Remy: Have you ever wondered who’s the best girl in Aqours?
Well, the answer is obviously Tsushima Yoshiko. There you have it, free of charge. You’re welcome.
Remy: To be faaaaaair, I understand that many people will disagree. You are definitely entitled to your own opinion, after all! But I managed to come across a fellow Yoshiko fan within the HUGE sea of Watanabe You fanboys and fangirls so now we’re gonna be gushing about our favourite chunnibyou school idol! More specifically, Jenn from anirambles and I, Remy Fool from The Lily Garden, are going to be sharing our thoughts on the magnificence of Yohane.
Have anything you want to say before we start things off, Jenn? By the way, it’s a genuine pleasure to work with you!
Jenn: It’s a genuine pleasure working with YOU, Remy! Honestly, I didn’t even need to meet the rest of the Aquors girls to know Yoshiko was the One. When they first started the character introductions, I Knew. How could she not be the best girl?? LOOK AT HER. LOOK AT HER BUN!
Remy: The bun is definitely a charming point. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s rather delicious…
So you’re saying that Yoshiko left a huge impact on you right from the start, before the series even started? What drew you to her?
Jenn: It’s funny because I’ve never really had a big thing for chunnibyou characters before, but Yoshiko really did it for me. Not that the other girls are boring by any means, but when I read her initial intro about how she believes she is a fallen angel who has angered God, I was like, “oh…oh she’s the best one.” Like, of course my emo ass is going to go all in for the girl that thinks she’s a demon! And then I think Mari left the second biggest impression on me, because when they did the audio introductions she just kept yelling random words in English and I was like, “this is amazing.” What about you, was it best girl at first sight for you, too?
Remy: Wow, it was like love at first sight. You sure you weren’t browsing the character intros while you were chilling at Disneyland? I’m so envious!
Hmmm…I also remember browsing through the character profiles and noticing how delightfully zany Yoshiko was. Unfortunately I admit I was another one of those basic You fanboys at first since sporty, short-haired girls are a blessing bestowed upon us miserable peons to help make life worth living. Even though Yoshiko really stood out, I was admittedly a bit put off by how she was such a huge chunnibyou. With that being said, my favourite girl in Yuuki Yuuna is Inubouzaki Fuu who can also act like a bit of a chunnibyou from time to time so maybe I was just fooling myself…
I had already started falling for her charm right after her impromptu introduction where she fell from a tree, but I think episode 5, where she’s basically the lead role, is what really sealed the deal for me.
Jenn: The scene where she falls out of the tree is so good!! I think I actually screamed when that happened. The range of faces she makes is incredible. Episode 5 definitely kept my love alive for her, though. When she tries to act “normal” and then immediately blows her cover is one of my favorite Yoshiko moments.
It’s also a really good set-up for her relationship with the other first-years – I really love how Hanamaru and Ruby try to “help” her stop being such a dork. But then, it’s fine, because they love their goth dork. Their whole dynamic is really great. Yoshiko saying they’re only friends because they’re in a fallen angel contract is peak Yoshiko content. In general, one of my favorite things about the Love Live! franchise is seeing the way all these very different characters interact, and Yoshiko has such great interactions with the other girls from Aqours.
Remy: Her range of faces is up there with her vocal range! Ah, that moment was great especially considering that Hanamaru just stood to the side and watched Yoshiko sabotage herself.
You’re definitely right there.The way all of these different girls interact with one another leads to a fun watch and a loooot of ships! I’m actually so glad that Yoshiko was changed to be a first-year instead of a second-year since I don’t think Chika or Riko would have been as supportive of her as Hanamaru and Ruby. The way she’s a little dishonest and channels her chuuni self really is amazing!
Jenn: Aw man, now that you mention it, I wish there was more Yoshiko/Dia interaction…that would be so fun.
BUT IT’S FINE BECAUSE YOSHIKO & RIKO ARE SO GOOD!! I honestly wasn’t expecting their friendship (or, y’know, “friend”ship) to develop the way it did. They were the gal pals I never knew I needed to see on-screen. Not to be a sap, but the episode where they keep a dog together is genuinely really heartwarming. And also, wow, what’s more possibly-romantic than sharing a pet??
I really want them to have a duet together a lá Nico & Maki’s “Zurui yo Magnetic Today.” That’d be so good & gay.
Remy: Oh, Yoshiko forced Dia into submission with a grapple hold in S1E9! After watching that scene, I started imagining Yoshiko giving the student council president a denki anma to put the older girl in her place. Oh, don’t look up what a denki anme is if you aren’t already in the know… And I should probably stop entertaining head canon, but we don’t get much on-screen interaction between the two long-haired beauties otherwise like you said earlier…
I personally also like the chemistry between Riko and Yoshiko since we all know that Riko is secretly a dork despite trying to act and look like a graceful city girl. Therefore the two girls acting silly (strikethrough) as a couple (strikethrough) together is a dream come true as well as a dangerously potent combination! The dog episode was soooo good, though! They definitely came to a mutual understanding as they sat in the rain watching their pet live with the rightful thieving owners.
