The first episode of K-ON!!’s second season has finally aired, descending upon moe-starved fans like heavenly mana.
A huge trove of screenshots are available below for those eager to see more…
The season finale of K-ON! back in June 2009 was the last new K-ON! material, saving various short extras released with the DVDs or similar.
K-ON! needs no introduction, so we’ll get right to the episode, but to get full benefit from the show’s characteristically gorgeous visuals viewing the HD screens below in full (by clicking) is advised – the episode’s animation was quite impressive and most scenes are a definite upgrade from the first season if viewed up-close.
The episode starts off with Yui running through a grove of sakura, on her way to the first day of her third year at Sakurakou (which happens to be the final year in Japanese high schools).
She goes about setting up her electric guitar, being sure to do it cutely for the sake of the show’s expectant viewers.
The hard to recognize notes Yui is playing become apparent soon enough – “My Love is a Stapler”
While Yui hums to the empty room, the rest of the Keion-bu make their ways toward the club room:
They walk in to see this…
A meek Yui quickly explains: she’s getting ready for their beginning of the year club performance.
And, the wonderfully animated OP begins:
Ritsu comments on how Azusa doesn’t seem to have changed much, speaking while staring straight at the petanko’s chest.
Yui eats some more of her “pan” while giving some narration for the sake of anyone watching that somehow missed the first season.
The girls eventually get around to their first practice of the year.
Afterwards, the seniors walk off, discussing how nice it is to be in their final year.
Yui gives a quick demonstration of her new-found maturity with a cute hair part:
(Note the subtitles warning against unauthorized viewing online!)
The rest of the girls ignore her, and go off to check their class assignments.
Yui struggles bravely through the crowd.
Those currently struggling through the ardors of learning Kanji should concentrate on the two topmost names here.
Yui realizes that all four girls have gotten into the same class.
Yui is happy!
So is Mio!
The student body president from last year, Nodoka, also made it in.
Sawa-chan-sensei joins them as their homeroom teacher.
The class heads off to their commencement address.
Yui spots something on the way…
The song lasts for nearly two minutes, even as footage of the students going back to class plays.
Yui, taking a liking for the flowers, collects some more.
Something is troubling Azusa, as she walks with her two fellow classmates, Yui’s little sister Ui, and Jun (with the two hair-puffs).
Yui with her collected mini-garden.
Nodoka points out that if the club doesn’t get any new members soon, Azusa will be alone the following year when the others graduate…
Yui puts her mind on doing her best for Azusa’s sake.
The girls have some tea.
Ritsu points out Azusa is destined to be the club’s new president after her the next year.
The seniors do their best to try to find new members:
It’s fun! ♥ (blue text)
Band… (pink text)
Their plan doesn’t have much luck.
Something looks wrong with Azusa’s pig costume!
They try to think of something else.
Mio imagines the sad fate of a Azusa left to wallow in loneliness if no one new joins:
Minus a Mio, the girls listen to Ritsu’s new plan for catching some freshmen.
Up to this point, Ritsu’s plan works swimmingly.
Mio looks unimpressed…
We’ll probably have to wait for the BD to see her other eye, but Azusa seems to share Mio’s sentiments.
Sadly, the new girls had no eye coloration, making them unable to be anything more than background characters.
They try using Yui next:
Yui tries asking for directions, speaking in a country bumpkin’s Japanese and sounding very lost.
Poor Yui is so pure-hearted though, that she just goes along with the girls’ directions and forgets to try to make them follow her, while Ritsu and Azusa make commentary.
The pretty sparklies here is a nice side-wipe used a few times in the episode.
They end up going to other clubs to investigate how to better recruit some new members:
“Occult Research Club“.
They don’t go in here.
The girls are fairly hopeless now.
Mio and Mugi haven’t had any luck either, although that doesn’t stop Mugi from doing a cute little dance step.
They’re excited when someone comes to their door, but it’s just Sawako trying to get the girls to wear meido-fuku for their first performance:
Nodoka is the next false-alarm, visiting to ask about tomorrow’s mini-concert.
The song list the girl’s come up with for their show – “My Love is a Stapler”, “Fudepen~Ballpoint Pen~”, “Ichigo Parfait ga Todomaranai”, and “Fuwa Fuwa Time”.
Tomorrow comes quickly…
Yui tries her best, hoping their performance can attract someone new, just like it did with Azusa last year.
Luckily, these girls have colored eyes, so they at least have a chance.
Sawa-chan laments a tragically lost opportunity.
Yui tries her best on the impressionable freshmen.
Ui and friend Jun manage to catch the tail-end of the show.
They finish off the last few beats of a slightly modified “Fuwa Fuwa Time”.
Yui doesn’t take enough precautions with her singing voice.
The girls have some (more) tea.
Poor Azusa is worried.
As Azusa wanders off on a bathroom break, the others regret still not finding any new members…
Azusa finds out what Yui’s put up outside the clubroom:
“Welcome to Keion-bu!”
Azusa is comforted by her friends.
Jun sure is a sweet friend…
Azusa makes her way back to the club, eventually.
She listens in to Yui talking, who mentions how she wouldn’t mind having it be just the five of them, just for a while longer.
Azusa, hearing the others put aside a pastry for her, decides to enter. (Azusa’s prospective courtiers should remember her favorite: banana cake)
Azusa also tells the others she wouldn’t mind it being just the five of them together, just like her first year.
She does tell Yui that they ought to give a bit more attention to practicing though…
Yui decides that finding some new members would be a better idea.
Cue the ED, which has visuals nearly as impressive of the OP:
Look at Mugi’s sailor outfit!
(The black-dress Mio is playing the role of some caek-loving doppelganger in the ED, in case anyone is confused.)
There’s a bunch of beauty shots of the individual girls looking just beautiful while clutching strawberries…
The next episode preview:
That leaves one more week to the next episode, which hopefully shouldn’t seem as bad considering almost a year has passed since the last episode.