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It’s the start of a new school year, and the new crop of freshmen are coming in… most importantly, Ui is now a high schooler! Thus making it ok – or at least not so illegal – to fantasize about her in more places than the kitchen. One would think that her amicable disposition and responsible attitude would make her the school idol (Minami Haruka comes to mind), but when faced with all-trick juggernauts like Mio and Mugi, it’s understandable that legions of fanboys aren’t throwing themselves at Ui’s feet. Not yet, at least. Maybe Ui will learn how to play the castanets.
Yui, Mugi, and Ritsu end up in the same class, which leaves lil Mio a victim of the Kagami Konundrum – you’re all aloneeee, there’s nobody there beside youuuu…. except Nodoka, but she’s purposely drawn not as cute as the other chars and therefore an afterthought. Unless you’re into short-haired seito kaichou meganekko that aren’t as good looking as the rest of the cast.
The amount of time that transpires between each episode is a bit startling at times, as only eight episodes in and we’ve gone full circle back to club recruiting again. It seems like they were able to do this by combining episodes – onsen ep with beach ep, for example, and by completely skipping the “visit the rich girl’s house” ep. It’s not necessarily a bad way to go, it’s just a little disorienting at times. Especially when it comes to Yui’s guitaring ability. More on this later.
Sawachan-sensei provides them with some costumes, which don’t really make much sense as they show off absolutely no skin (unless you’ve got fetishus domesticus), but immediately salvages it with maid costumes worthy of a good design award. Ui brings along her not so cute friend, which is probably the most accurate indication that there’s no way in hell the girl is gonna join the club. She’s also kinda fat by anime standards. You know, her BMI is somewhere between “IRL skinny” and “healthy weight”, which is way past “borderline anorexic” and “it’s no wonder you’re concerned about your cup size”. Regardless, the keionbu puts on a rather horrific performance – perhaps intentionally, which has the fat chick running away in disgust.
Fast forward to their next live performance – this time, they’ve got a lineup of four songs, all with some trademark Mio frilly name like “My Love is a Stapler”. I should point out that the Japanese word for stapler is “hochikisu” – hotchkiss – some old school stapler company, which was probably adopted into the Japanese language because it sounds a lot more moe than “su-u-i-n-gu-ra-in”. Yui owns the intro riff but forgets to sing again, but Mio is there for the rescue.
After such an epic performance, you’d think the club room would be filled with eager schoolgirls, but nope – they’re just there to enjoy the show, not be a part of it. Save for one… the loli Kana-chan looking chick, whose name is actually Azusa, but until she does something terrifically cool, Kana-chan she will always be compared to…
Up next on K-ON!: Azusa dress-up
A lot happening in this ep – Ui shows up, a new character is introduced, Mio gets some good screentime, the girls dress up in uncool and then very cool costumes, there’s a pseudo-performance prefaced by a pseudo-track meet (har har), a gratuitous shot of Azusa’s ankles, then a real performance with Mio saving the day, and then Ritsu tackles the poor freshman. Whew.
A couple points need addressing:
– Ui’s popularity, or apparent lack of: it seems like in every other non-KyoAni anime, girls of Ui’s mold would be the school idol or at least extremely popular – Minami Haruka, Shirakawa Kotori, that Hirano Aya imouto in Akane-iro, but those in KyoAni always seem to slip under the radar. Or, if they really are popular, we never really catch wind of it. Perhaps KyoAni understands that these girls are too perfect, too invulnerable that they seem unreal – and this is why Mio reclaims the top spot on our unofficial K-ON ranking:
2. Akiyama Mio
4. Big Drama Akiyama
– Frequently used plot devices, like ostracizing Mio to another class just to get a rise out of her: love it.
– Mio’s affinity towards photography: I guess it’s just there to add another dimension to her character, but sometimes I hope they expand a bit more upon it. Not really sure how… just a passing thought.
– Maid outfits: what a perfect opportunity to cut Mio’s dress short and have her moe moe kyun, but that wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that’s why she’s the best.
– Azusa’s feet: they are TINY!
– Mio’s clutch save: this is an important point and one that I’ve made before, and will probably keep making – Mio is a much better singer than Yui. Like, leagues beyond. Like, Adam Lambert over Kris Allen. And yet, Kris still wins because VoteForTheWorst is hilarious and America doesn’t want a gay guy to be Idol, just like how a clearly cooler and vocally superior side character can’t be lead singer. It was made quite obvious in this ep when Mio started the song but then Yui took over and just butchered it. BRING MIO BACK!
– Bringing back the music: many of the comments from the previous episode had viewers wanting more music. KyoAni knows what they’re doing – this ep was all about the music, and it turned out great. The fact that the girls performed four songs for this live means we got ourselves a full-blown K-ON album coming eventually. Here’s to hoping that the Mio character single will have her singing all these songs herself without Yui’s annoying voice fuxing it all up.
– Club recruiting: in all seriousness, why do they want new members? What would the new members do, clean the drums? Pyrotechnics? Do the laundry? A band can’t have more than four or five members… what exactly is Azusa gonna play? Well, I’m sure all of you already know the answer to that, so let’s just treat it as a rhetorical question. Should you feel the need to spoil, please take advantage of the spoiler tag lol.
– Our good man Josh Garrado over at YouTube has already posted the piano versions of several K-ON tracks, with sheet music soon to come, on his channel.