Archive for May, 2009

K-ON! Anime Takes On Japan

by Ria Tsumugi

Every spring and summer in Japan sees a new lineup of anime series that fans await for eagerly. It is no different this year as fans have been waiting for one specific anime. This series tells the story of four high school girls who come together through music and the activities they indulge in during their after school activity club.

K-ON! is the anime series in which it is called. It means light music in Japanese, which is what the club is all about. The four girls were first serialized in a weekly manga magazine in the same country, but did not receive the same response as their animated form.

The main protagonist of K-ON! is Yui Hirasawa. Yui is an extremely adorable high school girl who is excited about entering the new educational level. While she is often made fun of due to her silliness and carefree demeanour, Yui does hold some special qualities and is actually rather intelligent.

Unlike other more popular and classic animes, K-ON! does not tell complicated tales. Fans are just given an insight into the high school lives and shenanigans of Yui and her three other club friends in Mugi, Mio and Ritsu. The developing friendships and encouragement provided to each other as they grow as a band provide the special qualities that attract people to the series.

Fans have quickly caught on to the quirky and light hearted feel of the story. Interestingly, despite her charms, Yui is not the most popular character of the four. Instead, it is the long haired Mio who is often the more mature in the group, although deep inside she is a shy and timid person.

K-ON! has also done quite well with international audiences even as it has just reached the halfway point. There is a growing demand for cute Japanese culture from overseas fans and that is best represented by the anime industry. The series itself provides numerous moments of classic cuteness that are bound to please fans.

The series has also been lauded by many critics for the performances of its voice actresses. Taking on the roles of the four girls, the voice actresses have to go beyond just simple dubbing and conversation. Due to the nature of the plot, they are also required to sing, which they do so very well.

With all anime that gains in popularity, there is more to expect in the near future from K-ON! and a developing franchise. There is already news of toys to be designed and produced before the end of the year. Whether it can continue to grow like other classic series like Haruhi remains to be seen, but what is certain is the overwhelming response since its debut.

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Anime Is Not Just For Nerds

by Anna Tsuchiya

People have many impressions of anime fans and their craft. The main one that has stuck most often is that they are generally nerds with little or no social ability to interact with others. However, while many might dismiss them as such, anime fans do not approve of such opinions.

However, is such a reputation fully justified? Fans of the genre would vehemently disagree and have their own reasons to do so. There are, in truth, many sound arguments supporting their case.

First of all, anime is just another form of entertainment media. It just so happens to be in a form that is often associated with children. However, within the genre itself there are many different types of content matter, many of them which deal with adult issues.

Secondly, anime fans are just people who are passionate about it. Others like to make fun of this passion as a nerdy personality trait. If that is the case, then action movie fans are just as nerdy, even though their genre might involve violence, cars, women and everything else that real men might boast about.

Within anime itself, one can often come across material that handles a wide spectrum of issues. They could be anything from romance to fantasy, politics to science fiction. In essence, they are no different from what other media involve themselves in.

Many also associate nerds with behavior that hints of being someone who has hardly been exposed to the practical world of ours. For those who have had experience interacting and dealing with people working in the anime industry, most of them do not exhibit traits of such form.

At the end of the day, it is also unrealistic to prevent others from thinking what they believe to be true, even if they have been disproved. There is too much generalization even beyond the world of anime. It simply shows how limited people’s belief systems can be.

Most anime fans do not pay heed to such biasness though. They prefer to concern themselves with what they love instead, and there is much to indulge in when it comes to anime. Their willingness to share their passion with others will also indirectly help to expose the real essence of their art with the rest of the world.

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