k-on! movie, houkago tea time rises

Categories: cinema, general review, k-on


“I’m retired.”
“Well, let me show you some stuff anyway. Just for old time’s sake.”

The K-On! movie is Kyoto’s best animation and cinematography to date. The backgrounds are well detailed, there’s plenty of movement, characters blink naturally, and the movie makes London look way too colorful. The camera work is also excellent with a lot of interesting pans and good use of depth of field… basically something only Kyoto employs regularly out of all the studios (even you Ghibli). Fashion-wise, Kyoto keeps up to date with a lot of varied looks for the girls and colored tights and socks everywhere. Aside from the occasional movie designed to look good (Redline), Kyoto’s pretty much in a class by itself. And it’s amazing that they applied all of this to a schoolgirl band.

(Then again, they sold 100,000 copies of the BD and 40,000 of the DVD in the first week. That’s roughly $12 million based on current prices for it. Not too shabby… think Kyoto made the right decision. K-On! is almost like their Harry Potter– just prints money. Disappearance only sold 77,000 in the first week and 132,000 lifetime [need double check on source].)

(I watched this movie pretty much after The Dark Knight Rises, which is an interesting juxtaposition in itself.)


“Deh-Shay, Deh-Shay, Bah Sah Rah. Bah Sah Rah.”

If there’s anyone on Houkago Tea Time that rises up when it counts the most, it’s Yui. For all her clumsy, helpless, and forgetful ways, she doesn’t let down the band during their live performances. Yui, by far, has developed the most in the K-On! world, despite Ritsu’s continuous attacking of how she doesn’t know enough chords. Come on. All pop music can be played with four chords. It’s not like they’re a string quartet or anything.


“Maybe it’s time we stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have it’s day!”

“The sky of London! A taxi of London! The English of London!” One of my favorite moments of this movie. Loved how Houkago Tea Time reinforces and plays up every stereotype about Japanese group travel. I was only disappointed they didn’t make peace signs more often. Also, the Japanese love these hard outer shell luggage cases. I remember almost getting trampled by forty Japanese tourists and their cases in Italy earlier in the year. They are a fearsome stampeding horde. Don’t try to outsmart them. Let them have their day.

(Did Mio bring two cameras? There’s that black one and also the magenta Pony. Though to be a true Japanese tourist abroad, she needs a Nikon D800… and leave it in fully automatic mode the whole time.)

(FYI, that’s a LOMO camera [more info]. Surprised Mio didn’t have a Land’s End Polaroid.)


“Don’t worry, Master Wayne. It takes a little time to get back into the swing of things.”

One of the highlights of K-On! is just the ridiculously cheesy, sappy, yet delightful music. The movie didn’t disappoint. The new intro Unmei wa ENDLESS! is a bit slow when compared to the typical intro song (which I like to six pool to). I enjoyed the re-arrangements of Curry Nochi Rice and Tenshi ni Fureta Yo!, with the Mio parts of Tenshi by the entire HTT instead of just Mio. Adds a nice touch that everyone got to sing in Azu-cat-o’s goodbye serenade. Rice Is A Dish was a nice treat in the middle, especially for Yui’s random Engrish. It also solidifies the NO RICE NO LIFE movement.

The ED, Singing, just continues the line of great K-On! EDs that feature Mio. I like the BBC overlay as well as the continued use of vintage fashion and effects. I feel like Kyoto should just release a K-On! music video every year or so, and it would make money. And, of course, I like how the final song that the movie leaves us with is Fuwa Fuwa Time. Fuwa Fuwa Time indeed.

(I wonder if All Girl Summer Fun Band knows of K-On!. They have a similar style, except they sing about boys more than rice.)


“I wondered what would break first. Your spirit? Or your body?”

Poor Mio. Once the crown meido of Houkago Tea Time, she’s reduced to a few scattered being bullied gags this time around. Most of the movie focused on Yui and Azu-nyan, but I would have liked a bit more focus on the other characters. K-On! just doesn’t feel the same without Mio being embarrassed. Constantly.


“At this point, I would set you up with a chimpanzee if I thought it would get you out in the world again.”

“I’ve always used my credit card to pay, even for booze, to stock up points.” Tokyo to London according to JAL’s website is 55,000 miles. Wow. Assuming she has a dollar per mile card, that’s $55,000 of booze (and maybe some other stuff). We need to set Sawa-chan up on a date… all this seclusion and drinking alone can’t be good for her. And also 55,000 miles is a lot to blow on a last minute, one day trip to London. Wasteful if you ask me.


