Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Watching K-On! Episode 1 – “Disband the Club!”

Two weeks after entering High School, Yui has yet to decide which club to join. Meanwhile, Ritsu convinces Mio to try resurrecting the school's Light Music club.
  • Judging by the school uniforms Yui, Nodoka and their friends are wearing in the photo seen on Yui's bedroom wall, they went to the same Middle School as Ui.
  • During Yui's run towards the school, she passes by Mugi on the train station and Mio and Ritsu in front of a store window.
  • Some character shots in the opening sequence are based directly on images from the manga.
  • For some unexplained reason, Yui is wearing different hair pins than usual in the scene where she first looks at the club posters outside the school. In the scenes immediately preceding and following it, she has the same hair pins as usual.
  • Yui is in class 1-3.
  • Ritsu gets hit on the head once (for saying they'd split profits 70-30).
  • The name of the burger place is “MAX e burger”. When Yui and Nodoka pass by, Ritsu can be seen through the window.
  • The chosen ad poster for the Light Music Club was Mugi's version.
  • Yui's club sign-up application is signed April 23rd, with April 17th crossed out.
  • The “scary man” Yui imagines running the Light Music Club is a reference to the character Johannes Krauser II from “Detroit Metal City”.
  • Referenced musicians are Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.
  • Written on the white board: “We must get a new member!! Any way possible!!!!”
  • The song Mio, Ritsu and Mugi play for Yui is an instrumental version of “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (at least in the original version). A full band version is included as a B-side track on the “Fuwa Fuwa Time” CD single.
Manga comparison:
The episode is based on the first regular chapter of the manga as well as the tankoubon-only special chapter that opens the first volume. Interestingly, chapter 1 introduces Yui before any other characters, but with the addition of the special chapter in the tankoubon the reader is introduced to Mio and Ritsu first. The anime includes this, but adds original material of its own which opens the episode, again making Yui the first of the main cast the viewer meets.
Ritsu and Mio meeting Yui in the faculty office did not happen in the manga, nor did the scene at the burger place. The Mio/Ritsu/Mugi trio’s struggles to find a fourth member has been expanded upon.
OST tracks used:
  • Isoge ya Isoge! - 0:47-1:54
  • Morning dew - 3:25-4:40
  • Patrol of stroll - 5:17-6:52
  • Ukkari Kimi no Tame ni - 7:24-7:47
  • unknown track* - 7:58-8:24
  • Karui Joudan - 8:55-10:36
  • Isshuukan (#1 [Haibu!])** -  11:17-11:29
  • Kendama-kun - 11:35-11:39
  • Happy languidness - 11:48-12:13
  • Kawaii Inbou - 12:54-14:12
  • Have some tea? - 14:23-16:23
  • Happy languidness - 17:14-18:18
  • Happy End - 20:23-22:09
* listed simply as “unknown track” because it is not included on any K-On! OST album.
** From the “Band Yarou Yo!!” CD, not the OST
My take:
I was not yet a K-On! fan when I first watched this episode, and had no intentions of becoming one. Even so, it was a fairly entertaining watch – I distinctly remember laughing at Ritsu kicking Mio under the table, for example – and I’m sure someone going in with a more positive attitude than I had would be won over much faster than I was.
It’s fun to go back and watch this episode having now seen the entire series. One thing that particularly stands out to me is how Yui’s stupidity is played up to the max here – she’s portrayed is if she’s barely capable of standing up in this. I assume this aspect of her character was pushed to the extreme early on so that viewers would “get” the character right away – thankfully, though, it wasn’t quite as pronounced in later episodes.

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