Tuesday, June 23, 2009

K-On Review

I must admit, this was a difficult review to write. When I first sat down in front of my computer, I stared blankly at the screen for several minutes, unable to articulate any thoughts on K-On now that I have effectively seen the whole series (minus the bonus episode).

After some further moments of unproductive pondering, I decided to reread my original first impressions of the series to try kick start this review. It was here when I finally came to realize exactly why I was having trouble writing; pretty much everything I would have wanted to write after seeing 12 episodes of K-On, were already addressed in my first impression which was written after seeing a total of 3 episodes.

If you're too lazy to read the whole post, just look at this picture. It's K-On! in a nutshell.

This I believe, is indicative of exactly what K-On has been as a series; tired, uninspired and derivative. It relies on its moe appeal to such an extent that any other matter of substance is sacrificed.


The 'story' revolves around Yui, a special needs child, who in a tragic case of irony, is an essential member of the school music club, as without her, the club would have an insufficient number of members and would be thus forced to close down. What follows are the ever vain endeavors of the other band members who must teach Yui how to play the guitar. A task made ever more insurmountable given the fact that Yui's musical talents rival her prodigious intellect.

Truly, Yui is the greatest mind of her generation.

Or that's what Kyoani wants us to think the 'story' is about anyway.

However, by 'story', K-On means a bunch of moe blobs who play music. And by play music, I mean sit around and eat cake.

This picture encapsulates the entirety of Yui's relationships with...everyone.

That's about it really. Oh, and they go on training camps at a beach side house twice in the series. Where exactly the same things happen with the same jokes.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter.


Yui Hirasawa
The main character. Suffers from mild mental retardation; a possible first for lead characters in anime. The band's guitar player...technically. Is meant to be the moe moe character due to her airheaded personality, but in a cruel case of life imitating art, Mio appears to be perceived as moe by the general audience, thus proving Yui truly can't get anything right. Is possibly a lesbian.

Not even Johannes Krauser wants to rape that.

Mio Akiyama
For reasons I will never understand, the popular favourite amongst viewers. Mio is a moeblob amongst moeblobs. She actually has no real personality of her own, and instead simply acts in whatever way will provide the most moe reaction from the audience. Is possibly a lesbian.

Mio teaching her protege how its done.

Truly she is an original and interesting character!

Ritsu Tainaka
The band's drummer, Ritsu generally provides the slapstick comedy relief. However, she seems to hide a darker personality, given her propensity to lie and manipulate in order to get what she wants, as evidenced in her recruitment of Tsumugi in episode 1. Because of her amorality, she is far and away my favourite character. Is possibly a lesbian.

Ritsu has had enough of your shit!

We lie, we cheat, we steal!

Tsumugi Kotobuki
The pianist and token rich girl. Apparently, she exists in this show. She seems to be woefully ignorant of the outside world, leading one to ponder what kind of depraved childhood she must have endured. She generally buys the friendship of others with cake. Is possibly a lesbian.

Tsumugi making friends the only way she knows how.

Sawako Yamanaka
The music teacher and club manager of the titular light music club. Starts out as a hilarious character suffering an early midlife crisis and on the verge of a mental breakdown, but gradually gets reduced to a pedophile who stalks the girls and forces them to dress up in fetish clothes. Is possibly a lesbian.

Sawako, when she was cool. Which was for about 5 minutes.

Sawako, for the rest of the series. Oh how the mighty do fall.

Azusa Nakano
Mio, but even more underage. Regularly dons cat ears for the bestiality fetishists. The frequent target of Yui's girl crush. Is possibly a lesbian.

Ooh lookey! It's Mio with cat ears!

Mini-Mio makes Yui horny.

Ui Hirasawa
Yui's far more intelligent, mature and independent younger sister. Tries to steal her sister's identity in one episode, presumably since Yui got a larger share of the inheritance. Is possibly an incestuous lesbian.

Don't do it Yui! She'll ensnare you with her sexuality!

And then steal your name, your friends and your life!


