Hello and welcome to G-Views, where SoL reigns supreme, moe is respected and Dokuro-chan sucks poopie. Well, the day I’ve been dreading has finally arrived. Today was the premiere of the subbed version of the K-ON! series finale. I feel sad, but as a reviewer who does his best to promote great shows for fellow animeniacs to enjoy, I must press onward and review the ultimate in Moe goodness that is K-ON!.
K-ON!! (TV) (sequel). Yup, the 2nd season’s title has two exclamation marks instead of one to define it as a sequel.
Genres: comedy, slice of life
Themes: bishoujo, moe, music, school
Number of episodes:
Season 1: 13+1 bonus episode and 6 short specials.
Season 2: 26+1 bonus episode
G-Rating for entire series: 10/10. 1/10 for the anti-moe society.
As mentioned in the intro, this show may possibly be the epitome of moe goodness. You can’t get possibly get any more moe than K-ON! However, like Strike Witches, there’s more to this show than just its main attraction.
The music: What can I say about it? I’ll let the OPs and EDs speak for themselves. I only have one word for them: AWESOMETACULAR! I can pretty much guess that the EDs are more popular than the OPs for good reason, but the OPs also have their own little charm, especially the very 1st one. It’s a shame that Tokyopop went all postal on the vids so I can’t post any of them. too bad.
The animation: Again, watch the vids to see for yourselves. I can’t say much about this one because I don’t have any gripes with it at all. I’m not one who complains about animation or music unless it’s very noticeable and relevant to the anime. In short, I love the animation of this series.
The characters: As usual on the G-Views, the characters play a very important role in an anime. If the characters of an anime suck, then 50% of the entire anime sucks already. Here, it’s the complete opposite of sucking, it’s fantastic in so many ways.
Each of the 5 members of K-ON! and the rest of the supporting cast has so much live to them that you cannot hate any of them, no matter what they try to do to make haters shoot themselves.
Yui is the main character of K-On!. She is one of the members of the light music club and plays a Heritage Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard electric guitar that she nicknames “Gīta” (ギー太?). She does not get good grades in school (though when properly coached, she can achieve astounding results) and is easily distracted by trivialities (mainly those deemed cute and adorable). Yui is clumsy and easily spaces out most of the time. She takes a huge liking for any kind of food (she practically never gains weight, which is greatly envied by Mugi, Mio, and Sawako). She has her younger sister Ui, who is the very mature and down-to-earth opposite of Yui, to take care of her and keep herself in line. Yui works extremely hard to get better at playing guitar, which is shown in later chapters. During performances, Yui plays with amazing energy and joy, which usually results in great response from the audience.
Ritsu (or Ricchan, as nicknamed by Yui) is the self-proclaimed president of the light music club and plays a yellow Rick Marotta Signature Yamaha Hipgig drum kit with an add-on floor tom (in the opening credits only) combined with a cymbal set from Avedis Zildjian, though is shown playing a white Yamaha Absolute Series drumkit in the anime’s closing credits. She has an ambiguous yet upbeat personality, much like Yui, but often has trouble remembering important club activities and announcements and gets constantly yelled at by Mio and Nodoka for forgetting to send in important forms concerning the club. Ritsu is cheerful, often likes making jokes and is sarcastic most of the time. She usually brainstorms for ideas to earn more money and for the club’s success. She says she chose to play the drums because they are “cool”, but in reality, she admits that she has trouble playing instruments which involve intricate finger movements, such as the bass, guitar and keyboard despite the fact that she has to be placed in the back of the stage.
Mio is a shy girl who is in the light music club and plays a left-handed, 3-Color Sunburst Fender Jazz Bass with a tortoiseshell pickguard, though is shown playing a Fender Precision Bass in the first manga volume. She originally intended to join the literary club, but is forced into the light music club by her childhood friend and the club’s president/drummer, Ritsu. She gets excellent grades in school, but is bad with listening to stories involving macabre experiences, and cowers whenever something gross is brought up. Some of the many things she is afraid of include haunted houses, ghosts, barnacles and blood. While she can be mature and strict sometimes, she gets embarrassed easily, and is often subject to teasing from Ritsu and Sawako, their club adviser and eventual third-year homeroom teacher. She cites that she chose bass since it is not the center of attention in the band, unlike the guitarist. Mio is more technical when it comes to music, and Yui often comes to her when she is in need of more guitar tutorials.
Tsumugi, often referred to as ‘Mugi’ by her friends, is a wealthy girl with a gentle and sweet personality who plays a Korg Triton Extreme 76-key keyboard, though she is also seen playing a Korg RK-100 keytar in the closing credits of the first season. She originally intended to join the choir club, but joins the light music club instead after receiving an invitation and encouragement from both Mio and Ritsu. Tsumugi is considered a piano prodigy since she has been playing the piano since she was four and has experience in winning various piano contests. She is the daughter of a company president, and her family has several villas in various places around Japan (and even one in Finland). Since her father also owns a maid café, she often brings confectionery and an assortment of sweets and pastries to the club room, and she diligently makes tea with a tea set which is kept in their club room. Despite her wealth, she finds joy in partaking in cheaper activities, such as taking a part-time job at a fast food restaurant. Tsumugi displays a rebellious streak occasionally, diverting from her normally well-behaved and mature demeanor to the surprise of the others.
Azusa is a student in the same year and class as Yui’s sister Ui, who joins the light music club and becomes the rhythm guitarist, playing a Fender Mustang electric guitar. She is a self-proclaimed novice guitarist who has been playing the guitar since she was in the fourth grade, and her parents are working in a jazz band. She often finds herself bewildered by the tea parties and cosplaying aspects of the club, when she would rather just practice and is curious on how the club is able to play so well despite their problems and lack of practice. However, she has a certain weakness for cakes and can be calmed down rather easily, sometimes by just being petted. She is constantly a victim to Yui’s skinship and is nicknamed Azu-nyan after trying on a pair of cat ears and meowing (“nyan” being the equivalent of “meow” in the Japanese vocabulary). Despite this, Azusa is not too good with cats.
The cool thing about this show is that it somehow reminds me and possibly others of their high school years. Everything from the close ties of friendship and experiences that they share together, all the way to the inevitable farewells and the sadness due in part to graduation, when the time to say goodbye arrives. I’m serious about this. this show’s so good that even the filler episodes are a blast to watch.
In conclusion, love it or hate it, K-ON! has become a milestone in anime history and will be quite difficult to forget for those who have followed this show since day 1. Guilty pleasure or wonderful experience, you choose.