K-ON ep 13 – A late New Hope. K-ON strikes back. Return of the Slice of Life.

Main Guitar/Vocals plus Main Guitar substitute/Honorary Member
Yui and Ui
Bass/Vocals/Lyrics/Composition
Mio
After School Time Time
Together is where the fun is
Drums/Leader
Ritsu
Keyboard
Mugi
Second Guitar
Azunyan

A special episode needs a special review

[POST CONTAINS SPOILERS – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED]

So K-ON finally ends with an extra episode. What’s so special about this episode? Considering the usual K-ON average, this one is above every K-ON episode. Why? Because it’s a pure slice of life episode. No repeated gags, no out-of-the-blue emo drama and it can actually yield character information without being a crudely stitched emo PITA for once. Yeah the jokes are limited, the moe is still there, the YuixAzunyan yuri has progressed into a deep bond, and all that nice stuff. The real point here is that we finally get some needed insight into some characters (Yui aside anyway).

In summary, the episode has the girls separated. It starts in the club room where Yui is doing her usual funny antics. Mio wants to write a new song and actually goes to the beach in winter to get inspiration. Ritsu receives what appears to be a love letter and also promised to go to the movies with her otouto. Mugi starts working part-time in a fast food restaurant. Azunyan agrees to take care of a friend’s cat for some days. And Yui… is Yui. She wanted everyone to get together but everyone had stuff to do. Of course Yui is basically the glue that sticks everyone together and she’s as bonkers as ever.  In total, the group gets together three times, two in the club, one in the beginning of the episode and one in the end, plus once at Mugi’s working place.

This being the last episode, I’m going on a per character image spree along with comments afterwards, and then we’ll sum it up later.  Crappy WordPress being uber crappy means I couldn’t format the post as I wanted to so I had to pull some magic to get past totally retarded limitations…

Mio and Mugi are the first on my list.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(014656)11-45-35] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(019109)11-49-15]
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(020578)11-50-27] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(020770)11-50-35]

So Mio goes on her inspiration seeking trip only to find the weather conditions rather terrible. Never turn down Yui’s invitations of fun *nodnod. She’s rather desperate out there in the cold until silly Yui sends her silly message. Afterwards she decide to just give up and go back. We already knew that for all her protests, she’d prefer being teased tenfold if it meant she gets to be with everyone, so we’re just getting an affirmation of Mio’s dependency on the group.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(014112)11-45-12]
Mugi working girl moe!
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(018420)11-48-47] Mugi sparkling eyes mode! Obey Mugi moe! Order more!
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(030804)18-50-24]
Mugi must get cold hands like everyone.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(030972)11-59-52] Mugi uber moe!

We all know Mugi is that sweet, patient, rather ditzy girl that doesn’t want to be the rich girl of the bunch. The need to be the same as everyone and blend in as just another girl in the group was made apparent a number of times and we just get more of that here with Mugi actually working part-time in a fast-food restaurant. She seems to really enjoy her work until she starts screwing up. I don’t doubt Mugi is far from used to the everyday work stress and the mistakes she makes one after another get to her. Thankfully for her, Yui is, yes, again, gonna save the day with her insane silliness. Mugi’s need to be loved and do things on her own is pretty evident in this episode. In that, she’s basically like Mio . Mio is the tsundere type that might go against the group but in the end she can’t live without the group and always comes back for more. Mugi is the nice girl that wants to please everyone because she needs everyone. Even when Mio protests about putting practice first, she’s just as needy of the group’s attention and affection as Mugi.

Ritsu is a special case this time.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(012404)11-43-46] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(012726)11-44-00]
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(016080)11-46-34] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(016524)11-46-53]

Seriously, Ritsu with her hair down is epic moe, even more than her usual hairstyle. I suppose her being my second favorite wasn’t for no reason. So anyway, Ritsu got this thing from her mailbox that seems like a love letter. So she checked the next day for any more of these. The reason she was trying the above new hairstyle is because that love letter was saying something like “your parted hair fit you so well but I want to see how you look with your bangs down”. So, we DO get that Ritsu is rather interested in getting a boyfriend and she’s not at all impervious to sweet talk, cause she thinks about the letter all the time, which leads us to conclude that “wow! Ritsu’s really a GIRL!” She takes the brother out and eventually gets left alone, until Yui’s silly message gets there. When she meets up with the group later, she learns the awful truth.

