Of the many Love Live! Sunshine!! songs, “New Romantic Sailors” is a favorite of mine. Not only is it just a catchy tune, but the fact that I got to see Guilty Kiss perform it at Anime NYC over two years ago makes it a special memory. But what really makes it stick out in my mind is the choreography for live performances, specifically the poses in the above image that they take.
On the left is Kobayashi Aika, the voice of Tsushima “Yohane” Yoshiko, a character who calls herself a “fallen angel” and her fans “little demons.” Aika just screams chuunibyou, like she’s trying hard to convey how dark and mysterious she is, or as if she’s about to break into villainous laughter any second.
In the middle is Aida Rikako, the voice of Sakurauchi Riko. Her arms, crossed at the wrists, are reminiscent of the “Specium Beam” seen in Ultraman. Riko is a bit of a closet otaku herself, but it also sets up one of the signature moments of “New Romantic Sailors,” when Riko shouts, “Riko-chan Laser Beeeeeeaaaam!”
And on the right is Suzuki Aina, the voice of Ohara Mari. In other songs, Aina also does a finger-gun, and it speaks to Mari’s background as an Italian-American who also sometimes dresses like a cowgirl. Associating Americans with guns feels a little on-the-nose, but it’s also kind of fair.
I think this stuff is probably obvious for more hardcore Love Live! fans, but I just wanted to write about it to show my appreciation for its cleverness. What I really love about these poses is the fact that they’re all similar yet unique—each one’s a cross-arm pose, but the differences between them exemplify each character’s persona perfectly. Often, it feels like the dance moves for Love Live! songs don’t necessarily speak to each individual character’s traits, yet “New Romantic Sailors” has it in spades.