K-On!, Vol. 4
written by kakifly
This book is short, but it’s packed with everything you would expect to find in a school life-themed book about ordinary teenage girls who like to play music. In this, the last year of high school, what you would expect to happen does happen.
These girls, Yui, Mio, Ritsu, and Tsumugi, are all going through the standard issues high school seniors face: test anxiety, college prep issues, and many others that come with the territory. Plus, they have the fact that their band, Ho-Kago (After School) Tea Time, will have to break up, which can be a trying, emotional trial for all of them. Nonetheless, they tackle anything that comes their way with a kind of gung-ho approach that I can’t help but applaud.
This book was difficult to read most of the time, but not because it wasn’t fantastic. It was because the panels are read vertically instead of horizontally, which the profound majority of manga readers are inherently used to. As a result, the flow is awkward until the reader can get used to the unusual order of the panels, but once one does, the manga becomes quite enjoyable. The frequent shifts between color and black & white images is an interesting touch as well. I have not read another manga that shares this trait. Kakifly has handled this work well.