Lost and Found

The eighth episode of K-On is the best yet. More than any previous episode, this shows the potential of this story of a group of girls maturing as friends and bandmates. Set one year after the start of the story, the four girls of the band are in their second year of high school , and their club is trying to recruit freshmen. And they go about the recruitment the way a band should: by playing well and impressing people. Not with silly bowls of rice like their first live show, and not with a cop-out of Yui playing silent guitar on the beach backed by fireworks and an invisible piano.

This far into the season, a band show has to show progress, and this episode delivered. The live performance showed how the band had improved since the “not very good” effort in the first episode. Mio, normally shy, managed to gather the courage to step up when Yui forgot to sing. And Yui’s sister noticed that even if Yui was still a lazy cake-eater, she was so much better now that she had something at which to give her best effort.

Love is a stapler.

The person who their performance hooks into the club is the best character in the cast so far, Azusa Nakano. I’m of the opinion that if J.C.Staff was in charge of this show, they’d have introduced Azusa earlier, much like Hinagiku was introduced earlier in the Hayate anime than she was in the manga. Ana Coppola of Strawberry Marshmallow got the same treatment.

Why is Azusa the best character? It’s because, as the band’s second guitarist, she’s the counterpoint to Yui that the show has been looking for. Unlike Yui, who (like her sister) has a miraculous gift for playing the guitar, Azusa has had to work hard to get her skills. There’s a scene from the manga where Azusa is shocked to discover that Yui doesn’t know what a guitar tuner is – because Yui has perfect pitch, she can tune her strings by ear. It’s less convincing that Yui is a prodigy if you don’t show a normal guitarist to compare her with. Also, because Azusa has had to be responsible and earn her skills, she’s a much needed voice of reason who calls out the rest of the band for their lazy, cake-eating ways (and has to resist the temptations of lazy and cake once she joins.)

And now that the best character has appeared, the show can only get better from here on.

One Response to “Lost and Found”

  1. Author says:

    I guess I’ll have to create another Field Guide when I get around to watching this.

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