Film Review Love Live Series School Idol Project Series

Love Live! The School Idol Movie ⬢ A Bumpy Send-Off


More from the Love Live series:
School Idol Project

Sunshine

Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

Superstar


Original Release Date: June 13, 2015
Directed By: Takahiko Kyougoku
Genre: Idol, Music, Slice of Life
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Love Live! The School Idol Movie. Reader discretion is advised.***

Film Synopsis

Love Live is over, and Its champions are the girls of Otonokizaka Academy, µ (Muse). Forevermore, the names of Honoka Kousaka, Umi Sonoda, Kotori Minami, Maki Nishikino, Hanayo Koizumi, Rin Hoshizora, Niko Yazawa, Eri Ayase, and Nozomi Toujou (voiced respectively by Emi Nitta, Suzuko Mimori, Aya Uchida, Pile, Yurika Kubo, Riho Ida, Sora Tokui, Yoshino Nanjo, and Aina Kusuda) will go down in school idol history. With their dream achieved, these nine closer-than-close friends could not be happier. However, their joy soon comes up against an inevitable reality.

µ’s third-year members will be graduating soon; thus, this now legendary idol group will need to say their goodbyes. With heavy hearts, the team tries to come to terms with this eventuality, and all they can hope for is just a little more time.

Then an opportunity presents itself.

Love Live is looking to expand its influence around the world. And who better to promote the event than its current winners?

µ prepares to perform one final, unforgettable show on the world’s largest stage. Having gone through so much already, nothing can stop them now.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Film Positives

It’s been a spell since the last time we looked at this series in March 2015.

Despite the long absence, it couldn’t have been easier to jump back into this series and reconnect with the members of µ. This gives great credence to how memorable the show was, and this film does a faithful job of recapturing its source – for better or worse.

Everything that worked about the series made a return for the movie. If you’re a fan of Love Live and the idol genre, you’ll find tons of enjoyment here. However, if you only like the anime for what it was – a colorful and amusing little watch – this might not be the film for you.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Then again, one would suspect that if you’re considering giving the Love Live movie a shot, you’re most likely in that former category.

Still, that leaves the ultimate question. Was this film worth sitting through?

To that end, it definitely wasn’t bad. Except, on a personal level, I have no interest in ever watching it again despite retaining much of the original anime’s charm.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Fortunately for the movie, the show already did a brilliant job of bringing µ together. But if there was one thing this film did, it was confirm that µ was a single unit. These nine girls were forever connected through hard work, sacrifice, hardships, and triumphs.

But again, the movie only put a polish on an already solid accomplishment. And I am putting a heavy emphasis on the word “polish.”

The series had decent visuals, but it was clear there were limitations. That said, the movie was definitely working with a film budget.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Thanks to this movie and its animation, I have a much better understanding of the Love Live franchise’s appeal. Everything here was sharper and smoother. The dancing, singing, and movements all flowed so much better.

When there was a performance in the show, the amount of CGI used was painfully obvious. To be blunt, it looked terrible. This was a shame since Love Live did have decent visuals. So it was nice to see the much-needed upgrade happen in this film.

In the series, all the songs and performances felt like music videos. They were a jarring turn of pace for an anime with an otherwise grounded story. But here in the film, such instances felt more at home. For the first time in this franchise, I found myself not only appreciating these songs but also enjoying them.

If I happen to come across this movie’s soundtrack, I might pick it up.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Film Negatives

Although this movie had many elements that made the show a lot of fun, the same is true about the aspects of the series that fell flat.

First off, this film did not need to be two and a half hours. Except, it wasn’t two and a half hours. Instead, this ninety minuet story’s pacing was atrociously slow; it felt like it was much longer than it really was.

If you like µ and thought the show’s music was good, that’s reason enough to watch this movie. But if you’re here for a story, you’re out of luck.

Love Live School Idol Movie

For instance, the catalyst for this movie’s plot was expanding the Love Live competition to an international audience. Therefore, to do that, Love Live promoters would have µ put on a massive show in Tokyo. That’s all well and good, except why did we spend the first thirty minutes of this film in New York?

According to the plot, the New York trip was to increase µ’s popularity. Except, that was also the Tokyo show’s purpose. Also, why did µ need to increase their popularity when they were already the reigning champions of an already hugely popular event?

Love Live School Idol Movie

Ignoring the pacing, how did the rest of the movie go? Well, if you don’t mind that the film made an exact replica of the series, I would say things went okay.

This movie introduced all the same problems and dilemmas the anime already overcame. And it did this while fully acknowledging the show’s ending and how the events of the series was a meaningful experience for the girls of µ.

I don’t know what this film was trying to capitalize. The show ended, and it did so on a powerful note. Why this film thought it could add to that is beyond me.

Love Live School Idol Movie

Final Thoughts

The show was better, a lot better. Therefore, only watch this movie if you want that little bit extra.

Although the story near nonexistent and the pacing was terrible, the girls of µ proved they are the lifeblood of this franchise. Even with every bump and stumble, they were fun to follow.

As a standalone product, this film fell flat. However, as a final send-off for µ, Love Live the School Idol Movie did its job.

But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this film; how would you advise Love Live! The School Idol Movie? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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More From the Love Live Series

Love Live School Idol Project
A link to the Love Live School Idol Project review
Sunshine
Link to the Love Live Sunshine Season 1 review
Link to the Love Live Sunshine Season 2 review
Nijigasaki High School Idol Club
Link to the Love Live Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 1 review
Link to the Love Live Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 review
Superstar
Link to the Love Live Superstar Season 1 review
Link to the Love Live Superstar Season 2 review

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