Love Live!: The School Idol Movie picks up where the last episode of the second cour/season left off where third-year members of school idol unit µ’s graduate from Otonokizaka High School when a really unexpected news came — µ’s is being invited overseas to promote the school idol competition “Love Live!” to get the chance for it to be held at the Akiba Dome. While the promotion will help the competition to be held at the grandest stage of them all, members of µ’s contemplate whether to continue performing to appease their now huge fanbase or to end all idol activities and leave a lasting legacy.
The movie is spread with music intermissions in the vein of a Bollywood flick. The performances are short and entertaining, however, not all of them are needed to set a specific tone in the movie. The songs themselves are catchy and the CG used for the dances are top-notch. You can tell it’s CG but it’s not horrible like the ones used in the PVs or in the series themselves. There are also parts where the animation team actually made an effort to animate a dance with exceptional fluidity. In an era where CG prevails over traditional animation when it comes to animating, it is nice to see hand-drawn animation blend into an otherwise CG-ridden disaster. Kudos to Sunrise to actually giving traditional animation fans a treat.
The audience is bombarded with a flutter of fanservice which will leave a really sugary feeling to fans and mixed signals to viewers who just want to watch a movie. You can think of it as the type of anime a group of doujin creators would do and insert every conceivable reference and ship that the fans will ever want to sell it. It’s not a bad thing, but the constant string of service might make it boring and predictable to certain viewers.
Hanayo needs all the screen time she can get.
And this is where the movie’s promising premise starts to fall apart. Appeasing to the fans with excessive service created a movie with flat characters which contributed little to the advancement of the movie’s plot. When summed up, it’s just about Honoka trying to get in terms with µ’s fate and everyone else is just a tool for her to steel her resolve. While the group already agreed on the fate of µ’s, the other eight members seemed to just agree to what was initially decided upon without individually considering possible outcomes. Even Nico, the group’s wota stalwart, became a sheepish yes-girl despite the fact the she’s the one who wants to be an idol the most. Some may argue that there’s too little time to bring that up, or the other eight actually “thought about it” and the director just left it out for the audience’s imagination.
A little tension should have been added to make the movie a bit more interesting. In the real world, there’s so much amount of pressure for a rising idol group and it just seemed the pressure on µ’s wasn’t that much of a big deal this time unlike from when they were starting out. You can think of the movie as a metaphor of how celebrities start slacking off when they reach the top of their game — which kinda like what the movie is. Love Live! is now a monster so why bother taking some risks which will anger the fans? One can argue that the movie showed their struggle as celebrities, but the way it was presented was not really enough to drive the story to another direction.
Honoka is actually on drugs throughout the movie.
With Love Live!: The School Idol Movie as µ’s supposed “swan song” and a rite to pass the torch on to a new school idol unit, it provides too much fanservice but forgets to dwell deeper into the group’s imminent fate. You have to admit that µ’s, a phenomenon which spawned a franchise as an alternative and more accessible to goliath THE [email protected], went out with a wimper. While it is understandable that this movie was made for “Love Livers”, the final product is a hollow shell of what made the TV series an interesting watch.