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K-ON!! – 02 »« FreezeFrame: Remember when pantsu were considered ero?

FreezeFrame: K-ON!! – 01

ff k on 01 01

The photography club of the nearby all-boy’s school set up some hidden cameras in the music room

The most blatantly moe show KyoAni has ever unleashed upon the world is back for a second season. Oh yes, the same studio that attached the genki girl voice of Horie Yui in her prime to some taiyaki-loving unskilled tree-climber girl with angel wings on her backpack. And had some goddammit-act-your-age girl with a dangerous obsession for starfish. Cuz, you know, starfish are cute. And girls who have some kind of symbol or mascot like that are strangely appealing. Moe works in mysterious ways.

Like other things in this world that cannot be explained by any sort of credible science, it may be better if we just stopped questioning and enjoyed it for its merits. Let’s see how they fared, shall we?


ff k on 01 02

Ganbatte Mugi, once Kadokawa stops trolling its fans you won’t have to take public transit anymore

Remember that one scene in Lucky Star, where Konata points out that the people who take the train into the city seem more sophisticated than the ones who leave the city? Miyuki’s house is quite nice and her family does seem quite well off, but it’s not like she’s spending long weekends in Finland or has a whole lineup of summer villas to choose from. Mugi is probably pushing Arima Teppei anime-exaggerated levels of affluence, and the girl has to take public transportation to school? Cmon now. The only thing Mugi seems to be short on is a joshikosei maid hacker army, but maybe that’s only because we haven’t seen them yet. So, unless her dad has been running some sort of monster Ponzi scheme, I’m chalking this one up to character inconsistencies.


ff k on 01 03

A few more “bread crumbs” and you would’ve gotten a common scene in Kiss x Sis

Come to think of it, a big item on the “Unanswered mysteries of the K-ON universe” – what exactly does Mugi’s main house residence look like? We talking Takishima Kei? Hanaukyo La Verite? Sanzenin Nagi? For those interested, here are some other unanswered mysteries:

  • Ritsu’s forehead complex: we’ve seen her with her hair down, and it’s totally hot. Did some kid make fun of her bangs as a kid?
  • Sawa-chan sensei’s keion band: what were they called, who wrote the songs, and what the hell was up with their costumes? This might be an interesting one to look more into, as it speaks to the watering down of our entertainment media from generation to generation. When I was a kid, we had badass cartoons, like Turtles and GI Joe and Saint Seiya and Shurato. Even the genderbender Ranma had its kickass half-naked fight scenes. Kids these days grow up on… Pokemon? Pussies. Sponge Bob? Crazies. Naruto and Bleach? Do people even know what a naruto is? Shiet…
  • Ui-chan: the typical wife-savant side character, and somehow has enough natural talent to learn how to play guitar without actually… playing guitar. What else is she capable of?

  • ff k on 01 04

    Even the nerdiest of hand gestures can be hot when a Hirasawa is involved

    I said it before in the previous season, and I’ll say it again here – there’s a lot of attention to detail in this show when it comes to hands, probably more apparent in the previous season, which had a more “low budget” look to it. Even when they aren’t particularly proportionally drawn, most of the hands that make it on screen always seem to be doing some kind of cute gesture – appropriate considering that skill with an instrument usually involves some sort of superhuman finger dexterity, but KyoAni seems to have taken it a step further and made it into some kind of moe mode. There’s beauty to be found in everything.


    ff k on 01 05

    She really is playing the actual keys of the song – does Nodame go into so much detail?

    Speaking of attention to detail, in addition to Sawa-chan’s accurate piano playing there was a good bit of detail to be had in the school anthem scene:


    ff k on 01 06
    ff k on 01 07

    However inappropriate for the occasion, a set of castanets would have really gone well here

    Based on those two shots above, we can tell Yui is standing directly behind Mugi. You see the girl behind Mugi, to her left – the brown-haired one with the two pigtails? One of those pigtails shows up to the left of Yui. Behind that girl, a twin-tailed girl with dark blue hair that shows up more clearly in Yui’s pic. Same thing with the girls to Yui’s right – the darker skinned girl and the dark green-haired girl right behind her show up in both pictures.

