This was one of those few movies that I didn't know whether I liked or hated whilst watching it, however after watching it, I can safely say I didn't like it. It was a well made movie, with an interesting premise and a somewhat cute romance, however the movie had far too many problems for it to be a 'decent' movie. I haven't read the manga so I can only rate this movie on its own, however I can tell that they failed to transfer manga to movie and struggled to fit everything in.
I liked the cinematography ; It was obviously well made with a stellar cast and good production. I thought the characters were very suited to their roles, especially Satoh who plays the brooding and sad Aki. Ohara was also excellent as the innocent and naive lover, Riko. I found the movies theme around the toxic music industry very interesting, as it's such a prominent theme of today. I only wish they would've included more about it, for example Aki dropping out of the band before it's debut because of the fake performances on his songs was sad to watch, and really exposes the industry for what it is. I also liked how similarities were there when Riko's band debuted, and were immediately placed in shared partnership with Coca Cola, which they weren't even aware of. The romance between Aki and Riko could be cute and had some sweet moments. However these are the only positives I can think of.
I felt like the relationship between Aki and Riko came out of nowhere. It's didn't develop or bud into something beautiful, it just happened, which made their relationship much less significant to me and so I didn't truly care when their relationship disintegrated. The movie suffered a lot of plot holes, and some things just didn't make any sense. For example, how was Riko able to immediately know that her boyfriend was Aki, just from hearing the band play the song that he had previously hummed on the bridge? And Aki appeared right on time to explain himself? It wasn't realistic at all. I found their meeting even worse. How did Riko practically fall in love with Aki just from his humming? It appeared way too far fetched to me. And the first words he uttered to her 'Do you believe in love at first sight?' was so out of character and cringy. A lot of the characters and side plots led to nothing, and were never wrapped up or concluded. For example, Shinya and Crude Plays manager 'villain trope' never led to anything. I felt like they had built up a plot around Shinya being jealous of Aki, and they were in conflict with one another on deciding who would produce Riko or not, however this literally led to nothing, and the premise was dropped early on. In fact, Shinyas character was not developed at all, and so by the second half his character became completely un-necessary and served no purpose, despite his interesting introduction. At the end, Crude Plays manager and Shinya basically got away with everything, which didn't really fit in with the movie or make sense. By the end of the movie, the entire plot based around the band and music industry became completely irrelevant, as it became obvious they were only there to progress the relationship between Aki and Riko. In fact, their relationship became the only important premise in the movie, and it felt like all of the character tropes and side plots that were being developed were just dropped for the sake of focusing on their relationship. For example, Aki's friends in Crude play, who were obviously hurt by the industry, never had an ending. It just became too obvious that nobody else mattered. The worst thing about the movie for me was when Aki was told he would have to break up with Riko so that she can debut. It was cliche and predictable, and I've seen happen in so many movies. Why does there always need to be an obstacle that gets in the way of a relationship, just for them to become stronger and get back together again? It felt so forced and un-necessary, plus it made literally no sense. I'm still confused as to why it had to happen ; It was a weak excuse for a obstacle in their romance. The atmosphere of the movie felt dull and monotone, so I myself felt flat throughout the movie. I didn't feel a lot of emotions, and that was a major problem in the movie. Although an interesting premise, it was delivered poorly and so I didn't really warm to it or the characters like with other films. Lastly, the ending was ridiculous. I thought it was rushed and wrapped up the movie poorly. Again, it made no sense! (Bear in mind you have to watch until the very end after the credits). I have more to say, however I think I'll break the word count, so I'll leave it at that.
Although a reasonable attempt at adapting from the manga, it just didn't work for a movie. Many things didn't make sense, and I didn't really care for the two main characters. In fact I wish we could have seen more of the side characters, however the movie made them irrelevant by the end. Overall, not good.