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.
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:
What got me was the last shot in that sequence:
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