I loved, loved, loved this episode. I thought it was the cutest, funniest episode to date… for the first 18 minutes. And then they forced in some melodrama and kind of killed all that momentum. So, I’m going to try to forget the last 3 minutes happened, and revel in the pure joy I wrought from the first 18.
K-ON returns this week with a new member and a new OP in tow. Sankaku points out the hilarious (and definitely more lazy than crazy) superimposition of Azusa into a couple of frames in the OP. Unfortunately for Azu-nyan, she does not get the same treatment in the ED. Perhaps next week.
The group welcomes Azu-nyan, who introduces herself as a “beginner",” but then proceeds to knock everyone’s socks off by playing a couple blistering leads. Sort of a surprising choice of licks. Since her parents were in a jazz band, I was hoping she’d lay down some cool jazz riffs. Oh well. Meanwhile Yui, having just learned the joys of being a senpai and having someone look up to her, covers her ass by giving Azu-nyan some (un)constructive criticism, and faking a back injury to avoid playing herself. HI-larious.
Azu-nyan, who could be a dead ringer as Mio’s cuter and somewhat stricter imouto, experiences somewhat of a culture shock, what with the club’s laid-back atmosphere, tea parties with Sawa-chan, and delicious cake to boot. Her impromptu effort to practice is shot down by a feral Sawa-chan, who’d rather enjoy her tea in peace. But although she features the same perma-cry eyes that Mio does, Azu-nyan shows a surprising amount of spine by freaking out on the group for their bizarre anti-practice behavior. That is until Yui triggers the likely Yui x Azu-nyan flag by hugging and petting her to submission. I think K-ON’s actually all about triggering yuri flags.
Guh. I think I just died from a moe overdose. I’m embarrassed to say this, but Azu-nyan is just too cute. This scene left me in a near-catatonic state. I think Azu-nyan is like K-ON’s Chewbacca defense. Things do not have to make sense if Azu-nyan is in nekomimi mode.
Thank goodness for Sawa-chan’s impeccable taste. I wonder how she developed such a spectacular moe aesthetic when she was experimenting with shock rock gear. There’s no doubt in my mind that she would’ve given up her stint as death metal goddess to sing such venerable songs like Light and Fluffy Time or My Love is a Stapler. Maybe she can work with them on songwriting next. Or at least give them some tips on how to write a non-embarrassing title.
While Yui, Ritsu, Mugi and Sawa-chan try their best to welcome Azu-nyan to the group, it all seems to backfire, since all she really wants to do is play some music. I give her an additional +1 of love for her work ethic. She wants to play. I want to see them play. We are simpatico. But in the show, the only one she seems to be connecting with is Mio, who seems to be the only one in the group with a serious side to her (although we all know she’s secretly plotting the demise of her newer, cuter rival, as exposed by Ritsu). But even her faith in Mio is shaken when she realizes that Ritsu has Mio on puppet strings.
Finally, the all-games, no-practice work ethic of the group gets to Azu-nyan, and she skips out on the group for the next several days – ostensibly looking for a new band to join or practice with (although it just looked like she was visiting concerts). But she returns to the K-ON club, broken and beaten. In tears about why she can’t seem to find a band to play with that gives her the same feeling that the K-ON band does. And then we cue into the 3 minutes of tears, melodrama and Azu-nyan’s reason for being. Like I mentioned, I didn’t dig the overwrought drama, but I did watch the scene at the 21:45 mark several times. Because I swear it looks like Yui either misses the hug, or hugs right through Azu-nyan.
But otherwise, Azu-nyan is a great addition to the cast. It’s always cool to have an outsider perspective walk into the show, and I hope she snaps on them to make them practice more. She makes a quick jump to #2 on my K-ON! favorites, closing in fast on Yui.
Where’s Yui going?