|Genre||Comedy, Music, Slice of life|
|Serialized in|| Manga Time Kirara |
Manga Time Kirara Carat
|Original run||May 2007 – August 2012|
The manga started serialization in Houbunsha's seinen manga magazine Manga Time Kirara since the May 2007 issue, and also started a bimonthly serialization in Houbunsha's magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat since the October 2008 issue. 6 Volumes were published in total and four of them were published in printed form. In August 2012, the series finished.
The title of the series comes from the Japanese word for light music, keiongaku (軽音楽). This is not to be confused with the western meaning of light music—a more accurate translation might be contemporary or pop music.
K-ON!’s story revolves around five Japanese high school girls who join their school’s Light Music Club. The manga follows the daily lives of each member and shows their interactions with each other, their teachers, friends and families.
At first, despite being successful in saving the club from being disbanded, each member brings in her own sorts of problems to prevent a strict and structured training. The guitarist Yui Hirasawa has no experience in playing musical instruments or reading sheet music and usually forgets already managed progresses, be it in her musical or academic career. Drummer Ritsu Tainaka often forgets to play her role as the club's president and usually rushes at the drums, bassist Mio Akiyama is, in contrast to her mature nature, a shy scaredy-cat with immense stage fright and keyboardist Tsumugi Kotobuki has, as the overprotected daughter of an unimaginable rich and influential family, no real idea of "normal" social situations. At the beginning of their second year of high school, a fifth member joins the club, an underclassmen named Azusa Nakano who also plays guitar and usually struggles with the irresponsibility and carelessness of the other members.
During their shared school career, all of them eventually manage to handle their problems together, making the light music club a more or less serious club bit by bit. Every day, the club gathers together to drink tea and eat snacks in the clubroom which quickly became the club's trade mark and finally lead to the band's name, "Ho-Kago Tea Time" (Afterschool Tea Time).
At the end of Volume 4, the original members graduate from high school and leave Azusa behind who refounds the light music club with Yui's sister Ui Hirasawa and their friend Jun Suzuki. The club quickly welcomes a new member, Tsumugi's childhood friend Sumire Saitō, who has a low self-esteem and plays drums. Shortly afterwards, Nao Okuda, a girl from Sumire's class with absolutely no talent to play any instrument joins the club and takes the role of the musical composer, using her laptop. The newly formed club takes the name "Wakaba Girls", meaning "Fresh Leaf Girls", since every member aside from Azusa is a freshman in the light music club, and only three members already have made musical experiences.
Running parallel, the original members all attend J. Women's University, starting their collegiate career. They once again join a light music club, where they instantly start a friendly rivalry with the band Onna Gumi, consisting of the bassist Sachi Hayashi, who has a serious issue with her height, the drummer Ayame Yoshida, who is very similar in character to Ritsu and the guitarist Akira Wada, who mostly acts tough and plays the role of a counterpart of Yui.
- See: Category:Characters
- Yui Hirasawa (平沢 唯)
- The main character. A clumsy girl. She plays guitar and is the main vocalist.
- Ritsu Tainaka (田井中 律)
- An active girl who is the president of the light music club. She plays the drums.
- Mio Akiyama (秋山 澪)
- A mature but shy girl. Forced by her childhood friend Ritsu into the club. She plays the bass and is the second vocalist.
- Tsumugi Kotobuki (琴吹 紬)
- A wealthy girl with no experience of normal living standards. She plays the keyboard.
- Azusa Nakano (中野 梓)
- Introduced at the middle of the first season as a freshman. She plays guitar.
- Nodoka Manabe (真鍋 和)
- A childhood friend of Yui, she becomes a member of the school’s student council.
- Ui Hirasawa (平沢 憂)
- Yui's younger sister.
- Jun Suzuki (鈴木 純)
- A classmate of Azusa and Ui.
- Megumi Sokabe (曽我部 恵)
- The president of the student council and the Mio Akiyama Fanclub.
- Sawako Yamanaka (山中 さわ子)
- The club's (forced) advisor and an alumna of the light music club. She supports the club with (sometimes weird) clothes.
- Sumire Saitō (斉藤 菫)
- A shy girl with a foreign look, who is a childhood friend of Tsumugi and serves the Kotobuki family.
- Nao Okuda (奥田 直)
- A calm observant girl with no real talent in any area, exept musical composition.
- Akira Wada (和田 晶)
- Guitarist of the band Onna Gumi and a student at the Japanese Women's University, who sees Yui as a rival.
- Sachi Hayashi (林 幸)
- Tall bassist of the band Onna Gumi who is always troubled by her size.
- Ayame Yoshida (吉田 菖)
- Loud and outgoing girl and the drummer of the band Onna Gumi.
- Kana Yoshii (吉井 香奈)
- President of the university's light music club with an obsession with school uniforms.
- Chiyo Hirose (廣瀬 千代)
- Calm member of the light music club and the bassist of the band she and Kana once attended.
K-ON! is a four-panel manga (called yonkoma) written and illustrated by Kakifly. The manga was published in Houbunsha's Manga Time Kirara magazine in the May 2007 issue sold on the ninth of April 2007. The manga was also published bimonthly in Manga Time Kirara’s sister magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat, starting with the October 2008 issue sold on the 28th of August 2008.
The manga was relaunched between April and August 2012 and came out in two seperate magazines. The lives of Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi at their university were shown in the magazine Manga Times Kirara from the May 2011 issue released on the eight of April 2011 to the July 2012 issue released on the ninth of June 2012. The lives of Azusa, Ui and Jun at school were shown in the magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat from the June 2011 issue released on the 28th of April 2011 to the August 2012 issue released on the 28th of June 2012.
The first tankōbon volume was released on the 26th of April 2008, and the second followed on the 26th of February 2009. The third volume was released on the second of January 2010 and the fourth volume was sold on the 27th of September 2010.
Additionally, there exists an anthology called Minna de Untan! which features several guest strips from various artists. An official anthology, K-On! Anthology Comic (けいおん!アンソロジーコミック), was released on the 27th of November 2009 by Houbunsha and a second volume was released on the 27th of April 2010. On the 27th of January 2010, an illustration book with official art, as well as fan art from well known dōjin artists was released.
- ↑ なぜ我々は「けいおん!」に萌えてしまうのか? - Why Are We Infatuated With K-On!?, ASCII Media Works, June 7, 2009 (accessed September 30, 2009, Japanese)
- ↑ Manga Time Kirara May 2007 issue. Houbunsha. (accessed on February 6, 2009, Japanese)
- ↑ Manga Time Kirara Carat October 2008 issue. Houbunsha. (accessed on February 6, 2009, Japanese)
- ↑ 
- Anime official website (Japanese)
- K-On! at Animanga Wiki
- K-On! at Wikipedia
- けいおん! at Wikipedia
- K-ON! (Manga) (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia