K-ON! ED Single – Don't Say "Lazy" – Review

Album Title: Don’t Say “Lazy”
Anime Title: K-ON!
Artist: Sakurakou K-ON Bu: Aki Toyasaki, Youko Hisaka,
Satomi Satou, Minako Kotobuki
Catalog Number: PCCG-70039
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: April 22, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan or Play-Asia

Track Title Artist Time
1. Don’t Say “Lazy” Sakurakou K-ON Bu 4:24
2. Sweet Bitter Beauty Song Sakurakou K-ON Bu 4:26
3. Don’t Say “Lazy” (Instrumental) 4:24
4. Sweet Bitter Beauty Song (Instrumental) 4:23

Review: People have been generally favorable with regards to K-ON!’s OP/ED singles with the prevailing opinion being that Don’t Say “Lazy” is far better than Cagayake! Girls. After listening to “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” Youko Hisaka’s delivery immediately stands out as being stronger than Aki Toyasaki’s performance on “Cagayake! Girls,” but the caveat here is that while both pieces on this album are enjoyable, there are still lingering questions about their longevity because they do not leave any sort of lasting impact.

Right away, Youko Hisaka’s performance is reminiscent of Aya Hirano’s on “God Knows,” particularly in the way Hisaka’s voice sounds really close to Hirano’s Haruhi voice. Hisaka’s delivery is really what people are concentrating upon because she sounds confident. While a lot of anime OP/EDs are more whimsical or focus on universal themes like lost love, Hisaka exudes a sense of confidence as though to say that she’s unafraid to face failure as she sings her heart out like the way Haruhi did in that school concert episode. Of course, it also helps that Hisaka’s voice fits that edgy rock feel set by the guitar and drum set. I especially liked the way she sang the

mienai koto de BATAashi surundesu

part because its intonation is done rather well and is followed by an intense delivery of the first verse. Hisaka continues with alternating between verse and chorus until 2:52 to 3:20 which gives her a nice break before she comes in again to bring the song to a close. The music itself might not be first-rate, but she certainly knows how to sing rock and her voice is what makes all the difference.

And if you thought “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” was packed with confidence, give “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song” a listen. This song comes off as being aggressive because Hisaka’s delivery carries an attitude that seems to care little about how others perceive her, making her come off as being independent-minded. Like with “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” the melody isn’t particularly outstanding with most of the focus being placed on Hisaka’s expressive delivery, especially in the way she conveys her confidence. The way she expresses herself is why I find “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song” to be the more enjoyable of the two tracks on this album, even if it’s just a slight preference over “Don’t Say ‘Lazy.'”

Youko Hisaka’s performance on both pieces are pretty solid and while I enjoyed them, a part of me still questions as to how long their lifespan will be since neither of these songs struck me as being particularly memorable. The contrast between the songs on this album and the best-known Kyoto Animation rock song becomes readily apparent: “God Knows” was an absolutely unforgettable experience both in the way it was presented within the anime series and through Hirano’s stirring delivery with most of the impact coming from the latter aspect. While “Don’t Say ‘Lazy'” comes close to it in terms of enjoyability, it’s still a far cry from “God Knows.” “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song,” despite edging out “Don’t Say ‘Lazy'” slightly, doesn’t have quite the same level of flair either. Because of this, I’d say give both pieces a listen and enjoy them for what they’re worth, but like the comment I made in my review of Cagayake! Girls, just don’t expect people to remember this six months down the line.

Rating: Good

Ending – Don’t Say “Lazy”

(Note: While this is totally unrelated to music, does anyone else think that the ending animation is overrated? While I can understand the music grabbing people’s attention, everything else about the ED sequence leaves me feeling indifferent for the same reasons that a certain friendly neighborhood blogosaur points out in his post.)

About the author

zzeroparticle Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

13 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. The song is definately awesome, but yea, the animation, while cool for the most part, could use a little work.

  2. Minnie says:

    I love the ED animation but it’s definitely not the best of the season (not even 2nd or 3rd). Other people may say otherwise. The song is awesome though. Thank you for your review like always! ^^

  3. Shin says:

    Great song, and nice to know I wasn’t the only one who thought of Aya Hirano, haha.

    Regarding the ED, I mentioned in Raptor’s post that I think they dumbed down the sequence for cosplayers to emulate. With the absence of a dance, I figured this was the next best thing they could have done, with the girls wearing goth loli inspired costumes and all.

  4. omo says:

    The Aya Hirano thing is spot on. The delivery is the same idea but Hisaka takes it up a notch in both of these songs. Unlike the catchier composition and arrangement of Cagayake Girls, both of these thrives on Hisaka’s vocals.

  5. @Glo the Legend
    Yeah, the faces are so static that they look like mannequins. THE DON’T LOOK HUMAN!!!

    @Minnie
    Yeah, I’d put Eden’s paper tricks to be up there since it is rather charming. Heck, FMA’s ED also has a nice crayon feel to it which also adds to the charm.

    @Shin
    Why must they deprive us of legions of fans making fools of themselves? I do think that to a certain extent, Yutaka Yamamoto leaving Kyo-Ani may have something to do with that. That man sure can choreograph (See Kannagi OP).

    @omo
    Yeah, if only Toyisaki could have given such an emphatic performance in the OP since the nasally delivery brought it down a notch.

  6. vin-nii says:

    hm… is Haruhi’s role as leader of Kyo-ani coming to an end?

  7. @vin-nii
    Unlikely since once Haruhi2 goes into full swing, the hordes of fans shall come back… oh the return shall be glorious…

  8. tai says:

    I’m loving the lyrics of this song, the way they flow and rhyme, and the power at which Youko delivers them at. In a four-piece band Youko seems much more authoritative than Aya, I think this is where this song excels over God Knows.

  9. Baka-Raptor says:

    One thing I do like about the animation: Mio’s step around the “tsubasa mou areba joutou” part. It’s a very confident-looking step that fits the song.

  10. @tai
    Hmm… I’d put both Youko and Aya in the same group as far as assertiveness goes in their respective songs. That said, I’d still give God Knows an edge, even if the lyrics do flow better.

    @Baka-Raptor
    Definitely. One can only hope that this display of confidence becomes more commonplace within the series. I’m tired of her being afraid of everything.

  11. Guy says:

    Dam I’m a 19-year old guy and I have to say I love the ‘don’t say lazy’ soundtrack :) and a few other soundtracks from K on too ofcourse!^^
    Normally I listen to metal etc xD so probably the anime that I really enjoyed watching had it’s influences on me :D

    • @Guy
      For some, K-ON! was an enjoyable series. If nothing else, it did come with some good OP/ED/Inserts and this is most definitely one of them. It’s better than the OP by far.

  12. Katrina says:

    This is the best song I’ve heard. Too bad Azusa wasn’t added into the animation when she was introduced to the anime. At least she gets a guitar solo in the 5nin version.
    Don’t Say “Lazy” is better than Cagayake! GIRLS, but I still prefer Cagayake! GIRLS over the newer OPs.
    I never thought of that before…. Yoko does sound a little like Aya singing God Knows.
    About Raptor’s post, so what if the earrings don’t match the dress? They match the tights.
    just stating my opinion ~ tee hee

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