K-On!! – Best for Last

akiyama mio hirasawa yui horiguchi yukiko k-on! kotobuki tsumugi nakano azusa tainaka ritsu

To call K-On!! the best anime of the year is a bold claim, but a claim I firmly stand by. Indeed, considering the anime’s influence and ubiquity, I think it is fair to say that 2010 belonged to K-On! Of course, its popularity is hardly unwarranted. The anime succeeds on almost all aspects as a very beautiful and emotive portrayal of high school life. As the sequel to the lovely K-On!, the second season continues to follow the daily lives of Houkago Tea Time, a band consisting of five members of the light music club: Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tsumugi, and Azusa.

akiyama mio dress horiguchi yukiko k-on! sasaki yoko

K-On!! delves into the details and really bring the nuances and subtlety to brilliance. The animation is such a delight! It has that impressive, high-production glamor in every corner, every character, and every movement. Meticulous attentions are paid to minute stuff such as body language, facial expressions, and even the fingers on guitar strings. Moreover, this authenticity is extended to the side characters, who all have unique faces and outfits. There is no shoddy stills nor repeated sequence. The animation is absolutely flawless.

hirasawa yui horiguchi yukiko k-on! nakano azusa summer dress

The gorgeous picture is only part of what makes K-On!! so great. Underneath the pretty surface is an intricate illustration of high school life. This season shifts its focus from being primarily about the band and its performances to about the slices of each girl’s life as she goes through an amazing life stage. All the main characters got considerable screen time. I really appreciated that Mio is no longer just a one-dimensional shy fanservice bait or that Mugi is not simply a wallflower. Azusa in particular really shined. Her role as the only underclass member of the light music club adds a fascinating dynamic to this group of friends. She allowed for the whole club to display some very relatable emotions: loneliness, admiration, genuine care… etc.

akiyama mio hirasawa yui k-on! kotobuki tsumugi nakano azusa tainaka ritsu

The depth that goes into each girl’s development is incredible. Through careful portrayals of their interactions with each other and with school life, the girls felt real. Sure, they still have their quirks – Yui is extremely weird and Mio neurotically shy – but they seem like girls I would hang out and have real conversations with. They feel like my friends.

akiyama mio hirasawa yui karuha k-on! kotobuki tsumugi nakano azusa tainaka ritsu

That is what I love the most about K-On!! The girls are three dimensional and their feelings are authentic. Furthermore, they just have so much fun being with friends, having a passion, and living carefree lives. K-On!! paints this rosy image of high school life. It really reminds of the good times I had with my friends; it is almost as if I am re-living those days albeit with different company and more whimsical events. In this way, the K-On!! girls really draw dear to my heart.

akiyama mio hirasawa yui k-on! kotobuki tsumugi nakano azusa nishiuri warito tainaka ritsu

In fact, many of the emotions the girls feel resonate with my own feelings. Thus, I cried after Houkago Tea Time’s last performance together. And I cried when Azusa cries at the thoughts of the others leaving. And I again cried when Mio, Mugi, Ritsu, and Yui graduate.

akiyama mio k-on! kotobuki tsumugi summer dress tainaka ritsu takemoto yasuhiro

Fluffy and lovely!

horiguchi yukiko k-on! nakano azusa

__________________________________________________

Sidenotes:

  1. As kind of a testament to how much I love this anime, I have written more about K-On! than any other anime. This really is a very substantive and fun series.
    Some of my past K-On! posts: 

    K-On!! Going Retro – Fashion in Listen!! and No, Thank You!
    The Power of Context – Brief Discourse on K-On! and Black Rock Shooter
    K-On! is a Slice of My Life – a Life Reflected by Caricatures
    K-On!! Fashion – What Casual Fans Like
    K-On! Review
    K-On! Manga and First Thoughts

  2. I am sure I will be talking more about K-On! in the future.

  3. I want to take some time before the year ends to thank all the people who have supported this blog. I could not have lasted this year without all of you. The commenters, readers, lurkers, and everyone! There are too many to list individually, but I really really love you all!! So thank you so much for a wonderful year!
  4. Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in the coming year.

__________________________________________________
Some of the longer comment threads that support/ oppose my stance on K-On!:
http://listlessink.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/k-on-best-for-last/#comment-12014
http://listlessink.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/k-on-best-for-last/#comment-12140
http://listlessink.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/k-on-best-for-last/#comment-12232

__________________________________________________
More anime and manga reviews

About Yi

''lol...you're either sleeping or eating'' ''oh and watching anime'' ''and indulge in fashion.'' ... Ahh the busy life~
This entry was posted in Anime/ Manga, K-On!, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to K-On!! – Best for Last

  1. Swordwind says:

    You already know my thoughts on the series.

    That being said, I feel like you really ought to watch Shiki. It’s my vote for the best of the year.

    • Yi says:

      I remember your comments on my past K-On!! posts. ^ ^

      I don’t watch that many anime each year, and I can’t realistically watch every single title. So my vote for the best is severely limited to what I know. I try to check out the basics of most stuff though. Still, I admit… The title of this post is a bit sensationalist.

      Shiki is actually the next series I am going to watch, especially after hearing so many good things about it. I’m even more excited now I know your opinions on it. Maybe by the end of the series, I’ll change my mind about the best of 2010.

  2. fangzhao says:

    Though I wouldn’t agree with most of the post (animation, substantive…?), I can see where you’re coming from. Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh’s similar endings were very emotional for me.

    On a somewhat unrelated note: this is one of the few posts about K-ON!/!! I’ve read that doesn’t include the word “moe” in it. As a diehard Strike Witches fan, I can emphasize with all those K-ON fans out there who love the show for what it is rather than for the moe/moeblobs (the stereotypical reason) … but I still hate the series.

    • Yi says:

      Maybe I’m just to subpar animation stuff like Ika Musume and such, but I thought K-On!! is just gorgeous to look at. It may just be everyday stuff, but everything is colorful and glamorous. It’s really pleasant. As for the substantive part… I think if you’re looking for certain things, it offers a lot of nice details and emotions for the audience to dig into. Essentially, as you said, it’s kind of like Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh! Lovely comparison!!

      Haha, I’m glad you noticed. I actually intentionally tried to avoid using “moe”. I didn’t want to get into the whole moeblob debate and rage-filled comments that dismiss K-On!! on the basis of its cute girls.

  3. Fai D Fluorite says:

    Is K-ON really that good?I was skeptical for giving it a try that it had mixed reviews :|
    Although I get the feeling it’s somewhat similar to Tamayura….nevertheless I’ll give it a try soon :)
    A Happy New Year to you Yi ^^

    • Yi says:

      Hm… K-On!!, Aria, and Tamayura are all very similar. K-On!! is a lot more lively and faster paced than the other two though. This series seems to be pretty polarizing in that people who like it often love it, while people who don’t often hate it. In addition, there are plenty of people whom I would never has guessed to be K-On!! fans, and vice versa. I guess what I’m saying is… The only way to really know if you’d like it is to give it a chance.

      p.s. K-On!! (second season) is much better than K-On!

