The saving grace of this anime, the procrastinating main protagonist.
Just like I have mentioned in the last blog entry, the second 2009 anime that will be reviewed as the part of the audition to choose the inaugural holder of ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title is the much hyped K-On! How much over-hyped? You can see that anime’s character’s pictures being used as avatars or signatures in forums, plenty of 4chan /a/ and /w/ threads, and when I played Left 4 Dead in Japan’s dedicated servers, many players has the main characters’ pictures being used as spray logos. Let’s see if this anime has what it takes to be listed at this blog’s right side-bar alongside (as of now) Chocotto Sister, Nodame Cantabile and Wolf and Spice.
I tell you Mio-chan, ‘negligence’ is the least of your concerns when it comes to the main protagonist.
Fresh into high school, our main protagonist Hirasawa Yui was lured into joining the school’s Light Music Club with cookies and teas. After nailing herself a Gibson Les Paul guitar, the rest of the club members works hard at integrating the procrastinating protagonist into the club in time for their school festival performance.
The main reason why this anime will not be listed at the sidebar as the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ is the story, which is too ordinary and poor in substance. Despite those reasons, this anime actually starts quite well up until the club’s first school festival performance, but after that, the quality drops immensely until the end of the series. Watching the latter half of the anime is like watching a car plunging down off a steep ravine in slow motion. The slow descent to destruction was then stopped by the merciless ending, that is full of clichés, predictable and mediocre. Still, while watching the anime deteriorates, I have to admire at how well the anime self-destructs; with decent story developments (or de-developments I must say), plot transitions and great pacing.
Nevertheless, there is one positive point that this anime has, and that would be the main protagonist herself. She is definitely the most important and interesting character here, and her character strength helps makes this anime watchable. If not for her, it is not inconceivable for me to drop this anime altogether. I basically continued watching this anime just to see what hilarious things she will be doing next (most of the humors that are actually good will involve her). The part where she has to retake the math test is hilarious, it reminds me of that excellent Spongebob Squarepants episode. The anime’s bad second half takes some of the gloss off her though. Oh BTW, none of the other club members has even half the personality of the main protagonist's, which will explain the generally weak character developments that this anime has.
And of course, she has that expensive Gibson Les Paul guitar, which I also have (takes me a couple of years of saving to afford one). She has great taste!
One of the things she does with her Gibson Les Paul…
This anime has decent character designs in it. The way some of the body parts are drawn, especially the legs and to the lesser extent, the faces, are quite weird though. There are decent numbers of black-haired people here, although those who are brunettes is still the majority.
Voice acting in this anime is average, with the main protagonist and the club’s president (that plays drums) being the best of the bunch.
For an anime that is supposed to have music as its main theme, this anime doesn’t do too well here. It has a good OP theme, and the same also applies to the insert song the club performed in their first school festival. For the OST, the ED theme and also the other insert songs, not so much.
…and one of the things she does to her Gibson Les Paul!
The animation in this anime is very well done, even in fast-paced scenes (very little of them here). Choreography is basically non-existent here. The directing is good enough to get by I suppose.
6 out of 10. The hype is not even remotely justified. Basically, Wolf and Spice 2 now virtually has both hands upon the Anime of the Year 2009 title. The next 2009 in the audition, Saki has to pull a Capeta to prevent that from happening, and that will be hard because Saki will be saddled with the sport-genre handicap.
She is the character with the most substance here in this anime.