Archive for the 'K-ON' Category

Evirus on his struggle with K-ON

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

His description and illustrations of the contrast between “Mio as viewers see her” and “Mio as she actually appears in the show” sounds pretty persuasive, although he also has a screencap of supposedly “the timid and almost mousy girl” lifting a fellow band member by her lapel…

I’m seriously considering checking out this show. I need to know what the noise is about.

K-ON begins

Monday, October 26th, 2009

It’s a smooth sailing so far. Evirus’ rage against “retard moe” is not entirely baseless, but I do not see a strong case, because the cast of K-ON is not out to save the Universe. It’s perfectly fine if Yui is the second coming of Tsukasa for the scope of life which is ahead of her.

The animation is not without issues indeed. If we want to build a progression of KyotoAni turning into A-1, it would go Haruhi -> Lucky Star -> K-ON. Of course, this omits inconvenient facts such as Clannad. My specific problems with K-ON are two: 1) fingers in the first few episodes, 2) large flat areas such as heads. I think they went too far.

BTW, one big surprise was Nodoka, in particular her voice (done by a complete unknown Chika Fujitou. Way too mature for her years, I’m swooning.

Tsumugi’s tube in K-ON

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I asked a friend who dabs in synths, what the vacuum tube was doing in Tsumugi’s station.

The answer was:

Very likely a korg product. They added a tube to the electribe series, and the triton extreme.

tbh, it’s kind of a gimmick. They noticed guitarists pay silly amounts of money for vintage tube amps, and cashed in on that hoping synth players would think the same way.

Indeed, I went back and re-capped the performance at the opening celebrations, and Mugi was playing a Korg Triton Extreme. What’s interesting, it is not at the Korg’s website anymore, being released only in 2005. Perhaps it was too expensive.

A site about old synths says:

The most extreme model [of Triton family], it quintupled waveform memory up to 160 MB with 120 voices of polyphony. Most of the Triton series expansion boards have been pre-installed as standard in the Extreme, while many sounds from the older Tritons have been improved as well. Sample memory is also upgraded (up to 96 MB of sample RAM). And in addition to its new “paint-job” a major feature was the addition of a genuine 12AU7 “Russian Bullet” vacuum tube which could be used as either an insert or master effect, or simply by itself to allow for warmer, guitar amp-like sounds and for more extreme analog overdriven/distorted sounds.

The picture at the site is of a shorter keyboard. I think Mugi actually got the longer version, like the one pictured at Wikipedia.

K-ON ends

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Usagijen expressed a bafflement on GR today about Janette (a co-writer of CJ Blackwing) putting K-ON into a Top5. Janette’s explanation was that K-ON “reminds me so much of the tight group of friends I had through most of high school”. Nothing like that was possible for me, but I thought it was a very solid production. I honestly think that it only made into Top5 because Janette haven’t seen something truly oustanding, like Manabi Straight, but nonetheless it deserves “Good” or “Very good” in the ANN scale.

Reviewing old posts, it’s a bit surprising how long the build-up was. The question if K-ON was the second coming of Manabi answered itself (that said, it’s still not a slice-of-life). Meanwhile, I completely forgot that I promised to watch it “if the ending does not suck”. Fortunately, the filler I hit randomly didn’t dissuade me.

Liked: Not a masterpiece, but yes
Rewatch: Not likely, but possible

K-ON, the visual retrospective

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

This spoilers contained herein are hopefuly inoffensive.

The big empty room was one of the first scenes and embodied the promise of the anime.


These two profile shots of Ritsu and Mio demonstrate the general art style (off and on backgrounds). Both the kinship and departure from Lucky Star can be seen pretty well, for a static picture anyway.

Here’s a pretty picture with reflex-less hair and backgrounds. Don’t recall if this is an animated scene. Again, a lot of carry-over from Lucky Star.

The scene of the lead retard Yui trying to tell the truth is about what the early story of K-ON was overall. It’s not bad, set up in motion quickly, and mildly humorous, but a bit bland.

Tsumugi Kotobuki is the queen of K-ON and my personal favourite in the same way Miyuki was in terms of the earlier KyotoAni show. Both of them have too little screen time, although Tsumugi makes a curious character progress in the Special (unlike Manabi, it was set later than the main story in the continuity). Welcome, of course. BTW, although she is overflowing a cup above, it rather is an exception, inserted for the special moment. She’s not generally clumsy (unlike Miyuki!), because Yui takes on that role.

Here is Tsumugi again, sharing a short “moment” with the general fan favourite, Mio. KyotoAni saw fit to pepper K-ON with moments.


Another version of the moment is a choice or a doubt. It’s not directed in a heavy-handed way, fortunately.

Now what really was surprisingly common is the lump-popping violence. I honestly didn’t expect so much of it.

This is apparently what passes for SD mode in K-ON. It is mercifuly rare and appropriately used. Thanks god this anime is not produced by SHAFT.

