Some background. As silly as it seems, the main reason I picked up K-On was because it was by Kyoto Animation, a studio I came to really like because of their work with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Admittedly, their track record was more or less brutally crushed by Lucky Star, but apparently I didn't really learn anything from that debacle: when K-On was announced, after confirming that it wasn't another godawful Key VN adaptation, I put it on my to-watch list almost immediately. The fact that the show synopsis had the word 'music' in it definitely helped (I loved Beck! Nodame Cantabile S1 was great!), and so did Kyoto Animation's pretty consistent production values (I seem to be a sucker for shows with even semi-consistent production values).
The first season of K-On! was jaw-scratch-inducing, to say the least... I actually went in believing that it was going to be a show about music! LOL! Surprise! Gotcha bitch! Once I got over the fact that I'd been had, I tried to understand what made the show so amazingly popular. And I failed, similar to how I failed in trying to understand what made Lucky Star so popular. I realize that the whole 'cute girls doing cute things' thing has something to do with it, but come on, beyond that it's got practically nothing. It was basically a terrible show! Thankfully K-On! was an improvement over Lucky Star because it actually had a sense of temporal progression, so I could at least see time pass as these five dim-witted girls went about their lives aimlessly with reckless abandon. Oh and they dropped those otaku-culture inside jokes. But that doesn't make for an interesting show! The humor wasn't the type I enjoy too much (Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, 2x2=Shinobuden, Cromartie High School...), the 'music' made my teeth grind, and the logic and personalities these girls had at times was downright irritating.
I continued to watch the second season because holy shit there's practically nothing else to watch right now. At least I'd seen the first season of K-On. K-On!! pretty much went on with the same characteristics as the first season. The main cast continued to be infuriatingly ditzy, all they did was drink tea and eat cake, and what little of their music we did get to hear still sucked. But once the cast started realizing that they were going to graduate and their little club was going to end, I actually got interested. Hints of meaningful development! Maybe? They hinted at this for a few episodes, dropped it for a few more, went back to it, etc... But this last episode actually made me look forward to the remaining episodes, and not because it's 'finally going to be fucking over' (although that does have something to do with it). Over the past year or so I've gotten familiar with the cast and their ridiculous interactions with each other. I also remembered that I'm a sucker for slice of life! Oh man, slice of life shows are great. If I take K-On and completely ignore some of the more inane scenes and all of the musical scores I think I might actually get a decent slice of life show!
One of the things I like most about slice of life shows is how they end... There's no big bad boss that has to be defeated, nor is there some complex underlying plot that has to be unraveled. Slice of life shows just have these peachy little 'happily ever after' endings. I actually sort of like those, especially when they involve a cast that I've grown familiar with. The next episode for K-On is the graduation ceremony episode, and I've liked those ever since the Azumanga Daioh finale (I still remember Chiyo crying while singing the school's anthem during her graduation... that was a moment). I like them because it marks the end of the status quo: the years of interaction these friends shared, along with the largely invariable lifestyles they had, is coming to an end (I realize that 4 of the 5 main characters in K-On are going to go to college together or whatever, but it wouldn't be the same!). And at this point, I'm thinking that there isn't many other ways that this show could end. There's two more episodes remaining after the graduation episode, and I'm hoping that the amount of teeth-grinding I still have to do is low, but it's pretty hard to fuck up the ending to a slice of life show this close to the finale. I'd also be lying if I said that I wasn't looking forward to seeing how else they're going to build up towards the ending in addition to the graduation episode. As much as I've hated on this show, I think I'm going to be a relatively satisfied watcher, and I'm confident that I'll be giving the show a 7 on MAL (I gave K-On! a 6).
That or I'll get some good night's rest, wake up, and realize that the show is still shit, slice of life or not.
But for now, here's to a show that I thought was pure shit until a few hours ago... a show that might actually be decent, largely carried by its ending and what it entails for its ridiculous cast.
Now to review the metabolism of fat and ketone bodies. Again.