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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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