Another movie! This one follows almost directly after Wake Up, Girls! Is it worth watching?
The short answer is “yes if you loved the anime series.”
Without getting too spoilery, Wake Up, Girls! – Seishun no Kage manages to tie up a few more plot points from the anime series and the prequel movie. However, it also introduces a few that aren’t resolved by the third movie, Wake Up, Girls! – Beyond the Bottom. Nevertheless, the primary selling point of Seishun no Kage is the partial closure regarding these plot points.
Other than that, however, it feels like you do not really have to watch this movie if you were already satsified with the anime series’ (incomplete) conclusion. While it’s nice to see that Wake Up, Girls! was picked up by a major record company (thus giving them a better fate than the bittersweet ending presented at the end of the anime series), the bittersweet feelings actually come back in full force. This movie only serves to illustrate more of the harsh reality that faces schoolgirl idols and, in short, could be described as “Wake Up, Girls! in Tokyo!” since the girls face even more setbacks.
What makes the setbacks even more frustrating is that they’re caused by other people’s ulterior motives and poor judgement. While this isn’t new to the franchise (the anime series had a few of those here and there), seeing WUG! suffer as a result didn’t sit well with me. Ah, well, life is also unfair. The fact that I got angry means I really got attached to Wake Up, Girls!, so there’s that.
The music quality is once again great despite the fact that only two more new songs were brought in. Well, one of them isn’t as great, admittedly (but that’s primarily why Wake Up, Girls! suffer). But the one that counts is a banger as usual!
In regards to the animation, it did improve compared to the anime. But that’s not much of a feat.
All we get for yuri is weak subtext as usual. Hope you’re wearing your shipping googles.
Lukewarm fans of Wake Up, Girls! can skip this movie (and the third movie that follows this one). It’s more of the same, essentially, but a few of the plot points are tied up, least. For what it’s worth, this film manages to paint Wake Up, Girls! as an underdog again despite their prior success. That alone could get viewers passionate and emotional, which is a nice lead-in for the climatic third film.
That being said, I enjoyed this film and encourage people to watch Seisun no Kage and Beyond the Bottom if they are also big fans of Wake Up, Girls!