K-On! Volume 3 keeps drumming along!

Originally aired in Spring 2009, the show K-on! is known both positively and negatively by fans, depending on who you ask. Bandai Entertainment licensed the show officially last year at Anime Expo and began releasing the series on Blu-Ray and DVD this April. The third volume was scheduled to be released on September 13th, but I received it early thanks to RightStuf. This review has just been delayed due to school. Let’s keep the beat going! BDInfo Screencap Album

This release contains episodes 9-11: New Club Member!, Training Camp Again!, and Crisis!. As usual, Bandai includes the cover art, some back cover art, and the disc.

 

Episode 9, New Club Member! is our first introduction to Azusa’s character. We saw a bit of her on the last volume, but this shows her personality. She’s desperately wanting to become better at playing guitar and looks up to anyone who can help her, immediately calling Yui her “senpai.” When the club doesn’t meet her desire to practice daily and improve her skills, she becomes disappointed and questions why she wanted to join the club. It’s a great introductory episode into Azusa’s character and sets up the second season very well. We get to learn why she’s named “Azu-nyan” and why she doesn’t question the cake and tea anymore.

 

Episode 10, Training Camp Again! I feel is the one episode that sums up this season the best. Not only do we have Azusa mention what she thinks about the rest of the group, but we get a glimpse of interactions outside of school for the first time since the first school festival. The training camp allows for some mild fanservice, but more laughs as they repeat a lot of the jokes from episode 4. It’s a good solidly fun episode that carries on what K-On! is about.

Our final episode on this disc, Crisis!?, deals with the complex relationship between Mio and Ritsu. We learn why they’re so close to one another and how they both trust and depend on each other. It’s a sweet episode and sets up the final episode with Yui getting sick right at the end. In addition, we finally get a name for the band: Houkagou Tea Time!

Bandai’s subtitles are the same as they usually are. They include honorifics, but take out some things such as yen that befuddle the mind. Conversely, the dub remains one of the best I’ve heard. All four main character return and Christine Marie Cabanos does a wonderful job joining the cast as Azusa. I’m still slightly amazed that this show has one of the best dubs that I’ve heard. My complaint about keeping honorifics yet translating yen to dollars holds true here as well. It’s so inconsistent. I did appreciate keeping “Azu-nyan” as well as having her go “nya” instead of “meow.”

The extras on this disc are an English version of My Love is a Stapler set to clips from this volume and an interview with Cassandra Lee, who voices Ritsu in the dub. The music video sounds very good in English even if the clips don’t necessarily match. The interview also is interesting with Lee talking about how she wishes she could go back into a band like the Light Music Club.

Overall, there’s nothing new to talk about visually or audibly. The video looks decent and the audio is in DD. I’m still enjoying the dub enough to buy the release, so if you’re a fan of good dubs, I would recommend this show. Otherwise, it’s all up to you to determine if you’d like it or not.

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2 thoughts on “K-On! Volume 3 keeps drumming along!

  1. Yes, there were quite a few cute moments with Azusa in this disc, and I noticed how she got added to the OP with episode 9. I’m OK with the dollars for yen thing in case some of us didn’t know that 100 yen roughly equals a dollar. It’s also nice to have the honorifics intact so we have a better idea of their social interactions(and Azu-nyan is a very cute nickname). The naming of Afterschool Tea Time was a good moment too.

    I’m wondering, will the fourth volume have 2 episodes or 3? I know 13 aired, but there was a DVD(or Blue-Ray)-only episode too. Looking forward to finishing the first season of K-ON.

    I am hoping that Bandai also comes out with a box set later on(so I could maybe buy it as a loaner) and I am curious if you’ve heard anything about how well this is selling(so maybe they’ll license season two). I am also looking forward to the K-ON movie(and I am hoping KyoAni gives us more Haruhi in the spring. Haruhi for me is the anime franchise that I am most passionate about. Of course, I have purchased all the light novels that have been officially translated by Yen Press so far.).

    • It’s more of the aspect that you have something Japanese (honorifics, school structure, etc) and you put in something American (dollars) that feels out of place. If you are trying to keep it in Japan, don’t bring up dollars randomly. It clashes with the rest of the atmosphere you’re presenting. That’s my biggest problem with it.

      The fourth disc will have three episodes. They’ll include the bonus 14th episode on the final disc.. While I think Bandai will put out a box set eventually, I wouldn’t look for it before 2013 as they need to get the money to pay for the license. K-On! isn’t cheap due to the popularity in Japan.

      I’ve got some speculation for future Haruhi anime series, but that’s all we know about. (I too have all Yen’s novels in both formats and the LE JP versions)

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