Let me start by saying that I do not hate any characters from Love Live! They all have a very special place in my heart, but Honoka....Honoka really, really frustrated me throughout season 1, and even though I gained more respect for her in Season 2, she will never be my #1 girl (because that's Nozomi, forever and always).
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This is Honoka.
Honoka started u's and she is their leader. She is definitely the focus of the anime, though we of course get many other stories from all the girls. But she is the focal point....and I really wish she wasn't!
Honoka has a lot to learn, but doesn't.
But the way she learns it throughout the anime is so frustrating! It's like she fails, the girls come together to pick up the pieces, and then she's like "wow I did it it worked" and everyone praises her. But rarely is it just Honoka doing things! Pretty much every problem Honoka actually solves in Season 1 is one that she, in some way, created.
She is a plot device.
I know that Honoka doesn't think it was just her making everything work out, and if I met them in real life, I'd probably love her. But the way the anime framed the entire story, Honoka is the focal point and the lens through which we see everything, and I really don't think it works as well as it could if each episode had done a better job of seeing things through many perspectives. Why does it all have to be about Honoka, when Honoka really isn't more special than any other girl? It makes me dislike her, and it's not even her fault!!
She isn't the ONLY one who pulled u's together.
It might be her. Sure. She's definitely part of it. But the anime does a shit job by giving her all the credit! What about Nozomi, who stood behind the scenes and really made everything come together? Who pushed Honoka to do the things that led her success? Sure, we see this, but it's really frustrating that we don't get to see more of it.
Season 2 Saves Her....Sort Of
I won't spoil much because I don't want to ruin the show for people who haven't watch, but Season 2 showed not only that Honoka was actually capable if you let her (looking at you, writers), but also that she was willing to fight for her dreams regardless of if everyone else was ready. We were expected to believe this in Season 1, but I didn't until Season 2.
Still, she isn't the hero of u's -- and that isn't a problem....if only she hadn't been set up to be THE HERO. If Honoka was brought to us as just another one of the girls instead of the almighty Honoka, I could have liked her character in the show much, much more.
Anyways Honk, you're still cute and I don't totally hate you!
Only kind of....I just wish you had been placed in the story in a way that didn't frustrate me so much :)