Look, it's KyoAni, the people behind Haruhi Suzumiya, what do you expect but top quality shit?

Sadly, no amount of money could afford Tsumugi new eyebrows.

So yeah, it's typical KyoAni obsessive attention to detail, fluid animation, and muted yet somehow vibrant colours.

Come play with us Yui. Forever and ever and ever.

Personally though, I preferred the more serious animation of Haruhi Suzumiya. In contrast, K-On! is more cartoony, with movements sometimes resembling Western Saturday morning cartoons, as well as liberal use of chibis and funny looking faces.

Yui's mere presence is soul crushing.

To be fair however, it suits the general feel of K-On!, it's just not my cup of tea.


Those of you who have read my original first impression will notice that half of this review is a word for word copy of my earlier post. There are two reasons for this. For one, I am a lazy bastard. And as I've said earlier, my prior post had addressed pretty much everything I already had to say.

And this is one of the biggest reasons why K-On is a giant piece of pigshit; watching a few episodes of it will give you a shockingly accurate idea of K-On as an entire series.

Even as a child, Yui had difficulty with even the most basic of concepts. Such as standing straight.

Characters do not develop, personalities do not change and jokes are constantly reused. So in the end, what you get is a shitty anime, with a shitty story and shitty characters, which tries its utmost best to stay shitty.

Walk away Yui. Never come back.

Also, Yui's clumsiness and silliness is way, way overdone. I'm presuming it's meant to be cute, but it's not. It's just bloody annoying. Every time we're forced to endure Yui's antics, I feel nothing but the unquenchable desire to reach into the screen and punch Yui in the face. And then kick her. Continuously. For about an hour.

Another reason why Ritsu is my favourite character.

And seriously, Mio AND Azusa? Really Kyoani? One moeblob devoid of personality wasn't enough? You had to have TWO in a single show? What the hell? How many goddamn pedophiles are there that watch this show that you needed two underage dolls to appeal to all of them?

No Yui. Not even chibi can make me not hate you.

Anyway, for those of you who are regular readers of Taikutsu Remedy, my hatred of K-On and moe in general should be well known. And so the argument can be raised that K-On is simply not my cup of tea, and I might as well go watch something I enjoy rather then spend time hating on K-On.

Trust me, I would if this thing was not so bloody popular.

Sawako wants you to wear the frilly maid dress!

The problem lies in the fact that K-On sells. Moe sells. No show save perhaps Lucky Star has legitimized derirative moe as a viable business venture as resoundingly as K-On, and as a person who enjoys shows that aren't total shit, this obviously worries me.

Sometimes they even play music!

Despite what some may argue, anime is not an artistic venture; it is first and formost a for-profit industry. Therefore, what sells well becomes the templete for the shows to come; and if low quality crap like this sells, studios will be all to happy to profit from mediocrity. K-On, has shamelessly opened the provorbial floodgates, creating extremly persuasive precedent for other studios to follow the path of shitty but profitable moe fluff.

Mio watches you while you sleep.

Kyoani, you can do better then this. Whilst I'm not much of a Haruhi fan, I can objectively say that it is a very good show. Even K-On had brief moments of brilliance; from genuinely witty jokes to inspired directing. But these moments were brief and fleeting. For the most part, you were perfectly content to take the easy path and substitute wit for tired jokes such as Mio getting freaked out or Azusa being moe.

Sawako, upon realizing her fate to forever be a one dimensional character.

Shame on you, Kyoani. You have creativity and talent to be so much more, yet you rather settle for rubbish. You are not some third rate studio, you are Kyoto Animation. You have supperbly talented directors. You have meticulous and skillful animators. Yet despite all these gifts, you'd rather produce derivative crap that does nothing but stiffle creativity in anime.

Shame on you.


