May 14, 2023
I'm not particularly a fan of dancing or performing arts anime, but this was decently enjoyable. It was a pretty simple story about the protagonists chasing their dream and overcoming some hardships that get in the way. You could probably replace "hula dancing" with anything else and the story wouldn't be very different, beyond the aesthetic of the film. Nevertheless, a movie about a group of girls becoming professional hula dancers was unique enough to keep my interest.
Overall the characters were alright, but I do think the story could have done a better job fleshing out their motivations. That would have helped me root for
them and care about them achieving their goals more. For instance, the MC's main reason for wanting to be a hula dancer was because her sister was one, but it would have been better if the movie also explored why it was personally something she wanted to do for herself. If her goal were more personal it'd help me feel more invested in her achieving it, and more dismayed by her setbacks. The other girls in her dance group could have also had their motives explored more.
The visuals were nice and colorful, they complemented the Hawaiian theme of the setting well. I also liked the hula dancing itself, it was pleasant. A couple of the dance scenes did use some CGI, but it wasn't very bad. The hula music they used in most of the dance scenes was good, but the music in the their dance scene at the hula competition wasn't really hula at all. It was just generic idol music, which felt out of place.
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