Note: This review covers both K-on! and K-on!!, as well as the latter’s extra OVA episode.
Creator/Studio: Kakifly/Kyoto Animation
Distributor: Sentai Filmworks (North America), Manga Entertainment (UK), Madman Entertainment
No. of Episodes: 13 (K-on!), 27 (K-on!!, counting one OVA)
Suggested Age: 13+
My Rating: 8/10
Summary: Four high school girls join their high school’s light music club to prevent it from disbanding and form a rock band.
The four members are: Yui Hirasawa, (lead guitar/lead vocals), Mio Akiyama (bass guitar/lead and backing vocals), Ritsu Tainaka (drums), and Tsumugi Kotobuki (keyboard). The club’s advisor is Sawako Yamano, a former member of the club before she became a teacher. In K-on!!, the band is joined by another guitarist, Azusa Nakano.
Review: I’d heard this was a fun series, so I decided to try it out. It was very funny and energetic. What I thought was most interesting was that each of the main characters is modelled after one of the Beatles (with the exception of Azusa and Sawako).
Yui is the John Lennon. She is well-talented, silly, and kind-hearted. However, she lacks John’s infamous ego.
Ritsu is the Ringo Starr. She is the most spontaneous and extroverted, and was my favorite character. I liked her energy.
Mio is the Paul McCartney. She is a control freak and collaborates with Yui on most of the song-writing. She tends to be the shyest of the group, and chose the bass guitar because she didn’t want to be in the spotlight. However, the others get along despite her obsession with control.
Tsumugi is the George Harrison, every bit as quiet and sensitive. For those who don’t know, George was considered “the quiet one” because he wrote the fewest songs, his most famous being “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Azusa and Sawako did not fit the Beatles modelling scheme. Azusa is a child prodigy and despite their differences, she actually gets along with Yui pretty well. Sawako was another favorite. Her refusal to act grown-up made her fit right in with the rest of the cast.
For the most part, I enjoyed this series. The only reason I’m giving this an 8 is that sometimes the jokes didn’t work for me. I’m guessing it’s the cultural differences.
Sub/Dub: Hulu didn’t have the dub.
Music/Score: Very energetic, as I’d expect from a rock band.
Violence: (1/10) Some occasional slapstick, but that’s it.
Sexuality: (2/10) Two band members are quite sensitive about their small breasts.
Nudity: (1/10) K-on! has a beach episode where the girls all wear bikinis.
Related Media: This is based on a manga and there is a feature-length movie as well.