Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow

Movie (1 ep x 100 min)
3.837 out of 5 from 579 votes
Rank #1,866
Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow

Aqours reigned over all in Love Live, the last time they would be representing Uranohoshi Girls’ High School. Now, the first and second-year students are preparing for life at their new school–only to face a litany of unexpected trouble! Most alarming of all, the third-year students have set off on a graduation trip–only to have gone missing! As the group’s members drift apart, they quickly realize just how much they mean to each other. What will Aqours do to compel themselves to take the next step forward?

Source: Funimation

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There is a contrast to the first two Love Live! movies.  In the first, we are just beginning to cope with µ's proposed break-up, but this is interrupted by emergency road trip to NYC, then to return to Japan in triumph ... uncertain if they would ever disband.  The first effort was clever in setting up ramifications in the final episode of season two (which was to be µ’s last).  It just proved that you can get a little more life out of your idol group before the final arrivederci.   Not so with the second session of idols, featuring Aquors.  the last episodes of Love Live! Sunshine! limped, with no hint of there ever being a contest, just Aquors singing alone, no airtime given to any of the competition.  Aquors comes home champions to face a bittersweet acceptance that their beloved Uranohoshi High was coming to its own version of arrivederci. Then comes Love Live! Sunshine! The School Idol Movie -- Over the Rainbow.  In watching it, I was struggling to determine whether it actually was 'Over the Wall' or 'Over the Dose.' The movie tried to resolve all those emotional pangs which the series left.  Aquors is left a six-girl troupe with concerns whether the graduating trio of Mari, Dia, and Kanan weren't really the heart, soul, and life of the idol group.  Can six girls do the job of the nine? Think of the movie as a set of spectacularly designed CGI dance/song routines around which a set of storylines were interwoven.  First, we take in the transition of Uranohoshi High to the new site, which was a dilapidated primary school.  The plan is to have the girls of the former Ura High to end their schooling over two years and the proud school will vanish from existence.  They are relegated to 'branch school' with no hope to integrate with the other girls' academy.  One thrust of the plot is to prove that there is a mentality for strong club activities, and Aquors is a prime example ... if they can recapture their moxie.  Then there is the sudden trip Aquors take to Italy to find the three grads who have gone missing.  The reason for this is the arranged marriage of Mari to 'whoever,' a young man Mari never met.  Chalk it up to one more example of Mari's parents trying to manipulate her life.  The chase through Italy leads the girls to Venice, Florence, and Rome, where Mari proves that being an idol is a valid form of self-expression and growth.  The final arc is Aquors returning to the dilemma of finding their new voice without the third-years.  This leads to a showdown concert between Aquors and the other idol group with an identity crisis, Saint Snow.  After their disastrous performance which kept them out of the Love Live! finals, the likelihood for the two sisters of continuing as idols is remote.  The contest of Aquors vs. Saint  Snow is a hastily contrived battle to give each group a feeling of closing well and offers up the best CGI footage in the film. That is basically what the movie can be compared to ... a car propelled by cruise-control suddenly going into turbo-drive.  Not once, but a few times.  A span of lightly effused standard animation as the girls mope about.  Then bring on the music.  EXTRAVAGANZA!  CGI bursts and blasts!  Then back to the relative action.  Dull again.  It's like waiting for the next song.  Flatline.  V-rhythm.  Flatline.  V-rhythm.  In the end, you’re hoping it won’t be flatline. The animation was sloppy in moments.  There was a moment of bad dubbing among the first-years.  Ruby moving her lips to Hanamaru’s voice, then Hanamaru vocalizing with Yoshiko’s ‘fallen angel’ bather.   Early in, one of the idols was wearing glasses, first Hanamaru.  Halfway in, there was a scene with You in specs before ending with Hanamaru donning nice looking frames once more.  I was intrigued that Sunrise experimented with myopia in the gang but dropped the ball on 'four-eyed’ consistency. In the end, did the movie succeed in bringing the Love Live! Sunshine! project to a satisfactory ending?  Results can be seen in a range from syrupy to maudlin.  The symbolism of the rainbow, fluttering bird feathers (usually blue), and the paper airplane Chika always tosses higher and higher help, if you dwell on them.  But the final scene as the ocean waves lap the shore, where the mysterious hand wrote the word AQUORS in the sand, returns us to the first scene where girls aspire to find their sparkle, and reach for the experience of the stage.

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