ANN’s protection of Anime NYC 2023 sponsored by Yen Press and Ize Press!
This is the definition of a filler anime film. That does not make it dangerous nevertheless it’s disappointing—particularly following a second season that already lacked narrative urgency and principally coasted on goodwill in direction of the characters. Those hoping for any observe-by on the Fortune Lover II tease from the finish of Season 2 could have to hold ready for a potential Season 3.
It’s a unusual activity to make a film with a sufficiently big scale to really feel worthy of the massive display screen whereas additionally understanding it may possibly’t be necessary to a collection’ broader continuity. It’s simpler to do that with shonen motion anime, the place you may merely have the characters combat a new, greater monster of the week. For a rom-com constructed upon character relationships, introducing BIG new occasions that additionally aren’t significant ones is tougher. The My Next Life as a Villainess film nearly makes it work earlier than screwing up badly in the remaining stretch.
One clear unambiguous optimistic about the film: that is the greatest My Next Life as a Villainess has ever regarded by way of artwork and animation. The watercolor backgrounds, already the strongest side of the TV present’s visuals, are given multiplane depth. The characters are drawn higher than earlier than, with nice lighting results and moments of sakuga fluidity. Only some roughly built-in CG results knock the movie down on this entrance.
As filler motion pictures have a tendency to do which is introducing a number of new characters to attraction you in the second earlier than they’re by no means heard once more. First is a cute little chook, adopted by Catarina and given the identify Piyo. Between this, the Sasaki and Peeps premiere, and the large mannequin of Filo from Shield Hero on show, considered one of the clear takeaways from Anime NYC 2023 is that chook mascot characters are in.
There’s the circus caravan coming from Mutrac, a nation coded with Middle Eastern/North African vibes. Aaqil, a magically gifted animal tamer, who connects extra simply along with his creature companions than with folks, is the important determine of curiosity by way of each his particular person character growth and potential as a love curiosity. The different caravan member who stands out the most is Aaqil’s femboy greatest good friend Gerudo Link—I imply, Qumiit. The film is as refreshingly optimistic about his gender nonconformity as the franchise is about queerness. Sophia’s interactions with Qumiit are the movie’s comedic spotlight.
I want the collection’ common supporting characters had extra moments to shine in the movie however getting to know the new characters is enjoyable. Aaqil’s story has a lot of heartwarming friendship/discovered household themes—and, after a considerably contrived however logical revelation at the movie’s midpoint, the first actual danger since Season 1 that each one roads could lead on to doom.
The raised stakes permit for what up to this level has principally been a hangout film to construct in pleasure. If this wasn’t a filler film, this may very well be one thing particular. Heck, even when it was a extra cleverly dealt with filler film, it could in all probability be a stable advice. I am unable to say the place the movie goes fallacious with out spoilers. At a sure level in direction of the finish of the movie, my mind was crammed with profanities. The remaining moments are so crass and awkward due to the film’s standing as filler. For all its leisure worth up till that time, I am unable to blame any followers for skipping this film completely.
Overall grade: C+
+: The greatest the collection has ever regarded, new characters are charming sufficient
-: Botches the conclusion so badly that it turns into insulting