「番外編 企画会議！」 (Bangai-hen – Kikaku Kaigi!)
“Extra Chapter – Project Meeting!”
Judging by Yui’s bangs (or lack thereof), this first of two side story episodes takes place some time after the graduation photos in episode 21 and before their entrance exams in episode 22. Revolving around the creation of a recruitment video for their club, this bonus episode could have easily slotted in between, which left me wondering why the decision was made to leave it until the very end. Had I seen the time that Yui and the others spent on this video, I probably would’ve felt differently about Azusa’s situation too. All this time, I thought everyone had totally neglected her and the future of the club once they graduate, giving me all the reason to believe that Azusa would have an emotional breakdown at some point. However, after learning that she had this kind of support from her seniors, it’s no real surprise why she was never even close to tearing up until she saw their graduation diplomas. The only thing I can think of is that Kyoto Animation wanted to build up the Azusa side of the story so that the finale last week would have as much impact as it did, and a cheery lighthearted showing such as this would have thrown a wrench in those plans.
Whatever the case, we’re not only taken back to a time before the girls graduated, but also to the very beginnings of the club when they first K-ON promo video was created using “nurse Mio” as bait. I had almost forgotten the beauty of seeing Mio cosplaying against her will, so Azusa’s discovery of the disc that Mio thought she safely sealed away in a cookie tin instantly made this an episode to remember. It’s just a darn shame that they didn’t go with Sawa-chan’s Hollywood movie idea for their latest video, because what she had envisioned for “THE KEION-BU” was a hit in my eyes. Heck, I’d pay good money to see the full version of that movie if it was ever made. Even the mystery-themed version that Mugi had in mind would’ve been worth watching for all the melodrama. More so than either of those two, I think I would’ve loved to see some of the girls in the extremely flashy outfit that Sawa-chan made this time around. I have absolutely no idea what she was expecting them to wear that with underneath, but I would’ve paid even better money if the answer was “nothing.” Of course, that was never meant to be, so I’m quite grateful for the ending sequences where the girls are actually in cool-looking outfits.
The end result with footage of a lot of their everyday activities — including sitting around drinking tea and eating cake — and a collection of interviews with other students wasn’t too bad though. It was a bit duller than I would’ve liked, but I guess that’s Azusa and her “sensible” idea for us. At least Sawa-chan left in the footage with Azu-nyan in cat ears at the very end after all the editing she did. With the prospect of having a club leader like that, who wouldn’t want to join the light music club? Anyway, the final final episode next time looks like it’ll be about a visit to Sawa-chan’s place. Upon hearing that, I’m admittedly quite interested in seeing what her room’s like. In particular, I wonder if she still has heavy metal posters up or has truly left that part of her life completely behind. One more episode to go!