Before Bandai Entertainment packed up and left the DVD market, they found the time to release a complete series set of K-On!’s first anime season. As one might expect, the set is basically a repackaging of the four volumes previously released, so there’s nothing new here per se. Sadly, there is no Blu-Ray edition of this collection, so those looking to buy the series in that format (which is definitely preferable, as I said in my Blu-Ray vs. DVD comparison) will have to pay up for the individual volumes. On the other hand, for DVD-only buyers who have been wanting to buy the show but held out for a cheaper alternative – well, it’s here.
For the Anime Legends release, the four discs come in a standard style keep case with two plastic “flaps” that each hold one disc on each side. As with the individual volume releases, the case contains no physical extras or inserts.
I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail about the content of the discs – I’ve pretty much said what I had to say about it in my Blu-Ray reviews. The content here is obviously the same, only not in HD (which means that, yes, there’s music replacement and such). Video and audio quality is nice overall, but doesn’t truly shine the way the Blu-Ray editions do (in the video department, anyway).
Each disc features artwork of one of the band members’ instruments against a blank background. Disc 1 is Yui-centric in its design and features her guitar.
The menus are static screens with no movement, with each disc featuring different characters in their menu screens.
The first disc contains the first four episodes:
2 – Instruments!
3 – Cram Session!
4 – Training Camp!
The only extra on disc 1 (not counting trailers for other anime or the DVD credits) is a video interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of American!Yui.
Disc 2 contains the following episodes:
5 – Adviser!
6 – School Festival!
7 – Christmas!
Extras on disc 2 include a video interview with the voice of American!Mio, Cristina Vee, as well as a music video of sorts of an English dubbed version of “Fuwa Fuwa Time” (shudder).
Episodes on disc 3 include:
9 – New Club Member!
10 – Training Camp Again!
11 – Crisis!?
Disc 3 extras consist of an interview with Cassandra Lee, the English voice of Ritsu, and another music video of an English dubbed song (“My Love Is a Stapler” this time).
Disc 4 contains the last three episodes:
12 (Finale) – Light Music!
13 (Extra Episode) – Winter Days!
14 (Extra Episode) – Live House!
Extras on the final disc include an interview with Mugi’s English voice, Shelby Lindley, and one more music video (“Brush Pen, Ballpoint Pen”).
Additionally, each disc contains trailers for The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, Tales of the Abyss and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
If I seem a bit short on words in this review, it’s because I think I’ve said pretty much everything I’ve wanted to say about Bandai’s release in my reviews of the individual Blu-Ray volumes (feel free to check them out – vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3 and vol. 4) and this release doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. What it is, is a convenient and affordable all-in-one package for the casual K-On! viewer who didn’t want to get the single volumes and doesn’t see the need to go Blu-Ray. For that, it gets the job done.