      I wish you the best 2011. I hope we can both enjoy a lovely fluffy time ahead. ^ ^

  4. Taka says:

    K-On! (the first season) was lackluster for me. It made me chuckle a few times but it was a bit of a disappointment for me in the KyoAni repertoire.

    K-On!! blows that out of the water. The characters develop, the animation tightens up, the voice acting is better, the comedy is funnier, and there’s even some semblance of a plot there towards the end. I was sad that it was ending, which is a feeling I haven’t felt for a show in some time.

    But really what sealed the deal on this show for me and when i knew it wasn’t going to be the same as the first season was the skyrocketing production values. KyoAni has such incredible intention to detail that really breathes life into the characters.

    At the end even I was feeling a little teary-eyed.

    • Yi says:

      K-On! first season was decent for me, but nowhere near as good as the second season. If there is one thing that the first has over the second, it is the frequency of performances. Still, K-On!! is much much better than K-On!

      I was really sad to see it end too. In fact, I put off watching the last four episodes for a long time because I didn’t want K-On!! to end. It was just such a beautiful series all around.

      “At the end even I was feeling a little teary-eyed.”
      Glad I’m not the only one. ^ ^

  5. shinra says:

    I Love K-ON! not only because its Moeness but also made me change my high-school memories into K-ON! (totally wanna forget my sucky highschool life.)

    Cant wait for The Movie and their “Come With Me” 2nd Live on 20/2/2011. ^^

    • Yi says:

      Yea, that’s one of the amazing qualities of K-On!! It is at once authentic and fantastic. It’s believable, yet it feels escapist. I can understand wanting to have similar a K-On!! high school experience.

      Looking forward to the movie as well!

  6. Smithy says:

    Beyond a doubt for me too “K-ON!!” is my favorite series of the past year. It’s a great show that I really love. Sure it isn’t perfect (no anime is, really) but in its slice-of-life genre in a school music band setting it excels in all its individual parts which come together to create an even more impressive whole.

    The second season indeed added a lot of depth. Like “Aria” it slowly -without us noticing perhaps- built up so much on its lovable characters that by the final episode we realize we’ve grown to like each and every of the girls and are really moved by the events in their lives and the fun days they share.

    One thing in the excellent background and character buildup they did was how KyoAni consistently animated the girls entire class and had them participate as a large supporting cast. Too many shows have faceless classmates, “K-ON!!” was more involving because their classmates were identifiable characters that genuinely interacted with the girls.

    • Yi says:

      Agreed 100%. In my opinion, K-On!! is the epitome of the slice-of-life genre. It’s got everything I love. The second season added so much to everything, especially the characters. It really felt like we went to school with the girls. In season one, we got to know each other, and before we know it, we’re intimate friends.

      Also, great note on the entire class. It just shows how much detail and effort K-On!! puts into everything. I was really impressed with even the minor characters, such as that Kuudere and Himeko.

  7. mrwan says:

    I find it kind of funny that the girls from K-On!! are actually older than the core cast from Haruhi, Lucky Star, and most of the animes that Kyoani produced(with the sole exception of Clannad).

  8. kluxorious says:

    Obviously, I disagree.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think K-ON works on many levels depending on your age. It radiates positivity, a reminder of relationships, nostalgia, innocence and in the final episiode, a feeling of passing the baton, like a parent would to a child. All mixed with comedy. It gives life lessons that lets people remember those same lessons that they have forgotten with time and none of them are in anyway saints so it doesn’t seem disconnecting

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. The emotions K-On!! is able to evoke can cater to many different people. For me, it was mostly a sense of nostalgia for my more youthful days in high school as well as the bliss of hanging out with true friends. For others, it might be something else.

      Thanks for the insightful comment!!

  10. EmperorG says:

    Once again, an excellent message Yi-san.

    http://animeforum.org.uk/showthread.php?t=12218

    In case you haven’t read my own review of K-ON! Why I posted this link, because you pretty much stated all the important aspects of the true message hidden behind K-ON!’s fluffiness, it’s a show about high school life and a group of students’ journey to graduation and how much fun they had along the way.

    Now to call K-ON! the #1 show of 2010? It’s in my top 5 that’s for sure. The anime I enjoyed the most this year are:

    K-ON!!
    Shiki
    RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin
    Angel Beats
    Hanamaru Kindergarten
    (I need to review RAINBOW since I already reviewed the other 4.)

    In any case, K-ON! is certainly an unforgettable anime and I have no problem proclaiming this series’ greatness. The haters also have no valid argument against the show, because they have absolutely no greater argument against K-ON! other than “moe sucks”. I’ve read many arguments but none of them felt like they said anything greater than “moe sucks”. They couldn’t find ANY stronger statement than that to back up their hatred.

    I do have one minor argument against K-ON! I never got to see my long awaited “Road to Budokan” journey. I was specifically promised that I’d get to see the girls preparing to perform in the ultimate concert. Oh well, I’m pretty sure that they’re saving that epic moment for the future upcoming movie.

    • Yi says:

      Thanks for the link to your well-written review! It’s very specific and pinpoints the different traits of each character as well as the strengths of the show. I’m glad we mostly agree. As for the whole “moe sucks” thing… I don’t see moe being enough to call a show bad.
      I’ve read many negative opinions on K-On!!. More often, these claim K-On!! to be pointless/ plot-less. That’s a more valid criticism, albeit one I disagree with. But just saying it’s a moeblob show is, in my opinion, not a strong enough criticism.

      Anyways, I kind of missed the frequent performances in K-On! as well. It’s one thing I would’ve liked to see more about the second season.

      p.s. I must watch Shiki soon.

      • EmperorG says:

        Ah. The old plot-less/pointless argument eh? Sorry doods, but I’ve seen many anime without a point that were awesome. Excel Saga, Azumanga Daioh, the early seasons of Ranma 1/2, Pani Poni Dash, Genmukan, heck a majority of Slice of Life shows don’t exactly have a point yet they rule. So yeah, that argument doesn’t apply to me as a strong one in this case.

        If those two arguments are the best they have, then the nay sayers completely missed the point of K-ON! In any case, I can’t convince them otherwise. If they dislike the show that much, then I wipw my hands clean of the whole thing.

        Also: Do watch Shiki. I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on the show when you get the chance.

