After reviewing the Love Live series and enjoying it, I was eager to check out Sentai Filmworks’ release of Wake Up, Girls!: The Movie. Featuring some more young ladies trying to work their way to the top of the idol world, it’s a fun but short ride filled with pacing issues that still manages to entertain for those who give it a chance.
Serving as a prequel to the anime series, the story follows the Green Leaves Entertainment talent agency struggling to stay afloat. A scout/manager for the company named Matsuda is assigned to assemble a group of cute teenage girls and turn them into a popular J-Pop Idol group, despite not knowing anything about idols. It falls on him to do his best finding the right candidates and screening them to make the best group possible, even though the ones he chooses tend not to be the best choices.
This is basically what the movie comes down to, and is both its gift and curse. It only runs for about fifty minutes, so it feels more like a double length episode from the series more than anything. Now I don’t mind slow paced things as long as the dialogue is interesting, but that might not be the case for most who watch. Also thanks to the movie being so short, it somehow manages to fill packed with too much while also feeling a tad lacking. It tries so hard to pack in a lot of story and characters which in turn doesn’t help with the pacing and especially the open ending unless you happen to have the series to watch right behind this film.
It’s not all bad though, as the visuals and audio come through nicely in high definition, making this easy on the eyes and ears. Sadly there’s a lack of any special features or extras, but given the small amount of things Wake Up Girls: The Movie has to work with, it’s not surprising. Still, if you don’t mind a slower paced anime with scattered pacing filled with cute girls, this is one one idol show you’ll want to attend.