August 20, 2012

K-On!! The Movie

Okay, let's get this right the heck outta the way: if you liked K-On! or the sequel K-On!!, you'll love The Movie.  If the combination of cute girls doing cute things while playing cute music cutely didn't or doesn't appeal to you, then skip it... this is definitely not for you.

Azu-nyan thinks there's something wrong with you, though.
For all of you that do like such things, or are KyoAnimaniacs, or both, then The Movie is a must-watch.  It finishes the school career of the Original Four members of the Light Music Club: Mugi, Mio, Ritsu and Yui... and it's time for the rite of passage known as the graduation trip.  The decision is made to visit London, and they decide to bring Azuna along, since she's been the driving force behind the club.  And then, say it with me now, hijinks ensue.

If you're wondering just how they could afford such an extravagant trip, just... well, be quiet and let the rest of us enjoy it, kthnxbye.  That little excursion into reality aside, the movie is chock full of fun moments that fans of the show or the characters will absolutely adore.

If you don't know what this is a tribute to, I'm speechless.
Of course there's plenty of music, and wonder of wonders, there's even three or four performances!  I think that's twice as many as the original two series combined had, which was my biggest complaint with the show.  It's a show about a high-school rock band, why so few "live" performances?  But I digress.

If there's one thing we learn from The Movie, it's that Kyoto Animation has lost absolutely none of the zip off their fastball.  It's not the best looking thing they've done (that'd be The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, that franchise's movie), but it's certainly the liveliest, most vibrant production they've put together.  AND it looks great, too.

It goes without saying that The London Eye is turning in this scene (in fact, I didn't notice that until I was putting this post together).  What's most impressive is that everything that should be moving, is.  No static backgrounds for KyoAni, nope.  It's all understated in its grandioseness, if that makes sense, but it's still a tour de force for the reigning champion of anime visuals.

If there is any major fault with The Movie, it's in the story.  The trip to London is nice, but the over-arching plot of the Original Four trying to write a farewell song for Azuna got a little old for me, as did the laser-lock the thing had on Yui and Azu-nyan.  K-On! works best when the entire ensemble gets into the act, and that happened only rarely here.  It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but when Mio's most memorable moment is this...

...you know there's a problem.  Having said that, I'll still give K-On!! The Movie a solid four stars out of five, and I'm not even that big a fan of the franchise.  I'm pretty sure I never finished the second series, for example.  It's just a fun, lighthearted romp... a fuwa-fuwa time, one might say.  Go watch it, you might actually smile!

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August 14, 2012

Ben-To Ep01

I've discovered that there's always a certain excited anticipation in my thoughts when I start an episodic recap for a new series.  Like a runner in the blocks waiting for the gun, a parachutist standing in the door waiting for the signal to jump, a F1 driver waiting for the lights to go out, a fast-food employee waiting for the french fry machine to go "ding", I find myself wondering in what direction a show will take me.  Will it be serious, like the early Ga-Rei Zero reviews or snarky like... well, like everything else?  So, Ben-To, how will I be watching you?

This is Our Hero... and I think I know which way the writeups will be going.  It's nice when the show makes it easy for you, isn't it?  Y'know, in some ways, this series will be quite difficult to recap because I really liked it.  Heck, I'm on record as liking it before it even started airing, and it did nothing to change my opinion as I watched it.  It's not perfect, though... in fact, there's enough flaws that I should be able to do terrible, awful things to the poor thing.  Probably undeserved, but what the heck, it's what I do.

So enough talk... let's get ourselves into the underground world of martial arts combat for supermarket prepackaged dinners.  Ben-To begins now!

more...

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August 10, 2012

All Right Already, Hold Your Horses!

11pm.  I'm sitting in the throne control living room of Pond Central.  I receive a text message.  Brickmuppet is having lunch in an Italian restaurant (spaghetti and steak) somewhere in the heart of Tokyo on his way to Harajuku to be swarmed by cosplayers wanting to speak to a native English speaker.  If I miss my guess, he'll also be shopping, but what do I know?

This text message, from 14 hours in my future and halfway around the world, is berating me for not having finished my writeup for Ep01 of Ben-To

Saturday night.  I promise.  Okay, maybe early Sunday morning, but tomorrow.  I've got the final registration day for incoming Duck U fledgelings tomorrow morning, but after that I'm off until 830am Monday.  So I'll get it done, I promise.

I mean, if someone's gonna text me from flippin' JAPAN to prod me into doing it, guess I'd better do it, eh?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:37 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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