OP Sequence

OP: 「いちばんいっぱい」 (Ichiban Ippai) by 豊崎愛生, 日笠陽子, 佐藤聡美, 寿美菜子, 竹達彩奈 (Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana)

「映画 けいおん」 (Eiga Keion)
“K-ON! Movie”

The sun rises and it’s just another day for the Light Music Club. Or is it? See, I had anticipated that they’d probably start off with a scene involving the gals practicing music… but to start off with them playing a heavy metal song, arguing about the future of the club, and discussing things like musicianship—things you’d never expect them to be doing—that threw me for a loop. I mean, I was having doubts I was watching the fight show for a moment there! But nope, as per typical K-ON! fashion, it’s just a bit of fooling around, where “playing” meant listening to an old Death Devil song (“Hikari”) and acting like they were playing it, and the rest being a ruse to try and trick Azusa, who finally makes her appearance. Yup, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just another day in the lives of Yui, Mio, Mugi, Azusa, and Ritsu. And how I have missed thee!

But first thing’s first, with graduation coming and their high school lives coming to an end, there’s just one more thing that needs to be done before it’s all over: a post-graduation trip. Where shall they go!? Dubai!? Europe!? London!? A hot spring!? How ever will they decide!? In comes Yui to save the day with her ghost leg lottery! Good ol’ reliable Yui. There’s no way she’d rig it… would she? Gosh darn it, I don’t know how I didn’t expect it by now, but she does, leading to quite a few hilarious scenes to say the least. Ultimately though, in what must be a clear reference to the World Cup Octopus from years back, it’s up to Ton-Chan to decide… and it’s off to London they go.

And well, here’s where you realize how just much effort and budget Kyoto Animation must’ve put in for this movie. The level of detail in terms of the airport, the plane itself… the quality and accuracy of the backgrounds in England… it’s just astounding. Granted, they trip up a bit in terms of having the proper accent for the British people the Light Music Club meets on the way (why didn’t they hire Moomba!?), but everything else is just spectacular. I mean, the detail put into the part where they travel via the London Underground, the fact that the Hotel Ibis they stay in is actually a real life establishment in the exact locations they mentioned, as well as the appearance of the London Eye attraction… it’s just awe-inspiring to say the least. They’re things that’ll just have you pausing or rewinding to watch a few times, and it’s just textbook quality animation.

Moving along story-wise though, things don’t quite go according to plan. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because it’s not a slice of life and not K-ON! without some unexpected events to give us some light hearted and comedic moments along the way. And gosh darn do we get a lot of em’. From Yui not realizing London was actually in England, the gals arriving at the wrong Hotel Ibis, to ending up accidentally being mistaken for Maki’s Love Crysis band and being forced to perform when all they wanted was some sushi… there’s just plenty of these moments to go around, and they’re things that just end up putting a smile on your face when it’s all said and done. And this is without mentioning the gags involving Mio and rotating objects (like losing her baggage at the airport carousel) and the various scenes in their hotel suites.

Going back to the performance at the sushi bar for a second, it gets us to our next topic and one of the main reasons I got into K-ON! in the first place: music. And regarding this, if there was one thing that dragged down K-ON!! a little bit for me, it was the lack of actual performances/lives/new songs during that second series. But with the coming of the movie, it’s pretty obvious why that was the case, because Kyoto Animation was saving them… all for this movie. And believe it when I say that they pull out all the stops, giving us not one, not two, but three fully animated performances by Ho-kago Tea Time. Combined with the OP/ED, we get well over half a dozen songs throughout, including the series staples “Fuwafuwa Time”, “Curry Over Rice”, “U&I”, “Rice as a Side Dish”, and “Touched by an Angel”. There’s also a little bit in terms of the other groups like Love Crysis and Death Devil as well. Really, it’s just like that term: “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.” Except in this case, it’d be “You can take the girls out of Japan, but you can’t take the music out from them”. In the end, they might be in London, but they just can’t escape the music. I gotta say, it was a good thing everyone remembered to bring their instruments along eh? Well, except Mugi… but hey, it’s nothing a quick express delivery and a chunk of money won’t fix!

