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Asahi: “K-ON! Has No Story, So There’s No Growth”


A less than favourable review of K-ON!! published in an Asahi newspaper column, panning the anime and its fans for having no interest in story development, is proving somewhat incendiary online.

An abridged translation of their review:

Unlike a music manga like BECK, which offers plenty of uplifting action, what K-ON! deals with is tea parties, cake appreciation and tests, in a laid back slice-of-life way.

There’s no story development or outcome with a classic moe manga like this – so there’s no story.

For otaku it seems character is more important than story, so fragmentary episodes like these are preferred.

As there’s no story, there’s no growth.

There are no male characters either – so there’s no change there either.

A utopia without any outcome or growth might well be just what blog and Twitter stir-loving modern fan tastes are after.


The reviewer would appear to fall firmly into the “Type A” otaku mould.

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  • An Anime does not by necessity need an engaging story for character growth, Azumanga Daioh proved that among others. Plot growth is not required as much since the focus is on the characters .

  • correct me if I’m wrong.

    Didn’t they talked about the final live show, then they talk about writing new song for a couple of episodes, write lyric, then Azusa’s concern over whether the Romeo & Juliet play will affect their performance at Cultural Festival, and finally, finish the live event and felt empty afterward? (Not to mention them trying to choose a university to go to, which took quite some time…)

  • This was the most epic article I’ve read up till now, though this might be due to the fact that I was reading it while in the background the Dragon Age Origins OST was running (The Circle Tower)..
    Yeah, it was the music >.>

  • K-On S2 didn’t have much substance for story. Some character development and they never progress any further to their Budokan objective by the time they graduate from high school.

    If they making steps closer to Budokan, the story would have been much better.

  • K-ON hate is just a retarded fad. In fact the problem with modern day anime in general isn’t moe, it’s retarded faggots who love to think they’re better than everyone else because of what anime they like.

  • They just told the truth. THAT shows they are serious reviewers. But they NEVER said K-ON sucks or anything. Sankaku just posted a small piece of the whole review, and you people actually seen to agree anyway. Isn’t it true? I think it is, but that doesn’t mean it sucks and people who like it are retarded (I myself like it a lot).

  • I kinda agree, I seen the first K-On! and I didn’t see what was so special or great about it other than the 4 main girls who were a bit cute. The storyline rather sucked for what little of it there was, and it was generally boring to watch, needed more fanservice imo.

  • I looked over that otaku type categorization. It’s complete bullshit, really. You don’t have to be type B to like K-On. That’s all a matter of personal opinion. The funniest thing is that it can be summarized as this, when changing reference frames.

    Type A Reference Frame:

    A: Elite.
    B: The dumb masses.

    Type B Reference Frame:

    A: Dumb/boring elitists.
    B: The normal masses that know how to enjoy themselves.

    Guess which reference frame the original article’s descriptions were written in. Not hard, it starts with an A.

    The descriptions and the whole classification system is just bullshit. 2ch really fucking failed on that one.

    As for K-On, I’d prefer not to argue about it. I will say that I liked the first season, though. I enjoyed the character interactions, and their designs. I didn’t enjoy LS even though I liked the way the characters looked, so it’s not a matter of character design, either.

  • People stating that the Slice of Life genre never has plot or character development clearly have never seen Welcome to the N.H.K. or BECK(A music anime done right).

    Azumanga Dioh is less offensive because its just a skit show, and actually has humor. Its not wasting your time with full episodes, its just a five or so minute skit and into the next one.

    K-On initially sets up to have a similar plot as BECK, a person being introduced to the world of music, but once that happens nothing else is really accomplished. It just meanders about with ZOMG teh cute girls.

    Not only that, there is absolutely no point to them actually learning music. With a show like BECK, music is absolutely integral to the plot. With K-On however, you could literally switch them playing music with something like them learning musical dance routines and the effect it has to the plot would be so negligible as to not exist. Its clear K-On is simply latching on the idea of musicians like a parasite, draining whatever it can so it can have musical numbers like a certain other anime by KyoAni I’m not terribly fond of.

    K-On is shallow and you are shallow for liking it. K-On sucks and you suck for liking it.

    • Opinion man….live with it.
      if you can’t,then you’re a little,little man..

      “k-on sucks and you suck for liking it”

      Same could be said about you for not liking it…get that straight.

      You’ve voiced your opinion,as did everyone,but no matter if you like it or not,fact are that no one care enough to alter their taste.

      You,as everyone here is,are no reference for the world to follow,you can say whatever you want,no one is going to take you as a model.

      You say this suck,but seeing how arrogant you are by claiming that people suck for their preference,you might as well tell them to watch it for better effect,cause there are people like me who could easily start to fanboys over shit like this just to piss off guys like you who cannot get that people are different than their little person with their narrow view of the world.

      Now allow me one last sentence:Beck sucks and you suck for liking it.

      Nice isn’t it? I LOVE voicing my opinion!

      • If its just my opinion in regards to the show and the people who watch it, what are you arguing and trying to refute it? That implies

        There is objectivity in everything, even entertainment. Just because everyone has their individual biases and preferences does not free excuse K-ON from criticism.

        I can look at something like BECK and objectively admit that it is slow, often times painfully slow, paced and the lead is a huge wimp at the start of the series. I can except that the show has problems and things that will turn people of it.

        You and every other K-ON fan get upset and defensive if someone so raises any complaint against the show. You hide behind the delusion of “Well thats you opinion” and blatant lies like “Slice of life has no plot. Thats the name of the game for the genre”. You throw ad hominems like “People hate anything thats popular!” to defuse the argument.

