K-ON First Impression

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It’s K-On, the hip (?) new anime everybody is talking about.  By god I just had to check it out and give my first impression, I just had too.  Since this is a slice of life comedy that is totally character (?) driven I’m going to be returning briefly to the style I used back when I blogged Lucky Star.  You know….the one done with time blocks and by the moment impressions of the episodes? Here goes:

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0:00-0:40:  40 seconds in and they managed to illicit a chuckle from me.  This by comparsion to your average anime is an absolutely godly good start.  Yui’s little fiddling around with the clock and gasping at the time just somehow manges to come across as amusing to me.  Perhaps it’s because it’s actually something I can relate too, which seems to not usually be the case in the slice of life genre most of the time.  I find myself saying here, “Gee, that’s a situation that could actually happen in real life and to anyone”.  Incidentally though, this screenshot has all the material anyone could ever need to take one of those blowup shots of Yui’s face, post it on a forum and call it an example of QUALITY.

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0:50-1:21:  Toast in the mouth while going out the door…why do they always seem to do that in these shows.  Who does that?  Realism destroyed, this show SUCKS!  Okay just kidding, I have no expectations to see this show as anything approaching realistic for the majority of it, because I scoff at the notion of realistic situations being portrayed in anime.  It’s an impossibly to attain pure realistic standards for 100% of any shows run so I don’t get the standard at all.  Also Yui fell on her arse, how quirky…..why does these girls always do these things…..hehehe….

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1:24-1:54:  I am confused by this particular shot.  What an utterly bizzare and distorted angle.  Is it supposed to be artistic, or is it just skewed and stretched to create an impression of low angle camera shot without it really being one?  Avoidance of a panty shot is also noted, my guess is the assets are being saved for some form of beach/hot springs episode to take place around the count of episode 4/6/8.  Also Yui has the Ranka Lee hair effect.

K-On Opening: “Cagayake! GIRLS”

For an opening tune that has such a good thing going with it’s first 9 second guitar riff it seems a shame that it disintegrates into what I would classify as medicore J-Pop.  Though perhaps it’s just because I am not feeling the vocals of the cast at all.  The tune isn’t particularly inspired either though so perhaps this is just a case of you work with what you are given.  Not feeling this one all, but at least the visuals are okay if perhaps somewhat invocative of an eroge opening at times.

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3:42-5:01:

My interest starts to flag a little and I start to make note of the animation.  I’ve heard it described as realistic and expressive, but I would describe it as simply excessive.  The movements come across as exagerrated and jerky and I wouldn’t exactly call them realistic so much as jarring.  There’s a definite effort to wow with animation quality here, but it suffers from a similar problem to MS Igloo in that it’s just pure overkill.  That being said I think it all evens out to create an acceptable style for the time being.

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5:00-8:00:

I am starting to get a feel for the characters.  As many have said before they are pure moe moe for the most part with Mio exuding tsundere traits, Ritsu being hyperactive, Yui being clumsy and Tsumugi being quiet and reserved….and yet I find none of them particularly endearing or engrossing in anyway beyond these initial traits.  Not really going to fault the show for that as it is the first episode, but there are some other issues at stake here.  One is that the newbie nature of the cast really starts to stand out here.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems like they could use some improvement, Yui somewhat excepted.  If I am too be perfectly blunt however, Ritsu’s voice annoys the heck out of me and I’ve never much cared for her character archetype either.  And so the new light music club is formed in this portion…..well almost, they need a fourth member.

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8:00-9:00:

Flashback joke is actually mildly amusing, though I think the fake out on the overwrought drama sells it.  Will this show be switching to overwrought drama later on in the second half like a lot of shows that start of light do, or will it keep things light and add a human touch?  I guess only time will tell.

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9:00-10:30:

Are those fries or yellow beans? You be the judge.  Also I’m guessing I can now add airhead to Tsumugi’s list of character traits.  Does that make her deep now, or does she just portray more then one archetypal character trait at this point?  Again you be the judge.  The search continues for the illusive fourth member, though unless you as much of an airhead as Tsumugi appears to be I’m sure you’ve already figured out who it’s going to be.

