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Like Flames Painted On a Hotrod, the Extra Exclamation Point Makes the Cute Go Faster(!!)

April 6, 2010

First, for the good stuff about the first episode of K-On-with-two-exclamation-marks:

For a second I thought that one of the girls had a Mr. Saturn dealiebopper on her backpack. That moment was fleeting as I paused it and found out it wasn’t Mr. Saturn.

That was the only good thing about this episode. 

No. Wait. That was a lie.

I actually enjoyed the opening scene right before the lame opening credits. The main chick was alone in the club room doing a little solo jam session. It did a good job of capturing what it’s like to, you know, be a kid playing an instrument and having fun with your hobby. It was a fairly well-constructed scene and did a good job of establishing a certain mood. It was the same sort of mood I got from, say, Beck or something like that.

It’s a shame that said mood was almost instantly destroyed the instant the characters met up and started talking.

After that was a bunch of scenes about girls doing stuff that isn’t all that interesting since it’s just idealized scenes depicting crap that’s never interesting in real life. Par for the course for this sort of thing. It bored me, but I’m not going to hate on anyone for digging this stuff. I’ll just hate on the anime itself.

What pissed me off, and what makes this a genuinely bad anime episode regardless of one’s feelings towards moe and slice of life, is the fact that they skip over the entire fucking orientation concert scene.

They build up to this concert. They talk about how they want to use this concert to draw in new members, just like how they got the girl with pigtails to join them at some point in time in the first season. The entire episode is building up to this point, then they skip over it.

One big fucking cocktease.

If fans don’t bitch about this the way they bitched about Endless Eight being a “troll” or whatever, they need to be slapped upside the head. They don’t need to bitch about it to the extent that they did Endless Eight, but someone that actually likes K-On! needs to call bullshit on this. I don’t like it and I’m pissed that they skipped over it, so some of the fans should be reeling at missing out on seeing their quintet of moe stereotypes jamming out.

And what makes matters worse is that they milk the school anthem scene. They sing the entire damn thing, showing each girl’s face during the anthem to get the full “effect,” but they skimp on the actual concert that depicts the girls actually doing what their club is supposed to do.

And that summarizes everything that I didn’t like about K-On! It’s an anime about girls in a music club, but they almost never do anything music-related. It’s like having an anime about martial artists but never seeing them fight, or an anime about giant robot pilots that never set foot in a mecha cockpit, or a hentai anime that never gets to the sex scene. The very reason why said anime exists is tossed to the side to literally showcase a bunch of nothing. We get to see them wearing animal costumes, but we don’t get to see them play music. We get to see them talk about wanting to be in the same class together, but we don’t get to see them play music. We get to see them do almost everything else but do the very thing they exist to do.

If they have no intention of following through with a premise, why ever have a premise? Other than create merchandising opportunities, that is. That part I get, the rest of it I don’t.

K-On!! isn’t bad because it’s moe or slice of life. K-On!! is bad because it’s bad.

Oh. I did dig the ending credits animation. Played like a cheesy music video, in a good way that is. Shame they can’t do stuff like that in the actual episode. Nope. They’d rather eat cake instead of play music inside of a cake. Lame.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2010 8:40 PM

    What pissed me off, and what makes this a genuinely bad anime episode regardless of one’s feelings towards moe and slice of life, is the fact that they skip over the entire fucking orientation concert scene.

    To be fair, if you’re familiar with the first season, you should be used to this. They made a business out of skipping out on just about every concert and practice scene last season. It annoyed me then. But now, I’ve pretty much come to expect it. Heck, I was surprised they even bothered animating Yui practicing for the two minutes before the OP kicked in.

    • Landon permalink
      April 6, 2010 8:50 PM

      Glad I only watched the first episode of the first season, then, or else I’d have been just as pissed then as I am now. Heehee…

      But yeah, I don’t see how this gets a pass from so many fans. If Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist skimped on the action scenes, people’d bitch. If a shoujo series skimped on the romance when it claims to be a romance anime, people’d bitch. But K-On! gets a pass for skimping on the music? I don’t get it.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if K-On! just fessed up and dropped the whole music club backdrop and just stuck with the cake-eating and gawking. If it was just yet another “girls at a school” anime, it wouldn’t be a problem. But it still pretends to be something it ain’t. That’s what really gets me.

      • April 6, 2010 9:09 PM

        You sah, are an ignorant FOOL!

