There’s a fair share of people out there who are glad to see K-ON! come to an end. There probably are another handful of people who don’t even know what K-ON! is. As a watcher, follower, and reviewer of K-ON! – while I do genuinely enjoy the series – I have to admit that I’m not sad to see the anime series come to a close. That’s probably because it wasn’t the kind of intense story that gets you in your gut, that sticks in your mind, or shakes your soul. K-ON! has sort of been like the after taste of a good candy: it lingers but after a while, you kind of forget that you’ve eaten it.
In the Twelfth Episode we get the same kind of silly nonsense plus a little bit of the “forced” drama that we’ve become accustomed to thanks to the preceding episodes. I can’t help but be reminded that it was this simple-minded adorableness that first drew me into K-ON!; sure I don’t laugh as much anymore but watching the girls makes me feel like I’m watching my own friends. …Or maybe the friends of a younger sister – if I had a younger sister. This episode starts where the last episode left off: Yui sick after catching Ritsu’s cold. With their lead guitarist incapacitated, Mio suggests that Azusa learn Yui’s guitar part “just in case” she doesn’t recover in time for their upcoming performance. Ui becomes distressed when she hears this, blaming herself for not being able to take care of her sister better. In an attempt to protect her sister’s position in the band, Ui impersonates Yui at the next practice and at first, fools the others until she slips up by one: playing the guitar perfectly, and two: referring to the other girls not by their nicknames. When Yui does show up, she is reprimanded for leaving the house while sick. Mio assigns her the task of not attending practice until the day of the performance; her sole goal is to get better so that they can play together. In the end, Yui makes a full recovery and despite a few more Yui-like mishaps, she joins her contemporaries on stage for one final show.
Episode Thirteen is… pointless. In the pre-opening scene we watch each girl do their own thing: no dialogue, no interaction, nothing. Oh wait, I lied: Yui comments that it’s cold, Ui agrees, and a cat meows. This “extra” episode is both refreshing and irritating because nothing really happens. Mio is tasked with trying to write a new song; Mugi starts a job at a fast food restaurant; Azusa cat sits for a classmate; Ritsu takes her brother to the movies; and sisters Yui and Ui shop for hotpot. Insert drama: Mio can’t come up with anything for the new song; Mugi makes a mistake and accidentally spills cola on her co-worker; Azusa freaks out when the kitten coughs up a hairball, thinking that it’s ill; and Ritsu thinks she’s received an anonymous love letter. In the end, Mio doesn’t manage to compose a new song, Mugi still has her job, Azusa’s friend picks up her kitten, and Ritsu’s love letter turns out to be a set of lyrics Mio left for Ritsu to read over. And that’s all there really is to this episode.
This series has seriously made me think back and try to remember if I was this nonsensical when I was around the age of 16. While I’d like to think I wasn’t – I’m almost sure I was. I know this series hasn’t been quite as exciting as some of the other animes out there, but it has been fun! Sure the characters don’t wear skimpy outfits or carry insane weapons of mass destruction, but this series certainly carries a light-weighted storyline that’s nice every now and then; nothing heavy, nothing serious, nothing that keeps you up at night theorizing about parallel universes, alien takeovers, or robot rebellions. Boring for some, yes, but a refreshing break for others. Besides, it’s nice to get outside of your comfort zone now and then even if you over-analyze the first few episodes, wondering when and which girl will develop a superhuman power or an evil entity shows up, plotting to take over the world.
And for those of you who watched K-ON! with a serious attempt to adjust to it but still didn’t manage to enjoy it the way others did, I’m sorry. I’m also sorry you read this review all the way to its end (and I also thank you).