K-ON 9. We all knew this is supposed to be Azusa’s episode. I’ll spoil the fun a bit in the beginning though. Watch the new OP. Do you see anything new? Oh, yes, it’s Azusa’s OP intro segment PLUS Azusa’s addition to the performing band. Do you see anything else? Eh… No… Now I haven’t read the source material, but this seems crappy. Besides a pure Azusa segment and the easy addition to the band, there are NO OTHER SCENES with Azusa… Now, if she’s not a permanent member, there was no real need to change the OP. I’ll assume she’s here to stay. In this aspect the OP fails. In the end, there are still the initial four doing various things in the OP without Azusa, who’s just popping up from nowhere only in the band performing scenes. Since this is not a one-man show, where you still end up focusing on a specific person so adding another character in the OP like that is far easier, when you have FOUR protagonists and you add a fifth, you’re supposed to make them equal. As it is, Azusa feels crudely stitched to the already existing OP. Yeah, really incorporating Azusa in the OP would mean changing almost EVERY scene of the OP as to make it a five girls OP instead of four plus one, effectively having a new OP altogether. Unfortunate though that is, their take is crap. It feels rushed, it’s not smart at all and it only seems to register Azusa more as alien body than a real part of the group. The thing is, while being trigger-happy to criticize KyoAni, I actually expected them to do better than this. The only real, consistent, good point that the studio has in the first place that’s actually worthy of sincere praise is good animation and attention to detail and this OP was far from adhering to that.
Moving onto the actual episode, Azusa introduces herself to her new clubmates. So it turns out she plays the guitar (like Yui… eh…no comment)
Teach me... everything...
Senpai... Senpai... Senpai... Senpai! Senpai! Senpai! SENPAI! SENPAAAAAAIIIII!
Leaving that aside, they called for an Azusa demonstration. Yui, being the great guitar expert, will show Azusa the ropes if she needs more lessons.
"IT'S A TRAP!" Azusa Transformation! Moe destruction!
So Azusa turned into an epic rock-star guy and killed the competition. Let’s see what the judges have to say .
Well, she took it really well... Must be the epic Yui-senpai aura of epicness
You are ours... There is no escape... Nutcase-Sensei is coming...
Azusa wanted to hear great Yui-senpai play the guitar, but great Yui-senpai needs to rest her back/arms/mind/cake/whatever. Yui is a pro after all… Then again, Yui-senpai doesn’t seem too confident about her skills compared to Azusa’s, but apparently there’s no other advice for us lazy people.
I hope they don't want her to turn into a guy, too.
Next day, Azusa is excited that she’ll start practicing with the girls. So, onward to practice! Azusa, being the new member, will start first. So, first,
Even Nutcase-sensei approves
Azusa gets to learn what it’s like to be in the light music club. Tea party, cakes, silly and relaxed atmosphere, and practically no practice at all (pun intended).
And we haven't even started... *laughs hysterically*
Azusa tries to show her determination and actually go practice, arguing they’re testing her resolve only to be scolded by Nutcase-sensei. Poor Azusa… So Azusa goes berserk, demanding the group discard the tea sets and get to practice. Yui-senpai though resolves the situation with ease and we also get fanservice ^^.
AZUSA POWER UP!
... Woot... Yuri moe...
"Leave everything to senpai..." (Wow, behold Yui's secret technique...)
Yui-senpai... You really are the best...
Ahem… Eh… Well, that was fun, I suppose. The next day, Azusa returned (really now, who wouldn’t after THAT?) only to find the usual gang eating cake again. We manage to get Yui going with a little guitar solo, but of course, her ulterior motive is, as always, seducing Azusa. And we’ve seen that Yui is a master at that.
A performance all of her, PLUS getting spoonfed (yeah I know it's a fork) by her beloved senpai (*psit, Yui, the hair, the hair!*)... Ah... ROMANSU... (and the yuri lover on the side proves the deal is sealed).
We’ll leave the rest of the details aside, it’s basically Azusa telling about her musical past and asking Yui why she picked up the guitar, and Yui chaging the subject (so sly…). And we come to… yes… finally… Nutcase-sensei… and the truth behind the light music club!
... I bet Nutcase-sensei will think of MANY things you didn't even know could be done...
Unspeakable rituals... pure maidens driven to the depths of despair and lechery... The TRUE light music club... (... Too much ero in K-ON nowadays...)
These three have been deprived of their sense of shame long ago... Yui in particular is natural at that.
Now, since the club perverts created their new play toy, they left shyMoe alone. Then we learn shyMoe is that closet pervert that loves the attention and can’t seem to shake the fact that the other perverts prefer abusing Azusa over her. And here’s the proof.
In the end, you really liked it, didn't you?
They do take out Azusa for ice-cream and stuff. After that, fearing Azusa might quit cause they’re being lazy and never practicing, they take her on a picnic party and generally make her feel confortable (or further break her, depending on how you look at it).
"B-But...I-if... if Yui-senpai wants me to... I guess I... i-it's ok... with everyone..."
Yui-senpai will teach you everything. (talk about perverted looks there...)
Stuffing people with food always helps. (shyMoe, jealous again?)
There are some clothes to go with that, too...
Another attempt at practice fails, the group ends up being consistently lazy and Azusa seems to get depressed over it, plus she learns that Yui has no knowledge about music whatsoever. Our latest member thinks about quitting and joining some other band outside school (it’s probably Nutcase-sensei’s fault, she’s being too rough, everyone should follow Yui’s way of seduction).
Another typical day in light music club.
Dazzling lights, a sininster place packed with strangers... You realised it, didn't you? No one is as gentle as Yui-senpai.
So then we get some drama with Yui and the others feeling bad they’ve neglected their practice and may have driven Azusa off, then Azusa appears in the music room and goes into emo mode, so the band performs for her and she gets her old enthusiasm back. But some things THANKFULLY never change…
Overall… This ep was full of yuri and… eh… group… dynamics… Ok, not really 😛 Up to a point, it was a bit different than the rest of K-ON eps, but still nice. The comedy was there, the sweetness was there, the club was generally there. That, however, only means that the small emo/drama moment near the end was really out of place. No, I don’t watch K-ON for emodrama, I watch it cause it’s fun, cute, and heartwarming without being that emo. Seriously, the last part with Azusa getting depressed and crying and all that was way out of the general feel of the anime, or even the episode itself. The OP sequence is only adding to the insult. While the ep was still enjoyable, these two occurences make me feel this one was the worst episodes I’ve watched so far. It was still good, but some things simply ruined the fun of it. Here’s hoping it was a one-time incident (besides the OP, I’m afraid the abomination is here to stay) and we’re not gonna get any of those uber emo occasions again. Of course, the episode’s highlight was YuixAzusa (who can say no to undercover yuri? :P). Mio had some nice moments with Azusa since they’re generally alike and it seems Azusa can relate to her so another hope of mine is to see some combined Mio-Azusa moe moe or scared moe moments (I wonder if Azusa is also scared of horror stuff). I’ll also take back the Rei-clone comment I made in the previous review. There’s no Rei-clone quality there whatsoever.
Next time is another training camp! Let’s see what Nutcase-sensei and Azusa will do. And seriously, Azusa would do well to get over the whole “are we gonna practice now” thing and relax. Or at least don’t complain that much, not even Mio is like that >_< So anyway, hopefully next ep will be as fun as the previous training camp.