K-on is one of my favourite anime series of all time. It features my favourite characters, favourite music, and favourite setting in an anime. But my opinions after watching the series aren’t what I want to talk about on this day. What I shall be discussing today is how K-On beat the preconceptions of many who watched it. At least, those who watched it the whole way through.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from K-ON and really as far as I can tell, neither was the rest of the anime community at the time. To me, it just felt like Kyoto Animation wasting their time instead of making Haruhi season 2. Then it was released. And the first episode was actually kind of mediocre. It wasn’t great, yet at the same time, it wasn’t bad. It just kind of felt like another entry in the slew of mediocrity that was (and still is) most of the moe genre.
But then episodes two came around and, something happened. I saw a character who started out with absolutely not motivation in the first episode, gain the want for something, a guitar. She wants this guitar so she can be more to the Light Music Club than just someone who sits around and wastes time while they practice (and also do their fair share of sitting around wasting time). In fact, she goes so far as to get her first part-time job, just to get this guitar. This blew me away when I first saw it, “Character development? In a moe show? This is incredible!” is what I’m sure I was thinking at the time.
from then on in my perception of this series as merely a fanservice, only for males shows was cracked. But it truly shattered when I discovered something amazing. The majority of the people who watched K-ON in Japan were females. Highschool aged females. As soon as I heard this I began to question it. There was no way this could be true> But the farther down the rabbit hole I went, the more pictures I saw of girls with K-ON key chains and the like, the ticket sales for the movie, as well as other anime directors opinions on the series made me realize: there really is something more to K-ON.
These thoughts on the series were expanded so much more when I finally saw season 2 and the movie. Season 2 is where most of the development of the series takes place, and it has a much clearer season arc (although S1 did have an arc) which was: enjoy the last year of us as Hokago Tea Time (the name of their band). Characters backgrounds, relationships and demeanour were expanded on so much, as well as what their home lives were like. Thes series did everything it could to be the best anime it could be. Not just the best moe it could be and that is what truly shattered my preconceptions of K-ON.