K-ON!, Volume 4 (けいおん!) is full of the kind of sweet-sad tears that people just adore. Those fleeting moments of happy times with friends, that youth that can never be recaptured, those intense emotions over absolutely nothing. The smell of flowers, the taste of tea, the sound of an aquarium.
Reading this volume gave me the opportunity to once more ponder important questions like, why are people sentimental about high school? And what sad series of circumstances makes a person able to believe that if two girls hug they obviously want to get into each other’s pants? Most importantly why is it so important to us to see our 2-dimensional friends happy? They are cartoons, after all. They aren’t real. So, why do we cry if they cry?
K-ON!, Volume 4 is filled with exactly the same kind of stuff every high school slice-of-life 4-koma manga is filled with. And yet, I care. Because the characters resonate with me for whatever reason, because they fill some need I had, whatever. I am the least nostalgic person I have ever met, so as soon as we get to the sad, tearful farewell to our beloved alma mater, I usually check out of the story. Not that I had a bad high school experience. I think it was probably pretty average to maybe slightly better than average. I was just glad to leave and have never once looked back. But, watching Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Mugi, I can get a glimpse of what it must be like to be one of those people who walk away from high school just knowing that that may have not been the best years of their lives, but it was really, truly, damn good.
I enjoyed the heck out of K-ON!; I think the manga was fun, the anime was excellent and I’ll look forward to the movie.
And I don’t really care that when Yui hugs Azusa, there’s some very, very sad person out there thinking, “Oh, yeah! Yuri!”
Art – 6
Story – Same 8 as before
Characters – 10
Yuri – 0
Service – 6
Overall – 9
Synchronicity strikes again: The day after this book arrived, Yen Press sent me an advance copy of their translation of the first volume of K-ON!. I won’t get to review it before I leave for Japan, but I just want to say…go get it.