    It’s not the first time we’ve seen this level of detail with KyoAni productions – there was some talk a while ago about the meganekko in Haruhi’s class that shows up from time to time. Perhaps it’s not as impressive when you consider that the artists are frequently drawing the same classroom full of students – they might as well draw the same ones – but still, it’s fun to make little catches like this. Not to mention not every studio does this – remember what the other classmates in Pani Poni looked like?


    ff k on 01 08

    Lucky Star had that one part where they compared each other to animals

    “Why am I a pig?”
    “Because – it’s the keion bu-ta nandayo!”

    It’s stuff like this that makes me appreciate what a difficult job the sub groups have sometimes – the joke here is a play on words: the “bu” in “keion bu” means “club”, whereas “buta” means “pig” – hence, the keion club pig. There was that one episode in Lucky Star where they went on the school field trip to visit all the temples, and the tour guide made those puns that had Shiraishi rofling (‘Narrating’ about ‘Nara’ – nice one Strato). Anyways, well played, CoalGuys.

    I should also point out that I am aware of the fact that I make at least four references to Lucky Star in this post alone, but that’s kind of like Family Guy trying to come with material that hasn’t been already done by The Simpsons. It’s unavoidable when the prior work has already addressed every single issue ever encountered in life.


    ff k on 01 09

    Her left hand looks like something Azuma Kazuma baked up – her fingers are filled with jam

    Whereas the relative attractiveness of characters is immediately obvious to viewers, such shallow judgments may not be so hastily passed by the characters themselves. For example, it does not strike Ritsu that perhaps the two girls she is trying to recruit just happen to be the only two ugly girls in the entire school. Ok, three girls – the sumo-haired looking chick standing next to Mugi in the school assembly pic above doesn’t have much hope. But those are the ONLY ONES. It’s like how in mahjongasm anime Saki you could always tell who would win or lose just based on their relative kawaiiness – as soon as Amae Koromo started flashing those bunny ears you knew some shit was about to go down.

    Well, I’m sure those three girls are very nice and have great personalities.


    ff k on 01 10
    ff k on 01 11

    One looks like that Mashimaro thing, the other looks to be the only weapon against the Kraken

    Current mental train of thought: Yui has no energy. Yui needs cake. Mugi brings cake every day, but they never seem to get fat. They clearly do mind their weight as pointed in the new year’s episode. Which either means these girls are sticking fingers down their throats, or we’ve never really seen an anime change a character’s weight in the series. Characters frequently undergo clothing changes, hairstyle changes (see ED), and sometimes we get to see their loli version, and those are always fun, but I can’t recall any that has shown a skinny and fat version. Then again, it doesn’t seem like Japanese people ever get fat, so maybe that’s a reason. Damn that low-fat high-protein maritime diet.


    ff k on 01 12
    ff k on 01 13
    ff k on 01 14

    This song is going straight in my car as soon as it comes out

    I’m not too big of a fan of the chipmunk OP song (Yui’s voice isn’t high enough already?), but everything about the ED kicks ass. I mean, we knew it was gonna be better than the OP as soon as Mio started singing, but the visuals were very cool also. The big-haired cake fairy? Awesome. Mio’s Kiki Delivery Service bow? Perfect. Azusa’s side-part hair and Mugi’s captain hat? Oh yes.

    Those who were with me the first time around may remember I totally lost hope in the show near the end after declaring it my all-time favorite after episode 2. I’ve since regained some of my initial enthusiasm after the blurays were released – K-ON in 1080 is glorious. The 720 TV broadcasts this time around will likely go a long way in preserving the initial hype, and for now, good ol’ K-ON is back in full do-cute-shit-just-cuz-it’s-cute force.

    Mugi, take us to your house!

    April 11, 2010 at 10:54 am
    55 comments »
    • April 11, 2010 at 11:12 amxcswmboy

      i thought yui’s guitar playing was nicely animated at the beginning until she got to the windmilling. lol.

