Anime can be unrealistic and extremely over the top but there are times when some works remind you that anime can be about literally anything. Rather than being about a group of teens fighting to save the world with mechs or going on some mystical adventure, Goodbye, Don Glees! is instead a slice of life/drama that looks at how fleeting life can be and what it means to grow up. Animated by studio Madhouse—Black Lagoon, No Guns Life, Alderamin on the Sky, No Game No Life, and Sonny Boy, to name a few—we had high hopes for Goodbye, Don Glees! being helmed by such a legendary studio. Did we find despair here at Honey’s Anime when the credits rolled out or were we ready to share the word to watch this movie? You’ll find out in our review of Goodbye, Don Glees!
The Summer of Youth is Like Fireworks
Goodbye, Don Glees! has a very unique name. Don Glees isn’t some main character’s name—though it sounds kind of cool, to be honest—but is the name of a club run by three young souls who are just trying to enjoy their youth despite living in a small rural town. Toto Mitarai, Roma Kamogawa, and Drop are three friends and one summer, decide to do what most kids do, play with a drone while launching fireworks into the sky. Unfortunately, a fire breaks out in the forest and obviously Don Glees is blamed since they were playing with fireworks. It won’t take too much to figure out what happens next as the group tries to clear their name but the adventure is what really makes this film exciting.
Many elements of Goodbye, Don Glees! feel really relatable and that is what makes watching this movie so enjoyable. Just like real life, there are many highs and lows in Goodbye, Don Glees! and we won’t spoil some of the big shocking moments—one may have you in tears—but we were pleasantly surprised by how hooked we were while watching. So yeah, there aren’t any giant mythical battles or gun shootouts—which is what Madhouse seems to be known for, yet you won’t feel bored while witnessing the journey three young teens end up having and how it reflects just how crazy life can be at times.
These Three are Don Glees
Aside from the gripping adventure plot that screams with teen years, Goodbye, Don Glees!’ the cast is easily the shining element of this hour-and-a-half-long movie. From the carefree but adventure-loving Drop to the overly serious student Toto, these main characters are so filled with personality and depth that it is a shame they don’t have a full 12-episode series to really explore them. Roma will probably be the character many viewers will relate to as he tries to find out what makes him special compared to his friends.
When we weren’t laughing when the trio tried to fight off a bear with hair spray, to them all trying to escape cops, we legit kept wondering what would happen next to this merry bunch. That’s why when the last few big moments occur we were left shocked and literally reminded ourselves these three aren’t real but just fictional anime characters. By the end of Goodbye, Don Glees! we dare you to pick which of the three is your favorite as even we here at Honey’s Anime can’t decide!
There’s Never Enough Time
The more noticeable issue of Goodbye, Don Glees! can be found in our earlier comment. Being a movie, Goodbye, Don Glees! is only an hour and a half in length which really is just the bare minimum to fully flesh out these characters, their world, and their stories. Honestly, we feel there is so much more we could have learned from each character and while Goodbye, Don Glees! does a great job of giving just enough, we really feel these three are criminally not given enough time to share their stories. Imagine meeting possibly three new friends and only learning a bit about them before they leave. Could you really say you know them? You might like them and want to know more but sadly you soon discover they are never going to be around you ever again. It sounds silly but we wished this movie had just a bit of a longer run time.
Those Shining Stars are Twinkling Indeed
Madhouse has done some outrageously good animation before in the past and while Goodbye, Don Glees! might not be their best animation, that doesn’t mean it’s not excellent. Rather than be over the top like MANY MadHouse works, Goodbye, Don Glees! has some eye-catching visuals, especially when you look at the set pieces. During the dream phase, we were just floored by the stellar designs and couldn’t look away! Madhouse never fails to impress and Goodbye, Don Glees! is yet another one of their great works to add to their already impressive list of amazing anime movies/series.
There are times when some movies remind us to seize every single moment in life and equally remind us that anime can truly be reminiscent of everyday life when it wants to be. Goodbye, Don Glees! is a fantastic movie that hits so many different emotions we doubt any one person will have the same feeling while watching it. When you can, you need to watch this film as soon as humanly possible and then leave us a comment below telling us your favorite moment/scene! Be sure to keep stuck to our emotionally driven hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews and articles!