K-ON!! 23, Asobi 10

The final episode of K-ON!! is already out and everyone but me has seen it. Nevertheless I’m going to write about the previous episode, because, er, I’m behind. In this episode the girls set records for dithering, and for once I don’t mind at all.

It’s the day before graduation and the seniors are not required to be in school, but the girls decide to come anyway, even if there’s nothing for them to do. It may seem like a strange thing to do but I understand it perfectly, even if the girls couldn’t articulate it. This is their opportunity to say goodbye to the high school. Much of the episode has a bittersweet feel. Classes are in full swing but the girls aren’t in them. They visit their old classroom (Yui, natch, hasn’t cleaned out her desk) and wonder at the empty feeling. High school will go on without them.

It feels bittersweet but the girls’ high spirits make up for that. After they grow bored of the music room they take up with Nodoka as she finishes Student Council duties, then go bug Sawako, beg Azusa to buy bread because they’re embarrassed to, and it goes on. In this way they say goodbye to little parts of the school. Back where they started they have tea for the umpteenth time, then actually do something practical—clean the room. Meanwhile chimes periodically ring to mark the start and end of classes going on without them.

And at the end we have a classic K-ON!! digression. School lets out and they decide to record all their songs for posterity … but first they have to decide on the song order … but before that, how about some more tea? It goes on like that until you wonder if they’ll ever actually get around to it. Scenes like this usually drive me up the wall but hell, it’s the pentultimate episode, they’re graduating the next day, let them dither. Besides, they DO actually get around to recording. Nice episode.

Asobi ni Iku Yo 10 has two stories going for it. One has to do with the Dogisians and is actually exciting. Then there’s the other story.

Girls, would you please talk about something else for a change?

It’s getting close to Christmas (interesting that in Japan you can have Christmas-themed stories year round, while here in America (and I suspect most other places) it’s sacrilege if you do one outside of November-December. Manami, as you can see, is still bugging Aoi to make a move. Man, I’m getting tired of this. The only decent moment in it comes when Manami pulls out her own regrets to make her argument, though this might actually work against them, since Aoi is considerate toward Manami’s feelings. But they’ve been through this so many times I just don’t care anymore.

Happily the Dogisian attack gives us some sustained action. They’ve attacked a few times in the series and never had much effect. I was about to write them off. But this time the evil Jens and the Dogisian who sounds like Muttley (and is named Madley, a tip of the hat, perhaps) pull off an organized plan of action which soon has the Catians reeling. Start by firing a harmless shot so that the Catian ship destroys them, only to have Dogisian assistaroids sneak through in the rubble. Meanwhile the Earth-bound Catians are also under attack.

Tune in next week ...

So the Catian ship is frozen and will fall to the Earth in two weeks, the bridge crew is hiding in hyperspace, the captain is unconscious, Eris’s own craft is presumably destroyed. Oh, noes! On the other hand, the last image we get is a determined Kio punching his fist in his palm. Earlier he had been given a bracelet that can generate a power-suit, so the good guys aren’t out of it yet. How they’re going to get up into space is anyone’s guess. Oh, well, it was good to see the show get back to the action.

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