        I also have noted that you’ve done nothing to refute my criticisms of K-ON. I assume that has something to do with them being inarguable and true.

        There is literally nothing to K-ON. There is no redeeming value.

        • That’s fully your personal opinion, you realize? What type of anime qualifies as “good” and “bad” depends on what one rates more highly.

          It’s generally the difference between critics of movies in the newspapers and the guy reading the critics’ comments.

          “Moe is almost always narratively bankrupt”
          That’s an opinion, not a fact. Facts are supported by actual, indisputable evidence. You don’t have any of that because everyone here could argue with you about it. For instance:

          “I never mentioned them actually because in the end they are as meaningless as K-ON is.”

          Obviously, you don’t value production values highly. There are people that do.

          That’s what makes this an opinion, just as much as other people have an opinion of the show being good.

          “How am I a fan boy? That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

          I believe the person was probably attempting to make you look like the stereotypical “Haters gonna hate stereotype.” (No, that wasn’t me responding to you the last few time).

          You have your own opinion of the show, but it’s just that: an opinion. If you’re trying to treat it as an objective fact when not everyone agrees with you, then you’re not a “fanboy”. You’re a guy with some kind of god complex regarding your opinions. It only makes you look worse, so I don’t suggest you do it.

          If you treat it as an objective fact when you spew something that’s obviously an opinion, that’s not really going together well.

          If you’d like, I can pick apart your original post for opinions, too.

        • 1. Production values do not a good show make. They’re the frosting. Good art, visual direction, and animation are always nice and K-ON’s is certainly something, but they don’t make a show worth while. At the same time, I never criticized K-ON’s production values. I never mentioned them actually because in the end they are as meaningless as K-ON is.

          2. Moe is almost always narratively bankrupt. Thats not an insult, that is a fact.

          3. How am I a fan boy? That doesn’t make any sense at all. A fan boy is someone with a passion and love of a piece of entertainment to the point of losing reason. Besides, if I don’t care for it, what do you expect me to do aside from down rating it?

          Finally, you’re wrong. Its BOTH the story and how you convey it. One without the other is meaningless.

        • Oh wow, you want to start objectivity?

          Then you should know that K-on!! is a very great show. If you aren’t as retarded as most of the people, you can see that it’s very well-directed, and not as painful as Beck. The graphics are good, the animation is good, the timing / editing is smooth.

          But do the bunch of fucktards care? No. They don’t know shit about movies / directing, but they THINK they do, just because it’s so easy to think that every moe anime is bad.

          Grow up and learn to rate shows. A story without a plot is still a story. It’s all about the way you convey it. And K-on didn’t bore me even one second. And even if it did, I wouldn’t be as fanboyish as you guys to rate it down just because YOU dislike it.

  • How can he complain about lack of growth and story when the story is about the characters’ time in high school and how their friendships evolve? I could cite numerous examples of ‘character growth’, but it’s plain that this critic can’t stand the setting, and needed a few false arguments to back his criticism.

  • Why in the fuck are we still talking about K-ON?
    I’m just waiting for someone to troll on….
    {….type whatever show is popular this season in this space}!!!

  • It’s slice of life, what else do you expect?

    I think they are the ones who know nothing about anime. I certainly agree that there are people who watches K-on for moe, but it’s not because there’s moe, the quality of the anime is bad by default.

    If they start to act like critics, how about they do it right? What about the extremely well-animated sequences? What about the subtle character developement they even didn’t notice, because they were too busy being ignorant assholes?

  • right,so there is this one purely innocent anime getting bashed down,people talk about story now….

    ….i guess they also watch seikon,queen’s blade and almost every other show these past season and still running that have more closeup on the character underwear (or lack thereof) than their faces for the… “plot”?

    people saying k-on! is for pedo are ignorants fool.
    people blaming k-on! for having no story are hypocrites.
    and most of all i get this impression that most people who trash-talk k-on! haven’t even watched the damn thing.

    • “K-on it’s just funny but not more?”
      Don’t say that too loud…someone here might come kill you and your family.
      Whether it be the K-ON! Haters
      or K-ON! lovers has yet to be decided.
      Besides, we all know the ONLY shows worth critical praise are GIANT ROBOT related!!!

    • The difference is that Seikon no Qwaser and Queen’s Blade don’t hide the fact that its intent is to excite the viewer with all the busty bodies and nudity. It doesn’t hide the fact that sexuality of characters in anime have been an ongoing thing. There is also the fact that sometimes I may find a character I like in those other series.

      K-ON! bored me to tears. I can barely sit through an episode without wanting to shut the player off. It’s nothing but fluff. Cheap fluff that panders to the lowest denominator for the generic otaku.

      And plus, don’t think I’m hating for hating sake. I also can’t stand “My Little Sister blah, blah, blah…” for the exact same reason. I couldn’t even sit through an episode of that garbage.

      • well in that case it’s fine,you just watch thing you like…like that comment said up there,it’s like animal documentary,some people will fall asleep,some will completely “dawwww” over the the baby animals,to each his own.

        what i can’t stand is people bashing it for the sake of bashing it,i don’t think 3/4 of the people trash talking k-on! watched the damn thing,as said earlier.

        and in my case,i can’t stand queen’s blade and seikon,the vulgarity of the situation is killing me on the inside and make me cry out for the humanity…yet i’m not bitching about it on every article i see.

        people should realize that what’s even more pathetic than a bunch of moe fanboys defending their show,is a bunch of troll bashing the same show because it’s the cool thing to do.
        you’re not cool anymore if everyone do the same.. :p

  • K-on it’s just funny but not more. The story is a little boring but who cares about the story lines ? it’s a slice of life there’s nothing to add but it can be so far the “manga” of the year. Those who loves K-on
    are mostly obsessed by “Yuri and/or moe”.
    I agree with the newspaper when he says “there is no male characters”. So why the ecchi animes are loved by otaku ? Because there is at least one male character that he can recognize on him. It’s not a dating sim, an otaku doesn’t have to be the ” mâle of story” I think.

