K-ON!! Episode Three: The Melancholy of Ritsu Tainaka

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The third episode of K-ON!! supplied a merciful dose of Ritsu that is sure to please fans of the all-too-often passed up poor drummer, presented in the same high quality as the previous episode.

A deluge of screenshots and commentary follows below.

With the first and second episodes probably having converted all potential viewers to engaged fans, less detail is required from here on.

The episode starts off with the Keion-bu girls obsessing over the cute new pet turtle we saw Yui purchase for Azusa at the end of the last episode:

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Yui looking cute with a pug nose, and Azusa reading a “How to Take Care of Turtles Q&A” book. Incidentally, the chelonian in question is a Pig-nosed Turtle, an aquatic species almost totally unsuitable for the home aquarium as adults can reach a size of 80cm/20kg. Hopefully K-ON! fans do not follow their usual practice of indiscriminately buying up the creature.

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This shot of Mugi apparently mounted on Yui’s back was quickly ID’d by 2ch for its obvious yuri-ero value:

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Yui’s moesome blush, wide-open eyes and outstretched hand help the effect considerably…

The fun with the turtle is interrupted by some Ritsu-flavored wailing, however:

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Ritsu is upset with playing the drums, and shows off a video Nodoka took of their last year’s concert as an example of why:

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(Incidentally, in the middle of the video Azusa comments “I saw it! Mio-senpai’s…”, which quickly earns her a :Stop it!” from Mio.)

Ritsu’s issue is how invisible she seems to be on the back of the stage, shrouded in darkness aside from the brilliant sheen coming from her forehead:

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Ritsu makes faux-crying noises in the corner until the girls ask her just what’s on her mind – “I want to play a new instrument!”

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First up is Yui’s Gitah:

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Yui bemoans her dear Gitah cheating on her with Ritsu (while scrolling text reminds us not to watch this show online…):

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Ritsu tries her hand at playing Fuwa Fuwa Time’s sheet music:

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(Note the mini Azusa in the top right of the sheet – “Azunyan” is pretty much the only legible part of the note there from this copy of the episode.)

After trying for about a minute, Ritsu decides that trying to playing the guitar is hopeless for her:

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Later, the always photogenic Sawako-sensei elegantly strolls down the hallways:

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Ritsu becomes envious of how Sawa-chan seems to “sparkle”:

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Meanwhile, the other girls eat their lunches:

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Mugi’s suitably extravagant bento:

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Mio’s bento, made for her by her embarrassing mother…

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Mio popping her octo-sausage (a favorite of Japanese schoolkids) into her mouth

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(It goes without saying that the above image that has already been given 2ch’s special Photoshop treament in several posts.)

Some time later at the clubroom, Ritsu barges in, announcing the keyboard to be her next test instrument:

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Sawa-chan, lounging and looking generally fabulous, makes a jealous Ritsu cry out “I want to sparkle!”:

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Ritsu doesn’t seem to know how to actually play any music on the keyboard, but does manage to amusing sound effects that almost sound like speech:

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Mugi is enthralled!

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One of the new season’s usual side-wipes:

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Since Mio’s bass-guitar instrument would seem to be next on the chopping block, Ritsu needs to calm her, telling her how much she understands Mio’s preference for her sideline role as a bassist:

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Mio gave a pretty impassioned speech to protect her instrument (from Ritsu), so she gets fairly embarrassed afterwards:

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Yui brainstorms at home, trying to help poor Ritsu:

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Empathizing with Ritsu by pretend-playing a drum in a dark corner of the room appears to be her first course of action:

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A service shot of Sawa-chan’s pink, delicate lips:

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The next day at school, it’s time for class photos…

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K-ON!’s backround characters almost always make for nice scenery:

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That’s “Classmate” from episode two in the bottom row and second from left, preening herself!

She’s since been given (tentatively) the name 立花姫子 /Himeko Tachibana online -the sources point towards close examination of the class roster along with some 2ch deduction- so congratulations to her for probably getting a name!

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Something a little odd happens as the girls finally get ready for the shot:

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Ritsu tenderly wraps her hand around Yui’s shoulder just as the shot goes off – we don’t get any mention of this again, so we can just assume Ritsu is being appreciative of Yui’s efforts to help her…

Yui comes up with a weird plan, hoping that moving Ritsu’s drumset to the front and center of a stage might help bring her out of her funk:

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Obviously, it isn’t a great idea.

Yui’s next plan:

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Apparently the girls actually bought the helmed-mounted lamp from last episode:

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Yui’s next idea is that Ritsu might experience loneliness at the back of the group, and thinks that “communicating” more with her onstage might help.

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Yui tries to do just that by constantly tilting her head jerkily backwards towards Ritsu every few seconds while playing…

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Yui gets the rest of the band to try it out:

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(The screens probably don’t get across just how hilarious the scene actually is – it’s wonderful!)

Ritsu is obviously not helped by any of this:

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At home, a plainclothes continues feeling glum:

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She feels good enough to prank call Mio at least:

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“There’s a pair of pure-white parent and child dolphins behind you, Mio.”

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“Idiot. (Are you an idiot!!)”

Ritsu seems to cheer up enough to start reminiscing of her and Mio’s days as loli, still looking forward to learning how to play music:

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Ritsu does manage to remember why she started with drums in the first place…

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An animated GIF of Ritsu being Ritsu:

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Mio and Ritsu have a brief chat the next morning:

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The two are late, and need to sneak into class quietly:

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The main reason these pair of screens of the classroom are included here:

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Classmate / Himeko besides Yui!

This makes two scenes this episode!

Back to Ritsu:

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Feeling better after her meditations last night, Ritsu finally lightens up.

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Inspired by Ritsu making her keyboard learn how to talk, Mugi tries out a short bit of a new song she came up with:

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She calls it “Honey Sweet Tea Time”.

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The girls appropriate the idea for their next luncheon:

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Mio is busy jotting down honey-related lyrics after the others suggested Mugi do a solo, so it seems likely that the band’s first new song of the season will be Honey Sweet Tea Time.

Cue the ED, and…

The next episode preview:

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The girls are going on a field trip, and appropriately enough, they’re off to Kyoto!

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The tower above is Kyoto Tower, an edifice widely hated by locals for being both ugly and directly in front of Kyoto’s main train station, despoiling the ancient city’s traditional skyline.

It looks unsightly in person, but as do most things, it looks much better in 2D.

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One of Kyoto’s endless number of temples.

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“Field Trip!”

It stands to reason that the whole class would come along on a school trip, so it doesn’t seem too much to hope for that we might get another rare Himeko appearance – perhaps even three scenes this time!


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