What more is there to say about K-On that has not already been said? It’s still a show about not all that much, proper slice-of-life stuff; though ostensibly about the Light Music Club of Sakuragaoka High School and their activities, they perform surprisingly little music, but do drink a lot of tea and eat a lot of cake, something they happily lampshade themselves.
If you were expecting something else from the film, then well, there is some small change this time around, but still plenty of tea and cake for the faithful. There’s rather more in the way of music – it was almost fascinating how a series about a music club got away with hardly ever showing them actually playing anything – and interestingly, some re-tread in terms of story and scenes, at least for those who’ve seen the second series, K-On!! (yes, with two exclamation points…). The following assumes you are familiar with the second season, if not, then beware mild spoilers.
If you’ve seen the series, then this is a lovely little companion piece fleshing out and acting as a bit of a backdrop to the end of the original four girls time at school, and if you’ve never seen the show this will be enjoyable enough, although you won’t get a lot of the ‘heart’ that’s in the background and going on between the characters. Although all the hallmarks of the characters are made clear in short order so that there’s enough for new viewers to be getting on with.
In second season we knew that they had decided to head to London for their graduation trip, but we never actually saw it – now’s our chance though, accompanied with more songs and girlish hijinks due to the expanded format. London is quite remarkably well represented on the whole, you can tell they had some excellent reference material for the backgrounds, though the less said about the terrible mockney et al. accents of the ‘locals’ the better! They manage to pack a lot in to their few days in the capital, with the larger focus around two gigs they end up doing, both rather unexpected!
If you’ve seen the series then you know their parting gift to Azusa (a year younger than the original 4 girls) was a song (because of course it was), now we actually get to see them go through the lyric creation process as the second plot line entwining its way through the film, with a very confused Azusa certain something more untoward is going on.
The animation is bright and high quality with the backgrounds’ surprisingly faithful recreation of various London locales and landmarks especially pleasing, showcasing the shows distinctive style. The dub cast are excellent as ever and if you enjoyed the music from the show (if you didn’t, I can’t imagine you’d be watching this in the first place!), then you’ll be very pleased with what’s on offer here in terms of musical performance. There are a whole slew of extras available on the Blu-Ray, so if you like promos and interviews with cast and crew, then there’s plenty to enjoy besides the standard clean opening and closing credits.
In the end it’s a cute film that’s a definite must if you’re a K-On! fan, and if you’re new to all this, then it’ll be an enjoyable enough ride, but some of the shine will be lost by not having the wider picture, though thankfully the film has definitely gone to good efforts to get enough characterisation across to not leave anyone too confused.