FreezeFrame: K-ON!! – 02 – Trendspotting
Now that the K-ON moe train is barreling along with full momentum, I thought it’d be high time to slow down a bit and point out some of the little things I’ve noticed along the way, especially those moments that remind me of memorable scenes in anime past.
In no particular order:
1. Naka naka good position
K-ON!!, for all intents and purposes, is the second season of the second successor to the second of KyoAni’s major “series” of shows:
There’s also some other supposedly popular show with some crazy hot girl named Tessa, but nobody has heard anything from that camp in forever, so let’s just leave it at that. At any rate, being in the Haruhi lineage, K-ON!! should naturally be compared to Haruhi at certain junctures, such as this one. I remember my high school biology teacher telling us that usually those that sat front and center got the best grades, and the further you went out and back, the lower the grades became. It makes sense then, that those shows where the character sits in the back corner rarely involves interaction with the teacher, whereas those shows where the characters sit way in the front (Pani Poni and Negimi come to mind) frequently have the teacher as a primary character. That being said, it’s not like Sawa-chan is a minor character, but such a seating assignment does allow for more Yui antics, even if the one sitting directly in front of her is her “keep this animal on a leash” Kyon character.
On a related note, if Nodoka is supposed to be the Kyon, is there a loli in her bag??
2. Maraca Mugi
Mugi tends to like doing things with her hands, whether it be “yoisho yoisho” or grabbing maracas or packing materials shaped like maracas. I guess when one is a talented piano player, the fingers start getting restless when there’s no keys to push, so they start looking for other things to grasp, to stroke, to fondle. Speaking of delicate fingers stroking things, I know this one girl with freakin tiny hands… her fully open hand is like just a little bigger than my palm. Maybe it takes a… um… “parts fetishist” to understand, but when a girl has tiny hands, it tends to make various objects and appendages they hold look to be much bigger. It’s kinda hot.
Anyway, I should also point out that just prior to her picking up the packing tape, Mugi said “maa” four times, as opposed to the six times (Yui counted) in season 1. Seeing as how I’ve watched every episode of season 1 at least five times in glorious blu-ray, I tend to remember these things. Hi, I’m jaalin, I obsess about anime and animated body parts.
3. Uso da
The large disconnect between the nice girl and her psycho version has always been a fun character trait – it’s not like they’re going crazy in K-ON, but their eyes reminded me of no other than psychokaede, which I still believe to be the first documented case of batshit-insane-but-somehow-this-is-awesome. Higurashi seemingly was realized as an anime just to be able to abuse this new found sexiness in psycho girls. Or not. Whatever, let’s never talk about that show again.
4. Don’t judge me!
Perhaps only in a lighthearted show like K-ON could a teacher so quickly forgive a student for trying (and almost succeeding) to embezzle the equivalent of OVER 5000 US DOLLARS. At first thought, that might be quite a bit, especially considering it came from a sold guitar, but if you think about how quickly that five grand turns into receipt paper after buying some new accessories for their instruments and various other items, and if you estimate how quickly the likes of Mio and Azusa could earn that money doing enjou kosai, it’s really not all that much. Coincidentally, I can think of exactly one job where getting slapped in the face with a wad of money would be a common occurrence, so maybe Yui needs to start looking into taking advantage of her assets.
Naw, who am I kidding, I’d probably do some nasty shit for five grand. Like marathon Shippuden. Or go trick or treating at age 25 dressed as Orihime. Oh yes, Naruto and Bleach will forever be the butt end.
5. Puffy cheeks
For those who don’t remember Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru, there’s one big, throbbing, sweaty, and shamefully hidden difference between it and K-ON!! – there’s a penis in OtoBoku. That being said, it’s not like K-ON is completely devoid of penii; rather, the guy at the music shop is a regularly recurring character, but then again, as a nameless side character, he doesn’t really count. Well, given the number of genderbender characters in anime these days (although KyoAni seems to have largely skirted this particular issue), it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise if one of the girls at the school turned out to be packing something extra in those joshikosei pantsu. Probably one of those nice girls with great personalities we saw in the previous episode.
