin to cry from the sheer hopelessness of it all. Thankfully, it turns to happy tears after her sister shows up and reveals that Chika told her the wrong time — and the car park is full of people waiting to see them.
  • Poor Hanamaru and Ruby. Hanamaru found solace in books, but always felt lonely when she finished them and realised she didn't have any friends. Until she met Ruby. Ruby always wanted to be an idol and used to pretend to be a member of µ's with Dia until something made Dia stop and tell Ruby to stop as well. And then, despite being a member of the group making her happy, Hanamaru decides not to join officially after realising that she doesn't have the stamina to keep up with the others, going back to sit in the library alone until Ruby shows up and points out that Rin, her favourite member, didn't think that she could be an idol either.
  • The whole 8th episode. Aqours literally coming in on last place and receiving 0 votes in their first Tokyo performance. Kanan and Mari's meeting which ended in Kanan refusing Mari's hug leaving Mari crying alone on the pier. Ruby crying into her sister's arms after getting back form Tokyo. Chika breaking down and Riko hugging her. Added to that is the scene where You fails to get her childhood friend Chika to open up despite trying, and the shots of the self-reflections the members of Aqours engage in, in reaction to their devastating defeat. It was really rough for the girls this episode.
  • Dia revealing one of the reasons she was so against the group. Not only did she, Mari, and Kanan fail, but they did it in spite of gathering support because, when it came down to it, they were unable to sing when faced with how good other groups were and a large audience. She was afraid that the same thing would happen to Aqours.
  • In the flashback, Mari is shown being recruited by Kanan and Dia because she's pretty and popular. While she isn't particularly interested (and is convinced by Kanan), her reaction in the present suggests that the loss of their friendship as a result of their failure to make it as idols hit her much harder than it did either of them.
  • The Reveal about Dia, Kanan, and Mari's failed performance. Kanan pretended to be unable to sing because Mari was injured, and because Mari kept passing up chances to study abroad because she was a school idol. The worst part? Mari had absolutely no interest in studying abroad, she just wanted to enjoy being an idol with her friends.
  • In the penultimate episode of season 1 the girls go to Otonokizaka high school in order to understand why μ's was such a great idol group. While there they come across a student who reveals that there is nothing of μ's left at the school, after the girls disbanded they took all off the proof that μ's existed with them leaving behind only the school that they saved as proof of their achievement. It's an understandable bit of realism but still a bit of a Gut Punch for fans of the original show who wanted the two groups to meet each other at some point.
  • Season 2 already starts off with quite a bit of drama right off the bat. First off, despite the great support and wonderful showing at the end of Season 1, Aquors did not move past the regional qualifiers, which they aren't too worried about as they will just develop their skills for the next Love Live competition. However, they might not get a chance to, as Mari's father calls in and tells her that it's been finalized that the school will cancel the open house for upcoming year and will be integrated with a nearby school, thus closing the school down. The goal that μ's was able to accomplish in their first season, Aqours was unable to do.
  • A minor example in episode 3 of season 2. Aqours gets ready to perform in the preliminaries once again, but they receive very little applause from the audience. Even after their performance is finished, we hear nothing from the audience for a short while, and Chika can be seen looking rather upset. Thankfully, the audience roars a few seconds later.
  • In episode 7 of season 2, despite Aqours pulling off their best efforts and moving past the regional qualifiers this time around, the girls are unable to get the 100 students they need to keep the school open even after being given an extension by Mari's father. Ultimately enough, the school will be shut down and merged with another and there is nothing that Aqours can do to stop it. This hits the girls so badly that many of them even wonder if it is worth still going towards Love Live, with Mari and Chika being affected the most by this news. The montage of the girls looking incredibly despondent, complete with “Sora mo Kokoro mo Hareru Kara” playing in the background, does not help.
  • In episode 8 of season 2, they go to Hokkaido to see some of their perspective rival groups for the finals, especially Saint Snow. But as we learn in season 1, Love Live can be incredibly brutal and nerves can really take over: we learn that the sisters collapsed on stage, destroying any hopes of advancing. Both sisters take this hard but Leah in particular loses whatever confidence she had and decides to quit being a School Idol. It was also Sarah's senior year and thus her last chance to participate, thus Leah's obviously feeling guilty over ruining this chance for her.
  • While season two's eleventh episode is for the most part a fun and goofy episode filled with heartwarming moments, it contains a pretty sad moment near the end when, after Mari's speech at the end of Uranohoshi's closing festival, she suddenly breaks down and starts apologizing to everyone for failing to save the school. For anyone who's ever experienced extreme failure, the way she beats herself up for not doing "everything she could've", (even though she tried harder than anyone else) is likely to resonate.
  • The last episode of Season 2 tries to be uplifting but at the end of the day, Aqours breaks down as they close Uranohoshi's gates for good.
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     The School Idol Movie: Over The Rainbow 
  • After all this time, Leah still blames herself for Saint Snow's loss during the series. More frustratingly, Leah can't get people to permanently join her school idol group.
  • At the end of the movie, Chika decides to continue Aqours, even after the third year members graduate. Now, Aqours is composed of only six members...

     Other 
  • The 7th Volume of the Second season Blu-Ray cover reveals that the Third Years are holding diplomas. Massive Tear Jerker ensues.
  • The performance of Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare in Aqours' 4th Live. Usually, like in the anime, Rikako Aida is on the piano, opening the song with her solo performance. But in this live, the play suddenly stops, prompting Anju and Shuka to approach her. Initially, this reminds the audience about 1st Live's infamous "stage anxiety"... until Rikako joins the rest of them in the performance! Finally, the song is performed with nine members! The audience were going wild with this, and some even seen holding back tears.

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