“Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children.” – Ian Anderson.
We are now moving into a closing movement in the life of Ho-kago Tea Time, the five-piece band unique amongst anime characters for their real-life chart-topping success. The girls are beginning to grow up, and soon they are moving on, but not before some more high-jinks.
This collection contains fourteen episodes: namely the remaining eleven from the first season, as well as two “extra” episodes and an OVA. In the main episodes keyboardist Mugi tries to be more normal by getting someone to hit her on the head, guitarist Azusa worries that she is beginning to lose her true identity, lead guitarist Yui worries about her photo for the school yearbook, and bassist Mio and drummer Ritsu are elected to play the leads in their class’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The band also perform at the school cultural festival, and the original quartet think about graduating while also trying to find a way of keeping the club alive for Azusa after they have gone.
Meanwhile in the extra episodes, the band makes a promotional video for the club and visits their ill teacher Sawa-chan in her flat, while in the OVA they have their passports made for a planned holiday abroad – an event which leads nicely to K-On! movie due out later in the year.
The second part of this season is much like the first in terms of its ups and downs. The characters are still wonderful, funny and charming. Again there are one or two very minor issues with the subtitles (just the odd missing word, but otherwise good). However, the music is again the main attraction. In terms of the opening and closing theme, I would say that the ending, “No, Thank You!” sung by Mio is better than the opening, “Utauyo!! Miracle” sung by Yui.
However, it is the songs performed in the episodes themselves which are the real hits. In the episode which is entirely set during Ho-kago Tea Time’s performance at the cultural festival there are two songs performed in full. Then there’s the comic “Rice is a Side Dish” and the more heartfelt “U & I”, with lyrics by Yui and dedicated to her younger sister Ui about the time she cared for her when she had a cold. Lastly there is “Touched by an Angel”, a song devoted to Azusa performed following someone else’s graduation.
This remains as one of the funniest, most entertaining anime around, and the music is brilliant. Of course we still have one more fun thing to come… the girls are coming to London!