I usually go for the kind of fantasy where the problems that afflict the world are inauthentically complex, like war. I say the complexity isn’t authentic because the resolution is often clean: peace, love, and song are the magic stuff; but in the form of giant robots acting out great struggles.
There is another fantasy that I’ve learned to enjoy: that of the denial of complexity. Suffering does not exist in the world! Sure there are problems, pain, and even tears… But there is no suffering, the way only humans can choose to suffer. This is the world of little girls in high school, the emphasis on little… as this kind of setting eschews the anguish only adolescents can truly inflict on themselves and the people who pay attention to them.
This too, is an interesting fantasy. It is the triumph of good vs. nothing.
The K-On! movie is an extended episode of the magnificent second season of the manga adaptation. It’s actually quite comparable to Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door in that regard, especially with how that movie attempts to thematically set-up the culmination of Spike’s story using Vincent Volaju. Interestingly enough, both films are unnecessary additions to the perfection of their respective tv series, but K-On! does more in this regard. Both shows are episodic with standalone stories, that threaded a narrative tightly in the end, but K-On!! did it with more episodes and this film made for a tighter fit within that narrative.
It’s precisely because it told the origin story of Tenshi no Furetta Yo, the graduating members’ parting gift to Azusa. Much like the totality of the second season, it was a whole lot of nothing especially in the first half, but its second act was filled with the same emotive power of what will amount to be an inconsequential parting (which is uncannily very strong). I won’t lie, this moment in the second season struck me with perhaps more emotive power than Spike’s closing act, and before you roll your eyes in incredulity, I give Cowboy Bebop as much credit as anyone can, in a series of blog posts.
How is this possible for me? Taking into consideration the majority of my preferences skewing towards violent robot shows, and absurd displays of archaic manliness… It’s because I contextualize it quite well in serving my own purposes: The world of K-On! is what my robot anime heroes strive to fight for. This is what Basara sings for, with all the might of his strong-sounding but ultimately wholesome and happy lyrics.
This is how the world is after it gets saved. This is the world where mobile suits are no longer necessary. Banagher, Kio, you should be happy. People did not die in vain, the tears of time have stopped flowing. The mistakes of one’s youth are no longer consequential. Kids can make all sorts of silly mistakes, because after lasting peace is won by grand acts, the world that comes after is all light and fluff.