K-on is the anime about a bunch of girls in the Sakuragaoka Girl's High School light music club. The members consist of Ritsu Tainaka, Mio Akiyama, Tsumugi Kotobuki, Yui Hirasawa and later on Azusa Nakano. The anime is unique in a few ways, like having the in show school based on a real life high school in Japan. But the most important distinction about this K-On is the sheer amount of songs that are used throughout the show, both in the OP and ED and how they are used within the context of the show itself.
They start out pretty crappy as a band, because some of their members like Yui don’t even know how to play their selected instruments at the start. Heck there’s an entire episode based on her selecting her own guitar and agonizing over the costs. But once the train starts, it doesn’t stop. Their songs and performances just get better and better the longer the show goes on because of all the hard work and practice that goes into their songs.
Here at Honey’s Anime we want to celebrate the many wonderful songs that K-On has presented to us, so join us as we count down the Top 10 K-On! Songs.
10. Fuwa Fuwa Time
- Theme: NIL
Fuwa Fuwa Time, also known as Fluffy Time made its appearance very early on in the show. It was one of the first few efforts of the band to create an original song of their own after they finally picked up some proficiency in their instruments rather than having high tea in high school. The lyrics and melody were conceived by Mio as she went about her daily life, and ends up being the crystallisation of their hard work.
Mio usually presents a stoic front and tries to be as cool and chill as she can, that’s why it’s quite strange early on that Mio makes a song called Fluffy Time. But ultimately, it reveals her true nature to the world at large; she’s just extremely soft and fluffy in her centre, which is why that song was conceived as she went about her daily life. Its cutesy lyrics and general light hearted tone just shows that off so well.
9. Ichiban Ippai
- Theme: OP of K-On! Movie
After two whole seasons of enjoyment with the girls in the light music club, it is all finally coming to an end. Nothing in life lasts forever, especially the good things. By this point, we’ve been through so much with the bunch of them, whether it’s through ups or downs or them being complete ditzy airheads. In an effort to bid farewell to our favourite light music club, a movie was made by the studio to end the series.
With the overall theme of the series being so light and fluffy, it’s a given that this should be reflected in the opening theme of the movie to set the mood. And fluffy it is, as it was sung by the fluffiest member of the group, Yui. The song carries a very childish and dream like melody, having generally whimsical music that reflects so well on the personalities and adventures of the club as a whole. It’s a shame that things have to end, but at the least the beginning of the end was rather pleasant.
- Theme: ED 1 of Season 2
With the arrival of the unexpected season two, we join the girls of the light music club with a brand new member, Azu-nyan. With the ED of the first season being one of the most popular songs ever produced by the K-On series, creating a fitting ED for the second season was surely a tough act to follow. While Listen isn’t the best song in the series and is not a true match for the ED of season one, it definitely holds its own.
Instead of competing with the ED of season one, it instead chooses to bring across its own message to the table. The lyrics of the song demand your very attention, as they state that they’ll sing as loud as they can to the rhythm of their hearts. Even without knowing the meaning of the lyrics, the audience know that this song signifies that they are back in business, better than ever before. And we can expect a wonderful season ahead of us.
7. Utauyo!! MIRACLE
- Theme: OP 2 of Season 2
This wonderful song was sung by our very own and fluffiest Yui. It’s position as the last OP of the second season is extremely important and tenuous as we didn’t know at this point whether there would be any continuation of the series or not. Therefore, most of us had to treat season two as the last season. This makes the last OP very important, especially in a music oriented anime.
So how do they play it out? By having the some of the fluffiest lyrics to ever exist in an OP. The song literally starts with “I love you all!” The song carries on with the very lovely lyrics where it almost seems like the character itself is trying to convey to the audience how grateful she is that we are giving so much of our time to watch the entirety of the K-On series. At the same time, it’s quite sad, because it’s also saying farewell, for she ends by saying “Thanks for loving me too!”
6. Happy!? Sorry!!
- Theme: NIL
Happy Sorry is one of the first songs released in an album by the K-On produces alongside the first opening, Cagayake Girls. While it does not appear in the anime itself, it is still sung by the voice actresses of the four girls in the light music club, but mainly by Yui’s voice actress. Even outside of the anime, the songs sung by them exemplify the spirit of the series very well, carrying an upbeat melody and carefree tone.
The lyrics themselves speak of how much fun everyone is having singing the song and how great music is in general. It’s almost as if they are trying to tell us “Sorry, not sorry for having fun.” And that’s exactly what the K-On show is about, four girls doing their very best to have the time of their lives and going crazy with what limited time they have to be youths. It’s not a stretch to say that listening to the song itself could light up the inner youth that we have suppressed for so long by trying too hard to be Chuunibyou.
