WARNING: I SUGGEST TO READ THIS ARTICLE BOTH TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER WATCHED K-ON, AND TO THOSE WHO KNOW IT BUT PERHAPS HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND IT.
SO, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, READ THIS!
Yui’s life suddenly changes when, almost by chance, she finds herself to join her school’s pop/rock music club. There she makes friends with three girls, apparently very different from one another, but equal in being kind-hearted and gentle. We’ll meet the mature and a bit timid bassist Mio, the quiet and noble-looking keyboardist Mugi, and the lively and a bit impetuous drummer Ritsu. In the beginning, Yui doesn’t know how to play guitar, as it’s easy to guess, and doesn’t even own one, but her club mates don’t let this discourage them: they help her get the money she needs to buy the guitar she likes (a beautiful Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul), and assist her both in learning how to master the instrument, and in other situations, like studying for a test.
But hey, life is not just made up of rehearsal: we’ll very often also see their relaxing moments, in which the young musicians drink some tea together and eat biscuits happily chit-chatting, take a walk around the city, or have some fun at the beach. What many K-On! detractors criticize about the show is exactly that, in their opinion, the “relaxation” scenes are too much, and the ones in which they play too few; but when they say this they prove to have not really understood the show and what it wants to say: the club girls are not just “fellow workers” for Yui, but also sincere friends ready to share moments of fun and joy with her, without discriminating her for her condition. Rather than just showing us endless rehearsal sessions, the series chooses to show us these sweet and light moments, which result even more touching being seen by Yui’s “childish” eyes, that add even to small things, as time spent with friends can be, a veil of magic and wonder. These moments will be so important to them that they’ll give name to the band: “Houkago Tea Time”, meaning “After school tea time”.