As the Revue franchise continues to march its way into a new horizon, I find myself being ensnared by excitement... and a bit of pondering.
I mean, execution-wise the movie did more than enough to cater to my expectation. The revues are splendidly done with countless whimsical effects and beautiful soundtracks to bolster the atmosphere of the ever-glamourous "competitions" between the girls.
To top it off, the design has also significantly glowed up. I mean, apart from polishing the main stage instrumental elements I had a very fun time with the chilling moments of the stage girls in their casual modes, would not be a stretch to say the producers were very meticulous in every corner of the movie.
Yet again, as the expansion movie pressed on, I could not help but raise a few questions along the way. Yes, I understand the true intention behind this seemingly long-winded followed-up installment of the Revue franchise.
Both from the audience AND the revue stage girls' perspective, it's just kinda difficult to move on. There'll always be something that lingers in our mind that would potentially trigger a memory callback, or worse, re-ignite the pain, passion, and desire that once resided within ourselves.
For the record, while the TV series has managed to bring about a fitting closure to the story of the 9 characters, I personally have no qualm with how they chose to revoke the curtain on the stage for a brand new expedition, or to be more accurate, settle some unfinished business.
But yeah, as I said, something just feels off about this.
I guess sometimes you just can't force things to move forward despite the incentive it might yield in the process of doing so. Truthfully, I myself as a fan of Revue Starlight really want to see more of the series, but if you have no solid clue of what to do next, better leaving it as it is than heading toward an unclear direction.
All said and one, I would not go as far as saying that this movie didn't deliver, but it felt like they were biting off more than they chew. Of course, this has nothing to do with "milking". For once, the fact that they were trying their hardest to cram so much content into this tight space of 2 hours is a testament to their goodwill and valiant effort. Unfortunately, however, that didn't work out well for the most part. So yeah, I'd dare label the Revue movie as "quality fanservice". It has some not-so-minor problems, but the end result is that I had fun watching it, so who cares.
A few dissections of the main content:
- A LOT of symbolism, which is both hit and miss.
- Too much focus on Karen and Hikari. I mean yeah they're the protagonists but this is still quite ridiculous given how half of the "new content" is literally just repeating the same thing that was already elaborated in the TV series.
- This remains unclear to me but from the look of it, the "group fight" on the train was likely a means to solidify Nana's position among the girls, which is honestly not a very effective move because it only severe the integrity of SS1 where everybody was having equal chances. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this and Nana was just really "drunk" lmao. That said the fight was still pretty hype on an entertainment level. A fun small detail here is the fact that while Nana is a minor "on paper" mentally she should be reaching the age of a grumpy old lady by now but whatever 😂
- Maya and Claudine's conflict was pretty cool aesthetics-wise, featuring up to 4 acts! While the character interaction felt a little awkward (got nothing to do with the homo stuff I swear), the revue was fiery regardless. Still, I'm not sure how to feel about the original OST Hokori to Ogori being partially "recycled" as part of this new revue between this enigmatic duo.
- The revue of Junna and Nana probably snatched the highest spotlight in this movie to me. Again, though I understand Nana's feelings towards Junna and the girls, nobody was asking her to do any of this. To clarify, I don't mean to make any harsh criticism about Nana's character of course, for her passion, desire, and resolve are something I can really appreciate in this mildly negatively portrayed setting of the Revue Starlight franchise. All said and done, Junna's performance was particularly outstanding that kept on making me cheer for her "you got this" 😳
- Mahiru vs Hikari is pretty intriguing despite the kinda uncalled-for jumpscare, I like the OST used here anyhow.
- Some bait with bloodbath but whatever (probably the biggest disappointment about this movie all thanks to the ending of the recap movie which raised the bar so high 😅).
- Futaba vs Kaoruko was also pretty nice thematically. I enjoyed the style and direction used in this one as it kinda blended in pretty well with the characters' nature without sacrificing the flow of the story.
- "We are already on the stage" is a nice central theme for the whole movie which indicates the endless struggle that would follow the girls no matter where they are, also adds up to how the Revues no longer being held underground but expanded further beyond that to the border of reality and dream or some sort which is cool and might be mindblowing, I think.
Totally random but I could not help but do this after seeing this scene from the movie 🤣