Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Watching K-On! Episode 5 – “Adviser!”

Upon learning that they are not recognized by the school as an official club, the club members attempt to recruit Sawako as a faculty adviser. Meanwhile, their upcoming live performance at the school's culture festival draws close…
  • Oddly, it’s not until this episode that Yui learns that Nodoka is on the student council.
  • This episode provides a first taste, however brief, of “Fuwa Fuwa Time”, which will eventually become the signature song of the Light Music Club.
Manga comparison:
This episode is based on the sixth and seventh regular manga chapters. It is pretty faithful to the source, but adds a few scenes here and there like Yui and Sawako’s chat in the faculty office, and Sawako’s mad dash through the school. A more significant addition is the whole flashback scene that gives background to Sawako – that backstory isn’t seen in the manga at all.
In the manga, Sawako does not appear at all prior to this chapter (aside from a brief moment in the special volume-only opening chapter). The TV anime, however, has seen fit to give her at least a few moments on screen in (almost) every episode up to this point.
Mugi’s fascination with physical contact between girls is first introduced with this episode (and chapter 7 of the manga). The manga is a bit more explicit regarding what exactly is going on in her head with one panel depicting her fantasy in a “MugiVision”, but despite toning the individual scene down, the anime expands on the concept by making it a recurring theme throughout the episode. In the anime version, Mugi is seen watching intently 1) when Sawako examines Yui’s fingers in the faculty office, 2) when Ritsu places her hands on Sawako’s shoulders (when blackmailing her), 3) when Yui holds Mio’s hands (while complimenting her on the lyrics), and 4) when Sawako places her hands on Yui’s shoulders (offering to train her). Of these four instances, only the Yui/Mio one happened in the manga.
The anime also adds a sub-plot of sorts by having Mio noticing two of these instances – both of which happen to involve Sawako – and, aided by an awkwardly phrased text message from Mugi, reaching the false conclusion that Mugi has a crush on Sawako. In the anime, this text message is also what inspires the words to “Fuwa Fuwa Time”.
OST tracks used:
  • Kawaii Inbou - 2:29-3:04
  • Morning dew - 3:19-4:45
  • Happy languidness - 4:54-5:58
  • unknown track* - 6:26-6:53
  • Have some tea? - 7:32-9:07
  • Falling reinforced concrete - 9:11-9:49
  • The other side of evening sun - 10:11-10:45
  • Kendama-kun - 11:49-11:53
  • Hold on your love - 11:53-13:15
  • Dead soldiers(Wara) - 14:17-14:38
  • Patrol of stroll - 15:25-16:08
  • Ukkari Kimi no Tame ni - 16:20-17:40
  • Virtual love - 19:36-20:23
  • Gatten da! - 21:45-22:08
* listed simply as “unknown track” because it is not included on any K-On! OST album.
My take:
This is probably the funniest episode so far. The (proper) introduction of Sawako is very welcome, and she is certainly in top form from the get-go. We also get to see that the girls have actually been practicing, and composing music. And the end is probably as close to a cliffhanger as you can get in K-On! – leaving the viewer to anticipate the upcoming performance.

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