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10:30-11:43: 

Yumi is a girl that seems to love her walking cycles.  In fact I think that we’ve seen this exact same walking cycle about 3 times now only with different backgrounds.  Gotta save budget somehow I suppose, though hopefully this doesn’t become a continuing issue like it did for Gundam Seed Destiny.  Unlikely, but just something I am forced to ponder.  So Yumi makes her inevitable decision to sign up for the K-On club.  Called it.  Anyway I have to say I kind of like the way they set up the whole first half/second half dynamic to be set up by a Side A/Side B of a cassette tape.  Only thing I would have done differently was showing it getting turned over during the eyecatch instead of just showing the Side B.  More stylish that way.  Oh well…..

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11:50-13:07:  Heil the K-On club an enthusiatic Yui implies.  Also colourful background and cutesy dances because dangit that’s just moe.  Application submitted, apparently Yui is an amazing person, but I don’t see it.  Maybe the other girls are just being nice.

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13-10-13:55:  I doubt it was intentional and that this was probably supposed to be expressive but uhh….what’s with Yui’s drunk walk?  Unintentional comedy, but I’ll certainly take it as it’s quite amusing if a little odd.

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14:01-15:29:  And so we hit the infamous Krauser reference complete with the usual odd form of pseudo-censoring that this company always likes to add to the scenes for some reason.  I got screamed at by a screamy blogger for not finding the fact of the reference funny, but the way in which Yumi is scared out of her wits by Ritsu I actually do find somewhat amusing.  The sake of the reference for a reference has no comedic value to me, but it’s execution does….though really Yumi’s fright could have been done in just about any old way so the referential comedy is still a matter of who cares for me other then Krauser is cool.  What does that have to do with K-On though?  Anyway, hopefully that finally clarifies where I stand on this matter and I don’t get bloody freaked out on again for my specific tastes in and methods of reacting to comedic attempts.

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15:30-16:40: 

So everybody thinks Yui is the grrl, but she’s most certainly not the grrl.  I think everybody can see where this is headed.  Also I got a kick out of Mio’s whole Guitarist rundown bit not because of the Jimmy Hendrix reference because as I mentioned I don’t find reference for the sake of reference funny, but because of how Mio only seems to be able to rattle off guitarists with first names that start with the ジ katakana.  I have to wonder at why that seems to be the case now.  Is it a preference for the voice actor’s name pronounciation, did the series researcher just happen to look up a reference for famous guitarists by first name and started picking off the ones surrounding the legendary Hendrix?  Does Mio just really like The Yardbirds?  If so will this come up?  See what slow shows do to me?!

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16:40-19:00:

Lots of talking head and bubbly cutesy vapid talk.  My interest starts to wane a bit.  Oh dear, it seems that Yui is about to quit, goes into moe moe tears mode and then the rest of the band offers her a chance to LISTEN TO THEIR SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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19:00-20:20:  And so they perform, and it’s definitely light music.  Very basic, appropriate for amateurs.

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20:20-21:20:  And here we get what I felt was actually the cleverest bit of a fairly run of the mill opening episode.  I can’t even say I was actually expecting Yui to say the club is not so good, but maybe that’s because they don’t actually sound all that bad at all for an amateur high school music group.  A sharp “HA!” was had this minute.

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21:20-22:20:

Hmmmm….the dot eyes again….they’re big on that aren’t they.  And so it ends, Yui is joining the music club, but now she has to get a guitar.  Oh what fun they’ll have…..on the show THIS IS IT?!

K-On Ending: Don’t Say Lazy

I didn’t think this was possible, but I think I actually like this song less everytime I hear it.  The composition and the mixing their of just seems to noisy and distorted as do the vocals which come across as more mumbly then anything.  The video shows charm though and points for hotness go to Mio’s little forward step at 0:32-0:34.  Shame the song does absolutely nothing good for me at all though.

Conclusions:

Hmmmm….well obviously this show was going to be the centre of attention when it first came out because of the studio that was doing it.  Kyoani….Kyoani….I never got your extreme popularity and I still don’t get it now, not that that matters much to me personally anymore as I’ve come to accept it as one of those facts of life.  My base first impressions on this show are simple and can even be reduced to bullet point fashion:

+ The characters all take on popular moe traits of the now

- None of them exhibit any real character depth or history beyond these traits, but I’m fairly certain that will change.  Heck it better change.

