K-ON! focuses on a group of four girls at Sakuragaoka Girl's High School, who join the Light Music Club in order to save the group from being disbanded; they end up being the only members of the club.
Ritsu Tainaka is the self-proclaimed president of the club, and she plays the drums. She has an upbeat personality, but has a problem with remembering club activities. Mio is the bass player, and she's Ritsu's best friend; she is forced to join the club by Ritsu at the beginning of the series. Mio has a fear of being in the spotlight and is embarrassed easily. Tsumugi Kotobuki is a wealthy girl with a sweet personality, and she plays keyboards.
The last member to join the Light Music Club is Yui Hirasawa. She's a clumsy girl, gets distracted easily, and doesn't know how to play an instrument when she first joins the club. The other girls keep her, since the minimum number of members a school club needs to continue is four. At the beginning of the series, the others attempt to teach Yui how to play the guitar, but it's a feat that seems to be easier said than done. Yui is definitely supposed to be the "cute" member of the group.
K-ON! is a cutesy and comedic high school comedy series that puts an emphasis on music. It definitely relies on tropes, such as Yui oversleeping and running out the door to school with a piece of toast hanging out of her mouth, the specific personalities associated with each of the characters, etc. My least favorite aspect when it comes to the characters is that Tsumugi feels more like a plot device than an actual character at times; in order to advance the story, there are times when she needs to use her money and her influence to help the rest of the band.
When it comes to the animation, I have to give credit for the depictions of the instruments. One of the most notable scenes to me was when the group of girls goes to a music store to look at guitars. The guitars have a very realistic look to them. While I liked seeing this style used for the guitars, it only emphasized the fact that the rest of the animation isn't anything terribly spectacular. The overall animation isn't bad, but there's not enough to truly make it stand out from other high school anime outside of the depiction of the instruments.
K-ON! isn't a bad show for what it is, but it's not one I'm going to rush to add to my own home video collection anytime soon. Personally, I think that this series would best be appreciated by a teen female audience, starting around 13 or 14 years of age.
|K-ON!||13||2009||Naoko Yamada||Kyoto Animation||Bandai Entertainment|
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|K-ON!||N/A||2011||Naoko Yamada||Kyoto Animation||Sentai Filmworks|