August 18, 2010

K-On: The Music Never Dies

Posted in K-On! tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:56 pm by meotwister5

It’s been many, many years since I was in high school.  Many years since I was really a child.  Okay I’m not really that old yet, and in many ways I’m still childish inside, but it’s already coming to me how even the memories of almost ten years ago is becoming fuzzy in my mind.  Not to say that I’m forgetting, but looking back at those years, it really tells me how long the road in between has gotten.  I got into college, graduated, got into medical school and I’m almost about to get my MD as well.  Ten years for older generations might feel like a short span of time, for young adults like me it feels like an entire lifetime of change and advancement.

There are times when I actually felt a little jealous of the girls in K-On!, even though I’m a guy.  High school was so long ago, yet watching this series that revels in its silliness, I still get reminded of days long past.  Days that are over and will never return.  This doesn’t mean that I want to return to those days, but nostalgia is sometimes a funny thing:  It makes you want the days of old but makes you realize you can never have them again.  It makes you sad in remembrance, but makes you happiness with its fondness.

Life as always inevitably goes on, even in anime.  I never expected that these girls would be in high school their entire lives, but you never really expect that sort of self-awareness of the inevitable future.  They’ve skirted the issue before, as seniors, content in ignoring the gorilla in the room as they eat cake, sip tea and procrastinating before eventually going on to practice.

But again, life goes on.  In this finite universe, things that start must invariably end.

What time is it?

Whether or not they were even prepared was probably never the question to begin with.  I assume they were supposed to practice that night, but running the play tired them out it seems, and instead of practice it became lights out earlier than they thought.  When the morning came they were still all sleepy, yet full of confidence (somewhat) that they’d pull it off somehow like the last two times they came on stage.  Fired up with the new T-shirts Sawako made for them, they rush off to the stage for what would be their final school festival performance.

It is time to ROCK!

Some will argue that having only three songs played, and the second song not even presented, is a big letdown.  Honestly though, we’re people expecting an half an entire album’s worth of material to be rocked to high heaven in a school festival concert?  I am perfectly fine that only 2 real songs were presented, given the fact that these were 2 NEW songs, and both songs were really, really good.  U&I was (as I expected) the better of the two, and the best song the group has played to date.  Mugi’s song was conspicuously absent as was I think at least one more but hey, if those are the group’s magnum opus, wouldn’t it be better for them to be played at the end?

Yui’s hyperactivity again comes into full force.  For what it’s worth, and some people were probably annoyed by it, it is still consistent with everything she has ever been since day one.  This was the same ecstatic, excited and genuinely eager Yui we have all come to know over their three years of high school.

And then it hits.

The high of playing in the festival now over, the group comes down from the clouds back to reality.  It’s time to face the music, so to speak.  They try to plan ahead for their group like for the entrance ceremony, the freshmen orientation and whatnot.  It’s the same excitement they had when they first started almost three years ago as the renewal of the school K-On.  The same excitement when they finally managed to recruit Azusa as the sole new member of the group.  The very same excitement when they played their very best as seniors to welcome the freshmen.

But reality is always there, always ready to headshot the fragile dreams of children.  The gorilla that had been in the clubroom ever since the day Yui pointed out that they were seniors, that they had tried so hard to ignore as they make plans for themselves and their music, makes itself known once again to all of them.

The moment Yui’s eyes filled with tears, as Mugi mumbles to herself and Ritsu tried to make a joke towards Mio, we knew.

We knew they knew.

And so it hits.

Was Budokan always such a lofty and impossible goal?

Childish as dreams may seem to some, these had always been parts of us growing up.  We dreamed of great things, things we wanted to be, things we wanted to reach, even if we never really understood them.  As children and teenagers these dreams meant the world for us even if the adult world scoffed at them.  Dreams are what drove us out of the world of fairy tales and into the world of real life.  They may have been impossible, but they made us aspire.  They made us believe.  They made us who we are.

They cried of course.  They didn’t want the fun days of music to end, even as a high note (again, no pun intended), but even they knew that the days of fun music at the clubroom was about to come to an end.  As graduation looms in the horizon, they wanted to continue dreaming of Budokan, of playing in the grandest stage of them all, rocking the shit out of everyone’s minds and having a blast in the process.  This was the dream they shared and the dream they wished would continue on.  But they knew.  They knew that these days would not last forever.  At the end of their final festival performance, they knew that their K-On days were in its twilight.

Does the dream die this day?

Fuck no!  They all said it best:  It was great playing with all of you!

Perhaps the club, their club, ends on graduation, but dreams only end when you stop believing in them.  They could always still make a band after high school, in college and even after, and with greater time the greater opportunity to make their dreams real.  Just because you went your separate ways in high school doesn’t mean the friendship and the music stops.  If you really believe in the music and the dream you all share, you will find ways to continue making the music you want to make.  You will continue to be friends and continue trying to rock the shit in every performance you deliver.

I do not expect them to reach glory soon, but even if they never make it to Budokan, I fully expect them to keep trying in their own way:  eating cake and drinking tea while procrastinating and complaining about the heat.  Maybe they’ll be a bit too lazy to practice, but they’ll get to it eventually and when they do, they pour their heart and soul into every note and every lyric.  This is what makes them who they are:  Houkago Team Time.

High school may end, but Budokan will always be there waiting for you.  As you continue to dream, so will you continue to play.

That is why the dream never dies.

The music never dies.

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6 Comments »

  1. Neo said,

    hey MeoTwister-san…. i wanna ask u something…how did u get this ep so fast?? in HD??

    • meotwister5 said,

      Check gg sub’s website. They have it subs.

      And I’m sure Jaka dying in a plane crash is just a troll. =p

      • Neo said,

        ok then!! thanks a lot!! by the way…hope you can answer the following question..I heard that the anime is about to end by September 28? and the last manga installment by September 27?? when is that announced officialy and where?? from Kirara Magazine??and where do you guys get all this information?? is that really true?? but then again…i can’t find any news the internet regarding the anime’s ending……manage to found out about the manga from wikipedia……if you know there’s a website saying this then can you post it up?? Thanks a lot!!

        Oh..almost forgot…i found out your blog while i was surfing google trying to get the RAW downloads! I was going to take medic too!!! nice to meet you senpai!!

  2. zette said,

    Saw this post on the ep20 thread on AnimeSuki and wanted to comment on it there, but you had more stuff at the beginning here so I just kinda decided to comment here.

    Just gotta say that this is an excellent writeup and I especially liked the paragraph about dreams always being a part of growing up even if we don’t understand them. It really puts the whole graduation issue in K-ON into perspective — that, yes, graduation is nothing as long as they stay together and keep believing in their dream. HTT lives on.

    I’m in my last year of high school myself, and while my school life is in no way as interesting as the HTT girls’, K-ON really makes me appreciate and cherish these times before they’re gone.

    Again, excellent post and I hope you decide to do more of such posts in the future. 🙂

  3. Carmen said,

    Lol. You are the only other anime fan I know in class. Nyahahaha!

  4. Kael said,

    Love your post Dude, This K-on episode was amazingly beautiful being just recently a High School Graduate myself I can say that it was one of the best points in my life for good and for worse and amazingly enough most of us cried especially the most unlikely ones during the grad ceremony. I also loved your views on dreams, having maybe even an outrageous dream myself Im still going after it regardless of the odds against me, as long I still believe and hold on to it I know there is a possibility that it will come true….. this particular matter which sadly most adults nowadays seem to forget…. that’s why they no longer see the colors in their lives…. Anyways Loved your post


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