While there are two confirmed extra episodes to follow Episode 24, this is, in many ways (if not in every way), the end of K-On. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional during this episode, and not just because I love this series so deeply, but because as a last episode, it was excellent.
They certainly started off the last episode right: With Mugi. On top of that, we hear her sing – we actually get to hear our girl sing! And she’s fantastic. Yui’s voice is… unique which is fine, but out of all the girls, Yui’s is probably my least favourite. Mio’s always been preferred over Yui as a vocalist – and it’s nice that in all the ending songs Mio is the main vocalist – but that’s because we’ve never really heard Ritsu or Mugi sing before… till now. Well now that we’ve heard them, I can say that I like them. More than Yui.
Azusa was beyond sweet this episode, and more importantly, very real. In one fell and emotional swoop, we deal with the fact that Azusa is the sole remaining member of the Light Music Club, and while she puts on a show of strength and determination to keep it alive and running strong, she loses composure realizing – fully realizing – that her friends are leaving. The only thing that kept me from crying when she asked the seniors not to graduate was the fact that Azusa is so darn cute when she cries. This just goes to show that even in the last episodes of a series, you can still learn to love a character more than you ever did before.
But there were many tear worthy moments this episode including the students of class 3-2 thanking Sawako for being their teacher, and her thanking them in return. At times, throughout the series, Sawako has been a bit of a drag or merely present for comedic relief, but she’s proved to be an important side character to the overall story of K-On, supporting the girls with all her heart to the point of reacting emotionally when they graduate from her class. She’s been shown to be insightful and supportive in more ways than one, and it’s nice that a little time was spent on her so that we could appreciate her and her role. I was, for a moment, wondering if Azusa, Ui, and Jun would end up in Sawako’s homeroom the following year, but that’s really an irrelevant thought.
I know the issue of whether or not the Light Music Club will actually survive is still left outstanding, but I’m glad the creators realized that the importance lies not with whether or not Azusa will have members for the following year, but that the original members that we walked through the past two seasons with are leaving. I also can’t express how happy I am that the creators threw in another song. Again, it wasn’t “Honey Sweet Tea Time”, but in this case, I’m willing to concede as the song chosen and played was very well suited.
Now that I think about it, it’s quite smart to have the 24th Episode positioned as the last with two full episodes to follow as extras – because it takes the emotional tension off this last episode. Unusual for a drama series, maybe, but for something like K-On, it’s actually very clever, because it’s not a heavy series, and while graduation is a bittersweet moment in life – like the song says – it’s not the end. And therefore, the series continues, in a sense. It almost provides closure in returning to normalcy. I’m sure some people don’t like this format though. If you’re one of those people, maybe you should just ignore the extras…
For the rest of us: K-On!! Extra next week!