K-on! It sucks.

Hope that helps.

But of course, I’m sure it doesn’t.

“Perhaps the best trait about Mio is her fragile nature, which is an obvious contrast to her usually mellow image. Never have I found cowering and curling up in fear to be so adorable to watch.”

I love my women cowering like a bitch, halfway to a complete breakdown. How do you spice up the stale, ol’ tsundere? By making her a quivering sack of meat.

Uguu~
Uguu~

Ho ho ho, weren’t you the confident, little Miss Know-It-All? BAM, son, barnacles up in here. There, there… my thick otaku arms will protect you from the harsh world out there. Rest your dear head on my chest and listen to the rhythmic thumps of my clogged heart (ad hominem, I know; I don’t care).

I understand your worries. Sixteen already? Shouldn’t you be taking flower arranging? Or maybe home ec? Shouldn’t you start worrying about finding a man to take care of you?! Fine, fine… I guess I’ll let you play guitar with your girlfriends. Isn’t that cute–she thinks she’s talented. It’s okay that everyone saw your shimapan. Even though you’re ruined for marriage, I’m a big enough man to look past that and marry you.

No, don’t say anything. The tears streaming down your cheeks say it all. Just get it out now, singing your saccharine lyrics about nothing–silly, fanciful trifles of an immature girl. Don’t be like Sawako-sensei though; she was too wild and now she has no man. Moderation! Cause, I mean, I have my limits too and you don’t want to be ruined for me as well. Then what will you do?! Unable to bag any man, you’d truly be a failure of woman.

Look, the basic gist of K-on! is that Kyoani has lost its soul. Every studio caters to fanservice to some extent, but nothing could feel more “by the books” than what K-on! demonstrated in its twelve uninspired episodes. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi had its fair share of moe, but it was, at the very least, self-aware of its harem qualities. You could even call it meta, but that might be giving Kyoani too much credit. K-on! is unabashed in its moe glory.

Kanon and Clannad indicated a disturbing trend in Kyoani’s development, one that I didn’t take seriously for a while. After all, this was one hell of a talented studio in a sea of poorly animated shit (what’s that one soda mahou shoujo show called again?), but they also proved they could pair their eye candy with damn good humor (FMP, Haruhi and Lucky Star to some extent). I didn’t think they would completely lose the plot and even Clannad had its moments.

K-on!, however, just feels so empty, lacking any humanity. Here’s your prepackaged moe polished to a complete sheen with hardly an ounce of shame. Oh oneechan, I just want a happy Christmas! Maa~ maa~ let’s stop fighting and play dress up. No, we’re not being tongue-in-cheek! Am I wrong? Or is this just a fluke? The new Haruhi episodes imply (to be explained in another update), however, that this isn’t just a Kyoani fluke. This is for real. Old Kyoani is dead, new plastic Kyoani is cashing in.

K-on! is just dumb. You can have moe and be smart about it. You can have fanservice and be smart about it. Haruhi was somewhat clever about it; Maria+Holic was clever about it. K-on! is just dumb. It’s like getting a big puff of pink cotton candy and cramming it all down your throat in one go. So what if Kyoani made it with the best of sugar. At the end of the day, its content is pure fluff, fake and absolutely bad for your health. But man, how little boys eat it up.

Big ol' ball of sugar.
Big ol’ ball of sugar.
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8 Replies to “K-on! It sucks.”

  1. So this is the best argument i was linked against k-on? I was genuinely curious as to the criticisms against k-on and i get this…
    Now im gonna ignore the straight up opinion and get to the facts with thus.

    A) The whole mio thing. While i agree the joke is played up a bit much did you really have yo hate a character for having a weakness? People have fears. And mios is barnacles/anything vaguely scary… Im sorry she wasn’t mary sue enough for your liking.

