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K-On!

 K-on! AnimeThe title ‘K-On!’ is derived from the Japanese word for light music, keiongaku. The story revolves around four girls who form a light music club upon entering high school. They dream of performing at the Budokan, a very famous concert hall in Tokyo.

Yui Hirasawa is a very shy girl, who is not very athletic, and doesn’t have any hobbies. She joins the club, thinking since it has ‘light’ in the name, all she’ll have to do is easy things. Like whistling. Or castanets. The other members however, think she’s an excellent guitar player. But as it turns out, she has no idea how to play the guitar at all. But after some encouragement by the other members, she gradually learns the instrument. She also learns to sing very well.

Ritsu Tainaka is the president of the club, and plays the drums. She is cheerful, and often likes to make jokes, sarcastic mostly. She is very forgetful though, and has trouble remembering important club activities and announcements, as well as forgetting to turn in important club forms. She is a childhood friend of Mio, whom she teases at any and all opportunities.

Mio Akiyama is the bass player, the lead vocalist, as well as the writer of all the lyrics to the group’s songs. (Though, the lyrics are usually rather odd. Where else are you going to find a song called ‘Light and Fluffy Time’?) She originally intended to join the literary club, but was forced into the light music club by Ritsu. She can be mature and strict at times, trying to get the group to practice instead of goofing off, but she is easily embarrassed. A fact not lost on her friend Ritsu. She handles gross things very badly, always cowering in a corner when something gross is brought up.

Tsumugi Kotobuki, nicknamed ‘Mugi’, plays the keyboard. She is a very wealthy girl, with a gentle personality. Her father is president of a company, and her family owns several summer homes around Japan, where the band goes for ‘training camps’. She always brings an assortment of pastries and sweets to the club room, where she makes tea with a set she keeps there.

Despite being a very non-organized group, the band manages to make good music. At one of their live performances, they even inspired another girl to join the club. My favorite of their songs is ‘My Love is a Stapler’, a duet by Mio and Yui.

K-On! Vol.1 [DVD] and K-On! Vol. 1 [Blu-ray]are available at Amazon. K-On! Vol.2 is scheduled to be released in both formats on June 14, 2011 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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