♫ The baby bird’s wings have finally grown strong enough to achieve flight, today’s its day of departure ♫
All good things must come to an end. With this movie, the Love Live! anime has officially come to an end. And those fans that play the game (such as I), we all know that soon the game will be coming to its end too. No one knows when or how it’ll end, but with no Muse, then we won’t have a game. Because M’s contract, or should I say the seiyuu’s contract, to be in M’s is going to end I think in April of 2016. And then the last sub-unit singles will be released, and then to finally finish it all, Muse will officially have their final concert in summer 2016. I don’t want it to end, I’m in too deep in this series. The songs, the girls, the stories. I sure will miss it all. And all of those thoughts raced in my head as I watched this farewell movie, and truthfully I didn’t even want to watch it. Because I didn’t want to accept that this was the end. At least, one step closer to the end.
Also, I didn’t want to cry. But I did anyway. My eyes welled up when SUNNY DAY SONG started, but I completely lost it when the girls sang their last song, Bokutachi wa Hitotsu Hikari. A song that took lyrics from M’s first song and gave it another meaning, while also inserting their names into the song. It has a lot of meaning, and it really conveys their feelings, and it’s the perfect finale song to all of this.
But enough about me crying. Just what adventure did Muse get? The movie takes place right after the third years’ graduation, which we saw at the end of the second season when Hanayo ran down screaming like she always does to tell everyone about the big news. The big news being that the next Love Live! has already been decided and that it plans to take place in Tokyo Dome. And the people behind Love Live! want Muse, the new champions, to help them out with publicity as they want school idols to be more popular so this Love Live! would be sold out, as Tokyo Dome is HUGE. A TV agency in New York agreed to having Muse over to show a live broadcast with them, and even though the girls decided that they would disband, they all travel overseas anyway.
One part of the movie is, as stated before, the girls in New York City. The conditions for their live concert broadcast is them picking whatever song they want and whichever location in the city that they want, so while they’re off training they also leave some time for sightseeing and exploring. So of course we see famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. And of course since these girls don’t know any English, they have to deal with this language barrier which caused for some funny scenes to take place. This was a fun part seeing the girls in a new country, seeing new things while also growing even closer together. I absolutely loved their Angelic Angel performance, with all the lights and confetti, the scenery changing from Times Square to the park. Very flashy, very nice. This New York part was also very important as Honoka met a girl when she had taken the wrong train and got lost. She seemed like a normal girl at first, but then she became a little odd later on when she appears again when the girls go back home to Japan. Coincidentally, she’s always there to aid Honoka when she’s down.
After their live broadcast, the girls return home and are immediately bombarded by fans wanting their autograph. They don’t understand what’s happening, but then they learn that their popularity flourished after that broadcast was shown. And then we get the best number of the whole movie. Third year girls are the best.
But this sudden popularity causes a huge problem. Muse wanted to disband but they have such a following now it would disappoint the fans. Kotori’s mother also tells them that they should continue, even if they aren’t exactly school idols anymore. Tsubasa from A-RISE suddenly calls Honoka and tells her that A-RISE will still continue, but as professional idols and she shows Honoka her management to see if she’s interested in doing the same with Muse. Suddenly, Honoka doesn’t know what to do.
Look, I’ll be frank. I never was a Honoka fan. I can easily say that she was my least fave of the girls. I wouldn’t say I hate her, I just didn’t…like her. I guess I’m not for the super genki characters. But after this movie, she really grew on me. Honoka had some really hard decisions with so much weighing on her. Disappoint the fans, or make a new Muse. Even though she and the others decided that Muse would be no more after the third years’ graduation, I still don’t think she was prepared. She knew the day would come, and it was probably made harder because they were given more time together because of their overseas trip, but she still didn’t know what would happen next. The girl mentioned before, who helped her find her way back to her hotel, gave her some advice. That Honoka is ready to fly, just like she did when she was a little girl. Now that was the weirdest part because only a few people would know that moment, and that would be Umi and Kotori since they were both there, and Honoka herself. And we never got this girl’s name, but she was obviously Honoka from the future based on her words, behavior, and appearance.
