K-ON! Movie Review

“The girls doing what they do best, all the way to London”

K-ON may be a controversial series, and some may think anything to do with K-ON is nothing but overrated. Subjectively, I love the series. The daily school lives of the light music club and the live gigs, are never tiring to watch. Throughout season one and two, the series had shown us a simple, fun, relaxing and heartwarming ambiance through and through. As soon as the movie’s subs was out, it doesn’t take long for me to pop up my video player, and enjoy another near two hours of cuteness and fluffiness.

Adaption of an already popular and long ongoing anime can prove to be risky. It’s easy to think that they are trying to milk out more money from an already popular franchise, fooling everyone into buying a low-budget movie which did nothing to show that it is comparable to the main series, and this certainly is indeed true for a number of series. In my opinion though, the K-ON movie certainly does not feel like that.

Once again, K-ON uses a simple premise and just let the carefree girls run playfully around in such premise. This time around, the light music club is planning a graduation trip, and through countless procrastinations, hesitations and decisions, they actually DID managed to go to one, a trip to the one and only London!

The fun part was when they were finally off the airport. Although it was fun when the girls was doing their things at school back in Japan, it’s pretty interesting to see the girls having fun in a completely different place. KyoAni never forget to insert a few musical scenes here and there, after all, it’s not K-ON without the music. The girls are forced into some accidental gigs in London at some point and even though there are some crash and bumps in their “international” lives, the customers still love it, and I’m sure us viewers do too.

One interesting aspect is seeing the cultural differences. Of cause, there is the food to consider, and obviously, the natives look quite different from the usual Japanese. The movie touched on this theme subtly, and show the girls being intimidated by the sushi owner’s big stature, and it easily showed just how different westerners and Asians look. Another concern is language barrier. It’s funny seeing the girls trying their hardest to understand the language, though it comes as no surprise that Mio and Mugi seems to have a better grasp of the language.

One of the movie’s theme is the highlight of the girls’ graduations and Azu-nyan’s reactions towards it. The graduation trip also serves as an inspiration for the four seniors who were trying to write a song for Azu-nyan, who was still fighting the impending loneliness deep down. Yui, in particular was very motivated and dedicated with this song, writing lyrics late into the night until she fell asleep. Azu-nyan’s misunderstanding is pure hilarious, though at times, slightly disappointing, as she is denying the possibilities of yurism, sad.

The production quality for the movie is insanely high. I love KyoAni’s realistic rendition of the city of London, which looks exotically breathtaking. The detailed and vibrant background is noteworthy, and it exactly highlights London’s busy streets and beautiful scenery. The animations and some of the carefully chosen angles make them as comparable as most of K-ON’s high-quality ending sequences. Also, the several number of food scenes expressed and reinforced the cultural opposites of the girls’ usual obsessions; teas and cakes, which was pretty refreshing.

Like in previous seasons, KyoAni cleverly uses places referenced in real life. That’s not uncommon since previous seasons are in Japan, but it seems like the staffs are even researching real life locations in London, as places like London Underground and Hotel Ibis are present in the anime. The staff really pours a lot of attention in info-gathering of the many places in London, and I think their hard work sincerely paid off, as it increases the realism of the London they depicted.

Aforementioned, the trip also served as a purpose for the girls to find inspiration for the song they are going to write as a farewell gift for Azu-nyan. This would later be known as “Tenshi ni Fureta yo!”, the last song they performed for Azu-nyan during second season. That song just came out of nowhere during last season but this movie showed us just how much focus and effort was actually put into this song. It is purely heartwarming.

There aren’t a lot of stories or plot points worthy of mention, however, being K-ON, there is totally no need to. All in all, the movie shows us the five good friends doing what they do best; messing and playing around, relaxing, trying to come up with new songs and procrastinating; all the way in London.

Story: B-
Character: A+
Art: A+
Animation: A
Sound: B+

Final Score

This entry was posted by Kai.

