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All That K-ON! Music Memorial: Cassette Mix

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there is at least somebody out there who (still) appreciates K-ON! and certainly wouldn't mind reading yet another article or two about it. I'm rather amazed by the extent of my obsession...erm, appreciation which seems to have nutured an underground life of its own over time. Anyway, I would like to focus on the musical aspect of K-ON! and hopefully compile to the best of my abilities a mini-series on the many different songs that are some of the reasons for my unwavering tower (?) of love. If anybody thinks they would like to puke up their breakfast, lunch, high tea, dinner, late-night snack or anything other than what usually goes into their stomachs, please take a moment. Okay, shall we proceed?

The girls of Houkago (After School) Tea Time had been inseparable, although Azusa was a year younger and eventually became one-fifth of Wakaba Girls and president of the Light Music Club after her beloved seniors graduated. Their times together had produced some of the cutest songs possible. I mean, who could resist a bite of 'Curry Nochi Rice'? Oh, what about 'Gohan wa Okazu'? While I don't think that it would be remotely possible to salivate at song titles, unfortunately I think that I'm craving for some curry rice right now. Anyway, the cute element aside, I discovered that there had been cassette versions of the songs which the girls wrote and used for their various performances. Yeah, the cassette tape. In fact, it acted as the indicator for an interval throughout the anime series. The girls had also recorded their own practice sessions and such using the long forgotten method. Oh, did I mention that an actual cassette tape existed as part of a special edition bundle for one of the albums? I thought that it looked really cool and wicked!

With that said, however, the cassette versions (otherwise known as Cassette Mix) of the songs were not actually recorded on a cassette deck but mixed to project the image that they were playing from a cassette recording. The vocals and instruments were also recorded live in the cassette versions, thus providing some refreshing variations to the listening pleasure. Ritsu's "1 2 1 2 3 4!" cue at the beginning was one fine example. 12 songs had been given the cassette treatment, and together with an introduction track they were released in the two-disc album 'Houkago Tea Time II' under 'Cassette Mix'. I would like to focus on five of the songs that were used as inserts in the anime.

♪ Fuwa Fuwa Time (Fluffy Time)
The first set of lyrics which Mio wrote and was too embarrassed to show or sing the words out. Ritsu and Sawako-sensei also had the shivers after going through the lyrics. Naturally, the sugary and cute image of the lyrics didn't quite fit in Mio's mostly cool and composed personality. However, the song was still given the nod because Yui and Tsumugi didn't have a problem with it. The general premise of Fuwa Fuwa Time was about a girl's major crush on a boy yet she had severe difficulties in expressing her love towards him. She would very much love to rid her shyness and talk to him someday.

♪ Curry Nochi Rice (Curry, Then Rice)
This delicious song pays tribute to one of my favourite Japanese food - Curry Rice! Gosh, did I mention my craving for curry rice earlier? Oh yeah, I did. Hmm...the unique flavours that can only belong to Japanese curry, and savouring them is an experience which can't be replicated by any other dish. While the song doesn't quite convey just how delicious the curry is, it differentiates one type of curry from the others in a cute, playful fashion. If you ask me, the mild is nothing. The medium is mild, and the hot is medium. Anybody else feels the same?

♪ Gohan wa Okazu (Rice as a Side Dish)
Yet another delicious song on the menu...I mean, song list! Written by Yui, Gohan wa Okazu really cracks me up with the use of words that are uncommon in songs. Carbohydrates, fermented cabbage, soy beans, raw egg, octopus balls, bread, ramen...for a while, I thought that this was a commercial song for a restaurant or something.

♪ U&I
This song is a creative pun on Ui, Yui's younger sister and Azusa's friend. Yui wrote it as a loving gift to her. Despite being younger, Ui often acts as the more mature sister and takes care of the household and Yui in any way (un)imaginable. The song conveys the appreciation towards Ui and Yui's regret for not being a more responsible sister when she is supposedly older. Well, Ui seems to enjoy taking care of Yui anyway. Her friends tease her about having a sister complex.

♪ Pure Pure Heart
The girls played this song as the finale of the tea party for the members of Mio's Fan Club. It yet again conveyed a girl's crush on a boy, except that the girl didn't seem to mind if she never had the opportunity to properly confess her feelings for him. "But when these feelings passed through the atmosphere, you had disappeared from the other side of the street. Oh well, I don't mind."

Houkago Tea Time truly rocks! ♪ K-ON! fans, do stay tuned for the next part in the series.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪           

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