K-ON! fans will enjoy it, and it might just have enough mass-market appeal to be interesting as a family movie for people who have never seen the series. However, this film will get the most enjoyment from fans of the series, no doubt. The movie opens, appropriately enough, with the lovable Yui, Ritsu, Mugi and Mio practicing, except this time the sound is far more aggressive than much of anything they have generally performed until now. The most junior member Azusa comes into the club room and suddenly the band is getting into a fight about the direction of their music and general concerns about graduating and moving on to university. Perhaps this is setting up conflict as the band must go to London to find their roots?
According to Japanator, in the only two days since it has been released it has made over four million dollars at the box office. Reason being because The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi was an excellent movie by KyoAni, but it was also nearly inaccessible to anyone but followers of the original series. The storytelling style of K-On, on the other hand, offers it an incredible opportunity to broaden the ranks of its fans. They paced it out pretty nicely, and it was generally well written. It definitely incorporates the elements that made the original such a huge success. I wasn’t taking notes while watching (too busy enjoying the thing myself), so there are probably some missing tidbits, but everything in a reasonable cause-effect relationship should be here.
Only a genius could write a story that leaves such character attachment. After a few of the films’ scenes you will find yourself strangely attached to the light music club, and all its members. The brilliance of the character development, each one with their own little quirks and traits, is the strong point of this movie. The animation style is, as stated in the summary of this review, beautiful. I’m one of those people who will look at a show and, regardless of the depth of story, potentially discard it simply based on appearances. This holds true for animated, live action, and CG alike. Sound is a big thing for me as well. This isn’t limited to just music. I find that a lot of animated films leave me wanting for depth, but it’s notoriously hard to place. Sometimes all you need to make a dialogue feel a little more natural is to have some ambient background noise; whether it’s the rustling of clothing or a busy city street. Again, “K-On!” hits that mark for me.
Some critics and self-proclaimed ‘anime-purists’ may cite the series as being to slowly paced, predictable, and having little plot or purpose, but I think that’s what gives the series its charm. It follows five girls through their career in high school as they make friends and memories they will take with them for the rest of their lives. There’s something special to be said about a film that can grab your attention and hold it for so many hours, banking only on the viewer’s attachment to five fictional girls’ very realistic personalities and adventures. This anime comes surprisingly recommended.