All right, two more volumes of K-On! to go that have been adapted into anime. After that, there’s another two volumes that don’t have animated adaptations, but we’ll worry about that later. For now, let’s take a look at volume 3.
As ever, let’s start with the blurb:
As the dawn breaks on a new year, Azusa decides that it’s time for the girls of the Pop Music Club to tuck away their tea and cakes. Pick up their instruments! And bring the rock ‘n’ roll with another performance! But even though Afterschool Tea Time is starting to sound like a real band, Mio’s stage fright is going to make any live show tricky. What better way to cure shyness than with a part-time job?! At a maid café?!
This third volume opens with the start of a new year, which involves new year cards and a visit to a shrine – you know, the stuff you typically see in this genre.
It’s only a few pages before the girls are back in school, discussing future goals for the Pop Music Club. Playing a live show is suggested, but Mio’s stage fright is something she needs to overcome.
Tsumugi has a plan to take care of that, and if you’ve read the blurb, you’ll know that the plan is to work in a maid café.
Following on from that is a meeting with the school’s former student council president, Megumi Sokabe. She also happens to be the president of the Mio fanclub, formed after that fateful live performance where Mio tripped. Turns out Megumi is quite enamoured with Afterschool Tea Time’s bassist – then again, who can blame her?
Anyway, once that has been dealt with, it’s time for Valentine’s Day. Naturally this means that the girls will be giving each other chocolate – it starts with Azusa thinking about giving Mio some chocolate and being embarrassed when Ui calls her out. Ui also expects chocolate from Azusa, and she’ll be making some for Yui. Valentine’s Day episodes/chapters are always fun for us yuri fans when it comes to girls’ club series.
Spring cleaning follows on from that. The club finds an old guitar and sells it for five hundred thousand yen – most of the girls can’t resist the allure of that money, though Yui’s imagination spot of having Ui slap her in the face with it is probably the best reaction.
Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi start their third year of school, and they all happen to be in the same class – together with Nodoka as well. Turns out their teacher is Sawako – that’s not just a mere coincidence.
Anyway, moving up a year means another entrance ceremony, which Azusa is eager to prepare for. There’s also the small matter of recruiting new members for the Pop Music Club, so it can continue after the third years graduate. Despite a successful show, recruiting new members proves to be difficult.
The third years also have to decide on what to do with their futures – Yui and Ritsu don’t seem particularly concerned about it, which lands them in trouble.
A class trip for the third years takes place, and they get up to the usual shenanigans. Then there’s some poor weather, involving leaving instruments at school overnight – Yui can’t bear to be away from her guitar for long. Hot weather follows the rain. A few more things you can generally expect to see in girls’ club series.
Ritsu and Mugi spend some time together outside of school. Mugi describes the experience as a date. After that, the Pop Music Club’s typical annual trip is to a music festival, rather than to the beach.
Azusa, Ui and Jun go to a pool, which provides some swimsuit fanservice for those who enjoy it. Jun also shows some interest in joining the Pop Music Club, which is good news for Azusa.
Before the bonus stuff, we get to see the circumstances in which Mio and Ritsu became friends. As for the bonus stuff, we get a few panels of the girls trying on the maid outfits, and the continuing saga of Tsumugi’s eyebrows.
So basically, this volume just continues that girls’ club stuff you would expect from this genre – no bad thing by any means. The characters are great, so it really helps to carry it off, and the humour continues to be good. It’s nice to see more from the younger members as well, even if it is only for the equivalent of one chapter.