Project Haruhi
25Mar/1136

Deconstructing K-ON! – The Takotsuboya Doujin Trilogy

 

Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

-Kurt Vonnegut

The super-saccharine moeblob slice-of-life genre received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, during the run of K-ON!. This show is the archetypal example of that genre, easily outclassing any of KyoAni's previous works in popularity. However, despite its immense celebrity and polarizing effect on the anime fandom, I have yet to see K-ON! receive a proper deconstruction. With Madoka making literary analysis of old genres cool again, as well as the recent announcement of a "K-ON! in college" manga, I feel like this is the perfect time for moe as a genre to be scorched and refined in the crucible of deconstruction.

Alas, the only media I've come across that comes close to accomplishing this is the infamous Takotsuboya K-ON! doujin trilogy. From a storytelling perspective, these doujins could not be considered good. They contain the requisite awkwardly-placed sex scenes and out-of-place pervertedness that is characteristic of doujins, making suspension of disbelief impossible. But they also contain several ingenious, even brilliant insights into how the HTT girls would fit into the real world. Many of these insights are gleaned from the author's experience as a failed mangaka who repeatedly tried anything and everything to get his work published.

Dusty and Glen believe that these doujins treated the girls too harshly, replacing the fluffy, idealistic world of the show with an equally brutal and vindictive antithesis. I, on the other hand, think any good deconstruction has to put its characters through hell, in order to scour away their veneer and reveal their true quality. But I want your opinion, friend reader. In order to spare you the ordeal of reading this admittedly substandard doujin, I will describe the fate of each character below. You tell me whether you think it represents an accurate character interpretation, or an overly grim attempt by the author to soil these much-beloved moeblobs.

More after the break.


Yui Hirasawa: Towards the end of her high-school career, Sawako realizes that Yui's perfect pitch and eidetic musical memory means she has a huge amount of natural talent. Using her industry contacts, Sawako gets Yui a lucrative contract, and she quickly becomes Japan's newest musical sensation "The Japanese Jimi Hendrix." Sadly, her childish personality gets her into constant trouble, especially when she makes careless remarks on national television that the bloodthirty media eagerly distort into controversies. Her manager is barely able to keep her under control.

Eventually, Yui's interaction with other musicians leads her to the darker side of the rock lifestyle when she discovers illegal drugs. Still retaining her childish personality, she is unable to exercise better judgement and quickly begins a downward spiral into substance abuse. After being arrested on a marijuana charge at age 24, she flees to England in order to avoid prosecution. She dies of a sleeping pill overdose at age 25, two years earlier than the original Jimi Hendrix.

After her death, Yui's parents and sister form a copyright company to preserve her legacy, releasing her final album "That Is It" posthumously.

Azusa Nakano: The year after Yui graduates and ascends to stardom, Azusa tries to convince Sawako to hook her up with her industry contacts. Sawako is dismissive, pointing out that membership in a high-school band does not qualify one to be a professional musician. Still determined to follow in the footsteps of her hero Yui, Azusa manages to successfully join the idol group AK-47 through hard work and determination. When one of AK-47's albums manages to displace Yui's work on the Oricon charts, it seems like she might be managing to attain some measure of success. Unfortunately, Azusa discovers that the leader of the idol group got her position by sleeping with the casting director. Indignant, she clobbers the leader onstage and starts up a solo career.

However, the only musical work Azusa can find is as a street-performing cosplayer in Akiba. Her second album attempts to capitalize on Yui's popularity, and contains a blatant ripoff of "Fuwa Fuwa Time" called "Tsuru Tsuru Time." None of her efforts meet with real success, despite her increasingly risque attempts at cosplay. Upon hearing of Yui's death, Azusa decides to pursue her dreams in a more realistic fashion, becoming an employee at a music store and giving the customers excellent jazz recommendations. She continues to play guitar as a hobby.

Tsumugi Kotobuki: After marrying a wealthy foreign man named John, Mugi moves to England and, aside from a brief meeting with Yui, is never heard from again. This results in her having roughly the same amount of impact on the doujin trilogy as she had on the original show.

Ritsu Tainaka: When Sawako whisks Yui away to fame and fortune at the expense of the rest of the HTT members, Ritsu takes the hint and gets a blue-collar job at Neko Neko Nagato Couriers. She maintains her cheerful disposition, seeing herself as something of an underachiever champion, and is grateful to Yui for making her realize that she had no real talent. She is still a good friend to Mio, and the two often enjoy karaoke sessions together.

