Note: The following review was written a long time ago, before our migration to WordPress and when our reviewing skills were still noob-level. Apologies.
An original story based on an anime series of the same name
Produced by: Kyoto Animation
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Music,
Length: 110 minutes
As graduation looms closer for the seniors in the Light Music club, Yui and co. decide to leave behind something for their only junior, Azusa. In the process, they manage to go to London for their graduation trip.
From left: Tsumugi Kotobuki, Mio Akiyama, Yui Hirasawa, Ritsu Tainaka, Azusa Nakano
Overall Rating: 4/5 moons
Story – 7/10
As a movie, it can stand by itself. Those who have not previously watched K-ON will feel compelled to watch it after this movie as it totally showcases all the traits of the girls that we have come to love. I have to warn you though, there isn’t really an aim to the movie. If there was one, it is forgotten among the silliness and moe.
It’s kind of easy to forgive once you get lost in the randomness of it all, but it would have been nicer if the main theme was more evident. Even the initial thoughts of them wanting to leave something behind for Azusa was pretty much side-lined in the excitement of the entire London trip. Should it have been given more development, it would have definitely given the movie a little more meaning.
Another bone I have to pick is how the movie – even though it was supposed to focus on the girls’ trip to London – spent most of its time in Japan leading up to the decision of where to go. That was kind of frustrating because quite a lot of material from the anime’s second season was recycled in those parts. This includes the ending, which [spoiler alert] was just a replay of the ending of the second season. [spoiler end]
In that sense, the movie was pretty much an in-between of the pre-graduation and post-graduation moments already shown in the anime. But even besides my problem with the scene recycling, the ending still turned out to be incredibly anti-climatic, not helped at all by the recycled ending scene.
Perhaps I am disappointed because there was too much lacking in plot development. There was so much potential in showing how the girls felt towards their only junior, or how they felt now that they were going to graduate etc.
Even though that kind of development may not be consistent with the light-hearted atmosphere of this 4-koma adaptation, I feel that more could have been done considering it was the series’ first feature film.
Character – 7/10
We haven’t seen action from these girls in a long while, and this movie is mostly a trip down memory lane. Ritsu is still tomboyish and eccentric; Sawa-chan is still a bit creepy; Mio and Mugi still worry about their weight; and yes, Yui is still very much the same Yui we left behind.
The character development in this film is limited, as it was in the anime series. Like I said earlier, I was hoping for much more since they were going to graduate and leave Azusa behind. Again, because it’s based on a 4-koma in the first place, you can’t expect much. At least their characters are as lovable as ever.
As expected (and my expectations weren’t let down), there were some new songs from the film that were great. I especially love the closing theme, Singing!, sung by everybody’s favourite Akiyama-san. Other than that, the visuals were on point in typical KyoAni standards. I wish they could have animated much more of London, but I’m satisfied with what we were given.
There are more than a few scenes recycled from the anime series, with the new content taking residence in the middle section of the movie. Still, the movie was everything I loved about the anime and more, and they did a great job with that. Personally, I thought the ending was anti-climactic, but as a whole, the movie was an enjoyable watch. Definitely brought back a lot of nostalgia from the anime. Can be watched as a stand-alone.