( because I wasn’t fortunate enough to go to Japan to witness it personally )
Six long months after its premiere in Japanese Theatres and finally KyoAni decided to release the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of their flagship anime, K-ON. Being a pretty huge K-ON fan, I would be damned if I missed this movie. So here we go witnessing the adventures of Sakura High School’s Hokago Tea Time.
OP THEME: ICHIBAN IPPAI – Aki Toyosaki
MAIN THEME: UNMEI WA ENDLESS – Aki Toyosaki
ED THEME: SINGING – Yoko Hikasa
-NOT TO WORRY, MINIMAL AMOUNTS OF SPOILERS-
We are treated to a short gig at the beginning of the movie, where the seniors of HTT (Hokago Tea Time) jam in an unusual manner, as if they were dazzled into a Rock-band stature; imitating Death Devil. They then proceed to tell Azunyan that they are going to disband HTT – to Azunyan’s surprise.
That was all a joke of course, then they return to their daily shenanigans.
That was the only spoiler.
The girls of Hokago Tea Time travel to London before they graduate from high school. As usual, wacky adventures unfold in the English Land and there was hardly a dull moment. Not only was the trip meant to be as one the last few moments together as a club, the seniors also ensured Azunyan receives the proper farewell that she deserves.
It’s clear that K-ON has developed a love-hate relationship between its viewers ever since its debut due to its notoriously high concentration of moe and simplicity, which anime viewers often label as the characteristics of ‘bad anime”. Nevertheless, I’m not here to talk about that. Chances are, if you didn’t like this series in the first place, this movie will do very little to change your perception about K-ON, but, on the other hand, will fill its fans with pure glee and delight.
The story ? Was there ever a central storyline in K-ON aside from practising for school concerts and drinking tea everyday [and taking care of each other too] ? Not really. Though, this time, they venture off to foreign lands – England -; something that we don’t see in anime most of the time. It is like a somewhat accurate portrayal of the adventure of adolescent girls outside of their own homeland, but with their very own music to spice it up. This movie largely served as the missing fragment between their last concert in school, and how they eventually decide to say goodbye to Azunyan. One wouldn’t normally required a thousand-dollar trip to do that, but, hey, this is K-ON! we’re talking about.
As usual, it seems that 3 years of English lessons at school didn’t seem to help them one bit in expressing language other than what you expect from a tourist. You will know what I mean when you come across the scene yourself. At least for the girls, it seemed that way. As much as I wished they would include more interactions with the locals of London [because personally that is the most enriching part of every travelling experience), I knew the language barrier would be the inhibiting factor and would just do more harm then good if there were more instances of said interactions. Pity. Am I over-expecting a bit? I don’t know. The girls did get to perform on stage twice, still retaining the K-ON feel even abroad, with a little bit of help from fellow countrymen/women, of course. They managed to pull through, anyway, because, London folks are nice, right ?
KyoAni decided to put their best foot forward and made this their best K-ON work yet. They portrayed London as realistically as they could, and did a pretty good job at it. It didn’t feel like a sloppy London with native Japanese-speaking people at its citizens- they actually got native British speakers to voice the Britons they encounter [ good day mate] and placed its major landmarks [ Big Ben, London Bridge, etc ] as where it should be, while retaining that oh-so unique style of Japanese animation. Commendations for their effort.
The animation for the whole duration of the movie was fluid, more so than the whole of two seasons of K-On combined, don’t know whether I should celebrate or weep. but hey, this is going to be one of KyoAni’s departures from K-ON!, save the best for last, right? Remember how British people looked no different from Japanese in series like Hetalia ? Not in Keion – they also made sure that every citizen had that different look to them, so that they look, well, Caucasian [ not some racist undertone behind its design]. The integration of some 3D space to portray London was successful. and it felt as if the girls were really wandering around in an iconic city called London, not some ‘Japanese’ London.
All in all, that was a genuinely entertaining movie. Fan or not, the adventures of these carefree and instrument-totting girls will entertain almost anyone who’s into a couple of hours of fun and music. For the more hardcore fans ? K-ON! movie can be considered the flagship of the series, and we will see this flag remaining raised for several more years to come.
Posted on July 19, 2012, in Anime, Special and tagged Abbey Road, aki toyosaki, akimaya mio, animation, anime, azunyan, Camden Town, class3-2, cross-cultural interaction, ED, English Men, Fender, foreigners, Fuwa Fuwa Time, Gibson, girls, graduation, highschool, Ibis Hotels, ichiban Ippai, instruments, japan, jun, K-ON, KEION, Keyboard, kotobuki tsumugi, light music club, london, movie, Museum, music, music club, Musketeers, Mustang, nodoka, OP, reviews, ritsu, Sakura High School, singing, The Beatles, The London Eye, travelling, ui hirasawa, unmei wa endless, Yamaha, yoko hikasa, yui hirasawa. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.