I was not too crazy about the first season of K-ON!. I mean, sure I was pretty excited when it started in spite of the cries of ‘Lucky Star with Guitars’, but I guess the first season was not quite in line with expectations. It felt repetitive and unambitious.
Looking back at it now, the first sign that the second season wouldn’t fall into the same hole as the first season was the Live House episode. Now that was a great episode that developed the characters in a way that wasn’t dumb and wasn’t entirely pointless gags. I don’t know what it says about me, but the first time I went to a smaller show in a backroom, I thought about how much it was kinda like this episode. It had the bonus similarity of being Japanese.
K-ON!! continued in the same vein as that episode. No, it wasn’t entirely about music, but it was definitely a lot more varied than yet another hanging out at the villa and not practicing or yet another trip to the music store. I’d felt that Azusa’s introduction essentially caused a repeat of the introductory episodes, which I guess ended up being for the best. Since the first season got all of that out of the way, the second season was able to just be good.
And now that I think back on it, they still don’t really show much practicing or playing of instruments, at least not for very long. What they do show is progress. There’s a remarkable difference not only in their skill with their instruments but in how comfortable they are in performing. Yeah, Mio is still afraid of being seen and Yui is still tripping over stuff, but they definitely feel a lot more confident by the end of K-ON!! than they were at the end of K-ON!.
It’s kind of funny how the show dodged my expectations. I wanted the first season to be like the second season and by the end of the first season, I expected the second season to be more of the first season. But, I’m happy that I eventually got the show that I wanted from the start.