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Sunday, May 30, 2010

K-ON!! Introductory character [part 3]

Ho-kago Tea Time

Yui Hirasawa (平沢 唯 Hirasawa Yui?)
Voiced by: Aki Toyosaki
Yui is the main character of K-On!. She is one of the members of the light music club and plays a Heritage Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard electric guitar that she nicknames "Giita" (ギー太?). She does not get good grades in school (though when properly coached, she can achieve astounding results) and is easily distracted by trivialities (mainly those deemed cute and adorable). Yui is clumsy and easily spaces out most of the time. She takes a huge liking for any kind of food (she practically never gains weight, which is greatly envied by Mugi, Mio, and Sawako). She has her younger sister Ui, who is the very mature and down-to-earth opposite of Yui, to take care of her and keep herself in line. Yui works extremely hard to get better at playing guitar, which is shown in later chapters. During performances, Yui plays with amazing energy and joy, which usually results in great response from the audience.
Yui is the band's main vocalist and has perfect pitch—she can tune her guitar perfectly without a tuner, which greatly impresses Azusa, who has played the guitar much longer than Yui. She has a very easy-going nature, but has incredible concentration when hyped, though this is only limited to one subject at a time. She will totally neglect any other things in the process to the point of forgetting anything she has learned beforehand. Despite all of this, Yui is still devoted to her band and will always practice hard enough for the club. At school, she has become quite admired for her great voice. However, she is known to forget her lyrics in mid-performance as well as overdoing things, making her unable to perform sometimes. Mio was the lead vocalist at first, since Yui could not play the guitar and sing at the same time. Yui is also known to write childish lyrics as Ui has assisted her in creating them.
Ritsu Tainaka (田井中 律 Tainaka Ritsu?)
Voiced by: Satomi Satō
Ritsu (or Ricchan, as nicknamed by Yui) is the self-proclaimed president of the light music club and plays a yellow Rick MarottaSignature Yamaha Hipgig drum kit with an add-on floor tom (in the opening credits only) combined with a cymbal set from Avedis Zildjian, though is shown playing a white Yamaha Absolute Series drumkit in the anime's closing credits. She has an ambiguous yet upbeat personality, but often has trouble remembering important club activities and announcements and gets constantly yelled at by Mio and Nodoka for forgetting to send in important forms concerning the club. Ritsu is cheerful, often likes making jokes and is sarcastic most of the time. She usually brainstorms for ideas to earn more money and for the club's success. She says she chose to play the drums because they are "cool", but in reality, she admits that she has trouble playing instruments which involve intricate finger movements, such as the bass, guitar and keyboard.
She is a childhood friend of Mio and will often have the opportunity to tease her whenever she is cowering from something. She is also known to become easily jealous of Mio's other High School friends, even going as far as spying on her when on outings with them. Ritsu is always on the go and will stop at nothing for the success of the light music club. She has a younger brother named Satoshi. Despite her rough mannerisms and speech, she gets cast as Juliet by the majority of her classmates in their class play rendition of Romeo and Juliet and, in the end, manages to act like a proper girl. In the anime, she states her favorite drummer is Keith Moon of The Who.
Mio Akiyama (秋山 澪 Akiyama Mio?)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa
Mio is a shy girl who is in the light music club and plays a left-handed, 3-Color Sunburst Fender Jazz Bass with a tortoiseshell pickguard, though is shown playing a Fender Precision Bass in the first manga volume. She originally intended to join the literary club, but is forced into the light music club by her childhood friend and the club's president/drummer, Ritsu. She gets excellent grades in school, but is bad with listening to stories involving macabre experiences, and cowers whenever something gross is brought up. While she can be mature and strict sometimes, she gets embarrassed easily, and is often subject to teasing from Ritsu and Sawako, their club adviser and eventual third-year homeroom teacher. She cites that she chose bass since it is not the center of attention in the band, unlike the guitarist. Mio is more technical when it comes to music, and Yui often comes to her when she is in need of more guitar tutorials.