“Victory has defeated you!”

It’s not hard to fix hand-wavy stuff in movies if they try. My biggest issue with Batman Begins is the final scene between Ras and Batman as they struggle over some device that turns water into steam. Well, if it is blowing up the sewers underneath them, it should blow up Ras and Batman as well. I couldn’t get over that. That’s just a simple physics mistake that makes me sign and lower my shoulders. Those things just shouldn’t happen– at the very least, Nolan should have made up a deus ex machina where Batman’s suit protected him or whatnot.

For The Dark Knight, I kept wondering how the fuck does Joker get an army of underlings who manage to outsmart cops all the time, are extremely well-organized, and suddenly very awesome shots… when they were none of this before. It’s not like Joker opened up a training seminar or anything. On the contrary, all these thugs were suddenly 100% loyal and dedicated to Joker because they like him? Remember, he kills someone who was asking him to be paid. It’s not thugs and lowlifes do thuggery for money or anything like that.

For The Dark Knight Rises, I can believe boy bandish Joseph Gordon-Levitt overcomes getting rejected by Zooey Deschanel to quickly identify Bruce Wayne as Batman (though this is pretty simple if Gordon, oh, did detective work– there are no coincidences, or whatever he tells Blake). So I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with Bane’s army, since the core are Ras Al Ghoul’s men, and they aren’t typical thugs. What I’m not okay with is casting Gordon-Levitt as Blake. He is perfect for Terry McGinnis! WB needs to wise up and not reboot Batman immediately but rather take some time to develop Batman Beyond. Wasted opportunity.)

(One of my most? least? favorite mistakes is Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country, when Spock modifies a photon torpedo to sniff out the cloaked Klingon ship using instrumentation that was in the Enterprise for a gas survey. That was all nice and dandy except all that equipment was on Sulu’s Excelsior rather than on the Enterprise. I remember my college? high school? middle school? elementary school? preschool? embyro? self standing up in the theater gasping that– OMFG THEY FUCKED UP!)

(Andohbytheway, Yui’s face is awesome here. But I was disappointed they didn’t rock out to Fuckingham Palace. I felt that would have been an appropriate song.)


“You fight like a young man, with nothing held back. Admirable… but mistaken.”

One of the subplots of the movie is Azu-cat-o (Azu-ga-to if they were in Spain) trying to figure out what the heck Yui and the others are hiding from her. At first, she thought Yui wants her like how Mugi wants her. Then she thought Yui flunked out of school and joined Onizuka’s biker gang. The amazing thing about this subplot is that it’s Yui– not exactly known for secrecy or deception or competence– going up against Azu-cat-o, who is arguable the most competent member of SOS Brigade Classics Club Mithril Drama Club Houkago Tea Time. Maybe Azu-cat-o just needed to go up to Yui with big sparkling eyes and say, “Kininarimasu!


“Cat got your tongue?”

The obligatory Catwoman line goes to all the Azu puns in this movie. Loved them all. Azu-cat-o is my favorite.


“Suffering builds character.”

Kinda shitty the restaurant didn’t even give them food for performing. Though the whole sequence is funny because (a) Yui made her song choice because she’s racist (b) the English dude congratulated Yui with a “RICE!” (c) why did the restaurant have those Japanese robes in their sizes? (d) why do people eat the wrong cuisine when they go international? I remember when I went to Japan with some friends, and they wanted to eat the KFC and Wendy’s. Sigh. Though it might be educational… sushi in England is probably as, uh, localized as tacos in Japan.

(Mugilicious in a beret is very cute. Chitanda, Mugilicious, Kotomi-chan, and Mikuru in their own spin-off series?! Oh my Oazu-cat-o-sama!)


“Where’s Bane?”
“He’s behind you.”

Probably the cutest moment of the movie– when Azu-nyan and Yui are doing their best vaudeville gag routine and running between the two rooms in circles… and Mugi and Mio just tilt their heads at the same time. Fantastic. Almost as good as pugs.


“This is a stock exchange. There’s no money for you to steal.”
“Then what are you people doing here?”

Second cutest part? When they raid the cupcakes. Oh fuck yeah. K-On! isn’t K-On! unless they are doing K-On! things like eating snacks, drinking tea, playing happy sappy music, and being friends. It’s like how Batman isn’t Batman unless he has that cool utility belt, slick vehicles, and a brooding demeanor.


“I had no choice.”
“You just made a serious mistake.”