      • April 11, 2010 at 11:16 amTehJawknee

        What are you talking about? Yui’s windmilling was what made that scene awesome! It took me a minute to figure out she was playing My Love is a Stapler, but then she got up to windmill and I just said “Epic!”

      • April 12, 2010 at 10:11 pmtenton

        No love for the Pete Townshend tribute? Awww… ^_^

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:13 amWingZeroZXT

      Whereas the relative attractiveness of characters is immediately obvious to viewers, such shallow judgments may not be so hastily passed by the characters themselves. For example, it does not strike Ritsu that perhaps the two girls she is trying to recruit just happen to be the only two ugly girls in the entire school. Ok, three girls – the sumo-haired looking chick standing next to Mugi in the school assembly pic above doesn’t have much hope. But those are the ONLY ONES. It’s like how in mahjongasm anime Saki you could always tell who would win or lose just based on their relative kawaiiness – as soon as Amae Koromo started flashing those bunny ears you knew some shit was about to go down.

      Well, I’m sure those three girls are very nice and have great personalities ROFL

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:15 amWingZeroZXT

      there were meant to be quote marks but it still stands ROFL

      and sweet first time ive ever made second (since the geass era)

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:19 amWingZeroZXT

      Last comment: Anyone know what the little bit Yui was playing in the begin is called or where ts from lemme know

      • April 11, 2010 at 11:27 amTehJawknee

        I’m not sure you read my post, then.

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:23 amstarss

      Yay Jaalin is here to stay.

      Your references are lightning quick, and you can remember one particular screenshot from ANOTHER show like nobody’s business!

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:26 amLe

      YAY~ JAALIN!

      lol Nice references. I totally forgot about Lucky Star. But now that you mentioned it, Lucky Star became so much more amusing because it set so many ground rules. xD (I think I’m gonna re-watch it now)

      The details have always been like this in KyoAni animations? Never knew that. The last I remember it was this good was Clannad. :D The artwork is just lovely. I find myself rewatching episodes sometimes.

      CoalGuys go through that with the subs? Thanks for explaining it and all but I didn’t know jokes that play with words wou- well I guess I see. In English, we have the same things where we play with words and it’s kinda hard to translate. D: Lucky Star had a lot of that, didn’t it? :O

      ..Hmm.. K-ON.. I’m so watching this on my iPod.

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:37 amJacko

      Maaan, you should totally blog K-ON!! just like the first season. I read your posts for the screenshot alt-text/comments.

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:43 amLucy

      Umm.. Long weekends in Finland? Why in Finland? I’m Finnish so I want to know what’s the meaning of this :D I can’t understand why anyone would spent their holiday in Finland…

      • April 11, 2010 at 11:53 amjaalin

        in the first season, ritsu called up mugi when she was at the fast food joint with azusa and ui… the butler picked up and said she was in finland. well, i’m pretty sure it was finland… might’ve been somewhere else ~_~

      • April 11, 2010 at 12:53 pmM2

        Maybe she likes rally?

      • April 13, 2010 at 9:11 amVexx

        Because to Japanese, Finland is probably oh-so-much-more exotic sounding than just “America” or “Canada” :)

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:49 amJurkasz

      I don’t see any inconsistency in Mugi’s character. If she would come to school with a limousine, _that_ would be a controversy to her personality. She doesn’t like to show up with her family’s wealth, remember the training camp episodes when the grls entered the house and Mugi-chan was totally freaked out even by a fruit basket on the table. I think it’s perfectly normal for her that she’s going to school with public transport.

      The one thing that concerns me that why the heck did they dress up in these animal costumes again? It had the opposite effect in the previous year too :P

    • April 11, 2010 at 12:29 pmVera

      I didn’t even know this was a KyoAni production (that is to say, I didn’t care enough to look it up), and I generally hate KyoAni productions (Air and Clannad … bleah!). But I LOVED this one :D Am so so looking forward to this sequel. And I don’t think your comparison with Lucky Star is misplaced. The two resemble each other a LOT, only K-ON’s more enjoyable because of the pretty art :P

      P.S. Totally agree about the OP and ED. Heck the former freaked me out big time when I heard it. Brrrrr!