    K-on its funny but need seriously men or (man?). There is a

  • K-on isn’t bad but it isn’t god-tier either. I agree about the male characters. Personally, I just prefer it when the cast has the same amount of girls and guys or almost anyway. Otherwise, it just feels like a I’m watching a bunch of guinea pigs whose sole purpose is to entertain men and music is just a plot device to make it seem different from the likes of Lucky Star or Azumanga.

  • “A utopia without any outcome or growth might well be just what blog and Twitter stir-loving modern fan tastes are after.”

    Thank you Thank you, finally someone who understands that the world today has become a place for instant oat meal gratification.

    No backbone and no depth, just straight up fan service.

  • If characters are adorable and make you care about them, you’d enjoy whatever they’re doing, so I guess it works.^_^

    And no male character present also lets fans dream about their favorite girls without ANY worry for competition, too!:)

  • I really don’t see how this could be inducing rage except in the sense of denial. K-On _doesn’t_ have a story. It’s a 4koma and basically just shows random semi-amusing/cute things that happen. It doesn’t try and move beyond the limits of its medium and it barely even tries to meet any kind of bar on character stereotypes (Energetic One, Lazy One, Competent Younger Sister, Quiet Shy One, the Princess. Yup, all there.)

    If you like it? That’s fine. I like things that aren’t masterpiece works of classical artistry, too. But don’t pretend it’s anything other than what it is: pandering to otaku culture.

  • I like slice of life anime like aria and lucky star.
    aria did have a plot and the characters did progress (albeit very slowly). K-On! started with (loose cannon) girl joining club, girl turns out to be prodigy, girl make declaration about playing Buddakan (sp?) by graduation. Gradually that falls apart, though the club/band is awesome for having practiced so little. And by season two there is no pretense of that initial plot line ever taking place. So even though I did/do like K-On! and !!; I’m dissapointed that nothing happened beyond the original 4 girls graduating.

    • You are the kind of lust driven scum in this earth who is killing the anime industry by buying their lazy ass work.

      Moe is not the end all be all of anime, you are the reason why shit manga like Lotte no Omocha gets an anime.

      • Mmmmmm… Ui becomes yandere and kills Azu-nyan, then alien spaceships come to the earth and the professor recruits Yui and Ritsu to pilot the uper duper Mecha Gundam with sword to defeat them but Mio has become Emo and wants to suicide and have a trip to the spiritual world where she become the magician warrior of the legend but wait, plot twist, its a trap and they want to sacrifice her to the Old Gods. And then Jun and Nodoka joins forces with a Waki Miko to defeat them and save Mio who, PLOT TWIST, has become evil. And they all destroy the world in the fight. And in the real world Ui has killed them all. They are all dead JIM!!!!

  • Well apart from the “there’s no story there’s no growth part” can’t say the reviewer isn’t stating facts

    “Unlike a music manga like BECK, which offers plenty of uplifting action, what K-ON! deals with is tea parties, cake appreciation and tests, in a laid back slice-of-life way.”

    I’d say that’s right

    “There’s no story development or outcome with a classic moe manga like this – so there’s no story.”

    I’d say that’s right

    “For otaku it seems character is more important than story, so fragmentary episodes like these are preferred.”

    I’d say that’s right (just look at some comments here)

    “A utopia without any outcome or growth might well be just what blog and Twitter stir-loving modern fan tastes are after.”

    Well can’t agree here since I don’t agree with the no story=no growth

    Actualy saying there’s no story in slice of life is not quite right,there’s no overarching plot,but each episode is a little mini story,and it’s through those little stories that the character grows.

    And it’s not just moe shows that are “fragmented”,lots of non moe animes are too,first exemple that comes to mind is cowboy bebop,the main plot finally shows up in the last episode but before that it sure was absent (apart from a couple flashbacks here and there)
    An exemple I just remember of character growth without a story is in a non moe anime:ergo proxy.Episode 16 is titled “busy doing nothing” and you follow the daily lives of 3 characters for one episode.Plot wise you could skip this episode and not miss a thing,but you’d be missing a lot of character developement.

    tl,dr I wonder if the reviewer thinks there’s no character growth in cowboy bebop because it has “fragmentary episodes”?

  • Its pretty true, I watched K-ON! because it had a plot at first, girl gets recruited to a music club and form a band, but she was a novice and had to learn along the way. I loved it so much I took up guitar lessons because of K-ON! Yes thats right. Then over time the story took a backseat for more moe blob randomness, with nothing barely happening. And for a guy who loved K-ON!, I could get past Episode 2 of K-ON!! (Second Season). Shows how much it has fallen to appease the Moeblob fans.

  • If you think about it, K-ON! is one of the most well-done anime of it’s kind: [pretty much] every frame is drawn, giving it beautiful movement; it has comedy, touching moments, some instances of slight yuri; AND it’s got music, something that the majority of the world listens to. I do agree that the same things happen over and over, but they happen with slight changes made. I even got one of my friends, who hates non-violent anime, to watch the first season, proving that it’s at least PRETTY good.