  1. I'll make Shana bash them up one my one in my Nendo Stories if I have the K-On nendoroids just for you

  2. And now, Were being swarmed by countless waves of K-on Doujinshi

  3. Without further ado: Bravo!

    Im not delighted by the recent development of studios to simply rely on heavy fanservice,Moe blobs or whatever cheap way to trick people into watching the shows.
    The sad thing is that this works and will only spawn even more shows of this kind?
    Why go all out when you can dwell in mediocrity and get your pockets full of cash


  4. I'm surprised...


    LOL Go watch it. :DDDDDDDDDDDbb

  5. I think Tsumugi was the only "normal" character in the show. Except for her tea mania, but compared with the rest..

  6. "Not even Johannes Krauser wants to rape that"

    LOL. but she is cuteee <3. although i do understand how hard to be together with a retard... it is plain tiring.

    oh ya, i added your blog in my bmecha.com's blogroll. cheers

  7. Ok, I am going to watch the rest of the series tomorrow after work. But before I do that I must find out if what you are saying is true about "Yui suffers mild mental retardation" because I am going to cut her some slack if that is officially mentioned in the anime. You see, I have the same problem you have with Yui, can't walk straight and can't sit straight in the chair, with small feet that seemed like half the size needed to support her. It really made me wonder if she was indeed mentally retarded or have physical disability.

  8. Wow you've even written up a review for it, that's truly impressive, as if watching (grinding?) it through isn't easy enough for you. Kudos for your efforts there.

    Despite it being being lack of plot or development, the viewers who watch this series are just there for the moe and fluff stuff, and for that KyoAni has done its job there already. For people who don't appreciate it this series is a godforsaken piece of work, but for others this is considered a success already. However, it's worth pointing out that the attitude and what kind of things audience tend to watch recently have reflected how the views have changed over time.

  9. Moe is the new fanservice. K-On! is the modern equivalent of the unmitigated bouncing T&A fanservice shows of the 80s and 90s.

    "Is possibly a lesbian."

    K-On! wishes it could come up with a decent running joke and use it as well as this.

  10. Sadly, a few months from now, people are going to think this was a good show. Everyone who liked it will keep talking about it, while everyone who realized it sucks will move on to better things in life.

  11. I knew I was going to read something good when I clicked on the title. Post delivers :D

    Sad but true, I won't really miss this show. Maybe its songs though. And maybe Azusa. Loved your description of her lol

  12. @ こ
    Oh god, I almost want them to make K-On nendos now XD

    @ GunStray
    Goddammit! They strike from all fronts!

    @ Blowfish
    As Hayao Miyazaki and other directors have commentated, modern anime is slowly becoming creatively bankrupt T_T

    @ Anna
    lol, I need to watch TF2 first! I still haven't had a chance to watch it! >_<

    @ phossil
    Really? I thought Ritsu was the only one vaguely resembling normalcy...or at least the only one I wouldn't want to headbutt

    @ B-Mecha
    Oh god, interacting with Yui would be horribly tiring...

    @ Wolfheinrich
    Nah, there is no actual mention of any disability on Yui's part.

    It's just that apparently in Japan, dumbshit women are considered cute, so they wanted to make Yui VERY cute.

    @ Q
    Yeah, I get what you mean, but it just drives me insane how moe isn't just a niche, its mainstream anime now >_<

    @ Sorrow
    Goddamn it, I want my t&a back.

    @ Baka Raptor
    Well, at least we can be content in our unwarranted sense of superiority in never liking it, unlike the ignorant masses ;)

    @ Konadora
    Really? I actually thought Azusa's description was my worst written of the lot =P

  13. Actually I found that it reminded me of music at school very well. It's an easygoing slice of life with value in nostalgia and yes, some moe. Though you did state that it's not your favorite genre, so to each his own.

  14. *High five*

    /goes back to watching Haruhi and cursing KyoAni under breath...

  15. OK, I must come back and give my status report. Snark, you sir deserve a medal of honor for surviving the entire series. I watched the 2nd episode here and I am already coughing blood out.