Mio Akiyama: After easily cruising through college with top grades, Mio winds up working for a music company. She begins sleeping with one of the company executives, a 42-year-old married man who promises that he will be leaving his wife soon. With the extra cash flow from this affair, she begins living an affluent lifestyle, and frequently disses her friend Ritsu for her working-class job. When the affair with the executive inevitably comes to a bad end, Mio finds herself jobless and decides to focus on her music. Living as a NEET, she begins to obsess over Yui and stalk her online via various imageboards such as 2ch. Mio is extremely jealous of Yui's success and natural talent, especially since all her practice and hard work has gotten her nowhere.

Eventually, Mio's NEET lifestyle begins to take a toll. Her self-made music videos fail to garner any popularity online, and she drowns her sorrows in junk food. Rapidly gaining wait and losing savings, she becomes desperate and sings a cover of one of Yui's famous songs while filming herself in the nude, then uploads the video to Niya Niya Douga. The resultant deluge of negative comments, calling her a "fat pathetic 27-year-old granny NEET," drive her to despair as she finally realizes that she doesn't have any real talent. Destitute and alone, she cries herself to sleep buried under her covers.

A few days later, Ritsu calls Mio up and offers her a part-time position at the courier place. Mio readily accepts, now content to live out her days as an average no-name laborer, with Ritsu by her side.

The doujin ends with this Wikipedia screenshot.

So, what do you think? Does this doujin deconstruct the girls of K-ON! effectively? If you had been writing it, what would you have done differently? Do you think a future anime might deconstruct the moe genre in a more effective fashion? What director and studio would be best suited to such a deconstruction? I'm eager to read your opinions, so please share them in the comments below!

About Jon

Jon is a Japanese culture enthusiast, professional pervert and roleplaying fanatic who appreciates flexible gender identities. He enjoys science fiction, Gunpla, classical music and Red Stripe.

  • Personally, I think the deconstruction says more about the mangaka than about the characters. Azusa and Mio are so preoccupied with becoming famous that they completely miss the basics of creativity, which are doing what you enjoy and creating something you love. Instead, they base everything on getting themselves noticed by pandering to what they think people want to see.

    That said, the outlines you gave don’t touch on where most of the problems lie. Being accused of shoplifting by an indignant clerk is perfectly fine, but concluding that giving up your virginity is the best way to deal with it is just silly even for the hopelessly naive K-ON cast.

    • Jon

      That’s kinda the way it was in the show. Mio is the only one who does anything remotely creative… the rest just go along with it because they find it fun. It would be very easy for such a group to be broken apart by jealousy if one of the members became a star, and Mio would be most susceptible to this jealousy because of how seriously she takes music compared to the others. That would drive her to try and mimic Yui’s success, doing whatever is necessary to close the gap between them. After all, simply “being creative” doesn’t get you hired at a major music label.

      I guess what I’m saying is, her actions feel perfectly logical to me given the circumstances she was placed in.

      And yeah, I only outlined the pertinent bits. Like I mentioned in the post, this is not a good doujin. I included only the the future timeline bits because they’re most relevant to my interests in moe deconstructionism.

    • Forming a new band and hitting up clubs for gigs is much more likely to get you a record deal than anything Azusa or Mio were doing. It’s also much simpler, more enjoyable and less humiliating. Even after Azusa leaves her gig with the idol band, the way she tries to sell herself afterwards just sets her up to be in the exact same sort of thing, which doesn’t make any sense. It’d be much easier to go along with Azusa and Mio putting up band recruitment flyers at music shops and having a tough time selling their act to club managers. That’s basically the story of everyone who’s ever tried to make money with music.

  • Despite being so serious, I don’t think this doujin should be taken ‘seriously’; we need to see this as what it is: a ‘what-if’ scenario, not a ‘this is actually what’s going to happen’ story. If one was to make an actual deconstruction of moe like this, more original ideas should be added and not just cliched ‘dark’ (e.g. drug abuse, sleeping with an older man, etc.) tropes being randomly handed out to the characters.

