「高3」 (Kou 3)
“Third-Year High School”
“Moeblob” Houkago Tea Time (HTT) is back with another full season and the best part of it all is that TBS isn’t holding out on the widescreen version like they usually do. It’s K-ON in sixteen-nine all the time! I gather this one needs no introduction, but please refer to my brief blurb in the Spring 2010 Preview if you do. Now as for the premiere episode of the series that Kyoto Animation can milk the hell out of at this point (and easily get away with it), it was 100% cuteness and a few chuckles all the way through. I wasn’t consciously looking forward to this sequel given all the other new shows that were airing, but watching this episode quickly reminded me of how much I’ve missed Yui and her gang. This time around, I got the feeling that all the seiyuus are a lot more comfortable in their respective roles, which makes it all the better.
Production-wise, KyoAni doesn’t disappoint in the least, as the screenshots above should indicate. I’m assuming they had a lot more funding this time around, because I really don’t recall season one ever looking this good. My only complaint is that they didn’t show us anything from HTT’s live performances at the entrance ceremony (…yet again). A shame to say the least, especially when Mio had “Watashi no Koi wa Hotchkiss”, “Fude Pen ~Ball Pen~”, “Ichigo Parfait ga Tomaranai”, and “Fuwa Fuwa Time” all lined up in the schedule! In addition to never having heard of the third song, “The Strawberry Parfait Doesn’t End”, I was hoping to hear some of the season one songs in-show again.
So with that, I’m left hoping they’ll give us some live concert scenes sooner rather than later, even though it’s unlikely given the cost/time required to produce them. On the topic of music however, I can’t say that I really like the new opening theme “GO! GO! MANIAC” because Toyosaki Aki singing fast-paced songs doesn’t sound nearly as good as the more pop-like “Cagayake Girls” from season one. Hikasa Youko‘s “Listen!!” ending theme is a lot better, but still doesn’t have the same immediate impact that “Don’t say ‘lazy'” did. However, I do like their outfits in the actual sequence and it’s nice to see Azusa there as well now. In fact, all the girls look pretty stylish in the ending and I love how it goes against their usual image in the show itself.
Overall, this was a very cute episode with a few quirky laughs that the series is known for and served as a mini re-introduction to all the characters as well. Things revolved primarily around Yui and the others entering their final year of high school and frantically trying to recruit more members to the club so that Azusa isn’t all alone next year (even though she was secretly happy about being defaulted as the new club leader). Naturally, silliness ensued from their inability to find anyone much like before, but it did end on a rather sweet note. Other than that, one of the highlights was Sawako-sensei becoming their new homeroom teacher and the one responsible for getting them all into the same class, meaning that Mio isn’t the odd girl out this year. (Hurray for Mio!)
So there you have it. Fun times with the light music club. K-ON season two, are you ready for more? Because I sure as hell know I am!