K-ON! Manga, Volume 3 and 4 (English)

December 19th, 2011

Volume 3 and Volume 4 of K-ON! primarily deal with the girls’ second and final years in high school. They perform at the school festival, spend lazy days avoiding practicing and drinking tea, busting each other’s chops, and having fun together. They hug Azusa, they pick on Sawako-sensei, they sometimes even study a bit or practice a song.

I said of the Japanese volumes that they were, like Mugi’s tea and cakes, light afternoon refreshment, not meat and drink.

There is no substance here, no wisdom for the ages, except perhaps that high school days don’t really change much when you look back at them, no matter where you’re from. I mean, yes, I must have done a ton of homework – I remember having homework to do every day. I remember filling out college applications too. But when I think of high school, the things I remember are not homework, tests and papers, but things like memorizing Little Riding Hood’s dialogue with the Big Bad Wolf…in German. (“Aber Grossmutter, warum hast du so grosse Augen?”) I remember the smell of the pool at 6AM for Swim Team practice, and the junkie in homeroom asking me what I was “on” because I came in every day as a freshman late, with sleep deprivation and eyes red – and me, answering honestly, accurately and ironically, “I’m on Swim Team.”

I remember being locked out of the band room after returning home from a football game, so the Marching Band amused ourselves by playing our halftime show for no one but ourselves…and probably putting in the best performance we did all year. I remember making a Black Forest Cherry cake for the school festival. I remember that me and Shelly put a lot of schnapps in and it was the first cake to sell out. Also that we drank quite a bit of the schnapps as we made it.

I remember one of the club members being verbally attacked by some woman on 42nd street when I was president of the German club and we went to Yorkville for a field trip. I can still see the look on his face. Poor kid. I have no idea if he turned out gay or not, but that woman sure thought he was then.

Mostly I remember my time with the people, good, bad and indifferent in Marching Band. Most of my days and nights were filled with hanging and working and being with those people. Amazingly, I look back at that time and realize I still keep in touch with several of them. That’s kind of weird to me, really. I say this without irony – I lack nostalgia.

So, nothing deep or meaningful in K-ON!, no. Except a lot of memories and some good times with friends. Which, when you look back at it from 30 years later is really the most meaningful thing about your years in high school.

Yuri? Well no, but hey, I got together with my band sempai, so maybe your fantasy about Ui and Azusa can come true too. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 8
Characters – 10
Yuri – 0
Loser FanBeing – Infinity. You are either besotted or you are wrong. ^_^

Overall – 9

Can I just say one thing before I wrap up here? Mugi is the greatest character ever. MugiMugiMugi!
Okay, I’m done now.

Wait, one more thing…I can’t wait to see the sequels.

Many, many thanks to the Okazu Heros Tricolor Cavy and an unknown sponsor. Thank you, your sponsorship of reviews here is very much appreciated by all of us!

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3 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    I concur. I was in Drama Club instead of Marching Band, but the rest of the experiences line up… I was also in German Club, and Swim Team, and yes, those people are mostly what I remember of high school… and why I had absolutely no intention of attending reunions!

  2. @Jenny – I am right there with you. ^_^

  3. firebanex says:

    Love the k-on manga, anime, and music (especially the music <3 ), still waiting on vol 4 to show up in the mail tho.. and yeah in terms of remembering high school, all I remember is eating tons of food cause we always did double practices for the swim team. I think I ended up sleeping thru a great deal of my classes because of swimming..

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