    I’d love to see a moe deconstruction like this, and the quote at the beginning of the article really sums up well how that should work. The problem with deconstructing moe however, is that a lot of the dramatic aspects will have to have something to do with moe tropes (Otherwise, people will start to wonder what the hell all that drama is even good for), just like Madoka so beautifully deconstructed Magical Girl shows by adding dramatic twists to MG tropes, like the magical creature and the item that transforms the girl into a MG.

    If we do this with moe however, I think this will lead to a ridiculous anime that tries too hard. The only idea I can think of to deconstruct a moe trope is by making the characters think about the meaning of their existence and boredom, while sitting around doing cute things. That, or they write in a pedophile. But that may already be borderline laughable showmanship.

    But I’m not a writer, so what will this deconstruction need? Gen Urobuchi, get onto it.

    • That’s true, but in this case it came off rather… not TOO far-fetched. See, part the way I see it is breaking the harmony. I didn’t see the second season, but we know the girls go to college. What tips the tides here seems to be Sawako coercing Yui to the stage solo. I think the mangaka missed one brutal point, which is Yui would never proceed in anything without her friends, she never does it solo. Otherwise it would defeat everything K-On built up to for the past two seasons.
      That’s just my take on it. Everything else, save for Mio’s Douga days and Ui being a complete sick child, are pretty solid.

  • Ryu

    Flight of the Conchords is a p good deconstruction of K-ON imo

    Jermaine and Brett are just so ~moe~

  • I was into K-On when I first heard it was about some kids in a band since I played music all throughout high school, too. Even pursed to major in music in college for a bit, but dropped it.
    Seeing Azusa and the other one try to fallow in Yui’s footstep is interesting and kind of mimics other bands, like what Andy Gibbs (R.I.P.) tried to do when his brothers got famous or Ashley Simpson, Jacksons, Beatles, etc. All with varying results.

    I want to look more DEEP into this, but the only answer is marketing. Especially when you got Rebbecca Black and all that pop stuff. Japan I imagine is even more into this culture, so I can’t look past that even in this doujin.

    “After all, simply “being creative” doesn’t get you hired at a major music label.”
    True, true. Commonly, though, it’s part of an ingredient. You have to constantly churn out music to stay in business. To be a success you have to stay relevant.
    You know, that could have been fine for Azusa. She’s has *enough* talent to at least preform. Yui was a fluke, but also not. She had natural talent, charm, was interesting, and had that drive that Azusa probably doesn’t have. Azusa is kind of in the same boat I was; can play, but when it’s time for a burst of creativity in a solo or something it falls apart. Can play some really nice pieces, but that’s all. A highlight, but not a headliner.
    Here’s what it is; Azusa is a musician. Yui is a performer/guitarist. That was strongly shown when her manager asked for her music, and Yui said something stupid like “duurr it’s all in mah head! hee hee! ::spins::”. Azusa would have had a composition ready. That’s the difference.

    Like I said, Azusa would have made it in the contemporary jazz scene easily. She just didn’t have that drive to be a performer. Hey, she took it a lot better than most would-be musicians. You see them on American Idol saying they got it. Nah, see people want fame, but don’t even know why. Or what to do with it. Great acts find a way to the top, one way or another. Racer X summed it perfectly, “You don’t get into a T-180 to a be driver. You do it because you’re driven.”

    Mio was only fooling herself. If I were Ritsu I would have dropped a box on her from a crane to end her misery.

    • BTW, if this doujin really interested you, please check out Kira☆Kira already. I keep TELLING you people..
      Oh, yeah, and this

    • Anonymous

      > I want to look more DEEP into this, but the only answer is marketing.
      Especially when you got Rebbecca Black and all that pop stuff. Japan I
      imagine is even more into this culture, so I can’t look past that even
      in this doujin.

      It’s a machine, yeah. See http://neojaponisme.com/2011/07/26/the-jimusho-system-part-four/ and earlier articles for numbers.

  • Hogart

    K-on is a romanticized idealization of the tedious boredom of these girl’s lives. They are clearly in denial, and using a common hobby as the escapism it is intended to be. We all know they will get regular jobs like Sawako, who had some basic talent and creativity. But people STILL think these girls will end up musicians somehow. That’s fine for a dramatized deconstruction. It’s meant to show what would happen if a fantasy became reality, how the character’s established personalities would respond.

