At last, here is the movie that everyone is waiting for as Muse’s finishes their journey as school idols as they go on a surprise trip to the big apple to help promote the future of Love Live. (This is a review of the Japanese copy of the Blu-ray with English Subtitles.)
The movie starts off from where the 2nd second left off as Hanayo finds out that the third Love Live might be held at the dome. After the girls came in after Honoka heard the news, the principal gives the big news that Muse are invited to perform overseas to help promote the 3rd Love Live. With that, the girls went to not just any big city, but “The Big Apple” also known as New York City. Aside from sightseeing and eating at restaurants, they also prepare for the performance as well.
However, Honoka at one point of the trip gets separated from her friends as she went on the wrong subway train. She eventually finds a woman who was singing on the street and listened to her performance. Afterwards, she led her back to the hotel while talking about her experiences when she sang for a group and what she did after they split up. When Honoka doesn’t understand the reason why, the woman told her that she will understand soon enough and disappears.
After Muse performed in Time Square and returned to Japan, they found out that their performance has become viral on the internet. They were greeted by a crowd of teenaged girls who are fans of Muse and asked for their autographs and such. This leaves Muse with a huge dilemma over if their decision to disband was wrong or not with the principal wanting the group to continue despite three of the members graduating. The group eventually decides to not change their decision with their final concert. Still, Honoka feels uneasy even though she consults the members of A-RISE over their plans to become idols professionally after graduation.
Eventually, Honoka eventually found a reason after she meet the woman she saw in New York City again. She eventually convinced A-RISE to perform together with students interested in becoming school idols. While she gives the sad news that Muse will still be disbanding on the day before the final concert to everyone, she is still passionate about school idols and that the group did not sing just for the school, but for everyone. With that, everyone performed in the final performance next day to cherish the times she sang with her friends together.
At a glance, the movie does not bring anything new to the last two seasons, but rather serves more as an epilogue. Aside from the conflict with Honoka being confronted with Muse becoming wildly popular after their overseas performance, it basically can be summed up as this: Muse having a fun time in New York City and eventually arranging a big concert with all the groups and interested students performing together in a performance that everyone will remember for years to come.
While the music from Love Live is not my cup of tea, I think the movie was very enjoyable. I have to admit that there were a lot of fun moments when the girls had fun in New York City. Not only Umi does her usual card game and loses against Kotori again, Nico freaking out when she wakes up and saw an alpaca on top of her and the girls escaping from a crowd of fans, there were a lot of shipping moments as well. Of course, the performances look excellent since the CG doesn’t look as awkward compared to the anime, which is my main complaint from the first two seasons. Yep, the movie being on Blu-ray makes a huge difference in terms of quality aside from the film having a huge budget. Also, I liked how they depicted New York City since it looks detailed.
In short, I felt that the Love Live! The School Idol Movie was great way to clear up the loose ends with Muse giving their final farewells. While the movie already gives references to the final live concert that will happen in March of this year, the movie gives a good message that while being a school idol do not last forever, the memories and fun times will live on for eternity. Their last performance with everyone performing with Muse and A-RISE signifies the passing of the torch while inspiring others who want to become a school idol to pursue their dreams. With that, it makes me wonder how the successor with Love Live! Sunshine for fare when the anime airs this summer. We have to wait and see.
Strengths: Great conclusion in resolving the loose ends in Muse disbanding and handing the torch to the successors with many fun moments. Production values are a huge improvement over the Anime series.
Weaknesses: None to name, except for the CG. However, it’s not as bad compared to the TV series.