I had fun.
The first image of Yui I’ve ever burned into my mind, happening real-time.
Well, let’s get started – I have a lot I want to say to properly bid my farewell to K-ON. Lets see how many words come out of it…
K-ON!! you could say detrimentally scarred my intelligence (or rather, my self-discipline) and promoted my free-caring mindset produced by moeblob architecture. Let me make one thing radically clear about K-ON! (and K-ON!!). - It is not a moeblob show. It is the moeblob show. There’s a lot of crappy moe shows out there (my favorite recent example being Mayoi Neko Overrun), and it’s true that the industry – I cannot deny – has created a lot of anime fans who are less-than-intelligent (at least, state-side); as well as a lot of shallow fandom. K-ON!! is not related to this in anyway. K-ON is the epitome of laid back-slice of life (or Ambience, but that’s another story)-highschool comedy as you can get, and it does it damned well. Some may semi-rightfully blame K-ON (though more blame is on corporate-giants looking to make a quick buck) for the blast of moe-oriented works that plague the industry with dozens of terrible anime every season, but by no way should K-ON! ever be compared to those shows. It’s an exemplary performance of what this genre should be about, not the regretful part of the industry (in both show production and fandom) that has become and unfortunate reality as of late.
Tell me you all have felt this at one point. Saying something silly, but no one listened to or even acknowledged you at all, than you just shut up realizing everyone ignored you because what you were saying didn’t really matter in the first place and they continue your conversation but you can’t help but feel at a loss for words – not angry, or frustrated, just totally and isolated in a group in the first place. You can’t even get mad because you’re not even sure if they flat out ignored you or heard you even in the first place!?Yeah, Yui, I know exactly what you’re feeling right now. I don’t even remember the point of making this a caption for the below paragraph, but fuck, that always annoyed me and I’m glad someone acknowledged all those lost words over the years. :1
I must say that K-ON is a very important anime here at The Orange Farm. It’s not just another anime; but rather a part of my writing spirit. When K-ON! started in April 2009 I felt I was an established anime fan and definitely wouldn’t be turned by any sort of rabid fandom (which I might have done with Haruhi, to a limited extent – being younger and more susceptible). K-ON! did a list of things for my writing and this blog.
That’s one crazy lunatic blogger!
1) K-ON’s popularity kinda put the Orange Farm on the map. It’s around this time 70 views a day ended and I started getting so far as 200 views a day (which is now more than doubled). I don’t want it to sound like popularity is extremely important for me, but a lot of my writing is based on my observances of the community, so of course more feedback makes posts more dynamic. The more feedback I get directly, the more I think about and ponder the anime at hand. So summer 2009 this was a very important time for me as a blogger; I had gotten over the rookie-post a lot syndrome, went over my month without posting syndrome, and had established myself after a year of writing. K-ON’s rabid popularity came at a time when I was both ready as an anime fan and writer to effectively cover it.
2) K-ON’s style was perfect for me to write about. I had established that I would never “apologize” for not having weekly posts, but only post when I really had something worth saying, writing, reading or recording to myself or others. Since K-ON was directed well it’s humor had a nice flow in each episode I could sort of pick and choose whether or not to write about it each week. It didn’t have some amazing story, so it’s not like I’d be missing out on huge character development or big event. (Though the series as whole definitely had a lot.)
3) Some of my favorite posts honestly came out of K-ON. Following on what I said in number 1, there was a huge community reaction from this anime. Even if there wasn’t much happening in the episode there were plenty of memes and fun discussion about it. Popularity can be good or very bad based on your perception but I found the K-ON fanbase to generally be intelligent, fun-loving, and the more people signed on with it the more dynamic the discussions and reactions became. This made it incredibly fun to blog about in an open forum. I just want to establish how important of an effect I feel K-ON had on the industry and this blog personally. That being said, I think I’ll finish K-ON off the way I started it – with a full character analysis.
I agree with Jun. This would make a good figurine.
