February 23, 2013
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Ritsu’s old middle school friend invites the band to perform at a live house on New Year’s Eve. After viewing the place and distributing tickets to their friends, they soon get to know some of the other performing bands as they set up their routine. The girls become nervous while rehearsing, but the other bands encourage them to keep trying. They then perform to a packed room with great success, while Sawako meets one of her old friends. Afterward, everyone goes to Yui’s house to see the new year in, although only Mio and Ritsu manage to stay up until midnight. Yui wakes everyone up to see the first sunrise of the new year.
- I completely forgot about this bonus OVA episode when watching the movie, so when Love Crisis (owing to recent gaming news, my fingers automatically type out “Crysis” whenever I try to spell the actual term) appeared, I was completely lost. This episode provides exposition for Ritsu’s familiarity with Love Crisis.
- Yes, Yui, that is a backstage pass. And it pwns. Ironically, Ritsu is left to handle all of the logistics, as even Mio joins in on the festivities.
- Sun Tzu said “Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.” In other words, intimate familiarity with one’s surroundings confers a major advantage before a challenge or battle; in Houkago Tea Time’s case, that means checking out their performing venue (even if it is out of vain curiosity rather than strategic intentions).
- I pity those who watch K-On! in DVD quality, and in fact, wager that all K-On! haters out there have inferior computers. Consider this: if they had a reasonable computer, they might spend their time doing something else, and not bother complaining about shows outside their domain of interest.
- The Houkago Teatime logo makes its first appearance in this episode, as well. Bearing resemblance to the Java Programming Language’s logo, it was designed hastily and is rarely mentioned in the TV series or movie, instead, making appearances on other related media, like official art.
- It turns out that Mio’s request for pink lighting is granted, reflecting on the light and fluffy nature of their band. Contrasting their (hilariously) disastrous dress rehearsal the girls’ performance goes off without a hitch, and their band gets its first real notch on the wall with respect to performance experience.
- I used to be part of a concert band back in secondary school and played the clarinet. While I’ve since stopped participation, I still recall the feeling immediately after a successful concert: I was participating in concert band competitions between 2004 and 2006, and we had secured Gold Awards in most of the competitions we had partaken in. Here, Yui et al. experience the post-concert feeling: a pleasant feeling.
- The last quarter of the episode is a New Year’s party of sorts, with Azusa being trolled as per usual, and is in fact, reminiscent of the Christmas party episode (which occurred before Azusa joined Houkago Tea Time).
- All of the girls somehow sleep through the final countdown to the New Year, but sleep well enough to see the first sunrise of the year. For me, I’m up to about 0100 on New Year’s Day, and then sleep to 1000, well after the first sunrise.
- KyoAni doing lens flare right since January 2010, mere months before Battlefield Bad Company 2 was released in March 2010. As a fitting close to the first season, Live House! successfully, and satisfyingly, wraps up season one, acting as a segue for season two.
Live House! is released half a year after the last episode of K-On! as an OVA, before season two was released. Focussing on the girls’ first live performance in front of an audience besides their classmates, the story also depicts how Houkago Tea Time’s Java-like logo came about. With much of the humour in this episode coming from Yui’s reactions to their first major performance, and the band’s acclimatisation to the whole scene (including Mio’s desire for pink lighting), this episode really brings to light some of the performances we’ve long desired to see in K-On!. Ultimately, we are left with a neat bonus episode that, incidentally, does much to explain some of the subtleties we see in season two and the movie.