HomeAnimeK-On!! (Season 2) Collection 1 - Anime Review

K-On!! (Season 2) Collection 1 – Anime Review


K-On!! (Season 2) Collection 1 - Anime Review 1Title: K-ON!!
Encompasses: Second Season Episodes 1 – 13
Published by: Madman Entertainment (Australia/New Zealand), Sentai Filmworks (North America)
Based on: The manga series written and illustrated by Kakifly
Genre: Comedy, Music, Slice of Life
Audio: Hybrid Dub (English / Japanese)
Subtitles: English
Runtime: 325 Minutes
Classification: PG for Mild themes and coarse language
Cost: $59.95 on DVD / $64.95 on Blu-ray
Special Thanks: Madman Entertainment for kindly providing me with a copy of this title for review

For two full years, Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi have worked together to keep Sakuragaoka Girl’s High School’s struggling Light Music Club alive, and along the way they’ve begun to build a reputation as real rock musicians… especially since the previous year’s addition of underclassman rhythm guitarist Azusa. But as a new school year begins, there are new and scary challenges ahead. 

With four fifths of the club graduating at the end of the year, replacement members have to be recruited. There are college exams to prepare for, colleges to choose, and friends to prepare to say goodbye to. But no matter what happens, they’ll have their faculty adviser and secret former death metal guitar/vocalist Sawako Yamada there to help them in her own unusual way, especially since she’s now their homeroom teacher as well! Most of all, they’ll have each other. The group of amateur musicians who barely knew each other has become much more than just a band, and by the time this school year is over, they’re going to achieve something so amazing it requires multiple exclamation marks!!

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Last year saw Bandai Entertainment release the first season of K-ON! over four DVD and Blu-ray releases despite there being only 13 episodes in the season. Due to recent events involving Bandai Entertainment there was the question as to what company if any would pick up the second season and if so how they would release it. Fortunately, Sentai Filmworks came to the rescue, have called back the previous English dub cast and released it in a much more time and cost friendly two collection set, with Madman Entertainment also choosing to follow this pattern and release it in Australia. Receiving moderate scores of B across the four volume releases of the first season…. does the second season impress? Fortunately it does!

K-ON!! once again follows the five members of the Sakuragaoka Girl’s High School’s Light Music Club Yui Hirasawa, Mio Akiyama, Tsumugi Kotobuki, Ritsu Tainaka and Azusa Nakano. Given them choosing to give a 26-episode season to four of the girls final year instead of the first which crammed the first two years into 13 – there is much more wriggle room to develop the characters, portray the girls lives and eccentricities/personalities while still making use of the Light Music Club aspects and secondary cast.

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The charm of the series to me is its light-hearted and enjoyable watching experience. They don’t really dwindle on any particular plotline but play it out as a normal year in the lives of the Light Music Club – from club events such as recruiting new members so the club will exist once four of the five leave at the end of the year and their attempts to acquire an air-conditioner, to school events such as a field-trip to Kyoto and other events and happenings during the year. What I liked was that they shifted the focus at times to other characters who did not have as much attention in the first – including Azusa spending time with Ui and Jun and a plotline surrounding the girls supervisor Sawako Yamada.

By the end of the first collection you are still left with no real idea of how they will conclude this season or if they will perform at Budokan (Which was from memory was one of their original goals). But nevertheless it was a fun watch that utilizes the characters well into their second season and delivers a strong mix of cuteness appeal, plot, school events and everything else into one package.

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Kyoto Animation have returned to animate the second season and have done a solid job of it even improving slightly since the first season. The series is bright and colorful and adequate detailing of the characters and the environment designs.

K-ON!! features brand new opening and ending sequences – GO! GO! MANIAC and Listen!! respectively and both by the voice actresses of the five main characters. These are enjoyable tracks and benefitted from similar quality animation styles shown in the first seasons sequences. As I also commented about the first season, the background music is comprised of mostly softer tunes that suits the daily activities and school life of the girl whilst occasionally rewarding the viewer with a lyrical track which is a bit more intense and rather enjoyable. All tracks are Japanese dubbed only in this release.

As Sentai Filmworks chose to retain the original English voice cast, those of you watched the first season should be familiar with the main cast. Overall while it isn’t the greatest English dub I have listened to it does the job well enough – and you can easily switch to the Japanese one which is also included. 

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The selection of extra on-disc content was small in this release. The contents included:

  • Clean Opening Sequence
  • Clean Ending Sequence
  • Also Available on Blu-ray from “Sentai Filmworks” – While it says Sentai Filmworks in Madman Entertainment’s release it only features Madman titles including Arrietty, Ponyo and Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Overall, if you managed to make your way through the first season of K-ON! then you can expect much of the same and more in K-ON!!. While this is not a series for those after a complex and detailed storyline, if you are after a series which is both light-hearted and “fun”, it is hard not to go past K-ON!!. I am eagerly looking forward to Collection 2 set due for release at the end of this month.

Final Score
Storyline / Character Development: B
Music/Voice Acting: B
Extra Content: C
Personal Preference: B+
Overall Score: B
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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