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Which of these girls deserve to be vocalist in After School Tea Time?

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Friday, April 1, 2011

K-ON! Live Event ~Let’s Go!~ (2009.12.30 in Yokohama Arena)


As some people are already aware, the K-ON live concert that took place at the end of last year at Yokohama Arena was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 30th. It was near the end of this live event that the surprise announcement for a second season was made. While that came as a pleasant surprise, the concert itself was what I dying to see at the time and here we are six months later. Most of Houkago Tea Time’s songs were performed to a karaoke backtrack with the seiyuu only pretending to play each of their characters’ instruments, but they did learn how to play a couple of songs themselves. The actual live music performances were saved until near the end of the concert, but things started off with a bang and an opening performance of “Cagayake! GIRLS” after a crowd countdown.
Yokohama Arena’s max capacity is 17,000 for those wondering, and by the looks of it, it’s a sold-out crowd they performed in front of. One side of the arena was sectioned off for the stage area, but I’d wager that there are at least 15,000 attendees at this concert. When things are put into that perspective, it’s pretty easy to see why K-ON!! is airing on 28 different stations right now.

 Cagayake! GIRLS

It seems like it’s all about the glow sticks at Japanese concerts and this one is no different. In fact, it’s like everyone bought one of each color, because once the character image songs got underway, most of the crowd switched to the one that matches the character’s seiyuu on stage. The songs at this concert were all preformed live, but as with most DVD/BD concert releases, I suspect that the audio was touched up afterward. Still, Toyosaki Aki (Yui) deserves a lot of credit in this concert, since she not only sang the majority of the songs, but was also the MC for it. I never doubted her talent, but I must say I have a new-found level of respect for her after watching this two and half hour live event. She’s only 23 years-old yet looked like a complete natural on stage the entire time. In terms of outfits, all the seiyuu had “HTT” jackets on for this opening theme performance, saving their actual full outfits underneath for the solo performances that followed the obligatory opening words to greet all the fans in attendance (not included here).
For those unfamiliar with the character image CDs that were released, each feature two character specific songs and their version of “Let’s Go!”. Only the first track was performed by each seiyuu, but each song was accompanied by pretty cool instrumental solos performed by the musicians actually playing the live music. Naturally, things start off with the star of the series, Yui.

 Toyosaki Aki – Giita ni Kubittake
(Hirasawa Yui Character Image Song)

As per the above, Aki looked like a complete natural on the stage and this performance was a prime example of that. She was appeasing to the crowd the entire time and dancing around on stage in that mini-skirt like she was having the time of her life. It definitely helps add to the appeal when she’s fairly tall for a Japanese girl at 169cm and has legs to show off. I just loved her hand gestures and constant smile, with her mad air guitar looking really cute and Yui-like. She was also pretty easygoing with her exit line of “There’s a lot more on the way!” (Mada mada tsuzuku yo!) too. This was definitely one of my favorite character image song performances of the concert. I find myself constantly flipping to this song on my mp3 player now too.

Hikasa Youko – Heart Goes Boom!!
(Akiyama Mio Character Image Song)

Out of all the character songs, Mio’s were naturally
some of my favorite ones, so watching Hikasa Youko perform one live was quite a treat. The crowd wasn’t really in sync with the glow sticks for Aki’s performance, but most of them whipped out the blue ones for Youko’s here. I’m not sure if they were told to match the seiyuu’s character color for each of their solo performances, but I get the feeling it’s just something the crowd figured out on their own after looking around. In any case, Youko’s outfit wasn’t very flashy or revealing, but the zettai ryouiki she highlighted with her black stockings more than made
 up for it. I thought she looked pretty cute, especially when she gave the crowd a bit of fan-service with Mio’s “moe moe kyun” at 3:28. One of the most endearing things about Youko is that she embodies a lot of Mio’s personality, such as her nervousness and overly emotional nature, which is seen later on.

Satou Satomi – Girly Storm Shissou Stick
(Tainaka Ritsu Character Image Song)

Satou Satomi probably had the goofiest-looking outfit thanks to that extra frilly dress she had to wear. I was never much of a fan of this song, but I’m a sucker for live performances and Satomi made it very Ritsu-like, so that was fun to see. The somewhat deeper voice she uses for Ritsu isn’t her natural one, yet she sings the entire song in it. With character songs, I tend to take notice of seiyuu going to that extra length to try and sing them in character. It sort of fits the whole idea of a “character” song after all.

