|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
|Rent 4||9||9||8||8||8||8||Devil Doll||[series:2442#752]|
[Score: 82% = maximum "Rent+"]
More light and fluffy time, just on a grander scale, and focusing on the main theme of the franchise: Friendship. The story is self-contained enough for being watched by an audience that hasn't seen most of the series but part of the fun is to know the antics of the girls and what to expect from them in certain situations.This movie is not a sequel to the series but rather a replay of the last half dozen of K-ON!! episodes plus the trip to London (that takes place somewhere in between these episodes), filling in lots of details that were skipped in the series, thus explaining certain developments during the final days of the four band members at school better. Knowing the second season's ending is helpful for understanding many bits of this movie (and you'll get to see several events from the series now seen through the eyes of other characters) but not essential for the whole story.
The story starts with a surprising twist, then slows down a bit, but once their airplane has lifted off it turns into a beautiful experience with many great background pictures, some nicely animated scenes (including 30 seconds of nothing but the legs of the walking girls), good background music (albeit both songs can't keep up with the ED songs of the TV series, and the OST album is a huge disappointment), the usual funny antics of the girls, some nice running gags (Mio being afraid of rotating things, or the girls trying to go out eating or drinking tea in London), some nice references to the location London (with lots of English dialog lines, or let's say "Engrish" when the girls are involved... and visiting the house "221B" was nice), and a surprising amount of live music scenes both during the trip and after the band's return to Japan.
The tone of the narration is much like the second season of the series, just not as super emotional as the final episodes there, which is mostly due to the audience knowing the main course of events already from the series' final episodes.
The central theme of the movie is the band writing a song as a surprise farewell gift for Azusa (and this song will then be performed in the final episode of K-ON!!), so it has to be kept a secret from their kouhai; Azusa, being a clever girl (and the most level-headed character of the series - she, the kouhai, does the whole planning of the trip to London because "nobody else would do it anyway"), soon notices that her fellow club members are hiding something from her but due to bits and pieces she happens to pick up gets a number of wrong ideas causing weird emotions for her and even substantially unsettling her at a certain point in the story. This story linking all events together makes the movie better than just a sequence of five stand-alone series episodes which would have the same airing time. All the important side characters get their air time as well, most notably Yui's marvelous younger sister Ui, responsible student president (and Yui's childhood friend) Nodoka, and the club's advisor (and former club alumnus) Sawa-chan-sensei.
Yui, who has been the most childish band member throughout the series, plays the lead role here - and rising to the challenge of "doing something that graduating senpais do" her character finally grows in this movie. Unfortunately, this leads to almost all songs in this movie being vocalized by Yui's childish voice, thus missing out the much more powerful songs with Mio on lead vocals that stood out on both seasons of the TV series.
So even though the movie isn't that different in tone or content from the series most of the time it can still be considered the franchise's highlight (much like K-ON! OVA), and just narrowly missed a "Buy" rating from me. This movie is for the K-On universe what Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is for the Haruhi universe.
Last updated Tuesday, May 07 2013. Created Monday, July 23 2012.
|K-On website at TBS||http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/k-on/|