No pun intended. Anyway, this is mainly an editorial on my feelings on PONY CANYON and Kyoto Animation. Are they becoming one trick ponies? The reason I ask this is because PONY CANYON enjoyed huge success after the release of K-ON! K-ON!, although using a very moe, very cute style, drew in scores of fans with its sweet dialogue, lively music, and slapstick comedy. After the completion of the K-ON! series, PONY CANYON enjoyed that success more with the release of a movie and OVA, as well as scores of merchandise that eager fans will lap up continually.
Move forward 2-3 years. This anime season, a new show that is gaining popularity appeared called Tamako Market, released by, you guessed it, PONY CANYON and Kyoto Animation. Although certainly shorter in length and vastly different in story, Tamako Market copies K-ON!’s art style to an exact T. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but the fact that this is happening so close to K-ON!’s success makes one wonder if PONY and Kyoto are using this trick to garner huge legions of fans, or even replicate the success they enjoyed with their new baby, Tamako Market. Although this is a great marketing ploy (hey, it hooked me in), this could also mean that PONY and Kyoto may not care too much about story but instead use the art style to their advantage to garner fan loyalty. Although the art style from K-ON! is lovely, I fear this will just create cardboard cut out moe characters, flat storyline, and an anime that will fall onto the ever-growing moe dungheap that is anime today. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy moe and it is a fun thing, but I want to watch fresh, new stories and get excited about characters that engage me. And if we are going to be paying witness to clones of other animes’ success, I want no part in it. I’ll continue watching Tamako Market, only because I’m interested to see where they take the story, but as of right now, what is the future for PONY? When K-ON was released this was a fresh style..but now that Tamako has come out, this could go in so many directions. The story could be fresh but ignored largely because of the art style (comparing Tamako’s characters to K-ON’s is already occurring) or the story will be flat and rely too much on the art style to gain merchandising, licensing, and support from loyal K-ON!! fans, as well as others that are hopping the moe bandwagon. Only time will tell. What are your thoughts? Was it a good idea to use K-ON!’s art style for Tamako Market? Let me know.