Sunday 19 December 2010

Anime REVIEW: K-On!

Admittedly I'm writing this one a little later than I should be since I finished the series (both seasons) two weeks ago, but admittedly I've been a little busy of late and better late than never I guess.

Anyway, moving away from the usual mecha, murderous notebooks, space bounty hunters and more mecha for a while, K-ON! is a heart-warming slice of life anime revolving around the lives of a group of school girls who are members of their school's light music club. The story takes us through the girls' three years of high school, starting with the beginnings of their friendship and their attempts to stop the club being abolished (due to a lack of members), to their first live performance and the arrival of a new member and more. In some ways, think Lucky Star but swap out the geek references for musical ones - from Black Sabbath to The Who and more (and for those with a keen eye, even Krauser from Detroit Metal City pops up from time to time). Don't think the rest of the series is filled with band practice though - in fact After School Tea Time (or Houkago Tea Time if you prefer) spend more time doing what their band name suggests - which can sometimes cause quite a problem when it comes to concert time!

The first season is compromised of 13 episodes and an OVA, while the second season (entitled K-On!!) is 26 episodes long. While I felt the second season suffered slightly by containing more of the conventions and cliches of high school student animes (festivals, school trips, exam study - you know the sort), it didn't ruin it, but rather made it (much to my surprise) a far fuller experience. With personalties ranging from joker to airheaded to dedicated, the band members are all so different to each other that its sometimes hard to pick a favourite (although mine ended up being Mio if you're interested). Meanwhile the supporting cast (while small) is sometimes as strong as the lead cast itself and the music is both catchy and an enjoyable listen in and outside the series.

For those fans of school girl/high school animes and/or music, this is definitely one I recommend to check it. I almost guarantee it'll have a) melted your heart b) had you singing along c) laughing d) crying or e) doing all of the above by the end of it. The news of a movie next year is definitely one thing I was happy to hear, as this is one series that could do a follow up nicely without ruining the story (although I imagine it'll be set somewhere within the series like the last few episodes were....never mind, the more K-On! the better!)

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