Following two previous volumes showing the creation of the Light Music Club and how difficult it can be to prepare for a performance and, in some cases, actually playing an instrument, we arrive at the third slice of cake (a small in joke there) in a quartet of releases for this series.
This time a new student has joined the Light Music Club as Asuza quickly finds out that despite having good intentions in joining the club it isn’t exactly what she expected. This cross road becomes apparent very early on and is the main focus in the first episode on this DVD release by Manga Entertainment.
As viewers will recall from volume two we are now into the second school year for the four girls in the Light Music Club. The overall goal of playing a concert at the prestigious Budokan Hall takes more precedence without it (very cleverly) ever being mentioned. The girls and new member Asuza (pictured right) have the unenviable task of attempting to alter the direction and general productivity of the club from its current form. This brings out certain character traits that have been present within the first two volumes but throws them into unknown territory in a situation that acts as a nice dichotomy from norm.
Attention in the second episode then turns to the next reincarnation of an older episode, the training camp. Venturing to another one of Mugi-sans very expensive holiday homes we get to see the girls, including their new recruit, indulge in beach related activities. At the same time we learn more about the psyche of the characters which has an added dynamic in that the very musically orientated Asuza is in the fold and wants to actually do musically related activities rather than just having fun.
The third episode continues with the early proceedings of the new year with the annual school festival – the time when (during volume 2) the group played their first live show together. However in a change from the norm there are some problems that arise within the group leading to a very engaging episode as emotions that weren’t previously present are explored and provides a more unique feeling to the viewer particularly as they are now in the run up to the school festival. Last year it was building up to their first performance. This time it’s all about demonstrating how far they have come while encountering a very important conundrum that plays into the future of the band.
Unfortunately this where you are left – a cliffhanger. This is a little annoying given that the previous two releases contained four episodes making you feel a little bit short changed. But this DVD does provide more of the same when it comes to the K-On universe including laughs, awkward moments and well structured character developments that make up for that. Some could argue that the episodes feature a slight rehashing of previous volumes just with an extra character but really it’s more than that, because of the nature of the characters and how the added dynamic of Asuza changes the complexion of the story.
Extras on the DVD include an interview with Cassandra Lee, the voice actress of Ritsu in the English dubbing and a music video for the song ‘My Love Is A Stapler’ (also featuring the English cast.) Overall another very enjoyable set of episodes and with only one volume of the series remaining, set for release in January, there is sure to be more fun (musically based) times ahead where no doubt a conundrum or two will present themselves.
This DVD Is available to purchase now thanks to Manga Entertainment.
– Jeremy Graves