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.