She is the band's backing vocalist and usually takes over lead vocals whenever Yui is incapable of singing or forgets the lyrics. She writes most of the songs, although they usually feature some odd and overly girlish lyrics like "Light and Fluffy Time". As she is left-handed, she becomes entranced whenever she sees left-handed instruments. Due to an unexpected accident in one of their live performances (and partly due to her attractive appearances), she acquired a huge amount of popularity, and even a fan club for her is formed (much to her dismay considering the circumstances surrounding it), whose founding member is the former student council president who also stalks Mio. Due to this, most of her classmates voted for her to play Romeo in their class play. Mio is seemingly a fan of Lomography, as she is often seen with a camera strongly resembling the Lomo LC-A during her summer training.
Tsumugi Kotobuki (琴吹 紬 Kotobuki Tsumugi?)
Voiced by: Minako Kotobuki
Tsumugi, often referred to as 'Mugi' by her friends, is a wealthy girl with a gentle and sweet personality who plays a Korg Triton Extreme 76-key keyboard, though she is also seen playing a Korg RK-1000 keytar in the closing credits of the first season. She originally intended to join the choir club, but joins the light music club instead after receiving an invitation and encouragement from both Mio and Ritsu. Tsumugi is considered a piano prodigy since she has been playing the piano since she was four and has experience in winning various piano contests. She is the daughter of a company president, and her family has several villas in various places around Japan (and even one in Finland). Since her father also owns a maid café, she often brings confectionery and an assortment of sweets and pastries to the club room, and she diligently makes tea with a tea set which is kept in their club room. Despite her wealth, she finds joy in partaking in more cheap activities, such as taking a part-time job at a fast food restaurant.
Although she is a sweet and gentle girl, she is often weirdly entranced by the sight of two girls interacting closely together, sometimes imagining something more risqué in her head (both Mio and Ritsu find this awkward at times). The series sometimes indicates that Mugi has a crush on their teacher, Sawako Yamanaka. While a lot of things do not bother her, she is fairly conscious about her weight (just like Mio), and she gets a bit anxious when her family's staff start spoiling her friends during villa visits. She later begins learning how to play the guitar from Azusa.
Azusa Nakano (中野 梓 Nakano Azusa?)
Voiced by: Ayana Taketatsu
Azusa is a student in the same year and class as Yui's sister Ui, who joins the light music club and plays a Fender Mustang electric guitar. She is a self-proclaimed novice guitarist who has been playing the guitar since she was in the fourth grade, and her parents are working in a jazz band. She often finds herself bewildered by the tea parties and cosplaying aspects of the club, when she would rather just practice and is curious on how the club is able to play so well despite their problems and lack of practice. However, she has a certain weakness for cakes and can be calmed down rather easily, sometimes by just being petted. She is constantly a victim to Yui's skinship and is nicknamed Azu-nyan after trying on a pair of cat ears and meowing ("nyan" being the equivalent of "meow" in the Japanese vocabulary). Despite this, Azusa is not too good with cats.
In the band, she looks up to Mio the most due to her maturity and the fact that she is an experienced bassist, even trying to give Mio chocolate on Valentine's Day. However, she sometimes unintentionally makes remarks concerning Mio's weaknesses, such as her weight. She also finds Mugi very beautiful, and envies her hair and large eyes, and later starts teaching her how to play guitar when the two are alone in the club room. Since joining, Yui comes to her for advice on playing guitar, as well as maintenance. She gets a tan extremely easily, once during their time at the beach and another during a music festival (even after applying sunscreen). As a result, she frequently gets sunburned as well. She gets lonely very easily, and often worries that everyone in the club will leave her, as they are one year older and eventually will graduate.

