It’s funny how when I’m being steamrolled over by work I have plenty of post ideas that I could not get out due to said steamroller but when I’m suddenly released I just find myself blanked out, not knowing where and how to start. Anyways, here’s me finally making a heroic attempt at breaking out of my quasi-hiatus. Hopefully the posts would come rolling out as per normal after this :P
Of course, close your eyes and close your ears you know I was bound to say something about K-ON S2. And what better time than now while Dustin has his back turned and I get free immunity from being blasted to bits by his promised criticisms :D Yes! As you must have inferred by now, I’ve been enjoying the show quite immensely. I was sure KyoAni would have little trouble carrying over smoothly from season 1 (which never really “concluded” anyway), but I was somewhat surprised at how “levelled up” the new K-ON is. It would seem like KyoAni, having become aware of the K-ON franchise’s power as a cash cow, has decided to give it a good investment boost. Now if only Haruhi S2 had been as much of a level up from its predecessor. Anyway…
Kyoto! Again! I gotta start counting all the anime school trips that end up at Kyoto. Well, not like it’s a bad thing or anything – quite the contrary. I had the priviledge of paying the place a brief visit once, and I like it a fair bit. Happy recollections of Lucky Star and Seto no Hanayome are also welcome bonuses.
Well, Mugi monkey-feeding is a little less epic than Tsukasa’s deer r@ep, but Ritsu’s terrible kansai-ben speaking attempts and her eventual epic pwnage by Mugi do go some way to make up for it. Incidentally, it is in part to actually understand language jokes like these that I started picking up Moonspeak.
No money skimping here. Look at them glorious waters.
You could get disappointed in the real life originals after seeing some of these stuff. I don’t need to tell you that production values have kicked up a couple of notches and then some. Almost every episode so far could probably have rivaled the best of Haruhi S2 in terms of animation and art quality. Really pretty stuff. I always digged the random stills they used to show in S1 in between events and during insert songs and such, and boy have they been given a gorgeous facelift this time around.
For that matter some of them aren’t even exactly “stills” anymore.
And if you think the stills are over-the-top, pay attention to the transition effects. Someone just went nutshit over them, I tell you.
Our girls though, remain just as we always knew them.
Ritsu’s still Ritsu.
Mugi’s still Mugi (epic pillow fight!).
Yui’s…. definitely still Yui.
And Mio’s still.. wait what? Well mannered, self conscious Mio was in on the crime without even a half hearted, stuttering protest?
Mio? Happily trotting along with the racket? The Mio I knew would’ve been trying gamely to blush-yell her unruly companions into order, even if she knew deep inside that she really wanted to be playing around with them.
The Mio I knew would’ve been the only one still “awake”, looking confused and desperately flustered. Since when has she learned how to be a proper accomplice anyway? Yui and Ritsu must finally be getting through to her.
Somehow I found myself amused in an oddly warm kind of way at Mio’s akward outbursts of laughter. Mio had always been the “nay-sayer” of the four, constantly lamenting and facepalming the outrageous exploits of her fellows. It’s nice to see her laugh in such a loose and relaxed way for a change, especially at the end of the episode in the train. To be true, I’m not sure how I feel about the apparent victory of “Yui-ism” being portrayed here, but I guess I could live with it in a slice of life anime.
Speaking of Yui-ism, Azusa too seems to have somewhat given in to it. If episode 5 said anything about her, it is that she really does like spending time with her senpai after all. Especially Yui, much as her rational self might try to deny it.
Not sure what I feel about this little performance they hacked together. Decent I think, but doesn’t quite have it (though that sunset there is just so totally overblown hot!). We’re gonna need better songs before long, KyoAni. Creeping up on the halfway mark and still no sign of an impending performance? Well, at least the BGM stays good.
HOLY SHIT DID SHE JUST BLURT OUT “NYAN” !? Really getting into the role of Yui’s pet now aren’t we Azusa. She’s even comparing you to the turtle thing now.
As detrimental as Yui-ism is to useful work though, it does flaunt a power for forging fondness and camaraderie. The powerful sense of happy belonging demonstrated here by the two people who were initially the most reluctant participitants is K-ON!!’s testimony to that. Truly, this is an anime about taking things easy, and laughing and taking delight in the little, foolish things.
On a side note I think it’s nice that we can actually start talking about Mio as a dynamic (albeit simple) character now, instead of the unadulterated factory of moe she had been around this time last season. Glad we got past that. Well, mostly.
Yes, Sawa-chan sensei is succumbing too.
Oh, and the ED is damn awesome. I think Don’t Say Lazy set a ridiculously high bar back in the day, and I gotta hand it to KyoAni for actually parring it. I really like the way KyoAni plays with the facial expressions and eye movements in the mv. Needless to say, a leading candidate for Anisong of the Season. The OP could’ve been pretty great too really – if Yui hadn’t gone completely chipmunk on it.