    But if I had to deconstruct them, I’d drop the pretense that they will push for a music career. Here’s my own lame deconstruction: Tsumugi has her education paid-for by her parents, who force her to move to America to grow up in an expensive secondary school. Her departure is barely noticed, though she does email Mio from time to time.

    Mio struggles with her meekness, responsibly going to uni but finding it tough to cope as she can’t find any serious friends. Sawako finds her reminiscing in the old clubroom one day, and they have a chat that restores her confidence. She finishes school but gets caught up in taking her career too seriously, until she’s again depressed. Mugi then gets her hired at her parent’s business, where Mio excels enough to stop obsessing over her career.

    Yui bums around until her sister is forced to kick her out to make something of herself. Yui takes it all in stride, but keeps getting walked-on by everyone she meets (roommates, co-workers, etc) in her basic NEET lifestyle. She goes from dead-end job to dead-end job, slowly falling apart but hiding it behind her cheerful and childish veneer so as to appear reliable and not worry anyone.

    Ritsu, in the meantime, hooks up with a jerk-off musician while at a technical college, who abuses her to escape from the harsh reality of his lifestyle. She eventually gets fed up with him and is completely turned off to music-as-a-career after seeing the reality of it all. She then runs into Yui, and helps clean her up somewhat while trying to finish school.

    The two of them lives as roommates while supporting each other, but ultimately live a NEET-style life, falling into recreational drugs but keeping each other from despair. Yui then surprises Ritsu by revealing that she has been working on a manga, an sappy and over-idealized version of their boring and eventless highschool lives. It’s actually surprisingly good, Yui actually has a modicum of talent. Ritsu helps her complete it, supporting her and using her connections and people-skills to try to sell it. It turns out to not be going anywhere, but luckily the two of them end up getting a chance with someone at a familiar-sounding company, where the agent they end up speaking with is none other than Mio. Mio bails them out, recognizing that their lame self-referential manga is just what the budding moe industry is looking for, and this convenient turn of events makes them all famous.

    Azusa is largely forgotten by everyone, once real-life starts to isolate them all. She is too level-headed to take music seriously as a career, though it remains her hobby. She encourages Ui to be hard on Yui, and then helps console Ui so she’s not obsessing over her sister. She then tires of all the childish games and focuses on her choice of career – journalism. Her ability and drive lets her take the field seriously, and she avoids most of the hardships and naiveness of a young journalism student because she knows how to use her charms and talents, and takes things seriously having been forced to grow up early. One day has receives a small parcel containing a manga called “K-On”, which she reads smilingly, deciding to set up a reunion with her old friends.

    And, for kicks, why not Ui? Free of her sister’s influence, she finishes highschool with honors and gets into a good school, still working hard while keeping an eye out on her sister, until she is offered a scholarship at bio-tech school. Her organizational skills help with her research and contribute to her academic success, and she falls for a nice fellow student who, like Yui, is a bit dependent on her.

    Afterward, it dawns on Mio that she’s obsessed over her career to the point where she is Christmas Cake. She rushes into a marriage of convenience, but ultimately it doesn’t turn out so bad. Yui and Ritsu have had their 15 minutes, and lost creative rights to their work. They have a falling out, and Ui keeps Yui occupied while Ritsu makes ends meet at a desk-job at the place where Mio is working. She hooks up with her old flame, who has finally grown out of the fastlife, and the two of them start a family. They all see Azusa on television from time to time, who has since earned a journalism award.

    • Ryu

      You almost had me until the writing a manga part. You see I’m not entirely convinced that kakifly isn’t a codename for the massive supercomputer that keeps punching this out

      USER INPUT (please check the relevant boxes):

      [] girls
      [] non-threatening
      [] a band
      [] sweets
      [] maids
      [] pop culture references
      [] marketing phenomenon

      Then a little man in a suit pushes this through the gaping maw of the machine and out the other end comes a spray of merchandise directly into the faces of the adoring fans.

      make this post into a gold plaque tia

    • Ryu

      ^^^^^ hahaha oh wow

      see the problem I have with this is that the main characters actually achieve something. It would be truer to form if they coasted through life on a wave of mediocrity until Mio has a nervous breakdown on her 30th birthday upon realising she has spent almost half her life span accomplishing nothing. [welcome to the K-on!]

      Alternatively fade to white to showing Yui staring blankly into a crystal ball.

