Okay Can Somebody Explain To Me What The Big Deal About Mio Is?

k-on-3

Seen One Flashy Shiny Sparkly Rainbow Over The Top Moe Character, Seen Em’ All, Mio Can Stand With The Rest Of Them For All I Care

I don’t get it, I really don’t get it.  What is it that has practically everybody on the blogosphere slobbering all over this extremely par for the course moe-centric character and rushing to make formulaic and derivative worship posts about her “moe moe kyun” sequences?  I know this IS the blogosphere and all, but I mean it’s like nobody has ever seen a pseudo-tsundere character before.  Is this really what character popularity has come down to now?  How over the top a sequence you can make to exploit every last bit of moe potential a character design has and then some?  Is it really that simple?  Well not in my book.  Call me when Mio get’s some actual solid character development and a backstory.  Maybe then I’ll bother to care a greater deal about this latest trendy moe character over the next that has the blogosphere joined in a monotonous chorus yet again.  All of these moe characters are starting to run together now anyway…….can hardly tell them apart anymore……

That said Mio is almost certainly the best character that K-On has to offer at the moment in that unlike Yui, Ritsu, and Mugi she doesn’t have an annoying character trait that all but cancels out anything one could find that is likeable about either of them.  Can one tolerable character really carry an entire 4-Girl-Koma anime series through it’s whole run though?  The question is of course rhetorical.

25 Responses to “Okay Can Somebody Explain To Me What The Big Deal About Mio Is?”


  1. 1 Epi April 25, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Maybe it’s cause Mio reminds people of the totally awesome Yomi from Ga-Rei Zero.

    Actually I think people are reading ahead or something and looking at the source material, and then looking at the fan pics on 2ch.

  2. 2 Visssss April 25, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Oh well….. we all have our own opinions.
    I personally prefer Yui more.

  3. 3 deathkillz April 25, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Well it goes down to tastes and since I am a fan of Mio I would have to say that it comes down to her personality and looks being appealing to me. I’m normally weak against characters who look older, more mature and gives off a kuudere vibe but Mio is rather more unique here by also having an extremely sensitive and shy side, which just adds to her cuteness. But one thing I really don’t like about how she is being presented (not her character I remind you) is how Kyoani feels that they just have to FORCE moe upon everyone of their characters with those stupid-over-the-top-rainbow-background-fughly-sparkle scenes. If a character is naturally loved there is no need to pull off such stunts and it just ruins a character imo if they FORCE moe upon them. I wish they would just stop it with the rainbows since they burn my eyes >.>

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama April 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Yeah I agree with the ol’ Deathasaurus. I’m admittedly not an expert on moe (my specialty is obviously mecha), but I was always under the impression that it’s strength came in it being an almost natural and soothing undercurrent running through the lifeblood and portrayal of a character. Not immediately identifiable but one knows it when they feel it.

    It doesn’t bother me really, but I’m still not a fan of Kyoani’s increasing attempts as of late to try and make concept identifiable by visuals and I don’t recally them doing it this much in Haruhi or Kanon if at all. It is kind of forced and takes the whole onus of feeling moe out of the viewers hands. Again I’m no expert, but shouldn’t moe be part of the package and a possible feeling instead of BEING the package when it comes to a characters portrayal…..a feeling that is expected in order for the very crux of a character to hit it off with the viewer no less? Like I said in the article, I’ll gladly trade in any amount of sparkly shiny moe seqeunces for a minute of solid character development and definition for these girls any day of the week. Just one shared moment that isn’t clearly played towards some clearly marketing oriented end. After that’s done then we can talk moe and the bells and whistles that Kyoani are so fond of.

  5. 5 sadakups April 25, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    When I first saw Mio in the OP playing with the bass, it was so good for words that I played it over and over. And then I realized that there’s quite a fuzz over her.

    Heck, even Fender is thankful that their guitars are being sold because of Mio playing it in the show.

    If anything, Mio is the most tolerable character in the show. That’s all there is to it for me.

  6. 6 Radjack April 25, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    At last someone agrees with me (Visssss), Yui is much more likeable than Mio!!!