    All that, but I also Admit that I haven’t seen Beck, so I can’t really compare it fairly. But still, damn it, give K-ON! a better review, Asahi!!!

  • I have to say, I’m not a K-ON Hater… but i’m not a K-On lover either, I like the characters (Mio and Azunyan are my favs) but I just couldn’t get into the series as a whole… it was… just TOO Moe for my taste…

  • I know people say the slice-of-life genre isn’t one that needs story, it atleast needs fucking good characters. I can only call maybe Tsumugi and Azusa good characters, but the rest are annoying as hell to watch. You might call this a character-based show, but when the characters are all one-note, it sucks.

    Yui = The magical retard who can do anything
    Mio = The school idol moeblob who gets picked on
    Ritsu = The jealous genki bitch
    Tsumugi = The rich girl with yuri tendencies
    Azusa = The cute girl and voice of reason (varied)
    Ui = The devoted younger sister
    Nodoka = Smart Friend
    Sawako = Perverted Christmas Cake with Wild Past.

    See? I just explained every character. Do you really wanna watch that show?

  • Yeah, all in all; face it. Guys who watch K-on later look for k-on hentai and fap to them.

    So let’s face it. It has little to no value. Should there be another like it with even moe-er characters & better hype than these sluts, they’ll be forgotten soon enough.

    • like pokemon,like digimon,like sailor moon,like ranma,like almost everything that is remotely successful these days,kinda like that you mean?

      so as long as you watch k-on! you WILL go look for some hentai behind?
      you did that?
      wait,you probably don’t watch it right?

      of couuuuurse,that’s why you can make such ignorants comments…

      and if you do,then sorry but you’re one of the (unfortunately for you) FEW pedo watching this show,happy surfing looking for hentai pic….don’t forget you can get arrested for owning 2d porn..

      • Accept it, Ranma, Pokemon, Digimon and Sailor moon will be remembered because it is good and because the characters are part of a good story.

        But K-ON will be remembered by the community because it is bad and driven only by the lust of viewers looking at these retarded sluts doing stuffs that leads to nowhere.

        K-ON will be the posterboy of bad anime that must not be done.

    • Every anime has hentai, and you must find it and fap after watching it. NO EXCEPTION!
      Well… some exceptions, like The Grave of the Fireflies… because…
      … sand in the eyes!! Its raining!!!

  • Well there is some truth to this one..

    but what can the reviewer do?

    The K-ON seems to be about SLICE OF LIFE to begin with~

    I bet the reviewer also gave Lucky Star a negative rate.. if ever that writer made one.

    • Wow, I get rated down for having another opinion.

      It seems that people are just brainless Moeblob fans who can’t accept criticisms of their favourite anime.

      Oh well, it’s usuless to argue or reason out with you people.

      • I agree, with you man. Some people has a hard time accepting what people has to say.

        It is not like we are saying them not to watch something they want. We are just saying that what they are watching is shit and that there are far better shows than K-ON out there.

      • Because criticism is a way of showing that people care about what is showing and what the masses are watching on T.V idiot. We do not get Pan’s Labyrinth or Scott Pilgrim if people do not bitch about how boring movies are in the 60’s.

        Next time we will have an anime about janitor girls doing cute janitorial things. As long as it is moe it will sell.

        FUCK THAT and FUCK YOU!!

  • Asahi, as people might know, are better at making beers than reviewing anime. I personally, am not a fan (compared to others) of K-ON!! I’ll download it and I’ll watch it – that’s as far as it goes.

    But that review is as good as the reviews on MyAnimeList that get get 5% approval from readers – albeit the bias and the somewhat outright shallowness of the newspaper content.

    This column reads more like an opinion rather than a review – I would like to believe that Asahi has just hired a 2ch netizen to write overnight.

    “For otaku it seems character is more important than story, so fragmentary episodes like these are preferred.”
    >> I am not an otaku but K-ON!! is definitely a story about the characters.

    “There’s no story development or outcome with a classic moe manga like this – so there’s no story.”
    >> As said above, there is a story. It’s just that the reviewer seems to utilise a complete and ignorant definition of story.

    “There are no male characters either – so there’s no change there either.”
    >> This is as ignorant as saying a race car does not have red paint and therefore it will not go fast. I don’t see yaoi or yuri manga/anime being criticised for similar settings.

    “A utopia without any outcome or growth might well be just what blog and Twitter stir-loving modern fan tastes are after.”
    >> I have no idea what to say.

    So my view of K-ON!! hasn’t changed but I might drink more Kirin or Sapporo instead of Asahi…

  • After reading this article, I realize in surprise that what they said is true… And then I realize rather happily than in surprise that a story with “no story” ,like K-ON, can also be a great piece of story.

  • “Unlike a music manga like BECK, which offers plenty of uplifting action, what K-ON! deals with is tea parties, cake appreciation and tests, in a laid back slice-of-life way.”

    This is this and that is that…

    “As there’s no story, there’s no growth.”


    “There are no male characters either – so there’s no change there either.”

    Wow.. I’m stomped… Reading those last two parts seems the author is just gathering publicity.

    In any case.. Even by coincidence k-on!! pops out of nowhere.

  • All they do is go to school together, socialize,eat lunch together, play music,talk about food,make songs with the subject with food and friendship that’s very much the whole story to K-on guy who review it doesn’t recognize I watched enough to notice what the story is about.

  • “No story, so no growth”. That’s real life. Do you experience epic battles of wit and skill, discover evil conspiracies or fight space aliens in giant robots on a daily basis? Duh, no (unless you are on crack).

    K-On! should be praised for its hyper-realism.

