Mar 06

Movie March – K-On! The Movie

Forever moe~

Come one, come all, and welcome to Movie March! Throughout this month I (and maybe others) will be doing movie reviews for stuff from both sides of the pond, and we’re starting with the K-On! Movie after being told that I “couldn’t deny how good it is”. And you know me, I can’t resist a challenge. Plus I’ve watched both seasons in the past, so it’s not like I’m unversed in the world of Hokage Teatime. But was their trip to London and the big screen one last hurrah for the girls or did it end the series with a whimper. Pour yourself a cup and grab some sweets as we find out.

Taking place somewhere around the end of the second season, we join our quintet of light-music players as the four originals prepare to graduate, having gotten university places and passed their entrance exams. While pondering what to do as a sendoff for Azusa as they leave her behind, other clubs also moving on inspire the group to take a graduation trip, and after a roundabout method of choosing, they head to London. At the 40 minute mark, over a third of the way in.

“Fast-paced” is certainly never something you’d use to describe this film, that’s for sure. And besides the occasional “oh noes we won’t make it in time”, there’s never any real tension either. Not that you’d expect that in a slice of life music show, which the movie even pokes fun of at the start by having the four girls pretend to be arguing to fool Azusa because this is their humour level. In actuality, its Azusa who steals the show (as per), with this playing in well to the graduation arc if you’d watched the show. If not, safe to say she just ponders why her senpai have all suddenly gone mad and are keeping things from her.

But yes, this film makes no attempts to deviate from the usual K-On formula. They perform some music, they have some hijinks, and it all looks damn pretty and damn cutesy thanks to Kyoto Animation vomiting money at it. It also takes the chance to do never before seen stuff like actually show Yui and Ui’s parents and bring up the fact that these girls are 17/18… which begs the question of why Azusa is the only remotely normal one…

With this film having a large chunk take place in London, it’s also good to see that KyoAni spared no expense in getting our homeland correct. Everywhere they visit, from the London Eye to Ibis Hotels to random little cafés does actually exist, and pretty much every English voice is done correctly too. There’s no Engrish and no slow talking, though a few of the accents are clearly Japanese speakers doing their best. But certainly this is one of the best examples of our culture and language showcased in an anime.

There’s plenty of references for the series faithful, you’ll see that stupid frog, cameos from all the sidecast, a bunch of azu-puns (yes, they say “Azu-cat”, and even I smiled at that), and Jakka Jakka Jan Jan even crops up for its last hurrah.


Which neatly segways into the important bit of K-On. The songs. For the main the show plays it safe. You’ll hear Fuwa Fuwa Time and… that curry one, but also some new stuff, including the opening montage song and a British remix of Gohan wa Okazu, before Tenshi ni Fureta Yo makes its return leaving anyone who hasn’t watched the main show confused as to why it had the honour of finishing, and the age-old tradition of having professional styled music videos for the credit songs lives on too with a BBC inspired new song wrapping things up.

If this has seemed a little rambly, well, that’s kind of what K-On is. Without a core plot to really review its hard to know what to say. I was disappointed there wasn’t a heavier focus on music, but that was my main problem with the second season too. The first kind of covered all the band forming, learning to play and introducing Azusa, which left the second with little to do bar the graduation.

There’s a reason my ex-waifu won Saimoe

I guess that sums it up well. It’s basically an 110 minute episode of the show. Cutesy girls who play cutesy music have cutesy hijinks in London, providing more of an extension of the show’s finalé than its own plot or entity. If you don’t like K-On, this won’t convert you, if you did, you’ll smile away.

Got a request of a movie you’d like to see featured? Or maybe you want to write an article yourself? Then get in with touch with myself, Reaf or one of the committee. Or you could tweet us, or write on the Facebook, or post on the forums! Otherwise its Sean having free reign and we’ll end up with like twenty Pokémon film reviews…