Understanding the Girls of K-On!, Instantly!

Now this is an interesting shot from episode 6 of K-On!

All four characters are in the same place, and just from this one still you can get a basic idea of their personalities. On the flipside, if you already know the characters then you can definitely see that this is instantly accurate.

In general, K-On! pays a good amount of attention to these sort of things, and I think it’s characteristic of Kyoto Animation in general. Some wonder why others are so fond of Kyoto Animation’s various works, from Haruhi to Lucky Star to various Key adaptations, and the answer is care. These are not just moe blob shows with no real content, they’re visually rich with a good sense of timing and comedy (or tragedy as the case may be). K-On! is no exception.

15 thoughts on “Understanding the Girls of K-On!, Instantly!

  1. You are definitely right that Kyoani are masters of their craft. But I do wish they’d use their immense skills on some better original material. When they work with good material, they can make some true masterpieces, but given something like a Key story… Well, there’s only so much that can be done.


  2. While I agree with the general thing you’re getting at with this post, I’m not sure the example is the best one. I think the poses the girls took is something relatively naturally deliberate as far as details go. What I mean by that is since animation is 100% unnatural in the sense that it’s a deliberate act to draw a girl looking disappointed, rather than shooting on camera a girl looking disappointed, it’s something naturally the animators think about when they draw that scene. And how else would you do it if not according to their character archetypes?

    However it’s not to say it isn’t an example to show KyoAni’s attentiveness. You are right on in terms of that especially when it comes to anime that appeals to the viewer’s sense of realism (basically scenes taking place in everyday settings).


  3. I might agree with Kaioshin that it’s not so much ‘attention to detail’ as just ‘characters that fulfill their personalities.’ Of course, it’s a basic style of storytelling, but at least K-On! sticks to the static portrayals and doesn’t deviate.

    I wonder if anyone can name a moé-esque show in which the characters have dynamic personalities?


    • Toradora! and Kodomo no Jikan both strike me as shows that are “moe”-bait on the surface but have less-static characters.

      I think the problem with a proposition like that is that what people often use to define a show as a “moe” show is its *lack* of depth. It’d be like asking if anyone could name a black-and-white photo that used red effectively.


  4. I don’t think I know anything about these characters from this screen, but I get what you’re saying. The usual anime production wouldn’t even bother to have them emote.


  5. I’m tired of these kind of shows but i can still see where you getting at.

    I wish people would keep their kyun~<3 to themselves…


  6. I will never understand why people think K-ON is a good show. The characters are just more of the same, the gags just more of the same, and the one girl who plays the guitar is borderline retarded. I think people are desperate for an anime they can obsess about.


  7. The only reason the show would not be a delight to watch is if you have a grudge against these kinds of shows in the first place, which may very well be the case with you.

    Whether you consider it funny or not, comedy really lies in the eye of the beholder.

    When I say “take the stick out of your ass,” what I’m saying is don’t expect the show to be something it isn’t, and then get upset that the show doesn’t live up to your expectations.

    K-On is just a silly ensemble comedy about 4 girls of varying levels of talent in a high school band. It’s not trying to be Sexy Commando, or Cromartie, or even Azumanga Daioh. K-On is K-On.


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