Review: BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia II : Song I am.

BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia II: Song I am. is the second of two new movie entries in the BanG Dream! franchise, focusing on the band Roselia’s journey to perform at FUTURE WORLD FES. Both films are currently available for streaming on Eventive in the United States and Canada, and Song I am. has been confirmed for Southeast Asia screenings at a later date.

Be sure to read our review of Episode of Roselia I: Promise for context, as Mehdi and Jack return to follow-up on their thoughts with this second entry.

Coming off of Promise, how did you feel about this film as a continuation?

I thought Song I am. was fun, but the pacing was off again.

Yeah, where Promise took a while to get the ball rolling only to end right as things were picking up, I think Song I am. pulled a 180 and rushed to its ending without properly building it up.

The plot moves fast and mostly zooms ahead by narration, which again, might stem from adapting a story written for a visual novel. As someone familiar with Girls Band Party!’s event stories, Song I am. felt like a one-to-one adaptation of “Neo-Aspect” and a few other events. 

Oddly enough, Song I am. felt shorter than Promise despite covering a much longer period of in-game events.

The two-episode format might explain some of that dissonance, but it definitely would have dragged on too long if combined into a single film.

I liked that Promise went over the natural character scuffles and the kind of tension each individual has with their own goals. Meanwhile, Song I am. focuses more on Roselia as a whole, which makes some of the character stuff fall flat.

For example, Lisa is the narrator of Promise and plays a prominent part in that episode, but her appearance in Song I am. is fairly light.

It felt like Ako (and to a lesser extent, Rinko) were the focus characters this time around. It makes sense that Sayo and Lisa took a back seat since Promise covered them well enough, but Ako and Rinko were brushed aside a bit quickly to cap off the overarching story of Yukina and Roselia as a band.

Even if they didn’t appear on screen for long, Ako yelling “I love you!” and giving Rinko a big hug still got me to go, “Aww…”

Rinko and Ako share one of my favorite bonds from the entire BanG Dream! franchise, and I’m glad the movie showed off one of their sweetest moments. I follow this franchise because I love the characters and their interactions, and I think that’s BanG Dream!’s biggest strength.

I wholeheartedly agree, and that extends beyond Roselia. While I miss the Poppin’Party scenes from Promise, it was nice to see a handful of the other bands’ members again.

I love that Tomoe’s big sister side came out more and helped Ako figure out her path forward, just like how Ran gave Yukina some advice on lyric writing.

Not only was Rokka on screen for a whole second, but Ako even said her name! Truly, I am a spoiled RAS fan.

Hey, don’t forget Asuka. Plus, we got to see Hagumi, so hurray for Hello, Happy World! representation. 

Actually, I loved that they added in the “Autumnal Heartfelt Letter” event and the postcard bits. When I read that in-game event, Rimi was definitely the main character, while Sayo and Yukina were like her supporting cast. I enjoyed seeing that event from a different angle through Song I am.

I appreciated the nods to BanG Dream! 3rd Season, namely the mentions of the Girls Band Challenge, but I think the attempts to connect to other entries in the franchise did more harm than good.

My impression is that the film starts before the events of 3rd Season, but ends considerably after them. It just left me a little confused, since the development Roselia goes through in that season feels too important to be ignored by the film’s narrative. The film itself isn’t worse off for it, but I found myself unnecessarily distracted in an attempt to contextualize events in my head.

Maybe this is a situation where knowing less is actually helpful, because this movie featured more performances to sit back and enjoy. 

Funnily enough, I noticed that the final performance’s monologues were handled differently than the event story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the realization did soil my enjoyment of that scene.

That concert scene was quite the visual showcase, though, and it let the music shine as well. That was something we felt was lacking in Promise, so I have to give credit where it’s due.

That’s fair, but I am a little sad that the opening and ending of Song I am. didn’t feel as epic as Promise’s.

I felt like those performances highlighted some of the most dynamic visuals from the BanG Dream! franchise. Those little accents, like the clock motifs and cool backgrounds, really made Roselia’s gothic aesthetic pop. I was hoping that Song I am. would give us another grand visual feast.

I was a little underwhelmed too, but in Promise, I had the benefit of hearing those songs for the first time. By the time Song I am. came around, I had already listened to the full version of each theme song several times over, so it isn’t an entirely fair comparison.

So, to steal your line from last time, does this movie make us feel like devoting ourselves to Roselia?

Like before, I think that new fans would have a hard time diving straight into the movie.

But as a fan of the franchise, I enjoyed the performances and watching the animated version of a fun Roselia event.

I’d have to agree. Song I am. satisfied my (admittedly modest) expectations set by Promise, and any fan of BanG Dream! should be able to enjoy this one.

Bushiroad describes Episode of Roselia II: Song I am. as:

After overcoming numerous tribulations, the members of Roselia promised to appear on FUTURE WORLD FES.
It is now Autumn…

Through writing the lyrics of “Promise,” Lisa has matured.
Watching the change of color in the autumn leaves, Yukina and Sayo expressed their resolve in a picture letter to their future selves.
Driven by the wish to do something for Roselia, Rinko has started to compose a new song.
“The remaining quests are the contest, the tournament, and FUTURE WORLD FES…” Reflecting on their goals, Ako starts to feel anxious.

What view will the five of them see beyond FUTURE WORLD FES?

Disclaimer: Anime Trending received a free screening to Episode of Roselia II: Song I am., courtesy of Bushiroad.

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