  7. 7 izmosmolnar April 25, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    “Solid character development and backstory”? With all due respect Kaioshin-Sama, I believe you are watching that show for wrong reasons too. Considering the exponentially growing amount of moe every episode, I seriously doubt they gonna implement some decent character development or backstory to ANY of the girls.

  8. 8 Kaioshin Sama April 25, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    @izmosmolnar: That’s more of a hope then an expectation, but as it becomes increasing evident that all they need are these shiny moe sequences to make these characters crazy popular with the otaku crowd (and to a large extent the western anime crowd watching this show as well) I can’t see why they would want to bother. It’s unnecessary as to this show being a hit with the crowds that are most likely to spend money on it’s merchandise.

    As far as anime goes, I’m thinking old fashioned character development is slowly becoming obsolete as a driving force behind an anime shows popularity. These past few years we’ve been seeing the maturation of the moe-driven anime series as a dominant force (if not the dominant force), whereas previously the two most common examples of drivers were plot and character.

  9. 9 omisyth April 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    In all seriousness, it’s not that there’s anything special about Mio. It’s the Kansas City Shuffle:

    an advanced form of confidence game employing misdirection, subterfuge, and playing on the “mark(s)” arrogance and/or self-loathing.

    First half of the first episode, Mio seemed like a straight-laced character then BAM!, KyuoAni POURED ON THE TSUNDERE and hasn’t stopped since. The surprise created the fandom.

  10. 10 TheBigN April 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    “As far as anime goes, I’m thinking old fashioned character development is slowly becoming obsolete as a driving force behind an anime shows popularity.”

    lol

    Omisyth: Even with all that Kyoani has done in raising up the “moe qualities” of the main characters, I still can’t call Mio a tsundere.

  11. 11 omo April 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    This post is LOL. Maybe try again in 2 months.

  12. 12 7 April 26, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I second omo.

    This is why exercising temperance is always a good option. I can see and experience why so many people like Mio, but you have to keep this fandom from erupting into something else.

  13. 13 Sister Princess April 26, 2009 at 1:05 am

    It is odd that I like Mio more than anyone else in K-On simply because:

    1. She looks like Yomi but I never watched Ga-Rei Zero before.
    2. Many people already predicted Mio is the main character.
    3. She hold some kind of “charm” that tricked me well. (like Tamaki from To Heart 2)
    4. I think the other 3(or 4) is kind of ordinary.

  14. 14 schneider April 26, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Actually, the moe factor of K-ON glazes through me. I don’t let it get in the way of enjoying the show.

  15. 15 Sorrow-kun April 26, 2009 at 2:45 am

    As far as anime goes, I’m thinking old fashioned character development is slowly becoming obsolete as a driving force behind an anime shows popularity.

    Oh my God, crap shows are popular!?!1 Stop the presses!

    You’re kidding yourself if you think there’s any time dependence to the lack of correlation between popularity and tangible qualities within an anime. Crap anime get popular, that’s how it is and always has been. But I want to know why all your moe examples are from KyoAni anime. It’s like you haven’t bothered to watch a moe anime outside of what they’ve done (Saki doesn’t count). Just because they do it hardest, doesn’t mean they do it best.

  16. 16 Owen S April 26, 2009 at 4:16 am

    It’s a blogosphere-wide conspiracy to get you to write posts like this.

  17. 17 Kaioshin Sama April 26, 2009 at 5:20 am

    I promise I’ll get back to you all tomorrow. Rest assured though the quote you all have….quoted, was written in pure jest.

  18. 18 vendredi April 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I think the Yomi comparisons are on to something; there certainly is something about her aesthetic – perhaps it’s the voice, mannerisms, or character designs – that seem to recall other popular characters (other characters she seems to bring to mind are Kyou (CLANNAD), and Mei (Manabi Straight)).
    There is this sort of inexplicable commonality that goes beyond the ‘tsundere stock character’, almost as if they sprung from the same gene pool.

  19. 19 deathkillz April 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Just because they do it hardest, doesn’t mean they do it best.

    I think Kaio is trying to say that not the majority thinks so :p

  20. 20 Kaioshin Sama April 26, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    @omisyth: So basically they took her from being a straight up personality and turned into more of a cliche and that’s what made her more popular? Hmmmm…..to me that almost weakens her appeal, but I guess if one is interested solely in how moetastic you can make a character then she is awesome beyond compare at this point.