+ Yui is a likeable enough lead and does little to offend, also Mio is tolerable as well

- Ritsu is annoying as all hell and Tsugumi seems is almost a non-entity.  People have compared her to Miyuki from Lucky Star and I’ll say that if any character seems likely to get the Miyuki style shaft later on in the series it will be her.  Though god help me if it’s for the sake of Ritsu.

+ The animation is deliberately fluid throughout much of the episode

- The animation can be fairly districting as a result of it’s fluidity and much like other shows such as Macross Frontier I find it sacrifices animation detail for constant movement.

 – The voice actors for the most part are fairly new to the business and it’s really obvious at times.

That’s really all I can think of to say at this moment actually.  K-On is a show that does little to offend, but also little to really attract anyone beyond the usual fans of Kyoani “cute girls doing cute things” fare.  Obviously if you are a die hard fan of Kyoani shows then this is going to hit all the right points and illicit the whole “Kyoani has done it again” response along with the ever popular “As expected from Kyoani” that usual follows such an event…..which is really unsurprising to me since they’ve delivered a similar brand of anime for the past 4 years now.  No guff it’s as expected of Kyoani and they have done it again, I mean….pfffttt.  Find the pattern and you will see the mysteries of the universe unfold before your eyes.

Well anyway, not being a die hard fan of Kyoani shows nor of the belief that they are creators of masterpieces (this partially has to do with the fact that they generally don’t really create any of the shows/characters/or stories they do from scratch like the true master’s of the arts so they could never really qualify to begin with) though I find myself evaluating K-On solely on it’s own merits and shortcomings (a stunning notion to be sure) and……..I find it has promise should the character development hit sooner rather than later, but nothing to make me presume that it will be some sort of masterpiece or best anime of 2009 given it’s totally humble and laid back first episode.  This is of course because it is way too early in the series run to make predictions on it’s future for better or worse.

That won’t stop anyone from trying though so I’m not going to ask anyone to take my word for it.  Just enjoy or dismiss the series on your own terms and don’t mind me, though if it is requested of me I honestly wouldn’t mind extending my blogging stint on K-On a little longer.

Rating:  Six Out Of Ten

Kaioshin’s Note:  So help me if I see anybody try to use the word epic to describe any aspect of a show as laid back as this I will break into your house and tear your wife in half.  This is Kaioshin Sama helping to portray totally polar tones within the same sentence since 2007. :P 

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32 Responses to “K-ON First Impression”


  1. 1 Zack April 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I actually got around to watching this today instead of putting it off for a week. I found some scenes pretty funny. Something I’ll watch, but not a 10/10 for me like I hear a lot of other people saying. Little above average show for me so far. I kind of like the characters and the idea isn’t *bad* so to say. Hoping it picks up a bit and turns into a good memorable series. I’d give it a 6.5~ or so. That’s just me though.

    I seriously burst out into laughter reading your note at the bottom. Best laugh I’ve had today so far.

  2. 2 no_sushi April 5, 2009 at 1:31 am

    It’s a matter of taste, Kaioshin-san. Who cares what other people think, as long as you enjoy watching it?

    Of course there are always times when you feel so against something that you have to speak up for yourself, but I find it best to ignore the people that you don’t agree with and continue along your own path (for you that would be enjoying mecha anime and space operas, would it not?)

    That said, if you are watching K-On! but feel bored about it, I wouldn’t recommend blogging about it, since that’ll likely elicit responses that should serve to irk you even more.

    I notice that you went into this episode with a lot of pre-conceived ideas about the show. That fact coloured your views on how the show should turn out and it reflected in your article. I personally find nothing offensive from it, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt for you to go into the next episode having thrown away all expectations of how it should turn out to be (this is a paraphrase of Jaalin from Random Curiosity).

    In the Anime blogosphere, I find ignorance to be bliss. Just my 2 cents, take it as you will.

    Peace

  3. 3 Kaioshin Sama April 5, 2009 at 3:47 am

    @Zack: Honestly all Kyoani series are in my opinion extremely overpraised, trumped/hyped up and prone to the 10/10 phenomenon you are seeing just by them being involved in it and it makes it next to impossible to really find a non-biased review of the show because everybody always immediately jumps on the band wagon that their latest show (whatever it is) is a gift from god and some unique stroke of absolute divine brilliance, despite the fact that if that were actually the case that the credit should be going to the original creator. It’s been that way for 3 years now, but I still don’t buy it and find that the notion of the Kyoani masterpiece run is purely a socially constructed ideal that is based on self-fulfilling prophecies and a tendency to not even attempt to review or constructively criticize their anime in most circles.

