First of all, now that I realize Aida Miou's side of the story is also getting animated, I'm gonna conserve all judgments for it. Yaaaaaaay!!! Miiiiiraaaiiiiiinooooowaaaaataaaaashieeee
Also I understand A-1 only helped and the real animators are Qualia Animations, but it's really likely that this new studio came from A1, which then means they contributed way more than just a subservice. So point still the same. But if the third movie is much (or at least a little) better I'll delete this right away.
Fuck you A1.
I think through this one it's finally official. A1 doesn't give a jack shit about making a good anime.
When I first heard that my beloved music series was getting animated, I had nothing but doubts after the last one's...uh, unfortunate turnout. I'm of course referring to Shaft's adaptation of Kagerou Project. Then again, adaptation is a kind word here.
But when I heard that it was getting done by A1 who love to make adoring girls more adorable than humanly possible, I had my hopes. And even more so when I heard that they were making a movie out of this, and not a series. While I would've personally wanted to see Enemoto and Miou and hear Sana's voice every week, a movie would spell lots and lots of budget, and that meant fluid movements, uncringey (at the very least) dialogues, and infinite moeflower. This was one of those anime that would benefit from having a shameless display of infinite moedom. It's a simple series of music videos with a simple storyline, there's nothing complicated. That's one of the greatest thing about Honeywork's works.
Before I go any further, though, let me be clear; the music was amazing. I seriously can't get enough of Sana's voice in my ears. Not to mention some of the greatest voice actors/actresses of our generations were hired into this thing.
My point is: and for what?
There's no point in even saying spoiler-free or there's no revelations. It's a simple love story. I mean, it's in the FUCKING TITLE. The girl loves someone, and confesses to him, and gets cold feet and goes back on her confession, have some troubles along the way, and lo and behold, ends up dating the guy. Wow, who could've seen that coming?
So what the hell is so complicated about all these?
There's nothing difficult about making girls in love look cute and talk like they're girls their age, and same with boys. #genderequality. But what exactly did we get?
They just made a two-hour-long version of the music videos.
And I mean it. The dialogues were blatant copies of the actual song (yes, because people talk like they sing all the time) and character design was borderline unwatchable. But to be fair, the animation was good, except it wasn't. We got the one-frame bullshit we are so sick of watching by now in a FUCKING MOVIE, and even worse they almost basically REUSED some of the illustrations from the music videos.
Why in the hell would I listen to someone talk about a song I love for two hours instead of just, you know, watching the actual song?
There was no point in this movie at all. The only exceptions were maybe seeing the characters move (which was halfly done and sometimes not done at all) and listening to Sana and the voice actors/actresses' renditions of the songs I love and enjoy. But, and here's the thing, if this is all they were good for, how is it better than watching a nicodouga mad video of a new song by honeyworks? It isn't. It really isn't. I actually wanna see that happen now.
The characters were a joke. The actual characters in the music video are top-notch, of course, but they were almost shamefully underused. For example, we never got to see what the hell happened to Aida Miou. This chafed me up so much because she was my most favorite character. What even is the point of her besides giving the angry fans time to calm down and put down their pitchforks? We never got any glimpses of her problem or her issues, and we never even saw if she ended up with the guy.
Then they at least focused on the main couples, right? Yeah, no.
Fair enough, they got the most screeentime. But here we see time and time again, their lacking dialogues and cheap animations. They at least got all of their stories out, so I guess that's a start...
Overall, I was just too disappointed to give this movie a fair judgment. If I didn't know about the original music video series I would've given it a 6 at the lowest. But here's the thing about adaptation; they're adaptations. There's a reason people raged on Death Note and Ghost in the Shell more than the other hollywood garbage regularly produced. They are supposed to satisfy the fanbase. At least Death Note and GitS did their best. Both went out of their way to fit a mainstream audience, changed the settings to not simply make a remake, and gave no commission to the budget.
Yes, I know, comparing hollywood to anime movies is harsh, but here's my counterpoint.
So no. Fuck you A1.
You had time to give Sagiri her own animator in the trashiest show of the season, if not of the year (of course I exaggerate) but you couldn't give two fucks to give Honeyworks and their crew a proper adaptation, in a movie, in a story simpler than the Giving Tree?
Fuck you A1.