25 thoughts on “K-ON! Movie Review

  1. I don’t know about you Kai but I think K-On did a good job in azu-sisting London with more promotion alongside the Olympics~

    (See what I did there? <3)

    I am content with your 9 out of 10 considering I would've just given it full marks being a total bias fanboy for K-On myself ^^ hehehehehe…

    It's definitely a cute, fluffy, relaxing series that you'd watch not for story or plot (because K-On isn't about that and has none), but for the characters and just seeing what they get up to x3

    Long live K-On! Long live Mio! <3 <3 <3

    • Damn, I had been trying to use that “azu-sisting” trick in my review but just can’t fit it in anywhere D:

      Well then, it’s surprising but it looks like I still have some level of self-control then :D
      Indeed, indeed, K-ON doesn’t need any heavy story or drama D: Just seeing the characters messing around is enough to last 2 seasons + 1 movie of epicness.

      Love live Azu-nyan! And Yui X Azusa forever <3

  2. I was unimpressed by the first season – maybe disappointed is a better word. For whatever reason I still picked up the second season and I enjoyed it. That’s a good thing, because then I watched this movie. It was fun watching the effort the four seniors, particularly Yui, put into Tenshi ni Fureta yo

    • A lot of people said season 1 was better and 2 was a disappointment. I certainly disagree about them and agree with yours. Season 2 is better, but of cause, the movie is even better. The effort put into the song is seriously nothing to mince at, it was probably the song they poured the most effort into it.

  3. I was suprised that you didnt mention that they hired people who could actually speak english for the londoners. The small accents they put in where nice to. I guess i’m one of the few were expecting engrish lol.

    • I didn’t even notice until after I watched it and thought later that evening about it. In particular, it sounded like they had actual English speakers, as opposed to “Americanese” speakers (such as myself – there IS a difference between what is spoken in England and what is spoken in the US).

      • Yea, I noticed the accent myself, which sounds different then the way American speaks. Kinda awesome just how much precision they go into capturing the London atmosphere.

    • I’m totally expecting Engrish too, and they are pretty indeed pretty fluent. I wonder if they seriously hired real “Londonese” speakers to do the voice acting. Didn’t know why I didn’t include it in the review, guess I missed it out D:

  4. While I dropped K-ON in the second season, I thought the movie was perfect. For a slice-of-life musical like K-ON, the movie format seems to suit it much better than a long-ish series. My favourite part was when they arrived in London and decided the first thing they would eat is sushi. It’s just like my friends and family when we travel anywhere new; we always look for familiar foods.

    • So you’re not fond of K-ON S2? I think S2 is actually better then S1 but again, personal preferences I guess. The movie is pretty good, and it reinforced the last scenes in S2, too bad you missed out on that D;

      And it’s also interesting to see how other countries’ perspective of your own local foods, just like how Ritsu was dying to see London’s perspectives of sushi.

  5. I also liked the movie very much. It was funny, more than the usually episodes of the K-ON! anime IMHO. The way they handled London, both in terms of scenery and people, was also great. The way the movie shows the girls in London (and the language barrier) is a step up in realism compared to the anime, which I also liked. I hope that now that manga is over there will be a third and conclusive anime series and maybe a cash in 2nd movie. That would be nice.

    • Certainly it was, even more so then S1 and S2. And indeed, it is very realistic. And because the languages sound so fluent and even local-like, it adds to the realism. The conclusive series would be the university arc most probably, not sure how would I watch K-ON without Azusa but I’m sure there would be scenes about her too. I’m all for 2nd movie as well^^

  6. I watched and reviewed the K-ON movie because of the London Olympics and I enjoyed the movie alot. Kyoto Animation have put a lot of effort into making the movie by actually going to London and take pictures of these real life places and adapt them into the movie. Also, the language barrier was kind of funny in terms of comedy and the English sounded authentic, complete with a British accent.

    Aside from that, I liked how they used the trip to eventually get the ideas together for that special song they placed in the last episode in the second season. The amount of work they done behind the scene made the song feel more special than before. But yes, I think the movie lives up to its hype for a very good reason too.

    • I bet they choose London because of the Olympics itself, pretty smart, promoting the event to those who watched K-ON as well. Do they actually go to London literally? That’s really nice of them. Yea, the language barrier jokes are nice and it’s funny how Yui replied “yes” to everything xD

      That’s exactly my point too, the movie did a good in adding more depth to the song, making the song even more so special.

  7. Pingback: K-ON! – Ham And Egg Burger « deluscar

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