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K-On! Vol. 1

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Yui Hirasawa enters high school, she wants to join a club but can't decide which one is right for her. Fortunately, the Light Music Club is desperate to find another member or they'll be disbanded! So, with the enticement of delicious snacks and assurance that no musical experience is necessary, Yui joins the Light Music Club. She becomes the guitarist in this all-girl high school rock band with Mio Akiyama on bass, Tsumugi Kotobuki on keyboard and Ritsu Tainaka on drums. Together, they're going to rock the school and someday make it to the Budokan!


K-On! (2009) is a popular shojo (girls') musical-comedy series, based on a manga by "Kakifly." When scatter-brained Yui Hirasawa enters high school, she can't decide what club to join, and keeps postponing the decision until she stumbles across the Light Music Club. With only three members, the club is in danger of being disbanded, so they woo Yui with tea and pastries. Although her musical experience is limited to clacking a pair of castanets in elementary school, Yui declares she'll learn to play the guitar and join a band with her new friends, the outspoken Ritsu Tanaka (drums), adorable rich girl Tsumugi Kotobuki (keyboards), and shy, sensible Mio Akiyama (bass). Yui may remind some viewers of Serena/Usagi in Sailor Moon: she's enthusiastic, klutzy, disorganized, not overly bright, and always hungry. K-On! follows a familiar pattern of shojo anime. The girls eat sweets, go to the beach, shop, tutor Yui so she can pass her midterms--and, occasionally, practice. They inhabit an innocent world with no parents or boys to distract them. K-On! will appeal to adolescent American girls, as it has to their Japanese counterparts. There's already been one sequel, K-On!!, and a feature film. (Rated 13 and older, but suitable for viewers three years younger) --Charles Solomon

(1. Disband the Club! 2. Instruments! 3. Cram Session! 4. Training Camp!)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Aki Toyosaki, Stephanie Sheh, Minako Kotobuki, Shelby Lindley, Satomi Satou
  • Directors: Naoko Yamada
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bandai
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LIYF6M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Berg on May 7, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
K-On! is the first of two anime series based on Kakifly's seinen (young men) manga (which means its primary audience is males aged 18-30, not young girls as the amazon.com editorial review above would have you believe - although that demographic would certainly also enjoy K-On!). The show follows the everyday life of four high school girls who decide to revive their school's light music club and form a band. From that point on, they spend most of their time goofing off.

This first volume (there will be four in all) contains the first four episodes in which the group 1) first meet each other, 2) help a member procure an instrument, 3) struggle with mid-term exams and 4) have a training camp at the beach.

Since it first aired in 2009, K-On! has reached immense popularity among anime fans and it's a shame to see that Bandai Entertainment's domestic release is something of a disappointment. The release has a number of flaws, the most significant one being the as-of-yet unexplained music replacement in the first episode, where an instrumental piece performed by the characters has been replaced by an altogether different tune. Add to that the complete lack of any of the bonus materials included in the Japanese release and the fact that they went with lossy Dolby Digital audio instead of lossless for the Blu-Ray, and the disappointments begin to add up. Thankfully, the video quality is stellar. One thing I can't really fault Bandai for is the decision to release the series spread across four individual volumes as opposed to a complete series box set. The license for K-On! was no doubt hellishly expensive, and they need to make their money back somehow. And besides, at the very least it is still dirt cheap compared to the Japanese release!
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Format: DVD
Kyoto Animation has a track record of producing titles that go on to become mega-hit franchises. Haruhi, Lucky Star or their multitude of adaptations of Key's visual novels; no matter what they put out, odds are it'll go on to become a hit. But on top of that, they've historically struck an emotional chord with their excellent scripts, and wowed audiences with their lavish animation. K-On!, an adaptation of Kakifly's 4-panel manga series, is their most recent hit series. With such a pedigree to compete with, does this simplistic tale of a high school band rise to the levels of greatness seen by the studio's works, or fall into the trappings of other slice-of-life moe series? The answer is more mixed than you might think.

We join the protagonists as they all descend on a high school group known as the Light Music Club. On the verge of being disbanded, this club's intention is to make music that is enjoyable and pleasing to the ears. But the only problem is that, despite the fact that three of the four are well-versed in music and can indeed play instruments, they're... just "not very good", according to the group's guitarist. She's in no position to speak though, because she can't even play guitar yet. Yes, with this type of dysfunction, on top of school exams, summer trips and other hindrances, the future of the Light Music Club is uncertain.

Their comedic struggles, though, provide a nice four episodes' worth of entertainment in this first volume, however vanilla it may be. These episodes start with each character confused as to what exactly this club's intention is, and end with them having formed a bond and set in motion a solid plan to perform at the school festival. Nothing too challenging in terms of content, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I don't know to whom the show is supposed to be geared towards by description or intent. What I do know is that this is one of the only shows I can enjoy with my little girl. In the entire list of anime in my library this is one of the few that her and I can watch without me fearing for inappropriate content and adult humor popping on screen. It's funny and lighthearted and not boring, which is hard to find since pleasing adults and children is not an easy balance to pull.

I can recommend this for parent who like anime and want something to watch with their kids. Its good enough that it can get other audiences but that's the reason I liked it.
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By A on October 2, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Laughs, squeals, and quiet enjoyment. K-ON! truly was enjoyable. The wacky characters were cute and funny enough to keep my attention in this slice-of-life anime. These four girls band together (literally) to keep the light music club from being disbanded, practice, and really rock! If you enjoy moe, giggles, and cute/rock music think about K-ON!

The order came sooner than expected, no flaws, no problems.
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Format: Blu-ray
I absolutely love this series. All the characters are so memorable and impossible not to grow attached to. The show will never fail to bring a smile to your face, and is one of the few shows that can truly making you laugh out loud. Excellent animation quality and great art style.

I'm usually a fan of dubbed animes, but would actually recommend watching the sub for this. It's not that the english voices are bad, but after viewing the series with the original cast, the voices just seem to fit so much better with the energy they bring. If you hate subs, then the dub will still be fine, I'm sure you'll love these characters after the very first episode.
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