    B) Okay but fanservice…. Where? Like literally where did we even watch the same show? The outfits were rarely revealing and most if the fanservice in the manga was subverted? it Objectivly has some of the least fanservice in all of anime. Ever. Unless you count costumes as fanservice (In which case… why? Generally doesnt fit under fanservice)

    You say by the books. Can i ask for elaboration there? For starters. like u said it started a trend so its not like it copied much. Your going to expect them to subvert tropes that didnt exist yet?

    Also it does fine with subverting tropes I mean where you saw no character development and crappy characters I saw brilliant visual characterisation and great writing. (E.G. An inside joke that resurfaces in a heartfelt and nostalgic moment that brings them to tears because its their last performance. But yeah just a no plot moe blob stupid otakufest amiright?)

    No Humanity? Ik this is opinion but gotta say your perspective is vastly different than mine. This wasnt a ‘cute girls doing cute things’ show to me. I dont watch shows that cant speak to me other than a surface level. I got atmosphere and personality from k-on And a fair share of humanity… and frankly im just confused you saw none of that an opted for a 3 paragraph speil of how retarded some of the audience is?

    Also your quote was a flashback. Not that its exempt but the trope had essentially 0 relevance to the anime so putting it up as if its a massive hole they fell into is a bit disingenuous dont you think?

    Moe and smart about it? Yui is essentially autistic. Mugi is rich but hates it. Mio is dedicated but a coward. Ritsu is annoying but genuine. And azuza is… … Azuza.

    Fanservice and smart about it? Besides showing little to no skin. Mios trip showing her panties to the audience but wait its a rice bowl. Clever joke. But no. Stupid fanservice am i right?

    Also i dont remember any boob jiggle like every other anime ive watched ever. Like was i missing this or am i right here?

    Other than that your criticism is mostly “I dont like it. Therefore its bad” Which your entitled to but i dont know why you put it on the internet for fuckheads like me to comment on.

    So if you have more actual criticisms about the show make more writing. Coz i want something i can hold to the show not doing right in my eyes. So far ive gotten people who watched 3 episodes and told me its trash.

    1. The word “fanservice” just means pandering to what the audience wants to see. Not necessarily ecchi stuff. So yes, E-Minor is absolutely correct that K-On has fanservice. The fanservice in this case being the “cute girls doing cute things” factor. Which, for the record, is pretty much all K-On has going for it.

      The point he was trying to make was that most anime know how to make a joke out of fanservice. And K-On failed at such a simple task. K-On is fanservice for it’s own sake. Which, in my opinion – is kinda lame.

      On a side note, Azumanga Daioh came out 7 years before K-On. The archetypes you see in K-On had already been around since 2002 at least. If K-On had any intention of subverting tropes, it would have subverted them. But it didn’t. Don’t pretend the writers didn’t have a choice in the matter.

      1. Fair point, Fan-service in the way of ‘pandering to the audience’ I get you now, thanks. I still fail to see much fan-service, Which is more to do with my ignorance than an actual defense tbh. (But yet, fan-service isn’t inherently bad if it is… diegetic? I’m going with diegetic. By that I mean it works in context, there is a reason its there, the show is not going out of its way to show you this its essentially in the script purely due to the characters and how they would act.)

        Moving on, Its focus is on real life high school events. So I disagree that all it has going for it is “Cute girls doing to things” Its essentially a show in part about nostalgia. Yes you may see it as that and sure you may not like it and thats fine, but to imply that it has no depth beyond that is just plain ignorance. That may sound like an insult or pretentious/conceited but try to see my point. I see depth to it, you do not, Is that just you not noticing things? Or is there no depth to it?

        Allow me to try and explain the nostalgia part. the girls try and make a band, a pop band I guess. But in the end they use it almost as an excuse to hang out and only near the end of the series do they start thinking about their future with music. That summary right there is relatable, and extremely well done (I mean not to everyone, which is where demographic comes in) Its written in a way where people who have those things, not even just music, any type of group where the focus ended up being on friendship more than the thing itself, but the thing itself was still important (hard to explain) K-on, In my opinion executes this… feeling. Perfectly. It set out to do such and achieved it, The fan-service, almost came naturally. Because people do cute things in real life, some people are just cute, they emulated that in their characterization so it was natural for it to come to screen. It would be unnatural for them to avoid it/subvert it when the characters are not like that. And would be stupid to make fun of it when its a natural thing for a character to do, would that not take away from the message they were trying to get across?

