I’ve talked about the first two series of Love Live. In both cases the results were fairly positive and I rather enjoyed the experience. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “but you’re literally the biggest killjoy in existence, you aren’t allowed to like things.” I’m sorry, but that accusation is still hilarious to me. Putting that aside, the second series of Love Live ended with Hanayo getting a message and running off excitedly, followed by the other members of μ’s. This film, released last year, follows that plot thread. So, does it lead somewhere interesting or will this be a waste of our time? Let’s look.
We open with the members of μ’s learning that the next love live competition is going to have a larger venue than any before. With plans for it to be held at the Akiba Dome. In order to make those plans come to fruition, they’re asked to go overseas as the winners of the last competition and gather interest. In the process, they find themselves riding a sudden wave of popularity, forcing them to question whether they really want to disband.
The biggest weakness of the film is that a lot of the main conflict is based on retreading through the ending of the second series and the questions the girls have to ask themselves do lose some of their impact.
That being said, overall, the film works quite well. The pacing is well done. The charm and fun of the series are very much present. Even the retreading does kind of work, given that there’s a strong impetus for them to have second thoughts.
The cast doesn’t develop all that much beyond where they were in the series proper. Which makes some sense, given that the film takes place directly after. The film’s strong suit lies in taking these familiar characters and putting them in a new situation. Which allows some new facets to emerge for their characters and enables some strong interactions among them.
The artwork looks a lot like the artwork from the series.Which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch. the dancing and musical numbers are vibrant, interesting and very nicely done. The characters look good, particularly when it comes to their costuming, and the backgrounds are nicely detailed.
I can’t complain about the sound. The cast is made up of excellent singers who are also strong actresses. The sound track is as magnificent as you’d expect based on the series.
The film doesn’t include les-yay to the extent that the series does, probably because they don’t have as much time. However, they still have a good amount. Hanayo & Rin get a romantic moment. Niko gets seemingly jealous over seeing Maki act close to another girl. Niko, Honoka & Eri share a bed in the Honeymoon suite and there’s just a lot of general intimacy among the girls.
Love Live: The School Idol Film is about what you’d expect. It’s a charming film with endearing characters, superb acting and music and ample amounts of les-yay. I would say that it’s well worth the watch. As such my final rating is going to be an 8/10. Tomorrow, I’ll look at something where I don’t have a good idea of what I can expect. I’ll be looking at Magic Tree House.