Alternative Title: Keion
Genre: Comedy, slice-of-life, music
Director: Hisako Yamada
Running Time: 24 minutes per episode
Number of Episodes: 13
Aired: 02 April 2009 – 25 June 2009 (Complete)
Plot: Story revolves around three Japanese high school girls who are members of the school’s Light Music Club and to try to save it from being disbanded. However, they are the only members of the club, and the last recruit, Hirasawa Yui, joins the club thinking that ‘light’ meant ‘easy’ since she has no experience in playing instruments or reading sheet music…
K-ON! is my very first anime review, I’m quite surprised at myself that it took me so long to do one as I’m quite an anime fan and have nearly a terabyte of the stuff. Anyway, I sort of go through phases with anime, sometimes going months without watching any and at other times I’ll spend the entire day doing so, such was the case with K-ON! (finished in two days).
Usually I’m able to gauge after watching the first episode or so, whether or not I am going to enjoy a particular series and the first thing that struck my eye with K-ON! was the animation. Animation plays a major factor for me and there are many anime out there that have the typical generic animation and while I enjoy them nonetheless, great animation adds to the overall enjoyment. This series has wonderful, fluid animation and vivid detailed backgrounds and character animation.
So apart from the animation, K-ON! is a very enjoyable series. Sure it’s filled with the standard staples of slice-of-life anime series’, beach episode, school fairs and Christmas episode, as well as the typical character stereotypes but for some reason I never tire of them and always find it enjoyable. The protagonists include: Yui Hirasawa, the typical ditzy character. Tsumugi Kotobuki, rich girl with ‘mother hen’ personality. Ritsu Tainaka, chairman of the Light Music Club as well as the wild-type character. Mio Akiyama, the shy-type with excellent grades and at the same time a bit of a scaredy cat. Azusa Nakano, the newest member (enters the scene about halfway through the series) looking to join a serious music club and ends up joining the Light Music Club who spend most of their time eating cake and drinking tea, even though she disapproves, she invariably ends up having fun and is moved by the performances that the group are capable of.
Overall, K-ON! is a highly enjoyable series that I would recommend for any and all anime fans, give it a shot, it won’t disappoint. Below I’ve posted some info on real-life Japanese school clubs. I thought it was fitting given the nature of the show.
In Japan, there are after-school activities available called Bukatsu (部活) which range from computer clubs to judo, kendo, cooking and so on. The pupils who’d rather go home at 3pm or whenever the day officially ends (like I used to as our options were extremely limited) are known as Kitakubu (帰宅部). A lot of these ‘slice-of-life’ anime series’ contain such things and while I’m pretty sure anime isn’t an accurate representation of Japanese life, it’s nice to see something that actually does take place.
Below I’ve posted an example of some real-life Bukatsu activities, wish it was like that at our schools.