How many times have you wanted to attend one of BanG Dream! shows? Of course, if you don’t live in Japan, that would be impossible...or not, because, thankfully, there are other ways to make your dreams come true.
For example, watching the recently released BanG Dream! FILM LIVE 2nd Stage! Announced in 2020, the Japanese audience was able to experience this 2D concert in August 2021. As of September 18, 2021, the film is also available in the United States and Canada (tickets are $20 USD, and streaming will end on November 21, 2021).
Just like BanG Dream! FILM LIVE, released in 2019, the whole film/concert is like experiencing a show by your favorite Bang Dream! bands, with beloved songs that will have you singing until your mouth is dry. And watching your favorite animated idols dance and jump on the stage is always a treat for the eyes.
Turn the Volume Up!
The concert starts with Poppin’Party taking the stage to sing Initial, a song released at the start of 2020. After this opening song, Kasumi (voiced by Aimi), the lead vocalist, introduces every member of the band and addresses the people at the arena. The band plays around for a bit with them and then moves on to sing STAR BEAT! ~Hoshi no Kodou~, one of their early songs. After they finish, the camera moves to the back of the venue, where another band is standing: the members of Morfonica are ready to sing the house down.
The members of Morfonica play Daylight, their debut single, after which they introduce themselves. With the introductions out of the way, they play Bloom Bloom, from their second album. This is their first appearance in a film from the BanG Dream! franchise! After them comes Hello, Happy World!, whose leader is Kokoro (voiced by Miku Ito). They appear floating on hot air balloons while performing Goka? Gokai!? Phantom Thief! and land on the stage perfectly for the finale… Well, all except guitarist Kaoru (voiced by Azusa Todokoro), who’s afraid of heights and passes out after the song is over. Once she recovers, the band plays Kimi ga Inakucha! followed by We Can☆Hurray! Just the perfect way to end their portion of the show.
The members of Afterglow have it hard to follow after such an energetic performance, but they have no trouble making the audience engage with them when the first notes of Tsunagu, Soramoyou start playing. With everyone paying attention to them, Ran (voiced by Ayane Sakura) turns the venue into a gothic party with the rhythm of Hey-day Capriccio swiftly moving on to perform Sasanqua. A change of atmosphere follows when Pastel✽Palettes appears on stage performing Tenka Toitsu A to Z☆, an upbeat song with bushido vibes, as Eve (voiced by Hata Sawako) would say. After that, Aya (voiced by Ami Maeshima) starts singing Mou Ichido Luminous, a song that has a melancholic tune to it. But don’t worry, they finish on a happy note with Yume Yume Gradation.
After all that cute idol vibe, RAISE A SUILEN comes on stage to give the audience a taste of rock. Starting off with a banger, they get everyone jumping with EXPOSE 'Burn out!!!', only to take things to a higher level with !NVADE SHOW! The last tune they play is Beautiful Birthday, leaving the people at the venue excited and waiting for more.
Last, but certainly not least, Roselia appears on stage and everyone is mesmerized. They keep everyone’s gaze on them as the melody for R plays. After that, they play Determination Symphony, and the show comes to an end with Roselia playing Avant-garde HISTORY. What a cool way to end an amazing show! But that’s not all, there’s still more! After the credits stop rolling, all the girls are back on stage, ready to perform one more time. This time, all the bands come together to treat the audience to a song: Mirai Train.
Not Just For the Fans
Unlike the previous films released within this project, this is just a live show. If you’re expecting a proper movie, with a story and character development, this is not the right film to watch. Other than a bunch of cute girls rocking the stage, nothing happens during the 1 hour 30 minutes of this film; it’s just the seven bands playing different songs. If you're new to the series, don't worry! BanG Dream! FILM LIVE 2nd Stage is great for those who want to sing along to J-music or have a first contact with the BanG Dream! franchise, but it doesn’t add anything to the story of the bands or the girls.
While you can’t expect a plot from this film, you will definitely get to experience what it feels like to attend one of these shows. Even though it’s only the 2D characters, the animation is smooth and the sound is great. We get to hear every girl’s voice and watch every band perform, something that doesn’t happen during live shows.
And let’s not forget that this is the first time we get to see RAISE A SUILEN and Morfonica taking the stage in the series of films covering all of the bands from the BanG Dream! project. A treat for the eyes and the ears, that’s for sure!