        K-On! WAS just a show about girls gawking and eating lying cake. I saw the show without realizing it was insanely popular, nor knowing what it was about.

        And to me, it was never a show about the chars being the next KISS or Limp Bizkit or Good Morning Musume. It never pretended to be. It was always about a club of slackers who did music because they kinda had to, rather than they wanted to.

        Opposed to Railgun where if you watched season 1, and you know the general plot of Railgun (what little there is), then you’d have expected action and tsun-tsun. But no, Railgun becomes the embodiment of all that is terrible in Gawking Anime. Actually, all the bad stuff you think K-On does, it’s done in Railgun.

        K-On itself, is not bad if you had no expectations. Then it’s just a mostly unremarkable show with just enough high notes to stay watchable, or even be interesting.

        • Landon permalink
          April 6, 2010 9:15 PM

          I think you recommended that I try out Railgun. Wouldn’t have done so if you didn’t mention it to me. So it’s YOUR fault that I ended up watching 5 or 6 episodes of people doing their best to not use their super powers because doing so would wrinkle their panties and ruin the taste of their cake.

          YOUR FAULT! And if I translate what you’re saying correctly, you’re secretly a K-On fan who has preordered all of the Figmas and was able to afford to do that by selling all of your Kamen Rider Den-O figures on ebay. You’re just as deceptive as these anime series. LIAR!

          • April 7, 2010 8:30 PM

            LIAR! I recommended A Certain Magical Index, not A Certain Scientific Railgun. Just as I recommended Bantorra and Sunred, while YOU recommended Qwaser and Blacksmith and Witch Hunter Robin.

            Meanwhile, you sold your Yotsuba to fund a broken down, second hand BMW that looks like it was just in a headbutting contest with a monster truck.

        • April 8, 2010 9:40 AM

          “But no, Railgun becomes the embodiment of all that is terrible in Gawking Anime. Actually, all the bad stuff you think K-On does, it’s done in Railgun.”

          That is so god damn true.

  2. April 6, 2010 8:56 PM

    Oh, second season? Cool.

    Heh, I’d be aghast at what you wrote, but having seen season 1, I ain’t surprise they didn’t do a concert to start things off for season 2.

    In season 1’s defense though, they had like, 3 concerts over the span of 12 eps (or thereabouts). The second was interesting because it became a music video as they were playing, resulting in some fans bitching that it wasn’t a Haruhi Concert ripoff like the first concert was.

    That said, season 1 was mostly unremarkable (though it had it’s moments) but it wasn’t unwatchable. It’s just that K-On! ended up being way waaaaaay more popular than it had the right to be. Whilst Bantorra seems to barely get any recognition. I blame this on YOU.

    • Landon permalink
      April 6, 2010 9:02 PM

      This Bantorra belongs to me.

      Yeah, totally plan on doing something bigish with Bantorra this weekend or thereabouts. Easily the best series I’ve seen since… I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it. It might end up in my top ten. It basically supplanted X (does what it did and did it better) and X is pretty damn high up in my mental hiearchy. Might reach Baccano! levels, and it’s in my top ten.

      Yeah, we should totally talk about Bantorra instead of K-On in this post. Call it a palate cleanser.

  3. April 6, 2010 9:18 PM

    “It’s an anime about girls in a music club, but they almost never do anything music-related.”

    Yes, that would be one of the big themes here. Is it really the music you remember once it’s all done, or is it the friendships you form and those little moments in between the spotlights? And that is what makes K-ON!! such a good anime, and this such a good episode.

    • Landon permalink
      April 8, 2010 5:29 PM

      I think that’s the first time I’ve seen someone actually defend K-On in a way that didn’t devolve into “I like cute stuff.” I can buy that idea. I don’t AGREE with it, but I can buy it.

      But yeah, my own experiences with grade school music were just as much about the music as it was about the friends. Probably more so, since I was in orchestra and there weren’t that many like-minded geeks in orchestra. They were all in marching band. I made the mistake of going for orchestra in 5th grade and couldn’t “turn back” once my parents shelled out the cash for my viola.

  4. Histo permalink
    April 8, 2010 8:29 AM

    Neglecting your premise isn’t a theme, it’s downright atrocious storytelling.

    I watched the entire first season, and I can’t remember a damn thing considering all they did was trivial and mundane crap that lacks any sort of meaning or insight to be memorable.

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