K-ON! Season 2

K-ON! Season 2

K-On! Season 2 anime series cover art
K-On! Season 2

Season Overview

K-On! Season 2 (K-On!! / けいおん!!) is the second season of the K-On! anime series. It covers Yui’s, Mio’s, Ricchan’s, and Mugi’s third and final year of high school. Importantly, this is also only Azusa’s second year.

So, what’s different about this season compared to the first? A lot of people didn’t like the first season when it aired. But, when Season 2 aired, that wasn’t the case. It was generally loved. Why was there such a different reaction to two seasons of the same series? Is Season 2 really that much better?

For starters, Season 2 is twice as long as Season 1. Season 1 is 13 episodes while Season 2 is 26. That means there’s twice as much development — sort of. It’s still a slice of life series. That hasn’t changed. But, Season 2 does improve upon some of the issues I had with Season 1.

Azusa, Mio, Yui, and Mugi looking at Ton-chan from the anime series K-On! Season 2
Azusa, Mio, Yui, and Mugi looking at Ton-chan

One of the most notable differences is that this season isn’t as repetitive as the first. For example, the first season had 2 different summer training episodes. It covered 2 years in 13 episodes. This season doesn’t even have 1 summer training episode. And it covered 1 year in 26 episodes.

Another improvement is that there was an overarching story told throughout the season. 4 of the 5 members of the club are graduating at the end of the year. Once that happens, Azusa will be all alone and the Light Music Club may come to an end.

To me, this is what makes Season 2 better than Season 1. We get to see how Azusa and the other club members come to terms with the end of their time together. There’s a larger focus on the differences between the grades.

After School Tea Time

The second season of K-On! arguably focuses less on music than the first. If you told me that before I started it, I would have assumed that to mean it was worse. But, that’s not the case. The shift in focus is actually what makes it better.

One of my main complaints about Season 1 was that the series wasn’t building to anything. The climax of the season was the girls playing the same school concert for the second year in a row. They didn’t graduate to a bigger venue with more on the line.

The second season could have solved this by introducing a competition for the band to enter. But, that would have resulted in a fundamental change in the series. It wouldn’t be as much of a moe anime at that point. An actual plot would take away from the moe.

Mugi, Mio, Azusa, Ricchan, and Yui from the anime series K-On! Season 2
Mugi, Mio, Azusa, Ricchan, and Yui

Instead, this season doubles down on the non-music aspects of the series. What do the girls do other than play music? They get a pet turtle, they go on a class trip, and they perform in a play. It’s more about their overall high school experience, not just their music.

In fact, one of my favorite episodes of the season didn’t even include any of the 4 main girls. When the seniors went away on their class trip, we got an episode all about those left behind. It followed Azusa, Ui, and Jun as they did things unrelated to the Light Music Club.

With fewer episodes focusing on music, more episodes focused on character development. And when I say character development, I don’t mean anything deep. I mean we get to see more of the ways the girls interact with each other and their surroundings. They felt more real.

Highs and Lows

The highest and lowest points of the season both came toward the end. Let’s start with the low point because that’s what came first. It’s the few episodes around Episode 20 — I’m not going to go back to find out exactly which ones.

So, what made these episodes the worst part of the season? They were extremely boring. One of them starts off with over 90 seconds of Yui looking at herself in a mirror. No dialogue. Just Yui looking in the mirror and fixing her hair. I actually skipped through this part.

That’s not all, though. We also got to see the band play during their school festival for the third time. And, what was different about the performance this time? I’m glad you asked. Between songs, Yui decided to recap the entire previous episode for us. Again, I had to skip through the episode.

Mugi and Mio laying on futons from the anime series K-On! Season 2
Mugi and Mio laying on futons

I’m not usually one to skip through episodes. I tend to stop paying attention and look at Twitter or Discord instead. But, I couldn’t even do that here. I had to skip ahead for my own sanity. It was mind-numbingly boring.

So, what about the highlight of the season? Well, that actually came after the end of the season. You see, Episode 24 is the “final” episode. Then, Episodes 25 and 26 are flashbacks to before the final episode. They function like normal episodes, though. So, I’m not sure why they’re at the end instead of in their chronological positions.

Position aside, these were the best 2 episodes of the whole series. I especially liked the very last episode. In that one, the seniors visit Sawa-chan’s apartment while she’s out with a cold. It had some of the best character interactions of the entire anime.

Conclusion

In the end, I begrudgingly gave K-On! Season 2 a 7/10. I was considering giving it a 6 like the first season. But, I’ll give it the 7 because I do think the character development in this season was very good. Also, the second ED for this season is the best song of the series.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

The review of K-ON! The Movie is available now.

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