Wednesday, 5 August 2009

FUCKING HELL Why is K-On! still so popular?!

The first Blu-Ray volume (which, thanks to Japan's insane pricing standards, costs the equivalent of about $50 despite including all of TWO EPISODES) is currently the number 2 selling Blu-Ray in Japan. The show doesn't even bloody justify HD in visual terms. Of course the full 1080p Blu-Ray images look considerably better than equivalent upscaled HDTV captures, but the characters just aren't drawn well enough to make it really worth all those extra pixels. Well, that's what logic would state, of course, but otaku with too much money apparently say otherwise. Well, maybe that's besides the point and I'm just bitter. I do hope that full HD will become the standard eventually (whether or not Blu-Ray does), and everything will be at this resolution or higher, but at this stage this seems highly overindulgent.

A few weeks prior to this, the show's Hokago Teatime mini-album became the first anime CD EVER to top either the Oricon singles or album charts. That's a big deal, considering that anime music has always been pretty popular, and K-On! was apparently made on a pretty small budget and was just meant to fill the gap between two of the studio's bigger projects.

I remember a few weeks ago a poster on 4chan's anime board (which I've been keeping myself off for the past few days for the sake of productivity) commented that, with Haruhi season 2 actually (sort of) airing now, people would be bound to forget about K-On within weeks. I don't know if that's the case on 4chan now, but as far as Japan is concerned he couldn't have been more wrong.

Of course, for all my deeply unobjective ranting, this proves a critical (if obvious) point: giving people exactly what they want can lead only to success. I guess it's thanks to this that Kyoto Animation feels justified in trolling the everloving shit out of fans of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya with the Endless Eight arc (which I find hilarious, by the way).

Also, as a final side note, I wasn't aware that Blu-Ray packaging could actually be anything other than that horrible blue. Obviously (obviously) the only thing preventing the format from really taking off and becoming the standard is being forced to line one's shelves with that hideous colour, so if we start getting more variation like this maybe things will change!

[EDIT] An addendum, apparently the first DVD of the series is only at #7 in its respective chart, which certainly makes for an interesting comparison regarding the market it appeals to.

2 comments:

unsummon said...

you've probably already seen this, but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiSg02Ll20s

I watched haruhi about twice in my first year at university. I don't get why it's so popular.

Jonathan Harris said...

I'm more a fan of this.

I thought the first season was great, I just never got as obsessed with it as so many have. It's definitely something only for people very much in tune with otaku tastes and culture, though.

The only thing that actually annoys me about its current state is how horribly degraded the drawing is now, thanks to K-On, and the fact that some fans deny it. This very angry fan gives some examples near the bottom of his post, though not the best ones, but I can't be bothered to go sifting through the episodes for screenshots. Anime has never been great for well-constructed faces, but Kyoani has gone from decent to downright sloppy.