K-On!

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Sheex's avatar By Sheex on Jul 23, 2009

Story

Having spent most of my summer engulfed in the world of engineering, I figured a series based on music would be a great distraction. Tack on some hyper-energetic high school girls and a slice-of-life setting, and K-On’s light-hearted charm naturally piqued my interest.

This premise is undoubtedly what makes K-On so captivating. As a whole, the show never attempts to step beyond its means; it sets itself out to be simple fun and undoubtedly succeeds. Despite operating off a number of base gags and jokes that find themselves revisited from episode to episode, the series never seems to drag. Ultimately, the musical aspect of the show, while central, pales in comparison to the harmonious play of the characters, and serves primarily as a catalyst to move the story along – the music does not shape the girls, but rather the girls shape the music. I admit this might disappoint some viewers, but it provides K-On with more universal appeal; though it refrains from excelling in any one genre, it dabbles in several quite well, and manages to juggle humor, drama, and music without any sign of awkwardness.

From air-headed Yui to feisty Ritsu to feminine Mio to whimsical Tsumugi, the cast certainly can’t make any claims to originality. In fact, the series sticks so hard to the tried-and-true formula of slice-of-life comedy that its sole claim to uniqueness stems from its inclusion of music as a focal point. While the characters feel like largely recycled archetypes, great lengths are taken to flesh them out to be as endearing as possible. In this way, the series seems – in a strange manner – both fresh and vivacious, and manages to fill its thirteen episode span without much tedium. Just as the antics begin to slip into monotony, the anime comes to a close, wrapping up its finale with an expected, but very fitting, encore.


Animation

K-On certainly branches out from Kyoto Animation’s standard fare, as although the animation works well for a “cutesy” feel, the level of detail is noticeably poorer. A number of menially important scenes feel washed over in quality, and make the visual production seem rushed. Still, as a whole, the animation generally works well in that it aptly captures the girls’ cheery enthusiasm. Motion and framerates are as crisp as ever, so where the show lacks detail, it makes up for it with raw energy.


Sound

Japanese bands should really stop writing English lyrics into their songs. Sure “lazy” and “crazy” might rhyme, but rhyming does not a coherent sentence make. Anyway, aside from that little quip, I can’t think of anything much to say about the music other than that it’s catchy. All the band’s insert songs make you bob your head along with the beat, and the opening theme delivers the free-spirited feel that pervades the entire series. With solid voice acting to boot, the audible aspects of the show play out in much the same way as the visuals: they don’t break any new ground, but they do their job well.    


Characters

As I mentioned in the story section, K-On’s cast is remarkably unremarkable. Though they all do a fantastic job at connecting with the viewer, they fit the archetypal mold too snugly for my liking.  While I found their interplay fun and amusing to watch, I could never shake the sensation that I’d seen this material before but with different faces. Unlike the truly successful comedies such as Fumoffu! and Minami-ke their characters flaunt no memorable twists, which leaves them simply as good. Still, the musical premise gives the series enough edge to allow much of this to be overlooked, as the band environment adds sufficient flavor story-wise to draw the viewer into their experience. In the end, the characters are little more than a bunch of ordinary high school girls getting together to do what they enjoy, and perhaps their largely generic feel is what gives them such overarching charm.


Overall

Though K-On is certainly not Kyoto Animation’s best work, it passes the acceptability test by a wide margin. While lacking the originality and flair that have defined the studio’s previous works, the series manages to be entertaining regardless and avoids making any glaring faults. At thirteen episodes in length, K-On makes a point not to overstay its welcome; it’s fun, amusing, and enjoyable for its span, and can easily find its way onto the shelves of fans of many different genres.

7/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.2/10 overall
vongolajake's avatar By vongolajake on Nov 4, 2013

Im sure if you have ever grown up as a music lover you must of had that dream of one day forming a band with your best friends and having fun and performing together. K-On! is said dream in anime form.

we are introduce to Yui Hirasawa. An air-headed and excited girl who is about to start her first  year at Sakuragoaka girls high school. weeks go by and Yui decides she wants to join a club. at the same time club members of the light music club; Mio,Ritsu and, Tsumugi are deseperately trying to find a fourth memeber or else the club will be disbanded. Yui decides she would like to join the light music club even though her only prior musical experience consist of her playing the castanets. Despite this, the girls eagerly take Yui in. Claiming that they will teach her how to play guitar. This is the start of an adventure for these four. while they start to become close friends and set a dream to be a successful band.

i thoroughly enjoyed this series. In my opion its just a fun series to get into. the characters are great. we have: Yui- the funny air headed guitarist/vocalsit. Mio- the smart, shy, and easily scared bassist/vocalist. Ritsu- the  fun upbeat and sarcastic drummer. Tsumugi the cheerful and gentle keyboradist. and finally Azusa the modest and cute and talented guitarist of the group. along with the characters the music is another really fun aspect of this series. if i had one thing to complain about. it eould have to be the story, which is enjoyable but i felt that it was a little lacking at some points.

overall this was a fun anime series for me. if you are a fan of music or slice of life animes i guarantee that you will enjoy K-On!