    • Yui_loves_LSD

      Very biased, can’t say I agree with your assessment.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I totally want to read this.

    I can’t really say if it is an effective deconstruction, but I find it entertaining and interesting. I may have a proper opinion later on.

  • Anonymous

    My deconstruction was much better.

  • Anonymous

    Though this one is more realistic I guess. It’s a happy fact that Mio and Ritsu remain together.

  • Elder Haman

    This is not a good deconstruction because it does not accurately represent either the personalities or the relative talents of the band.

    For a better deconstruction of a band you could look at the movie “That Thing You Do” with Tom Hanks, which is about the one hit Wonders.

    The first thing to realize is that Mio is the main talent. She writes most of the song lyrics (poorly), and does most the composing (very well). Yui wrote the lyrics for one song. Mugi composed one song. Mio is also the beauty of the group, which combined with her vocals, means she’ll always be one of the “faces” and it would be impossible for Mio to be split from a band without destroying it. Mio’s weakness is her timidity and innocence. Mio is actually probably the least likely to try and sleep her way to the top. Mio would certainly drop out before that- in fact she’s the one member of the band who is shown as not being wholly devoted to music, and as such is probably the least likely to be jealous of Yui.

    Yui is also a talent, but a wild and uncontrolled one. She is not a genius as fanon makes her, just simply very gifted at playing by ear, and full of natural charisma. If she is tied to someone who does have direction and self control (such as Mio or Azusa) she could go far, but she’ll never be able to do something all by herself, she would self destruct. That’s probably the one thing this doujin gets right- however, they miss the aspect that her friends would not have abandoned her, nor would Yui have abandoned her friends.

    Azusa is what “That Thing You Do” refers to as “the real thing”. Meaning that Azusa is the character best suited for an actual career in music. Not as a star, but as a workhorse musician. She’s the player that can get called in to fill a hole in a band, be the second guitar, and generally be a supporting band member. Those kinds of players are important. Furthermore she has the personality suited for band leadership, and if she she could get some talents in her band, she could go far. Azusa is probably the one member of the band who would certainly stay in music if the band broke up. She is also the most likely to struggle with jealousy of the talents such as Mio or Yui.

    Mugi is actually a very interesting character. She has familial duties, is heavily sheltered, and will probably be expected to marry to the family benefit. She is also desperately lonely, and more than any other member of the band would be opposed to breaking up. She also seems to show some latent musical abilities that she doesn’t display, since she really prefers being part of the group as opposed to standing out.

    Ritsu is an oddity. She’d the titular leader of the band, but is not suited for it. She’d a decent enough player I guess, but has never shown any true musical greatness. She dreams big dreams, and often starts the band on the path to big goals, but she’s lazy and never wants to do the work, and so after starting things ends up leaving it to others (mainly Mio) to make it happen. She also provides a stable emotional support for Mio because of their long friendship- but also abuses it at times by teasing Mio, and occasionally takes it too far. Easily distracted, she’s carefree and tomboyish, which means she and Yui often get along into trouble together. Mugi likes hanging out with Ritsu because of this as well.

    Once you consider all these things deconstruction possibilities become obvious for Mio and Mugi.

    Mio has two big story lines that would “reveal” her character. The first would be the reality in commercial bands that she and her band would be expected to do a bunch of covers instead of their own songs. (Notably this is the crisis that breaks up the Wonders in “That Thing You Do”). There would probably be one song that she wrote that would be very popular, (perhaps as added conflict have Yui “mess up” the song in a way that guaranties it’s popularity), and they have to play it all the time. At first it would be very exciting being recognized, but eventually as the creative talent, Mio would feel very stifled if she had to always play songs written by other people, and never got to create new song.

    The second obvious storyline for Mio (and one even treated already in the manga and to a smaller extent in the anime) is the crazed stalker, and how Mio deals with it. Bad enough for Mio being stalked by highschool fangirls, but imagine when she starts being stalked by grown men.

    Mugi’s obvious storyline is all about the conflict with her family being opposed to her touring with a band, and later with their pressure for her to marry.

    However, Ritsu provides the best possibility for really wreaking the band. Have Ritsu get a boyfriend. (I actually wouldn’t be surprised if this happens in the “college years” manga). Mio is unlikely to get a boyfriend because of her personality, Mugi is unlikely because of her family pressures, Azusa could, but would manage it just fine. Yui is also likely to get a boyfriend, perhaps following along with Ritsu. (Although it is unlikely the manga will give Yui a boyfriend as the fans would rage.)

