What I mean by that is this movie is Aikatsu in the purest form. It doesn't try to be or do something else because it's a movie, it's just one long episode of Aikatsu. But it's special for two reasons. It's a monumental moment in the world of Aikatsu, something the entire series up to this point has been leading up too along with doubling as a sendoff for Ichigo's Generation, solidifying the fact that even if they are still around, after this movie we really are in the Akari Generation from now on.
So the story of this movie is as simple as ever; that's part of the charm. It's Aikatsu, it's a laid back, cute show about Idols doing Idol Activities. Ichigo is going to have a Special Live, The Great Starmiya Ichigo Festival. It's as simple as that. This movie's plot summary could be summed up as "Ichigo has a concert". Of course more happens then that, but it's hard to properly summarize it. It's really that simple. The greatness of this movie comes in during those events; in order to make this event a success, all of Ichigo's friends come together to help her prepare for it. Everyone comes together in order to make this live a success. During this time Ichigo is told Mizuki, the current top idol and the reason Ichigo became an idol in the first place is going to quit. In the meantime, all of the other Aikatsus are running around helping out with tasks for the live.
Ichigo, along with Aoi and Ran head off to meet a songwriter that was recommended by Naoto. After a stunning performance that really showed off the movie's CGI (As well as not using the Aikatsu! System for the first time!)
This woman usually writes love songs, so it's a bit weird she was the one who was recommended to write Ichigo's new song to perform at the live. She at first doesn't want too, she writes songs based off of her own experiences, but eventually decides to help after seeing the girls perform. Eventually a song is written, but Ichigo feels it's missing something. Kanon, our song writer realizes that what Ichigo really wants isn't just to express her feelings to her fans but to a specific individual, Mizuki, and begins rewriting the song as a love song. Akari learns Mizuki won't be at the event and decides to do her best to bring her and without much else happening, the event finally starts.
Did I mention the live is happening at the same place Ichigo first watched Mizuki. That's some symbolic stuff right there. Ichigo's new dress isn't ready and everyone comes together once again to buy time. This is another part that I love. Everyone contributes. Akari is out finding Mizuki, the DreAca girls show up after an absence in order to perform and star in a special live action Naughty Detective/Swallowtail stage show, with girls risking their wellbeings and putting themselves in the way of danger for Ichigo's sake. This is an important part of Aikatsu and always has been, everyone is friends. This movie really solidifies that, although they are rivals and are always competing against each other, they care about each other more then they do anything else and this really comes together during these scenes.
|Even Soleil perform again!|
|Oh don't you worry, it did Ichigo!|
Finally, Ichigo's new dress is here, it's time for her to perform. And this is it. Ichigo gives a speech here, and it's... kinda beautiful. It sums up all of her beliefs and goals, it expresses her love for Mizuki, her love for her fans and friends. This speech alone is one of the best parts of the movie, and while being as wonderful as it is manages to stay completely "Ichigo" in the way it's expressed. If you didn't tear up during it, I don't know what to say. With that said, Ichigo's new song starts and...
There it is. Ichigo's new song, Etude of Radiance. If you didn't tear up before, you probably will here. This song is beautiful. The lyrics, almost every one perfectly match Ichigo's feelings towards Mizuki, the one who started her on the path of being an Idol, The Senpai she looked up to, the rival she wanted to surpass. The song is performed by Ichigo's singing voice, Waka from Star Anis, brilliantly as always. Knowing the entire series has lead up to this point, to this song, knowing where Ichigo started from, knowing her reasons, her goals, it all comes together at this one point in a massive explosion of emotions, which is portrayed in Ichigo's Idol Aura, which grows much larger then it ever has during this performance. This song is one of the best to be sung in Aikatsu, because unlike a lot of the others, this song carries a heavy weight.
The crowd want an encore, I want an encore, everyone does. Orihime and Ringo, the former tops of the Idol world, tell Mizuki that Ichigo is waiting for her. Mizuki heads to the stage inviting Akari with her, who while is doubtful, is reassured by Ringo and Orihime, realizing who Ringo really is there before heading off, meeting with Tsubasa and getting a dress of her own on the way. The two make their way to the stage to Ichigo's surprise and the three begin singing "Let's Aikatsu!". This bit is important.
|The Past, the Present and the Future.|
Their performance means more then just them singing on stage together. They represent the current state of the Idol world within the series. After this performance, Mizuki, the one Ichigo was chasing after all this time is performing with her, not the other way around. Akari, the one who loves Ichigo and became an Idol thanks to her, is performing with her on the very same stage that Ichigo first saw Mizuki. On this stage stands the Past, The Present and the Future. Mizuki represents the past, being the former Top Idol, the one who inspired Ichigo and set the series events in motion. Ichigo, the present, being the current Top Idol and serving as an inspiration for girls all over. And lastly, Akari, the future. The girl who was inspired by Ichigo, who is steadily growing, and could one day become a Top Idol just like her.
