It’s silly, and probably never meant to touch, move, or inspire anyone. Maybe get a few laughs, get a few people to HNGGGH, to fap, or more specifically buy merchandise, K-ON! isn’t a show where people expect something powerful. I certainly did not. I watched it for reasons I imagine many people watched it: cute girls being cute.
I didn’t watch it for the rock n’ roll, I didn’t watch it for high drama (or even good comedy). The tea times, and the pastries, and the cosplay, and the ridiculous viewer avatar in the form of the teacher gave me chuckles here and there, a light and fluffy time. But the finale gave me a lot more, a WHOLE lot more.
A little more on Sawako-sensei: I identify her as the audience avatar in that she’s the one who plays her fetishes on the main cast; specifically through cosplay. She’s not an audience avatar in the strictest sense that she has a blank personality, is male, and is directly involved romantically with her harem. She’s a sexual fetish in herself: the wild, hot, teacher. She has a past played up for laughs too, and is mildly interesting in her own right the way everyone else is mildly interesting.
But yes, the final. Hirasawa Yui committing her would be most consequential act of clumsiness had to get her guitar from her house to join the final performance of the band. Her run back to the auditorium is played up to be both epic and cute, and succeeds at the latter. The thing to note here is a display of character growth.
In the beginning you had a complete airhead with no desire or purpose or willpower entering high school. Here in the end you have the same airhead acting on a newfound sense of purpose; willing herself through illness, dim-wittedness, and lack of talent to make something out of her high school experience… with her friends.
She got more assistance and help than she probably deserves, and for the desperation and lack of good sense of her band mates her next-to-zero talent goofiness became the heart and soul of their band; for good measure. We can say they deserve each other. But when she arrived panting and sweaty at the auditorium, Sawako-sensei making space for her as the guitar player. I saw something touching, moving, and inspiring.
She gave her speech. It was cute — the one thing she had going for her. But when she shouted, THIS IS OUR BUDOKAN! It grabbed hold of me. I’m a big fan of Beck:MCS and it’s easy for me to be inspired by that anime and manga to play air guitar and rock out to its soundtrack and related music. In K-ON! it was different. Sure it caught this need in me to perform, but somehow it’s divorced from the necessity of being in a rock band.
It told me that any kind of performance can be awesome too — that it only takes agreement from an appreciative audience. Something special can happen. The audience they had is partisan, and hardly ‘respectable’ music fans. But I don’t think that mattered to them, or to Yui and the rest. It was a moment, and the fact that I get it makes me feel good about being me; a light and fluffy kind of good.
So what kind of performance did I see myself doing? Why, the massively consequential and important act of anime blogging of course ~_^ This blog is MY Budokan!
I too, had a high school band but the kind of guitars a run around with are now on my kicks [->]
I first claimed WRL as my Budokan as part of fleshing out my methodology of anime and manga appreciation [->]
It’s way ahead of the parameters of the project, but this post is in support of CCY-senpai’s 12 Moments in Anime 2009 he does for the 12 days of Christmas.