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[Ascaloth] Trial Run: K-ON!, Episode 1

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On this very day 3 years ago, the first episode of a seemingly unassuming school life comedy anime series aired, and it was about a high school group producing a hilariously badly-edited home movie about a combat waitress from the future. That was the precursor to what would soon become the massively popular Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, which went on to define the year of 2006 in anime, spawning an otaku phenomenon the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Neon Genesis Evangelion. One year and a week onwards, the first episode of a new series featured amongst its topic the unexpectedly complicated question of "which end of a chocolate cornet do you start from"; that series was Lucky Star, which although did not make its mark on anime quite as deeply as Haruhi did, spawned a respectably huge phenomenon in its own right, its images even finding its way onto the most unlikely of places, such as the prayer plaques of Washinomiya Shrine.

Though the Key adaptations of Kyoto Animation constitute an important half of the popular studio’s portfolio, as well as being some of the most celebrated stories in recent history, it has always been the other half of the KyoAni portfolio which seemed to have the real mass appeal amongst otaku. Now, in the wake of a straight two years of focus on the much-loved narrative of Key’s CLANNAD, KyoAni once again returns to the "fun" mode which brought it two of its biggest successes, bringing us K-ON!, an adaptation of a ongoing 4-koma about a group of high school girls who attempt to save the light music club in their group, despite one of them having no prior experience in a band, and having to start all over from scratch. Moe, music, comedy; the signs are promising indeed, as is the first episode of what would hopefully become just the latest of Kyoto Animation’s triumphs.

Welcome to the next KyoAni Phenomenon. K-ON!, Episode 1.

Let’s begin with a brief introduction on the characters, and of course, let’s start with the title character, Hirasawa Yui. She’s the aforementioned one of the four-girl band who starts with no experience whatsoever, and the Tsukasa vibes run strong in this one.

A girl of Yui’s character cannot survive in life without a stronger motherly figure to look out for, and more often than not get exasperated over the former’s head-in-the-clouds attitude. In her case, that motherly figure is her friend from middle school, Manabe Nodoka, who fits the bill to a T.

Next is Akiyama Mio, who appears to be the ’sensible’ one in the group, a lot like Kagami with perhaps a diluting of the latter’s tsukkomi sarcasm. It is noteworthy that, just from one episode’s worth of appearance, Mio has already gained a couple of fans. Seems like the star of her fan club is shining bright early.

Then you have genki girl Tainaka Ritsu, who acts as the foil to Mio by being forceful, passionate, and even pushy with her apparently long-time friend. I’m none too sure which other KyoAni heroine I can compare her to….maybe Tsuruya with a bit of Misao?

And to round it off, we have Kotobuki Tsumugi, who seems to be a base of Miyuki, minus dojikko and meganekko, with an addition of Mikuru’s tea-serving skill set to boot. Yet somehow, although she might still end up the least popular of the four, she feels at least somewhat more interesting than Miyuki was for some reason.

This is Yamanaka Sawako, a sensei of the school who will become more central quite soon. The word goes that great things should be expected of her. And with that, we round off the character introductions, for now.

KyoAni had already more than proven at this point that they are very capable when it comes to drama, so when they started up a seemingly dramatic sequence early on….I just loved how Mio brought it to a grinding halt with a tsukkomi routine. XD

So let’s see, this is the first time Tsumugi is having fast food, she gets a kick out of hearing "would you like to have fries with that", and piling up fries is a new and exciting experience to her. Yup, Mugi-chan’s no ordinary girl.

Yui is basically the "take-care-of-me" type of moe, the type of character whom certain more competent types just can’t bear to leave alone for fear she’ll lose her way; kinda like Misae and Shima-kun, Kagami and Tsukasa, and Kyou and Ryou. It’s heartwarming to see in anime….but pretty darn troublesome in real life. I should know. TJ Han should have an idea what I’m talking about. -_-

I’ll sing, Mio can play the guitar bass, we can give Yui-chan a tambourine castanet and let her be a stage decoration!

Loved how they finally get an applicant, and immediately assume that said applicant is extremely skilled in the guitar. For that matter, did Yui put anything like that in her application?

Who’s that stalking Yui? Creepy….

RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE

….ahem, excuse me. Let’s move on.

Jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~

Oh, and Yui seems to be the type who finds it hard to say ‘no’, too. Such a personality trait can cause problems…..I should know.

Ouch, that looks like it REALLY hurt. On another note, Yui is TOO easily bribed by sweets….

I wonder if, sometime within the entire run of K-ON, we’ll get something that even approaches the legendary God Knows concert sequence. That was something of such awe-inspiring animation quality that even KyoAni has not replicated ever since….I’d dare say a main draw of this series, its premise being what it is, is the possibility that they’ll come up with something even near that level of quality.

For someone who was almost dragged into the light music club unwillingly, Mio sure came around pretty quickly to being involved in its preservation.