    During my initial write up I tried to talk more about the show then the studio as most people prefer to and to really take a look at it’s ups and downs throughout the episode. Hopefully somebody out there appreciates it because no matter what happens I’m never going to lie to anyone about how I truly feel about an anime, be it to appease my critics, to save face, or to try and fit in with subgroups.

    @no_sushi: Meh, I don’t see any of what I did in heading into K-On to be any different then what those who subscribe to the idea that because it is Kyoani it will be the top pick of the season. Though I suppose no matter how much I tried to go into this one without any expectations it was really next to impossible given the nature of this shows origins and the fact that people are practically pressing to have it praised and trumped up.

  4. 4 no_sushi April 5, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Nothing’s stopping you from just ignoring them though. Trust me, it’s better for your own mental well-being that way :P

  5. 5 Epi April 5, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I got the impression from this show that it was nothing more than Manabi Straight re-animated by KyoAni. Of course we’re only one episode in, so anything could happen. Nothing too special though, and totally lacking in KyoAni’s trademark top-notch animation.

    Remember how Gonzo used to be known for top notch animation? And then Kyoto Animation made the second season of FMP, and then Gonzo started to suck? And now Kyoto is slowly making crappier animated shows as well (this, and Munto). Are they losing their touch?

  6. 6 TheBigN April 5, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I agree with no_sushi in that coming in with preconceptions as to how the show’s going to be affects how you perceive the show and affects how much enjoyment you get out of it. The fact that you came in expecting it to be a “cute girls do cute things” show is an example of this. But it’s not really that serious.

    I do find it epic that you kept referring to Yui as Yumi. :P

  7. 7 Kaioshin Sama April 5, 2009 at 8:17 am

    @no_sushi: I appreciate your concern over my mental well-being but unfortunately that stopped being a concern of mine about 8 years ago. I’m just as stark raving mad as the rest of them. :P

    @Epi: It depends on one’s standard for crappier really. A lot of people think this show is fantastically animated, just as many seem to think it’s “QUALITY”, but I prefer to describe it as fluid, but inconsistant. Whether that continues to be the case remains to be seen.

    @TheBigN: The thing is I can adapt on the fly if I realize that my preconceptions about a show were off and approach it from the appropriate angle to garner the maximum possible enjoyment out of it. Sora Kake Girl is a recent example of this, a show which I thought was going to be a simple fetish pandering affair, but it actually ended up being a lot more complicated then that and so I adapted after a rough start with the first two episodes and found that by the 3rd episode I was really enjoying it.

    Though I don’t think I was really too off about what I expected K-On to be and what I got. You know that annoying meme with the whole “What I expected, What I Watched, What I Got” thing that I personally think is one of the most obnoxious ones yet? Well I don’t use that approach for previewing anime, but if I did you might as well just fill all the spaces with the word K-On and call it a day.

    And yes it seems I messed up on Yui’s name a couple of times there. This took me a long time and I started to doze a bit as it was 4:00 AM by the time I finished (started at about 12:30 AM) so the fatigue probably did me in. I’ll fix it now.

  8. 8 FlareKnight April 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Well thought the show was alright, but nothing that amazing. It could be a solid show since there is some potential there. I just wonder if Yui will get much depth along the way. She had some nice moments though other she just seemed a bit too much.

    I guess there is nothing that can be done about how a show like this will become insanely popular because of who made it. Personally try to just avoid that and see if I like the show or not. But I guess for some who makes it really does make a difference in how they view the product.

    I’ll probably keep an eye on the show since it wasn’t bad. Though depending on how the rest of the season shapes up it won’t be too high on my list. I agree that its too early to judge the series and it can’t hurt to give it some more time. At this point all we have are first impressions.

  9. 9 no_sushi April 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    @Kaioshin: If that’s the case, rave away :D!

  10. 10 Epi April 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    @Kaioshin: Perhaps my CoalGuys sub had a crappy RAW or something, but I didn’t see anything special about the animation. It is just as good as any decently made show from 5 years ago. For instance stuff like Haibane Renmei and Scrapped Princess were already better back then then this show now, and those shows are pretty dated by today’s animation standards. While it may be unfair normally to compare a relatively low-budget high school hijinks show to more high budget affairs, this IS KyoAni here, the studio which got a lot of it’s fame directly from it’s ridiculously high production quality for shows like FMP:TSR, the Kanon remake and Haruhi.

