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K-ON! Eps 1-12 (complete) June 24, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
Tags: , , , ,
After School Teatime: Mio, Ritsu, Yui, Mugi

After School Teatime: Mio, Ritsu, Yui, Mugi

A fun and enjoyable, if slightly disappointing, entry to the KyoAni canon. K-ON! had a concept oozing potential: four high-school girls join the ‘light music club’, forming a band that makes music, friendship, and good clean fun.

This sort of moe slice-of-life show normally screams off-beat hit for me (I am, after all a sucker for stuff like Azumanga Daioh, Manabi Straight and Ichigo Mashimaro), and with the hallowed KyoAni at the helm I was totally expecting another Lucky Star level of greatness with awesome music scenes on a par with Suzumiya Haruhi‘s infamous Live Alive episode.

But I just didn’t feel that spark. I know this is controversial, given that a lot of other anime fans have gone nuts over K-ON! (I can feel the flames already), but does it really compare with the likes of Lucky Star and Haruhi on the KyoAni classics scale?

Don’t get me wrong, the characters were perfectly amicable: Mio is a tsundere fan’s dream, Yui the delightfully ditzy heroine (and a lead guitarist named Yui! With a sister named Ui!), Mugi just plain charming. And the animation, particularly the attention to detail on the musical instruments, was fabulous.

So what was missing? The plotlines were as I’d expect for the ups and downs of high school life. Nothing necessarily wrong with that — I do watch the same sorts of shows over and over again after all. Yet the pacing of the whole series did feel a little flat at times, and while I enjoyed every episode, I had few laugh-out-loud moments and only episode 5 (with Sawa-chan’s appearance) had me really beaming.

I guess what I was really anticipating was more grandstanding for the big musical climaxes. For a show all about a musical group, I really was expecting all out anisong awesomeness. But while the score was catchy and the group’s tunes decent, the music wasn’t totally amazing on the scale of, say, Haruhi’s ‘God Knows…’ or ‘Lost My Music’, or the Black Stones/Trapnest stuff in Nana. The big exceptions were the OP and ED themes — ‘Cagayake Girls’ was great and ‘Don’t say Lazy‘ downright phenomenal. In fact, given how outstanding the ED is, I was really expecting the final episode to build up to a ‘Don’t say Lazy’ live finish. Yet they opted for another airing of ‘Fuwa Fuwa Time’, which while okay, just doesn’t make me want to go wild, you know?

This isn’t to say K-ON! isn’t a decent show. It’s a perfectly respectable entry to the moe high-school girl slice-of-life genre. I realise K-ON! is a very different show from Lucky Star, Haruhi, Kanon or any of the rest of the KyoAni back-catalogue. But given how well their respective animation teams do slice-of-life harem shows like Clannad and Kanon, and all out wacky comedies like Lucky Star, I really was expecting the ultimate dynamite of otaku moe shows. I guess KyoAni’s set the bar really high and it can’t but feel a little anticlimactic when they don’t quite hit the same standards.


1. K-ON! Gekichuka Shu Album: Ho-Kago Tea Time « Canned Memory - August 6, 2009

[…] August 6, 2009 Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Music, Video. Tags: Anime, K-ON, Music trackback As previously noted in this blog, I liked, but wasn’t blown away by K-ON! as a series and was somewhat disappointed by the music scenes. That’s not to say I […]

2. Mickey - September 12, 2010

I love everything about K-on.
The first episode got me hooked.
As with Lucky Star, its 1st episode didn’t have the magic that K-On had on me.

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