Since the London Summer Olympics began just a few days ago, I feel the need to finally watch the K-ON movie since it takes place in the same city. As hinted in the Episode 27 special, it’s quite obvious that the Light Music Club will go on a Graduation Trip and it actually happened. (Image Source)
The premise of the story is rather simple. They finally got passports and it’s close to graduation. Therefore, they feel the need to go on a trip together. From Ton-chan’s decision of picking London, it makes me wonder why they decided on that. Perhaps the production company knew that the 2012 Summer Olympics would be held there, so the choice was practical Then again, it’s home of several famous musicians in history. Aside the trip to London, they want to draw inspiration for a special song to play in dedication for Azusa as well.
While the vacation to London is the main feature of this film, it’s not. It still follows the same feeling of Iyashikei from the last two seasons with girls enjoying themselves, except in London while doing two performances in different instances. Of course, it’s just as enjoyable, especially when they arrived at the airport and trying to interact with various people who speak English. I can feel their difficulties as English is a difficult second language, more so if you’re Japanese. Still, I’m quite surprised on how good the English was in some instances. It’s clear in the credits that they used actual British voice actors. It’s similar to what Shinyaku!? Ika Musume Episode 4 did when the characters said some lines in English.
As for how Kyoto Animation depicted London, they did a good job. It almost looked like the viewer is actually in London. In some of the places they show such as the Airport, London Underground and Hotel Ibis, they are actual places in real life. This shows how much detail the team put into the movie by traveling to England and take reference screenshots of various locations before animating it. On the other hand, it wasn’t perfect. I felt that they played it safe a bit too much by having the girls perform in a sushi restaurant and a Japanese cultural festival. Still, the limited scope of English culture wasn’t a big deal breaker even though they could have done more with it.
The second important point of this movie is how the four girls came up with the song “Touched by an Angel” (天使に触れたよ) from Episode 24 of K-ON!!. Although a few people were highly critical and said that London didn’t serve any purpose at all, I disagree. Like with most musicians, composers, authors, etc., they need to draw inspiration from something. Creativity certainly doesn’t come out from thin air. It has to come from ideas or experiences. I think the trip serves some purpose since Yui gradually gains some thoughts on what to put in the lyrics as the events unfold. Eventually, Mio, Mugi and Ritsu put their ideas together to get the final product. I liked how they worked behind the scenes without Azusa ever finding out. It felt like a special song that the girls would remember forever.
In the end, I really enjoyed the K-ON Movie. Between the English having difficulties to communicate with the girls and Yui chasing down Azusa in the hotel room, I laughed in so many instances. Although the movie is overkill since K-ON doesn’t actually need one, it was still a treat to watch, especially for the performances and gorgeous animation that Kyoto Animation is known for.
Overall Rating: 9/10, A-, Very Good