They came so close in the Love Live! Sunshine!! TV Anime Season 2 Blu-ray 3 with Yoshiko singing “in this unstable world” and Riko singing “Pianoforte Monologue,” aaaaahhhh. M-Maybe next time… “Zurui yo Magnetic Today” is a banger, though, real talk.
There are actually people who hate the Riko and Yoshiko dynamic, you know? They say stuff like it’s forced, etc. Pretty interesting perspective, huh?
Jenn: I can’t believe Dia x Yoshiko just became my #1 rare pair. Imagine Yoshiko styling Dia’s hair in her trademark bun…!
That’s so silly, I didn’t realize they had that many haters. I didn’t think it was forced, I mean it’s true I wasn’t expecting it, but once they spent time together their chemistry became so clear~ Like you said, they’re both dorks! It works! And then the way Riko casually teases Yoshiko…it’s true luv. And their moms even hang out! Clearly it’s because they’re supportive of their daughters’ relationship!!
I guess some people are just big Riko x Chika fans, but like…You x Chika, though…as uh, friends of course. Is this controversial?? Do I like controversial ships??? Should I mention that I liked Umi x Eli??? I’m going off the rails here.
Remy: Yesssss. I’m a big fan of rare pairs, to be honest. Dia x Yoshiko is quite juicy (yet super rare…).
Hmm, I think the people who disliked the pair felt that Love Live! Sunshine!! as a whole was pandering too hard to the people’s whims. Apparently even the actual seiyuu for both Yoshiko and Riko, Aika and Rikako, supported the ship! It also totally moves Riko away from the interesting dynamic of the second-years (I swear, the second-years in both μ’s and Aqours have the messiest shipping wars) which had dominated the first season. I can see why others might dislike the Riko x Yoshiko pairing, but I’m still a fan because of how they’re both dorks and the way they tease each other and the fact that their moms support their blooming relationship. Yeah!
I’ve seen so many people give Chika a lot of shit for almost ruining their final performance in season 1 by having the nobodies join in or for seemingly overlooking You for Riko. Chika is basically the scapegoat of Aqours despite the fact that Riko and Yoshiko are often the ones who are humiliated in-story…
I honestly have trouble making up my mind in regards to the second years. All of those pairings are very good. But… I, too, am an accomplice in liking controversial ships and think that Riko x You could be pretty good if Riko x Yoshiko doesn’t work out…
Umi x Eli sounds pretty good, but I like Kotori x Nico the most! Wow, we’re basically gonna crash because we’ve flown completely off the tracks!!
Jenn: KOTORI AND NICO! It seems you are the Rare Pair King…
Okay forcibly segwaying back on track-ish. Yoshiko’s relationships. The first year crew is good, but the top tier Yoshiko first year friendship is Yoshiko & Hanamaru. Hanamaru tries to keep her girl in check, which Ruby does too, but I think Hanamaru has a better handle on Yoshiko’s crazy ways. In one of the magazine spotlights, there’s a cute story of Yoshiko asking Hanamaru for help studying. They have each other’s back, and I love it. But, she also teases poor Yoshiko just as much as Riko does…it’s outta love, though. Deep down, they get each other.
I feel like the two could write some really wild, intense lyrics together. They were both really vibing when Hanamaru wanted to write about nothingness…they’re gonna break off and form their own Electro Goth Dance sub-group one day. Maybe when they get to college or something. Oh, I’ve gone off the rails again…
Um, also, they have a really cute UR pair of them taking care of the campus alpacas! Who else can compete with that??
Remy: We’re both contenders for the title, I can say that much.
Okay, okay, we’ve resumed our regular course! Good going, Jenn!
The very existence of Hanamaru is very threatening to those who like shipping Yoshiko with Riko, to be honest. There are so many official illustrations and promotional art and album covers which seem to show the two girls getting cuddly with each other.
Just take a look at the cover art for the single, “MY 舞☆TONIGHT.”
Then there’s the cover for The Love Live! Sunshine!! Perfect Visual Collection 1. To be fair, Yoshiko is pleasantly squishy according to S2E9, so who could blame Hanamaru for glomping the best chunnibyou school idol?
The two girls even complement each other by being dynamic opposites. Yoshiko is into the occult while Hanamaru was born and raised in a Buddhist temple. Yoshiko streams and is good with technology (remember when she was the one editing the video in S1E6) compared to Hanamaru who gets wowed by touch sensors and laptops. Finally, Yoshiko plays video games (which is not seen in the anime) whereas Hanamaru loves reading books.
It’s this clash of interests that make people interested in this pairing whereas Yoshiko and Riko are surprisingly similar even before Riko started adopting some of Yoshiko’s mannerisms for herself. Riko and Yoshiko are both long haired beauties who are the ones who usually end up being embarrassed or teased within their year group. They also start off as the odd one out among their peers, too. For instance, Riko is initially a city girl outsider while You and Chika are best buds. Meanwhile, Yoshiko, despite being childhood friends with Hanamaru, is also a bit of city girl (since she attended middle school in the nearby city of Numazu) and finds out that Zuramaru is now very attached to Ruby.