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K-ON! vol 1 First Impressions

I've kind of missed all of the buzz about K-ON!. It was one of the popular anime series that kind of passed me by, I knew the basic premise but little more so I was quite looking forward to checking it out.

The story begins with two high school students and budding musicians deciding to join the school's light music club. However, they soon find that the club has no members except the two of them, and in order to avoid being disbanded they need to find two more musicians to make up the minimum club member requirement. Ritsu (drums) and Mio (bass) quickly recruit Tsumugi (keyboards) but need a guitarist to complete their lineup, and after weeks of advertising they finally get an applicant in the form of the clumsy and scatterbrained Yui. There's one big problem though - Yui can't play the guitar and doesn't even own one. Desperate to get their club off the ground Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi persuade her to stick around and commit to learning the guitar, now all they need to do is raise the money to get her a guitar and get her to concentrate long enough to learn some chords...

K-ON! vol 1 is a cheerful and feelgood slice of life comedy drama with quite an individual style. This first volume is largely setup with the group starting to form and Yui taking the first steps along the road to becoming a musician, and surprisingly they don't really play much music at this stage. The story is largely character driven with Yui taking centre stage, but for all its light-heartedness the actual plot so far has been pretty standard with many of the usual cliches of school drama series present and correct. This volume is enjoyable but shows signs of a series still trying to find its feet, although it is refreshing to watch a school-based anime series which is free from romantic subplots and high drama. Worth a look, but it's a shame it's only coming out as single volumes at the moment as there's probably more to the series than this volume shows.

Cheers,
Rich.

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