    Everything from the 4:3, the washed out colours, the lacking framerate, and lack of any background special effects all added to it. Compare the animation of this show to more recent well animated (high school hijinks) shows like Toradora! or Kannagi and it’s pretty evident that K-ON! seems behind.

    Perhaps they will release a BluRay version in a bit that will be superbly amazing though, who knows.

  11. 11 Kaioshin Sama April 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    @Epi: Well this is a Kyoani show we are talking about here and with them come inflated reactions to just about everything that occurs or sometimes even doesn’t actually occur during the episodes. If some people want to see it as containing exceptionally high production values and awe inspiring visuals then they will do so regardless of how it actually stacks up to other shows.

    To put it in terms of review processes, I tend to view a rating of 10 or 9 out of 10 for a Kyoani show as more or less equivalent to a 7 or 8 for any other given show (unless they pass certain criteria to prove that the rating was well thought out after the show and not just determined before it even aired) because you just don’t get that much consistently glowing and overwhelmingly praising reaction in any other fan circles, no matter how popular or highly regarded a show is there is always that tendency to weigh in a shows weaknesses with it’s virtues…..except with Kyoani show fandom it seems.
    Of course not all people actually agree that the show is exceptionally well animated and superior in quality or we wouldn’t be having such a hefty and interesting debate about it on some of the forums.

  12. 12 Kaioshin Sama April 6, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Wow, why was I just such a total dick with the content of my second paragraph. I’m sorry folks, please disregard that since that was totally the wrong attitude coming from me.

  13. 13 Westlo April 6, 2009 at 8:54 am

    “Remember how Gonzo used to be known for top notch animation?”

    Epi… Gonzo were never known for their top notch animation… Gonzo were known for blowing half their budget on the first episode of a series and than having the rest of the series look crap in comparison. Still… it was a better rep than what they have now.

  14. 14 Rei April 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Kaioshin Sama, please please please keep blogging this. The world needs your reviews to balance out the “10/10 A+++ love you till judgement day KyoAni” sentiments with your unfailing honesty!

  15. 15 Epi April 6, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Westlo: I dunno, I remember when Last Exile came out, it was probably the best animated regular TV show ever produced. The original FMP was also lightyears ahead of most other shows. And shows like Kiddy Grade and Hellsing were also superbly produced (bright visuals and smooth animation with well done CG in a time before CG was popular). Finally there was Yukikaze which went head to head with Macross Zero for one of the most beautiful OVAs ever produced when they were simultaneously released.

    Say what you will about the actual plots on their shows, Gonzo’s production values were top notch for a few years.

  16. 16 Myssa Rei April 7, 2009 at 1:21 am

    This one is going on my to-watch list, given the slice of life vibe it gives. Yep, definitely looking for contrast in shows that I watch to get me through my hectic real-life working girl city lifestyle. To whit, shows that are slow and relaxed, not too cerebral, and easy to digest are okay in my book.

    (Yes, my first term of Masteral Degree studies burn me out, and I need Slice-of-life induced healing)

  17. 17 Kaioshin Sama April 7, 2009 at 1:46 am

    @Myssa Rei: Now there is an example of what this series seems destined to be perfect for if anything. It’s so laid back and happy that you can’t help but feel relaxed when watching it, no matter how tense you are.

  18. 18 Myssa Rei April 7, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Kaioh: Exactly, just up my alley. My soul requires a recharge after the pain it was put through by the History of Philippine Literature (barely passing, *sniffle*).

  19. 19 animekritik April 7, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Hmmm…I’m one of the ones that would give this episode a perfect 10. But I enjoyed this review nonetheless. I agree with most of the facts as you lay them, it’s just of course I react differently to them. For example, I enjoy “bubbly cutesy vapid talk”. Then again Ritsu is my favorite so we’re very different there…

  20. 20 Kaioshin Sama April 7, 2009 at 5:08 am

    @animekritik: The number of things an episode has to do in order for to give it a non-joking 10 include:

    – Having top quality or near top quality animation consistency

    – Featuring an intriguing storyline that pulls me right in

    – Showcasing exceptional directoral prowess in terms of the cinematography in at least one scene

    – Featuring impeccable voice acting, music and overall audio direction

    – Showing me something I don’t see all that often

    K-On does not achieve this in my opinion, but other people might be more generous with their scoring methods.

