K-ON! episode 5 – Mugi x Sawako flag triggered!

Yes! Recycled joke! I’m going to keep this joke going until KyoAni stops triggering flags. What if KyoAni decided to take all of their visual novel experience and turn K-ON! into a yuri romance shoujo comedy? Mio x Yui. Mugi x Sawako. Ritsu x Ui. It’d be a harbinger of otakus gone wild. I’m amused at the thought of my benign PG-rated slice of life turning into a saucy romantic comedy. It would be the biggest twist since Kadokawa’s Nice Boat.

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Mutual interest is a very important part of relationships.

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The girls have actually started practicing instruments. That is when Mio’s not being a scaredy-cat moeblob. KyoAni deftly saves some budget by not bothering to animate any of the girls playing instruments, instead cutting away to a static visual while the music plays on in the background. They try to sign up to play at the school festival, but are shocked to find out that they aren’t a formal club, because Ritsu never filed the paperwork, and they have no sponsor teacher.

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So they decide to enlist the help of the only possible person who could help them, Sawako – their mild-mannered, polite, well-liked, babe of a music teacher. Sawako balks at their request, but is perturbed when Yui seems to recognize her as the death metal girl in the old K-ON club pictures.

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Any doubt is smothered when Sawako rages to the clubroom to try to destroy the evidence. Failing to do so, and completely giving herself away in the process, she reverts to Higurashi eyes and de-virginizes Yui’s guitar in the process. It’s always the sweet ones who are hardcore.

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Blackmailed into helping out the K-ON club, she helps them prepare for the school festival performance. Helping them write lyrics, choose a singer, and teaching Yui how to play and sing at the same time – unfortunately to the point where Yui loses her voice, leaving Mio as the unlikely singer for the group.

Random thoughts

My K-ON! post structure has changed every week. I can’t quite seem to lock down a thought and writing flow that fits the show well. But anyway, this episode seemed faster paced and the writing was a bit more refined around the edges than the last couple episodes. Seems like they just had a stronger conflict-resolution driving the story in this episode.

Sawako-sensei is a great character, partly because of her hilarious yandere-esque tendencies (although obviously not to the violent extremes), but because she’s she’s going to play the role that I thought Mio was originally going to play – i.e., the group “member” who’s going to crack the whip. These gals needed someone like Sawako. Like she mentioned, the band room isn’t just for tea parties.

I hope this also means we’re going to see more scenes of the group playing together. And when I say “playing together” I mean actually animating them playing their instruments, not panning the camera on Sawako’s face while the group plays in the background. Seems the recession has take a bite out of KyoAni’s budgets as well.

Also, color me impressed with Mugi. And not just because of her yuri crush on Sawako, but because she’s proved to have much more personality than I ever expected her to have. My fear was that she’d end up being a Miyuki-clone: a rich, naive girl with a pleasant, but boring personality. But it turns out she’s as off-beat as all the rest of the characters in K-ON. She’s a little more restrained yeah, but she’s really shined during certain little moments (food bribes, dreaming of jello, thoughts of Sawako).

The awesomeness of Yui

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3 reasons why I love Yui more and more every week.

  1. She’s fearless. There’s nothing she won’t try. She’s volunteered to learn the guitar. She’s volunteered to sing. She’s volunteered to play and sing at the same time. She’s grown up. She’s come a long way from the unconfident, flighty girl we saw in the first episode.
  2. She has a knack for pushing people’s buttons. Whether intentional or unintentional, she always seems to hit people in the right soft spot, Mio and Sawako for example. Actually Yui x Ritsu have turned out to be a great tag team. Yui sets them up, and Ritsu closes them out.
  3. She’s moe moe kyun herself, but it feels a lot less deliberate than Mio’s moe moe kyun. Everything Yui does seems to naturally exude exuberance, optimism and hilarity. It’s hard not to love.

Resistance is futile. You will love Yui too.

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