  11. Pingback: K-On!! Going Retro – Fashion in Listen!! and No, Thank You! | Listless Ink

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  13. Persocom says:

    I’m with EmperorG on the Budokan part. But I was impressed by how mature the second season turned out. I enjoyed every episode of both seasons and it was definitely one of the better shows of it’s genre that has come out in some time in my opinion. Funny I never really blogged about the second season, guess I fell behind on posting about anything for the longest time.

    • Yi says:

      I enjoyed every episode as well! I love the genre in general, and this is one of the best of the genre.

      Anyway, good luck with blogging, even if it’s not about K-On! ^ ^

  14. Fabrice says:

    For me K-ON!! was actually the best of 2010.
    totally agreed.
    Im wondering how the film will be. im sure it will be great!

    • Yi says:

      I’m glad you agree. There are several really good series released in 2010, but for me, K-On!! is the one.

      I hope the movie will be even better.

  15. Reltair says:

    Happy New Year! All the best to you! ^^

    I haven’t looked at all the anime I watched in 2010, but K-ON!! was definitely one of my favorites. Azusa and Mio ftw!

    • Yi says:

      A great 2011 to you too!! May we enjoy the coming days. ^ ^

      Azunyan and Mio are for sure the best things about K-On!! I love them!

  16. Nopy says:

    K-ON was indeed beautifully animated and it had good music, but I just couldn’t get into it. I found myself falling asleep during most episodes because it was too authentic. To me, anime should be about the lives of extraordinary people or normal people not in normal circumstances.

    • Yi says:

      That’s understandable. For me, K-On!! sits at a special place between real and unreal. Although the emotions and the themes feel very real, the anime is very idealistic. That for me, makes it somewhat extraordinary. After all, the girls’ high school experiences are just too incredible. Still, I can see your point. ^ ^

  17. ~xxx says:

    The think that I actually loved about K-on! is how they put positive things on ever seemingly common life’s experiences.

    I love K-on!, and always will.
    For me, K-on! is one of my favorite anime in 2010 and I guess, I’ll have to wait for the movie to wrap this thing up for good.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, it’s really nice to see K-On! make these seemingly ordinary slices of life so interesting and rosy. I love the fluffy feeling I get from watching this series.

      I’m looking forward to the movie, although I kind of don’t it to end… ever.

  18. Q says:

    Hmm… What I hear about K-On is always on the extremes. And despite all those hype and such I still haven’t really watched it yet. I guess I just am not so sure whether slice of life with fluff and comedy would be the kind of thing for me as I am used to and am comfortable with watching things that tend to be more serious (e.g. Gundams, Fullmetal Alchemist?)

    I could be generalising, but I guess some will say the direction of anime is changing to suit the new tastes of audience nowadays. Is it getting saturated? I guess this answer varies from one to another. But since I haven’t even watched it I can’t really judge it too much at the moment, so I will need to actually watch it fully before I can really speak about it. Well, that simply adds more to my hefty backlog of anime, games, and gunpla. Ack x_x

    • Yi says:

      Great things are often polarizing. Gundams/ FMA are definitely very different from K-On. I can see how some people would find K-On!! boring if they don’t like the genre that much. It’s really just a matter of taste. For me, K-On!! suits my taste extremely well. It has a lot of stuff that I love.

      Anyway, if you give it a chance, I hope you like it. I do know someone who is a hardcore Gundam fan who also enjoyed K-On!, but I also know a lot of people who just can’t seem to see any point in watching five girls go through high school.

      Good luck with your backlog!
      … I should try to get through my own backlog as well.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!!

  19. Blacksun88 says:

    indeed, i think many people will agree with what u said. those said k-on is moe shit are those that obviously did not finish k-on

    • Yi says:

      I would agree that many who call K-On!! as being just moe-crap most likely haven’t finished the series. Anyways, to each her own I guess.

      Thanks for reading. ^ ^

  20. bluedrakon says:

    For some reason, I never got caught up in all the popularity of K-On! I guess I am just a classless oaf :3

    Happy New Year and here is hoping it just keeps getting better!

    • Yi says:

      Oh not at all! I don’t watch everything that’s popular and I don’t watch everything people say are the best. There’s just no way to catch them all with all the anime releases and with real life.

      Anyway, cheers to another year. Hopefully, a lovely time will await us both ahead.

  21. wieselhead says:

    Ah K-on!!, well I gave this show a ten on my MAL List =D
    Honestly I didn’t like Season 1 very much, my impression was
    “Ah the show where they are eating cake and drinking tea all the time”
    The Second Season turned a lot better as the one before.
    The comedy part improved and there was more diversification during the show.
    It also had more serious and quite emotional parts.
    My favorite episodes were the one with the shopping center, the school marathon, Ritsu and Mugi, the class excursion, the music festival and the last concert.
    I cried as well at the scenes you’ve mentioned, especially after the last concert.
    The last time I cried like that in an anime was when I watched Clannad.

    • Yi says:

      I gave K-On!! a fairly high score – 9 – on my MAL list as well, which it puts it among some of my favorite anime. It was certainly the highest score I gave out in 2010.

      I liked season one quite a bit too, but it pales in comparison to season two by quite a bit. The comedy is decent for me. There are parts that made me chuckle. What I love the most are definitely the emotional parts though.

      I have a hard time deciding which arcs are my favorite. I really enjoyed the last episodes (last concert and so on…), especially the parts that focused on how each girl deals with graduation. Those scenes made me cry.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. ^ ^

  22. glothelegend says:

    Judging by that first picture, I’m guessing this season had something to do with stripping, and Yui growing a penis.

  23. rockleelotus says:

    Happy new year! I think K-On is great, of course it isnt for everyone Lol

    keep posting and ill keep reading :P

    • Yi says:

      Indeed. Nothing can truly cater to everyone’s taste. I’m glad I found something I enjoy though.

      Anyway, thank you for the continued support. Cheers!

  24. necrocosmos says:

    In my opinion tere are better choice for best anime of the year, thou k-on is neat watch but amount of moe in it is just to overwhelming for me and i lasted 4 episodes^^, still i intend to watch it. For me best anime of the year would been hmm hard to say, anyway i would choose katanagatari for simple reason, it had best story very good character devolepment and ofc amazing twist of action + ending that was really amazing and unsuspected, and very sad i would say.

    • Yi says:

      Best of the year is certainly up for debate and depends on individual tastes. I can see valid arguments for most series. I’ll check out Katanagatari when I get the time. It looks pretty good.

      Anyway, as a side note, I’ve often wondered this, and there might be no easy answer, but why do so many people find moe distasteful?

      p.s. Before others jump in… Please keep things civil.