One of my favorite scenes. Yui and Azu-cat-o just have a hilarious practice Engrish session, and the stewardess comes by and speaks Japanese and offers the choice between two foods they didn’t anticipate. Fantastic. It’s a cross-cultural version of hicks going to a big city. Their faces said it all. Andohbytheway, is that Abraham Lincoln on Yui’s sweater?


“No one cared who I was, until I put on the mask.”

I guess out of context, one could mistake the speaker of the quote to be Batman, especially considering the beginning of Batman Begins. I think that’s quote is quite apt for Yui. She went from being completely aimless– plastic rubbish floating in the Pacific have more aim– and useless– giving Marina Ismail a run for her money– to discovering she has talent. With a guitar (or Gitah!), she went from having just Ui and Nodoka to having a great group of friends and the admiration of her classmates. That’s a job well done. Oh, her talent isn’t just that she can play guitar or that she can sing. It’s that she has no problems with stage fright and recovers nicely from blunders. That’s talent.


“Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.”

The eye covers… adorable. Especially on Mugilicious.


“You don’t owe these people any more! You’ve given them everything!”
“No everything. Not yet.”

The movie is quite like the show. It’s never exceptional (except at printing money), but it’s good enough and is a great low calorie snack. The last half-hour of the movie was basically a redo of episode 24 except it’s 120% sentimental and slightly funny while the TV episode had a more balanced ratio. (For example, in both the TV episode and the manga, Azu-nyan complains about their sound, but in the movie, they cut away.) It works. It got dusty in the man cave. It wasn’t Houkago Tea Time’s farewell to Azu-nyan– it was Kyoto Animation’s farewell to K-On! as well as our (the fans) farewell to K-On!. Thank you, goodbye, and farewell. It’s a grand opus finale done spectacularly and in K-fucking-On! fashion. Fuwa fuwa time indeed.

13 Responses to “k-on! movie, houkago tea time rises”

  1. Right up until they take that mess Kakifly shat out as an excuse for a college arc and Azunyan’s third year and makes it awesome.

    You can do it KyoAni. You can give us the Sumire we deserve. (fuck the college arc though, seriously)

  2. Posts like this are why I keep coming back. TDKR quotes matched up with K-On! movie pics. That, is most definitely, analysis you won’t find anywhere else.

  3. Random Dark knight spoilers! EVERYWHERE!

  4. As a Brit the London scenes were particularly awesome. Was great fun playing spot the locations, and a bonus that they had native speakers voice the locals. LMAO at Yui putting her hand in the dog waste bin, Mio being terrified by the London Dungeon and Yui’s Engrish during the live at Festival hall. All the engrish was good, funny how even the smart ones strugged with the languge.

    Though were few missed opportunities IMO, they should have gone for a beer at some point (all legal in the UK apart from Azunyan, and am sure she’d have gotten served), posed with the guards at Buckingham palace, and visited the Mitsukoshi department store (which ever Japanese tourist to London seems to visit)

    One final thought- after her explanation of time differences, I want to see Azusa explain quantum physics to Yui!

  5. Oh and by the way, you can get excellent sushi in London ;3

  6. It would have been the greatest troll ever if this film had been billed as the keionbu’s fluffy fluffy time in London, but the windup at the start really was the premise of the film and it was filled with sex, drugs and rock n’ roll instead. Which leads onto point 2, where was the mugivision? 2 hours of K-On with no mugivision or skinship is nothing short of tragic.

  7. Great post cause I’ve just seen TDKR and it was awesome!
    I vote for more posts like this :)

  8. One bit I really liked was how Yui kept putting the seat arm separating them on the plane up and Azu-nyan kept putting it down.

  9. One bit I really liked was how Yui kept putting the seat arm separating them on the plane up and Azu-nyan kept putting it down.

    I can see that happening in my head. So, did Yui pull the old “yawn and put your arm around her” maneuver?

  10. Probably wont read this but just noting, as far as i can tell, the Star Trek 6 thing you mentioned. It wasn’t a mistake, so much as a forced change. Shatner wouldnt let anyone else be written to come save them, so they changed the scene so that Enterprise saved the day.

  11. Fell out of anime awhile ago but had to watch this movie. I used to read your posts back then (especially the Bakemonogatari and K-On ones), and cracked a smile seeing this post. Anime isn’t anime without this blog. Thanks!

  12. All in all a good movie, but there was a suprising lack of Sawa-chan’s trademark costume-raping (especially of Mio).

  13. “I like the BBC overlay…..”

    Sorry, but I think that BBC logo/watermark was put by CoalGuys in their sub…

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