Here we are, folks: episode 9 of Sunshine. By the end of episode 9 in the original series, μ‘s finally became complete. Will Aqours also manage to recruit the third-years this week?
The episode starts with a flashback that took place after Mari, Kanan, and Dia flubbed the Tokyo event. Kanan tells Mari that she’s going to be stop being a school idol. When Mari brings up how failing to sing at Tokyo isn’t a big deal, Kanan encourages Mari to study abroad. Mari replies that she already decided to stay here and turns to Dia for support. However, Dia seems to agree with Kanan and is also quitting. In a last-ditch effort, Mari tries holding out Kanan’s uniform to the two girls, but Kanan coldly announces that it’s all over.
After the OP plays, the six current members of Aqous are shown hanging out at Chika’s family inn. Ruby is excited about the upcoming summer festival, Hanamaru is looking forward to the food stalls, Yoshiko is imagining she’s feeling the traces of a mystical power on the chair, and Riko is anxiously confirming whether or not Shiitake is out for a walk.
The girls decide that they should start practicing since they received an offer from the Numazu’s fireworks show, which is the biggest event around these parts. Chika pumps everyone up with her words of encouragement only to secretly worry about her earlier encounter with Kanan. Chika had bumped into Kanan and asked if she was a school idol, to which Kanan dismissively replied, “Only for a little bit.”
Chika confesses to the group that she’s been wondering why Kanan quit being a school idol. When Yoshiko replies that Dia told them that it was because they couldn’t sing at Tokyo, Chika says that she’s childhood friends with Kanan and knows that she isn’t one to back down from fear. We then get a flashback of young Kanan encouraging scared, young Chika to dive down into the water.
After Chika wishes she knew more about Kanan’s time as a school idol, everyone realizes they could ask Ruby, who’s been living with Dia for all these years. She attempts to run away only for Yoshiko to quickly catch up and restrain her.
As a result, they get Ruby to spill the beans. However, the only thing she had to contribute was that she accidentally overheard Dia telling Mari that neither of the two girls are running away.
The next scene shows Kanan doing her daily morning job. The six girls decide to trail her, only to find out her pace and stamina are leagues above theirs.
Once they reach the local shrine, the first-years and second-years are exhausted. However, Kanan is still full of energy and, to Chika’s surprise, begins dancing like she was an idol.
It turns out Mari is also at the shrine and claps for Kanan’s short performance. After confirming that Kanan turned in her notice to return to school, Mari inadvertently pisses Kanan off by asking if she’s done running away. Kanan clarifies that she took time off school to help with the family business and that she won’t become a school idol again. Before she leaves, Kanan says she wishes Mari didn’t return and that she doesn’t want to see Mari again. The two girls part ways, both looking upset.
The next day, Mari tries to convince Kanan to become a school idol again by using “Uniform Appeal.” In response, Kanan throws the uniform out the window. You is unable to resist the uniform fluttering down from the heavens above and almost dies grabbing it.
The third-years are then shown making a racket, causing many onlookers as well as the six current Aqours members to arrive and spectate. Mari has resorted to brute force, claiming that she won’t let go of Kanan until she agrees to become a school idol again and saying that Kanan shouldn’t carry around that failure with her.
Chika has had enough and assertively tells the third-years to come to the club room after school, to which the three girls could only agree. Way to go, Chika-chi!
After school, Kanan tries to claim that she stopped being a school idol because she couldn’t sing. Chika replies that she already heard about this from Dia, which causes Kanan to shoot Dia a dirty look.
Mari and Chika gang up on Kanan, saying that she wouldn’t quit being a school idol just because she couldn’t sing at one event. Kanan continues to say that’s the reason why she stopped, which frustrates the two girls.
Ruby then accidentally mentions that the girls saw Kanan dancing at Benten Island (the shrine is on a separate island, I guess). Cue smug Mari and embarrassed Kanan.
Insisting that she doesn’t miss being a school idol, Kanan takes her leave. Riko then asks if Dia knows something since she keeps taking Kanan’s side. Dia makes like her imouto and tries to run away, only for Chika to sic Yoshiko onto the student council president.
Ruby tells the girls the truth: Kanan didn’t sing on purpose because Mari had injured her ankle that day. If they had qualified for the next round and continued dancing, Mari’s sprain might have gotten even worse. Furthermore, the reason why Kanan quit being an idol, even after Mari’s ankle healed, is because she was worried that Mari kept rejecting offers to study abroad in order to be a school idol. In order to force Mari to think about her future, Kanan had to cut the chains tying Mari down.
Mari then attempts to leave in order to confront Kanan, saying she’ll slug Kanan for not telling her anything. Dia replies that Mari shouldn’t do that since Kanan cares more about Mari than anyone else and that she did try to tell Mari in her own way. Mari realizes this is true as she thinks back to one particular occasion where Kanan told Mari that she’ll never forget about her even when they’re apart.
Even though it’s raining, Mari runs to the club room and waits for Kanan to show up, and eventually she does. (Wet) Mari confronts Kanan, saying that she cares for Kanan just as much and that she didn’t care about her future since she was too busy worrying about how Kanan couldn’t sing. As Kanan looks distraught, Mari basically teleports and slaps the crap out of Kanan and tells Kanan that her feelings for Kanan shouldn’t be taken lightly.
With quivering lips, Kanan retorts that Mari should just say she cares for Kanan and stop bringing up winning and losing. That’s right, I didn’t pad out my word count for this episode by mentioning Mari’s choice of words over and over!
Mari agrees, and then points to her own cheek, which is basically her way of saying that Kanan should slap her back. As she thinks about the past, Kanan decides that she wants Mari to give her a hug instead. I guess MariKanan is the OTP! And as expected of crafty Chika-chi, she recruits Dia while the girls are making up, too. Aqours is complete!
The girls finally perform their first song as a complete group during the Numazu’s firework show. I’m a fan of how colorful and beautiful Aqour’s latest performances have been. Hopefully it keeps happening!
After their performance is done, Kanan reveals that they called themselves Aqours, too. Riko says that there’s no way that’s a coincidence. Remember when the word, Aqours, suddenly appeared on the beach when the second-year trio were trying to come up with names back in episode 3? It turns out Mastermind Dia was the one who wrote it in the sand. Dia is just becoming better and better every week.
The next episode is titled, “It’s a Shining First Time,” I think. It wasn’t translated this time. As usual, You continues to steal my heart. I mean, putting her signature on omurice and tickling someone in the pool with a smug look on her face? It’s easy to see why she’s so popular in Japan. See you next time!