Kotobuki Minako – Dear My Keys ~Kenban no Mahou~
(Kotobuki Tsumugi Character Image Song)

In terms of instrumental solos, the piano one was undoubtedly the most soothing one. I probably could have kept listening to that piece, but seeing Kotobuki Minako come out in that pink dress made me quickly focus on her instead. She is undoubtedly one of the prettiest in the group and amongst seiyuu all together. As the youngest cast member at only 18 years-old, Minako was surprisingly one of the least nervous out off the entire group. She is in the seiyuu group sphere with Aki though, so I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s where they both get their composure from. After hearing a lot more of her singing voice in sphere, I’ve been hoping we’d be treated to a K-ON song where Mugi sings, but I doubt the group will ever break out of having Yui and Mio as the vocalists. A shame to say the least as I love Minako’s voice, even when she’s trying to sound a bit like Mugi. Music Ray’n seems to agree too, as Minako’s going to see a solo debut later this year. Much like how Yui’s character song was about Giita, Mugi’s one is about her keyboard. Incidentally, she’s the only seiyuu with the same last name as her character — Kotobuki (…albeit with different kanji).


Taketatsu Ayana – Jajauma Way To Go
(Nakano Azusa Character Image Song)
Of all the girls, Taketatsu Ayana came off the most nervous to me, simply because it looked like she was really concentrated on her dance movements and singing. She didn’t look like she was going with the flow that’s for sure, but I commend her for giving a good performance regardless. I figured she wouldn’t have any problems either, having played roles like Ako in kiss x sis, but I guess being perverted in a studio behind closed doors is very different from being outgoing on stage. That’s okay though, since it had a very Azusa-like nervousness to it. She can shake that tushy of hers all she wants too.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

K-ON episodes ( Season 1 )

K-ON! episode 1
"Abolition of the Club!"
"Haibu!" (廃部!) 
April 3, 2009March 16, 2010
Yui Hirasawa has just started her high school life, but does not know if she should join a club or not. Ritsu Tainaka wants to reform the light music club, which will be disbanded by the end of April if at least four members cannot be found. Ritsu convinces her friend Mio Akiyama to join the light music club instead of the literature club. Tsumugi Kotobuki, originally intending to join the choir club, also agrees to join. In their search for a fourth member, the three put up a poster for the club which catches Yui's eye. Misunderstanding the term 'light music', Yui submits a form only to realize they are looking for someone to play a guitar, which she cannot play. Despite this, the three members try to get Yui to stay, and after playing a short piece for her, Yui decides joins the club and learn the guitar, which she first has to buy. 

K-ON! episode 2                    

"Gakki!" (楽器!) 
April 10, 2009March 16, 2010
The light music club members help Yui purchase a guitar. With a ¥50,000 advance on her allowance, Yui goes to a music store where an expensive Gibson Les Paul catches her eye, though its cost is beyond what she can afford at ¥250,000. In order to make enough money, the girls decide to get part-time jobs and end up being traffic survey counters. After two days, and getting paid only ¥8,000 per day, they are still not even close to purchasing the guitar. However, Yui tells the others to keep their hard earned money, and that she will settle for a cheaper guitar. However, when the girls return to the music store, Yui is still drawn to the Gibson Les Paul. On the verge of returning to part-time jobs to earn more money, Tsumugi haggles with the shopkeeper for a discount on the guitar. He immediately recognizes her as the daughter of the company's president and he quickly offers the guitar for ¥50,000. 

 K-ON! episode 3 
"Special Training!"
"Tokkun!" (特訓!) 
April 17, 2009March 23, 2010
Yui and the girls are now taking their midterms. Unfortunately, Yui practices playing her guitar chords instead of studying, and she fails the exams. If she fails the retest, she cannot participate in club activities, and the club will be disbanded due to lack of members. A day before the retest, Yui still has not been able to study much and begs Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi to help her; Mio comes through, while Ritsu is more hinderance than help. Days after the retest, an exhausted Yui returns to the club room with perfect marks. To celebrate, the girls ask Yui to play the guitar chords she had learned, only to find that Yui has completely forgotten them. 

