The “K-On!” girls return this week as Sentai Filmworks releases the second part of season two on Blu-ray and DVD and they gave us the opportunity to review this slice-of-life comedy based on the four-panel comic strip manga from Kakifly.
“K-On!” is the story of the Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School light music club, which consists of five members, Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tsumugi and Azusa. As the light music club the girls form the group Afterschool Tea Time, which plays pop/rock type music with songs that usually have something to do with school or sweets. Though the group is extremely popular they have a lot of difficulty recruiting new members and as they draw closer to graduation they begin to wonder what will happen to the club and their only remaining underclassman, Azusa.
Season two follows the girls through their final years of high school, as they attempt to find new members and keep the club alive, while also trying to have as much fun with each other as they possibly can before their high school days run out. In the second part of the season Yui, Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi begin their senior year and while Tsumugi and Mio seem to have an idea of what they want to do after they graduate Yui and Ritsu don’t have a clue, as usual.
As they seem to hold off on the recruitment of new members for the club the girls prepare for their final wave of concerts, one last hurrah for their fans, especially Mio’s fan club. Along with slacking in their practicing duties the girls prepare to and run a marathon, though not a full length one, get ready to finish high school and begin studying for their tests that will determine what colleges they get into, although Azusa begins to wonder if the rest of the girls still care about the club or her, leaving her depressed for a while.
“K-On!” doesn’t have a complicated story, it just follows the girls through their daily lives as they spend time with each other and play catchy music. The second part of season two does create a more interest though, it truly felt like you are saying goodbye to old friends as the girls graduate and prepare to move on.
Visually “K-On!” has a good look; the picture quality is clear and bright with decent amounts of detail. The characters all have unique looks that fit their personalities well, but their styles are bland, which is likely due to them always wearing their school uniforms.
The Japanese voice cast does a great job with their characters and they seem to match up well. The English cast also seems to fit with their characters and although they aren’t quite what the Japanese cast is they still manage to portray just the right amount of ditzy to fit their character’s personalities. The subtitles are all clear and easy to read while remaining on screen for a fair length of time.
The two disc collection comes packed in a standard Blu-ray case featuring all of the girls having a piggyback ride race, with room for both discs to fit securely without risk of scratches. Included as on-discs features are the standard clean opening and closing themes and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases.
All-in-all “K-On!” is a lighthearted slice-of-life anime that may not offer a serious story but still manages to capture viewers with entertaining, fun for younger viewers, comedy. Although they are airheaded and goofy most of the time the girls grow on you and their antics make it difficult not to like them. The series can be a little slow, since there is no world ending conflict or romance the lack of action may hurt the experience for some viewers, but as far as slice-of-life anime go “K-On!” is great and both parts of season two are essential for fans.
If you’re a fan of series like “A-Channel” and “Lucky Star” then “K-On!” is a series you should definitely consider picking up.
K-On! Season Two Part Two
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Runtime: 350 minutes
Number of Discs: 2 Blu-ray discs
Number of Episodes: 14 (14-27)
Languages: English, Japanese with English subtitles
Age Rating: TV14
Release Date: Aug. 28, 2012
(A review copy of “K-On!” season two part two on Blu-ray was provided by Sentai Filmworks.)