Asobi 4, K-ON!! 17

Asobi ni Iku Yo 4 continues to do what the show specializes in: toss out so much weird stuff that you stop objecting and let it wash over you.

Starting with yet another questionable organization, well, we’ve had glimpses of them before: the Kitten’s Paw cult, people who want to be like cats so they put on fake ears and tails. Now that Eris has arrived they have a god to worship! They seem harmless enough so the show abandons them and we kill some time with Eris, acting goofy (goofier than usual) because she’s close to breeding season and the slightest intoxicant sets her off. And then they’re on their way to Tokyo for a special mission—buy otaku stuff. I like the way Cathians operate.

The shopping spree is entertaining enough. Kio looks at game units while the girls ogle guns and Eris is bewildered by the cat-girl figurines she sees everywhere. Zero Louise and Blacksmith’s Lisa have a cameo. Meanwhile nothing is happening, and though we’ve see two different secret organizations mobilizing it takes a long time before one of them takes action, kidnapping Eris and Kio. I guess the show must maintain a strict ratio of happy-cute and guns-a-blazing, and they hadn’t reached the former’s quota yet.

The guns-a-blazing part.

Even with a straight action scene with subway cars, motorcycles and gunfire the show keeps its edge of absurdity. First, there’s Aoi somehow knowing where Manami and the others are, and the fact that the girls shooting at them all wear maid outfits (At least this time Manami and Aoi are wearing clothes). By now I had guessed that these people were goons for the Kitten’s Paw cult. Not satisfied with just worshipping Eris, they want to inprison her as well. It didn’t occur to them that there is a whole planet of Cathians to worship who would happily interact with them if they wanted. Or maybe it’s the power-mad vision of Antia, the leader and daughter of a rich mogul, in the line of Miya or Chise, except she doesn’t do the laugh. Next week look for some fun on a yacht, and more oddness.

K-ON!! 17 starts with one story, which evolves into a second, and then they toss in a third. Overall, it’s a pretty good episode.

The girls can’t use their music room for ten days because of water damage, and so most of the first half shows them trying other parts of the school, where they cause distractions or get distracted themselves. It’s not bad because as usual the girls’ interaction make up for any predictability and dead spots. But it’s odd that they’re suddenly so keen on rehearsing. The festival is a month away; they still have plenty of time. But I don’t mind. It’s when the characters dither when there’s work to be done that I get irritated. In this episode that comes later, when they rent out studio space and never actually get around to rehearsing in it. When they actually get a rehearsal space they fall back into their old habits. Sigh.

However, the dithering leads to the next story, my favorite for this episode. Since they can’t rehearse, they try to come up with new songs. Each girl contributes. The thing is, I’m sure there’s some indie band or another in the past twenty years who have come up with song titles similar to “Throbbing Protractor,” (okay, that’s more of a band name) or “My bag’s stupid,” or lines like “Take me away, Mr. Mandrill,” or “The perfect collaboration between carbohydrates and carbohydrates.” On second thought, HTT just ought to team up with TMBG.

The third story, while overly sentimental, ties everything together nicely. Ui gets sick. Yui mulls over things she’s taken for granted, like her sister and the music room … and writes a song. And they’re back in the music room. And they want to rehearse! After their tea. Again, I think I like this episode more than others because the girls actually have goals and work to achieve them. I mean, some tea every now and then is fine, but …

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