「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! That makes two songs that Yui wrote lyrics for, one of which should is composed by Mugi. I thought the rice lyrics were supposed to be a joke, but it looks like the joke’s on me since they delivered an upbeat and lighthearted song with them. Humorous would be another good way to describe it, seeing as Yui’s singing about how rice goes well with anything, such as ramen, udon, and okonomiyaki, and how it’s a “dream-like collaboration” having carbs with carbs. I thought the stereotypical jab at how it’s got to be okonomiyaki and rice with Kansai people added some nice comedic flair, simply because they scream “donai yanen!” at the end that line. Watch (and sing along) below!
INS2: 「ごはんはおかず」 (Gohan wa Okazu) by 放課後ティータイム (Houkago Tea Time)
Watch the 2nd INS (with lyrics): Streaming ▼
In terms of the most touching HTT song, “U & I” delivers exactly what I was expecting when I caught a glimpse of the lyrics back in episode seventeen. We all know the song is about Ui, so I was glad the camera panned over to her in the audience during the performance of it. Despite how cheery Yui is singing the song, it was so unbelievable sweet that I felt some tears of joy on the verge of flowing out. The lyrics are so simple, saying how she can’t do anything without her, can’t apologize to her when she’s not around, wants to eat her cooking, hear her voice, see her smile, and how having her beside her gives her courage, yet I could just sense Yui’s earnest feelings behind them. All I have to be reminded of is how she stayed by Ui’s bedside writing them. The line in the song about how she wants to convey these feelings and how Ui’s smile shines brightly even on rainy days was almost the breaking point for me, because Yui had finally realized how much Ui means to her and put those thoughts into this song. I’m admittedly a sucker for sentimental stuff like this, so it’s pretty easy for me to get caught into the emotions behind it. This is the last live performance (and song) of their high school years! See below.
INS3: 「U & I」 by 放課後ティータイム (Houkago Tea Time)
Watch the 3rd INS (with lyrics): Streaming ▼
The only other song they performed seemed to be “Fuwa Fuwa Time”, but I was realistically only expecting one new one to begin with, making the two here quite a treat. The episode itself was all about endearing moments though, with Sawa-chan’s big surprise of giving HTT t-shirts to everyone in the crowd being enough to get Yui’s waterworks going. I love how Yui stumbled over her cord when the curtain raised as well, because it probably wasn’t as accidental as it seemed given the way it started her in the pose seen in the season two announcement at Yokohama Arena. The lighthearted side that started off with creepy “person” kanji written all over Mio’s hand extended well into all of Yui’s quirky ad-lib MC that filled most of their stage time, which I didn’t actually mind because they brought in some “Romio” and “Ritsulet” lines to tie in the previous episode. Yui even brought up her role as “Tree G”! If there’s one thing that her mic work reiterated, it’s that Yui truly does speak her mind without any sort of filtering first. Of course, that’s the reason why everyone loves her, as indicated by the affectionate way the four others introduced her to the crowd.
Similarly, I thought it was really sweet how Yui introduced Sawa-chan first and cute how she couldn’t get away from calling her that instead of “Yamanaka-sensei” until several attempts later. There was also her thanks to Nodoka for being the president of the Mio Fan Club that I thought was a very nice move on Yui’s part. However, the bittersweetness wasn’t truly felt until the performance was over and the girls were reflecting on it in their clubroom. The eventual emotional outpour caught me a bit offguard, since Mio hugging “Elizabeth” and Azusa all over “Muttan” looked awfully cute just prior. I didn’t quite catch where all the talk of their next live that will never be was headed, so I was a bit taken back when all the girls started crying as well. It was like the last words at the Yokohama Arena live event all over again! Mugi was ridiculously cute when she was flailing her legs out of frustration before Azusa comforted her though.
I think the only thing missing to make their last school festival even more bittersweet was Megumi, who Nodoka said would be around to see their live but I didn’t catch sight of. Megumi spotted! Yui and Ui’s parents too.
For now, I’m still holding onto hope that Kyoto Animation will surprise us with at least one more new song in the show, but they did deliver here in terms of providing “animated” performances. Next time, the focus is on grad photos it seems, with Yui spearheading that angle like she always tends to do.