08 October 2010, Singapore – Japan’s hottest and cutest all-girl band sensation is making a spectacular return to its adoring fans across Asia in the second season of anime smash hit K-On!! on the region’s premier anime and youth entertainment TV destination, Animax!
Following its stunningly successful debut season, the K-On!! sequel series is set to premiere 20 October 2010, airing Wednesdays 8.30pm (SEA) / 7.30pm (JKT) / 9.30pm (PH & MY) first and exclusively on Animax! The amusing, heart-warming and inspiring anime series returns to the daily lives of the five adorable friends and band-mates Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tsumugi and Azusa in their final year together in high school.
Picking up from where the action left off in the first series, K-On!! will see the five girls back at school, this time in the same class, with their band teacher who is now also their form teacher. With Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi graduating at the end of the year, the pop music club will be left with Azusa, the only junior member who joined them previously. Hoping to leave the club in a better state, the five set forth to recruit new members, while going about their daily band practice sessions and tea-breaks in the irresistibly cute and hilarious slice-of-life anime series.
The K-On!! TV & DVD sensation
Both seasons of K-On!! have been co-produced by Japanese broadcaster TBS and top anime studio Kyoto Animation. Famed for its animation quality, Kyoto Animation counts global hit anime franchises including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star among its productions. Already, the K-On! franchise has garnered critical acclaim with the first anime series bagging the prestigious ‘Best TV Animation Award’ at the 2010 Tokyo International Anime Fair this March.
In Japan where the most popular anime shows are broadcast by seven to eight TV stations at most, K-ON!! actually aired on a whopping 28 TV stations across the nation. Following the resounding success of the two anime TV series, a sequel anime theatrical movie has been planned and is in production.
Further, the entire K-On! franchise has sold over 348,000 copies of Blu-ray anime DVDs in all as of 21 September 2010, as the top TV anime series in Blu-ray DVD sales.
The K-On!! merchandising wave
Beyond the anime, TBS Holdings, the parent company of Japanese TV station TBS announced earnings of some US$20 million from the sales of K-ON!! T-shirts and character-related merchandise in the first quarter of the company’s current fiscal year. And the figure already excluded revenue from home video sales and licensing rights to the wildly popular anime series.
Also riding on the K-On!! fever is ‘K-On! Hōkago Live!!’, a rhythm videogame developed by Sega for the Sony PlayStation Portable platform, released on 30 September 2010, with the game concept similar to the popular ‘Rockband’ and ‘Guitar Hero’ game franchises.
Indeed, the popularity of K-On!! has been nothing short of phenomenal as the first season of the anime series drove sales of actual products featured within the show. Guitar manufacturer Fender reported that its US$2,000-electric guitar – used by K-On!! character Mio – sold the quantity usually sold in six months within just two to three weeks. This was eight times faster than usual, and Fender had since gone on to produce an extra two years’ worth of stock.
Further, a Japanese audio equipment store saw a high-end professional headphone from Austrian manufacturer AKG model K701, priced over US$700 each, sell out right after it was featured in K-ON! also used by character Mio. It was the first time any product got sold out at the store and its employees nicknamed the headphone “Mio-phone” in recognition of the phenomenon.
The K-On!! music phenomenon
Music is a big part of the K-On!! franchise and its songs have also proven irresistible with sales of the music albums and singles hitting the skies. K-On!! Season 2’s opening theme song “Go! Go! Maniac” and ending theme “Listen!!” debuted on the Japanese singles chart at the first and second spots in the week of release, selling over 83,000 and 76,000 copies respectively. With that, “Go! Go! Maniac” became the first anime ‘image song’ (song sung by voice actresses of the anime characters) to ever top the singles chart. The band also became the first female vocalists to take the top two spots on the Japanese singles chart in 26 years. In addition, the season’s second set of opening and ending theme songs “Utauyo! Miracle” and “No, Thank You!” than bettered that record selling 85,000 and 87,000 copies respectively.
Success on the music front began right from the first season of K-On! as the anime’s opening theme “Cagayake! Girls” and ending theme “Don’t Say Lazy” both sold over 60,000 copies. The latter also won the ‘Best Theme Song’ award at the 14th Animation Kobe Awards. Digitally, “Cagayake! Girls” and “Don’t Say Lazy” were certified Gold and Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for 100,000 and 250,000 full-track ringtone digital music downloads respectively.
In addition, the ‘Ho-kago Tea Time’ album, the full collection of image songs debuted at the top spot of the Japanese weekly CD albums charts selling 67,000 copies, making it the first ever album credited to fictional anime characters to reach the number one spot.
Finally, it seems that there is no stopping the K-On!! wave as even Japan’s national population census that began on 1 October 2010 is being promoted using the five girls. The characters are currently serving as image characters in Kyoto Prefecture to encourage participation in the national survey!
There is simply no better way to appreciate the amazing sensation than to see for yourself how the five adorable girls are rocking as the hottest and most irresistible all-girl band in K-ON!!, premiering this October across Asia only on Animax!
K-ON!! premieres 20 October 2010, Airing Wednesdays 8.30pm (SEA) / 7.30pm (JKT) / 9.30pm (PH & MY) First & exclusively on Animax