And then again, considering the almost-too-pure nature of this show, it would be tremendously weird for them to include this phallus-ed new supposed mainstay of anime. After all, K-ON has pretty much been devoid of anything resembling ecchi, as even the swimsuit episodes were extremely tasteful in their presentation of the female anatomy, and even the most obvious pantsu shot was replaced with a close-up image of a rice bowl. It almost makes me feel dirty to attach any sort of ecchi stigma that I wouldn’t even hesitate to do with the likes of Ladies vs Butlers, Mayoi Neko, Omamori Himari, B Gata H Kei, etc etc. Well, it’s not like those shows aren’t completely based around the concept of getting the viewer to want to nail every girl rendered in spankingly detailed 720p. K-ON, so blobbingly moe and so ingeniously written and characterized that it doesn’t even need ecchi to drive it? Is this the start of something new, or just an enormously important historical achievement, especially considering its origins, contemporaries, and competition?
6. Good job!
What exactly was Ui doing here? I thought the nice guy pose was reserved for, you know, congratulations, and not a “clean up this mess” move. Is this some kind of new thing in Japan, like “dondake” was during Lucky Star? Thumbs up when you’re actually pissed or want something done? It is quite a nice gesture to make at times…
Got your man stolen by some older bitch even though you came all the way from the Demon’s world to hook up with him?
Barely breaking even selling taiyaki and some chick jacks a whole bag of the good stuff?
Just trying to resurrect your dead mom using taboo alchemy and lose your arm (and your brother) in the process?
Hmm, quite useful indeed…
7. The Drill is a man’s passion!
I stopped reading the manga a long time ago, so I have no idea whether the inclusion of the drill is manga-based or some KyoAni addition. Either way, it seems like drills seem to be uh… drilling their way into quite a few anime these days, and I don’t really know why. Usually I can figure out the reasoning behind a weird fetish or otaku genre (having proliferated a few myself), but inevitably there’s always a few I can’t explain. Like furries. And drills. Cuz somehow a giant gattai mech has a similar appeal to a particularly overused hairstyle in anime that is seldom found IRL. Are there otakus that have an entire display shelf of Stanley and Craftsman? Wait, don’t we just call those guys “carpenters”?
Somebody at KyoAni really likes ponytails. There was an entire episode dedicated to it in Fumoffu, it almost caused the world to end in Haruhi, some guy wanted an alternate version of Hare Hare Yukai at Konata’s maid cafe, and now Mio busts it out while cleaning. If I had to guess, I’d say it was a particularly simple style that not only looks good and gets the job done, but also exposes the rear part of the neck, which is supposedly as sexy as boob cleavage in Japanese culture. I tend to agree. Furthermore, there are fewer things more beautiful to watch than the act of a girl reaching around and gathering up her long, silky hair, holding a hair tie with her mouth. The simple pleasures of life.
Speaking of which, you see that face thing Mio is holding? We first saw it in season one when Yui went shopping:
9. Okaerinasai goshujin-sama
Being a fan of the modern moe / harem anime, one thing I’ve had to come to terms with is the “moe threshold” – how much can you take before you feel completely perverted, leaving you with an itchy feeling to scrub off in the shower? I’d like to think my tolerance for this stuff is pretty high, but I guess I’d have to draw the line somewhere right between the almost-too-happy place that is K-ON and the debauchery and straight female exploitation that is Kampfer, with a side of Akikan. And Qwaser and Queen’s Blade are somewhere deep in Mordor. Even volume consumers like myself know that a double six dollar burger from Carl’s Jr or a bacon explosion is just too much.
One could say K-ON is a fun show to watch precisely because it masterfully walks the moe threshold without ever going over, maxing out its potential for enjoyment while maintaining a semblance of integrity and good wholesome fun, as opposed to getting a $5 lap dance in a back-alley strip club where they don’t use lube for the happy ending. I’m telling you, it’s worth the extra Jackson for them to get it right. *shudder*
And that does it for this week. Until next time!