K-On! is a show that many anime fans have likely heard heard of by now due to the amount of hype surrounding the title. A show many male viewers may think not suitable to their tastes, what with story revolving around a few high school girls and a light music club. Yet in spite of this and without any pervasive fan-service or other artificial prompts, given a few episodes many people will find themselves coming back for more.
The series starts off with a group of girls joining a light music club at their high school introducing our protagonists Yui Hirasawa, Ritsu Tainaka, Mio Akiyama, and Tsumugi Kotobuki. Each girl joining the group for her own reasons, each interestingly varied and diverse. As far as personality, each character is very different and each brings their own uniqueness to the club and the series.
For example, Yui is a lazy student without a care in the world, dependent on her younger sister due to her immaturity. Similar to Yui, Ritsu is very immature and not particularly bright, serving as the self proclaimed leader of the club and always full of energy despite never having any beneficial ideas for the club. Mio is probably the most mature of all the members, a smart girl with a shy demeanor, who is easily embarrassed. Mugi is in many ways a sort of mother to the group, bringing tea and food that give the members the much needed energy to play. Described by others as 'gentile, fluffy and cute', she finds herself amazed by trivial, everyday events as she comes from a very rich family and is not used to everyday life. The final member to join is Azusa Nakano, a very modest and more seriously minded girl who appears later in the series.
With regards to the artwork, the detail the instruments are depicted with deserve special mention, so well refined as for a musician to easily identify the instrument makes and models. Of similar note, the characters are drawn well when compared to other mainstream anime, with effective character designs best illustrating this.
Much of the series revolves around simple plots such as getting enough money to buy Yui a guitar, or the band practicing or performing. Side stories often finding their way into the narrative and fitting into the general story line. As one would anticipate music is a pivotal aspect of the series, and it’s preformed exceedingly well, the songs in the series truly succeeding at well portraying the moods and emotions expressed. The soundtrack extremely well done, some of the songs even possessing their own music videos which are a fine addition. While not officially dubbed into English a number of fan-subs are available, most of reprehensible quality. Those desiring a English dub are suggested to continue to bide their time to otherwise simply watch the excellent subbed version.
In closing, K-On! is an enjoyable series for anyone who wishes to take a break from watching a hardcore action adventure or the like. After a few episodes worth of exposure even the most resistant of people will find themselves coming back to this show, if only because it's a wonderful show for lifting anyone's spirits. Though the first season may leave one wanting more, a second season titled K-On!! is well into production, allowing for the continuation of this upbeat title.