Thanks to Madman, we had the chance of watch one of the most popular and enjoyable Japanese animation series in the last couple of years: ‘K-ON!’
Directed by Naoko Yamada, ‘K-on!’ Is one of the most entertaining series we have ever seen, almost on the same levels as ‘Azumanga Daioh,’ ‘School Rumble’ and even ‘Lucky Star’.
The story centers on four “Kawaii” (cute) High school girls: Yui Harisawa (Yui), Mio Akiyama (Mio), Ritsu Tainaka (Ritsu) and Tsumugi Kotobuki (Mugi) – who all start “The Light Music Club” as an extracurricular activity at school.
Every girl has a distinctive personality, with Yui being the airhead, Mio the shy girl, Ritsu the energetic one and Mugi as the gentle rich girl. With all these differences between them, it’s not at all weird to see the most hilarious situations occur during the episodes.
Check out the first 4 episodes in ‘K-On!’ Volume 1.
01 -Disband the Club:
This episode starts with Yui on her first day of high school. She has never been part of any club, but now she thinks it will be good to join one. After some time she hears something about the light music club and she’s intrigued.
On the other hand, The Light Music Club start to get shape after Ritsu (the drummer) convinces bassist Mio to start the club to follow their dreams of playing a concert in Budoukan – a dream totally made up by Ritsu by the way – Soon after Mugi enters the room looking for the Choir Club, but after seeing their funny behavior she decides to join the club as the keyboard player.
Days pass by and no one else joins the club. Of course Yui has not decided anything yet, but when she sees The Light Music Club poster she thinks straight away that it could be an easy club to join and she applies. The Light Music Club is desperately looking for new members – particularly a guitarist – because if they are not at least four members; then the club gets disbanded.
So after getting Yui’s application they are over the moon! Thinking of what kind of girl she is, but surprise! Yui doesn’t know anything about music, bands or instruments, but in their desperation they changed her mind with tea, cake and play a song for her – A very surprised Yui sees them play and notices that they are not that good, but she happily joins the band anyway.
In this episode we start to get to know a little bit more about the characters. Mio tells why she chose the bass, (it’s just part of her nature). It turns out Mio is really shy and doesn’t want to be the center of attention that will have with the guitar.
The cheerful energy of Ritsu gets reflected in her instrument too: the drums. Lastly, Mugi the gentle rich girl has been studying piano since she was 4 years old; so keyboard is the answer for her. In this moment Yui realizes she will be great playing the guitar, however, she doesn’t have one yet.
The girls go to the music store to choose a guitar for Yui, and of course she gets one stuck on her mind – one that she can’t afford. The girls remember the first time they bought their instruments, and all of them decide to find a temp job (counting traffic) to help Yui. However when payment is coming Yui doesn’t accept their money and eventually Mugi gets a really good price for the guitar.
Now everything is ready to start the activities in the Light Music Club!
03- Cram Session!
This is one of the funniest episodes we’ve seen. The girls are now in midterm exams and everyone passes except Yui. But it’ll get worse if she doesn’t pass the make-up exam the club might get disbanded again!
Yui tries her best to study for the exam but gets easily distracted with her guitar – and really with everything. The girls meet every day at the music room to share some tea and sweets, but in the last week before Yui’s make-up exam they get really worried about Yui, so they send some text messages to cheer her up, but of course one day before the exam; Yui shows up in the music room begging for Mio’s help saying she hasn’t studied anything!
They all get really concerned, so Mio organizes a study night at Yui’s place. There, they met Ui (Yui’s mature little sister) and Nodoka (Yui’s best friend). The night is laugh after another, with Ritsu getting bored and Yui getting sleepy every time -but getting inspired by food as usual.
After this, Yui takes the exam and it’s a huge success! She gets the best grade possible – however she forgot all the chords she learnt on the guitar!
04 – Training Camp
As you may correctly think, the light music club hasn’t played anything yet. In this chapter, Mio find some old tapes with songs of the past. Light music club realizes that they are far behind, and they have to prepare for the School festival.
So Mio organizes a training camp to practice non-stop, they decide to go to Mugi’s Summerhouse on the beach as it has its own music room and it’s all luxury.
Having gorgeous weather along with Yui and Ritsu’s careless behavior; the day passes by and all of them have a great time on the beach, but when it comes to playing they get very lazy.
However, in their first try as a band Yui shows a hidden talent and plays gloriously for an amateur, which inspires the rest of the members.
‘K-On!’ Is a typical comedy that is based on the high school lifestyle – as many Animes are – but this series is very easy to watch, as it’s filled with enjoyable characters and good comedy. However, it doesn’t have much to do with music, it’s mostly about friendship, cute girls and the daily life of their characters. As usual, the personalities are very strong, but at the end they all share their taste for music and sweets.
Yui, the main character, is the funniest; only matched by the energy of Ritsu. Yui gets easily distracted by everything. She said she loves food and Kawaii (cute) stuff. This makes her very funny during every moment.
The eternal friendship and fights between Ritsu and Mio are also good fun. Mio, despite being the most mature of the group (and the most strict), brings good laughs when it comes to talking with people – as she gets really shy and she is afraid of everything horrific – and Ritsu takes advantage of this every time.
Mugi, who is the kindest, is also very weird sometimes, getting excited to eat fast food or getting discounts. However, she brings the tea and cake tradition to the Light Music Club.
‘K-On!’ is a must watch if you are into Japanese animation, and if you are not, this series is an excellent starting point, because it is a fantastic light comedy targeted to teenagers and above.
Madman brings this amazing collection to Australia with the first volume already out on Blu Ray and DVD. It includes an interview with Stephanie Sheh (English voice for Yui) plus fantastic anime trailers for upcoming Madman releases.
So don’t miss out…!
After seeing this first volume, we really can’t wait for ‘K-on!’ Vol.2 which will be out September 14!…A must see Anime series for sure!
For more information about this and other animes, just visit Madman’s website here