      • necrocosmos says:

        Well i like moe, and for k-on!! i want to watch when i will be overstressed, cos its pretty easy going, and light to watch unlike many animes. I dont consider moe series distasful, rather moe element don’t add much depth to a story, its mostly just fun-service. i need to put more thought into that to give greater comprehansion over moe-element:P.

        • Yi says:

          Ahh I see. I consider moe merely a stylistic approach to an anime. So yea, moe doesn’t add depth, but neither does it make a story shallow. Kind of like fan service, but as you said, “fun-service.”
          Haha, I’m actually going to start using that term. ^ ^

  25. hisui19 says:

    I’m late to say “Happy New Year” to you but it’s still alright than never, right?
    I love K-ON! too, much more… It’s the only Anime, I still like so much after it became a main stream (don’t like mainstreams)… I’m re-watching it on Animax now, kind of got off by their American voices but it suits them(? or I just got used to it)… well, it’s still fun to watch, I laugh all over again at the hilariousness ^_^ I’m currently waiting for the Movie and I know you will review it *grin* thanks!

    • Yi says:

      It’s never too late to wish someone good wishes! ^ ^

      K-On!! is one of the few anime I watched twice within a very short span of time. I really liked it that much. I’m glad you found it great too!!

      Looking forward to the movie too. When I heard about its release, I was so ecstatic. I can’t wait!

      Anyway, I wish you the best in the coming year. ^ ^

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  27. Hello says:

    okay, first of all happy new year to everyone! second, I apologize if there are some errors in my post, english is not my native language so there might be.

    now after saying that, i totally respect your opinion, because basicly is your opinion, and is something you have reached over a good evaluation, but i totally desagree with almost everything you have posted here.
    First of all, K-on may have been the most popular seires of the year, i won’t deny that, but to say that was the BEST of the 2010? i think that’s going WAY to far. Being the most popular doesn’t necesary mean be the best, personally i think legend of the legendary heroes was the best of the year, followed by ika musume.
    the poblem is, no body cares anymore about WHAT they see, i mean, and this is totally my own opinion, K-on was the most empty anime of all time, the plot, even for a slice of life, was non-existing, i mean, they were suposed to be a band, training to be the best and all………..but all i saw was 5 girls having tea in a music club………really? c’mon! they almost didn’t play a single full song in 24 chapters! Angel Beats had more songs in the 13 epic fail chapters they had, that k-on in 2 seasons!!
    the fluidity of the animacion problably was one of the best, but high production? i mean, there was a mio clone right from chapter 1 or 2! and did you look at the hands and feets when they walked? they were deformed! i mean really deformed! how can that be high production? or dd no one noticed it?
    then comes the jokes, and i honestly ask this…….did you people really laugh at this show? i mean, did you REALLY found it funny? i laughed hard with ika musume because the jokes were funny, but k-on……..was it really funny? perhaps I wasn’t able to undestand the jokes, but to me, and some friends i asked, the show wasn’t funny, i mean, did someone really laughed when yui falls back alone in the first chapter?really?

    A few days ago i watched the desapearance of Suzumiya haruhi, and THAT’S what i would nomine to the best of the year, that movie was epic from the beggining to the end.

    The main problem here like i said in the beggining of my comment, is popularity, a show like “legend of the legendary heroes” is destinated to fail, not because is bad, but because the market that the anime is today can’t apreciate it, today the market is not looking for good plots, or a correct development of characters or history, they want moe, and if moe sells, then only moe will be given to them. Obiusly i cant blame the show, nor the people behind it, because the fault fall all upon us, the watchers, or in this case the main populance, but, and i honestly say this from the bottom of my heart, if k-on is the future of anime, then the anime is doomed, beacuse, let’s be serious, if you are in the market of anime, you will want to win right? and if moe sells, you won’t care for anything else but to gain right? and eventually nobody will make shows like Full metal alchemist, or Spice and Wolf, or baccano! because people don´t buy that stuff, people are happy nly having an azunyan, or a mio.
    And please, dont put Aria at the same lvl of K-on, Aria doesnt deserv it, that show had such a beautifull message to be placed along with something as K-on.

    like i said before, this is just my opinion, if somebody felt ofended, i apologize, wasn’t my intention. Have a nice 2011.

    • Yi says:

      I expected some of the comments to disagree with my stance. K-On!! is a fairly polarizing anime, and opinions tend to be on the extremes. It seems we’re just on the opposite ends. Now, I admit that I called it the best partly for sensationalist reasons. Still, as I wrote the post, I honestly believe it is the best, and not just because of its popularity.

      I think our differences stem mostly from our tastes. For example, I would never like Legend of the Legendary Heroes, not because it’s bad, but simply because I don’t like that sort of anime. Similarly, a lot of people will find K-On! to be completely empty.

      However, what you saw as merely 5 girls drinking tea and eating cake, I saw as a deep emotional maturation and character development. What you consider as plotless, I consider substantial portrayal of an idealist escapist high school experience.

      Sure, the girls didn’t have that many performances, which is very regrettable. But in return, we have a nicely paced and thorough exploration of all the characters. Those are things Angel Beats does not have over K-On!!

      About the production values, I thought it has a nice gloss. It’s certainly much better than the likes of Ika Musume and such. I went back to see the Mio clone, and she was indeed there. But this might be interesting. Everyone from Mio’s class has a unique face and a unique name. The “clone” just happens to be someone who looked a lot like her. I’m not sure if that’s a good enough defense, but considering the at least 10 other unique faces just for background characters with one line, I think that warrants high production. Also, I think the deformed hands are a stylistic choice, much like BRS’s deformation during action scenes are for style.

      Perhaps I’m being too forgiving and giving K-On!! too many excuses, but I honestly think this has incredible animation. I can’t think of many other anime series that have higher production values than K-On!!, and I think calling it high production is fair.

      As for the comedy… To be fair, I never said K-On!! is funny. It’s not. K-On!! didn’t make me laugh that often, but it did make me cry a lot. Season 2 really strayed away from the comedic elements and focused more on the subtle drama.

      As a side note, it’s always hard to talk about humor. What one thinks is funny, others might not. I didn’t find many of the jokes in Ika Musume funny at all. Instead, I found a lot of them to be just immature and silly.

      Now, I’d agree that K-On!! has moe elements, but is that so bad? If an anime has both moe and a sophisticated character development, would many people still dismiss it? I feel like a lot of opponents of K-On!! simply call the anime a moe show, and don’t go the one extra step. Moe is a style, not a narrative. Just because K-On!! has cute characters doesn’t mean it lacks in development. Let’s do a thought experiment. If today the characters of FMA are instead the girls of K-On!!. Everything else is the same. They still do their alchemy; they still have their wars and battles; and maybe once in a while, they show their shimapan. Would the moe all of a sudden kill character development?