  • I’d fall into a type “AB otaku” I suppose since I enjoy an anime with an out-of-the-box story line, character driven premises and action as well as other genres as well. But I do watch anime with no plot that are slice-of-life for the characters and the moe even the ero and ecchi hell I cross the spectrum, one thing I don’t do while watching is proclaim my critique of a show because it’s entertainment and my opinion of the anime is subjective.

  • *Sigh*
    Yet another Hater just because the series is popular.

    No Story? No Story my ass.
    It’s Slice of Life. Sure it may not have a set Plot, but that’s what makes K-On!/K-On!! soo random.

    When watching it the 1st time, you don’t know what will happen next.

    All these moe haters just need to just go away.
    It’s starting to get sad now.

    • so anyone who enjoy watching kitten is a zoophile,anyone who enjoy watching war film is gay,and everyone who enjoy watching horror movie is a necrophile.
      anyone watching news is a nerd,everyone watching comedy show is retarded…

      you can go far with that kind of thinking,but you know…if YOU think that there are people who can jack off at K-on,then you must be alot more perverted that you think you are…and in that case,welcome to pedo-land!
      go kill yourself please! ^^

      miss the time when watching something cute/innocent wasn’t a privilege…now everyone wants world shaking story with tits or blood..or both.

  • If you want a plot theres plenty, get the little rich one to have a relationship with a foreigner whos 6 foot 3 inches tall and have the little one with the bass guitar steal him from her and get pregnant too. All while the goofy one with the cute little sister decide they ‘like each other’ a whole lot more than they should and try to hide it from the others but its too late since 2 always saw them rubbing each other. Theres your Season 3, 4, 5 and 6.

  • Clearly someone’s butthurt that a slice-of-life anime is extremely popular. No one who enjoys K-ON! cares for an intricate GiTS plot. You can say the same thing for the likes of Lucky Star or Azumanga, other 4koma, heck, even Yotsuba&!.

  • Glad I’m neither the A or B type. I hate these elitist people who say that something has to have a deep story to be good. I LOVE deep and complex stories, but there’s nothing wrong with some light-hearted slice-of-life comedy once in a while.

  • Rather than professional reviews most newspaper or online commentaries such as this are more like a particular person’s critic.

    Entertainment has no numerically valuable performance, there’s no good or bad just something delivered and something not delivered and the failure of delivering something promised.

    Why do some companies push “reviews” such as this that try to look for something that isn’t there and was never intended to be there such as drama in a comedy or value in entertainment and completely miss the point? All they’ll do is draw attention and drama to themselves.
    Never heard of the Asahi newspaper but it sure must be a pathetic tabloid if it requires this kind of news stories.

    • Strangely enough though the little-to-no ero content like this attracts the really freaked out wierdos that just fill in those bits with the really fucked up parts in their own imagination…

      The kind of freaks who celebrate some imaginary anime characters birthday with candles, a wierdo photo shrine and mountains of cake that would put elvis presley to shame…


  • This is why I couldn’t get into it. I was expecting cute girls doing cute things while growing and learning at the same time, but it just didn’t happen. If it weren’t so popular I would have forgotten all about it by now even though I like moe.

    • Thats the point.

      If there is nothing going on at all, why even bother ?

      And if you only want to look at cute girls doing nothing you can just watch at a bunch of pics instead…or simply watch another anime where there actually *is* something interesting going on as well…

  • The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc etc etc. None of these would be considered to have complex story lines or any real character growth, but all have been considered quite successful sitcoms. Some are even considered ‘Classic’ TV.

    Hell, many sitcoms rely on the same plot every week, and they’re still considered successful.

    K-On kinda falls into this category. It’s light, slice of life entertainment that does not need complex story lines or great leaps of character development to keep people interested.

  • You could say the exact same thing about Azumanga Daioh, and yet it’s considered a well-liked classic to a lot of people. People today don’t seem to understand the point of the slice-of-life genre. You watch it as something light when you don’t want to think too much, not because you’re expecting it to develop some great plot.

  • The writer of this article obviously want young boys instead of girls in an anime. See how the writer points out that “There are no male characters either – so there’s no change there either.” Does the writer thinks that this kind of anime will sell if its all about young boys drinking tea and cake appreciation? The writer doesn’t understand that its a feel good anime thats all.

  • I must be some sort of freak, I’m neither exclusively type A or B.

    I like K-ON!/!! it’s moe /w humour, but I like plot heavy anime like GitS as well.

    Good directing and voice acting is very much appreciated (eg, GitS 1995), but willing to overlook minor issues.

    Basically I watch it if I find it fun.

    PS: Certain anime like Eva, fit both criteria IMO. It has a lot of fanservice elements, but has an intriguing storyline & excellent directing.

  • i agree with this such a shitty anime its like me writing an everyday life about me and my friends doing nothing but chatting but at least my life has some interesting stuff like at least chugging a beer down at a clubfest instead of sitting down drinking tea who the fuck does that nowadays for a teen? old farts?

  • I like K-ON!, really, but that guy’s right.

    I think it’s great if one can be a fan of anything, but to not recognize its weaknesses just shows that you’re obsessed and can’t think objectively.

  • i’d rather have character that i can “dawwwww” over with no story than a over-dramatic story (or a story,period) with character that are just there because the story needed them.

    watching k-on is like watching a documentary about baby animal…
    some people will sleep watching it,some will be ridiculously excited to see the baby panda eat his bamboo.

    you don’t fucking need the baby panda to save the world fighting tiger and slaying dragon,you just watch him eating his bamboo and you’re happy with it.
    or you change channel but you don’t make a fuss all over it.

