Six Moments of 2010: All from K-ON!! (feat. H. Runge, Kneesocks, Athrun Zala, Ikari Gendo, Char Aznable, & the special participation of RANKA LEE)

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Outside of my core fan pursuits, K-On!! gave me the best anime watching experience this year. I’m not a fan of this kind of show, despite my enjoyment of shows like it (Aria, Manabi Straight, and Lucky Star) that is, by fan I mean I go out of my way to find and watch these shows. Usually I get to watch these after recommendations from people I trust, but no K-ON! which I gambled on.

Sometimes, I win too. However, K-On!! was such an awesome show for me this year that I don’t feel I’m enough by myself to account for the great moments in it. So I rounded up a bunch of cool friends who I watched the show with to share their favorite moments, and I’ll provide my commentary as well. Here they are (6 awesome guys!):

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Now  that I’ve rounded up the guys, let’s have a light and fluffy time talking about our favorite moments in the show!

Episode 04: “Field Trip!”

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This was the moment I think when this season started to distance itself from the first. It’s a subtle enough shift: a stock field trip episode in Kyoto. But Sawako started manifesting a newfound desire to be taken seriously as a teacher, while Mugi started manifesting a stronger desire to be deeper part of the group, or at least experiencing things that are beyond her existence. The pillow-fight was delightful, while “Skull” and “Lycopene” became internet memes among viewers of the show.

Episode 10: “Teacher!”

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Such a quiet but endearing moment. At this point the show was already taking on a mythic quality in my eyes. Back in high school, when I was learning to play the guitar I’d always put the axe away after an upperclassman finished playing with it (I always carried a guitar around in school). But at some point, when I was just that bit more confident in my playing I wouldn’t put the guitar away. I would play my own licks. And yes, it was the jam man.

Episode 07: “Tea Party!”

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Um, right uh… Char. I liked that episode a lot as well. It was laying the sentimentality very thick but in a delightfully cheesy way. I think Mio didn’t get a fair shake this season. While Mugi discovered friendship, Ritsu rediscovered music, Yui discovered songwriting, Mio remained static and never transcended her go-to moé-moé role; that is, to be the butt of the moé-moé gags.

Mugi’s earnestness is her moé quality, Azu-nyan, Ricchan, and Yui also are the butt of jokes but they give as much as they take (maybe not Azusa, but Azusa became the major protagonist this season; her hopes and dreams lie beneath the moments in the story). Mio didn’t just gets showcased this episode as an object. This episode represents the continuing treatment she’ll get from the narrative.

Nonetheless, as Char seems to imply, this moment can be and is perhaps best enjoyed with a Pure-Pure Heart.

Episode 14: “Summer Training!”

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Can’t blame Athrun. This was an episode that I felt was on the bleeding edge of viewer manipulation via moé. I can’t pick a single moment in this show. Was it Mugi coming from behind Ritsu to surprise her? Was it one of many of Mugi’s efforts to get herself knocked on the head by Mio.

She doesn’t get it, which is moé as well: she has to get under Mio’s skin. She’s incapable of doing that to anybody. And I think I’ll pick the moment that she does get hit… because it brought out the Ritsu we don’t get to see: a Ritsu stripped of her trolling demeanor and left with nothing but her self as loving friend.

Episode 20: “Yet Another School Festival!”

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Runge picks a BIG one. I think this is my favorite moment as well, precisely because of how Sawako is wordlessly used to underscore the significance and intimacy(!) of the moment as it occurs. Sawako had this moment before, and perhaps she silently cursed the club moderator that barged in their own moment… in any case Sawako showed great maturity and class here. For all her narcissism in wanting to be treated as a mature teacher… when it really counts, she displays it.

When I was conducting training programs and workshops, I put in a lot of effort in setting the participants up for success. But when they do succeed, I need to acknowledge that it’s their hard work and guts that get them through… and that the moment of victory was all theirs. I wanted very much to share those moments, but I did as Sawa-chan did, but not quite with the same grace.

