Mouse over screenshots for captions
The episode kicks off with a little FFX2-esque intro of the three other members of K-ON – naturally, Mio is introduced first. Speaking of Mio, I thought I’d be cool and say she’s the best right off the bat while everyone takes a while to warm up to her, but apparently my moedar isn’t anywhere near as sharp as those people on 2chan, cuz she’s already by far the most popular. Oh well, I tried. Still, the unbalanced number of Mio moments in this episode tells us KyoAni knows exactly what they’re doing. I nod in approval.

So how much do guitars cost? Cheap ones run only 10,000 yen, but Mio doesn’t stand for cheap instruments. 50,000 yen will get you a decent one – good thing Yui’s mom is cool (no appearance from her yet… but she’s probably awesome) and gives her the 50k. They head for the music store at the shopping center, but the distraction power of Yui leads them on a journey that spans many cute outfits and many tasty treats. Not that I mind.

They eventually make it to the music store, and immediately Yui sees the guitar of her dreams – the Les Paul. In the last ep I wondered if it was a cheap replica, since high school girls aren’t usually known to drop over two and a half grand of their own money on something that doesn’t have Prada or Gucci on it, but I guess this one’s the real deal. Well, she’s a fifth of the way there – Ritsu suggests they all go get part-time jobs to pay for it and consider it a K-ON club activity. I nod in approval.

Their search of jobs is more or less an excuse for Mio’s fragile maiden mind to wander, as she prospects herself as a tissue hander outer, a fast food server, a 7-11 cashier… oh Mio, do tease. They eventually find a nice gig as a part of the traffic department, operating those little counter things. This immediately tells me that this show is not based in 2009, because the world economy sucks and jobs like these would be snatched up before they even make it to the classifieds. Oh, and Tsumugi looks a lot like Lacus Clyne… well, probably more like Meer Campbell with that hat on. In a moment of subtle hilarity, they get so absorbed with their job that they start clicking their thumbs at everything. You gotta see it~

After their exhausting job, they finally receive their paycheck, but it’s still not enough. Yui decides to give back everybody’s paycheck and just use her own – she’ll need to pick a cheaper guitar but at least she won’t feel guilty. Well, not if Mugi-sama has anything to do with it. Turns out her dad is the owner of the place, and the store clerk gives her a huge discount. How does 80% off sound? Ah, the perks of thick eyebrows.

So now the K-ON band is complete! Well, Yui still sucks at playing, but she’ll learn. If she isn’t too distracted by the tea and cakes. Ritsu lays down the ultimatum: perform live at Budokan before graduation!


Up next on K-ON!: School getting in the way of my music career!
You know how I said Lucky Star was my favorite anime? Well, it took K-ON! a full one episode and ten minutes of the second one to change that. Everything I’ve come to love these slice of life comedies – the cute girls, the cute voices, the randomness, the subtle moments of humor, the deformed facial expressions, and those moments of pure happiness and friendship – K-ON! has a big generous helping of it all. Those moments of humor – especially the four-armed guitar player, the Mio mind wandering moments, and the posessed thumbs – in particular made this episode an absolute joy. Not hilarious, not roll-on-floor funny – just joyous.

I find it necessary to address the critics of this show, because I’m one of those fragile people that cries in hysterical shame when people talk smack about my beloved shows. KyoAni shows tend to have an incredibly polarizing effect to them – if you like this kind of show, you’ll absolutely love K-ON!, if you don’t, you’ll probably think it’s retarded / boring. I just happen to be on the LOVE side for this show, but I can understand where the critics are coming from, considering my alternate stance with Air / Kanon. Still, no matter what side you’re on, I think it’ll take a high amount of feigned ignorance to not appreciate the subtleties that make this show great. It’s not just the high amount of moe, from Mio and from everybody else (yea, even Ritisu…), it’s not just those moments of sheer randomness, it’s the whole package – everything just fits together like it should.

