Finally! This is the K-ON!! episode fans have been waiting for! With the last two episodes being possibly my favorites of the entire season thus far, I had rather high expectations for this one. Could it maintain the great character-based comedy that made the last two so enjoyable?
I heard this episode actually moved some people to tears, and it’s easy to see why. It was one of the best and most heartfelt episodes of the second season. However, its sluggish pacing kept it from being perfect. In particular, Yui’s long “thank you” monologue just drags on for what felt like hours. Despite this, the jokes were humorous, the music was excellent and the camaraderie between the girls was as entertaining as ever. Overall, a solid episode with a few minor flaws.
Read more in-depth after the break.
The episode starts the day after the events of the previous episode, with Mio awakening to find the other girls having written on her arm. Shortly thereafter, they all head out to the stage to give their performance. The audience is all wearing Hokago Tea Time shirts specially made by Sawako, which astonishes the girls. They then play their first song, “U & I.” This is followed by the REALLY LONG scene of Yui thanking pretty much everybody in the audience for supporting HTT over the years. This part was what really dragged the episode down. I’m guessing it was supposed to have a nostalgic tone, but I found it far too dull to have any impact. It just felt like it was going on for hours and hours. Even thinking about it makes me drowsy.
After the second song, named “Gohan wa Okazu,” the performance is over. We then see the girls in the music room, discussing how much of a success the festival was. This is where the episode starts to really tug at the ol’ heartstrings when Yui realizes that this was their final performance together. The episode ends with the girls having fallen asleep in the most cute manner possible.
I enjoyed this episode, but was still annoyed by one major problem; the pacing. The scene of Yui thanking all her family and friends was just boring. I wish they had devoted more screentime to the girls’ music, especially considering we’ve been waiting 20 episodes to see them play. Despite that flaw, this still managed to deliver an enjoyable viewing experience. The somber ending was particularly potent, and a welcome change from the kawaii antics the girls usually indulge in. It’s nice to see this show finally display some dramatic gravitas. Because of that, this episode managed to rise above its flaws and impress me. Here’s hoping the next few episodes will continue to impress.