Episode 24: “Graduation Ceremony!”

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Thanks Ranka, this is how to bring it all home. It’s central to the plot of the narrative. For the passing of the four from high school to be as meaningful (after all, they’ll stay together in college), someone has to mourn their loss and bear the burden of continuing the club. Azusa played the role very well. I can’t help but share the moment again here:

And there you have it, our favorite moments from my favorite show of 2010. Thanks again to my friends Heinrich Runge, Kneesocks, Athrun Zala, Ikari Gendo, Good ol’ Char, and Ranka-chan! You made a post so difficult to write (yes, this post took me more than a month to finish) fun to complete.

As for you dear readers, what are you’re favorite moments from K-On!!?

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in K-ON!!!, moments of 2010 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Six Moments of 2010: All from K-ON!! (feat. H. Runge, Kneesocks, Athrun Zala, Ikari Gendo, Char Aznable, & the special participation of RANKA LEE)

  1. Baka-Raptor says:

    How dare you put such rubbish in Runge’s mouth. This is where we part ways. Farewell.

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  3. JohanChan says:

    What he said.

    GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.

  4. vendredi says:

    Char’s proclivities are… (in)famous, to say the least, but by date of appearance he’s 27 years Mio’s senior, shockingly enough. Propriety certainly proves no bounds for the Red Comet…

    Also, I really hope Yui doesn’t get wind of Gendo’s statements there. I hope you do your best to ensure the confidentiality of your panelist remarks.

    Please do include more panelists in the future, they provide a remarkable level of (meta?) insight into comparative tropes and the like.

    • Oh yeah man, I think this is a goldmine. Sometimes I visit them in their anime worlds, sometimes they visit me. I like playing host you see.

      I wouldn’t be too worried about Gendo getting to Yui. I don’t think she’ll live long enough before the Second Impact gets her. Poor Ui.

      And since I can no longer in good conscience invite real people to watch Gundam SEED Destiny with me, I’ll probably have a bunch of anime characters over for that one. Feel free to suggest people who you think will be great for panel.

      • vendredi says:

        Hah, not that Yui! I was referring to Mrs. Ikari… the far more fearsome of the two. Now that you mention it, they do share a first name!

        • vendredi says:

          Also, there can be no panelist more fitting for a Gundam review than a pilot from the competing mecha franchise, Macross.

          • I got my panelists shortlisted, and the panelist from Macross is Sheryl Nome, who’s only in flight school but is also relevant due to the shenanigans caused by Lacus and Meer. Euphemia li Britannia also joins us, but alas I couldn’t get to her before she got Geassed. As a result she was rather difficult to handle and had to be disarmed several times.

  5. coburn says:

    Dig the response to Char re. Mio-moe. Looking back to season one, episode one, I’m pretty sure Mio felt like the character with some kind of real [latent] personality – only for successive episodes to contradict/compromise the whole thing, before Asuza nicked all the best bits. Maybe in that context there’s only so much the writer can do with Mio. I mean, at least Mugi had some mystery to her, as opposed to a stockpile of not-quite-coherent characteristics.

    Also, love the format on these quotes – very tight.

    • Thanks a lot man!

      I got to discuss this observation of mine re. Mio with good ol’ lolikit as I began putting together this post some time ago. We really did try to find something, anything that gets her over the threshold. The closest thing was somewhere (somehow) during the Romeo and Juliet performance.

      But, Ricchan got the best bit out of that one with her amazingly scathing review of Shakespeare’s play. Then the rest of the episode was Mio mousing her way through a maid-service bit. Also, she fainted twice (whilst sitting/standing straight), and wore a smile for over 24 hours. I can’t really call this progress LOL.

