One of anime’s most famous opening themes, but like it’s never been heard before.
Compared to a lot of other anime, the premise of K-On! is decidedly down-to-earth. It’s about a group of high school girls who form an after-school rock/pop band, and none of them are reincarnated princesses or commute to school in a giant transforming robot built by their brilliant but aloof father. They just hang out and play music together.
Still, there’s one big break with reality that comes at the start of each episode, when instruments are obviously played by studio musicians, and not actually a bunch of teenagers, for the theme song. You really can’t fault the producers for this decision, though. After all, where are you supposed to find an actual high school girl to perform the manic drum beats used in the anime’s second opening?
Ah, we see Kawaguchi-san is raising her hand.
While in the last month we’ve seen an especially intense burst of promotional tie-ups between public transportation and anime, these kinds of collaborations actually go back a few years. In 2011, for example, Keihan Railways partnered up with the producers of hit slice-of-life/high school rock band anime K-On!, in celebration of the franchise’s then-new theatrical feature.
Despite the anime’s low-key atmosphere, though, some K-On! fans can get surprisingly, even disturbingly, passionate about their favorite members of the cast, to a point that these photos are causing a stir in China even years after they were taken.
It’s not just gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyū who has won the hearts of anime fans. 23-year-old Canadian figure skater and Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan seems to be a K-ON! fan himself. He personally posted a YouTube video of himself preparing for his 2011 trip to Japan — by drumming along to the anime’s opening:
What better way to brighten up a rainy day than with a cute girl shielding you from the downpour? And if you can’t find a girl to hold your umbrella, then maybe a girl on your umbrella is the next best thing…
After mastering Guitar Hero years back, I was left with an empty feeling. I had taken my plastic 4-button guitar controller out on the street to perform One by Metallica but no one paid any attention to me. In fact, passersby seemed to be intentionally avoiding eye contact.
This is why I was excited to find Rocksmith would be released in Japan on October 11. The game that actually lets you practice a real guitar in a fun way so you can walk away from it a better person with an entertaining skill!
However, my excitement took a bit of a hit when I saw the first Japanese commercial for it.
One fun way to see what anime or game series are currently popular with kids and otaku in Japan is to visit an arcade and take a look at the prizes up for grabs in the crane machines, or UFO catchers, as they’re often called in Japanese.
Unlike North America, arcade culture is still going strong in Japan and UFO catchers are one of the main attractions. Always found on the first floor of arcades, these machines are stocked with the latest limited-edition figurines and plushies of popular characters, many of which can only be acquired as UFO catcher prizes (or on Amazon at obscene prices).
Japanese toy company Banpresto has announced their newest lineup of CRANEKING arcade-exclusive prizes, available this October. Check what toys are hot on the Japanese arcade scene below!
A cover of “Hey Jude” performed by Aki Toyosaki, a Japanese singer and voice actress best known for her role as Yui in the anime K-On!, has become the joke of the internet after a video of the performance was uploaded to YouTube earlier this year.
Toyosaki is an avid Beatles fan and in the video, which is taken from the DVD of her first solo tour “love your live,” she appears to singing her heart out in tribute to the band.
Unfortunately, that enthusiasm only seems to amplify Toyosaki’s ‘cutsy’ high-pitched voice and thick Japanese accent, which, to the ears of most of the internet, make for an unforgivably disastrous cover of the beloved Beatles classic.
With the successful release of a feature length film in December 2011, Japanese anime K-On! is enjoying broader popularity than ever before.
The release of the film was accompanied by waves of new merchandise and even a tie-up with convenience store Lawson.
Yet there is one product series in particular that has been gaining attention for seeming to challenge fans to prove their devotion and enthusiasm for K-On!: full color T-shirts designed with one of the main character’s face occupying the entire front side.
Attention K-ON! fans: the Lawson convenience store near Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka has undergone a K-ONplete makeover to celebrate the release of the K-ON! movie next month. Read More