And now that we’ve covered most of the more tangible aspects of what made the movie such an enjoyable experience, there’s just one more thing left to talk about: the experience of travelling itself. As you may know, I like travelling whenever I get any kind of extended vacation. Mostly it’s just to take pictures and do some typical sightseeing, but hey. Anyway, having recently come back from an extended trip to the West Coast, this movie really brings back some great feelings associated with my various trips through the past few years. Seeing the girls travel out of their country for the first time and being amazed at how everything was compared to Japan… their excitement and enthusiasm, it’s just so accurate and nostalgic in a good way. Mio eagerly taking pictures when she arrived, the gals intentionally going to a sushi bar to try and see how it compares to the sushi made in the country of origin, getting one hell of an experience riding on taxis… to see em’ doing things I’ve done and acting the way I felt during some of my own trips… phew. Granted, I wasn’t THAT giddy on my trips, but still, the fact they’re close enough just adds another layer to how much I appreciated this movie, as it really captures all the feelings associated with travelling around. Sure, there’s the occasional negative like forgetting something at home, maybe some baggage and weather issues, but in the end… travelling’s something that’s worth it, more often than not, and it’s something I hope everyone’s able to do at some point in time. It just broadens your horizons in such a way that so few things can, and you might meet a friend or make lifelong memories you’d never make otherwise.

And speaking of lifelong memories… I feel like that’s kind of what K-ON!’s all about. After following the gals through their high school lives, I can’t help but feel that K-ON!’s not just an animated work with slice of life, comedy, and music elements. Rather, it’s also about treasuring your interactions with your friends and family and about making sure to not spend all your time worrying about the future… to make sure to enjoy what you have in the present. It’s about making sure to create some lifelong memories with the people you’re with now, because while people will leave your life for one reason or another, you’ll always have those memories to fall back on and help you move on. Sure, it’s quite possible I’m going too deep into the matter, but hey, even if it wasn’t intended, I feel that this is something that can be garnered from watching the series either way.

Overall, what can I say? After an eight month wait, the lovable gals of the Light Music Club return for one last hurrah. And it’s a really spectacular one at that. It gives its fans everything they’ve ever wanted from the series, seamless mixing the aspects that made the original series successful: a slice of life filled with cute girls doing cute things, a comedy that had me laughing out loud in real life at a few points, and lighthearted music that’s a nice change from the typical songs I listen to. And most importantly, it gives us something more: a great ending to the K-ON! series. Seeing the extended sequence of how the girls worked together to compose that song for Azusa and seeing that last in class concert… I’ll admit I almost shed a tear there. And that just emphasizes how the movie leaves such a lasting impression, so much so that it’s not only easily better than both seasons of the series, but also marks its territory as one of the more notable works of animation in 2012—especially so when only considering other works of the Movie/OVA/Special variety. And well, let’s just say that if you liked the original series, you’ll definitely love this movie.

Author’s Note: Just a quickie, the movie takes place after the K-ON! Special and goes from a bit before the final episode of K-ON!! to a little bit after it. Also, if you got some free time, take a peek at my blog! Thanks.

Full-length images: 38, 76.

Animated GIF: 01 (Courtesy of Croos’ link)


ED Sequence

ED: 「Singing!」 by 豊崎愛生, 日笠陽子, 佐藤聡美, 寿美菜子, 竹達彩奈 (Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana)

End Card


      1. Said the sensitive guy who bothered to post a reply telling the world that he doesn’t care if the world doesn’t agree. Are you sure you don’t? Because it seems like you do.

  1. My favorite part was during the classroom concert, when Yui and Azusa turned towards each other and just let their guitars talk. And then, when Yui turned and directed a few lyrics directly at Azusa.

    Those feelings.

  2. What makes this K-On movie stand out from the typical kyoani K-On episode is the masterful use of traveling combined with the usual (or more than usual) fun and laughter. I lost count of how many times I LOLed because so much jokes are sprinkled in throughout the whole movie.

    Their traveling experience is probably a little exaggerated, but IMO it does portray the realism of traveling quite accurately, especially considering that they are still high school girls who are probably on their first overseas trip, to London no less. Speaking of London, their rendition seems to be quite faithful since I can’t speak from experience.

    The language barrier (lots of lulz here) that they face is very real and well executed, with Ritsu and Yui probably sleeping during their English classes, Mio/Azunyan/Mugi being slightly more proficient but still not sufficient at it.

    And there is actually “plot” in this movie! The “plot” of writing a song for Azunyan was built up over the course over the entire movie which ended much like the ending of S2 was beautifully executed as well.

    Then there is the use of music at which isn’t all too special considering most inserts are re-used although there are a couple of new songs.

    tl;dr: This movie is actually a huge step up from the K-On anime, if you already enjoyed the original this is like icing on top of cake. Even if you don’t this is worth checking ou provided that you aren’t allergic to moe. I’d say every minute of it is worth the watch.

