I heard a voice say to me tonight, “Stand up Kaioshin and be counted among the many” to which I replied, “Hell yeah I will!”. Or perhaps it was just that while reading Behind The Nihon Review one of Sorrow-Kun’s quips while talking about this show struck a chord with me:
Sorrow-Kun: I could say stuff like “this isn’t my sort of anime”, but that’s a weak way to dismiss one’s own opinion so as not to step on anyone’s toes, and I don’t like to do that because I like to think that my opinion is reasoned.
And then it hit me, I should have no reason to fear voicing a differing or even dissenting opinion on a popular show just because some other bloggers on the sphere might not agree with what I have to say. I’m brutally honest on forums like Animesuki after all, so why not here on my own blog? There are tons of other bloggers that don’t mind being brutally honest about their feelings regarding certain popular shows that they may or may not have a universally positive interest in, so why should I have felt the desire to hold my tongue all of this time for fear of stepping on the collective blogosphere’s many toes? Nothing ventured nothing gained, that’s the policy I’ve always preferred to follow when it comes to how I watch, comment on and debate various forms of media with others, yet I have been weak when it comes to having my true voice heard as of late….disgracefully so……but no longer. The past month has seen the reignition of that fire in me that rocked the blogosphere during the middle months of 2008. Sans the silly combativeness that I took many lessons on interpersonal relations from. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
Could it have just been Winter blues keeping me down until the spring broke. Was it Chris from MAHQ’s Straight Talk Express inspiring me to talk….well….more straight about the anime that I watch again? Was it just that I needed a break? I don’t know for sure, but right now I want to offer my own raw and completely uncensored reactions and thoughts regarding K-On Episode 5, because it’s my blog and I damn well can. To those who would disagree, the comment box is always open. To those who would dislike me more for anything I am about to say, just be thankful that Deathie isn’t the one adding his voice to the mix on K-On.
For a show with an ending theme entitled “Don’t Say Lazy”…..well I’m saying it, this sequence was lazy. Here’s the thing, I’m all about understanding the use of still frame sequences when you are trying to save some budget, but for the love of god if your going to go that route then don’t put them at the beginning of the episode where they are bound to stand out like a sore thumb, put them somewhere in the middle where you can disguise them by sandwiching them between heavier animation sequences, of which this episode has more then a couple.
K-On Says Lazy, so I say lazy again. This is an augmented version of my reaction to the episode on Animesuki in order to fit into a blogging format I find suitable. Enjoy or kill me, doesn’t matter either way.
Yes so as I stated above, for the first 4-5 seconds of the episode I thought the file didn’t agree with my MPC player, but apparently that’s just the way the episode went. I even downloaded another groups subs just to see if it was a corrupt file, but nope, that’s just how they actually chose to start the episode. Quite an awkard way to start off with such a zoomed in still frame. Got a chuckle out of Mio huddling over in the corner (the first of many times), if for no other reason then they are still obviously trying to up her status as the super moe character of the series. This is balanced almost immediately though by the fact that I am already sick of that one BGM they keep using that started at about 3:30 into the episode. Must be the tune that they want to be the leitmotif for the K-On club, but it’s just so….meh. I guess it’s fitting for the series it’s in, but we’ll see.
Got another chuckle out of the fact that cake was once again the reason why the K-On group got distracted from club duties. Even so far as formally registering the club goes. That makes how many episodes in a row. Girls need to lay off the cake, it’ll be the end of them in so many ways.
I Don’t Know Why I Like This Whole Running Joke With The Cake, But I Do…..
The upselling of Sawa-Sensei was amusing though. She’s such a classic Kyoani moe series adult female character in how desperately cool she is portrayed as being that I had to laugh a little. Definitely the coolest character in the show so far, but considering the rest of the cast (looking at you Ritsu) that’s really not saying all that much. And she’s definitely no Zeus. Just an example of adding an element to the show that is missing complete with reference to popular hit music comedy series Detroit Metal City to secure her popularity with an important anime fan subgroup. I actually expected her backstory/exposition scene to be a Kyoani animation quality up sequence but instead it was just a speed line sequence. Totally miscalled that one. How disgraceful on my part. Of course regardless of my inaccurate forcast she’s no stranger to cake…..being a former member of the K-On club and all.