Like how Clannad was an improvement on Kanon, which was an improvement on Air, I really believe that KyoAni is perfecting on their other formula, the one that began with Haruhi and carried over to Lucky Star and now K-ON!. Nothing is force-fed to the audience anymore as it all comes together like a smooth blend – the voices fit right with the art style, which fits right with the character design and the character dynamics. Already the characters have some great chemistry together, and watching them go about their daily lives just gives me the biggest stupid-looking grin on my face the entire time.

It only gets better from here! Gawd I love this show…


  1. I have to say tho i enjoy watching K-ON i dont share the same enthusiasm as most fans of this series…

    im not into the whole Loli,Randomness,Moe Scene

    tho there will be a few that catch my attention…

    comming from a long time anime watcher of Old taste in anime, this is pretty enjoyable …

  2. @Shiki: Hitting Darkmirage in terms of “funny” isn’t exactly an overwhelming challenge….just state the obvious with a touch of blatant fanboyism and your there.

    @Tang: See that part was actually funny to me just because it’s such a Jaalin moment along with the belief that the more moe antics you pack into a show the better it gets (which also seems to be Kyoani’s philosophy). Overall though I am almost disappointed. He should have gone the whole way. Proclaim to me that this show has rolling on the floor gut-busting moments of comedy Jaalin. That’s how your supposed to react. 😀

  3. There’s nothing wrong with liking moe antics for being moe antics, but proclaiming that you have to be ignorant to not understand how awesome a show is… Yeah, Jaalin moment.

  4. Yui is what happens if you let Ushio hang around Fuuko for too long without supervision. This is why Tomoya, Akio, Kyou, Sanae, or even Nagisa are required for a stable Ushio.

  5. Im not sure if it can beat lucky star (which is one of my favorites as well) but i would have rather a 26 episode series then a 13 one… (according to MAL) but since the 1st episode shattered my expectations, i know im gonna love this series.

    Precise Moment
  6. lol. I won’t way it is better than Lucky Star. But it has its own aura and it is just as good as Lucky Star if they were to be the same genre. I love Yui (my god i wonder if such person exists in this world)

    By the way, this is another anime that is better than the manga.

  7. “Like how Clannad was an improvement on Kanon, which was an improvement on Air, I really believe that KyoAni is perfecting on their other formula, the one that began with Haruhi and carried over to Lucky Star and now K-ON!.”

    I really like how you put that. And I can’t get enough of the ED.

  8. “I think it’ll take a high amount of feigned ignorance to not appreciate the subtleties that make this show great.”

    It’ll also take a high amount of ignorance to realize that not everyone will find something to like about said ‘subtleties.’

    Is writing this stuff on a public blog when we live in a world where -gasp- not everyone has your point of view ignorance, perhaps? I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not, well, feigned.

  9. asdf, you fail as a troll.

    jaalin, pay no attention to those bashers who do it for the sake of attention. If you like the show, good for you, and if you hate it, move on. Granted, every show has its foolish and rabid fanatics, but that is no excuse to fall down to their level and make life miserable for the rest of us more rational folk who genuinely enjoy shows like these.

    The best way to deal with these idiots sitting on their high pedestals declaring what is good or bad is simply to ignore them.

    Kinny Riddle
  10. hahaha… there’s something funny in this episode.

    Yui’s guitar has the label “Fender” the first time she sees it…

    The first time she plays it however, the label is suddenly changed to “Gibson”

  11. It’s a nice little show, but so far I don’t think it even touches Lucky Star. I’ve cracked a few smiles, but I haven’t even come close to actually laughing like I did with Lucky Star. I’m also betting that I’ll get annoyed quickly with the heavy amounts of force fed moe.