...Eh... Whoops!

Well, for some random song lyrics, the relation is unsettling. Just admit it, shyMoe, it was an undercover love confession but you’re too shy to say so. We all know it’s gonna be RitsuxMio eventually, with Azunyan out of the picture.

Moving on to Azunyan and her Azusa nigou (that’s how she calls the cat – I suppose Ui contributed something in the end). Here’s Azunyan’s moe gallery.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(005509)11-37-38] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(013073)11-44-20] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(013876)11-45-02]
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(017005)11-47-13] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(022869)11-52-02] [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(026060)18-36-00]

Moe Azunyan is moe. More so when it’s the whole yuri thing going on. So anyway, Azunyan buys some pet things to take care of the cat. Apparently she likes animals, she seemed rather happy about it but she obviously doesn’t know much about pets and she’s uneasy. Then the cat starts coughing furballs and Azunyan gets terribly worried (because she doesn’t know it’s normal), but as we all know, Yui-senpai is always there, or her silly message at first anyway. We learn nothing new about Azunyan, besides how strong her relationship with Yui is. So let’s take a look at the yuri thingie now. Who replies first to Yui’s silly message? Azunyan. Who actually calls Yui instead of just texting back? Azunyan. Who always comforts Azunyan when she’s not feeling well? Yui-senpai of course. Who feeds her all the time? Yui-senpai. It was a given Azunyan would call Yui for help and it was a given that Yui would rush to her lover friend in need. Yui and Ui comfort her and Yui, being the usual Yui who makes Azunyan melt all the time, feeds her marshmallows to make her feel better. It could be just a deep friendship, but really, what person hugs her friend from behind all the time, pats her head, feeds her gently and tries to kiss her at some point? :p YuixAzunyan are full of yuri romantic moments. While I’m not really fond of yuri in general (yes, so says I, lol :p), the YuixAzunyan relationship is too sweet and heartwarming to not root for. I therefore demand a YuixAzunyan h-doujin!

And here’s the star of the series, the one who started and ended K-ON (at least the supposed normal Finale, this episode is an extra). Yui in all her wonderful silliness that made her my number one K-ON girl.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(002706)11-35-40]
The usual Yui
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(006239)18-32-38]The famous warm cheeks/cold hands attack [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(006581)11-38-30]
Lazy Yui can’t play.  Time for named gloves!
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(015220)11-45-58]
Yui demonstrates the best location to be during winter.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(019379)11-49-27]Yui’s always into new stuff.  Azunyan won’t get be getting bored. [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(024215)11-53-29]
The infamous Yui silly message.  Don’t let her near the kitchen.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(024562)11-54-07]
Who in his right mind could answer that?
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(029367)11-58-20]Woot! Yui Attack! Make her squeal again… [CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(030857)18-50-26]
Woot! Another Yui attack! Mugi got owned! A Perfect SCORE!

Yui was being Yui all day, went with Ui for shopping cooking ingredients, then sent the silly message to everyone, went to help her Azunyan, then met up with everyone at the fast food restaurant Mugi was working.

We didn’t learn anything new about Yui. Yui’s just being crazy as always, that’s why we love her in the first place.  Of course, she came back with a vengeance, scoring in part or totally most of the girl cast of K-ON, winning the Yuri competition with the maximum possible score! Congratulations, Yui! You’re K-ON’s Yuri Queen! Take your Azunyan neko cosplaying prize and go practice your music all night *nosebleed.  Other than that, Yui’s character was pretty much given to us during the final episode, but then Yui being Yui means we can only be sure about her being lazy, crazy and undercover yuri queen.  No one can say no to Yui.

And finally, here’s some group action.  After all, together’s where the real fun is.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(005833)11-37-51]
Ritsu likes Yui.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(006291)11-38-17]
Damn, everyone loves Yui.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(007946)11-39-27]
The “Who’s more ridiculous” contest. Ritsu puts up a decent fight.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(008321)11-39-42]
Telling that to Azunyan means we’ll be getting yuri tonight *nosebleed*
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(009507)11-41-03]
Hmm… Kinky…
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(029751)11-58-44]
Me, too! Me, too!
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(029896)11-58-50]
Don’t we all?
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(030489)11-59-32]
At least you don’t have Goofy feet.
[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(031088)11-59-57]
What say you, Azunyan-sama?

