A new era. The beginning of the end. The redefinition of moé itself.
Tsumugi: still delicious
The band’s been hit by another crisis: Yui falls ill with the flu during the run-up to the school carnival. It’s virulent enough that she has a fever dream about Tsumugi’s (literally) delicious eyebrows; incidentally, this gag was in the original manga as well. Ui again behaves like a doting mother and just can’t leave her big sister alone. She figures that Yui caught the flu because of the costume try-outs; Tsumugi’s modelling is so effective that Mio is seduced to the dark side of cosplay, to Sawako’s approval.
Would the real Ditz Yui please stand up? (Please stand up?)
Practice time and Yui makes a surprise appearance, but something’s not quite right. In fact, Yui is playing better than ever. However, suspicions are aroused when the rest of the band are referred to in a formal way, and Sawako’s accusatory stare (and finger) out the imposter: Ui filling in for her sister.
I was shocked but much amused to discover that both of the Hirasawa sisters are geniuses, accidentally or otherwise; it would have been no mean feat for Ui to impersonate her sister and learn how to play the guitar by osmosis.
That’s not strawberries in the bucket
Under orders to rest until the day of the performance, Yui does just that. The rest of the band have their doubts until Nodoka tells them about Yui’s obsession with completing her goals. Cue Mio cringing at the description of the “shellfish bath”. I do wonder why Yui was using Nodoka’s bathtub instead of her own – maybe she wanted to show off to Nodoka in a weird way.
Blood sugar level: rapidly rising
Yui comes through the club-room door dressed in the pseudo-kimono, which leads to Azusa turning away in true tsundere fashion. Once Yui turns on her senpai charm all is well, although she earns a slap for wanting to take things too far. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the inevitable load of “Yui x Azusa making up” doujinshi that should ensue from the upcoming Comic Market.
Run Girl Run
Unfortunately Yui forgot to fetch Gitah from home, and she’s much too faithful to contemplate playing Sawako’s guitar, so it’s a dash to home and back while Sawako subs in for the first song. The band aren’t exactly happy about this turn of events but the show must go on. When Yui was stumbling on the kitchen floor I thought it looked familiar, then a second later the voice-over confirmed my suspicion that it was the Yui-running-late-for-school trope from episode 1 all over again.
While the song’s playing and Yui’s running, she has an inner monologue about having found something she could do “at the most important place”. No, I didn’t tear up during this. I… I was cutting some onions. Shush you.
Yui… welcome home.
Just in time! Sawako hands over the reins and exits stage right with a bit of Roy Fokker-esque aura. After a bit of tears, it’s Yui’s turn to do the main vocals for Fuwa Fuwa Time. At one point her joy is almost powerful enough to levitate her off the stage.
Voice of moé
This is it. The Sakuragaoka Light Music Club has finally arrived at their Budokan. Take a bow, girls; you’ve earned it.
And with the end of this series, I have no more reason to go on. I, being of sound mind and body do hereby declare that this document to my last will and testament. To Rid H. goes my comic-book collection…
Oh, guess I’ll stick around for a bit longer then. Yes, if you must ask, I am still cutting onions! *sob* Nothing to see here, move along.