Archive for January 23rd, 2010

Who is this mysterious girl?

I wonder if I have reached a point where seeing any short-haired girl in anime quietly reading a book (with glasses, although non-glasses is also valid) will result in incessant giggling about "omg it's Yuki Nagato".

I haven't really been keeping up with the anime blogosphere when it comes to gauging Majority Opinion. If I remember correctly, a lot of complaints levelled against K-On was that for an anime about a music club, it didn't have a lot of music in it.

I can kind of understand what they're trying to say, but I've never seen it as an anime about a music club. Rather, I expected a slice-of-life comedy anime, based mainly on the revelation that it was adapted from a 4-koma manga format, and the main character becomes the lead guitarist despite never having played a guitar before in her life. That would satisfy the "comedy" requirements, and 4-koma rarely allow for particularly convoluted uberplots.

What I saw, and enjoyed, was an anime about a group of friends, who happened to be in the light music club. Possibly the clearest illustration would be in the first episode, when Ritsu, Mio, and Mugi discuss the future of the club in a fast food restaurant. I got the impression of An Anime About Friends And Friendship from there, but couldn't pin down why. It was only after reading the entry on Peter's J-List Side Blog that I realized I was making assumptions based on my own cultural biases: I assumed that this was something everyone else (who regularly eat at fast food places) did, and Mugi's initial hesitation was her learning about it, rather than the confusion over the idea of pouring out one's fries on the tray.

I think it was even mentioned outright in one of the episodes: despite the lack of seriousness, and more importantly practice, that the light music club seemed to possess, Azusa wondered how they could suddenly turn competent when it came to the crunch. The answer: the purpose of the club is not to be an awesome band, despite what even the characters might think (and Ritsu's goal of a live concert at Budoukan).

The purpose of the light music club is to play together with friends. I think they've succeeded in that.

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