      When an anime spends every episode just concentrating on showing all aspects of its characters and their interactions, the result is a very in depth character development. By the end of the K-On!!, I felt like I know the characters so well that I genuinely care for them. That is great character development.

      And I feel perfectly fine putting Aria at a similar level with K-On!! Both have a beautiful message of friendship and passion. And both focus on revealing bits of character to the audience. Aria and K-On!! are two fluffy series that are driven by the characters and their passion for life. I think the comparison is justified.

      “the poblem is, no body cares anymore about WHAT they see”
      Hopefully, my reply has given you an impression that I do care about WHAT I see. And hopefully, this review can convince you to at least understand my opinions, even if we do not agree.

      I wish you a lovely year as well!

      • Hello says:

        well i do undestand your POV, but my concience force me to completly desagree with you hahahaha, but like you said, is just a matter of taste, just as i couldn’t diggest k-on, you didn’t like Legend of Legendary heroes, and that’s totally cool.

        on the other side (and god please never allow something like this! XD) there would be a K-on styled FMA, it wouldnt be FMA because, and i assure you, nothing would have been the same, i can probably bet my soul on it, if you look it from a certain POV, Sora no woto could be the closest to what you describe, that would be the result. and you probably liked Sora no Woto, but my opinion is pretty much the same between K-on and sora no woto, some things are just not mean’t to be done. or you make moe, or you make a story, is one or the other.
        is okay to be a little forgiving with some things, i mean, i forgive baccano!’s “quality” moments (you can read “quality” as really bad animation) because i liked that show so much, but there may be people that may have not liked just because of that.
        finally and to end this………..I didnt liked either BRS, it could have been better, like Angel Beats!, they have the basis, but they didn’t know what to do with it, as for K-on……i heard the manga version was better.
        and about the animation, i personaly prefer to see normal animation, than to see people deformed, i’m sorry but that is something i can’t accept, like i said, the only moment i accepted something like that was with baccano!, but because of the plot.
        Greettings!

        • someone from somewhere says:

          i think we’ve all forgotten that k-on is a character driven series. the key word is character not plot. as Yi said it’s an accurate portrayal of what we wished high school life would be like.

          excellent plot. it’s brilliant, i love good plot lines but let’s be honest we won’t really experience those in real life. it’s too unrealistic. real life is mundane there really isn’t a “plot” and sometimes it just down right feels empty and plot less. like k-on.

          k-on is not attempting to have a brilliant plot. it also depends on what your definition of “plot” is. k-on is a slice of life. what this means is that it’s a snap-shot of our life. which is highly relatable. such as the club and their members fussing over the heat, and them procrastinating in the club room.

          you can’t compare series to k-on to things like baccano and spice and wolf. they are totally different things. like comparing fiction to non-fiction or like comparing classical music to heavy metal. we have our preferences.

          it’s interesting what you said about the “deformed” animation. i’d like you to point that out please. and before you go and say it’s “unacceptable” to see deformed human beings you should consider why you’re even watching anime where girls have eyes that are bigger than you’d find in real life and where asians have hair colours other than black, gosh some even have blue hair. is that not deformed? seriously.

        • Yi says:

          @Hello: I’d like to talk a bit more about the little thought experiment with FMA. I agree that it wouldn’t be the same anime, but that’s not exactly what I asked. Further, I don’t agree at all that an anime can’t have moe and have story. These are two totally different aspects and they don’t exclude each other.

          Let’s refer back to the imagined scenario. Would FMA’s intricate plot all of a sudden disappear if Winfry showed panties and had cat ears? Of course not. A story is still a story. A plot is still a plot. The world of FMA is still the world of FMA.

          I guess another way to put it is this. There can be cute stories with great characters. There can also be serious stories. One can have her own preferences for either. But to say that if any plot is cute, it has a shallow story is hardly true.

          Index/ Railgun is actually a pretty good example of this. The characters are well developed. The setting and the premise is fascinating. And the plots are fairly complex. Also, there is plenty of moe between Misaka, Index, Kuroko, and a host of other girls.

        • Yi says:

          @someone from somewhere: Well said! I agree with pretty much everything.

          I would add one thing though. K-On!! does have a loose plot: five girls go through high school. Sure, it’s probably not as “cool” as stories about gangsters or wolf deities, but one of the beauties of K-On!! is that it makes such a mundane plot interesting.

          Still, this is indeed a character-driven series. And it has some really lovely characters.

          Thanks for the comment! You put into words perfectly some of my feelings about the whole plot-less/ empty K-On!! issue.

  28. Set-chan says:

    First of all, Happy New Year Yi-chan!!!!!
    I liked very much your Post and how to analyze / criticize K-On!, plus I really like your Blog, I hope you continue with all the spirit that characterizes you and more entries. jaja.

    (Sorry for my Spanglish because my English is very bad u_u)

    • Yi says:

      Your English is fine!
      Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad you like my blog. ^ ^
      Cheers to a new year. May we have the best year possible.

  29. Duqs says:

    I was able to truly enjoy K-on’s second season when it reached the graduation portion. I like the idea that there actually is some sort of “parting” in a slice of life type of anime, makes it interesting.

    • Yi says:

      That’s a great point. Very rarely, some anime that just show tidbits of lives become stagnant because there is no sense of progress… Like Ika Musume. Characters are forever 16 years-old, and there is no real closure when series end. I loved that K-On!! didn’t do that. Instead, we’re allowed to follow them to the “end”.

      Thanks for the insight. ^ ^

  30. someone from somewhere says:

    @yi
    i really do agree that the fact that K-On!! can make ordinary daily routines seem lively and interesting. that’s pretty impressive. that’s great because focusing on real life makes it easier for us to really “get to know” the character and really connect with them. because they’re (sometimes) rational human beings with common sense just like we are. they have their good moments, their bad moments and they argue. they are selfish and don’t want to let go.
    which is why i got really emotional at the end of episode 20 because it’s so closely resembles mine and almost everyone else’s experience in school. it brings back a sense of nostalgia. i’m really going to miss this series and it’s certainly a very memorable one.

    • Yi says:

      Yet another great point. I loved that scene when Azusa didn’t want them to graduate too. It shows real emotions and real growth when they finally parted.

      I’m going to miss this series too, and I’m going to miss these girls.

  31. lovelyduckie says:

    If I found season 1 boring do you think I’d like season 2? K-On! was something that felt like something that I should like…and then I didn’t. Although on second thought if I begin to like this series I’ll have to track down the Alter figures…what a hellish thought :)

    • lovelyduckie says:

      hellish as in the pain of finding them for the prices I want, if I like something enough there is no stopping me

    • Yi says:

      Hm… I think it depends more on why you thought season one was boring. For me, season two was leagues better than season one. But if you didn’t like season one because you just don’t like watching girls laze around high school, maybe K-On!! isn’t for you.