    *side note:i don’t know nor care if baby panda,or panda in general eat bamboo,thank you for your understanding. XD

  • Carrot_Glace says:

    “For otaku it seems character is more important than story, so fragmentary episodes like these are preferred.” This is obvious if you had read Hiroki Azuma’s “Otaku, Japan’s database animals”, a +10 years book…

  • I agree with him. As for me, I need humor in my slice-of-life anime. Without a progressive story or some quality comedy it is mindless drivel. I can get my cute character fix from pictures or .gif’s. “A Type” otaku forever.

  • I agree with him on all accounts, except that I would say that one can still find a sort of escapist enjoyment, as I do, when watching K-ON! and other moe shows. If one comes into them NOT expecting depth of story, then they become considerably more enjoyable to watch. If one comes into them expecting GitS level dialogue and story progression, then one is kidding oneself and shouldn’t be watching in the first place.

  • This is just another company/ group of people trying to jump on the bandwagon known as “K-ON trollahz”. Just a pretty childish attempt to provoke reactions out of the fans, like the Jessie Slaughter, and that one kid who hates Justin Beiber haters….I like Mio, K-ON and that is final. If they don’t like it, then they can kiss my Mio-loving Mexican Otaku ass!!!

  • so, One Piece has a story => One Piece has breast growth..

    As if you would watch K-On because of a deep and widspread storyline

    “For otaku it seems (insert random item) is more important than story, so fragmentary episodes like these are preferred.”

    Well, anime with a good story but shitty characters which cant transport the whole feeling is a waste of time too…

    So many jealous people ._.

  • geuss i am a unique anime watcher, since i watch almost everything.

    but i prefer story line series of random slice of life crap. and am getting a bit tired of girl only shows.

    not that i want BL crap. but some male chacs in a serie is nice. if its not the harem type.

  • I like slice of life animes like Lucky Star and Azu Manga Diaoh, but I never could get into K-ON. It’s not realistic.

    Also, why is there always one rich girl with a huge house and summer home that ruins the anime? You can’t call that a slice of life. Those episodes always suck. Best slice of life anime out at the moment has got to be Ore No Imouto. Now there is a slice of reality. An otaku trying to hide her powerlevel. Something we can all relate to, unlike this nonsense about having friends in highschool; being in a talented and popular band; eating sweets and not getting fat; ect.

        • I think it’s because of the fact, that this show really tries to sell people on it’s music premise. A GIRL joins a Light Music Club, so you expect them to play music. Not to mention, there’s really good music to go along with it, with the OP and ED and real stuff that is selling on the charts.

          But instead, you just gets girls sitting around eating cake and talking about nonsense. What’s the point of having a music presence, when the girls hardly play their instruments or show any interest in music AT ALL? Hell, even Azusa succumbs to this, and she is more into music than all of them.

  • Most people try to give you a story so there is growth or a piece of information in every episode so you don’t miss one. Just because is a slice of Life story doesn’t mean it should come with out a plot. There are plenty Slices of life that have some underlying purpose or theme that they get to in the end. And maybe Azumanga Diaoh isn’t getting hate because it’s characters weren’t as adorable are even classified as moe. Also K-ON!! has such a large fan base and people just want to know ‘why’.

    • but there was growth and there was story.
      simply because it wasn’t Tolkien-esque epic event driven high drama doesn’t mean growth never occurred.

      Steinbeck is considered one of the greatest writers of all time (legitimately so).
      read one of his novels some day.
      it’s quite easy to argue “nothing happens” in his novels, and in fact more than one critic has said so in the past.

      but to say that is to completely miss the fact that Steinbeck’s stories weren’t about the progression of great events.
      no, in fact, he practically celebrated the normalcy of life.
      Steinbeck’s stories were about the characters. how people change AND GROW despite the fact that they are trudging along doing the exact same thing they’ve always done.

      that’s not to say Kakifly is Steinbeck.
      but the point is there are many ways to tell a story and many types of stories to tell.

      my number 1 critical check on any critic is if they start acting like there is a “one true way” to art, music, writing, …
      if they do, i pretty much toss that critic’s opinion out the window because he’s baring his ignorance for all to see.

      and to be quite brutally frank, i’ve often found most anime/game (Japanese, European, American, all of them) reviewers lack a great deal of literary insight, which in turn makes their reviews/opinions pretty shallow.

  • I think you guys need to ask this question: Why is there so much hate/misunderstanding for K-ON/Lucky Star when there were other series like it?

    I agree that what this “reviewer” is saying is unfair and his opinion is ill-formed, but when there are so many people who are asking the same question, it can’t help but to make me wonder their reasoning.

  • God Damn it, stop making this argument. Look at it this way:
    A good story is one that makes you think, but a good slice of life anime is one that immerses you in the life of someone else. A story doesn’t have to be immersive to be well written, and a good slice of life anime doesn’t have to have a story to immerse its audience. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT GENRES! (that can be mixed) I wouldn’t expect my action movie to have a good plot, its about action. I wouldn’t expect my drama show to have awesome action, its about character relations and plot. We get it, you don’t like the genre, stop bitching about it, this is a free world, everyone’s entitled to like what they like. Except for criminals, unless they “like” prison.

