I came up with the idea for this post after I made this tweet.
Well, sort of. This post won’t really be talking about Love Live! Sunshine!! is really about underdogs. It also won’t really be focusing on the “statistics” for each member (I would really like for that sort of information to be released one day, however – I imagine Chika isn’t that good at studying, as an example), but I do provide some observations about the girls’ theorized athleticism.
No, this post is about the roles each girl performs for Aqours according to my own opinion. Do keep in mind that this is primarily discussing the anime canon – I hear that Chika’s seiyuu, Anju Inami, is a blackbelt and is very athletic, for instance.
I might be incorrect in my beliefs, however, and I’ll gladly welcome corrections!
The primary lyricist and center. That means she’s usually the girl who’s singing the pivotal lines before the chorus or during the bridge and who’s almost always in the middle of the group as they dance on stage doing the most physically demanding routines. While she isn’t as athletic as You or Kanan, she’s probably more athletic than the 1st years who are indoor types. Although she fancies herself as a normal girl (or Chika-chi the normal monster), she’s deliberately downplaying her creative mind and her infectious energy. Without her, Aqours would surely not have been formed as she is directly or indirectly involved in recruiting each member. Apparently she is the group’s primary connection to Saint Snow given that she has had Skype calls and phone calls with Sarah. Chika and Riko probably receive the largest amount of screentime and focus.
The primary costume designer. You is also shown to be skilled at illustration, able to diagnose dance routine issues (apparently her background as an experienced and talented high diver allows her to do so), can whip up delicious food, and can judo throw wannabe gropers. Needless to say, she’s essentially a renaissance woman and has largely been shoved to the side to prevent overshadowing the more “normal” members. However, this comes at a cost – she receives minute characterization even when she was the focus of episode 11 in the first season, in which she is portrayed as a clingy girl with an infantile sense of emotional maturity. Has recently started snarking at her friends while remaining in the background.
The primary composer. She also operates as Chika’s keeper by constantly reminding her to actually finish the lyrics for their songs. Her third role is to share the brunt of the physical humor alongside Yoshiko – if dogs are involved, then expect poor Riko to suffer and for her seiyuu, Aida Rikako, to demonstrate her voicing talent. She and Chika both dominate in terms of raw screentime and focus compared to the other members.
The primary dance coordinator. Said role was originally designated to You before Kanan joined. She is probably the most athletic girl, with You as her only possible competition, since Kanan could handle doing the demanding cartwheel-backflip maneuver which took Chika nearly two weeks to master. She made the least amount of appearances during the first season, but she has been very active, along with the the other 3rd years, in the second season thus far.
The primary voice of reason. With so many Aqours members content to goof off or haphazardly wing things, Dia ends up having to shoot down many naive ideas. She also gets plenty of mileage acting as the primary tsukkomi for the group and holds a fiery temper that adds extra force to her retorts. With that being said, she also provides emotional support to those who need it. Her stiff personality causes a degree of distance to exist between her and the younger members, which is explored in episode 4 of the second season. She apparently used to do costume work back when Aqours was a three-person group.
The primary mood-maker (?). Despite acting like a ditzy loon who misuses English, Mari is actually rather sharp and observant, which can be seen in how she returned specifically to prevent Uranohoshi from shutting down and in how she tells the girls they’re wrong about what makes the town special in episode 6 of the first season. She’s the 3rd year who has been the most supportive of the younger members’ efforts back in the first season (as the other two had to feign disinterest in idols) and in the second season (as seen when she believes that the girls need to do and is capable of doing a particularly difficult song the previous iteration of Aqours brewed up).
The primary video-editor. Apparently. The viewers see her being the one in charge of doing so in episode 6 when the girls tried to make a PV to generate interest in their town and in their efforts. Since then, however, the viewers have seen little of Aqours’ videos (within the series, of course). She, along with Riko, are the victims of physical comedy – if something can go wrong, then expect Yoshiko to suffer due to her inherent misfortune. She and Hanamaru switch off between being boke and tsukkomi depending on the situation. Was actually the focus of episode 5 in the first season and of episode 5 in the second season (what a coincidence). Expect her to usually be pushed to the side during more serious moments / episodes. Also probably fits in the most amount of ships and is versatile in terms of being the top or the bottom if you like shipping.
The other lyricist. Supposedly. Her reading hobby probably helps in that endeavor, but she hasn’t really been shown composing lyrics so far. Hanamaru also doubles as Yoshiko’s keeper and the one who responds to Yoshiko’s silliness, but the two sometimes switch roles. She was also hand-picked by Chika due to looking cute like an idol. Hanamaru happens to be the biggest eater in Aqours, as well. She and Ruby were the focus of episode 4 in the first season.
The other costume designer. Allegedly. She helped Dia in designing costumes back when Aqours was a three-person group, but she hasn’t really been shown doing that in the present time. Many of her defining characteristics were taken away by others, too. Being Ruby is suffering.