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K-ON!! 22

September 2, 2010

Discussing their plans for Valentine’s Day, Jun has settled on making chocolates for her upperclassmen in the jazz club, but Azusa isn’t sure she’ll make any as last year Tsumugi brought along exquisite chocolates.

Diligently studying in the club room while Azusa quietly practices on her guitar, Mio and Tsumugi look on in despair when Ritsu and Yui are quick to goof off, feeling the irresistible pull of joining Azusa in a jam session.

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When Tsumugi offhandedly mentions she’s not bringing any chocolates this year, Azusa sees her chance to try her hand at home made chocolates for her friends in the light music club, stressing Ui and Jun are to keep it a secret.

Braving the freezing cold and snowfall, the third year girls gather at the train station to go take their entrance exams. Meanwhile Azusa and Jun enlist Ui’s aid to prepare some chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day.

Worried Yui might figure out what they are planning when she gets home, Azusa is shocked when Ui simply tells her sister they’re making chocolate cake. Panicking, Azusa is unsure what to think when Ui assures her that Yui won’t think of Valentine’s Day since she always making sweets anyway.

Nervously awaiting the arrival of her light music club friends at school on Valentine’s Day, Azusa stops dead in her tracks from giving them the gift wrapped chocolates when she sees other girls give some to Mio.

Encouraged by Ui and Jun, Azusa heads over to give them the chocolates after all. Overhearing Sawako talk to the girls in the teacher’s lounge about their exam results for their college choices, Azusa freezes up when she hears the word graduation.

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Although Jun properly hands over the chocolates she made, Azusa bolts away. Going after their friend, Ui and Jun console the poor girl when she admits being shaken by the thought her treasured upperclassman will soon graduate away.

Hesitant to enter the club room after school, Azusa finds her upperclassmen there, awaiting her arrival. Luring the embarrassed girl out, Mio, Yui, Tsumugi and Ritsu enjoy the chocolate cake Azusa made.

Seeing it started to snow again, the girls look out the window together, leisurely gazing at the white landscape. When Azusa says she feels warm being with her friends on a cold day as this, Yui, Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi realize the unspoken sorrow in the young girl’s voice and comfortingly hug their dear friend.

The day the entry exam results of their first choice college are announced has arrived and the four girls are ecstatic to see they have all passed, much to Azusa’s joy when she receives the news.

Thoughts on this episode~

From the school festival having been shown only last week, “K-ON!!” now makes a significant time jump, going straight over Christmas and New Year’s right to Valentine’s Day. Considering how little episodes remain and the girl’s graduation looming over the horizon, guess it makes sense, for it allowed them to focus on the third year girls all important entrance exams as well as Valentine’s day shenanigans.

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Although there’s plenty of comedy and silliness, “K-ON!!” has switched its character development and interaction to the highest gear, that is the highest gear for such a lighthearted slice-of-life series geared towards fluffy entertainment.

Not unsurprisingly Azusa is once again the central point around which most of the character interaction and reaction of the third year girls taking the next step in their life takes place. Am again reminded of “Aria” in the way it is brought forth, with more subdued and subtle emotions.

One of the the final scenes in this “K-ON!!” episode especially approached that same “Aria” akin atmosphere, when Azusa ponders out loud what fun it is to be with her treasured upperclassmen, how it makes her feel content, noticeably heavy with the burden those precious times will soon be over but also with the joy and hope they will never be forgotten when Yui leans into Azusa and Ritsu hugs them dearly.

Also adored how intricately Kyoto Animation rendered Azusa’s facial expression when she got the message they had all passed the entrance exam, it was a mix of joy, relief, yet the welling tears gave a glimpse into the searing pain that soon they will be gone and she’ll be left alone.

Yet, through all this and even with this episode having multiple emotionally laden moments, “K-ON!!” remains funny and lighthearted, hope they do keep this excellent level up.

With the time jump, do wonder if we might get Christmas and/or New Year’s special episodes on the DVD/BR releases afterward?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2010 7:42 pm

    Oh no I nearly cried again XD
    I don’t really like Azusa but my heart isn’t made of stone.
    So I start to feel really sorry for her,But she still has Ui and Jun as her friends.

  2. September 4, 2010 10:48 pm

    @Fabienne
    True, but Azusa doesn’t have the same friendship or bond with Ui and Jun. Actually its nice to see how Azusa is now so intertwined and grown into the club and the four other girls as her friends where initially, she was distant and disapproving.

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