Love Live! Sunshine!!
Info: MAL | Subs: FFF
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The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls
Status: Completed | Info: MAL | Subs: Chibiki (1-10)/Doki (11-13)
Following the anything-but-stellar recital rehearsal, the newly formed Choir Club faces a stalemate and a period of hardship as their temporary members had left as soon as the rehearsal was over. It was up to Miyamoto to think of ways to recruit people back into the ranks to barely meet the club quota of 5 members. Sakai got chased down by a overly-attached Spanish man who claims to know her. They try to win Tanaka over by challenging him to a Badminton match. Having won, albeit through the most unfair of methods, Tanaka reluctantly joins the ‘Choir and sometimes Badminton club’. They got Wien in as well and got the principal’s rather unconditional approval once more. They head to the beach for Summer activities and happened to notice the ‘World Stage Music’ being constructed and decided to join in. The Condor Queens, a well-known roaming Spanish band butt into their audition, and tell them how ‘pros’ do their work. When deciding on a place to stay, Miyamoto suggested for them to stay at Sawa’s place- which they accepted without hesitation. Miyamoto was delighted and sought to learn more from them, though Sawa was not too happy with her complacency when they Condors are around. When Sakai arrived at Sawa’s place, it was revealed that Sakai’s mother was a part of the reason why they came to Japan, and that the woman was of significance to the band. They paid their respects to her mother soon afterwards. The Condor Queens strengthened Miyamoto’s resolve to try and participate in the World Music Festival once more. Through Sawa’s mother, they made last minute arrangements to perform. Having resolved their internal conflict, the Choir Club members use the days remaining to practice singing for the festival.
Ultimately, though Sakai did not perform, The Condor Queens specifically told her to never give up music. That is up for her to decide.
I have been asking myself ‘how will the Choir Club keep picking itself up over and over again?’ And they have demonstrated their resilience through these series of events. Though as an aspiring male, you’d see that Tanaka is subjected to a happenstance that he’d probably never would have thought happen in his life. All the poor guy ever wanted was to expand his badminton club and eventually compete in the nationals and further to a professional player status. Cheekily, the female leads in the story will always have their own extortionist ways of getting people to join her cause. Zing. But hey, at least he gets to ‘sometime’ play badminton amidst the music-centric activities of the club. Nevertheless, he shines in the self-esteem department and wouldn’t let his friends down, because he believes that this is a worthwhile cause. [ right? right ?]
The plot seems to be sidetracking a lot at this point, but all this will serve well to prepare for the actual recital. [ all that trouble for just the recital ?!]
Speaking about sidetracking, we saw Miyamoto being distracted more than ever, even suggesting the group to skip practice just to watch the Condors perform. Sawa had to force her back into the group’s focus. Some more character development we see over here.
The Condor Queens, at first the victim of being prejudiced as a bunch of cocky hags, actually turn out to be a fun bunch to be around. Throw in a bit of Spanish into their Japanese and you have a ‘World Music Band’. Unfortunately, a Google Search has officiated the status of Condor Queens to be ‘non-existent’ in real life- bummer, they’d actually be awesome folks if they were real. Anyway, they serve to reveal more and more of Sakai’s proverbial background in Music.
We haven’t heard Sakai sing a single note up until this point and probably when she does, we will hear the voice of an angel. Because, hey, that’s the momentum that the story has been building up right ? It better be.
Another good round of laughs,giggles, stellar art and genuine singing.
[ Clenches fist, thrusts it into the air,Screams lets do this in Austrian]
( 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.
Continuing the rather climactic end of the first episode..
We see Miyamoto, Okita, Taichi , Wien and Sakai meeting up at the city’s park.
Casually greeting each other, Taichi goes about asking whether Miyamoto was singing.
Okita took this opportunity to ask Sakai to come along as the may their way to her house. The boys went their own ways, with Taichi showing Wien around the city.
With Miyamoto idling about Okita’s room, she decides to show Sakai the clip of Miyamoto ‘screwing up’ during last year’s combined recital. Miyamoto tries her best to remain composed, as much as she dreaded that event.
Seizing this the opportunity once again, Okita requests for Sakai to be in the choir club, even if she will not be singing. Sakai gladly accepts.
They then got to discussing strategies to bring more members into the choir club, with the distribution of attractive flyers as one of them.
The next day, Miyamoto seeks approval from the principal as she has gathered enough members to start the new choir club.
Reluctant at first, the principal dismissed the girl’s seemingly innovative plans for the new choir club. Upon inspecting that Sakai Wakana is seeking to be a member of the club, he instantly undergoes in a change of heart and immediately approves of the club. He even promptly requested to be the club’s advisor, whose request Miyamoto unhesitatingly accepts.
After school, Miyamoto tries her hand at piano and desperately fails. Sakai enters the clubroom and comforts her. Surprised at her piano skills, Miyamoto asks her to play a few more songs.
Eager to start as soon as possible, she then requests for Sakai to aid in the club’s practice by playing the piano.
And so, the each day went by, as the choir club practises. The vice-principal initially rejects the chosen song, but gives in to Miyamoto’s burning passion to perform it.
On the day of the first combined rehearsal, the principal goes MIA, this caused the Choir Club members, Okita and Miyamoto scrambling to look for the assistant adviser.
Miyamoto got Sakai, who reluctantly accepts to lead the practice in her stead for the time being, as she was the only actual student of music in the club.
