The Sakuragaoka light music club has gained a new member, Nakano Azusa! Overenthusiastic Ritsu, Yui and Tsumugi are all over her, much to the petite guitar player’s embarrassment.
Learning Yui plays the guitar as well, Azusa says she’ll gladly be in the care of her senpai (先輩, a mentor) for advice. Merely hearing Azusa call her senpai sends Yui off into unprecedented bliss.
Asking Azusa to play a bit for them, the girls are struck with awe at how good the young girl really is, even though Azusa herself claims she’s an unskilled novice.
Misinterpreting the awed gazes as signs she’s not playing well, Azusa is embarrassed and asks if she could hear Yui play guitar again.
Blown away by Azusa’s sheer skill, Yui is reluctant and makes up a silly excuse to escape from having to play.
With shaky knees, Yui wonders what she can do against the onslaught of Azusa’s excellent guitar skills, to which Mio dryly retorts she should practice more.
Enthusiastically heading to the club room the following day, Azusa is eager to practice with everyone but is soon puzzled when she finds the girls sitting around having tea and sweets.
Wondering what music club acts in such a carefree fashion, her confusion is only compounded when even the club’s advisor Sawako sensei joins in.
Grabbing her guitar to start practice by herself, Azusa gets scolded by Sawako who wanted to drink her tea in peace.
Seemingly frightened at first, the petite girl suddenly explodes with frustration, scolding everyone for leisurely spending their time without practicing properly, abusing the music room as a tea parlor.
Shocked at Azusa’s angry outburst, the girls fear the worst when Yui suddenly comfortingly hugs her but to their genuine surprise, the feisty twin tailed girl calms down.
While she apologizes, Azusa is conflicted, both feeling guilty for her angry outburst as well as relieved that Mio sides with her, spurring everyone on to practice more diligently.
When the girls see Azusa enter the music room the following day, they quickly rush from having tea to practice but alas Yui runs out of steam fast without the necessary calories.
Enticing Azusa to taste some of the cake, the girls gloat when their new member lets slip how tasty the pastry is and tease her into having some more.
Getting to know Azusa better, they learn the twin tailed girl has been playing guitar for years, inspired by her parents who play in a jazz band.
Hearing this, Yui dares not reveal she’s been playing for barely a year, having originally joined the light music club actually expecting to have an easy carefree time there.
Luckily Sawako animates the conversation by presenting Azusa with a gift, a nekomimi headband!
Thinking it’s some strange hazing ritual, Azusa asks the others if they don’t find wearing such a thing embarrassing, to her shocks see they’re all having a great time posing with the cat ears, save Mio who remains safely at a distance.
Ultimately donning the cat ears, Azusa is the epitome of cuteness, causing the girls to nearly die from moe overload.
Even though she observed everything from afar and brushes the nekomimi idea off as silly, Mio sneaks back into the club room later on to try on the cat ears. Having foreseen the shy bass player would do this, Ritsu catches her in the act.
Sharing ice cream with everyone on the way back from school, Azusa seems down and questions the club’s carefree attitude.
Realizing the girl doesn’t feel at home in the keion-bu due to this, Mio implores the others to take things more seriously or they will already loose their new member.
In an effort to make her feel more at home in the club, Ritsu organizes a picnic on their next day off but it does little to enthusiasm Azusa about the club.
Sensing Azusa might leave the club to join a band outside of the school, Mio spurs everyone on again to start practicing more diligently since they are a music club after all.
The next day the girls all pick up their instruments again with renewed drive.
Since they need to decide who will play lead guitar, Ritsu proposes Yui and Azusa both play a bit, but Yui doesn’t stand a chance against Azusa’s skill so she quickly implores the small guitar prodigy to teach her instead.
Trying to teach her senpai, the twin tailed guitar player is quickly dazzled when Yui doesn’t even know what mutes and vibrato are.
However Yui swiftly plays the piece again with mutes and vibrato, causing Azusa to be even more puzzled until Mio explains that while Yui doesn’t get any of the technical terms or concepts, she seems to get along playing by feeling.
Checking out bands at a music club later that night, none seem to have the same atmosphere or attraction as the keion-bu, even though they’re technically better.
Frustrated and unable to understand these conflicting feelings, Azusa rarely comes to the keion-bu anymore.
After several days absence, Azusa is besieged with questions, asking if she’s going to leave and pleading her to stay.
Breaking out in tears, Azusa says she doesn’t understand why she was pulled in by the keion-bu’s live performance at the freshman welcome ceremony or why she joined the keion-bu.
Moved by Azusa’s tears, Ritsu calls upon the others to all play together, as their music will surely help Azusa remember what she felt before and understand why she joined the club.
As the girls play, Mio tells Azusa that while they aren’t particularly skilled at all, their music sounds so good because they have fun playing together and their leisurely tea time is an integral part of why they have such chemistry.
Hearing Mio say this, Azusa realizes that was what attracted her to the club in the first place, because she wanted to have fun playing music and she enthusiastically declares she will stay in the club.
A terrific episode this week, all centered on the newcomer Azusa it was full of humor, moe scenes and even heartwarming ones.
Azusa’s a great character, she’s presented well and viewers will instantly adore her. No doubt legions of otaku perished instantly from moe overdose or blood loss due to explosive blood noses when seeing Azusa’s incredibly cute scenes, especially the nekomimi one.
As expected when we first saw the opening animation sequence of “K-ON!”, they indeed left room in many frames to incorporate Azusa in them.
Starting this episode the opening animation is slightly altered and features Azusa, though not in every scene yet, mostly in the scenes where the girls play music as a band, she also gets her own intro scene too.
Astute viewers will also observe that the accompanying opening music “Cagayake! Girls” now also has an extra guitar playing in it.
With Azusa this cute, will she take the otaku world by storm like Mio and even surpass the juggernaut that is Mio fandom? Only time will tell.
Looking forward to next week for more Azusa and Mio goodness.