  16. Long live Kyoani. They are the best animation company ever. xD
    Yeah, I'm tried to stirr more steam out of ya. lol

    Once again, the important is u finished it. Not many ppl is willing to finish a series they hate so so much. ;)
    I guess ur all geared for Season 2 even though there's nothing announced yet. :P

  17. You are an angry-angry person lol.

  18. It's funny you've put in, "Is possibly a lesbian" in every character's description because I've pretty much made a weekly posts (on another site) of yuri pictures with nothing but K-ON girls getting it on with each other XD

  19. Just had to find your review and see what you thought of it. :p

    I think it's time for you to drop a message for kodomut. Lol! Time for some Shana bashing K-On nendo plays! Woot! Woot! Am actually getting a little excited thinking how the story will be like. Lol!

    I think I'll drop him a twitter too. Just to bug him a little.

  20. Glad to know that Ritsu is your fav character. Devilish FTW.

  21. m8, i am fond of mio, not for her moe characteristics, but the fact that she plays bass, left handed, and plays a fender jazz bass.

    Moe is used since most people get attracted to that. if you dont like it, then fine, thats your opinion, but seriously WTF is this? "Is possibly a lesbian." seriously, your a fukd up pervert... if you view them as lesbians, then i think that you view everyone and everything a lesbian. M8 if you were trying to be funny, you fail, if not, then your stupid. i want to see you make a better anime and get it to the top of the charts! i respect your opinion, but hate your attitude.

    "K-On is a giant piece of pigshit" << No buddy you are...

    K-on's songs are absolute masterpieces, without the anime, they would not exist.

    My review of you:

    Crappy attitude, thinks eve life is a lesbian, definatly a gay fag!

  22. sorry, i realize that was out of line, (quick reaction) ignore that last line!

  23. Bands and musicians all over the world cover k-on's songs because their well written and sometimes very difficult to play, esp the 2nd season.
    what gets musicians excited is that if you have good musical ears you can hear yui's progression with her skills at guitar, In "My love is a stapler" as an example, you can hear yui plays it as basic as chords as you can get but in the secound seasion she add's differnet dynamics to the chord progression.
    Whitch is something to relate to as it reminds myself how much I sucked when I first stated playing guitar.

    one thing, Their band name truly sucks.... BIG TIME!!!

    They'll more than likey make the big stage in the story then that will be that, no more k-on.

  24. @4l3x: nice shot... Hey hey.. U re not out of line.. I think the article writer just dont know to appriciate other good work.. Im sure he doesnt have anything to do.. Just a big shitty mouth that can talk shitty shitty nonsense.. If only i found this sooner...

  25. @4l3x: nice shot... Hey hey.. U re not out of line.. I think the article writer just dont know to appriciate other good work.. Im sure he doesnt have anything to do.. Just a big shitty mouth that can talk shitty shitty nonsense.. If only i found this sooner...


  27. Agreed with my above..
    For god sake, u need to kill that childish mind..
    One word : idiot

  28. ...Is possibly a lesbian. ^_^

    I really like K-on! though. Maybe it's the "slice of life" aspect.

  29. I couldn't get past the *moe moe fluff fluff* of the first 15 minutes of the anime. Yet, bizarrely, the manga is one of my favorite books. I think the anime definitely fails to tell you that it's a *parody* of the "band" trope. The girls spend their time slacking off, and only play instruments to keep them from losing the music room. Their personalities are also rougher, almost giving their character designs a touch of irony. Again, it doesn't help that the anime voice actresses speak in *moe moe fluff fluff* voices. Anyway, flip through the manga before you finally write K-ON off.

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  31. Stumbled upon this review, and goddamn you're trying WAYY too hard. All I could hear was your pretentious and elitist-wannabe ass going "Hehe. Look at how AWESOME and COOL I am for HATING this anime!!! HEHE. This anime is PIGSHIT. Hehe! I am comedy GOLD!!"

    Seriously? Are you 5? "HAHA! SHE'S A LESBIAN!! SHE'S RETARDED!111" Please. You may think you're being comedy gold but in fact, you're using unoriginal and offensive jokes.