K-On! Volume 3

Starting from where we left off, Azusa – a first year student – wants to join the Light Music Club after watching their performance in front of the new pupils. As a guitarist herself, she feels that the club would offer more experience rather than the Jazz Club. However Azusa soon realizes that the Light Music Club members aren’t as focused and professional as she thought they would be and starts to see the true laziness of the 2nd Year band students.

Azusa’s frustration in Episode 9 is understandable; seeing all the girls including Sawako drinking tea and eating cake almost every day would most likely put any serious musician off. She is also asked by Sawako to wear cat’s ears and repeat “nyan” just for the sake of her looking even more cute. This has become one of K-ON’s most memorable moments for fans but I just find it generic. However, after a brief thought about leaving, she remembers that there is something special in the club and the drama is resolved quickly with her coming back; we then see that she starts to enjoy her time with the Light Music Club.

Much like the previous volumes, the series does what it does best, which is to remain a sweet and great looking Slice-Of-Life show. The introduction of Azusa brings a new freshness to the series and adding her to the Opening is a nice touch. The characters’ interactions remain entertaining, although no laugh-outloud moments were present. Some of the jokes can be a tad repetitive, but some music references and new musical equipment are well used and explained.

However, as before, K-On!’s musical progression just doesn’t work for me and it’s a gripe that has stuck with me since the first volume. If the series did more to get me interested in the music department then I could appreciate it a lot more. One of my favourite scenes from this volume is when Azusa helps Yui learn some chords on the last day of their summer training trip; I would like to see more of that, rather than the majority of the group goofing off. Also this volume seems to throw in some unexpected melodrama; this could be interesting but it gets resolved way too quickly, leaving me with the question “What was the point in that?”

Again I felt that the English voice acting was a bit weak compared to the Japanese but Christine Marie Cabanos does a decent job voicing Azusa.

Another thing that I found disappointing is what’s in this volume – compared to previous ones – as only three episodes are included. It would have been alright if, for example, some more extras were put on, however, there’s only a music video for “My Love Is A Stapler” and an interview with Cassandra Lee who voices Ritsu.

In Summary

If you’re a big fan of the series then this is a must-own; for everyone else, if you enjoy the series then it’s still worth the purchase – just make sure you know that you’re only getting three episodes.

7 / 10