      Haha, it’d be a hellish ordeal indeed. I can’t imagine collecting figures and nendos of all the characters. Azusa alone has several.

  32. Hello says:

    someone from somewhere: well, certanly comparing a series more seinen with k-on that is a slice of life is wrong, but on the other hand, there are been good seires with a slife of life inclination, like Clanad or kanon 2006, they were not of my personal like of course, but i recognice the effort behind those series.

    Peronsally, there is a diference between good animation and deformed animation, certanly most anime have big eyes, clolorful hair, superpowers and whatever, but all of them are structured in a “common sense” inside their own world, i mean, each anime has it’s own structural rules, and they must be respected, what bothers me in K-on is that they bend their own rules, because in some points you se NORMAL hands and feets, and then suddently everything becames deformed, is not that i cant tolerate deformed human beings to OUR concept, but to the placement inside their own fictional world. If you want to be real, there are several things in K-on that clash against reality.
    I prefer seinen over the other genre, so most of all my opinion is based on that, but K-on even falls on the definition of Moeblob, a definition practicaly invented for this show, and personally i can’t but agree with it. i failed at see the “deep development of the characters” yeah the last episode was sad and all, but that doesn’t mean the character developed, i saw the same YUI from the begining of the first season to the end of the 2 season, maybe a little more stupid(wich force me to think how did she managed to pass years) the only character that may have developed was azusa.

    Yi: as for what you say, is not like having or not having moe, probably i didn’t expresed correctly, but MOST anime if they have moe, or ecchi, they explote it, and we all know it, all the ecchi series, ikkitousen, koihime musou, strike witches, series like sora no woto, k-on, all the harem series, all of them explote their respective fanservice, leaving almost nothing else, the main problem(or not, depending the POV you are watching it) is balance, japanese can’t balance anything without risking a failure, and we can see the evidence, im well aware that Spice and wolf will never have a next season, neither Zetsubo sensei, neither baccano, and now the new show that it won’t is legend, because they dont sell, why? becuase people dont want that. i know that you YI have done a full review about this show (K-on) and you have your own deep conclusion, but for example people liked more Angel beats! who tried to have a plot and failed miserably, call it lack of episodes, and yet, i visited several forums and so, people worship it like a clasic! i mean C’mon! that ending, and the hole series, was rushed, most like the hole Unlimited blade works movie, and people praise it like “one of the best” “exelent show of 2010″ and that really annoys me.

    Now you name Railgun and Index, but are you aware that fans of both series have called reilgun and index 2 both epic fails? the manga, what i heard of it, is extremly good, but the animation adptation just S****, you can ask any of the fans that follow the manga, railgun has a really dark story, but fans of the manga were pissed becuase the anime didn’t reflect any of it, i mean, we all love yuri, and railgun is funny and all, but if a manga follower comes and tell me “the anime s****” i totally get it because i have seeing it before, same goes to index 2, they focus to much in the moe aspects, that they end up making whatever they like, and people like it anyway. let me give you a fresh example, you have watched Ore no imouto right(perosnally that show started good and then felt rushed)? well THERE you can see how things are, when kirino is about to have her own anime, how they toke her history and were about to make it into whatever they wanted, yeah yeah in the show the patetic brother humiliate himself so the show would be faithful to his sister’s story, but normally that doesn’t happen, and the worst part is, the fictional show probably whould have selled with the changes.
    Well, i got a little off topic XD anyway the point is, you can’t have moe and story, because if you balance things, the way the anime market is today(call it japanese otakus since they are the main market) said anime balanced won’t sell.That’s the truth. I loved the plot in The vanishment of Suzumiya haruhi, but i KNOW that that movie selled good not because of the plot, but of how moe they made nagato, yeah you can say that’s an example of balance and sells, yet, it will never happen again.
    to end my comment i would like to qoute a friend’s words when i told im about this matter, take it as a joke please:

    “Aria showed me that life always teach us something

    K-on showed me that you can’t be more stupid than Yui”

    Have a nice day!

    • Yi says:

      I guess it’s all about tolerance levels. You seem to have a very low tolerance for moe, so any show with the least bits of it come off as imbalanced for you. On the other hand, I don’t find the moe in anime like Strike Witches or Railgun to be too much for me to handle. We can discuss all day, but in the end, you probably still won’t like many of the stuff I love.

      Some people complain that moe will doom anime… But season after season, we still get good stuff like Arakawa, Kimi Todo, and plenty of other anime that are successful franchises but that have little moe. There are fans of both. I like moe, but at the same time, I also appreciate other stuff.

      ““Aria showed me that life always teach us something
      K-on showed me that you can’t be more stupid than Yui”
      Loll, that made me laugh. I love both series. Actually, I have a pretty hard time deciding which I like more.

      It’s good that you feel so passionately about your tastes! Have a lovely day yourself. ^ ^

      • Yi says:

        Also, forgot to mention one more thing.
        I stand by my comparison of K-On!! to Aria. But it’s interesting to note that when I posted the comparison on Twitter, many people disagreed with me.

        • Hello says:

          dont missundestand me, i enjoyed koihime musou, or probably Railgun and index 1 season, but i can’t deny the fact that a hard core fan of the seires tell me that the show wasn’t what they expected.
          strike witches wasn’t so bad either, i mean, I’m not gonna build an altar for the show, but was enojoyable, my problem is when thinks doesn’t get balance as a general, you can have all your season of k-on you like, all the movies etc, but i would like the market to also give me a 3 season of spice and wolf or a 2nd of baccano, that’s why somehow i hate K-on for the tendence they created.
          i enojy moe as long as doesnt take K-on tendence, and by the way i lol at the twitter thing, i told you there was at least some diference between them.
          enjoy your day

        • Yi says:

          Thanks for the comment. I’m really glad you voiced your opinions so strongly, even if we disagree. ^ ^

          Let’s not blame K-On!! for everything. It may be influential, but I don’t think it dictates anime trends all by itself.

          As for the Aria vs. K-On!! thing…
          Here are all the relevant responses if you’re interested:

          My initial tweet:

          Replies:

  33. scantling says:

    K-ON!! is a character driven anime series and it proves that you can have a enormously successful series without massive fan service

    I see the sales numbers for the disposable generic fan service style anime and just cringe to think greater series are outsold by them

    • Yi says:

      Agreed! This is what I think really made the second season much better than the first season. It was able to be enormously successful without resorting to blatant fan service.