[edit]Secondary characters

Sawako Yamanaka (山中 さわ子 Yamanaka Sawako?)
Voiced by: Asami Sanada
Sawako is the adviser for the wind instrument club at Yui's school. An alumna of the school and a member of the light music club in her student days, she does not want people to find out that she was formerly a member of not only a heavy metal band, but a death metal band, thus she covers up by being mild and gentle to her coworkers and especially to students. She is forced to be the adviser of the light music club, as Ritsu blackmails her after the girls learn of her past, though it is unknown whether she stopped being the adviser for the wind instrument club as the story progresses. Though she has a mature and gentle demeanor in the school, Sawako (affectionately addressed as "Sawa-chan" by both Ritsu and Yui) displays a totally different, completely authentic character when she is alone with the light music club. In reality, she is rather wild, lazy and quite an irresponsible teacher who enjoys dressing up the light music club in (sometimes embarrassing) cosplay costumes (like French maid uniforms), much to the dismay of Mio. She gets a thrill out of the rare moments where she is praised for her work.
She names the club band "Ho-kago Tea Time" after the members take too long deciding on a name themselves (and to maintain the secrecy of her heavy-metal image). In the anime, she once pitches in for Yui with her white Gibson Flying V electric guitar. She becomes the girls' homeroom teacher in their third year, and puts Nodoka and all the band members (except Azusa, since she is a grade lower) in the same class, so she does not have to remember as many names. In the K-On!! anime, she owned one of the first Gibson SGmodels (from around 1960 with a custom stoptail bridge) which is later sold. Due to her relation to the club members, the other students in her class start to call her Sawa-chan as well, ruining her image as a mild-mannered teacher. She apparently went by the stage name of "Catherine" when she was younger. In spite of her laziness, she still proves herself to be an able mentor, as shown by her willingness to coach Yui as the lead singer and attending their performances. Her music abilities apparently have not dulled over the years, as she is able to substitute for Yui at the school festival at almost no notice without the assistance of a music score, even without any prior practicing of the band's song. Sawako is a perceptive person: she immediately sees through Ui's disguise when she impersonates her sister and on several occasions boasts to the club that there is nothing she cannot see.
Ui Hirasawa (平沢 憂 Hirasawa Ui?)
Voiced by: Madoka Yonezawa
Ui is Yui's younger sister, who begins the story as a third-year junior high school student, but later enters Yui's high school the following year in the same class as Azusa. Unlike her older sister, Ui is mature, responsible, and handles household chores well, though she still shares a strong relationship with Yui and has a great deal of love and respect for her older sister. Despite being a year younger than Yui, she is nearly identical to her with her hair down and is even once able to fool the club. She is also a fast learner, able to learn playing the guitar after a few day's practice after pretending to be Yui. She takes particularly good care of Yui and strives to look after her even at the risk of her own health. Ui is actually considered as the ultimate groupie for her sister's band and supports them with all her heart. She occasionally provides a narrative to the story.
Nodoka Manabe (真鍋 和 Manabe Nodoka?)
Voiced by: Chika Fujitō
Nodoka is Yui's childhood friend and confidant who is a member of the school's student council. As a normal, well-mannered and intelligent girl, she is generally taken aback by the light music club's odd behavior, and easily gets annoyed with Ritsu whenever she forgets to fill in the club's application forms. She shares the same class as Mio in their second year, who appreciates her companionship tremendously, she being the only person Mio knows in her class. In her third year, she becomes the student council president and is also in the same class as the other third year club members. She gradually becomes the president of Mio's fan club through unknown circumstances (possibly out of her control), even when she originally turned down the position.
Jun Suzuki (鈴木 純 Suzuki Jun?)
Voiced by: Yoriko Nagata
Jun is Azusa's and Ui's classmate who often hangs out with the latter. Ui tries to get her to join the light music club but ultimately fails due to a strange visit to the club room. She instead plays the bass in the jazz club, and is one of Mio's admirers. However, she starts to regret not joining the light music club when she hears about all the activities they do. She has a pet cat.
Megumi Sokabe (曽我部 恵 Sokabe Megumi?)
Voiced by: Asumi Kodama
Megumi was the president of the student council before Nodoka succeeded her in her third year, and she is also the president of Mio's fan club, who is later succeeded by Nodoka. She stalks Mio during her last few days in high school because she wanted to see Mio one more time. The band offers her a song as a graduation gift. She later becomes friends with Ritsu, mentioning she is at the same university the others intend to go to.

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