Yui on guitar.

The strange thing is that I might have to place K-On as one of my top anime if I based it on my previously-stated metric, which measures rankings by how much the anime has influenced me and my way of thinking. This applies to Cardcaptor Sakura, which taught me that Everything Will Be All Right; The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which taught me that with the right mindset, every day can be a great adventure; and Hidamari Sketch, which taught me about the beauty in simple things.

(Before anyone accuses me of having a narrow reference pool, I also consider, say, the Discworld series of books on the same tier, by teaching me the value of a good laugh. My writing style is directly descended from my attempts at trying to write like Pratchett. I only mention the anime series just now because this is an anime blog.)

With my top three anime as mentioned, I have no problems with their rankings: they have indirectly changed my life, entirely through changing the way I see the world. (I suppose I'm easily impressionable.) And yet, I hesitate to put K-On in my pantheon of greats.

It's not that I don't like the show. Indeed, I love it; it's fun, funny, and great entertainment, especially whenever Tsumugi appears onscreen. I don't mind rewatching it, and indeed do exactly that. And yet, I cannot quite class it as having "changed my life", since it approached the ranking system from another angle, quite unexpected. I have been remiss in not being clearer in my criteria. Cardcaptor Sakura, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Hidamari Sketch have altered my view of the world in some deep, fundamental way.

K-On altered my experiences in listening to any song that consists of guitars, bass, drums, and assorted stuff that could conceivably be synthesized on a keyboard, by making me picture the K-On girls performing that song. Hardly something so earth-shaking.

It's not as though After School Tea Time fits the music, which can range from "Kimi ni Fuku Kaze" (Full Metal Panic Fumoffu) to the later rock guitar segment of Final Fantasy 6's "Dancing Mad". It is more along the lines of a sort of earworm, except for mental images: you cannot quite get rid of it, despite your best efforts. It just happens. I just see Yui in my mind's eye, flawlessly executing "I'll Face Myself" from Persona 4.

I suppose it's a side-effect of my belief that as long as there is good music and cute girls, I'll be able to enjoy an anime. Therefore, when listening to good music, my mind supplies the cute girls. The thought of the girls of K-On rocking out to something impressively complicated (while in their school uniforms) is also amusing enough to fix that mental image quite firmly.

It helps that a lot of the songs I see the K-On girls play have a lot of what some friends of mine like to call "guitar spam", where the lead guitar gets to show off for pretty much the entire song. I can imagine Azusa staring incredulously at Yui's sudden burst of skill, silently lamenting its ephemeral nature at the next exam.

3 Responses to “Like An Earworm Except Not”
  1. The music is what's making me stick with the second season, at least, just to get a feeling for the direction that it'll head in. The songs that they come up with are pretty catchy, partly because of their silly, but heartwarming lyrics that it's bound to just stick. Do wish the background music was a bit better though.

  2. Antonymous says:

    So… an eye-worm?

  3. qw says:

    K-on in Cartoon Network???