  21. 21 unicogirl April 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Make note, this is not in sarcasm. Beware of long post
    I personally enjoy when people blog about anime that doesn’t hold their interest, but they blog anyway. I think it shows balance to the blogs that are constantly holding a series so highly.

    I saw the first ep a week ago, and enjoyed it for it’s “laid back” approach. And the thought of girls trying to start a band, interested me. Though it seems like the Music part is secondary and the girls antics and friendship will be the forefront.

    -=The OP song is catchy…but I don’t like the vocals, I guess you can make an excuse that the VA is just being the character and sounding like an amateur on purpose.

    -Right off the bat I choose Ritsu as my fav pfft. She looks like someone who likes to be girly, but be headstrong and loud also. Usually characters like that are outright tomboy Cheshire cats.

    -=The Animation, bleh. Don’t know why this style was chosen. I am having Kannagi flashbacks. This style worked for Kannagi…it doesn’t work for K-On! Which should be much more detailed, and the characters looking much more fleshed out.
    The girls have a “All Look Same” design, I thought anime stopped doing this in the 90’s? Then there is this KyoAni Team having a weird fetish for tiny deformed hands and legs… no offense to people who really have this XD but seriously, anime wise, it looks very bad, because the body is not balancing out with the rest of the limbs.

    -=first impression on Personality. I read a bit of the manga after watching the first episode. After reading a few pages, I got a bit disappointed with how the anime portrayed the characters and their personalities, especially Yui and Mugi. . The anime portrays Yui as a bumbling blob of sniveling moe cuteness. While Mugi seems to be an airhead that is delighted by shiny things. Even within a few pages- the Manga manages to get you focused on the girls personality. Yui can be dense, but she does speak up and she isn’t a girl who hides when people talk to her. Mugi is a kindhearted girl who is willing to help others, and she certainly stood out more in the manga within a few panels.
    what was with “Oh, how do I eat French Fries?” =_=;;.

    -=Though I said I liked the “laid back” approach. I think that might be a flaw for the anime in later eps, the atmosphere was so relaxed that a lot of the comedic moments fell a bit flat, while in the manga it got me to spurt out laughter.
    Though Ritsu kicking Mio was a good one.

    I will likely watch this show till the end…I am actually hoping it will be around 13 eps. 24eps if there is some kind of reason to be so.
    I don’t get how a manga with two volumes gets an anime… that right there just Says “filler filler filler”. And I agree that Mugi might end up being that character that just floats around and has no real place with the others. Of course I said “might”. Perhaps she will get her persona when things pick up.

    I think K-On! Is going to be popular by the KyoAni attachment.
    But I hope the story and plot stands out above the “cute girls can’t play instruments” thing going on.

  22. 22 animekritik April 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    @Kaioshin

    If I followed those standards I don’t think I’d be watching any anime right now!! :)

  23. 23 Kaioshin Sama April 12, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    @unicogirl: Well characters like Ritsu do work for me under certain conditions, but unfortunately she doesn’t fulfill them. As for all the characters looking the same, I’m going to be honest, the first time I went through the episode cold with no background knowledge of anything I actually mistook Ritsu for Yui about halfway through. That was the only part I went back and changed. As for the characters in general, it’s hard not to feel they have been fetishized a bit in terms of their archetypes, which is strange.

    I can however deal with the laid back atmosphere that attempts to let the jokes sell themselves instead of hyperactive animation and loud characters overselling them, which was a mistake I felt Lucky Star make often. Better for a joke to fall somewhat flat then to cross the line into just being flat out annoying.

    Lastly, with regard to the animation the second episode was passable like the first one, but one scene where Yui was swinging around on a chair was sort of awkward because (and I’m not sure this was really intentional) when she got off the chair it looked like her entire body structure just rearranged itself from chibi to normal and like she grew several inches. It just doesn’t look right in other words, which is the case for quite a few scenes in this series so far. It’s not bad, just jarringly noticeable and inconsistent.

