K-ON!!

K-ON!! Type: TV Series + Specials + OVA
Episode Count: 24 + 2 + 1
Genre: Slice Of Life / Comedy
Vintage: 2010 / 2011

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 30 Aug 2013

Grade: A

Afterschool Tea Time is back and better than ever.

Plot Summary
Yui, Mio, Ritsu, and Tsumugi are now in their final year of high school, so that means it’s time to start thinking about things like college entrance exams. There’s also one final year of school festivals to prepare for. Finally, Azusa is still a second-year, so she has to prepare herself to be the one who will inherit the Light Music Club once the others graduate. The legacy of this incarnation of the Sakuragaoka High School Light Music Club will be written!

The Review
The second season of K-ON! (as indicated by the second exclamation point in the title) is twice as long as the first, and may even be twice as good. And the first was certainly no slouch. K-ON!! is a case of “more of the same”, but in this case that is a very good thing. The story directly follows the first season, so if you enjoyed that, there is no reason not to continue on.

Everything from the first season of the series still applies here, so be sure to read my review on that for the overview. On top of that, there are a couple of things worth mentioning for this second season specifically. First is the feelings captured in some of the episodes. There is a music festival episode which does a fantastic job at capturing the feeling of going to such an event. Then there  is the school cultural festival episode which does what is perhaps the best job I’ve seen at capturing the simultaneous excitement and melancholy of a group of students taking part in their final cultural festival.

This leads me into the second thing worth noting: attention to detail. In these episodes and others, there is an impressive amount of attention given to small details which makes the feelings conveyed by the episodes that much stronger. Little touches which on their own don’t seem important but are in fact absolutely essential in bringing the world of K-ON! to life. Without these little details, the episodes would not have carried nearly as much impact.

K-ON!! takes what made the first season of the series so successful and multiplies it, resulting in what has become perhaps my favorite 4-koma-based series: a great cast of well-defined characters going about their daily lives playing music or just hanging out. Everything comes together so well that at times it felt as if I was right there with them. If you enjoy slice-of-life (and music!), you can’t miss K-ON!.

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