K-ON OVA: Same Old Song and Dance

With the release of the final volume of the K-ON DVD/BD comes an OVA with an original story of the girls playing in their first live venue outside of school. It was predictable, and not particularly original, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In a nutshell, the K-ON OVA is simply more of the same moe bullshit we’ve all come to know and love. Yui is still retarded, Mio easily embarassed, and they spend more time drinking tea than actually playing music. This isn’t a bad thing though. Since the show didn’t end too long ago, there isn’t a feeling of unfamiliarity or reintroduction that comes with a lot of OVAs. Since we know what the characters are all about, one can jump right into the story.

I feel the need to bring up the Lucky Star OVA because they have a lot in common. They are both OVAs by Kyoto Animation about a group of moe archetypes who spend most of the time doing nothing. However, the main difference is that I liked K-ON’s OVA while I was disappointed by the Lucky Star one. I really disliked the Lucky Star OVA because it felt too different from the original show. It lacked the gentle slow pace of the series, and the humor completely missed the mark. In short, Kyoto Animation tried to do something different, but failed in my mind. In the case of K-ON, they found a formula that worked, and stuck with it, resulting in a better product.

One thing that stood out about the OVA was the continuing trend of minimal male presence. There was literally only one male crew member at the live house where they played, and I’m pretty sure he had the same voice actor as the guy who works at the music store. This isn’t really a problem, but I find it surprising considering how male dominated rock n roll is. However, I was disappointed as we don’t get to see any of these groups perform. It would have made sense if the girls heard their performance and was influenced by it in some way. Sadly, nothing of the sort happened.

My one complaint was the lack of new music. With a new CD coming out in March, I was expecting one of the songs to be featured in the OVA. But no, we get to hear Fuwa Fuwa Time for the third time. We don’t even get to hear the complete song, as most of the episode focused on preparation. I know this is kind of a strange request, but I would have liked to see the girls sing “Curry Nochi Rice” even though I don’t particularly like the song, just because it’s been released on CD but never performed in the show.

All in all, there isn’t a lot to say, since not a lot happened. You really can’t watch this without having watched the show first. However, it does present a nice original standalone story that fans of the series will be sure to enjoy. So what would I have done if I had was in charge? I would have liked to see a connection with the ED, Don’t Say Lazy, perhaps them making a music video for it or something. I would have liked to see more cosplay, but that’s just more of a personal fetish.

As the second season was just recently announced, I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends up. It probably won’t come out until late Winter 2011 at the very earliest, as there isn’t enough source material to cover another season if they move at a similar pace. I’m also wondering if they will cover the main 4 girls going to college as that is the direction the manga seems to be taking. As long as the cast and crew remains the same, I doubt that the quality will slip very much.

So this season isn’t as bad as I feared. Everything falls into a comfortable level of mediocrity, with the exceptions being Durarara showing some promise at good story, and Sora no Woto having an interesting setting. Dance in the Vampire Bund had a spectacular first episode, but the second felt somewhat lacking. Baka to Test to Shoukanju is amusing, but I’m not particularly a fan of any of the characters. I’ve been burning through Needless recently, which is a lot of fun, but suffers from DBZ speed pacing at time. Take it easy people.

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