    “Ritsu gets a boyfriend” is a natural development, and a natural way to put stress on the band. Ritsu starts skipping practice, slacking off even more than she used to. Eventually the rest of the band stages an intervention. At some point Ritsu decides to quit the band.

    This would be devastating to Mio. If this happened after the band was starting to have some commercial success the band might replace Ritsu and keep on going, but Mio would now be much more vulnerable without her protector around. Then hit Mio up with frustration over creative control of their songs, add a crazed stalker incident to scare her, and Mio decides to drop out.

    At this point Mugi is heartbroken at the band breaking up, and is unable to keep putting off her parents pressure to marry, so she sadly drops out. Not because she wants to, but because she’s lost hope.

    Yui is also devastated by this and so clings even more fiercely to Azusa. Azusa is upset as well, but feeling she has to be the strong one, she embarks on a duo career with Yui. Perhaps eventually establishing a new band with herself and Yui as the core.

    Mio would probably eventually end up as a composer who writes songs for other people to preform. Mugi is married with kids and looks back on their bands days with nostalgia, and trys to keep in touch with everyone. Ritsu could end up in several different positions, but will probably still be close friends with Mio- and might mooch off her a little.

    That’s probably a “realistic” take on their futures. Not that dark really. Maybe they could even have a reunion tour in their 40s or 50s, if they were popular enough before breaking up.

    • Jon

      You are, of course, assuming they all have actual talent. I think the show portrayed them as musicians with potential who never developed their skills much beyond high school level due to the sheer laziness of certain band members. A bit tragic, really.

      Still, their struggles as a budding young band would make for an interesting story. I don’t know if I’d call it a full-on deconstruction though, since the genre would have shifted from school moe to musician drama.

    • OminousFlare

      I think you missed the point of the deconstruction. The way I see it, it’s more of an ‘attack on fanon’ story, kind of like the third movie of Madoka Magica. In short, this story is more suitable for people who hate K-On, the other camp of the so-called ‘fanbase’.

      Mio wouldn’t sleep her way to the top? Hello. Like you said, she’s insecure. She’s likely to give in to her insecurities because reality happens. Get a newsflash on the latest celebrity gossips about Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, for example. It’s not about the interest of music, it’s about filling the void (pun unintended) in her confidence level. It’s about proving something to herself out of sheer denial. It’s pathetic, but that’s Mio.

  • Dayriff

    I find it it interesting that everybody pretty firmly agrees on Mugi being married off (partially due to pressure from her family). I know it’s dangerous to watch K-On with my yuri goggles on, but if one member of the band were to turn out to be gay (probably an acceptably realistic percentage), it would definitely be Mugi.

    Of course, even absent marriage Mugi is the one most likely to drift away from the group. She comes from a very wealthy family and isn’t a total screw-up, meaning that she’ll have so many opportunities before her that trying to hang onto her high school friends will start to seem very difficult.

  • Dangerman

    I am personally ticked and depressed about Yui’s bio here. And I don’t like the direction the Dojin makes.

    K-On! is a happy and sweet anime/manga and this dojin ruins everything what I like about the show. I hope the creators of this fanfiction be ashamed of themselves for this.

    • Now no one can claim Project Haruhi has never accomplished anything.

  • Sweet mercy…that’s depressing.

    • Drew Russell

      Don’t worry, Yui got to live the life, and will be forever regarded as a ledged in her music genre, Azuna found happiness in being content with her life being normal and still has small hopes of being as talented as Yui, and Risto and Mio have got each other and likely attended the funeral of Yui and told her how much they loved they time together. Then Tsgumi might just have a full on get together and hell even maybe they might just play a little song in the backyard one day for fun. You see that’s what life is, friends and family. Dreams are brilliant and all, but when they come at a cost of being an a so called ‘Artist’ and having to snub you’re friends and family from more intimate moments in there lives. Well as the saying goes, “The Dream ain’t all it’s cracked up to be”. I hope that Takotsuboya one day it able to become a full fledged Mangaka but I hope he also knows that for some of us who love Doujinshi as an art just as much as manga. We thank you and to us you are the one who is special to us.