You notice when I said Ichigo is the current Top Idol? Even after her performance with Seira as 2Wings, despite suprassing WM they weren't able to beat Mizuki on the Idol Ranking chart. After this performance, it happens. Ichigo becomes the worlds Top Idol.
This is the moment it's all been leading up too. Ichigo becomes the worlds Top Idol. The one who was observing the "Moon" from the ground all that time ago has finally climbed up into the sky, not only standing next to it, but above it. The following part is rather emotional, with Ichigo's father claiming it's very likely their family will create two Legendary Idols and Ringo says she has no doubt about it. After this, Mizuki says that she has been inspired by Ichigo to continue being an idol. The girl who inspired Ichigo to be an idol is now being inspired by her to keep pushing on. At the same time, she says she accepts Ichigo's Love Song.
Aoi and Ran, with the rest greet Ichigo backstage. Aoi is tearing up, she is the one who introduced Ichigo to the world of idols by bringing her to that Mizuki concert at this very same place all that time ago, she's been with her best friend since their very first step as Idols.
Aoi's catchphrase here becomes something special. No pun intended. Her regular "This is something special!" is directed at Ichigo, the girl she's been with since the beginning, the girl she knew had this latent talent within her. It becomes something heartwarming. Ichigo runs over to her friends and hugs them, before Mizuki and Akari enter the group congratulate Ichigo and the Starmiya Festival's successful. During this, Ichigo gives Akari the Crystal Mic she used during the performance, saying she'll be waiting for her at the top. Akari says she'll definitely reach her, the one who inspired her to become an idol, who is now recognizing her as someone who could even surpass her one day, thus setting the wheels of fate in motion once again.
The girls form a circle to cheer and the movie comes to a close, with a cute pixel-styled ending with a Medley of all of the Aikatsu endings up this point (Save Good Morning my Dream, the first ending of Akari Generation) showing us that this is it. See, the series never focused on Mizuki as the main character, she was always the one Ichigo wanted to reach, wanted to surpass, the top Idol.. The position Ichigo has now taken. I think this ending goes to show Ichigo has now taken that place by using all of the songs that had served as ending themes during Ichigo's time. She's no longer the main character, she's the goal for our main character, Akari, to reach.
Our little epilogue then shows Akari and her best friends, Sumire and Hinaki saying that tomorrow is yet another brand new day of Aikatsu and that they would do their best, ending the movie with one final"Aikatsu!".
|Too bad the other two were basically nonexistent in the rest of the movie.|
And that's it. The movies done. I went on way more then I had planned too about it, but I really wanted to express what I thought this movie conveyed and why it was a special moment for Aikatsu. The movie was great, it was a fun watch. If you're an Aikatsu fan, there is no doubt you won't fall in love with this movie. If you're not, then why are you even reading this? It's an integral part of the story, so you probably won't enjoy it properly without knowing the history behind it.
On to the other parts of the movie... (lol) It's well animated, Aikatsu is a long running kids series, so while it has a nice artstyle and generally looks nice, it doesn't always look it's best and has lots of "QUALITY" moments. As a movie, this does away with that and brings the artstyle out to it's fullest. And as I mentioned before, the CGI looked stunning. The music is great, it has the same comfy Aikatsu! BGM as always and the songs performed in the movie all sound great, being mostly songs that have been used before (Shining Line, Original Star, Friend, etc). Almost every character shows up, with some exceptions, and almost all characters feel like they contribute something to the movie.
It's thanks to this that Aikatsu! The Movie is likely going to remain a favorite of mine for a long time to come. And I hope the Aikatsu! series continues for just as long. Thank you if you read this entire thing; it was boring and nonsensical as always, I'm sure, but I felt like this movie is something I really wanted to dive into with you guys, I think it deserves it. I'll miss Ichigo and friends and am glad they'll continue showing up, but after this movie I'm finally ready to let her go at the same time and start rooting for Akari to one day surpass her and become the worlds new Top Idol. But we've still got almost a hundred episodes until we can even think about that!