    Now I want to fly to London to take a look 🙁

    1. Hmm. While I thought the K-ON anime was ridiculously boring(one-sided characters, stupid jokes, non-existant plot) you might have convinced me to check this out. It is implied that they actually performed…something? That’s a plus for me. Another plus is that I’m just really curious on KyoAni’s animation/portrayal of London.

    2. Having visited London numerous times, I found the scenes of the city to be very accurate except that they often didn’t include enough people; places like The Tube – and specifically some of the stations they went to – and the Borough Market always have a large amount of people being towards the center of town.

      At the end, as it began to snow in London, all I could think about is how much everyone in London would be going nuts. Though being way up there in the northern hemisphere, London doesn’t get very much snow and Londoners tend to act like the world is ending anytime it does.

      1. As a brit, I can say I’m impressed by the accuracy.

        However, it should have been heaving with people and looked grubby and gray for the truly authentic London experience. Also, as already noted, London, like the rest of England, settles into an utter panic if it starts snowing: people will forget how to drive, swarm the supermarkets like stocking up for a nuclear crisis, and half of the nation will shut down (including, in all likehood, Heathrow).

        You know, thinking about it, a weather control device sounds like an amazing superweapon after all… 😀

    3. As a matter of fact, that they were attending the Borough Market while it was active means they were visiting London on a weekend. It also disappoints me that they had the girls had a chance to see the real Rosetta Stone and they didn’t (I think that’s the copy at the British Library but I may be remembering wrong). Maybe it had something to do with the British Museum not being privy to it?

      1. LOL. With KyoAni tendency to put a lot of effort on making a beautiful background and multiple designs(even for just random people), just imagine if it was crowded. It would be freaking awesome, but it would be hard for them to do that.

  3. They had some great little things in there that made me giddy:

    Azusa saying that she was seventeen (given that it’s Kyoto Animation doing this, definitely a self-referential joke); the girls being surprised by the fanciness of a conveyor sushi place; and Ui, Jun, and Nadoka in female ninja costumes.

    It was nice to see all the flourishes a bigger, movie budget provides with the extra movement of characters in dialogue and detailed backdrops and performances.

    You mentioned the trifle with the voices, but my only concern was the folks in the sushi bar; they were awful. Everyone else sounded like any other clearly spoken Brit tends to. Whether or not it was intentional, the lady at the hotel spoke in the same, slow and concise manner which most hotel employees tend to use to speak with foreigners who clearly have English issues; I’d like to think it was intended since KyoAni leans towards that sort of thing.

    Overall, the film did everything K-ON! is expected to and I’m happy that it didn’t merely revolve around “cute girls being cute in London.”

    1. “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” XD

  4. KyoAni even got the seats of the London Underground accurately, as well as the shops down Old Brompton Road, West Brompton Station itself, and my favorite Borough Market. The only difference between this and real life is that KyoAni’s version is much, much prettier!

    I kicked myself for watching this movie, as this opened up old wounds and poured salt in them knowing that K-ON! has ended yet again…

  5. Seems like with this, K-On puts itself among the top high school anime that i’ve watched thus far. Though it’s at toradora’s level.

    And yes, at the end of it i did shed manly tears

  6. Surprisingly loved this movie. They did one hell of a job with it. Best part was Azusa getting scared of Yui when seeing the words “Asunyan Love” in Yui’s notebook XD The “I can’t find Yui” from Azusa and “I can’t find Azusa” from Yui was classic as well XD

      1. Yes love that scene. Poor Yui, only going for her Gita T_T

        There was also a scene just before that when they were taking a picture of the group. Yui tried to hug Azusa, but she stepped forward away from Yui. The expression on both of their faces was awesome 🙂

  7. now if i could just have 30 million dollars to fund kyoani a K-ON! season 3… i want to see the girls reach their dream of performing in the budokan… but well ONLY IN MY DREAMs.

    LasT MaN
  8. Well its finally Over… both the manga and anime and Im very sad to see this show, which helped pull me out of a major rut in my life go,but all good things must end! ^_^
    As far as the movie was concerned I absolutely loved it…. there was honestly nothing to complain about if u were a previous fan of k-on and it really shattered my expectations!!
    Ps I know I shed a manly tear at then end I can admit it XD

  9. YES! I KNEW one of you would review this! Awesome! The movie was a feel-good adventure just like the show, and KyoAni really pushed themselves in the London sequences!

  10. I cried twice the amount of tears I shed when I watched the ending of season 2.
    And I cried even more when I remembered that this will be the last K-On! work that KyoAni will make…
    Nevertheless, it was a great way to end a great series. Long live K-On!

