25
Sep
10

[Komidol] End of K-ON! [Orange Farm Archive]

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.

Silly foreigner.

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.

Old hag.

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.

*innocent whistle*

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…

けいおん!

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12 Responses to “[Komidol] End of K-ON! [Orange Farm Archive]”


  1. 1 komidol
    September 26, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    I would like to note when this post was released the blog formally reached over 200,000 hits. Of course, I meant for my statement about the industry to be a sort of re-affirmation for all my readers a bit down below on the main page to sorta be a thanks for that, but it doesn’t hurt to say thank you again. I also have a project in the works that I will post about in the very very near future.

    Thank you everyone, and I’m eager to hear your comments about K-ON as an ending series and a franchise.

  2. 2 desufag
    September 26, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    You and I definitely have our differences in taste and view on the industry, but I cannot deny that K-on, while I have still not yet watched it, appears to serve its target audience well, and knows the niche its catering to, and does it phenomenally.

    My favorite part of what I’ve seen is still the original ED, “Please Don’t say Lazy”

  3. 4 desufag
    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    :/
    That was meant as a compliment to the series

  4. 5 komidol
    September 27, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Well, I said it because >“Please Don’t say Lazy”

    is “Please don’t say you are Lazy” :|

  5. 6 desufag
    September 28, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Ah, I see.

  6. 7 desufag
    September 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    DON’T HANG UP ON K-ON YET. THERE IS A MOVIE YOU MUST WATCH NOW

  7. September 28, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Oh, man! What to say?

    I loved every aspect of this show to bits. AND, while not as novel or surprising, the details present in the second season made me love it in spite of the fact that the whole thing was somewhat predictable by the end.

    True, I’d have loved to see more development for Mugi (MY second favorite club member), and Sawa-chan-sensei could have used a touch more depth, but in the end, the focus was Yui and that’s what we were watching for anyway (that said, the Azusa-Jun-Ui episode was 1,000,000x better than expected).

    I think my problem with K-On!! as a blogger/reviewer is that the work stands on its own TOO GODDAMNED WELL. At the same time, it makes for some immensely enjoyable watching.

    The question is where do I go from here to get my moe fix? I mean Hidamari is GOOD, but not quite the same. >.>

  8. 9 desufag
    September 28, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    @ Patches
    I have not watched K-On at all, aside from the various trollsubs that pop up from time to time for a bit of humor, and being in a live stream of the first season’s final ep, so I can’t talk about the series itself. My official judgement of the show is on hold. I can offer some suggestions on moe, however, but it may be slightly different from the moe of K-On.

    Kimi ni Todoke (You gunna get refreshed, Sparkles and Bubbles, etc) is my top pick, if you don’t mind watching a show that is a couple of season old if you have not yet watched it.

    Aside from that, Hidamari is always good. The Disappearance movie (If you are a fan of Yuki Nagato) should be out on DVD soon, so look for subs of that. Also, look at the season upcoming chart and take your picks.

  9. September 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    @desu

    Kimi ni Todoke, which I’ve seen and enjoyed (http://www.anime-planet.com/reviews/a752.html) was fun, but not in the same category as K-On!! at all (however, given your love for Kaichou wa Maid-sama, I am not surprised at the rec).

    The issue for me is that K-On!! is enjoyable and demands almost nothing from the audience. Not full of insane awkwardness like Mitsudomoe or over-the-top references like Hanamaru, K-On!(!) showcases a self-contained, relaxed, and enjoyable humor that also has me dancing and singing to its OP/ED every week (this is why I can’t have a non-fan girlfriend. A normal girl will probably gaze at me in horror when she sees me singing the Go Go Maniac! and Utauyo!! Miracle).

    K-On!! makes it easy to be an anime fan, which might be why many “intelligent” fans hate the show so much. The show represents everything easy to love with no real content. It doesn’t bring the medium closer to artistic merit and is making boatloads of cash, but whatever. I love the thing anyway.

  10. 11 desufag
    September 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    What can I say, I am a sucker for anything shoujo.

    As far as your love for OP/EDs go, I can agree with you there. I do find myself rocking out to certain OP/EDs, the most recent being Aoi Haru (SYDs ED). I also generally love reference heavy shows. Hayate no Gotoku, Seitokai no Ichizon are a few favorites to name a few.

    But, due to you and several other people’s views on what K-On brings to the table, I will step out on a limb and give it a try, even if it might not be what I’m used to watching. Who knows, I might like it. :)

  11. 12 komidol
    September 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    I don’t think K-ON is making that much money, Angel Beats outsold it a couple seasons ago. It’s probably making it’s dues but running a 24episode anime these days actually requires a bit of funds.

    They probably made enough to make the movie. I’m willing to bet most of their income is coming more from merch/music than the series itself.


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