7.5/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
EHero09's avatar By EHero09 on Jun 18, 2013

This is my first review, so bear with me.

After finishing Kokoro Connect and its OVA "sequel" Michi Random, I was left with something of a void. Not to the extent of Steins;Gate or Clannad: After Story, but there was a hole in my anime schedule that I thought would be difficult to fill.

Some people say that if you're stuck on what to watch after finishing a show, then start a show similar to the one that left the void. With this in mind, I decided to watch K-On!. Why? Because the character designs in Kokoro made me think of this show; most likely because the same character designer worked on both shows.

Story

Yui Hirasawa has just entered high school, but has not yet joined a club, something which is mandatory for her school. After looking through the various recruitment posters, one catches her eye: the Light Music Club.

There's just one problem: she doesn't know how to play any instruments.

Regardless of this fact, the other three members of the club - Mio Akiyama, Ritsu Tainaka, and Tsumugi Kotobuki - persuade her to stay in the club to prevent it from disbanding.

Now Yui must learn how to play the guitar in order to not let the other club members down.

As much as the story centres around music, it is still very much a slice of life anime, and as such, there are many times where the characters, rather than practicing, just sit around and do something that isn't club activities - drinking tea, for example.

Animation

 There's not really much for me to say about animation. As one would expect from Kyoto Animation, the art and animation of this anime is generally well done, particularly the attention to detail regarding the club's equipment. At times, however, the colours in the background would seem a bit dull, though this was counteracted by the characters.

Sound

This is where K-On! truly shines. The BGMs, although not too memorable, generally fit with the current on-screen situation. The OP would probably fit onto my top 50 anime opening list, if I were to ever make such a list, and the ED gave off a music-video feeling, with a catchy tune to go with it.

The episodes that focused on the Light Music Club actually doing music were the highlights of the show for me. The insert songs were great if a bit odd, but unfortunately, only two or three episodes actually had real performances done by the club; the rest were spent on the girls going about their daily lives, as you'd expect from a slice of life show.

Characters

There was not a single character that I really disliked throughout the show. Their interactions are the second highlight of the show, with the voice actors really bringing the show's comedy to life. Aki Toyosaki and Yoko Hikasa in particular fit their assigned characters - Yui and Mio, respectively - better than I expected.

With one or two exceptions, each named character served a purpose towards the story; for example, Yui's best friend Nodoka Manabe, is a member of the school council and generally appeared to move the actual plot along in the form of pushing the club for various application forms.

Final thoughts

Overall, K-On! turned out to be better than I expected. I had heard good things about it, so that set some expectations, and they were met, but not really exceeded.

So in the end, I'd recommend this show if you're looking to take it easy after a shounen action, or just want to kick back in general.

I hope you enjoyed my first review. If there's anything you disagree with, post a comment. Thanks for taking the time to read it! :)

Story - 6.8

Animation - 8.1

Sound - 8.4

Characters - 7.3

Enjoyment - 7.0

FINAL SCORE - 7.52/10

6.8/10 story
8.1/10 animation
8.4/10 sound
7.3/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
NekoMusume117's avatar By NekoMusume117 on Oct 11, 2011

K-ON! is an incredibly endearing anime, while it isn't particularly earth shattering, it is probably one of the best of its genre.

Story: The story isn't an amazing display of intricate story telling, but the anime is well paced, each episode has something going on and there aren't really any episodes where you feel like it was a waste of 24 minutes, nor does it become difficult to follow because of too much going on.

Story: 7.4/10

Animation: Kyoto Animation did a great job animating the series. The style is cute and captures the feeling of the series. And all the details, from the instruments to the backgrounds are captured well.

Animation: 9.6/10

Sound: K-ON! was very well cast, the seiyuus do a great job capturing the characters. Even the supporting cast is terrific and  The music cute and catchy, which fits the series wonderfully.

Sound: 9.8/10

Characters: The characters are very endearing and memorable, and you will grow to love them throughout the series.

Characters: 9.5/10

Overall: K-ON! is funny, cute, and endearing, it does a great job capturing the 4-koma it's based on, and probably exceeds it to some degree. It's not for everyone, but for those of us who love a good slice of life anime, it's certainly well worth watching.

Overall: 9.6/10

7.4/10 story
9.6/10 animation
9.8/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.6/10 overall
mustardbomb's avatar By mustardbomb on Sep 21, 2012

There is one thing I love in animation, and hell, production in general. When people are shown playing instruments, they hit the actual notes, strike the right drums/cymbals. K-ON!, as a show centered around a music club, nails this. It is a visual pleasure to watch these girls play, simply because it is right. It is correct. It is well done!

The characters themselves also look nice. In a world of little ragamuffin schoolgirls infiltrating every anime, height is welcomed! Are they still trite personality wise? Hell yes they are. They're the same 5 girls we see in every show, just with a slight name change. Ugh, but again, the art is better than usual. Yay points!

And then they talk. Yay horribly contrived lines delivered via chipmunks! Whoooo! So kawaii

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
5/10 overall