        “On a side note, Azumanga Daioh came out 7 years before K-On. The archetypes you see in K-On had already been around since 2002 at least. If K-On had any intention of subverting tropes, it would have subverted them.”

        Yes but as we have found out, we were talking about two different types of tropes. They had 0 intention of subverting tropes such as ‘cute girls’ because that’s who their characters were. They didn’t subvert them traditionally, they showed that you can have the most ridiculous version of an archetype (mio) and still add enough nuance to make them real. (The point was made that Mio is a weak character and otakus love her, but this was shown to be disproven by the show itself. Mio under pressure shines. The show makes a point to show this to us. When it comes down to ‘do or die’ mio just does. The complete opposite of what a ‘coward’ would do.) Is this not subverting a trope?

        But regardless the tropes I was getting at originally was the whole ‘showing skin’ trope, that would be the most obvious example of them subverting tropes. But of course, you don’t have to subvert every damn trope or be meta/ hyper aware of them to make a good show, if you do the tropes well and do them justice. Such is my opinion with K-on. The writers had full choice to do this correct, and they did.

        This discussion has been much more enlightening, thanks, I hope you take away something from my perspective as well.

        (Also apologies for my curtness/sarcasm of my first response. I was tired and on my phone.)

        1. K-On isn’t subverting anything. Simply showing another side to a character (such as your example with Mio) is not subverting tropes.

          Mariya from Maria Holic is a good example of subverting a character archetype. On the surface, she’s a beautiful, kind, courteous, virginal maiden who everyone drools over; the perfect waifu. But as it happens, it’s entirely a facade, as she is truthfully abusive, cruel, sardonic, evil, and on top of that, a crossdressing man. Now THAT is subversion.

          But K-On isn’t interested in that in the first place. As you mentioned, it’s all about the nostalgia, the feels, and the aesthetics. Which is fine if you’re the sort of person who really enjoys iyashikei and slice-of-life. I completely understand the genre’s appeal.

          Though if I really wanted slice-of-life, I’d just rewatch Seinfeld.

  2. “The classical Moe character is highly associated with innocence, shyness, humility, submission, helplessness and woobie characteristics”

    Mio – Shy, Yes, Humble? Yes. Innocent? Debatable, Submission/helpless? Nope. Most people take fear as submission, and yes it is in plenty, dare say the majority of cases. But Not in Mio’s case, Its another side of her character yes but its a side of her character that goes against the trope, therefore, subverting it. (Also had to search what woobie means, she doesn’t do that/have one either.) But of course she does follow the trope in plenty of ways. She is after all a ‘poster girl’ of moe’s or something.

    And yes your right, K-on is by no means interested in subverting tropes, If it happened (which i believe it did) it happened naturally and due to character not due to an intense drive to show the audience their characters are ‘different’ (Which can often be a shows downfall actually)
    And basically you nailed the last part. And Seinfeld is less ‘high school nostalgia’ and more episodic ‘member when!’ nostalgia. (Also its not animation which already destroys half the appeal for me.)

    But yeah at the end here it comes down to less on whether the show is ‘good’ or not and more on what our personal tastes are, agree to disagree?

    1. To clarify
      ” But Not in Mio’s case” I mean her not cracking under pressure and pulling courage out of seemingly nowhere.

      “Its another side of her character yes but its a side of her character that goes against the trope, therefore, subverting it” is a follow on from that line of thinking.

      Just saying because re-reading it looks like I’m implying that her submission/fear is against the Moe genre, which i did not mean to imply :p

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