  11. Ah, brings back memories. Fun fact: when I was in London, I was staying at the Ibis Hotel too (though it was Euston St. Pancras one).

    Is it just me, or in the scene when they talk about sending emails to Japan and whether it does send them back in time the background music clearly alluded to Steins;Gate theme? Nice easter egg.

  12. Ah, the movie that made everyone’s lives complete (bar the pathetic attention-seeking haters like the guy above who got downvoted so much his post disappeared).

    (Disclaimer: This doesn’t change my opposition stance regarding downvoting here in RC, or at least tweaks needed to ensure good posters don’t get discouraged too much by them while continuing to be effective against trolls like the aforementioned chap above. )

    Having lived in London before, watching the thing felt like a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Also kudos to Kyo-Ani for hiring real foreign voice actors with surprisingly good Brit-English (though their lines were a bit too simple, i.e. “user-friendly” for a Japanese-speaking audience).

    Mugi, being the well-travelled rich girl, is surprisingly poor with her command of the English language (no doubt she’s used to her butler doing all the talking for her XD ). In contrast, Mio and Azu-nyan are much better in that regard.

    Having watched it in a cinema in Shinjuku when it first came out in Japan, I was struck by how “un-otaku” the cinema audience was.

    Of course, the cinema being in a business district like Shinjuku may be a factor, but for days on end, even weekdays (I watched on a Tuesday night) the fact that the cinema was consistently packed with couples both young and middle-aged, schoolgirls, even families bringing kids and grandparents. Such is Kyo-Ani’s success in marketing K-ON’s appeal beyond the core moe-otaku audience.

    More can be read at a semi-review I wrote long ago after viewing the movie:


    Kinny Riddle
  13. I hate ending credits. They always leave so much empty space for you to ponder, and eventually realize that the show has ended, and that you now have this empty void inside you that’ll never truly be filled ever again.

    With this, K-ON! leaves my life in shambles, as well as an interesting lesson in English by Yui:

    “Yesu, she is no pantsu!”

  14. As I just came back from a 3 week trip around Europe, one of the stops being London, I can’t really say if this movie brings forth good or bad feelings in me. But hey, I was laughing as I cringed, so I guess that’s a good sign? Just watching the girls get up early in the morning to lug their giant suitcases around onto trains and underground stations…just ouch. I still feel the pain in my arms from pulling my suitcase up and down the stairs to/from the underground. If only my overnight flight was as nice as Kyoto Animation made it look though…planes are never that peaceful KyoAni. Never.

    Overall this was a nice watch. It was really nice to see the girls again, though I preferred the first half of the movie to the second half.

  15. The only con is that Yui is still the leading voice of HTT. “Singing” is by far superior than the rest of the songs here, which only confirms that Youko Hisaka’s voice is top notch. By the way… Kyo-Ani! Why didn’t you put the whole song?! Was that too much to ask?!

    Other than that, this is the movie that close the circle, that mark the turning point and raises the bar for all SoL, because finding a group of people that interacts just as good as the merry band of K-ON nowdays is way too dificult (the ones that tried were either dull or overly stupid)
    Sad for the fact that there will be no more (unless Kakifly gives the go to the university arc and the Azy-nyan-party antics) and satisfied because it didn’t need to go extreme for this, that the way K-On has been, that’s why we love it.

    That’s why we’ll always remember it.

    1. I like Hisaka’s voice, but I wouldn’t say that any song is superior, and the same goes for vocals done by Hisaka and Toyosaki. Both are unique and have their own special appeal.

      And what an insult to a whole bunch of SoL series. Ever seen Azumanga Daioh? Lucky Star? Nichijou? I like K-ON! and all, but to say that it’s raising the bar is a little too much. That bar was set a long time ago.

      1. Agreed. While I also like listening to Hikasa-san’s singing more, I can’t imagine anybody else in the cast singing U&I or the movie’s opening theme. They pretty much contain Yui’s character and feelings, especially U&I.

