The wait is finally over. The lovable gals of the Light Music Club return for one last hurrah… and a spectacular one at that. A seamless blend of the slice of life, comedy, and musical elements the original series was known for, the K-ON! Movie marks its territory as one of the more notable animated works of the year.
Included with the ninth and final volume of the K-ON Blu-ray/DVD releases was a third bonus episode. Much like the two that aired during the televised broadcast, this latest one takes place prior to the girls’ graduate when they’re planning for an overseas trip. What that actually translates to is our lovable light music band being unable to agree on a destination and realizing they need to get passports first.
The second bonus episode of K-ON takes place some time after the girls get accepted into the same university but before their graduation ceremony. Focusing on the yearbook photos and the vast majority’s discontent over their picture — particularly Yui — this final showing brought both sweet and funny moments to help tie-in the actual ending. Oh yeah, a surprise announcement about a K-ON movie was made at the very end too.
The budget is blown! This finale looked amazing every step of the way and didn’t disappoint in tugging on the emotional strings. Azusa is brought to tears like I’ve been waiting for all this time and receives a surprise performance of “Touched By An Angel” from her seniors.
Now that Yui and the others have finished their entrance exams and gotten into their school of choice together, there’s nothing left to do but wait around for their graduation ceremony. Hanging out in their clubroom one last time was on the itinerary, as was leaving behind a memento of all of Houkago Tea Time’s songs.
「またまた学園祭！」 (Matamata Gakuensai!)
“The School Festival Once Again!”
Alright, going above and beyond this time around. I have two insert videos along with lyrics to mark the long-awaited Houkago Tea Time performance at the school festival. We knew “U & I” was coming, but the other new song turned out to be “Gohan wa Okazu” (Rice is a Side Dish). No joke!
In case you haven’t heard, the next chapter of the K-ON manga will be the last. This marks the end of series’ three-year run at four volumes and just a bit before the anime, which will likely conclude on a similar note with the girls’ high school graduation.
It’s a play for the school festival from the seniors’ class, where majority voting lands Mio the leading role as Romeo. That’s not all that surprising given her fan club, but her manzai partner Ritsu is forced to play Juliet.
No clubroom evidently means an informal school tour for us, as the K-ON club tries to find another place to practice. On some level, it was more like they were looking for a new place to have a tea party while repairs were being made to a leaky water pipe.
Yui’s whipping out stickers and plastering them all over the place, making her primed for a future career as an elementary school teacher. Musician? Pssh… If this episode hinted at anything, it’s what each of Houkago Tea Time’s band members will likely wind up as.
As some people are already aware, the K-ON live concert that took place at the end of last year at Yokohama Arena was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 30th. It was near the end of this live event that the surprise announcement for a second season was made. While that came as a pleasant surprise, the concert itself was what I dying to see at the time and here we are six months later. Most of Houkago Tea Time’s songs were performed to a karaoke backtrack with the seiyuu only pretending to play each of their characters’ instruments, but they did learn how to play a couple of songs themselves. The actual live music performances were saved until near the end of the concert, but things started off with a bang and an opening performance of “Cagayake! GIRLS” after a crowd countdown.
Yokohama Arena’s max capacity is 17,000 for those wondering, and by the looks of it, it’s a sold-out crowd they performed in front of. One side of the arena was sectioned off for the stage area, but I’d wager that there are at least 15,000 attendees at this concert. When things are put into that perspective, it’s pretty easy to see why K-ON!! is airing on 28 different stations right now.
*Note: Lots of videos after the jump and not recommended for those without the bandwidth speed to handle it! I was pretty aggressive with encoding, but you’re still looking at 20-30MB per video.
I can’t say it’s surprisingly to find out that a group of girls who sit around eating cake and sipping tea all day isn’t the most athletic bunch, but Yui takes it to a whole new level of struggling during a 4-5 kilometer marathon run.