  12. Not going to hate on this yet. I have nothing much against Kyoani. Still a bit.. ‘meh’. Mio saves it for me. 🙂 Not overly fond of having the moe rammed down my throat though. If i want uber sugar i can watch Shugo Chara XD

  13. Have to say I’m a critic of thise show sadly.
    Even after two eps I’m still not finding myself drawn in like I was with some of KyoAni’s previous works. Just doesn’t have that sort of ‘magic aura’ about it.
    Obviously people will have different opinions on the show, but for those that don’t go crazy over moe, it’s all been rather meh so far.
    Haruhi and Lucky Star both had qualities that could draw in different types of crowds. This could have had that potential through the character development and music but so far we’ve seen little of that, leaving otaku’s as the only real audience.
    I’m not going to drop the show just yet though. Probably give it another couple of eps to see if things improve.

  14. “I think it’ll take a high amount of feigned ignorance to not appreciate the subtleties that make this show great”

    God, this reviewer is an idiot. You must be a real nitwit to not realize that crap like K-ON is the same regurgitated moe trash that has been force-fed to please lonely Otaku audiences in Japan over and over.

    Anime Fan
  15. I don’t think this will have the appeal of Haruhi or Lucky Star, despite still being an enjoyable show. Haruhi had interesting qualities to appeal to a wide base, I’ll agree to that; Lucky Star, however, was a direct appeal to otaku (the natural audience of anime). It’s resonance came from Konata. She plays games: we play games. She loves anime: we love anime. She wants to grope Kagami: we want to…

    Anyway, K-on is appealing to the musician and that may be a small portion of the anime viewing audience. There were things here that spoke to the amateur musician that others may not have felt so strongly. For example, when Ritsu pulled the plastic off of Yui’s pick guard, that took me back. After I bought my first bass, that bit of plastic hung on there for months. The Ritsu/Mio pairing, that’s natural bass and drum comradery right there. Take those things and mix generously with moe and you’ve got something pretty entertaining to me.

  16. @ banzemanga

    I understand moe. I just think it’s best used in moderation. K-ON! tries to beat you over the head with moe throughout the entire episode. It gets old fast… unless you prefer 2D girls, I guess?

  17. Well I have to say that so far K-On has not been at the same level as Lucky Star, despite the fact that the personality of the four girls is a perfect mirror to Lucky Star’s quartet. The problem is that 90% of the appeal in Lucky Star comes from the interaction between shameless otaku Konata and tsundere Kagami, but here the main character is the equivalent of Tsukasa, so…

  18. >>>>Jaysus at 3:41 pm on April 10th, 2009
    I understand moe. I just think it’s best used in moderation. K-ON! tries to beat you over the head with moe throughout the entire episode. It gets old fast… unless you prefer 2D girls, I guess?<<<<

    2D, 3D, it doesn’t really matter as long as its cute. From rabbits to cats to cabbits…heck we don’t even care that much even if it has a penis on it (Mako-cakes, Mariya), as long as its cute. You under-estimate the power of Moe.

    Roy Mustang
  19. I found that the CoalGuy’s versions of K-ON! convert weirdly to my PSP, which is pretty much my basis of watching anime. Gah. ;-;. Oh well, at least I can watch them in a higher resolution on my computer.

    On another note, this anime rocks. (haha, pun.) Though it did make me melancholic (haha, pun.) about how you can’t instantly make new friends that are willingly to work together to buy you a guitar in real life.

  20. After Toradora from last season, this looks like it’s going to be my favourite this season. I even picked up my old dusty guitar from the shack and grooving back to the old times.

  21. Just finished reading the whole vol. 1 of the manga, and got hooked by it.

    As for the anime, it really captures the whole thing from the manga, and with scenes not seen in the manga to elaborate things from it, which is a good thing for me.

    And of course, music-related scenes from the manga will be much cooler if it’s in anime form, hence the performance in ep 1. 😀

  22. Loved this one. it is a shame that the best animes this season is 12-13 episodes only.
    I can swear that a I’ve seen Mio face in some other anime, just can’t remember where ^^’ .