  16. Yay! It got covered!
    Personally, I wholly enjoyed this movie for what it was, and really it’s just a super long episode of K-ON! which is fine by me. Much like the original series, this movie had me laughing out loud at multiple parts (the best was definitely the Engrish, “Yes I am seventeen.”) As for the quality, what can I say? It’s Kyoto Animation; setting the new standard for animated works. Being half-British, and just having been to London last year, I was very impressed with the landscape shots. It’s so cool to see cities that aren’t in Japan for a change. 🙂

    1. I agree, with the change of scenes. But then it demonstrate the Nippon viewers, that learn a bit English, open you a World outside your Country. Well not all country’s, but the most 🙂

      So, your not only learning English for better grades at School. It is for you Independence Life 🙂

  17. I am sad that K-On had ended like the rest of you but I am also happy is finally ended, because this is the perfect way to end such a loveable show. If they forcefully trying to continue the story and milk it like many other show out there then it just make me feel they cheapen it the feelings I have for the show. I rather watch a wonderful show like K-On end while it still hot than seeing it being milk and ended up being terrible later. Like Brue Lee even thou he die young but the image he left to million of fans out there is a legend, can you image if Bruce Lee live to 80 yr old and we see him old cripple on a wheel chair, what kind of legend would that be right?
    So yea K-On has end but it end on a good note and leave us with wonderful impression of the show.

  18. Even though it was all about the girl’s adventures in London and how they final moments together, this movie made me a tear a bit because it makes me think how I’m spending my final year together. Kyoto Animation still knows how to make you cry hahaha;;

  19. The wait was almost unbearable but finally the K-ON! movie is out, thanks RC for covering it. Houkago Tea Time imitating Sawako sensei’s band and Mio getting all excited that she’s going to London are my favorite scenes.

  20. I thought no one would cover this.

    It’s already been almost 2 years since…. ;_;

    A very enjoyable movie and a well thought out one as well. I really laughed at some of the gags here unlike those just brought smile from the TV series. They really out done themselves this around in that department. I can name a lot of interesting parts but I’d mention only 2 where Azusa gave Yui a knocking thinking she was about to get ****d, boy was she wrong. The other would be the part with the iron where Yui screwed up by not plugging the transformer. I was really laughing at how she said ‘

    It’s spitting fire…
    I’m hungry…
    Let’s just eat…

    Anyway, the movie was tied up really well with the tv series. Even though the movie reused the ending, it was still very appropriate. I liked how the theme of the movie was what to give azusa as a farewell gift.

    Technicality side, it delivered. The animation is fluid, the backgrounds were really good, composition as well. KyoAni’s lighting never ceases to impress me. The lighting during the trip back to the airport was nice. I can’t really wait to see them pull off something in the likes of this(BTW this came from the new KyoAni CM done by Horiguchi). Anyway in that CM they nearly achieved Shinkai’s style. Anyway here in this movie, it’s very evident of KyoAni’s great use of DoF, IMO, it was improved in Hyouka.

    In any case, now that the K-ON manga has ended I wonder if this is the last we see of K-ON? I can sense it getting renamed to another series continuing with the original 5. Anyway whatever it is, KyoAni has brought me a memorable and enjoyable series. Will miss these girls very much.

  21. I wasn’t a huge fan of the series, never really paid attention to it, but I found myself struggling to hold myself from tearing up towards the end. It was perfectly executed.
    Also, I can’t believe how accurate the shops are in the London scenes [I even seen a Ladbrokes (betting shop) in the background at one point, same logo and everything]. Really took me back to my trip there a few years ago.

  22. Lovely movie :)…

    “Side Business” …

    One thing I did hate tho, was how they really pointed out how BAD they were at english… (even with planning). Could be they did that to create a movie, and not a boring, ye, we go that way :). Overall a great movie, and the song they created fir azusa, great :). atleast they cared.

    1. Oh, and since I can’t edit… I reply myself 🙂

      But the art of this movie was great as Zephyr pointed out. There aren’t much animes with that such art. I really liked it. 🙂

  23. it’s quite possible I’m going too deep into the matter, but hey, even if it wasn’t intended, I feel that this is something that can be garnered from watching the series either way.

    On the contrary, I think you pretty much nailed it. It’s a beautiful insight that you gave on K-ON also being about cherishing friendship and making precious memories. The movie and latter half of season two showed that a lot.

  24. Did It count for 2011 or 2012 animation ? (Look up in wiki,said It was released Dec2011)If it is count for this year then I vote this for Best OVA/Movie of 2012.

    Normally Best OVA/Movie for myself go for action (as Macross Frontier : Wing of Goodbye,Gundam00) or adventure (TmoSH : Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi), I never once selected slice of life as Best OVA/Movie.This Movie is so great pack of comedies,nice storytelling,good execution,nice animations and scores.

    If I had to recommend good comedy,I can recommended many anime in close range for 10/10.
    Same for action,mystery,drama.

    But If I had to recommend good slice of life anime,the first would be “K-ON”


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