    • April 11, 2010 at 12:44 pmKevin

      I wholeheartedly endorse this post for its awesome analysis of K-ON!! despite its moe underpinnings. Keep up these FreezeFrames, Jaalin!

    • April 11, 2010 at 1:02 pmStorm

      To address the Ritsu hair issue, I knew a guy in high school that had the same hair as Ritsu (Light brown, shoulder length, yes it was a guy). It also turns out that he was a drummer. Whenever he would play, he would tie his hair back because he said it got in the way while he was playing. Ritsu probably experiences the same problem.

    • April 11, 2010 at 2:08 pmKanao

      “but I can’t recall any that has shown a skinny and fat version.”

      In Samurai Champloo the main girl goes on an eating frenzy and practically inflates for a few hours. More than once.

      • April 11, 2010 at 4:18 pmjaalin

        oooh good memory, i remember that one now

    • April 11, 2010 at 2:44 pmzim

      i miss the “caption”

    • April 11, 2010 at 3:12 pmROFLWAFFLELAWL

      “It’s stuff like this that makes me appreciate what a difficult job the sub groups have sometimes – the joke here is a play on words: the “bu” in “keion bu” means “club”, whereas “buta” means “pig” – hence, the keion club pig. ”

      Umm the last part would imply that it’s called Keion bu buta. Just saying :P

      Anyways totally love K-on. Glad its in HD too.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:05 pmVena

      Bob Poundmax from Gungrave and similarly the kid from Basquash, are the only two characters I can remember to have ever changed weight. One going from skinny to obese, the other from obese to stick figure.

      Completely irrelevant, I know.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:11 pmRei

      Behind Mio in the singing school song, there’s a direct clone of her.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:16 pmvladrin

      Great to know that you picked on the show, Jaalin.

      Was quite happy to see the improvement in quality of the animation (although the preview of the next episode shows some disappointing quality, which hopefully will not carry on the rest of the series).

      Still, K-ON has an extremely positive, optimistic and energetic atmosphere as ever. And I’m very happy to see more about my lovely characters.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:19 pminnerchihiro

      I love this post XD, thank you for writing Jaalin.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:35 pminnerchihiro

      Oh and the description of Ayu as an “unskilled tree-climber” is gonna go down in my record book as one of the best descriptions EVER.

    • April 11, 2010 at 4:54 pmmegalith

      “One looks like that Mashimaro thing, the other looks to be the only weapon against the Kraken”

      FCKKKK….

    • April 11, 2010 at 5:52 pmChen^2

      Hm… I just noticed something, Divine. None of the screen shots for Season 1 of K-On! are loading for me. I know there was that server hard drive crash awhile back and you guys lost most of those pics but in the old site at animeblogger.net more than half of them still show up, but here on the new site none of them are loading for me. You know what’s going on?

      • April 11, 2010 at 6:14 pmjaalin

        yea, we know about it. i’m a newb, so i didn’t keep backups of the screencaps, so they’re all blank now -_-

        • April 11, 2010 at 8:09 pmChen^2

          Well, most of them still show up on the old randomc.animeblogger.net site, I think Omni might have recovered some (Like here, I can see almost all of the screen shots: http://randomc.animeblogger.net/2009/06/08/k-on-10/ whereas the same entry for this new site nothing shows up: http://randomc.net/2009/06/08/k-on-10/. You guys should still be able to copy them over before the old site goes away completely. I thought the database migration copied everything from the old site, which is why I’m confused.

        • April 12, 2010 at 5:47 amMrRei

          may be they didn’t include the ones that were affected by the crash to be migrated here.. if you think about it there’s no reason to move something that’s missing. or may be some other error or thing that I can’t think about right now ^_^

      • April 12, 2010 at 11:43 amdivine

        Fixed. I brought it whatever K-ON images were available on Max7′s server. I didn’t realize some where still kicking around.

        • April 13, 2010 at 6:47 amChen^2

          Thanks Divine. Sorry to bother you when you’ve been so busy blogging. Keep up the great work.

