The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Plan!

After receiving souvenirs from Tsumugi’s trip to Finland following Summer Fest, the girls decide to plan for an overseas trip after graduation. They practice various things for overseas travel, only to realize that, besides Tsumugi, none of them has a valid passport. While lining up to hand in their passport applications, Ritsu realizes she forgot her ID so she sends her brother, Satoshi, to fetch it. Mio needs to take a suitable photograph to complete her application, but keeps getting bothered by the others while attempting to take it. With everyone having their own ideas of where they would like to go, Yui suggests that they go on a second trip after Azusa graduates.

  • This OVA was released nearly a year after the ending of the series proper, and as such, I was inclined to check it out. Unfortunately, a busy academic schedule prevented me from seeing this episode until the late summer.

  • The girls discuss potential destinations to visit: for those who didn’t catch the destinations in the movie (or its trailers), they were actually mentioned way back during this scene, although they deviate slightly from their decisions in the movie. Yui wanted to go to New York, Mio wanted to go to Great Britian, Ritsu wanted to go to Hawaii, and Tsumugi had no qualms about the location.

  • The girls ultimately do not settle on a location; in fact, the destination is not confirmed until a little ways in the movie; by that point, Mio’s wish to go visit Great Britain is narrowed down to London. A sharp-eyed observer will see Mio imagining herself at Abbey Crossing already.

  • Azusa and Ui are out buying books to gather more intel on their trips. Ui picks up an interesting book on self-defense. Travel sections are standard-issue at local bookstores: I usually leaf through books concerning Canada, Hong Kong and other localities. The guidebooks by Lonely Planet are quite excellent, and a few days ago, I picked up a free gift from iTunes: the iBook Best in Travel 2012.

  • I don’t know whether or not this has been mentioned anywhere else yet (if not, consider this to be an official seal of approval), but the defensive techniques the girls experiment with draw their form from the Okinawa Gojuryu  Karatedo Kugekai branch. I say this, rather than ‘derived’, because what we do see is how I was taught not to execute the manoeuvres.

Set before episode 14 and released on March 16, 2011, this was a bonus episode found on the ninth volume of the K-ON Blu-ray/DVD releases. The events are cleverly orchestrated to set up the context of a movie, depicting the girls as they go about planning their vacation. In the context of the show, this means watching as they try to choose a destination and going through the processes of getting a passport. While these events are rather tedious in the context of reality, watching Yui, Ritsu, Mio, Mugi and Azusa going through these motions was a fitting set-up for the events that would eventually happen in the movie.

  • Having mastery in English and Cantonese Chinese, I’ve always found myself taking language courses for my own amusement. According to my former Japanese instructor, having a mind towards learning the basics of a new language is an innate talent. My former German instructor said that total mastery of a language only comes with at least eight years of total immersion in the environment. I personally feel that being able to read a newspaper or order food at a restaurant represents a respectable degree of skill with a particular language. Enough of this “personal reflection” stuff: I derive immense amusement from watching anime characters wielding English.

  • Mio’s attempt to look more adult-like with her ponytail backfired, and retaking a photo somehow became an event in its own rights. The best aspect about slice-of-life anime is how they are able to draw our eye to everyday details which we have grown accustomed to. I recall waiting an eternity to renew my passport many years ago.

  • Sharply contrasting North America, girls in Japan are depicted to dress more traditionally (skirts) while they are on vacation. On this side of the planet during the summer…well…

  • Yui insists that their band is Houkago Tea Time regardless of where they are in the world, reinforcing the fact that the band we see here is firmly established, contrasting the days when Yui first joined the Light Music club, which was (then) in disarray.

  • The girls add “getting a passport” to their list of things they’ve done together now, reminding us of how closely-knit they are.

That said, those who are awaiting the movie’s arrival on Blu-Ray/DVD might be inclined to check this out if they haven’t already done so; those who have already seen this episode (and are awaiting the DVD/Blu-ray releases) might re-watch it while they await the movie’s release. I understand that this is probably one of my longer posts and that it resembles the content found on my website. This blog is useful in the sense that I am able to make posts of any length on a much shorter notice than with the website.

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