  23. @Critic!!!!! =
    “Is writing this stuff on a public blog when we live in a world where -gasp- not everyone has your point of view ignorance, perhaps?”

    no, it’s writing his opinion on anime in a blog that’s about his opinion on anime. ignorance is thinking this being a “public blog” (though really that in and of itself is stupid since its really a private opinion blog open to public viewing) means whether you agree or not means anything in regards to what’s written in a blog that’s not yours…

  24. >>
    bvinicius at 10:07 pm on April 10th, 2009

    Loved this one. it is a shame that the best animes this season is 12-13 episodes only.
    I can swear that a I’ve seen Mio face in some other anime, just can’t remember where ^^’ .

    amen to that… all the good anime this season is short-lived…

    and Mio resembles Yomi from Ga-Rei -Zero- — perhaps you saw her there…


    ^^Nagisa FTW…

  25. Oh men i just loved the crashing man-puppy scene come on that is just overload…. and BTW Jaalin don`t you love yui ankles because i do they look so sexy in that long socks she uses…….. mwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… well i just wasn`t used to see anime girls ankles but after reading you is just a “need to do”.

  26. Like jaalin, I grinned the entire episode. And like others, the jokes don’t make me laugh as much as I did with Lucky Star, but it’s still enough to keep me watching.

    And hey, considering the flood of “heavy” anime this season (like Shangri-la, Guin Saga, or Valkyria), K-ON gives me something lighthearted to look forward to. Just like how I watched CLANNAD to get my mind off Higurashi… and then CLANNAD got serious. In that sense, I’m liking the lightheartedness, but I’m also looking forward to whatever emotional content this thing can dish out.

  27. One thing that Lucky Star has is a tsundere-type character in Kagami. Every in K-On! seems to get along just fine, at least superficially. Already love the show even though it’s only been two episodes.

  28. aaaaahhhhhhh~!
    love love love watching this. i enjoyed lucky star as well, but this one took its place for me as well. but it happened a whole lot quicker b/c its based around music [which i absolutely love] ahaha :]

    awesome show though so far >.<

  29. KyoAni sure makes fun of stereotypes.

    Mio in the show is portrayed as a shy type and yet the ED sequence, she’s actually the star (which she says in the episode that she isn’t really going to be the star cause its embarassing)

  30. Too many comments, didn’t read all 5 pgs.

    I’m suprised by how people (fiercely) hate this show. Thinking about it now, the quote, “KyoAni shows tend to have an incredibly polarizing effect to them” is so true.

    Jaalin, I wonder if you will see this comment or pull a TLDR like me. :D;
    Anyway as for me, I love this show to bits!! It’s hilarious in a subtle way, as you pointed out. I could go on and on as to why I love this show. Also like you said, it’s joyful to watch.
    But for me, half of the fun of following K-ON is reading this blog. Watch an epi, read your blog and captions. You’re witty and funny and make many excellent points.
    Ty for blogging and convincing me to watch K-ON.
    Hope you keep blogging. 🙂

  31. hmm I’m enjoying k-on too… however, the second episode didn’t seem quiet as good as the first for some reason………. maybe its just my imagination or something…

  32. i am enjoying the hell out of this show too. i watch too much serious stuff, i need to balance things out a bit, heck, i needed to watch the first episode of K-ON after watching the first episode of cross game, and i needed it. i want to say that this episode wasnt as funny as the first, BUT, the possessed fingers and the plastic wrap killed me. that was too funny.

  33. Just finished watching ep 2 (gawd… my ISP sucks >.<)

    One question…. Are they really serious on performing at BUDOKAN?!?! OMGLOLZ 😀

    I mean, Budokan is a sacred place for top-notch jrock artists like umm…. Ajikan (Asian Kung-Fu Generation) 😀

    BTW, Les Paul’s price tag is ¥150,000 in the manga. But in the anime…. ¥250,000???

    O ya, gotta luv the Mio overload. 😀

  34. hey guys what is the name of that device they use in the eps to count the number of cars that pass by, the clicking thing. I noticed that used this in Beck as well, to measure the number of people coming to see the rock band concerts. Is there a name for this device? Please tell me, the curiosity is killing me lol

    clicking thing

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