「ライブハウス！」 (Raibu Hausu!)
We know there’s a second season sometime down the road, but we have the 14th DVD/Blu-ray-only episode to tide us over until then. Included with the 7th volume is the extra live house episode that follows up where the TV series left off.
I briefly mentioned back in the Best of Anime 2009 post that if there were a cuteness category, K-ON would’ve been my pick hands down. Well this bonus episode reiterates that notion, as Houkago Tea Time attends their first ever live house. It’s already been half a year since the original run ended, so it actually felt kind of weird watching a brand new K-ON episode all of a sudden. However, I was right at home again with Yui’s silliness, Mio’s shyness, and Ritsu’s outspokenness. Throw in Mugi’s innocence and some good ‘ol Azusa teasing and we have all the pieces for our lovable light music anime. (Hmm, that “music” part sounded so tacked on.)
The quick rundown is that Ritsu middle school friend Maki invites them to take part in a live house performance. It turns out their bassist Aya is a big fan of Mio, having attended their performance at their school festival. Originally, neither Mio nor Azusa wanted to take part in this year-end live house, with the former being too shy to perform in public. However, a majority vote has Mugi surprisingly siding with an emphatic Ritsu and Yui, so they decide to make the best of it. Much of the humour comes from the usual character nuances, but more so with how the whole live house operation is new to them. They’re pretty lost when it comes to the setting sheet for their performances, but Yui gets along really well with one of the scary looking bands there that Mio’s afraid of. Despite their appearance, they’re actually really nice people and even encourage Yui and the others when their rehearsal goes awry. In the end, their performance goes without a hitch and they even wake up to see the new year’s sunrise the next morning.
For some reason or another, I found Yui’s reaction to Maki’s “Love Crisis” band name pretty hilarious. She thought it was so cool and made her question “Houkago Tea Time” until they were told that it’s a cute name. Normally I find Yui silliness a bit too dumb to laugh at, but the K-ON dry-spell evidently made her hilarious to me this time around. This includes her pre-prepared autograph for Nodoka, which she doesn’t want but ends up accepting so that Yui doesn’t feel bad. The highlights for Mio were her shyness in front of strangers, her “moe” appeal when she wanted pink lighting, and her swearing that she won’t trip onstage again. The last one was good foreshadowing for a repeat of one of the things that made Mio so popular, as she did end up taking a spill during their rehearsal. Unfortunately, there was no stripped underwear (shimapan) flashing this time around. I think my only complaint with this bonus episode is that they glossed over the actual performances, much like in episode 12. Also, I blame Mio for convincing everyone to perform in just their school uniforms, as I was hoping they’d finally dress up like the ending sequence.
Anyway, cute bonus episode, especially with the band logo Yui made up on the spot with the help of Mugi. (It’s a teacup.) Worth checking out if you’re a K-ON fan. I included lots of screenshots this time around so people won’t ask about the lack of screenshots. As for me, it’s back to Final Fantasy XIII. Letter Bee 15 will be blogged… eventually. >_>