And with that, the light music club gets a new beginning, as our four girls begin what is to be a fun-filled journey as the new members of the light music club.

I have to say, while Cagayake! Girls is one catchy OP, the Don’t Say Lazy ED is something else altogether. I really dig just how well it’s produced; it’s practically a music video in its own right. Love it, just love it.

In any case, while K-ON! definitely shows promise of being a very worthwhile watch for this season, the reason I’ve put it on Trial Run for now is because, well, it’s actually my own writing skills which I’m not sure is up to the task of covering it. We’ll see how it goes, but whatever the case, I will definitely be following this series. Who knows just what this might become.

Ascaloth, out.

Popularity: 9% [?]

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17 Responses to “[Ascaloth] Trial Run: K-ON!, Episode 1”  

  1. 1 Fabio 8 comments

    Mio is cute. :)

  2. 2 Sniperk 9 comments

    Mio = Win

    I can relate with what you said about the ed. It’s incredible.

    I asked somewhere else, but I’ll ask here too. It’s just me or the op scream “The Beatles”?

  3. 3 Tremere 28 comments

    Mio looks like Yomi in happier times.

  4. 4 tragic comedy 46 comments

    eyebrows are hawt~

  5. 5 animekritik 25 comments

    indeed, eyebrows are super pretty. that’s a great post, and the problem with pegging Ritsu with a Lucky Star is a nice problem to have, really, it isn’t a problem. It just means the character might be something sorta new. Tsugumi is so painfully Miyuki it hurts. Anyway, this show looks like it’s gonna be great.

  6. 6 Netto

    Mio looks too much like Kagami. D:

    Yui looks too much like Tsukasa. D:

  7. 7 Shin 7 comments

    MIO’S FANCLUB WILL GROW LARGER!

    Damn it Kyo Ani, the first episode isn’t even that great but I’m already hooked hnnnnnghhh

  8. 8 OnyxSyaoran 19 comments

    Ai Enma!!! XD that part made me ROFL It’s a nice series and I loved the ED too i want the single now ^^

  9. 9 Hypernova 22 comments

    Since others have already said a lot about the show itself, I think I should give you support for picking up this show to blog. I find your “blogging style” quite different from other bloggers, and since I’ll follow this show, I would like to see what you have to say.

    And I think someone should keep track of how many times people in blogosphere make mistake about “TsuMUGI” and “TsuGUMI”. (No, not in your post, but look at the comments :) ) Then compare that to “Tomoya” vs. “Tomoyo”

  10. 10 konadora 17 comments

    I love all the different faces they made in this episode. Moe overdose.

    Oh, and that stalker? I think it’s Enma Ai.

  11. 11 zzeroparticle 7 comments

    Prediction: the last episode will be the one that’ll come closest to matching God Knows in terms of intensity and brilliant animation. I’d be very surprised if this doesn’t happen. Ever since I saw Lucky Star’s OP, I sorta knew that they’d incorporate that somehow into the last episode and my guess was correct.

    Oh well, first episode was enjoyable and I’m definitely looking forwards for more. Feels like Manabi Straight, but with more enjoyable characters.

  12. 12 lord_jagganath 14 comments

    in first with ” MIO is MAI WAIFU!!!”
    on a more terse note, K-on has huge promises to fulfill, and it is doing it bit by bit… heck, by the busloads even.
    oh and the Stalker is Krauser II from Detroit Metal City… ( quite an odd reference, considering the Moe market audience)
    Eyebrows remind me of Amaenaidayo… :P
    and comparing this to manabi straight, me thinks this is better … mainly cos the main characters are not as irritating as Manabi…. (Stupid Genki girl)
    Cheers!

  13. 13 Veester 6 comments

    Just thought I’d point out that by the time Yui actually joins the club, it’s practically been a month (Time flies when you’re having fun?) since Mio and Ritsu ’started’ it. Thus she has some emotional attachment. It’s kinda logical… you have some hangout time with people every day after school for a month, and even I would get emotionally attached. So yes, I’d be elated :D More than her, even, haha

  14. 14 tflops 2 comments

    And Tsumugi looks likes she’s pregnant on her Gothic dress.

  15. 15 tflops 2 comments

    Tsumugi looks likes she’s pregnant on her Gothic dress.

  16. 16 Hynavian 28 comments

    So it’s this for you this season? (:

  17. 17 XxscorpiosfearxX 1 comment

    I just watched the first episode. It sounds like something my friends and I would try to do. LOL X3

    Frani(piano): So… what now?

    me(guitar/vocals/song writing skillage): Bribe the airhead like every other good piano player, dummy.

    lol, that is exactly what would happen. Any way, I liked it. I’m giving K-on good reviews and find it enjoyable, which is kinda weird because I’m more into the shonen stuff like bleach and Naruto. What I would like to know is when the next episode is being aired. That would be the ultimate happy thing for me other than actually getting on AI or something like that.

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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