Sorry for the delay, at least it ties up well with the on-going London Olympics eh?
First of all, let me stress that the number of caps taken (72) is actually way too little, but I had to go along with a reasonable number or else the loading times will take forever. The caps alone don’t do justice as to how awesome the visuals are, especially regarding the scenery in London. I’ll break this post into
two three main sections so that it is easier on the eyes. Let me just say this upfront though – This whole movie is sprinkled with humour and jokes throughout and anything that manages to incorporate humour always scores brownie points with me.
Brief Summary (jokes not included):
Time certainly flies (pun intended), it has been nearly 2 years since the S2 of K-ON! ended. (based on air dates) In classic K-ON fashion the first thing we’re treated to is an all too familiar troll scene where the victim is always Azusa. As a refresher this is a sequel-of-sorts to the original S2+OVA, where the seniors are about to graduate and before that they were wondering what to do when some random classmates mentioned that they were going on a trip, and that was all that was needed to convince the girls themselves to do the same. The next question is where and how do we decide? Long story short, after a rigged attempt by Yui, they left that decision to Ton-chan who then “picked” London.
After fooling around at the airport and on the plane, they arrived in London. A trip wouldn’t be called a trip if everything went smooth sailing right? Several hiccups occurred during Day 1 due to the language barrier (and Ritsu saying yes to everything), they found themselves at the wrong hotel branch (FYI: cabs in London are expensive), being mistaken for another band (again Ritsu not helping at all). In hindsight though it is the things that don’t go according to plan that turns a trip into an adventure and that is what also makes traveling “fun”.
Days 2-3 was mostly sight-seeing, but make no mistake here. The level of detail, the scenery and iconic sights are simply breathtaking to behold. Granted, the scenes flash by fairly quickly but take a second to pause, pay attention to the backgrounds; to the daily life of London, these are the small little things that actually made the movie stand out from the typical K-ON school life episode. It isn’t just about cute girls doing cute things anymore, it is about cute girls doing cute things while in a foreign country.
Day 4 was their final day at London and they went back to their roots, performing at a cultural festival/exhibition, overseas no less! Even Sawa-chan managed to make a surprise appearance, but honestly 4 days in London is way too short, Sawa’s stay of only 1 day and 1 night leaves me simply speechless, is there even any point to it when the total flight duration is as long as your actual time spent on ground?
In the end, K-ON is still about music at heart and throughout the entire duration of the movie the girls were trying to come up with a song for Azusa as a sign of appreciation/parting gift. After the trip in London, after going out with a bang on their last day at school, the song is finally completed and we’re treated to a bittersweet performance of it. That concludes the movie in a movie-like manner – having a “plot” (composing the song for Azusa), having a premise (them deciding to go overseas), having the “action” part of the movie (them being in London) and finally having a conclusion (graduating from high school along with the completion of the new song).
While my memories of the original K-ON are rather fuzzy by now, I can safely say for sure that I was thoroughly entertained this movie, even if it was a standalone, more than the original for 2 main reasons:
- Overseas traveling as a theme
While I haven’t mentioned this explicitly, I am a huge fan of traveling. Watching this movie made me realize that it portrays the realism of real-life traveling rather accurately. From doing research to planning the itinerary; visiting a travel agency to packing up; from one airport to the other and finally reaching their destination.
Their traveling experience in London itself is probably a little exaggerated, especially considering that they are still high school girls who are probably on their first overseas trip. To London no less, alas I can’t really expect it to be too realistic anyway. Speaking of London, Kyoani’s rendition of it seems to be quite faithful to the original, but what really stood out for me were the subtle details and small little things that added up.
The language barrier that they faced was well executed and also a real problem out there for travelers going to a country with a different mother tongue, I’m really glad that they decided to make some gags out of that, although I can’t say the same when it comes down to reality.
- Lots of fun and laughter
I can’t really recall if the original series were actually this amusing, since half of my brain says yes and the other half says no. Anyway the gags revolving around the usage of “engrish” were definitely my favourite ones, although the usual fare aren’t that bad either.
When it comes down to “plot”, there is actually “plot” in this movie! The “plot” of writing a song for Azunyan was built up over the course over the entire movie. Things ended in a similar fashion as per S2, which is a rather heart-warming/touching scene.
Last but not least, K-ON is an anime that centers around music, so fans of that will definitely appreciate the new songs (quite a couple of them) along with the various performances throughout the course of the movie. Personally I don’t really dig them too much, but I would say some of them are decent to listen to.
This movie is a huge step up from the original K-On anime, if you already enjoyed the original this is like icing on top of cake. I’ve probably said it a couple of times but I will say it again – it is the traveling that was the most appealing factor for me. This is what slice-of-life should be all about, seriously speaking. It can feel a little long but no harm watching it in two halves or even more if need be.