Billing this episode as the finale is sort of misleading. More of a marketing ploy than anything. So the next episode (the real finale) is disconnected to the main storyline. Big whoop. It’s not like K-ON! is a real tightly wound, serial show where you have to see the previous episode to figure out what’s going on. Ad while it is a finale as far as their performances go, when you’re not animating the performances for all but one or two of the episodes, you’re not going to miss out on it just because it’s not in the thirteenth episode. Anyway, my bitching ends there, because I really liked this episode. Despite a couple short instances of forced drama – KyoAni did a great job keeping K-ON from devolving into melodrama (like too many slice of lifes seem to do) and staying true to its roots. And while the final performance was no God Knows, I was still quite content with it.
The episode starts off with Yui sick and delusional, dreaming about Mugi’s edible eyebrows – having caught the cold either from Ritsu, or from wearing their performance yukata all day. Let it be known that Yui and Azu-nyan yukata moeness can be noted for the official record. And of all of Mugi-chan’s costumes, I think I prefer China dress Mugi the best. All this is overload for even Mio, and it seems she may have fully fallen in love with the dark side, or at least with Sawa-chan’s costume closet.
While Yui’s out sick, Ui puts on her superman costume, or at least her Yui wig, and fakes the group into thinking that Yui is back and healthy. Unfortunately, she gives it away by being too good. Is there anything this girl can’t do? If this show was called K-ONokami, I’d think Ui was Yui’s perfectly gifted root. This was just a little too weird for me though. I mean, what exactly was Ui trying to do? What if Yui didn’t get better in time? Would Ui pretend to be her at the school performance? Would she eventually take over Yui’s life like the Talented Mr. Ripley?
Yui does end up showing up, actually after Ui gets found out, but is ordered by Mio to rest until the day of the performance. But as time runs out on the day of, the K-ON group begins to worry. Luckily for them, they have Nodoka providing cover from above, helping to delay their performance to give Yui a chance to arrive. She also shares a story of how Yui sent a whole day filling up her bathtub wth crawfish to show Yui’s dedication – no matter how weird the hobby.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind if episode 13 was a total flashback episode of Yui and co. in their chibi days. The designs, the clumsy movements, the flowing animation are all just too cute.
Finally, Yui does arrive, allaying the group’s fears, and giving chibi-tsundere Azu-nyan a lovable yuri hug to make things all better. I’ve decided that Yui x Azu-nyan is my favorite combo.
Unfortunately, Yui realizes that she left “Gitah” at home and has to race home, leading to a heartfelt monologue, in which she tells her old self not to worry about the future, bringing everything full circle.
Yui misses the first song, while Sawa-chan fills in (although I think KyoAni missed a chance here to have Sawako in one of her crazy death metal costumes or just acting you know… yandere), but Yui arrives just in time to thank the group and kick it off for their 2nd and final song – Fuwa Fuwa Time. I would’ve gone with Cagayake Girls, but I guess Fuwa Fuwa Time is fine.
The first performance wasn’t bad, but I was unsatisfied. But I had hope since Yui hadn’t arrived yet. The second performance was better, but I still felt like it was too short (although I did appreciate Mio and Azu-nyan’s legs sticking out of their yukatas as if they were were filled with big marshmallows). But damn, that Mugi-chan always seems to do the right things at the right time, because I did start to get psyched once she started playing, and Ritsu and the rest of the gang started jumping in one by one. I hate traditional encores where bands leave the stage and then come back like 10 minutes later, because they’re obnoxious. But I do love it when bands “finish,” but then slowly build back up again. It amps up the excitement and feels natural. So when Yui jumped back into the chorus again, I was like “~kyaaa!” All it missed was the crowd jumping up and down with them. No, it wasn’t God Knows, but I never expected it to reach that level of epicness. While I think KyoAni was pretty lazy with animating the K-ON performances, I was more than happy with how they finished the show.
Now we can look forward to K-ON’s version of “Someday in the Rain” next week.