The new series of K-ON! is so good that I had to devote an article to it.
Started to read the manga only recently - picked up the first edition, watched the first anime EP and then went out to get the second edition last Friday.
Some folks may see some of the screenshots as spoliers so if you don't want to be spoilt then check back another day.
In Japan, there are after school activities called Bukatsu [部活] which can range from Judo, Kendo, Tennis etc. The folks who rather go home at 3PM are called Kitakubu [帰宅部] meaning "the group that goes home."
The video below is from a school promoting their Bukatsu activities.
The "Keion-bu" [軽音部] is a bukatsu for students who wish to learn and play musical instruments.
Didnt have such after school activities back in the UK which was a shame. I can see how bukatsu gives students the opportunity to learn while building relationships with classmates. Are there such activities organized by schools in your neck of the woods?
K-ON! starts off with the music activity group (Keion-bu) about to be abolished due to a lack of participants. There needs to be at least four members of the group in order for the school to maintain its existence.
This girl is Ritsu Tainaka - the drummer and the leader of the Keion-bu. She tries to gather the four members needed to keep the keion-bu alive.
This is sweetie Tsumugi Kotobuki who plays keyboard. While we don't learn much about her in EP1, folks who read the manga will know that shes actually an Ojosama - wealthy family who has a butler at home.
The OP is adorable and full of life - particularly like this bit.
The "no no no!" bit is berry sweet too.
This is Mio Akiyama who plays bass and is already one of my fave anime characters so far. Here we see her application for another bukatsu which gets ripped up by Ritsu.
The artwork of the girls is just gorgeous.
Was watching K-ON! on the train and enjoyed it so much that I watched it again on the way home. Was supposed to change at Tameike Sanno from the Ginza line and was so captivated by the show that I looked out the window to realize that I overshot my stop by three stops. Dont you just hate it when that happens!
Is awaiting figures of Mio. I guess we will start to see figures of the K-ON girls at the next Wonder Festival.
This is Yui Hirasawa - the Dojikko Musume or "clumsy girl" who plays lead guitar.
Yui wants to join a bukatsu and doesn't really know what to do. She applies for the Keion-bu but changes her mind after. She goes to the room designated for the Keion-bu and tries to let the group know that she doesn't want to join.
Love how hair floats up when anime characters are happy.
Noses often disappear or turn into dots which is really cute.
This reminds me that I need to interview a university graduate who said she would wear her high school uniform to do an interview for me. She currently works for Appliya - the folks making the Evangelion apps. Shes incredibly talented and has not had the need to go round to companies for interviews - they all approach her instead! I think it could be something to do with her cute looks too.
This is the closest you are going to get to fanservice in K-ON! While I do like the occasional fanservice, I think it has its place. Will continue to watch Queens Blade and having it full of oppai is fine. But they would spoil K-ON! if they made that dark bit under Yui's skirt pantsu-visible in the DVD.
The story and animation is well above par in my mind but there seem to be quite a few folk out there who hate it - both inside and outside of Japan.
Yui looks gorgeous in the ED too.
Mio is the main singer in the ED and is too gorgeous for words.
And my fave shot of Mio out of the whole show.
Lets get a closer shot ^^;
Another sweet shot of Mio.
And a lookie at the two manga editions of K-ON illustrated by Kakifly! The paper strip that wraps around the cover of Japanese manga/books is called the "Obi" [帯] and is used for marketing blurb. Here you see the Obi promoting the anime. The Obi are cheap to produce and allows publishers to message stuff without spending a ton of money redesigning covers.
A few pages at the front of the manga are in color. This is the corridor scene where Ritsu approached Mio and tries to get her to join the Keion-bu.
Saw many comments on the Japanese otakusphere about how they dont like Tsumugi-chans thick eyebrows. I kinda like em.
And the rest in B/W. Tried to read some scans on my iPod Touch but it just didn't feel the same as reading it on paper.
The second edition sees Mio in a nurse outfit and the 5th band member.
A backlog of some of my manga reading.
Got this Korean edition of City Hunter when I was in Seoul last. Picked up most of my initial Japanese from reading manga - learning a language is so much more fun and effective when you are doing something you enjoy - and me loves reading manga. Everything works out much better when you are learning while doing something you enjoy *and* making a money at the same time - my job description at Mirai Inc ^^
Took me longer to learn how to read and write Hangul than it took to remember Katakana and Hiragana. You can remember shapes much more easily if you relate the shape to a daily item in life which has or contains the same sound.
Makenki figures would be great too.
And a peek inside the latest Kemeko Deluxe. Still have not finished watching the anime.