I make no bones about what a steaming shitty puddle of diarrhea K-On!! is. Perhaps we can’t blame it for all the crappy series that came out alongside it but its popularity perpetuated a legacy of shitty “cake eating, nothing happening (in a fucking BORING way), sorry excuse for moe” anime that persist to this day. It’s gotten even worse as not only had K-On!! contributed to the existence of such inane banality, but it also influenced anime to adopt the “K-On Face” as a standard. Even when that art style completely undermines the theme of the show. Like, take the design of the girls in GATE for instance and note how they simply don’t fit into the entire fucking feel of the show. Or that scene with the hard ass minister woman, who in the manga was a middle aged woman with a gossiping housewife kinda look but in the anime, is some fresh faced hot 20-something. Art-style and designs have to match characters, just as voices have to match them as well.
So… I should imagine that it’s perhaps a tad surprising that I’d recommend the first season of K-On! (with only one exclamation mark), as the third of my current recommendations.