    Anyway I’ve actually put K-On on hiatus myself and don’t have any intention to continue to blog it on an episodic basis for now.

    @animekritik: Well those are just my standards for getting a perfect ten rating at the moment. In order for me to simply an enjoy an anime and feel it’s worth continuing it’s something like two of those criteria being fulfilled. Not to hard.

  24. 24 blake steel April 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I have seen the first 3 episodes of K-ON! I have to say K-ON is so F***ing awesome! I first heard about it from people at project im@s so I decided to check it out and i’m so glad I did.

  25. 25 Kaioshin Sama April 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I stand by my initial impression of medicore and so far it’s done nothing to capitalize on any of the potential I saw in the first episode nor has it really capitalized on the whole music thing. In fact I likened the score to being in an elevator in a recent discussion with ghostlightning, which for a show that is supposed to be about promoting music is criminal. Also, I got the sense from the first episode that this show was supposed to be in part about building camaraderie between the members of the K-On club, but so far all attempts at doing so (if you can really call episode 2 or 3 valid attempts) have just felt hollow and secondary to the characters setting each other up for a chance to pull off a moe moment. Usually this is done with Yui as the brunt of some joke about her airheadness, which as a point of light comedy is getting as old as Lucky Channel did in Lucky Star, and at about the same rate.

    Even with my usual expectations for this kind of show I end up disappointed.

  26. 26 sadakups April 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I’ll just say this. The only reason why this show is getting so much attention is because of the studio. Nothing more, nothing less. Now imagine if this was a Sunrise production.

  27. 27 Kaioshin Sama April 20, 2009 at 3:32 am

    @Sadakups: iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia Season II Yukiho’s Revenge?

    Seriously though, Sunrise does actually translate into popularity on or beyond that of Kyoani shows, but their shows are far more heavily scrutinized since they hit a different demographic that sometimes forgets to remember that the goal isn’t to nitpick every aspect of a show. I’m not going to lie though and say I haven’t seen K-On getting it’s fair share of licks at the moment though. I mean it’s really hard to deny that the show so far hasn’t done anything to stand out yet beyond being the latest Kyoani adaptation, even for that fanbase. If anime seasons were 13 hole golf games then I’d liken K-On’s position it to being given a 5 stroke handicap over other shows this seasons for being the Kyoani adaptation and then getting par on the first hole only to triple bogey the next two holes.

    Anyway, I have a hard time seeing Sunrise doing a show like K-On. Their forte is sci-fi and fantasy.

  28. 28 sadakups April 20, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I said it just for fun. I mean, I already imagine a lot of scrutiny if Sunrise did a similar thing.

    Seriously though, as far as three episodes go, it hasn’t got me. To be honest, the reason I’m watching this is because I need my high school girl fix. :P

    And if you have algebraic expressions as part of the dialogue – it’s annoying to watch, even if the purpose was to have this joke of making Yui try to find a X chord in her guitar at the end. Lol wut?

  29. 29 nnecron March 3, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Probably its too late to comment on your first impression but, I got to say you got a totally different taste and perspective than mine.

    First of all this kind of anime is known as slice-of-life comedy show. Its basically a sit com, which means character development, plot and story are not its primary concern. The genre is different from regular comedy shows because it is slow paced, mellow and the main driving force is characters. In case of K-ON, characters’ personalities are not designed to be funny and they have to side track in order to bring them to a situation, which should make fun of their personalities.

    The low angle scene is suppose to be one of the comedic moments in the episode because it is over dramatizing the scene with the angle and wind effect yet it is totally mundane moment. That feel of situation and stage effects being disjointed is what made it funny for me.

    The exaggerated and jerky animations you mentioned are fitting for this kind of show because, as I said before, it is a type of comedy show. And many of the odd art directions you noticed are for cuteness and comedy.

    Where did you get the notion of everyone thinking Yui is a great person? I’m guess that the idea came from Ritsu saying something like “Yui Hirasawa eh? She sounds incredible”. She said she sounds incredible because there is a Japanese musician with similar name. He is known as Shin Hirasawa.

    Finally about the voice actress’ performance. Do you actually know how to speak Japanese? If not then how can you judge their acting quality? Do you know any kind of proper Japanese intonations, dialects, and tones? If you are judging by English standard then you shouldn’t have mentioned about it. My nationality is Japanese and I think voice actresses are contributing greatly to support the overall quality of K-ON. Many people from Japan also think their performance is really helping the anime to be entertaining.

