Anime Review | K-On!

 Musical instruments + Cute girls = BEST ANIME EVER?

Ah, the moe genre, how I love you so. What better anime to explore the moe style than with K-On. In the glorious Hall of Cute Girls Doing Cute Things, this anime stands, among others, pretty much at the top. However, is K-On all moe, or does it have a little extra to it that makes it stand out?

K-On aired in 2009 and was done by the animation studio Kyoto Animation. An anime under the moe, music, and slice-of-life genres, K-On had 13 episodes, an OVA episode, and a 26-episode second season (which I’ll be reviewing in the future). One of KyoAni’s more popular anime, K-On has achieved the pinnacle of the moe genre in terms of how adorable the characters and the show are. However, the anime is more than that. Shall we begin?

Story: 7.2/10

As far as plot goes, well…there isn’t really much to talk about. K-On follows the adventures of 4 high school girls, all of which are members of their school’s light music club, as they aspire to become a top-notch band, among other things. This is where the show needs to improve on, first and foremost. K-On doesn’t really focus on the music aspect as much as you would expect them to for an anime under the music genre. Certain bits and pieces of musical talk are used throughout each episode, but some episodes just don’t really seem to concentrate on that one aspect of music. This can be disappointing for a lot of people with high expectations of the show.

However, to its credit, K-On does make for a pretty solid slice-of-life show. Its episodic enough that you can enjoy it if you’re looking for something light to munch on. The show is also amusing for the most part, and I say “for the most part” because some of the jokes and the comedic effects may just fly over some people’s heads, but amusing nonetheless.

Animation: 8.0/10

Coming from Kyoto Animation, K-On’s animation is definitely top-notch. Its easy-on-the-eyes color pallets and fluid animation compliments the series’ light-hearted tone, another thing KyoAni does well. KyoAni also introduces us to a variety of character designs and very detailed sceneries, all of which fit the show’s moe style to a T.

Let’s not forget about them concert scenes. The animation for the 3 concert scenes in K-On were all superbly crafted, with free-flowing gestures and pretty much spot-on synchronization with the songs the band plays. Oh, and I almost forgot about THEM OPENING AND ENDING SONGS! Seriously, if you need an example of how good KyoAni can animate, look no further than K-On’s opening and ending themes.

 Just look at that stylish art style!

Characters: 7.4/10

The cast for K-On includes your average character tropes. We have Yui, the cutesy, ditzy, but musically talented guitarist; Mio, the mature but shy bassist; Ritsu, the energetic and mischievous drummer; Mugi, the rich and lady-like pianist; and, later on in the series, Azusa, the freshman guitar pro. What makes these characters shine is how they aren’t restricted by their tropes all the time. They may be all goofy but there are also moments where we see a different side to them.  This factor is what makes the girls so likeable.  Also, seeing how the characters interact with each other also compliments the light and fluffy theme of the show.

On the down side, all the varieties we get from K-On’s characters are just regular tropes nonetheless. Not much development happens, and, therefore, we are left with just our usual band that stays stagnant throughout the entire series (not that it’s entirely a bad thing though).

 Let the annual Best Girl Olympics begin!

Sound: 8.0/10

Let’s start with the negatives about K-On’s soundtrack: it doesn’t have a lot for a music anime. Over the course of 12 episodes, only about 4 songs were played, 2 of them being the same songs. What’s more is that the soundtracks used throughout the series are average, although they do set the light and fluffy tone of the show rather well.

On the plus side, the songs that are played are all really good and catchy. Everything, from “Fuwa Fuwa Time” to “Brush and Ballpoint Pen” (cheesy titles, I know), were addicting in their own degrees. On top of which, the opening song (sung by the lead voice actress) was rather amazing and really makes the show stand out. Finally, the strawberry on top of K-On’s musical cheesecake: THAT. ENDING. THEME. With a combination of flavorful music and a gorgeous art style, “Don’t Say Lazy” is the perfect ED song for K-On and is probably one of the best parts of the show.

Enjoyment: 8.2/10

Being a person who thoroughly enjoyed the K-On manga, I was kinda scared when I first went into the anime. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as good as I thought it would, and that it might change my opinion on the series as a whole. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. For the most part. The anime, although a bit boring at times, was really fun to watch. Its simplicity is actually a relaxing factor, while the various antics of the light music club never failed to make me smile (not a pedo-ish way, mind you). Finally, the concert scenes were the icing on the top, with fluid animation to match the addicting songs, adding to my overall enjoyment of the show. Also, I’m a sucker for cute girls doing cute things.

Now, if only they focused more on the music //I said, with a posed look//.

Afterword:

K-On is one of the examples of anime where you might wanna have to turn off your brain in order to enjoy it. It had promising potential plot-wise, yet it deviated from its musical path and opted to be more slice-of-life-ish instead. The animation and the music that they DO have in the show (including the OP and ED theme), however, are immensely stylish and are certified eye-candy. Overall, if cutesy moe slice-of-life anime are your thing, or if you just want a relaxing series to watch, then try this show. If not, then I suggest that you stay clear from this show until you feel like watching it, as there isn’t enough musical content in it (in my opinion) for music-genre-loving fans to enjoy. Regardless, K-On is funny, cute, and entertaining for me.

I hereby award K-On! with an overall score of 76 tea parties out of 100.

 Seriously, these fellas are just adorable…especially Yui….oh,Yui….

As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this review, on the show itself, or if you would like me to review anything.  And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.  With that, until next time, this has been Ken, and I’ll see you guys in the future.

One Comment

  1. I thought K-On was good light hearted fun, although I started losing interest in it towards the end. Neo magazine’s readers voted the movie best anime flick of 2013, which was rather generous given that Wolf Children got released in the same year.

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