Film Review: Goodbye, Don Glees!

The ‘boy’s’ own adventure has been popular since mass publication began. These ripping yarns appeared in comic books and magazines, capturing the imagination of active young minds. They became a staple of children’s books, such as The Famous Five, Just William or The Secret Seven, and have produced many memorable TV shows and films like Stand By Me, The Goonies and Stranger Things. Goodbye, Don Glees! is another fine entrant into a much-loved sub-genre.

Roma (Natsuki Hanae) and Toto (Yûki Kaji) have been friends since childhood. The duo called themselves the Don Glees as they went about their adventures in the local area. Now living in Tokyo, Toto returns a year later to discover they have a new member, Drop (Ayumu Murase). When they’re blamed for starting a forest fire, they set off into the woods, determined to clear their names.

Goodbye, Don Glees! is a poignant coming-of-age story which covers a lot of ground. Writer/director Atsuko Ishizuka’s tale of friendship and self-discovery is stuffed full of heart. This emotional heft is matched by impressive animation, a tight story and great pacing. Whilst there’s nothing especially original about Goodbye, Don Glees!, it’s great entertainment.

Goodbye, Don Glees! is out in UK and Irish cinemas on 30 November.

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