Nodoka (on the left) has an amazing voice, which is so mature that it should’ve felt as too old, but it hasn’t. And it befits her character extremely well. If only she had a fraction more of the screen time, Tsumugi’s throne would become insecure indeed.

Here we have Nodoka’s opposite, Sawa-chan-sensei, teaching little brats a lesson or two. She is an explicitly spelled Christmas cake despite the gentle act she’s putting up with such fidelity.

For some reason these bicycles bothered me even before the ridiculously ugly work done to retrofit Azusa into the OP. Was it hard to add her here? Why wasn’t it done? I raged every time after ep.8. By the way, they adjusted the ED for the Special to add Azusa her lettered frame, which is separate by timing from the four main ones. It’s like everything they did to fix it came out pear shaped. The story of K-ON’s ED is a hilarious screw-up and a window into the series production process. They really do make it up as they go along!

The practice question almost summarizes the Azusa’s story in K-ON. In a rational departure from the longer Lucky Star, the mid-series influx of characters was sharply curtailed. It was a correct decision.

I feel like saying something about the rather ham-fisted attempt to stroke conflict in ep.11. Surprisingly it wasn’t Azusa’s doing, and you know what? It would’ve been much better if it was.

BTW, notice the color of ties that indicates the school year. I did not pay attention to it, so I don’t know what the 3rd year has.

Lots of music fans complained about how quickly Yui learned to play guitar. What’s more, she continued to do the same when she provided a way stiffer challenge to Azusa than she was set up for. I wasn’t that bothered by it; for stickers they had pretty big time gaps, which can be debated. And then Ui threw a spanner into the works.

UPDATE: Sagematt points to Nodoka’s image song at Youtube.

K-ON CD loot

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The sheet music is calling for me. My mother made me to play piano when I was little, and I hated it so much. So, maybe a guitar?

I think K-ON would probably be not half as good if topic were different. I’m not knocking GA:GADC here, but it certainly was a step forward from Lucky Star.

Midnite Tease on K-ON

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

By way of some random link-following (via), I ran across a review of K-ON, which mostly contained retelling. Such a style of review is usually incredibly dull, but I was grinning as every paragraph prompted me to recall the fun.

Yui, who has no musical talent, but was praised by her teacher in kindergarten for playing the castanets well, decides that a “light” music club could be fun. And of course, Ritsu needs that fourth warm body, so Yui is accepted. Thankfully, conveniently, Ritsu is a talented (if too enthusiastic) drummer, Mio is accomplished on the electric bass, and Mugi just happens to be an award-winning keyboardist. Yeah, I’ll let it slide. Just go with it.

This is, of course, the cynical way to look at it. But you can just as easily think of the destiny throwing the four together, much like Aoi running into Kaoru in the Steel Caves of Tokyo. The choice is yours!

And that’s really my one big complaint about K-On!…for a series about music, there really isn’t a lot of music. Other than the OP and the ED, there are only three songs featured, and you only get full performances of two of them.

This is tantamount complaining that in a series about ballet, there’s not a complete performance of Nutcracker and Swan’s Lake in Princess Tutu. It’s not as if Nodame included symphonies.

K-ON S2

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

In case anyone is confused about Omo’s strange sense of humour, here’s the skinny: yes, it’s true (as much as I can tell, and I can tell that “第2学期” means “The 2nd Semester”).

Since the original series did not have a long-term plot, it’s unclear just what they are going to show. Certainly, there’s a manga for guidance. Recent record of anime extensions is far from stellar: Arashi and Haruka Nogizaka both were rather underwhelming even to stout fans. Almost makes one long for GONZO 2-parters. At least those unravelled in the final episodes and not right at the start of the 2nd season.

I quite liked K-ON, but I don’t expect watching the sequel, unless it’s a completely dead season otherwise.

Damien says K-ON is not great enough

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

In a post at Moe Check, DKellis outlines a concept of small number of special anime, somewhat parallel to my “titans”. The plank is very high when considering anime that way, so, unsurprisingly, K-ON fails to clear it. Still, it was seriously considered.

Eternal names K-ON the greatest moe anime

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Actually, he says, “the greatest moe anime I’ve ever seen”, with a suitable hedge. But still!

Also:

Let’s cut to the chase: K-ON is a moe show. It always was and always will be. Sure, you can watch it for the comedy or the music, but that’s like watching Evangelion for the cool robots – it’s acceptable, but it’s not the main point. […]

In a sense, it’s the antithesis of the harem/galge genre: instead of making a guy date cute girls, why not just focus on the cute girls?

Sounds familiar, isn’t it? It’s like debating if you laugh or cry when Osaka loses the soap. And yet, I think K-ON is no Azumanga. Azumanga had no band, so it truly was about girls themselves. K-ON focuses, yes, but not exclusively.