  34. someone from somewhere says:

    @hello

    you’re really stubborn aren’t you. the characters didn’t grow? are you out of your mind? does the change have to be big in order for you to realize it? what are you expecting for yui to “change” and “developed” into a smart girl like nodoka? that’s won’t happen because that won’t be development it’ll just be taking a complete 180 degree turn.

    did you even remember how many times nodoka mentioned that yui has changed for the better. well obviously you don’t because you don’t bloody watch k-on. at the beginning of the series yui was a your average ditzy lazy girl. without a purpose in life just going on lazy of day by day wasting her time. at the end she had a purpose. she wants to play music. she wants to stay with her friends. she wants to study with them. heck she even studies and multitasks. like in the episode where she went to the talent show. that’s growth. RECOGNIZE IT.

    the only one that developed was azusa? wrong. take mio. at the end of season one she was nothing more than a moeblob a shallow character who does “moe-moe-kyun” stuff and there just fore the fan service. that’s it. at season 2 you see more character development for mio. she becomes selfish and wants to see two bands at the same place and time. she gets annoyed when ritsu is overly clingly. she has doubts and wants to get a recommendation instead of choosing herself. she feels lonely and wants to go to the same university as her friends. she cries when she doesn’t want to part.

    not enough characters for you? okay let’s look into ritsu and mugi. ritsu was nothing more than the person to bring the moe moe out of mio. when only see her as that in season 1. in season 2 she gets jealous. she’s clingy. do you know what this shows? this shows that even ritsu has insecurities. she’s afraid that mio her childhood friend will ditch her for someone else. sounds familiar? everyone would have felt that sense of insecurity at least once with their friends. unless you trust them “absolutely” which is nigh possible.

    what about mugi? she was the blondie that pours tea. the end. quite boring right. but then in the second season we see mugi “rebelling” of sorts. she shies away from her rich family and works. she wants some skinship because all the other members have it and she feels leftout. she even cries and doesn’t want to graduate. and she doesn’t cry moe either. she cries like we do in life, with snot drizzling out. that’s not cute. that’s not considered moe crying. is she still too shallow for you? there was this episode in which azusa finds a “cute” side to mugi. they call it cute in the anime but it’s development. you see mugi eating cake before everyone does. you see her procrastinate. you see her NOT being a tottally perfect, boring rich girl. in fact to me mugi is the most interesting character in k-on albeit azusa being my favourite.

    oh and i’ll even mention sawako. you see her acting LIKE A TEACHER. yea. we didn’t see her act like a teacher in season 1. she only made outfits and forced mio into wearing them. to provide moe stuff. a bit like ritsu. in season 2 she acts serious, she turns ritsu and yui down when they wrote “musician” in their future plans. she knows that they’re passionate about it. buts she puts on a tough front because she knows that it’s not enough for them to have a real career in it. when her class graduates and write her their final message on the board she cries and says “i can’t rub this out” even though she knows she’ll have to. that was quite sad.
    it doesn’t have to be big actions and events to make the audience feel sad. it can be the little minor details. details that people like me, and Yi pick up that K-On!! haters like you don’t.

    also we see a snap shot of sawako’s student life in the episode where she performs at the wedding. we got to know her better. we knew that the teacher turned down her future goals sheeet. even though we never saw what she wrote on her future career sheet, most of us can almost be sure that the wrote musician on it. because she was so passionate about death devil. however despite all that the teacher still didn’t accept it. because he knew that she can’t have a career in music. it’s too hard. this is EXACTLY like how she turned ritsu and yui down when they wrote “musician”. this also makes me really sad even though no one was crying. you wouldn’t be sad because you don’t think it’s a sad moment unless all the characters broke down in tears.

    great i hope that this will satisfy you on the bit that characters don’t develop and grow. because they do. you don’t notice. because you don’ like this series and don’t pay any attention. i respect your preferences. but you should stop trying to get Yi to change her mind about K-On!! and it not being “the best series in 2010, you really should stop trying to change other people’s preferences. because to me and to a lot of other people it is. i will stay here all they and justify to you that the characters do develop. because saying that they don’t is absolute garbage. you would do the same if it was your favourite series

    if you love seinen, go to the seinen forums. and rant out your hate of moe and love of action and “deep” plot. that is all.

    • Yi says:

      I’m going to jump in here for a second. Thank you so much for the concrete and in depth examples of character development. Really, it was very very nice character analysis. I have nothing to add. I’m going to add your comment to the side notes.

      One other thing, I appreciate all my readers and commenters, and I don’t want to give anyone the impression that she’s not welcomed.

  35. ~xxx says:

    @someone from somewhere
    I Seconded the motion.
    Besides, K-on! was rather the under-appreciated by many and though I have my doubts if the second season was good, I was wrong… It was like living on the ordinary shoes of people who became involved in music and friendship… I guess, Yui is a bit annoying but in the end I liked her character.

    I guess, if someone who will gonna watch K-on! try to open up a little.

    • Yi says:

      “It was like living on the ordinary shoes of people who became involved in music and friendship…”

      Lovely! I like that comparison a lot. ^ ^

  36. It’s hard to make K-ON my favourite for 2010. There were lots that penetrated deeper into my heart than K-ON, such as Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai and something that was so much funnier, like Mitsudomoe. It’s still a great show. I liked it, but to me it wasn’t world-changing. It doesn’t give me deep thoughts. Though I enjoyed its simplicity quite a lot so I left my brain aside while watching them.

    As for the Aria comparison, I think there are similarities that they both have the “fuwa fuwa” feeling and growth, but beyond that the life they lead feels too different to compare. Dunno if that makes sense or not.

    • Yi says:

      I think part of the reason I had such an easy time putting K-On!! as my favorite for 2010 is because I don’t watch that many series. I missed out on Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai and Mistudomoe as well as Shiki. I guess that makes things much easier for me.

      I enjoy the simplicity of K-On!! too. It’s a lot of relaxing fun. I liked leaving my brain elsewhere when I watch it too.

      About Aria and K-On!!, your comment totally makes sense! In fact, I think that’s exactly what I was thinking when I made the comparison. I just couldn’t quite put it into words. Thanks. ^ ^

  37. Ryan A says:

    (so much commenting) I saw FMA tossed around, but I’m not sure how it’s relevant to ‘best of year’ when it’s a 2009 series… I believe K-ON!! is a very reasonable ‘best.’

    Anyway, the dynamic between Azusa and her seniors is what I loved about this. A solid wall of emotion showed up because of the situation, and I felt we had a shift in focus from Yui to Azusa from start to finish. Add in the great production and all-around fun, and the result is surprisingly good.

    I would love to read more posts about K-ON! in retrospect as time goes by Yi. You have such a strong affinity it seems.♥

    Cheers

    • Yi says:

      I always appreciate your comments. It’s such a delight to hear your thoughts, Ry. ^ ^

      Although I mostly used the “best” title as a hook, my hope for the post was to at least get everyone to see how K-On!! is a reasonable pick, even if they don’t agree. I’m glad you thought so too.