    • Plot isn’t “action”. Plot comes from conflict. I expect my dramas and my action films to have conflicts. In fact, I expect the dramas to have more and deeper conflicts than the action films, because when people watch action films they want to see the explosions and seldom want to think. With slice-of-life, I don’t want to immerse myself in just anybody’s boring life… I want a life with some real drama in it, real obstacles to overcome that result in us not just seeing the person “living” at some just any old point in their life but at a moment when their life really changes. And not in some, “if you look *really* closely you’ll see the characters have learnt a few things and gotten more friendly with the people they spend their time with” way… because that’s not drama or conflict or an obstacle. That’s the sort of stuff that happens in everybody’s regular boring life. Why should I watch that when I could be out living a life that’s as (or even more) interesting?

    • Something simple that you don’t seem to understand:

      A slice-of-life anime featuring meaningless things is simply pointless.

      And The only good action movies *are* those with a plot otherwise 120 mins of random explosions stringed together would be the best action movie ever.

      I think you’re simply wrong with everything you said, because an anime is basically storytelling. But storytelling wihtout story is…nothing…

      And a bunch of tits on nothing don’t change that…

  • As someone who loves slice of life series, I’d be inclined to defend that the lack of plot progression doesn’t make A series necessarily more enjoyable than B series with a solid plot. However, slice of life is supposed to be a niche series even amongst anime fans. When something that was once discreet for a good reason is gaining spotlight, gaining negative attention as a result, it’s not very surprising.

    When was the last time you read something like this about Aria in an official publication?

  • I do prefer good characters over a good story, thank you. A story maybe good, but if I hate the characters, then at the end of the day I don’t care what happens to them. They could be mauled by rabid crocodiles in front of their loved ones and I still couldn’t care less, because at the end of the day they’re still unbarably annoying, stupid, or just complete bastards that are portrayed in an overly positive light. So, if I don’t care what is happening to the characters, by extension I don’t care about the events of the story, meaning you have FAILED as a writer.

    Besides, not haveing a plot is kind of par for the course in a SLICE-OF LIFE!!! Everybody (including myself) loves Azumanga Daioh and it has basically the same level of plot (or lack there of) as K-ON. I don’t see why Azumanga gets a free pass on being near plot-less when it is the same day to day activity present in K-ON and Lucky Star, which are constantly derided.

    Also, I don’t see how Male characters equal change in the plot.

    • > Also, I don’t see how Male characters equal change in the plot.

      Maybe because they are usually not just the mindless meatpuppets like female characters.

      When there is a guy in a series you expect something to happen or him to do something. When there is a girl all you want is her to be hot and thats it, and that does not make for good storytelling.

      As can be seen in k-on.

      Nonetheless, the retards lap it up because they haven’t learned to use the brain on their shoulders yet…

      • True, in harem storylines, the male lead is usually integral to plot and relationship change.

        To be honest, that last line would be better worded if it was: “And I don’t see how male characters ALWAYS equal change in the plot”. To me, it seems like this guy was implying only male characters can bring the plot foreward or change the direction of the plot, which is utter stupidity. If you wanted a plot driven Anime where it’s girls who drive the plot foreward, just look at Railgun.

        Hell, another one of my favorites, Durarara, has girls driving the plot foreward on several occasions.

        I did not mean that men are incapable of driving the plot foreward. To say that is utter stupidity and I’m sorry if it came off that way. But just as well, to say that only guys can drive the plot foreward is equally stupid.

    • “I don’t see why Azumanga gets a free pass on being near plot-less when it is the same day to day activity present in K-ON and Lucky Star, which are constantly derided.”

      You have to think outside the similarities if you want to understand the difference. I could go into it but this topic is starting to have the ad nauseum affect one me.

    • Actually, that’s not true. Despite the show being advertised as “about nothing”, it did tend to be about something each episode… the various plots carefully crafted to intersect, typically based on a single theme allowing for the separate plots to do call backs for each other even when they don’t seem to be related at all. There are actual arcs in the stories of the characters mostly involving secondary characters that come in and out as the result of changes in relationships and jobs. However, yes, overall, the characters never undergo development as a rule… they remain the same sort of people right up until the end when it gets them tossed in jail. But plot it has.

      In short, Seinfeld had amazing writers that crafted something more complex than a lot of people realize (because they never look at it beyond that “about nothing” label”). Which makes them a special case… K-On doesn’t have writers of that caliber.

  • Jeez, i have to be a total heretic, but i started watching k-on a few days ago, watched the first 8 or 9 eps and in came azunyan …. and my desire to watch the show totally evaporated … she just managed to irritate the hell out of me in the first 2 eps with her in it to the point im having prblems caring at all about it ….

    tl;dr does she become not a stupid bitch? whats wrong with tea parties :'(

  • actually, there is growth.

    when you focus so strongly on characters rather than situations, you allow the viewer’s understanding of the characters to grow. it’s in our own experience that the growth is happening.

    at the beginning of the series, they’re just moeblobs, there’s no getting around that. but by focusing on little things rather than huge things, we find that we can get to know these characters in a much more detailed way.

    the joy of K-On is the experience of realizing how, over each subsequent episode, we understand more and more tiny little details of the girls, how they think, their little tics, their inner lives. by the end of K-On’s run, we know more about those 5 chicks than we would had they been combatting ghosts or saving the world the whole time.

    there is truly genuine joy to be found in getting to know the small aspects of a character well. but K-On is only joyful for those who are sensitive to these small, subtle things … sensitive in the sense of scientific equipment, like, having the capability to PICK UP ON these small, subtle cues. and not everyone has brains that sensitive.

    and in the sankaku community especially, it’s assumed that since they can’t see it, it must not be there.

    • huh..?? i think its called understanding character, not character growth…

      theres no development, its just each episode only try to make the viewer understand the character not to see the development of the character and thats it…

    • Actually, K-ON isn’t the first to do this as it is something that exists in all slice of life genre. Characters are required to be molded well or else the slice of life formula doesn’t yield good results.