 K-ON! episode 4

"Training Camp!"
"Gasshuku!" (合宿!) 
April 24, 2009March 23, 2010
Mio finds a box filled with stuff from the previous light music club, including a cassette tape of the previous club's performance at the school festival. After listening to it, Mio is inspired to get the gang together to practice over the summer break for the upcoming school festival. Worried about cost, the girls turn to Tsumugi, who just so happens to have avilla along the coast. They travel to Tsumugi's beachside villa, where Mio is determined to practice; outnumbered, Mio and the girls end up playing around instead. After eventually getting some practice done in the evening, Mio is awed by the sight of Yui playing guitar in front of some fireworks. Mio confesses to the others that she wants them to be as good as the old light music club, playing the cassette tape for them. However, when tape flips to the B-side, Mio is horrified by the shrieking intro of a vocalist in the old club. To cheer Mio up, Yui plays a perfect guitar solo and learns a new trick of vibrato on the guitar. 
 K-ON! episode 5

"Komon!" (顧問!) 
May 1, 2009March 30, 2010
The light music club is still not officially recognized, as they did not turn in a club form months before and have yet to find an adviser. The girls ask the music teacher Sawako Yamanaka to be their adviser. Though she initially refuses, it is discovered that she used to be a member of the previous light music club, and was into death metal, and Ritsu uses that fact to blackmail her into becoming the adviser. As the club still needs a vocalist and lyrics, Mio writes a song called "Light and Fluffy Time", which - despite protests from Ritsu - is accepted. Since Mio is too embarrassed to sing, Yui offers instead, but she cannot sing and play guitar simultaneously. Sawako teaches her to do so, but after all the training, she loses her voice. With only three days left to the school festival, Mio must perform the vocals herself. 

K-ON! episode 6

"School Festival!"
"Gakuensai!" (学園祭!) 
May 8, 2009March 30, 2010
On the day of the school festival, an anxious Mio wants to practice for the club's live event, but everyone else is obligated helping with their classes' other stands. They later get some practice done, but Mio is still nervous about singing center stage, with Sawako's costume choices not helping her mood. Ritsu holds a mock concert introduction to calm Mio's nerves. Although she still has jitters when the concert starts, the others encourage Mio to do her best, having seen practicing diligently beforehand. The show manages to be a success! However, leaving the stage Mio trips over the guitar cable and accidentally exposes her underwear to the audience. She ends up getting a fan club, but is traumatized by her embarrassment. 

 K-ON! episode7  

"Kurisumasu!" (クリスマス!) 
May 15, 2009April 6, 2010
Yui's sister Ui Hirasawa remembers how Yui once attempted to give her a white Christmas when they were little, by putting pillow-stuffing on the tree outside. Ritsu decides to hold a Christmasparty for the club, and while her initial plans of holding it at Tsumugi's house fail, they eventually decide to have it at Yui's house while Yui's parents are on vacation. Yui's friend Nodoka Manabealso gets an invitation. The girls decide to hold a gift exchange at the party, and go shopping for various gifts. Ui prepares a lovely Christmas dinner for the group, which gets a little out of hand when Sawako shows up out of nowhere. After the gift exchange, Yui and Ui end up giving each other just the right warm accessories for the winter. After the rest of the group leaves, snow falls and Yui and Ui decide to sleep together; unfortunately for Ui, Yui ends up hogging the sheets. In theNew Year, the club decides to go to the shrine to make their New Year wishes. 