I guess Azusa is the most important character analysis, since she didn’t have an original one. Though I’m afraid I can’t say much – from the start Azusa annoyed me. I thought she kinda broke up the band flow and introduced a conflicting element to the show. I’m glad that in the end what she said mattered about as much as everyone else. Her constant down-to-earthiness didn’t feel like what K-ON was really about to me though, so I can’t say she was a welcomed member in my book. Though for some reason I would buy this pose of her if it became some sort of figurine. She’s like that friend you have (or maybe you are that friend) that loves anime (or in her case, light music), but will never approve of talking about it in public or making it any part of your daily life. She was a good lab rat for showing how continued exposure to the light music club could change you, though.
Still shydere, but that’s about it.
And with the introduction of Azusa changed my perception of Mio’s character. Pretty much until Azusa came around Mio had to play both the shy girl and responsible girl. After Azusa stuck around she pretty much became a submissive toy (much like Mikuru in Haruhi) – here for my amusement. I never liked the character and I find her the least attractive (in both personality and looks) than the rest of the cast. She’s probably my least liked character, but that is a combination of her resulted identity, fanbase, and character design change over the airing of K-ON!! I’d say she changed more than the rest of the cast, except possibly for Yui.
That being said, here we have the character that changed the least. While Tsumugi’s personality finally explored some new dimensions in season two she definitely remained the most one dimensional character throughout the entire show (even over some side characters, like Ui or Sawa-chan; and certainly Nodoka). I enjoyed Mugi’s character the most in the second half of the second season, it’s ashame she got pushed to the side during the majority of the series. Though, it’s no surprise consider how much of a bearing the ratings week to week have on anime episodes. I guess she got the foreigner treatment despite her warm yuri-loving heart. Regardless, she definitely had some of the best one liners in the entire series.
I also won’t pretend to have any love for Sawa-chan. While I saw some development in her character I found no interest in her using Afternoon Tea Time as her cosplay toys. Though, I guess she was having just as much fun as everyone else.
Sorry for the OS-Display and JP-announcement in this cap.
Nodoka made a comeback really late in season two and left me with good feelings about her. Responsible in an entirely immature series, Nodoka had a rough time with fans throughout the series. I don’t feel like she had any dedicated followers, but I like seeing the walls of social responsibility broken down so she could join in the light music club’s antics as well. I think Nodoka and Sawa are easy teachers of the theme “don’t forget fun” as you age and gain more responsibilities. Oh and she looks pretty good without glasses, by the way.
She may be generosity incarnate, but far too sweet for my tastes. She’ll definitely crack and go on a rampage without Yui.
I’m certainly glad Ui of all people won’t forget the joys of the light music club at her school, but I’m interested in seeing how she copes without her source of fun in life – Yui. Though I have no personal thoughts on the canon character, her yandere fan personality certainly is amusing. Glad I could manage to give a damn about this character in the end.
Jun certainly was an attractive dumb friend of Azusa’s. To me this is simply a poor man’s Ritsu. Not that it makes her a terrible character, she might of been better if the rest of the cast wasn’t so enjoyable already.
My good-spirited niece~
My favorite character in the series certainly wound up being Ritsu. I’ve mentioned before this may be due to narcissism, but her laid-back (though lazy goal-oriented) attitude definitely hit home with me. The club president always wound up pushing the limits of everyone and always took a shot at things for the hell of it. My only hope for my beloved niece is that she learns after high-school that those shots in the dark and freedom only come so often and with repercussions. I don’t feel she changed that much but she definitely grew into her character better than the rest of the cast. Overall, Her tom-boyish attitude definitely made the show entertaining especially when combined with our main character…
Perfect caption of Yui, showing all her kindness from the entire series.
Yui. Yui, my stupid, stupid moeblob…I’ll really, really miss you. You lifted my spirit so many times when I didn’t have anything to look forward to on a bad week. Whether it was your stupid antics, chill song lyrics, or your kindheartedness, I will never forget you, Yui.
They really have grown up quite a bit, huh?