      That’s a great point about Azusa and the rest of the band. I didn’t even think about that. In some ways, the shift of focus from Yui to Azusa parallels the “passing-the-baton” theme that threads together the whole second season. Thanks for the fascinating thought!

      I already have the next K-On!! post in mind. I can’t seem to stop talking about it even if the series has ended.

      Cheers to fluff~~

  38. Canne says:

    I am still on the fence about K-ON!! since I am still 3 episodes away from finishing it. So far, there were ups and downs for me. Nevertheless, one thing I am sure of is that if I dislike it, it would partly be the result of my personal preference. This show is not bad or weak. It’s K-ON!!

    • Yi says:

      I think one of the reasons K-On!! gets a lot of flack from different groups is not because it isn’t a great production, but rather, it is the epitome of a certain genre and a certain style. Thus, when people who dislike that genre/ style, they often jump to criticizing K-On!! for being crappy. In some sense, perhaps a lot of the criticism came only because it was so great in doing what it wants to do. Kind of ironic.

      Anyway, I’m really really glad that you don’t find the show weak, even if it doesn’t suit your palate. Thanks for reading! ^ ^

  39. EmperorG says:

    I wonder if the power of team K-ON!! was strong enough to nominate themselves as future heroines who would save us from Ishihara’s evil grip of evilness, or rather selfishness?

    • afkeroge says:

      No, it wasn’t enough, sadly…

      Even innocent manga magazine titles are being pushed into the back of convenience stores for not being targeted at little kids. I don’t even want to see what will happen in July.

      • EmperorG says:

        Well, I guess that means next year my grades will greatly increase. Thanks a lot you old coot for destroying half of my happiness in life. Curse you and your silly crusade to “save” children. Seriously is this guy on meths or something? Ah forget it, whining won’t get me anywhere.

        Hopefully K-ON!! the movie and Saki 2 won’t suffer a horrible fate because of a Kim Jong Il wannabe.

        • afkeroge says:

          I don’t know about Saki… but I think K-On! will somehow make it through. It’s a movie after all…

          I think the ban also includes any anime with the use of Japanese High School uniforms, so it can only go downhill from there if the current state of affairs continues.

          Hopefully, the ban may push some creators to make gems out of all-ages themes and give us a very nice change of pace. But, this just might as well be a farfetched dream…

    • Yi says:

      We’ll have to wait and see. In any case, K-On!! should be largely unaffected. It’s so harmless.

      • afkeroge says:

        The ban is so vaguely worded that it implies that any anime seen with the slightest hint of “vulgarity” is bound to be shipped into the adult section. Though K-On! may be safe, they may find some “anomaly” in it and ban it for good.

        • Yi says:

          True. At the same time though, I want to warn against knee-jerk reactions. There’s little we can do here, and certainly overreacting is not going to help.

  40. Sakurai_Hideru says:

    Greetings Yi-san.
    Just wanted to let you know that I chanced upon your blog 2 months ago, and now I visit it at least once a week. I tried watching some of the anime you recommended and liked what I saw, and your reviews are awesome. Keep up the good work! Hope you’ll keep on reviewing even more animes so that I know what to watch and what to avoid… ^w^

    • Yi says:

      Aww thank you so much for such nice words of encouragement. I’m so glad my reviews were able to help, if only a little.
      I hope you continue to visit. ^ ^

  41. abscissa says:

    I also believe that K-on is the best 2010 anime, and I totally agree with your entire analysis. But just to give my comment, the thing that I love about K-on is its simplicity makes it extraordinary. First, the characters didn’t need to do anything supernatural to make them special, for instance during the Bodoukan. Surely the band can outperform everyone and become instant superstars, however the writer chose to make the characters act as “normal” real-life high schoolers, not as “usual” anime high schoolers. Second, it’s zero fantasy and absolutely grounded to reality, that’s why it’s so easy to follow the story and relate to the characters. Lastly and most importantly, K-on doesn’t need fanservice to be successful (one can argue about Mio’s stage fail, but just that’s it!)–which makes it a rare gem.

    And although its a slice-of-life anime that lacks fanservice and fantasy, the art and plot line offset and remove any cloud of dullness.

    • Yi says:

      That’s a good point. It is able to make something so simple and so seemingly mundane -going to school can be pretty boring- into an extraordinary experience. It’s at once grounded in reality, but also idealized just enough so it’s really fun to watch.

      The second season had almost no fanservice, and it was far better than the first. A very rare gem indeed!

  42. Haha count on it! Watched K-on!! On animax, the english dub sounds awful don’t you agree? It sounds too… Fake imo… -__-

    • Yi says:

      I’ve only seen K-On!! with subtitles, and I guess that’s a good thing. It’s unfortunate though that the dubs sound fake since this is really a wonderful anime.

  43. softz says:

    Now that I’ve read this, I think it’s time for me to continue and finish up the remaining episodes. Let’s see what sorta feelings I can find from the anime. :)

    • Yi says:

      I hope you like it as much as I did. I really enjoyed kind of just immersing myself in their world as an relaxing escape once in a while.

  44. I know right? I’ve never liked watching anime in english. They always sound wrong in some way… The only anime worth watching in eng imo is gundam seed/destiny. The dub is awsum… :)
    I just bought K-on!! and watched till ep11 i think and can’t wait to watch summore! Its been real funny so far, like when how Mugi threw the pillow at Sawako and they all fell ‘asleep’… XD
    Tonite im gonna watch ore ga imotou! Can’t wait! :D

    • Yi says:

      I haven’t seen Gundam Seed/ Destiny yet. (People who know me pretty well know I have a significant genre bias toward mecha and gar shows…)
      Anyway, I’ve found that the Ghibli movies generally have pretty good dubs.

      There are definitely some chuckle-worthy moments. I really enjoyed Mugi in this season. She got a lot more screentime and became a much more fleshed out character. The episode in which Mugi tries to get the girls to hit her is so funny and cute.

      Have fun with Ore no Imouto. It’s… quite a series.

  45. Haha tht was one of my favourite parts of K-on!!…
    Finished watching Ore no Imouto alredy. I guess u can say tht i’m a bit like Kirino in a way, xcept for not having to keep my anime obsession a secret… :)
    I wish that they’d explain wht happened between those two tht caused them to be distant towards each other in the 1st place…

    • Yi says:

      I don’t think there’s any particular reason Kirino and Kyousuke are distant in the first place other than simply sibling interactions. I think at that age, bickering between siblings is a fairly common thing. It’s just the way it is.

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