5. NO, Thank You!
- Theme: ED 2 of Season 2
Like all the other ED of the series, this song is also sung by Mio. As we close on the last episode of season two, wondering if we are getting another season of the show, the last thing that we hear is this very song. Instead of being a tearful goodbye from the characters that we have come to love and hold dear, it’s instead a strong and powerful song that says NO, Thank You!
It’s not a song about how we will hold the experiences that we have obtained close to our hearts, or how we hope to see each other again, but rather it says NO, Thank You to doing things like cherishing memories. Because rather than trying so hard to hold on to the moments forever, we should instead enjoy them as they are now. It reflects well on the series as a whole. The show in general is quite short lived. This mirrors on their high school life which is also short lived. Are they telling themselves to cherish their short time together, or us?
Fun Fact: The title of the song is in fact based on the names of the characters. T-ainaka Ritsu, H-irasawa Yui, A-kiyama Mio, N-akano Azusa, K-otobuki Tsumugi forms the “Thank”, while “You” is just based on you, the audience. This shows that all this time, we were part of the experience rather than being a simple observer.
4. Cagayake! GIRLS
- Theme: OP of Season 1
This song was sung by the fluffiest Yui. An opening song and sequence is very important to a series. It can make or break the show as a whole. Many people decide within the first five minutes whether a show is worth investing their time into watching and the OP takes up a third of that time by itself. In this regard, it could be said that this OP and sequence is the reason that K-On has such a large following.
Immediately, the four main characters are established by showing them one by one. It proceeds to show them performing in their club room and their various activities together like having high tea. And from the song itself, we know just what kind of music to expect from the show from that point onwards, as well as the general tone that the show will take. It’s a definite that no one continued to watch the show expecting Titans to attack the school at some point after watching the first OP. And that’s why even though it’s not the best song of all their songs, it has such a high place in the list. Because it is this song that made the show as a whole.
- Theme: ED of K-On! Movie
This song was sung by Mio. This song is literally the last song that we will ever hear in the context of a show, because the journey ends with the movie and their graduation. It was super important that they got this one song right, because a build up to a climax with a horrible punch line spoils the experience. With so many great songs behind it, the ED of the movie has to be both good, and captures the feelings of the viewers.
And its…good. On the surface it seems like another one of their typical power songs that they tend to sing as an alternative to their fluffier songs. So it’s good, but nothing special yet. But as the song goes on, it becomes more and more obvious the tone of the singer is equal parts strong and nostalgic. We aren’t the only ones who are sad to see the show go. The voice actress of Mio is equally reluctant to see this wonderful series leave.
As they graduate, the lyrics sum up well what the future has in store. “Let’s advance on a pathless road, the place we step out to together is our road.”
2. GO! GO! MANIAC
- Theme: OP 1 of Season 2
This song was sung by Yui. As a song, it is extremely light hearted as a whole and can get the whole room moving by its energy alone. It helps that Yui sounds like she’s having a sugar high when she was performing this song for our hearing pleasure. It’s just so damn infectious that everyone can’t resist but to sing along to the sugary lyrics together.
But what it means as a song is quite important as well. As the first OP of the second season, it’s basically the welcome back song for us who have viewed the entirety of the first season. Based on what we’ve watched in the first season, we more or less know what to expect, but the long gap between seasons can leave us without the “feel” of the show. The explosive energy of the song basically blasts us back into the mood of the series and acts like we’ve never left at all.
1. Don't say "lazy"
- Theme: ED of Season 1
This song was sung by Mio. Throughout most of the article, the songs were given context as to why they carry importance to the series as a whole and how the mood of the songs were important in contributing to the enjoyment of the viewers. However, this section of the article won’t even try to do that, because everyone knows why this song is at the top of the list.
It’s just that good.
When K-On first came out, everyone enjoyed Cagayake Girls for sure, and Fuwa Fuwa Time was a respectable hit of its own, but the one song that everyone was humming along to was Don’t Say Lazy. It’s widely agreed by the many viewers that this is the best song to exist within the series, only matched by perhaps the ED of the movie. However, as the first smash hit of the show and being the same song that got many people to give K-On a try, it deserves it’s spot at the top of the list.
Like many things in life, K-On has come and gone and won’t be coming back again. Their high school lives are now over, and any attempt to go back to that time would just be beating a dead horse. But it’s completely fine, because what joy that they have caused in our lives at the moment of watching will last forever.
And now, with the many songs that exist because of K-On, we can always carry a part of the show with us and remember the fun times that we had and experienced with Yui, Mio, Mugi, Ritsu and Azu-Nyan. Moments don’t last forever, but memories and MP3 files do.