K-On and the Suspension of Disbelief

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or fortunate enough to have a life, you may have heard, the news has just gotten out that the K-On 4koma manga, which had finished, is resuming again this spring. Presumably, this means that a third anime series may be in the future as well. The question is, what exactly will the manga be about? Azusa and her friends? The girls at university? No matter what, it’s going to be a hit. It’s freaking K-On. But if it’s about the girls at University, I’m not sure how into it I’d be able to get–and not because I’m bitter and jaded about college, although that doesn’t help.

To enjoy K-On, a suspension of disbelief is required. A suspension of disbelief that is possible when the girls are in High School. (nsfw under the cut)

For many people, myself included, the world of K-On is wish fulfillment. Everyone in High School is nice and supportive. All the girls peacefully co-exist with each other without some power struggle being hidden underneath the smiles and hugs. They all have fun little adventures with each other, and help each other get through the trials of High School and growing up. The teacher gets involved with and cares about her students. It’s a cornucopia of love, and an environment that I would have much preferred to be in at high school. Instead I got drama.

What makes this possible is the main characters of K-On are so incredibly innocent. Bad things and vices don’t exist in their world, beyond being gluttons and too lazy to practice. And it’s easy to buy into the girls being so innocent because while in High School, we were aware of the vices out there, not everyone participated in them or really had them in their life in anyway. You saw each other in a controlled environment for about eight hours a day, went home, and lived your own life. You didn’t have to face any of the edgy experiences of your peers. My life, unsurprisingly, didn’t involve drugs and alcohol, I didn’t go to wild parties. Much of my adventures with my friends were innocent adventures similar to the girls of K-On. The worse I ever faced in High School was hearing about the constant partying of some of my high school friends, or coming to school after senior prom with everyone hung over.

In College, when living with my peers 24/7, I found that things changed very quickly. The choice was still there whether or not to engage in these activities, but drugs, sex, alcohol, and everything that comes with it was now in my face in a way that I couldn’t ignore that way I could in High School. By the second week, I knew for the first time in my life what pot smelled like. People are away from their parents for the first time, and tired of hiding things  from their parents. They just want to let go, and are very sloppy about letting go. The beginning of college with other Freshman takes care of any remaining innocence real fast.

I don’t think I can go into K-On about the girls in University, and if it portrays University as being the same innocent environment as K-On in high school, find it the slight bit believable or that tolerable. But at the same time, I think a darker and grittier K-On where the girls are finding out about and dealing with the grim facts of the adult would also ruin what makes K-On work. It’s that sweet innocence that makes K-On what it is.

K-On at University?

Maybe some things are best left finished.


Filed under K-On

6 responses to “K-On and the Suspension of Disbelief

  1. It makes sense to judge K-ON by your personal experiences if you’re Japanese and went through their education system. If you didn’t well, then…..

  2. Yi

    I’m not sure what they’ll do with K-On! either. It’d certainly be interesting to see how they deal with the disconnect between reality and the innocence that made many us love K-On! (assuming it does follow the girls into university). However they do it though, I’m sure I’ll love it, because as you said, “It’s freaking K-On.”

  3. Andrew Foose

    I figure it would be a bit like Dumbing Of Age, only a bit more lightheaarted.

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