    • April 11, 2010 at 6:09 pmchingoo

      Jaalin, you make my days that much better.
      I appreciate the nice in-depth poking at of K-ON (I love the series too <3).

      Ankle shot!

    • April 11, 2010 at 6:11 pmchingoo

      OH. On the note of lucky star, does anyone remember what episode Shiraishi said わからないそのむずかし日本語のことば。 (Forgive my spelling)

      I can’t find it ._.

    • April 11, 2010 at 6:23 pmCHIBI

      Ui better be in the next ep. My pants fall down automatically when I see her.

      • April 11, 2010 at 7:09 pmTehJawknee

        That is… WAY more information than I really needed. Thanks.

        • April 12, 2010 at 8:49 pmCHIBI

          I also get a raging stiffy.

    • April 11, 2010 at 7:18 pmnyx

      did you guys notice when yui strumming the gitar u can hear her singging ? though not very clear.

    • April 11, 2010 at 8:26 pmbird

      Well played, Jaalin. Bring on the moe!

    • April 11, 2010 at 9:11 pmqueenie

      As a total band geek, I also thought “Wow….they look like they’re actually playing the right notes!” Seriously, that always bugged me in anime where they play 3 chords and it comes out sounding like they hit every note possible while not looking like a spaz.

      And I’m still loving the way deep look into K-ON!! and it’s ‘complexities’. Oh jaalin…how I’ve missed you…

    • April 11, 2010 at 11:01 pmEaglestrike

      You should know after S1 that Mugi has an obsession with the “lower class”. For instance in S1 she absolutely loved being able to work part time at a fast food place and say “Would you like fries with that?”. So I would assume that taking public transportation is just in the same line of thought.

    • April 12, 2010 at 2:29 amHnngh

      Yes, Nodame does go into such detail, nearly every episode.

    • April 12, 2010 at 2:59 am1Lau

      K-ON!! is so darn Smexy it’s already the winner of the Spring Season.

    • April 12, 2010 at 5:45 amchris k

      “Her left hand looks like something Azuma Kazuma baked up – her fingers are filled with jam”
      i literally LOL-ed at this! thanks for making my Mon(day)!

    • April 12, 2010 at 8:32 amisshin86

      “This song is going straight in my car as soon as it comes out”
      Same here :D

    • April 12, 2010 at 12:23 pmSpec

      anyone has seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok0_sjTF4PQ my friend told me that i wathced it and it was made great

      • April 12, 2010 at 2:08 pmSora no Kaze

        Lol I have. I mean, some things are kinda obvious what was done, but it’s very nice. I do truly wonder how far they will go though. Only time will tell.

    • April 12, 2010 at 3:23 pmSkribulous

      Oh yes, the same studio that attached the genki girl voice of Horie Yui in her prime to some taiyaki-loving unskilled tree-climber girl with angel wings on her backpack.

      So, Toei is animating K-On!! now?

      • April 12, 2010 at 3:36 pmstarss

        Over my dead body!

    • April 12, 2010 at 11:09 pmmayu08

      very detailed, well done
      I enjoyed reading from start to end

    • April 15, 2010 at 7:17 amEx14

      I said this before. the ED is decent by not as good, th OP honestly is a mess. sure, it’s catchy, but thats all it had going for it. The older songs were much better IMHO. I agree on the anomation part They really uppted the ante….or maybe cause this time they’re broadcasting in HD =/ but that still didn’t save the OP’s animation. my gosh. the CGT was cool for that one second untill yui started moving robotically. They could have done a much better job of it ( as proved by mio’s bass part in the OP) but ironically they’re not =w=”’

    • April 15, 2010 at 8:29 amveester

      it was asked if nodame is that detailed? yes, they are. but it’s cg overlay on video that they took of actual musicians playing the songs. And Kyo Ani did the same thing for the Haruhi concert scene, well, at least the bass and the drums were correct on that part.

    • April 15, 2010 at 6:12 pmichigo_daisuki

      This is my first time reading a FreezeFrame post ^_^
      You sure made great observations.