And if that really was Honoka from the future, then she grew up to be a lovely woman and it looked like she still stuck with music in the future. This movie really highlighted Honoka, as she was the one that had to deal with many hard decisions as she’s the leader. But of course, this is Honoka we’re talking about so things came out well in the end, with Muse properly disbanding while also showcasing to the world how wonderful school idols are. And so a new generation enters Otonokizaka with more girls interested into being school idols.
This movie had the same feel I always got from the anime. It was fun, hopeful, happy, and sad at the same time. Sad because you knew this was the end. The Love Live! movie premiered in many movie theaters around the world, and the movie was in a couple cities from me (San Francisco, of course), but I didn’t go see it then because I had absolutely no one to see it with. And so I missed out on the autographed goodies and SR codes for the game (*tear*). So unfortunately I cannot say how the movie was received or if the showings were full or not. I was only able to see this movie a couple days ago when fansubs came out.
Along with the same feelings, Love Live! still delivers with its songs. There were 8 musical numbers in the movie, some concert performances and others just inserted into a scene like any musical would. I really enjoyed all of the songs, they were all happy and cute. Maybe it was just me, but I felt as though they didn’t use as much CGI as they did with the anime. The performances, like the insert bits, were just regular 2d, and it looked fantastic. We did get CGI, which some people have a problem with, but I still liked it. Especially during the Angelic Angel performance. I felt like the animation was slightly better than the TV anime, with the colors also being a tiny bit darker than I remember. Since this would be the last of Love Live!, I’m sure they wanted to make the movie look as fantastic as they could, which I thought they did. The way they drew New York’s nightlife was stunning.
As for the movie’s plot, it was nice. It was fun seeing the girls travel overseas and experience new things. I felt like Honoka got some growth into maturity that I wanted to see from her, and that made me happy. The other characters shone in their own way as well, I felt like they all got proper treatment unlike how they were in the anime (*cough*Rin*cough*). Now I know that some people might say in the end with all of the school idols coming to perform in the concert that took so little time to plan but everything turned out perfectly anyway? That it’s super unrealistic. Well, duh. But who cares. They wanted to send a message, and we received it. That school idols are fun and a wonderful thing. They wanted to express that to the world, and they did. As for how the movie ended, or how Love Live! itself ended…I was satisfied.
I don’t think there was any other way it could end. Their original plan was to have Muse disband when Nico, Eli, and Nozomi would graduate because it wouldn’t be the same without them. It makes sense in the story, but it also makes sense in the business world too. Don’t get me wrong, people are still going to buy Love Live! merch, but an idol group can only last so long. The seiyuus want to go on to do different things in their careers. Even though it hurts to be attached to this series and to see it end, there has to be an end sometime.
I enjoyed how they ended the movie, nothing felt rushed, it all just felt right so I can’t really find any negatives. Of course all fans of Love Live! have to see this movie though I’m sure many did if you went to the theaters to see it a couple months back. I’m still sad it’s over, though. I remember just scrolling through my Tumblr and seeing Love Live! everywhere, and I didn’t get the hype. I’ve never tried idol anime before, and since I’d seen LL so much I thought I’d try it. Now I’m religiously playing the damn game and I’ve seen both seasons of the anime and this movie. It’s just something about these girls…they just bring so much happiness. They each have their own quirks and you may like some more than others, but all of these girls bring a lot of joy and happiness to people. Just learning about these characters’ passions, it just makes you feel attached, you know? You want them to succeed, they have such a wonderful friendship with each other that you just want them to be happy. And it’s just so sad to see them go.
But we can’t hold any negative attitude to the girls of Aquors (except maybe to their stupid group name). It’s not fair to the people behind Love Live! Sunshine. We still have more idols to come! And so, we say our final farewell to Muse. And our best girl. Nico-nico-nii.
♫ We made it here chasing the light. Because it’s us,
We won’t say farewell
We’ll meet again, won’t you call me?
We’re a dream
That connects to a wonderful future
A future we dreamed of
Our LIVE&LIFE with you ♫