  • Snicket

    I never really followed K-ON!, beyond the performance episode of the first season. It seemed as if the main goal was accomplished and the rest of the series was just fill. Though i don’t know how much it true or not, since i didn’t bother to watch it to confirm this.

    However despite this, i was still kept somewhat informed of the series’s story. Thanks in part of ‘certain’ image board. Though it was pretty vague.

    This ‘deconstruction’ seems more of a worst case scenario, then a ‘s*** gets serious ploy that the mangaka was going for. Then again maybe he/she did want to rub the series’s face in the mud and drag it though a minefield in an attempt to know it off is ‘superior’ pedestal or de-moeify somehow.

    I dunno, the whole thing seemed like a rather extreme approach to the whole thing. The only reason I’m posting this is because i find the whole concept of this so off the wall, bat s*** crazy that i had to say something.

  • Read enough doujinshi and ero-manga and this is the kind of stuff you see eventually. K-ON doujinshi is specifically infamous for its how many of them put such cute, childlike characters in uncharacteristically serious situations.

    I mean, when the rest of a series’ doujin repertoire consists of works like Black Time, Fortissimo, and Ritsu the Pay Toilet, it becomes difficult to see a particular work as anything special, especially if the work is still fap material at its core.

    Also, what’s the value of a deconstruction if that deconstruction is, admittedly, a bad work of media?

  • Read enough doujinshi and ero-manga and this is the kind of stuff you see eventually. K-ON doujinshi is specifically infamous for its how many of them put such cute, childlike characters in uncharacteristically serious situations.

    I mean, when the rest of a series’ doujin repertoire consists of works like Black Time, Fortissimo, and Ritsu the Pay Toilet, it becomes difficult to see a particular work as anything special, especially if the work is still fap material at its core.

    Also, what’s the value of a deconstruction if that deconstruction is, admittedly, a bad work of media?

  • A person’s point of view

    It’s a good thing this is only a parody and K-on will never be able to relate to the 3 stories this takotsuboya guy wrote.

    1. Yui’s memory is a single CPU core, not a Dual core. It can only process one thing at a time. I.e. Ace math test, forget how to play the guitar.
    2. Mugi never uses profanity, and I don’t believe her character is super harsh as it is impossible for her to have “a rough attitude”. *In another of this guy’s doujinshi that is.
    3. Mio’s songs were never really altered by any of the band mates. Not even Yui, so this doujinshi made up quite a lot of stuff.
    4. In another of his doujinshis, Yui chose the name, Gitah after a few days later. And the staff in the music shop are always nice and etc. They never did anything like the ones in the doujinshi did. Besides, that would never happen in real life. It’s not possible.
    5. This kind of stuff can happen in real life; the original story by Kakifly. In the doujinshi, a very ugly girl got rejected due to her appearance… but I don’t think I have seen any girl that ugly looking in my entire life. I don’t even think it’s even possible. That new girl that looks a bit chubby with black hair in the new 2011 K-On manga who broke the thickest string on Azusa’s guitar is probably the closest to a real-life-not-cute/pretty-type-of-girl.
    6. There are more things I can argue about the 3 doujinshis written by takotsuboya, but I don’t remember them all anyways. :/ I just had to write about this since it’s bugging me how some of the peoples’ comments in fakku are saying how “this should be applied in the actual K-on manga/anime”. It’s just ridiculous. The doujinshis are crossing the lines too much, and no, some parts are quite unrealistic in my opinion (i.e. Cashier guy getting mad over the Yui naming the guitar “Gittah”, or changing the plot in a way in which it seems like they are going to kill each other).

  • Anonymous

    The Vonnegut quote reminds me of this Rumi quote:

    “Exalted Truth imposes on us
    Heat and cold, grief and pain,
    Terror and weakness of wealth and body,
    Together, so that the coin of our innermost being
    Becomes evident.”

    > Alas, the only media I’ve come across that comes close to accomplishing this is the infamous Takotsuboya K-ON! doujin trilogy.

    Link seems to be broken; you meant http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Doujinshi/TakotsuboyaK-ONTrilogy ?

    > Tsumugi Kotobuki: After marrying a wealthy foreign
    man named John, Mugi moves to England and, aside from a brief meeting
    with Yui, is never heard from again. This results in her having roughly
    the same amount of impact on the doujin trilogy as she had on the
    original show.