Oh how times change…here’s a link to the original character analysis post if you guys want to amuse yourselves. To think I could somehow be so attracted to Mio?!? Though, I suppose this is only proof of how well the characters developed. I think it’s interesting how the characters shaped to each of the fans, but what does the ending of this series really mean for KyoAni?
“Kyoto Animation is laughing. They’re laughing with K-ON.” – Anon when Angel Beats came out without KyoAni support.
I mean, looking at this cap you can clearly see the studio issuing their bragging rights. P.A. Works inexperience stopped Angel Beats from being really amazing (though well done, no where near what it could of been under KyoAni’s guidance), and KyoAni’s “style” with Lucky Star, Haruhi, and the Key-KyoAni collaborations are really coming to show now. I mention Angel Beats because it is a Key work that was done without KyoAni, and it changed dramatically; allowing us to see the more of KyoAni’s effect as a studio on an anime’s style itself. They’ve spent the last four years or so really making way to their identity in the industry (disputable as #1 only to long-standing veteran, Gainax), but will that identity stop them from being a power house? No one expected K-ON! to be as popular as it was, but what can KyoAni do for the industry in the future? Will they just wind up like Shaft and be the moe-blaster the way Shaft tends to force it’s style the way it did with Sayonnara Zetsubou Sensei/Dance in the Vampire Bund or will it continue to give justice to source materials? We all remember some of the flak Haruhi SII got for looking K-ONish (along with So-ra-no-o-to, though that was A-1); but how long can they keep up their supremacy? Is this identity of animation studio something that will always keep studios from staying on top as fans search for new and different art?
My question here really is, can they do what they did with K-ON! again and still have it be the major show of the season, or will people pass by the next work they make thinking “it’s just a KyoAni thing” the way Dance in the Vampire Bund was passed over as another Shaft thing?
Still loyal to KyoAni, regardless of all the criticism they’ve gotten since the start of K-ON!, all the way through Endless Eight and up until now.
Personally, I didn’t have a huge reaction to K-ON consciously, but watching this show snuck a few pathways onto my magic circuits that might not of been there otherwise. It certainly deepened my void in care-free-nature loving. I was a big facilitator of “take-it-easy” lifestyle long before this but thinking back to 2009 to date; it’s basically a way of my for my now. KyoAni also seriously used as many ways to implement K-ON as possible into their fanbase. Ironically and contrast to the focus of the show, the primary way they did this was music. Inbetween seasons there was a ton of music released and by the time K-ON!! started a lot of fans knew every single beat of Fuwa Fuwa Time by heart. The characters were built and personified in such a way that you didn’t even think about the VA’s behind them, their identity was already completely together. This caused both a split and deepening in the fan base. In my opinion, K-ON! season one had a lot more viewers, but a lot less fans.
One last cup of tea. A Takeda cup of tea. Look at that glare and tell me that’s not the most passionate cup of Tea from the land of Kai you’ve ever seen? I’m definitely going to be posting about Sengoku Basara sometime soon to balance out all the moe…
When season two rolled around, with the characters and fandom built I think the “understanding” of K-ON was deeply affirmed. The show wasn’t about music. People who tried it didn’t bother with the second season. But the people who were really ready and into the 2nd season already had a deep love for the characters and what the show was about. I don’t think too many people took K-ON super seriously but I think those fans looked forward to it every week. It was the perfect comedy and slice of life, it was relaxing, comedic, and easy on the eyes. There wasn’t any good reason not to watch K-ON every week (except those with some stupid pretension of self-dignity) – and this is where it’s power truly shined. Entertainment at it’s best, K-ON provided something for those people who had been anime fans for a while and just wanted something light. Sure, we all had our doubts at the start of season 2, but after a few episodes it was like it had never left, and now (unlike at the end of the first season), I will definitely miss it.
In the end..
It was just about having fun.
I’ll never forget opening that episode of K-ON!! a few months back after learning Hiragana for the first time, watching the opening credits; and reading my first word of Japanese…