      In the same episode we also have Azusa getting a rise out of Ritsu. Even Azusa can make a stooge out of Ritsu, but Mio…

  6. Pingback: So I tried Reading the K-On! Manga… » Shameful Otaku Secret!

  7. Your troop of guest stars hit the nail on the head with these choices. While it’s not debatable to me that episode 20 is THE best of the series, maybe in total, the best moments are a competition of moments from episodes 4, 10, 20 & 24. “Lycopene” because it was a word I used to bring fellow K-ON fans together as well as my Twitter announcement for when I started an episode. Not to mention that scene is freaking funny as hell. And then seeing the original band sing to Asuza brought me to tears as readily as episode 20′s crying scene did. That’s what makes this show so great. It’s a combination laughter and tears, but foremost K-ON is a collection of fond, lifelong memories. Fans will be coming together for years to rematch this show.

    LYCOPEEEENE~!

    And tell Char to back away from Mio a little bit. He’s creeping me out.

    • Man.

      We were all sick of Gendo who kept saying “Lycopene” for 20 episodes straight, trying to get us to say “Skull.” I truly believe he’d have given up after 7 eps if it weren’t for Athrun saying “Skull” like a complete idiot. If you could’ve seen the look Runge gave him lols.

      I’m going to gather a bunch of guys for my panel when I do a post for Gundam SEED Destiny. For now I have Judau, Mr. Bushido, and Sheryl Nome. I think I can use 2 or 3 more.

  8. foshizzel says:

    Great post here Ghost! nice list :D

    Lol Gendo everyones favorite Mecha dad xD

    And lol at the Ranka Lee picture I died laughing thanks! in a good way of laughing..that is.

  9. Pingback: On the Fifth Day of Kurisumasu My Imouto Gave to Me: LYCOPENE in K-On!! Episode 20 | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

  10. Kaioshin Sama says:

    Okay this is kind of a funny and clever way of putting K-On into a perspective that I can appreciate.

    My favourite part in K-On is the one scene where they are in the club room in the early first season and the view point keeps panning back and forth to Yui making a different face and sound each time. For some reason I found that amusing in it’s subtlety and brevity.

    • I’m glad you can appreciate the perspective… given that I actually declare it my favorite show of the year.

      I don’t even remember that bit anymore, even if I did sort of rewatch the first season randomly. The production values and overall quality between the two seasons are rather dramatic for fans, that even some of them complain that season two “did too much” and rendered s1 ‘obsolete’ for lack of a better word.

      It’s bunk, but I do acknowledge the gulf between the two seasons, almost as if they were two separate shows.

  11. TheBigN says:

    This left off one of my favorite moments of the series, but I’ll save that for one of my own Anime Moments of 2010 post. And it sort of takes time to get to know the characters for these moments to mean that much. While you can say that K-On!! is better than K-On! by far (and I agree), you can’t disregard the importance the first season had to get us into that comfort zone with those characters. :3

    • Oh definitely we shouldn’t disregard the first show. It’s the introduction of the characters after all and the set up of the narrative (and plot) as it were. I wouldn’t recommend people go straight to Aria: the Origination either. Thanks for dropping by again, after a while.

  12. ~xxx says:

    I am able to understand a bit on how good K-on!! is.
    But in order for me to rate it properly, I guess I’ll have to watch it.

    The first season could be pointed as a stepping stone to know the characters, and the second season well… They have to step up.

    Indeed, I’ll have to buy K-on!!.

  13. Bruno J. Global says:

    I’d add the Summer Fest episode (12?) and the entire School Festival arc (18-20).

    I’ll share with you a simple joke done by the K-On characters: http://pinoychan.org/boards/a/res/7682.html

    • /facepalm

      That joke is so wrong… but I can’t stop laughing with a facial contortion I can’t even describe.

      The Summer Fest concert had a really nice moment when Yui demonstrated that she is the spiritual and emotional core of the band by saying, with zero basis in reality, that HTT will perform there next year.

      • Bruno J. Global says:

        I don’t think there’s entirely no basis in reality. There might be a spot for amateurs in SummerFest, if I recall correctly. They also have Mugi.

        That moment is also where they expressed their desire to stick with each other and continue playing as a band.

  14. Pingback: 12 Days of Anime: VI. Touched by an Angel ~ a bittersweet farewell « REMEMBER XVI

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