K-ON! The Movie Review

K-ON! The Movie Review

K-ON! The Movie anime cover art
K-ON! The Movie

This Is Not a Sequel

K-ON! The Movie (K-On! Movie / 映画 けいおん!) wasn’t the movie I expected it to be. Going in, I assumed that this was a sequel to K-ON!!, the second season of the series. But, that’s not actually the case.

If you’ve seen the series, you’ll know that it ends with the four main members of the Light Music Club graduating. And, not only that, but they all got into the same university. So, I was expecting this movie to follow them post-graduation. That seems like a logical assumption to make.

Of course, I already knew that this movie was about the girls going overseas to London. But, that and the four main girls being in university aren’t mutually exclusive. The trip could happen before they leave for university. Or, it could happen during one of their breaks.

Ho-kago Tea Time traveling to London from the K-ON! The Movie anime
Ho-kago Tea Time traveling to London

Well, as I said, this isn’t a sequel. The movie actually takes place toward the end of Season 2, but not after it. It takes place before graduation. The girls go on this trip to London as a way to celebrate their upcoming graduation. And, naturally, they invite Azusa along, too, even though she’s not graduating.

Now, with that all out of the way, this movie was better than I thought it would be. Though, I guess the average rating for it could have told me that. It has a higher average rating than either season of the TV series. And, I have to agree with that.

The main series is good — especially the second season. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not. But, I can’t remember it making me laugh out loud or anything like that. This movie did. It’s genuinely funny and improves on the series in pretty much every way.

Ho-kago Tea Time Hits London

What’s the best thing about K-ON! The Movie? It’s seeing the girls of the Light Music Club in unfamiliar places and situations. It was fun watching them as they explore a new city in a new country where they don’t speak the language.

Even things as simple as them trying to figure out how London taxis work were enjoyable to watch. To me, it’s those little things that highlight how they’re tourists. And, that’s cool to see. It wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining if the girls didn’t seem out of place in a country they’ve never been to before.

Watching them stumble around London makes me feel like that’s how I’d be if I went to many cities in Asia. Sure, I’ve been to other countries before. But, the people in those countries still generally spoke English. And, the culture wasn’t that different.

Ho-kago Tea Time in a London sushi bar from the K-ON! The Movie anime
Ho-kago Tea Time in a London sushi bar

Why London, though? Obviously, Mio wanted to go there. And, there are a lot of famous bands and musicians who are from there. So, it makes sense as a destination for a music-focused anime. And, that’s probably the main reason for choosing London. But, it didn’t have to be London.

Sure, Mio lists off some places in London that have to do with music that she wants to visit. However, we never actually see the girls go to any of those places. It’s not like we got to see the girls recreate the iconic Abbey Road album cover or anything like that.

If they had gone to New York instead of London, nothing would have changed. The destination didn’t actually matter. What mattered was that they went to a major western city and were out of their comfort zone. And, again, the movie did a great job illustrating that.

The End of the Light Music Club

Let’s move on to the things I didn’t like about this movie. I have two major complaints, and they’re somewhat related to each other. The first is that the movie is too long. And the second is that it retreads content from the series.

So, how long is K-ON! The Movie? It’s 1 hour and 50 minutes. That’s not the longest anime movie I’ve watched. But, at close to 2 hours, it’s on the longer side. And, one of the reasons I don’t watch movies very often is their length.

1 hour and 50 minutes is equivalent to about five episodes. Back in the day, watching five episodes of a single series in a row was easy for me to do. But, today, I rarely ever do that. Though, part of that is because I watch so many anime weekly.

Yui and Azusa playing in their final concert together from the K-ON! The Movie anime
Yui and Azusa playing in their final concert together

The thing is, K-ON! The Movie didn’t need to be this long. They could have cut maybe 20 minutes off the movie without losing anything. Why? The movie also basically includes the final episode of the series in it.

At least, I believe it was the final episode of the series. It’s whatever episode in which the four main girls write a song for Azusa before graduating. Throughout the movie, the girls are thinking about what to give Azusa as a gift. And once they decide on a song, they’re writing lyrics, music, etc. for it.

That’s all fine and it’s a nice sub-plot for the movie that ties into the main series. But, then, at the end of the movie, we see them perform the song and everything surrounding that. Why? We already saw that content in the series. There’s not much of a point in adding it here, too.

Final Thoughts

I ended up giving K-ON! The Movie a 7/10. If it wasn’t as long as it was, it could have been an 8. By the final 20 or 30 minutes of the movie, I was ready for it to end. Once the girls were back in Japan, there wasn’t much I was interested in.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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