K-ON! episode8
"Freshman Reception!"
"Shinkan!" (新歓!)
May 22, 2009 April 6, 2010
Ui enters Yui's school as a freshman, as well as her classmate Azusa Nakano. When the class arrangements are announced, Yui, Mugi and Ritsu end up in the same class, while Mio ends up in a different class with Nodoka. The group puts up with Sawako's ideas of promoting the club by dressing them up as animals, even though it seems to be having the opposite effect. Ui and her classmate, Jun Suzuki, visit the club only to find everyone dressed as maids, but the girls soon change into tracksuits after finding it impossible to play while wearing the maid outfits. Meanwhile, Azusa walks around looking for a club that is right for her, initially passing up the light music club because they don't seem serious. The light music club gets ready for another live performance at the Freshman Welcome assembly, but Mio is still too embarrassed to do the vocals, so Yui does them instead. Yui forgets about the lyrics at the beginning of a song, but Mio manages to get over her shyness and back her up. Ui brings Azusa to watch the show, and Azusa is moved so much by it that she decides to join the club.
 K-ON! episode 9
"New Club Member!"
"Shinnyū Buin!" (新入部員!) 
May 29, 2009April 13, 2010
Azusa officially joins the club, but is shocked to find everyone drinking tea and eating cake instead of practicing. She yells at them when Sawako tells her off for actually practicing, but Yui manages to calm her down with a surprising tactic. Despite her objections, Azusa finds herself weak against Tsumugi's tea and cakes. Yui herself is rather shocked at how much better Azusa is at guitar than she is. Sawako brings a pair of cat ears for Azusa to wear, much to Azusa's discomfort, leading Yui to give her the weird nickname 'Azu-nyan'. Noticing that Azusa is a bit upset, Mio encourages the band to practice more, but the group quickly reverts to its lazy state. Frustrated, Azusa becomes really upset since she cannot understand why the band members she admired at the live performance behave like they do. After Azusa expresses her frustration, Mio explains to her that she stays with the band because they have fun performing together and because they like each other, convincing Azusa to stay. 
 K-ON! episode10
"Another Training Camp!"
"Mata Gasshuku!" (また合宿!) 
June 5, 2009April 13, 2010
Azusa and Ui hang out together for the first time for lunch, joined later by a stealthy Ritsu. Yui and Ritsu invite Sawako to join their next training camp, but she appears disinterested. The gang arrive at an even bigger villa than last year, though Tsumugi apologetically points out it still is not the "big" one she desired. Yui and Ritsu want to play and Mio and Azusa want to practice, but Tsumugi casts the deciding vote in favor of playing. Although Azusa objects, she ends up having the most fun anyway, even getting sunburnedin the process. After practice, dinner, and fireworks, Ritsu suggests a test of courage, and Mio and Azusa are shocked by the sudden appearance of Sawako. In the middle of the night, Azusa discovers Yui practicing the guitar, and they bond. Azusa meets up with Ui again, saying that despite not practicing much, she enjoyed the trip as she got to know more about the group. 
 K-ON! episode11
"Light Music!"
"Keion!" (軽音!) 
June 19, 2009April 20, 2010
Yui is still sick from her cold, which is possibly attributed to her wearing a short yukata for too long. As the band tries to make do with Azusa as lead guitarist, Yui supposedly shows up over with her cold. However, her playing is too perfect and when she accidentally messes up her honorifics, it is revealed that she is actually Ui, who had managed to play after a few days practice. Yui appears, but is still in no condition to play, so Mio tells her to stay home and recuperate until the day of the live performance. Yui eventually makes it in time, but forgets her guitar at home, so Sawako fills in for her while she goes to get it. Yui returns in time for the second song and the performance goes well, and the band even does an encore. 
K-ON! episode 12
 "Light Music!"
"Keion!" (軽音!) 
June 19, 2009April 20, 2010
Yui is still sick from her cold, which is possibly attributed to her wearing a short yukata for too long. As the band tries to make do with Azusa as lead guitarist, Yui supposedly shows up over with her cold. However, her playing is too perfect and when she accidentally messes up her honorifics, it is revealed that she is actually Ui, who had managed to play after a few days practice. Yui appears, but is still in no condition to play, so Mio tells her to stay home and recuperate until the day of the live performance. Yui eventually makes it in time, but forgets her guitar at home, so Sawako fills in for her while she goes to get it. Yui returns in time for the second song and the performance goes well, and the band even does an encore.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Real Life School Of K-ON part 2

You fans have probably seen this building for million times.

The building in the left of the gate is used as visitor information center.

It's only five minutes or so from Toyosato Station of Ohmi Railway so they got a time table for visitors.

They also provide rental bicycle for sightseeing around the school.

 View from the visitor information center.

A round fountain.

A fished-shaped nozzle. In the anime, it was two kids raising vase.

Another frequently-seen place.

Bronze statue of Tetsujiro Furukawa, who donated the school to the town.

Now to the inside. Open 8:30 to 17:00 on weekdays, 9:00-17:00 on weekends.

Three-storied building.

The school was originally built in 1937, designed by American architect William Merrell Vories.

In 1999, town mayor of the time came out with a plan to break down the building and rebuild the school. After a long opposition campaign of residents, it was decided to preserve the building and use it as a town library.

 70 years' history made the place even more beautiful.

 Brass rabbit and turtle. Should be showing the lesson of The Tortoise and the Hare story.

Banister wall has classical atmosphere.

 Student's sink.

 A science room.

Wonder what the machine is used for.

Room number sign.

"The Constitution of Class 6-2"

Desks and chairs seem still new.

The building beyond the window is the new school building built in 2004.

Mosaic of Otsu Station, done by alumnae and alumni.

Pictures and block prints done by students.

 VIP room. Some rooms in the building are not opened to the public.

 Central staircase. This is the only way to the third floor.

 Other stairs won't lead to the third floor.

Social studies room.

"Many Smiles, Much Motivation, Many Friends"

This drawer should be as old as the building.

Biology classroom.

Blackboard map was left in the Social studies room.

You could see from these pictures that Kyoto Animation put great effort into giving reality to their image.

 Of course we covered the Music room, too.

source: http://en.gigazine.net/index.php?/news/comments/20100728_k-on_toyosato/

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