Friday, June 29, 2012

K-On! vinyl singles

So, you’re a K-On! fan and a vinyl collector? You might be happy to learn that Pony Canyon will release an exclusive box set of 7 vinyl singles (7 inch) from the first season. The catch? Aside from the 10,000 yen price tag, the set will be a limited pressing and won’t see a general release – if you want it, you’ll have to attend the Canime Summer Festival 2012 in Akihabara, which takes place on August 11th and 12th.
The seven lucky singles to chosen for inclusion in this “7inch Vinyl “Donuts” Box” are Cagayake!GIRLS, Don’t Say “Lazy”, and the character singles of Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tsumugi and Azusa. Contents will be the same as their respective CD equivalents, minus instrumental tracks and the song “Let’s Go” from the character series.

And, just to keep track of these things; season 1 singles that do not get the vinyl treatment are Fuwa Fuwa Time, Maddy Candy and the Ui and Nodoka character singles.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

K-On!! Season 2 Blu-Ray US vs. JP review and comparison (vol 1)

With Bandai Entertainment having packed up and left the North American home video market, for a while K-On! fans feared the second season of the TV anime would not see an English language release. So naturally, when Sentai Filmworks announced their plans to release said TV anime on DVD and Blu-Ray as early as this very summer, there was much rejoicing. But Bandai’s release of the first season left a lot to be desired for a lot of fans – would Sentai’s season 2 fare better? With the release of the first volume now upon us, it is time to have a look and see if it lives up to expectations – whatever those expectations may be.

Monday, June 18, 2012

CD review: Radion! Special!

The last two CD releases of K-On!’s first season that I’ll review, and the last ones released aside from the second Band Score volume which came out between them, are ones that aren’t particularly music oriented. Released in February and March of 2010, respectively, the two “Radion! Special” volumes feature more chatter than music, as one might expect from a seiyuu web radio show.

The cover designs feature chibified versions of the HTT five handling their instruments against a pattern background which carries over to the labels on the discs themselves. Volume 1 has a red and orange theme, and volume 2 has a blue and green variation.

The cover insert for the first volume is an 8 page booklet, and the volume 2 equivalent ups the page count to 12. Oddly, Ayana Taketatsu is credited as a “guest” rather than a regular cast member like the other four.

Truthfully, there’s little reason to get these two CD’s (especially if you don’t know Japanese) unless you’re either a die hard completist or a major seiyuu otaku. Listening to the five cast members goofing around for roughly an hour per CD is fun and all, but 2940 yen (about $37 US) for each volume is probably a bit much for that kind of content as far as your average fan is concerned.

There is, however, some content that might make it worthwhile even if you’re not particularly interested in hearing the voice cast play “name that tune”. Volume 1 contains the “Yui Mio Ritsu Tsumugi Azusa mix” of “Let’s Go”, the song from the character singles, but this time with all five HTT girls taking turns doing the lead vocals.

Volume 2 contains something that, in my opinion, is a little bit more interesting: Live in-studio performances of “Fuwa Fuwa Time” and “Watashi no Koi wa Hotchkiss”, with the seiyuu doing the actual playing. It’s basically the same versions as performed during the “Let’s Go!” live event, but done in studio this time. The live event has since been released on CD, possibly making these versions redundant in some people’s eyes, but hey – if you’re a completist, having an “alternate take” to listen to every once in a while for variety might be a nice bonus.

All in all, if you’re building a K-On! CD collection but aren’t necessarily looking to acquire each and every CD that was released, I’d say these two are prime candidates for skipping. If you’re a big fan of the voice talent involved, however, and don’t mind the price tag, I suppose there’s little reason not to expand your collection with these two items.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Watching K-On! Episode 14 (Bonus Episode) – “Live House!”


Ho-kago Tea Time is invited to perform at a live house on New Year's Eve.

Upcoming releases

Not a hugely different list than last month, but date for season 2 part 2 has been added.

June 19th“K-On!! Season 2 Collection vol. 1” anime DVD/Blu-Ray (US)

June 21st“K-On! Ho-kago Live!! HD” PS3 game (JP)

July 18th“K-On!” Movie DVD/DVD Limited Edition/Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray Limited Edition (JP)

August 28th“K-On!! Season 2 Collection vol. 2” anime DVD/Blu-Ray (US)