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K-ON!: Season 2, Collection 1

Section 23 // Unrated // June 19, 2012
List Price: $69.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted August 28, 2012 | E-mail the Author


http-equiv="content-type">
K-ON! S2 P1 Review


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">K-ON!style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";"> is
easily one
of the more interesting anime series to arrive on Japan's airwaves in
the past
few years. It's a simplistic story in some ways, because it is
basically just a
slice-of-life comedic drama with rock music thrown into the mix. This
actually
is much better than that description is going to make it sound, though.
 It's about the way the story is told that
makes it so compelling.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">To
quickly summarize K-ON! is relatively
easy: the show is about of high school girls enrolled in a Light Music
Club and
their goofy adventures in class, out of class, and within their rock
club. The
girls each learn or already knew how
to play an instrument and they form a popular rock group amongst their
fellow
students. The series focuses upon their friendship, music, and it's
generally a
blast of good-natured comedic entertainment from start to finish with
beautifully rendered animation and solid scriptwriting and direction.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">K-ON!style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";"> is style=""> a series that is unabashedly aimed more at a
female audience than a male one. This is a show in which none of the
characters
are explored in terms of focusing upon school crushes on male
characters or
upon stereotypical activities that series tend to emphasize in "girls"
anime
series. K-ON! isn't like those types of shows and it doesn't want to be
like
them either. This glorious creation is an original voice expressing the
importance of friendship in high school years. Simultaneously, this
makes K-ON!
an excellent show not only for its primarily girl audience but for a
male
audience as well.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
characters are undeniably the main reason people enjoy this series
though. Each
of the characters has a unique personality and style that makes it easy
for
people to appreciate the characters as a group. It also allows, to an
extent,
for audience members to pick favorites on series such as this one and
to enjoy
them all while connecting more directly to one of them. I consider this
the
main reason for the success of the show - the likeability of the
characters and
the connections the series creates between the audience and the
characters. Though
the message, entirely universal, of friendship's importance is
toe-to-toe
connected.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Season
2 begins in such a way that newcomers to the show can become familiar
with the cast
of characters without prior knowledge (or less understanding). It isn't
necessary to have seen all of season one prior to starting this second
season.
It's a new year of school for the characters and it does offer up a few
changes. First of all, they all share the same main teacher now and are
in the
same classroom. Secondly, three of them are now seniors and the final
band
member is now the "junior" - as she begins her junior year. Thirdly,
the
characters choose to adopt a pet animal: an interesting turtle that
becomes an "unofficial"
(or is it official?) member of the
club.  What isn't so different though is
the wacky good-spirited fun the characters have together while
performing music,
drinking tea, studying for tests, and all the rest.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Viewers
looking for a slightly different anime experience than usual would do
well to
check this series out. The animation is incredible; the music is fun,
and the
writing and characterizations on K-ON! bring it to an amazing height
and an all
new level in recent anime creations. While it may not ultimately appeal
to all
anime fans, the series is absolutely one of the gems of the past couple
years
and it's clear why it became such a massive hit: because it just simply
flat-out "ROCKS"!


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
Blu-ray:
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center; line-height: normal;"
align="center">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Video:


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">K-ON!style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">
looks pretty rockin' on Blu-ray
with a 1080p High Definition presentation that perfectly represents the
highly-detailed and sleek design given to the show. The backgrounds,
character
designs, and additional animation all shine triumphantly. This is a
remarkable
presentation to behold. The series is presented in its broadcast aspect
ratio
of 1.78:1.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Audio:


style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; line-height: normal;">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
audio
presentation has two main options: English DTS-HD Master Audio and
English
DTS-HD Master Audio. Both options present the series with 2.0 channels
of
audio. I was surprised an English 5.1 mix wasn't included, but I also
was not
underwhelmed by the lack of an option. The series is actually one that
I prefer
the original Japanese language version for anyway, though the dub for style="">K-ON! does have its fans. While either
audio track lacks in truly immersive sound it was interesting to
experience
this series with the sharp clarity provided with lossless audio tracks.
It made
a nice improvement on the show, and is well worth appreciating with
either language
dub.


style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; line-height: normal;">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
Japanese
audio presentation includes English subtitles.


style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center; line-height: normal;"
align="center">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Extras:


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
only
supplements included on this release are Clean Opening and Ending
animations
and some trailers promoting other Sentai Filmworks releases.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Final
Thoughts:
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">K-ON!
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">is an
awesome, rock-tastic series. If you enjoy rock
music, friendship, and good humor it will be a series that appeals to
you and
your brand of enjoyable coolness. While
K-ON! is aimed more at girls than
boys it is a series that should appeal to both genders and a wide
variety of
ages too. Tales of friendship are timeless, and K-ON! is one of the
more
exciting ones to come out the past few years.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">This
set contains the first thirteen episodes of season
two (which is half of the season) and it also offers a better value
than the
Bandai released single-volume releases made available on Blu-ray for
the show's
first season. Given the significantly lower cost and the high quality
of the
series, viewers should enjoy adding this excellent anime release to
their
collections.  It is well worth
purchasing.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Highly
Recommended.
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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