K-On! (Movie Review)

I haven't really posted any long articles recently (this is actually a surprise). But now it's time for me play the Vengaboys loudly while I get my full otaku on writing a review about the K-On! movie that was released in to Japanese cinemas last December and on DVD this July. Awh man, Japan gets all the cool shit. Well, except a Queen. Wait, who am I kidding? The Queen is dull and boring compared to exclusive games, anime and awesome albums with exclusive import bonus tracks. 

When it comes to the K-On! movie, Japan and England meet when every anime-nerd's favourite all-girl rock band come to London on a graduation trip. What happens, you ask? Well a lot of stuff happens. The movie continues where the second season of the anime ended. The older girls of the light music club (or band, if you will) have been at school for three years now and it is time for them to move on to further education. Azuza, the younger member, in the year below, has another year left however, so the graduation trip turns out to be kind of a celebration of times well spent and almost a farewell too (although it's not like they will stop being in the band and hang out together just because a few members graduated). In a way the movie reminds me a little of The Inbetweeners movie. No, K-On! is not a smut-fest, what I mean is that this movie is a finale to a series which involves the characters going abroad. Well, not completely as the beginning and end of the film takes place back home in Japan, but you get the point.

Now I am going to go on record by saying that I am not a mad fan of anime movies really. Sure I like the Studio Ghibli films, 5 Centimeters Per Second and the ones by Mamoru Hosoda as well as a few others, but really, nothing beats a good anime series. When I watch an anime movie I always feel ever so slightly underwhelmed. Not because the film is bad by any means, but it is because there is a lot of stuff that the writers have tried to cram in under the space of two hours. Some movies do it well (for example, the ones I mentioned above) but some find it harder, and this is where I think that perhaps those movies that find it harder could have had their plot and goings-on developed and unravelled so much better in the form of an anime series (or even an OVA if they don't need that many episodes) that spans more hours overall.

In my opinion, the K-On! movie seems more like a very long episode. It doesn't really go anywhere spectacular like other anime movies which usually focus around epic happenings, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. I enjoyed this movie very much simply because I am a K-On! fan in general. I love the characters, their individual personalities and their relationships with one another. I love the unity they all have as a band and the antics that they get up to when not playing music are hilarious yet cute. Kind of unrelated, but I absolutely must mention that the voices of the Londoners in this movie speaking English is absolutely hilarious. They all have the most over exaggerated English accents ever, and they sound kind of disjointed (kind of like where this review is going)... like a Japanese person attempting an impression of a cockney. The movie gets extra bonus points for this.

The art and animation of the movie is beautiful with incredible detail, all packaged up nicely in a huge nutshell of cuteness. It is even better than it was in the show, and that animation was incredible anyway! The music of the movie is great too, just like it always was. The score is fun, and is really effective at portraying the correct emotion when it needs to. The songs that the girls play in the band are fantastic, with the lyrics mostly being about food and general cute things. However, at the end of the movie there is a really effective song played that is actually quite emotional and made me feel rather sad.

My only gripe with the movie was fairly miniature, and that was that there was one particular element of the plot developing ever so gradually, unfolding slowly but surely as the movie progressed on, building up for a really epic ending. Then just when you think everything is going to go out with a bang, it does. That's fine, right? Sure, that is what I wanted, however after the big bang, there is an ending scene which just crushed all of the excitement for me. It was kind of relevant to the ending, but it was almost like the movie created an anti-climax for itself.

If you have never seen a single K-On! episode before, then this movie is probably not for you, as the plot is not really accessible unless you understand what has happened during the last two seasons. If you do want to get into K-On!, definitely check out the MyAnimeList page and get watching! The movie is really a gift for the fans and a way to end the K-On! franchise with a bang (and also an opportunity for the creators to make a bit of extra yen as well). Despite this, I can bet any money that this is not the end of K-On!, as it is definitely a series that can continue on without any problem, especially since it contains many elements of the 'slice of life' anime genre.

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