I’m talking about the school idol who does not shine. Like at all.
(Spoilers in this post)
Even though Love Live! Sunshine!! was my favorite anime series in 2016, I’ll readily admit that there were some flaws with the show.
And my biggest complaint is the uneven characterization.
Chika and Riko hog the lion’s share of the limelight for sure. And while the other girls get their chance to shine in specific episodes (Ruby and Hanamaru in episode 4; Yoshiko in episode 5; the third-years in episode 9; You in episode 11), I feel like some of them just stay as static characters after joining Aqours. Or perhaps said characters weren’t interesting to begin with due to design. The biggest victim to this sudden inset of flat character syndrome would be Kurosawa Ruby.
I think this comic doesn’t really require an explanation, but I’ll try to elaborate on what happened to Ruby during the transition from character profile in Dengeki G to dull anime character in Sunshine!!
Dengeki G’s version of Ruby was a rather robust character. She helped make costumes with You, was childhood friends with Hanamaru, acted as the tsukkomi/straightwoman for the group, loved school idols, and was scared of dogs.
And yet all of those traits were basically stolen by the other girls in the anime.
You is always shown making the costumes by herself because she’s a quick learner who can do anything. I have issues with how You was portrayed in the anime, too, but that’s for another time.
Hanamaru is actually childhood friends with Yoshiko, not Ruby, in the anime. I kind of like this, to be honest, because Yoshiko would be a huge outsider (comparatively) if she wasn’t childhood friends with Hanamaru. This also establishes that everyone else (besides Riko) knew at least one other girl as children.
Hanamaru does a great job as tsukkomi. Can’t be helped, Ruby.
Okay, Ruby is shown reading school idol magazines fairly often so we can see that she loves school idols. But in comparison to Dia, Ruby’s love for school idols seems really tame. Ruby, you can’t compete against someone who has memorized the most trivial facts for μ’s and other school idols. Your onee-chan stole your thunder here.
Riko is the one terrified of dogs. That’s a running gag that happens a bit too often, in my opinion, but I’m not sure if it would have been better if Ruby was the one running from the canine.
So where does that leave Ruby?
Well, she’s basically a shy and overly cutesy girl who makes funny noises and overuses a pun based on her name. That’s all she has going for her.
She does talk her best friend, Hanamaru, into joining Aqours (and it’s a good thing she did considering that Hanamaru has a voice of an angel) in episode 4 where they’re both the focus, but that’s about the only significance Ruby contributes to the story.
Is it no wonder why she’s the least popular character out of the 9 girls in Aqours? In Japan, at least.
One can only hope she is not dealt such a pitiful lot in season 2.