Today, gonna take a look at another staple of otaku culture (or, if it’s too new, then a “soon-become-staple of otaku culture”), K-On!. For those unfamiliar, K-On!’s story revolves around four Japanese high school girls who join Sakuragaoka Girl’s High School’s light music club to try to save it from being disbanded. However, they are the only members of the club, and at first Yui Hirasawa, the main character, has no experience playing musical instruments or reading sheet music. Eventually, she learns how to be an excellent guitar player. Since then, Yui, bassist Mio Akiyama, drummer Ritsu Tainaka, and keyboardist Tsumugi Kotobuki spend their school days practicing, performing, or just hanging out together. The club is overseen by music teacher Sawako Yamanaka, who eventually becomes their homeroom teacher as well during their final year of high school. In their second year of high school, the club welcomes another guitarist, an underclassman named Azusa Nakano. After Azusa joins, they gain more structure and begin to practice more.
Classical slice of life setup, with the added benefit of great music to boot. But, one part at a time. The plot is fairly laid back, while not aimless like some slice of life anime series. Each new objective is usually to prepare for an upcoming show or some other rather minimal task to overcome. Sprinkled in with after-school tea and snacks, a little practice, and small talk usually consisting of Tsumugi’s cucumber-like eyebrows.
As for the music, I can’t get enough of it, some would say it’s too “happy” for them, but in the end it all comes down to tastes. I thoroughly enjoy the guitaring and catchy riffs, I personally am partial to just listening to the instrumental tracks off the character inserts. Music is very difficult to review because, as I said, it really comes down to taste, if you don’t like the songs, then you just don’t like it, but these series is definitely worth watching even if you don’t enjoy the music too much. Even though they are a band (Hokago Tea Time), as Azusa can attest, they don’t practice too much and the performances don’t take up much time in the series, though I would’ve liked to have seen more shows.
The comedy in this series is top notch, Yui is so random, it’s hard to take her seriously with anything. The jokes, usually in context, aren’t dry or predictable in the least. Even the most serious characters fall victim to Yui’s reign of randomness, leaving everyone laughing in her wake.
This is a great laid-back anime with plenty of extra content outside of the anime to satisfy anyone’s need. The manga was great, plenty of music to listen to, and (here’s the best part, in my humble opinion) the K-On! Movie is set to release in December this year.
Can’t wait!!!! As for me, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Azunyan on the silver screen.