K-ON!! “Mob” Character Popularity Surge

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K-ON!! viewers soon discovered that Kyoto Animation has gone to the trouble of giving unique character designs to all 35 of the keion-bu’s class, and many of these typically undifferentiated “mob characters” have in fact already developed minor followings of their own.

The quest to identify all of the characters began to get serious when the second episode revealed the stylish belle who occupies the seat next to Yui. Soon more characters were identified, and enthusiastic fan art began appearing. The unfolding tale of the other 31 girls is detailed below.

The first episode has thus far given almost all of the information available to “mob-chara” investigators, and a digital broadcast of the episode which include closed captioning gives a trustworthy source for two of the girls in the senior class 3-2 that Yui and Co. attend:

Eri & Akane

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The captions clearly give the name of the girl on the left as エリ / Eri, and that of the girl seated to her right as あかね/ Akane.

While the captioning provided by a television station is certainly as trustworthy as a credit listing or the dropping of a name during an episode, it is safe to say that these girls are positively identified.

端 エリ / Eri Taki:

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Note: Eri’s surname is given via a different source available further below, based on the reasonable assumption that the Eri seen printed on a class roster is the same Eri as above.

The kanji could also be read as “Yoshi” or even “Takeshi” (unlikely for a surname), so “Taki” could be incorrect.

あかね / Akane:

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There is no evidence for Akane having a surname, as her name is not seen spelled out anywhere else thus far.

Despite any other information currently available online, the two girls shown above are the only new mob-chara students from the second season of K-ON! to be positively identified with complete certainty, unless episode three somehow hides extra information that has not been recognized yet.

What follows is pure speculation, and as the considerable amount of evidence and rationales given so far on 2ch are both highly confusing and quite possibly wrong, emphasis here is mainly given to simply presenting the evidence.

Himeko & Fuuko

The most accepted names on 2ch are the following:

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From left to right, the names read:

立花姫子 / Tachibana Himeko

端 エリ / Eri

高橋風子 / Takahashi Fuuko

Eri, whose face is obscured by Mio’s head, can be identified by the distinctive tuft of hair on the left side of her head, so that much is certain.

The meganekko with a strong resemblance to Mio is given the name of Fuuko, and most importantly, the dark blonde on the far left is known as Himeko.

The evidence used to come to the conclusion for Himeko and Fuuko’s names is unfortunately very speculative,

This is the class roster seen in episode one, which Yui had to push through a small crowd to see:

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The relevant names for the pertinent class, 3-2, are given below in two columns as they are shown above.

Irrelevant names are simply marked with a “X” to show the relative positions on the list involved.

1. Mio Akiyama           2.  Ritsu Tainaka

3. X                               4. Fuuko Takahashi

5. X                               6. Eri

7. X                               8. Himeko Tachibana

Early speculation pointed towards the girl whose name is directly under Ritsu’s in the class roster as being the same girl sitting behind her in class, who appears to be the Mio lookalike, based on the assumption that the first day’s class had students sitting in an order related to that shown on the class roster:

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“Takahashi Fuuko”.

The real catalyst for the above line of thinking comes from two screens from the school ceremony held in the auditorium:

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Ritsu is at the right-most edge of a row, as well as the right-most column to the edge of the auditorium.

Where she is in relation to Mio or the girls possibly named Fuuko or Himeko is impossible to tell.

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This shot includes Mio, as well as Eri directly behind her (again, her tuft of her ID’s her).

Two girls straddle her, one being the Mio-ish meganekko, as well as the girl who would later sit next to Yui in the second episode.

To simplify the issue greatly, this is the reasoning behind naming the girls Himeko and Fuuko:

We would need to assume that the girls were indeed seated in class in an order related to their positions on the class roster seen below, that they were still seated in that order when they went to the auditorium, and that Ritsu’s placement on the right-most edge of a row means that the line of girls following her needed to wrap around to the beginning of a subsequent row.

In all honesty, this seems somewhat suspect and unless something obvious is being missed, it actually seems to be at least partly incorrect – how could one make a correlation between a straight-line order on the class roster without  having Ritsu and Eri  being either seated next to each other, or seated at the edge of a row?

The names are clearly known to be “tentative” names on 2ch, and it is fairly obvious to most online that there exists a high possibility that the names are wrong, although “meta-thinking” does suggest there is at least a decent chance that the names so close to Mio and Ritsu’s on the roster could be related to the two girls seen above.

In any case, the above four images (the roster, the class seating near Ritsu, the auditorium seating) along with the positive identification of Eri encompass the entirety of the evidence for Himeko and Fuuko’s names – make of that what you will.

立花姫子 / Tachibana Himeko:

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Another image of the angelic Himeko:

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高橋風子 / Takahashi Fuuko:

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The following pair of images do not include any further speculation, and simply serve as evidence to be used in the future:

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The placements of the girls near Yui and Mugi, suggesting that the girl with the short brown twintails near Yui is the same girl who is usually seen with her blazer off, despite a slight change in hairstyle.

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The image above shows the group of girls Yui was friendly with after the ceremony.

Fuuko’s name is given as mentioned before, with three unknown girls besides her. The text under each name simply states “Confirmed” (as a member of that small group), except for the right-most girl, who might be a different girl.

All the above images used up to this point for evidence came from the first episode; the second and third episodes have provided little further information of any use for mob-chara research aside from showing the likely number of students in the class plus the finalized seating arrangement:

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This chart is accurate as of episode two, with Mio’s seat likely being in the bottom-right area of the class.

The number of total students in the class given here is 38 including the 5 “main characters” (the four senior Keion-bu girls plus Nodoka), which differs from the number 40 shown in the gallery image at the very top of this article.

Placing the number at “38″ seems to be more commonly accepted on 2ch (don’t ask why!) and this particular chart seems to be regarded as accurate as of last week, so 38 seemed to be the better guess as of last week.

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The seating around Yui from the second episode, with Nodoka, Himeko and Akane clearly shown.

The next image comes from episode three.

The class photo taken in the episode clearly shows only 35 girls present – this means that either some girls might have been absent for the photo, or the pre-exisiting ideas about the number of girls in class 3-2 were slightly off.

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Since the relentless otaku detectives of 2ch can be counted on to continue their investigations, firm identification of the rest seems only a matter of time.

Enthused fans have begun drawing these new girls with gusto, particularly Himeko:

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Himeko and Fuuko.

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The text sprinkled about is Himeko speaking her one line so far, “Goodbye, Sensei!”, and random chat including “She has loose socks!”, “The girl seated next to Yui”, and imaginary speech for a blushing Himeko: “Um….something like that…that’s note the case!”

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The partner image:

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“Class 3-2″

The top-left girl would the blazer-less girl mentioned before.

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The above image is, of course, a Photoshop:

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Pick your favorite:

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