    *Ow*. That’s such a brutal disposal (seriously, the foreigner is named “John”) and your second line is a masterpiece of insult.

    > The doujin ends with this Wikipedia screenshot.
    As a long-time editor, the language is pretty much dead-on. (Missing the little ref links it ought to have, though. Fan editors would not let stand the criticism line without a ref.)

  • Raitei2000

    Don´t forget that deconstructing doesn´t mean putting a character in Hell. “Hell” is neither deconstruction nor reality, it´s a common easy way to show a series more realistic.
    Even though the creator for the “deconstruction” term has stated that he cannot explain well the word, I would think of an approximate value for it: Deconstruction demostrates inconsistencies and contradictions in the relationship between an object and a place and/or its relations with other object through the analisis of its core characteristics.
    However this has also to consider many other possibilities; not only “Hell”, explaining why it won´t work would suffice.

    Therefore lets state the following ecuation: 4 members in a club, where none does really much practice. Even though if we consider the possibility that one or two have or may have talent, the heads, which this case is the student council would soon disband the club (yes, even if one of the main members or the president is a friend, its their job and neglecting to do so is abusing their power) because of they would soon be told that its a burden for their studies (specially in the last years), with Sawako possibly getting scolded, in the worst case fired because of her inability to exercise authority and instead joining in the shenanigans.

    That below was an example of deconstruction, yes it may be cheesy and rushed but it works as one. Even as that it could also consider why some of the things inside that deconstruction wouldn´t work.

    Also as a sidenote: yes, the work is the reflection for the author´s own frustrations, emotions like these are easily recognized (take Kafka or Mann as examples).

  • Anonymous

    It’s a deconstruction in the sense that it flips the rosey slice-of-life story and turns it into a series of miserable tangents, but to me it just seems like someone really hated K-On! Having the moeblobs overdose on drugs, marry older men, gain weight, and quit playing music is a pretty terrible. Faux-On! is a much more humourous revision of the K-On! mythos

  • DylanRapture

    I don’t know. It reminds me of one of the many ‘behind the music’ kind of autobiography parody, specifically one titled ‘Fear of a Black Hat’ featuring a rap group called N.W.H (Niggas with Hats) which of course parodies real life rap sensation N.W.A (replace Hat with Attitude). It chronicles the rise, fall and reunification of the group as well as the drama these groups faced such as rivalry with other groups (NWH had an ongoing rival with a group called the Jam Boys) and intergroup tension with the whole ‘creative differences’ kind of thing going on. In the mangaka’s story, it was probably more his take of the whole cycle and state of the Japanese music industry. Young groups come and go who are musically talented and when they are ready to move on when they get much older (and I guess less appealing), they move on and those who are most marketable find opportunities again. Those with talent alone without the appeal to market find it harder sadly and its not surprising if they use that identity as a previous group to hook themselves with that guy they worked with to continue to recognize.
    So if anything, it was applying ‘sleazy’ behind the music aspect to the characters though some of their situations are certainly far fetched. More of a parody using ideas from parodies maybe. Hey, it worked with the Strike Witches doujin he made with the Full Metal Jacket theme with Private Pile as Lynnette and Major Sakamoto as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.

  • theOther

    You forgot to mention the part where Azusa gets raped. The story’s a lot more depressing and dark than this article makes it seem.

  • Armin Arlert

    Plainly I didn’t like how he killed off yui. Plain and simple.

  • Aris Boch

    No idea why people mistake “take moe and paint it as grimdark as possible adding a ton of silly porn doijinshi cliches in the mix” (Yui being blackmailed into giving up her virginity and than this incredibly gratuitous rape scene of Azusa in, IIRC, the 3rd volume) or the mangakas venting his frustration about his lack of success for a good deconstruction.

  • Drew Russell

    Ok. Big Idea here for a feature drama film screenplay about pretty Schoolgirls who make up a club and actually all have talent, but discover a girl in there club has the potential to go to the top.
    I idea being why doesn’t someone make a movie based on this K-On Story from Takotsuboya and make it an American Film that credit’s Takotsuboya as a writer and the film earns enough to give Takosuboya his dream of making something that he found success at? I would start doing this right away if there are any screenwriters (aside from me) & or Producers in the house.