Sometimes even I find heavily moe based sequences to be funny and clever when they are as Deathie puts it “NOT forced down my throat”. I’m even going to say this beats out all of that Extreme Sawa-Sensei stuff from earlier. Why? Well it’s because I think that quiet and subtle sequences that let animation carry the gag and that don’t feel the need to have the characters beat you over the head with the premise of said gag are inherently more charming then those that are up in your face at all times. Here we see that Yui earnestly wants to have the chance to try out for the lead vocalist of the K-On club, but obviously…..well that’s explaining the gag. :P I’ll just say that I never would have thought K-On had something this simple and whimsical in it up until now.
And lol, my prophecy that K-On would try to outdo Saki in the Yuri area comes true somewhat, if not in the over the top expositon/animation sequence area, at least in the being incredibly obvious about the intentions of the scene area. As if I couldn’t tell from her scene before 20:00, they give Mio and Riichan a dialogue to run over the whole idea. Kyoani, you don’t explain your gags, you let them run naturally, that way they maintain their maximum strength. As of episode 4 of Saki this bit no longer matters, please disregard it. I’ll explain why in short order.
And of course the episode ends with more rule of cool sequences for Sawa-Sensei and for Yui as a sudden Guitar Hero via an offscreening improvement GET sequence as well. I really do write these don’t I? No way these girls aren’t ready. THIS IS K-ON! And right on time for the school festival too. THANK GOD THIS IS K-ON! I won’t call it before it happens, but I expect a stellar over the top animation quality up sequence for next episode when it comes to the festival performance. For popularity’s sake, K-On group ROCK ROCK ON!
In conclusion: So at the end of the day it was so pandering, so predictable, so desperately seeking approval….yet so fun perhaps purely by chance in how all of the disparate elements of the episode came together that I cannot help but admit that I enjoyed myself while watching it. Zany, over the top, but at the near halfway point not quite everything I could have hoped for from my intial reaction to episode 01. I’ve got to give props for effort though and the fact that clearly this show doesn’t care what it does or if the comedy is even intentional as long as it secures whatever popularity oriented goals it has in mind. Shockingly honest…..much like this review….just wish it could be more consistently fun like say….Sora Kake Girl.
And of course this episode makes me wonder if should Sawa-Sensei now prove more popular with the 2ch crowd than Mio whether she will end up becoming the major focus of the series moe/rule of cool based scenario generating machine in the episodes to come. Finding that out will obviously have to wait until later though. For now, I give this episode a 7.5/10 on the totally nonsensical and utterly arbitrary numerical rating scale for keeping me amused in a manner of speaking for much of it’s run. Yes even with the lazy and frankly sloppy execution of some animation sequences around the duration of the episode. It has little of the genuine comraderie building scenes I had kind of hoped for so far, but congrats K-On, you are so unbashedly yourself in every regard that I can’t help but go along for the ride in seeing what you are trying to make of yourself…..this week that is.
Wherein I Am Disagreeable Towards Other Bloggers Or Just Bewildered By Them:
- No “Moe Moe Kyun” is not a great meme, it’s just something that people feel like repeating over and over again. Don’t force a meme kids, let it come naturally.
- No K-On has not had more plot than Eden of The East so far. The only way this concept is possible is if you are watching Eden of The East with the monitor or television turned off and the speakers muted. Case Dismissed. Now go sit in the corner Jason and think up some better ways to jack up your google hit optimization. I hear swine flu is a pretty popular search term these days. You might also want to use the time to figure out which episode of Eden of The East we’re actually on since you obviously know so much about what’s going on with it. Please continue being our Jason.
Special thanks to ghostlightning once again for giving me the drive to talk about the other ones. To joke, jab and prod, but to have a good fun time in doing so and in celebrating our differences in tastes, eccentricities and quirks as anime bloggers.
Wherein I Talk A Little About The Seiyuu:
- Of the main cast members, Yui’s VA Aki Toyosaki has been by far the most consistent. Ritsu’s VA Satomi Satou is an overactor of the highest (?) calibre (Charlton Heston Class), but then again she like the others is new and thus this is understandable. Mio’s VA Yoko Hisaka is inconsistent, sometimes sounding smooth other times incredibly shrill. This has me worried for the fact that she is the main vocalist for the K-On group now. Unless they pull out a May’N calibre stand in to do the singing voice for her or have her voice heavily processed like with the ending theme for whatever song they come up with then I can’t say I’m likely to be thrilled by the upcoming concert music wise. Mugi’s VA Minako Kotobuki is tolerable, but nothing outstanding. This is the price you pay I suppose for having a cast stocked with so many newbies. Gotta start somewhere, but I can’t say any of these 4 girls beside Yui’s VA was ready for a main cast role.
Totally Nonsensical And Utterly Arbitrary Numerical Rating: Seven And A Half Out Of Ten