Thanks to Madman for the review copy.
If you’ve seen Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine and are pining for more school idol shenanigans, then this is the movie you’ve been waiting for.
Love Live! The School Idol Movie continues after the events of season two Love Live! and sees μ’s taking part in a event to raise awareness for an even bigger scale Love Live! idol contest to be held at Akiba (Tokyo) Dome. Due to the stakes being higher by holding the contest in a much larger venue, the organisers send the nine girl idol group to New York where they’re holding a concert in Time Square. This results in some mini adventures along the way but none more evocative than the chance encounter Honoka has with a female Japanese singing busker who imparts some valuable advice to her which helps her along the way in deciding what to do with the impending demise of μ’s, now that the third year students are about to graduate.
Before too long, they’re back in Tokyo where they realise they’re now celebrities complete with fans who are clamouring for pictures and autographs. All this attention begins to have an effect on Honoka and the others as they begin to see the expectations placed on them now that they’re a fully fledged idol group very much in the public eye. μ’s decide to hold a concert in the lead up to the Love Live!, however they enlist the aid of unexpected allies which has to be seen to appreciate the scope of the performance.
The movie has everything what you’d expect from such a highly polished anime and in that regard, it doesn’t disappoint. The songs are great and catchy and very idol-y (not a word, I know). The costumes during the performances are so cute, detailed and very colourful with that Kotori touch we’ve all come to love. The artwork has been elevated a touch from the series, I’m guessing because they had a bigger budget, in either case it shows with the backdrops which are very detailed and not so static like some that were in the regular series.
And the script itself while not 100% strong like the series, is still very cute with a heartfelt message behind it. Once again the choreography is on point however I found some of the dance animations looked sharper and more intricate in the series. Maybe I was expecting too much as I absolutely loved the first two seasons. One thing I did find surprising maybe even disappointing, was the lack of songs in the movie from μ’s. I honestly was expecting a lot more considering that it was a full length movie and not a twenty minute episode but that’s a small observation.
All in all, it’s a very enjoyable watch and definitely a movie that warrants repeated viewings, if anything just to hear the songs and to watch them dance. The girls are as cute as ever and it’s great to see them together again.
Final score: 8/10