    Why did you think that Mio is tsundere and Mugi is an air head? The term tsundere means a person having a difficult time being honest to his/her mind either because of pride or shyness, but ultimately that person becomes open and nice to another person because she love him or her. “Tsun” means hate or dishonest, and “dere” means open heart or feeling of love. A character like Mio is known as Coodere. Coodere is a person who usually acts cool and witty, but when he/she encounters with his/her love interest, that person becomes more emotional than usual. In case of Mio, she does not become emotional because of her love interest, but because of her fear and shyness. Mugi is a rich girl who is curious about everything “normal” for middle class families. She never had fun with friends in her past and she entered to the club because she wanted to experience what normal people do and have fun.

    I didn’t start watching this series because of Kyoto Animation by the way. I saw a video featuring some of the funny moments of K-ON, and I loved all of these scenes. At first I didn’t know it was made by the company. It is not the best anime ever, but I love the series as a pure entertainment. But I have to say that they could have executed the story better. I know I mentioned a story is not the focus of any slice-of-life comedy, but at least it has to make some sense, which K-ON didn’t.

    All the KyoAni power theory is just not valid in my opinion. I liked all the KyoAni anime series not because of which company made them, but simply because of their overall quality. Heck, I don’t even know why the company is praised by so many people. People do review K-ON rationally and logically. You see, you think all the KyoAni’s animes are over-hyped because you don’t understand why the fans like their products. If your theory applies, then it means all of the fans of KyoAni are bunch of brainless idiots.

  30. 30 nnecron March 3, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Also, while the characters don’t develop much, their personalities are all distinct and colorful. You can say a lot about them if you observe them closely.

    Yui is, as you said, a clumsy air head. She is also kind heart-ed and caring person, but she can unintentionally hart someone’s feelings due to her lack of common sense. She never had a meaningful and satisfying life, until she met the members of light music club. The girls introduced her with lots of opportunity to express herself and have fun. Her air-headness and funny yet cute voice adds so much to the show’s comedy. One of her highlight moment is when all the other girls guess about her younger sister’s personality. This scene is funny because of how awkward their laughter is and how they roll together.

    Mio is the most responsible committed person among the gang. She usually acts cool and talks like in a boyish fashion, but when it comes to scary things and something involves standing in front of people, she suddenly becomes vulnerable. While she has this weakness, she tries really hard to overcome her fears for the rest of the girls. She always stay near Ritsu because she is her best friend. She is the one who straightens up rest of the girls and this can often lead to a comedy sequence.

    Ritsu is the most outgoing girl in the group. She is also irresponsible, but she covers her shortcoming by her great leadership and she brightens up the mood of the girls whenever she is around. She helped Mio to overcome her fears ever since she met her. This is part of the reason why they are the best friends. She is a fan of a drummer from the band “the who”, which is the reason why she started to play her drum. She really likes to fool around, and this habit of hers she often irritates Mio and drag Yui along to join her prank.

    Mio and Ritsu, in my opinion, shines the most when they are together since they both cover their shortcomings.

    Mugi is quiet mother-like person of the group. She doesn’t interact much with the members, but she is always curious about what they are doing. Every normal activities of middle class people look fascinating for her. Thus, she joined the club to experience them. By using her wealth, she brings teas and sweats to their club room, and she sets up a relaxing mood for the members. When she attempts to act like a normal person, she often times end up acting weird.

    Azusa, to be honest, is my least favorite character. She acts formaly towards the girls because they are older than she is and this is common for Japanese society. But she doesn’t respect them since they don’t practice that much except Mio. Despite her desire to practice her music, she somehow can not resist being drawn into the pace. I think she is tsundere because despite the fact that she disrespect them, she also likes to be with the members. Aside from her being tsundere and cute, she is not that interesting. There is one thing that I like about her though. She wants to play music seriously, yet the club she decides to join consists of bunch of girls who just want to have fun together. This different point of views make K-ON surprisingly interesting. Although she is not as funny as the rest of the members, she adds another layer to the story of K-ON.

  31. 31 bluetooth headphones October 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

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  1. 1 AnimeSlice » Blog Archive » K-ON! First impressions Trackback on April 7, 2009 at 3:18 am

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