    @TheBigN: I’m sure she fits into something. Meido maybe as of this episode. By the end they’ll have probably run the gambit on moe qualities for every character. Sigh…..why does it seem like sometimes the only thing Kyoani can do character wise is make them moetastic.

    @omo: But in two months the show will be over and it will be to late to ask the question.

    @7: I think it’s a little late for that. Have you seen the number of Mio worshipping posts popping up around the internet. It’s already beyond control, but I still don’t get the why of it all.

    @Sister Princess: I don’t think any of them are very ordinary.

    @schneider: It’s not helping it’s case though when it seems like they are trying WAY to hard to make it popular with a certain crowd. It makes it hard not to roll my eyes at sequences like the one I posted, because Kyoani has started doing it so often in there shows now that it’s getting a little silly. They and K-On are nothing if not consistant though.

    @Sorrow-Kun: Alright, somebody definitely doesn’t like K-On.😛

    But seriously, if it seems like my moe examples come primarily from Kyoani anime, then it’s probably a combination of them having the popular ultra-moe market cornered and their shows not giving me much else to talk about sometimes. Combine that with how high-profile all of their shows end up being and how easy they make it to pick an example from them and there you go.

    And of course doing something “harder” doesn’t mean doing it better, but I would go further and say that it diminishes the impact of what one is trying to accomplish in the eyes of those who can detect the “trying to hard” factor. To use the temperance example, Kyoani could really stand to ease up on the ultra-moe sequences and introduce a little subtlety into how they present their characters and whatever moe traits they are trying to sell with them. This isn’t so much a problem with their Key Adaptations (although with some characters it can be), but when it comes to shows like this and god forbid Munto it becomes a problem.

    Then again if they did stop doing the moe as “hard” then they’d probably lose a lot of money and their otaku fanbase in Japan would either lose interest fast or turn on them completely, so I can see the conundrum. It’s like they’ve painted themselves into a corner creatively with the otaku fanbase they have chosen to cater to and have almost no choice but to ramp up the moe with each successive show as a solution to making them stand out more. Of course it’s working, but then again as you put it, there’s no obvious or necessary correlation between popularity and tangible qualities within an anime.

    @vendredi: She still seems pretty stock to me. If we ever do get down to character development though then that’ll help diminish this feeling.

    @deathkillz: Indeed.

  21. 21 Sorrow-kun April 27, 2009 at 2:34 am

    @Kaioshin Sama
    I don’t dislike it, I’m just indifferent to it. I can easily name almost ten slice-of-life moe anime that I consider to be better. And that’s my concern about your attitude to the genre. I hope you don’t think that what KyoAni makes is indicative of the better titles in the genre, because it isn’t. What KyoAni does is pandering, plain and simple (but, even then, finding more obnoxious works than their stuff isn’t all that difficult *cough* Nogizaka Haruka *cough*). There are so many other anime in the genre which don’t make their intentions as blatantly obvious as KyoAni’s works.

  22. 22 DrmChsr0 April 27, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I didn’t know Sunohara causes erections in people other than Tomoya😛

    Seriously. Asking this kind of question is like asking why Sengoku Basara is so wonderful to watch despite it being the GAR version of K-ON.

  23. 23 Charred Knight April 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Why does Kyoani just make moetastic shows?

    Because it sells to the otaku, a group that are an excellent source of money. They buy things without thinking it through. They see Mio have a guitar, so they go out and buy a guitar.

    Kyoani knows that they have a winning formula and won’t back down. Kyoani is a business and they are great at making money.

  24. 24 Sara April 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    *shrugs*
    Mio is probably my least favorite, Mugi being my favorite.

  25. 25 Locoluis December 9, 2010 at 12:58 am

    I haven’t seen this one yet (waiting for my vacations to do so), but from what I’ve read about this show, this Mio girl is not quite excited by the sheer popularity she gets in-universe.

    She’d rather play the bass and be unnoticed instead of being a lead singer and having the spotlight. It’s greatly embarrassing to her to put in those clothes and appear all moe, appealing to that large crowd.

    Unfortunately for her, the japanese love that sort of thing, and they picked her for the role because she seems to be the most qualified one for the job.

    In sum, she does it for the band and her fanbase, but she’d rather not do so.


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