Playing Games With Cans In K-On!! 5

I’m liking how things are flowing in the second season of The Adventures of Houkago Tea Time, as the anime-only material has been executed in a way that moves better than it’s 4-koma sources. That it seems like there’s now a “purpose” to things (keeping the club going while dealing with moving on and leaving Azusa behind) probably makes things seem more focused as well. And if there are more mix-ups with the “normal way of things” like the focus on secondary characters in this most recent episode, than the possibilities feel endless.  But even the same old group having fun like the senior class field trip in episode 4 feels more polished than the first season, easier to relate to, and so on.

At the same time, some people who don’t particularly feel good things for the show yet are still watching the series still have variations on the same complaints that they have as well.  But one sequence from episode 5 makes me think that KyoAni notices these complaints as well.

Liquid refreshment with a smile.

Liquid refreshment with a smile.

During the focus on Ui, Azusa and Jun’s days hanging out while their seniors were in Kyoto (their adventures shown in episode 4), we get constant texts back and forth between Yui, Ui and Azusa about the trip, and it’s the usual things. Of course, Yui puts her own spin on her texts leading to some interesting “Oh, that Yui! Such a silly girl!” responses that Azusa and Jun have when they read them and see the pictures accompanying them. After one such instance, Jun quickly has a thought about what she thinks the Light Music Club might be like, which ends up being a funny thought of the HTT seniors with Sawako-sensei watching on playing a game of kick the can.

Mio leading the charge was interesting, especially given her role as (albeit with some difficulties) “the responsible one”, where this would definitely be something that Ritsu or Yui would be better expected to do:


Cake afterward is a given.

What got me was the last shot in that sequence:

Left behind.

Seems almost rebellious in a way.

The foursome running away into the sunset having fun while their instruments are neglected, standing up as if dug into the ground left to weather the burden of time.  As if the feeling was “music? What music?” from the group who obviously have more important plans like kicking a can around.  When I first saw this sequence I thought “this would totally be a microcosm explaining what people dislike about the series”, since it’s indicating an abandonment on what is apparently supposed to be the main focus of the show. And throughout the course of the show so far, it has been noted that there definitely been more “club” than “light music” in terms of the interactions of the main characters, to the point where some people wonder what was the point of them being in the band in the first place when the music seems so secondary. And why they wasted their time on the show to be disappointed in seeing “cute girls do cute things” (that phrase just bugs me) rather than “cute girls rocking out.”

Personally, I think those people are still miffed that we never actually see them do a full performance playing instruments with the focus on them actually playing the instruments. 😛 Sure, we know that there’s music played, and that they’re playing it, but that music is always a background to something else, and never the focus that some desire it to be. And I really do get a kick of seeing the band just about to start playing before the focus is shifted to something else. While I don’t think that KyoAni is trolling when been doing that, which others do believe they are, I think it’s showing that the music is just not as “serious business” as would be hoped. That the process of how HTT gets together to make beautiful music together is more important than the beautiful music itself, and I agree with that view. And that there’s a “sorry” to people who were holding out for another BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, instead of taking K-On for what it is.

All things considered, I’m probably talking out of my ass when interpreting this scene in that way, but the response from both Azusa and Ui stating that the club is not that frivolous seems to speak to those who have these types of complaints about the show or characters. It was interesting to see how Azusa was not involved in Jun’s daydream, and I wonder if that was because the focus was on the seniors, because Azusa was right there in front of Jun,   because Azusa could be seen as “more responsible” than that, or because the impact is just funnier that way, among other things.  It could just be a bit of throwaway humor, because the club can definitely be seen in that way, given it’s penchant for afternoon tea times and such, or from how we know already how the characters come together to have fun in general. But it was something that grabbed me because of the possibilities. Just like how Yui’s wish to be slapped by money is oh so exploitable. :3

7 Responses to “Playing Games With Cans In K-On!! 5”

  1. 1 ghostlightning May 7, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Screw the complaints of the people who never intended to enjoy the show in the first place. Part of their reaction is due to the resistance to the idea that the show is objectively ‘good.’ This no longer interests me.

    This episode certainly does, and the parting shot you mention is definitely juicy. We can certainly read the narrative as a play between naive ambition and actual day-to-day gratuitousness. The marshmallow test plays itself out time and time again and the marshmallows take the form of cake, afternoon tea, hell anything except music.

    I think we all know that HTT will never play the Budokan, just as my high school band never made it out of our garages. K-ON! and Beck: MCS are two sides of the same fantasy. The latter tells you to follow your dreams, and the latter tells you that every day is a dream too.

    Both are fantasies (i.e. removed from reality).

    P.S. Maho drawn in K-ON!‘s style would be a treat wouldn’t you think?

  2. 2 Janette May 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    This is great. I never even thought of that, but it does seem like a bit of a jab in a way.

    I think K-On is a representation of what a small light music band would be like rather then a serious one, and in the end, I just disregard the haters. I like it, and that’s all that matters.

  3. 3 Shin May 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    The things they do every passing day seem to give those depressing fanfics even more weight.

  4. 4 TheBigN May 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    ghostlightning: Remind me what the marshmellow test is again?

    And regarding Maho, I haven’t actually watched BECK:MCS yet, but from what I see, I wouldn’t mind that at all.

    Janette: I think people were expecting more of a “serious” type of band then what they’ve received, so naturally the reaction is of displeasure. It’s the lack of acceptance that bugs me sometimes.

    Shin: Link me to some of these depressing fanfics, alright? :3

    • 5 ghostlightning May 9, 2010 at 3:46 am

      A child is in a room, on a table is a plate with one marshmallow.

      The facilitator says, “I’m going to leave the room for a while. When I come back and there’s still a marshmallow on the plate. I will give you another marshmallow.”

      What’s being tested is the ability to delay gratification.

      A landmark study revealed that the kids in the original test who waited for the 2nd marshmallow had far more successful lives as adults compared to those who ate the marshmallows before the facilitator arrived.

      Yui and Ritsu constantly fail the marshmallow test. They say they want to be successful at music, but would rather gratify themselves in any which way but do the work that will make them better at music.

  5. 6 Nails13 September 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Why are you making such a fuss about that. I meaan what do you want them to do. to just play msuic without a story. even the titanic movie was focus on jack and rose and not by the tragedy itself. you have to make a story and evolve around it to the characters for the viewers to be drawn to it.
    I will not certainly not going to like k-on if all they do is just plan on what they will perform next. if I’m not drawn to the characters completely and of course the interactions happening between them I would not watch it.
    People like k-on’s music is because of the character and what they do either it’s music related or just ordinary day being together enjoying highschool life.

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