Wednesday, 18 December 2013

映画けいおん! / K-On! The Movie

Well, much as my review of the second season of K-On! centred on getting tired of the girls, the slightly vain draw of seeing them in my hometown as tourists was irresistible. And yes, K-On! in London proved very entertaining, even with how obviously many of the backgrounds were essentially the research team's photographs drawn over. I even had a bit of a bizarre moment as my old workplace - above Harper's Café which the team obviously thought picturesque enough to snap on their trip to Borough Market - was pictured. I could see the very window where I used to sit! And it's not exactly a place one expects to see rendered. Then there was the scene in Baker Street, the visit to Denmark Street, where I'll be heading after work today, down the road from where I lived a few years ago, and all those familiar scenes from Camden Market, Kensington, The King's Road, Waterloo and Hyde's always going to be a pleasure to see your city from the point of view of outsiders, especially cute ones, and this was no exception. The Shard being half-built dates the film to a very specific time, but I suppose fashion, car styles and numerous other things more or less do that anyway. 

While in London, the girls are roped into an impromptu gig in Camden as well as an open-air performance in Waterloo, try rather adorably to speak English, and muck about in their hotels - the four graduating girls trying to secretly write a song for Azusa, which makes her suspicious. There's even one adorable yet fanservicey scene where she thinks Yui is making an inappropriate lesbian advance on her, which is really very sweet. The trip is bookended by a silly opening gag that includes the unlikely scenario of the girls miming along to a tape recording actually convincing Azusa that they're genuinely playing (a gag on dramatic changes of direction) and then at the end, the girls have a farewell gig in their classroom before school, which while not all that interesting was sweet and at least musical - indeed, it felt like the girls actually did a lot more related to music in this film than in the entire second season.

As a send-off, I enjoyed this. If I got tired of the girls in the series, having them in this novel new place, and knowing this was a real send-off - something the existence of this film denied the second season - made it more enjoyable than anything much since the beginning of the show. It wasn't just cute girls doing cute things, it was cute girls visiting a new country, playing gigs and writing songs. It was cute musicians doing cute things, and that's something the season rather lost. 

K-On's massive success is, I would say, somewhat unwarranted. But on a small scale, it's very cute and I don't regret the time I gave these girls. But waifus? None. Obsession? Not for me. More? I won't object, once I've had time for absence to make the heart grow fonder, but if that's all the K-On I ever get, I'm quite satisfied. 

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