      Just to clarify, there is no actual growth happening, it’s just that the characters are put into different situations to show us a different side of their personalities. In the case of K-ON, it did this for the first season but that quickly changed to a monotone tune. Once you can predict the outcome of how a character would react in a given situation the slice of life show often becomes stale. The only difference with K-ON is that they remedied this with moe, which worked well for some people, but not for people who aren’t into moe.

      Also, subtlety between characters can be picked up in any series, slice of life or otherwise, if you look hard enough.

      • Actually, I think that the characters in K-On do grow, emotionally. Yes, some things always stay the same, but as they meet each other and then spend time together in their club, they become noticeably more ‘in tune’ with each other. Whether this was intentional, or an artefact of the script writers getting more experience with the characters I cannot know, but it was interesting to watch none the less. When I watched the graduation episode and looked back towards the start of the series, I at least could see that it has come a long way. If you cannot, you just haven’t been paying attention.

  • “As there’s no story, there’s no growth.”

    It’s a SLICE-OF-LIFE MOE COMEDY!!!! What the FUCK were you expecting? Epic mecha-battles? A Xanatos Gambit? My kung-fu is stronger then yours?

    OK, smart ass, what did YOU do in high-school? Did you go on adventures? Travel the world? If you did, good for you, cause my high-school life was WAY more uneventful then K-ON, and so was all my friends’ high-school lives. And get this, that was in REAL life.

    • Which is why people watch shows… to escape from their boring real life into something much more exciting.

      K-On is fun to watch, it has cute characters and catchy songs, but it could have been so much more if there was just a real story over top (which doesn’t have to effect the slice-of-life bits or the moeness at all). It falls short of its potential, but more than that, it doesn’t even really try to reach that potential, and that lack of effort makes me disappointed in it.

      Too often these days I see shows or movies or songs were it seems like the creator just wants to be too true and too serious and they don’t bother to try add that final spark. More creators need to start ignoring all the post-modern deconstruction and meta crap and get back to doing things not because they’re “realistic” but because they add The Fun.

        • Well, Azumanga Daioh is based on a 4koma and had to work with the pros and cons of that format – and I love the result! ^_^

          Too bad there’s no second season. Maybe Azuma’s old Tenchi Muyo 4koma will be animated one of these days. Seeing the old pervert clone of Ryo-Ohki blackmailing poor Sasami into bathing with him again would be hilarious.

      • because ultimately Azumanga Daioh didn’t do nearly as astronomically well as K-on did.
        and a big part of the irrationality is the blind hatred of that which becomes popular.

        add to that the fact of the matter is when fanboys of any stripe see something they personally don’t like do well, they can’t help feel threatened by it (despite the fact that it doesn’t really affect them in any meaningful way. they can simply not watch it for example).

        why do they feel threatened by it.
        who knows?
        it probably stems from the myopic vision of “either they do well or we do well, and if they are doing well they must be holding us down”.

        and fanboys by nature need to proclaim themselves.

        multiply that by the age of the blogger/twitter internet making it much much easier for every Joe to proclaim himself, and you get… now.

        • that one up there was me.
          also forgot to add that it scares people who dont have any interest in that gender, and they see it as a threat to what they like, since companys tend to go where money is, and if that gender makes a lots of money, companys will ignore the other genders and go with the moe-sliceoflife-nostory route

        • the same reason why halo is hated by a lot of people, it spawn about 600 shitty boring clones of it (and other reasons if you are a pc gamer but thats not the point), making the industry release more and more of the same thing instead of diversify.

        • If K-On had a loli virtuoso (which I guess that could be Ui), like Azumanga’s loli genius Chiyo, it would probably be the same. I mean, it’s just an “ordinary” high school life. I do recall that my high school was not full of terrorist bombings, or zombie attacks, or naked girls running around, or piloting a gundam (ok, there was robotics), or some weird urban legend thing going around with some underground gang cells (by the way, Durarara is amazin), or whatever common high school themes there are. The point is, that it’s sorta unfair to call K-On “lacking” in story when it’s just three years worth of high school life for the four protagonist girl.

    • Just because a person enjoys watching a slice-of-life moe anime that makes a person smile, doesn’t mean “OMG THEY MUST NAWT LIKE STORY AT ALL THIS IS THE ONLY TYPE OF ANIMEZ THEY WATCH OMG”

      People like the reviewer need to put away the hatorade and just accept it for what it is.. why the fuck is K-ON getting analyzed to a science.

      • cheese_cake says:

        i dont recall any mention of “dont like story”… all i read was something along the lines of “character is more important”

        also, any popular piece of “art” will draw loads of “critics”….

        personally, while i do love a story that gets me clenching my fists in anticipation & excitement, i watched K-on because of azunyan… so i cant really complain about the comment *saves pic* d:

      • Wtf kind of retard are you ?

        When I watch an anime I want a story and some growth and character development. Especially in slice-of-life anime otherwise I can just stare at a rock.

        This aren’t the 80s with the static always-the-same BS shows where nothing changes and all is the same and thats why K-ON is a really bad show.

        All it has are a bunch of chicks and if guys would stop watching it with their small brain and started using their big one they’d realize what kind of crap it really is.

        It’s pathetic…really…

        • protip: what you like is not what everyone else likes. i’m perfectly happy watching anime without story/character growth so long as SOME aspect of it is entertaining. i watched k-on mostly for the insert songs (granted the 2nd season was lacking considerably in that department, which is why it was less enjoyable for me than the first). different strokes for different folks.