Yui leads the group meetings as always, taking out her named gloves, doing silly stuff with Ritsu, being too friendly with everyone and generally being her usual lazy, silly, nutcase self that keeps the group together.

In the end, what did we see? The group can’t really work without each other but it seems like it’s Yui that basically keeps the group as tight together as possible, probably without even realizing she’s doing that.  Ritsu and Mugi basically took over in this episode.  I wasn’t expecting to see any other sides of those characters, so actually seeing something I wasn’t anticipating was completely different.  Silly, hyper Ritsu being seriously concerned about the supposed love letter and Mugi screwing up service, which she does with ease in the club, possibly due to stress and taking it at heart was rather nice.  It’s possibly the only episode that had room for some drama, but whatever they used wasn’t too much or out of place.  The episode as a whole had a nice slice of life feel to it that wasn’t there in the previous episodes.  A K-ON average episode was usually full of comedy, with the better ones being a mix of uber moe and comedy.  A less than K-ON average was stitching emo drama to where it shouldn’t be.  Sure we got a bit of information about the characters but really, they could have done a better job with that instead of adding drama into a moe/comedy episode.

The other thing that might have put people off are the repeated gags.  Personally I didn’t really mind as the moe value was there and the jokes weren’t terribly funny to begin with.  I kinda doubt they were there to make you laugh your ass off.  They were just cute and funny occurences.  What I fail to comprehend is why episode 10 was receiving a number of negative reviews.  I think it was one of the best K-ON episodes, it wasn’t a real repeat and it was fun, especially after that emo-Azunyan episode 9.  But in general, this was a minor thing.

The animation wasn’t top Kyoani quality, it was obviously taking hits and it wasn’t that great to begin with, but it wasn’t really average.  The designs were generally consistent and never failed to deliver the intended moe element.  This episode’s animation was the usual K-ON one, fluid and cute.

Generally, K-ON was no masterpiece, but it was good enough, with one or two episodes being very good.  It was purely a moe series and it delivered the moe it promised, even with some problems along the way like the out-of-place drama.  As long as you knew what to expect and enjoy moe in the first place, you wouldn’t go wrong with K-ON.

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(031480)12-00-21] Hmm… Is that a hint of a second season? Or just a remark regarding a certain loli wanting to buy Akihabara? :p  Anyway, we can just wait and see.  But even if there’s no second season, this thing was fun and I have no real regret for sticking to it.  Due to crappy WordPress problems it took me like 6 hours to write the damn thing and hopefully it’ll get published all right…  Not to mention I have one more review waiting… But anyway, K-ON’s REALLY finished this time, so I guess we should all bid Yui and her uber gang farewell and move on.  It was fun ^^

[CoalGuys] K-ON! - 13 (End) [EEAB90C2][(011440)11-42-35]

PS Yes, as you might understand, there was a problem with the image captions and some html code.  Oh well, I couldn’t do more than that, I take it WP went bonkers with the HTML codes and the caption stuff and kept messing everything up…  >_>

PS2 Added a pic in the middle that SOMEHOW got lost… >_>

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4 responses to “K-ON ep 13 – A late New Hope. K-ON strikes back. Return of the Slice of Life.

  1. sunshinesan June 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    WordPress can be a nightmare when you’re trying to format a post.(especially if you have narrow columns like me T_T) But it looks like you handled it nicely 🙂
    And I agree with this being one of the better episodes of the series. The atmosphere presented was exactly what I like in a slice-of-life anime, too bad the rest of the show didn’t really follow its example.

    • npal June 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm

      Actually it seems to have this weird problem with tables and captions, in the end the captions broke the post at some point and it couldn’t even preview, so I had to drop the captions for this ep and also consider an alternative to captions next time as far as the tables are concerned (if any). Also, I’m having seconds thoughts about actually using WP’s internal editor to post long posts again.

  2. SakuyaFM July 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I did hear about another extra episode with the release of the DVDs on December. I’m definitely hoping it’s true!