They finally found Ms Takahashi at the hospital and rushes for the location of practice.
Sakai requests for the choir club to perform last, as she was the sole member who was at the auditorium.
The club just barely cleared congestion in the city area on the way, hope fades away for the club to reach in time.
Upon seeing the failure of the choir club to turn up on time, the vice-principal decides to cancel off their slot in the rehearsal.
Miyamoto’s determination crumbles and she decides to go home. Okita swiftly spanks Miyamoto to remain focused and keep her spirits up.
With Sakai’s assistance at the piano, two of them boldly took the stage and starts their song.
This just keeps getting better and better. The choir club has taken their first step into the limelight and the journey has just started. The relationship between each character is getting developed steadily, though, the rest of the choir club’s members do could use a bit of introduction even if they are considered as extras solely for the voice ensemble. I’m sure you’ll do that, right, P.A works? Alright. The art remains consistent and beautiful, with glorious voice-acting-cum singing at that.Other than that, I think this episode is a perfect example of what happens if one does not plan their external events properly – best not to screw up next time, Miyamoto !
At long last, Tari Tari is out ! P.A works, creator of Angels Beats ! and Hanasaku Iroha brings you its.. well… latest work !
Starting off optimistically with “Dreamer” by AiRI, we’re off to see a great start on this slice-of-life journey.
Wakana Sakai starts off the day tending to his father’s breakfast. Shortly after a dispute over a bouquet of flowers, she leaves for school.
Sawa Okita, classmate of Konatsu Miyamoto [2nd picture below] cruises with her horse around school. Miyamoto takes a leisurely stroll to school.
Taichi Tainaka, the sole member of the badminton club, rushes ahead for morning practice.
The school’s choir club practices for the crucial Annual Recital. The instructor, the vice-principal of the school, demands more from the performers.
As homeroom was about to begin, the students of a certain class in Shirohamazaka High prepare the stage for a surprise.
Atsuhiro Maeda, a transfer student from Austria, approaches this certain class along with its homeroom teacher.
Highly delighted by the surprise for her maternity leave, she goes about her daily routine.
Nitpicking on Taichi, Takanashi-sensei scolds him for being a regular late-comer. In his defense, he says that attends practice early every morning. He then voluntarily jokes along with the class and sings the school’s anthem.
Atsuhiro Maeda is forgotten about, and quickly brought into class for him to be introduced. He is highly respectful of other people, and basically welcomes other students to become friends with him.
Miyamoto steps into the teachers’ quarters and requests for a position where she can ACTUALLY sing inside the school’s choir club, to no avail. The vice-principal sternly reminds her of the hiccup that she has caused in last year’s Recital and refuses to entertain her request. As Miyamoto exits, the vice-principal rubs her off by asking her for a formal request if she really is interested in the position.
Much to her grimace, she returns and wrecks the table of the vice-assistant, accusing her of misjudgement and cried unfair. This never actually happens of course, as she awakes from her gurgling tirade in the toilet.
Miyamoto then consults Okita, who seemed positive on just about everything that Miyamoto says. Okita joining her choir club might just be a possibility.
[As the convention of [almost] every high school-based anime, we have a desire, which becomes a collective – and then finally embodies itself fully into a club !]
On the way home, Miyamoto tries to convince Okita to join her new choir club, as Sakai apparently is a talented singer.
Sakai then reminds Miyamoto of her discontinued membership in the choir club and this instantly sparked Miyamoto’s impulsive decision to shout ’embarrassing!’
She then composed herself, and gleefully asked Okita to join the club ‘out of fun’. Irked by Miyamoto’s lack of subsistence, Sakai angrily reprimands her for not having an objective to singing. She then rides off quickly on her bike, on the way back home.
Engaged in deep reflection, Maeda notes his progress in fitting into Japanese society and culture.
The next day, Miyamoto and Okita meet up in a cafe to discuss the plans for the choir club. Okita never seemed to take it seriously, but was always open to listen to Miyamoto.
Not very amused, she decides to get some ice cream outside with Okita. While waiting, she sang soulfully in the middle of the park, pretty much oblivious to the surroundings. It just so happens that Taichi, Sakai and Maeda passed by, as Okita returned to her with ice cream.
Quite an interesting situation here.
Pretty long plot summary for first impression ? It damn well should be – the first impression always counts. What we’ve got over here is an anime which does not rely on moe, ecchi or just blatant exaggeration for its audiences to feel attached to the characters. Right from the moment Sakai serves breakfast, or when Miyamoto says hello to Taichi, one can already see what kind of characteristics these boys and girls have – it’s important that they clearly state what kind of impression the audiences will make of the characters. Miyamoto is the go-getter, Sakai is a cold one, whereas Okita is your mature, albeit slightly generic girl and so on. It’s also very nice to see a lively classroom setting – which is unfortunately very rare in most stories-, some little details that make a story flourish. Character development will be a highly acclaimed part of this series and many viewers will expect no less. A lot of the dialogue is no mere pep talk and actually has some depth – good scriptwriting. The art is beautifully done, the backgrounds are smooth with its textures and it’s clear P.A Works didn’t compromise on the aesthetic qualities of this production. Go and check it out its OP and ED songs too ! Genuinely appealing and beautifully animated, Tari Tari Hitotsu-me , go !