|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
I used to be in a band with Yui Hirasawa when I was in high school.
From the mind of Doujinshi artist Takotsuboya, this trilogy of doujinshi takes a look at K-On! that took many people by surprise. Published in three installments over a year, available at Comiket and other venues. The three installments are Manbiki JK Sei K-ON Bu (Shoplifting High School Girls Light Music Club), Requiem 5 A Dream and Yui Hirasawa's That Is It. The latter two being interquels to the first.
There are two stories playing out in parallel across the trilogy. The first is set in the present, showing major events from the series interspersed with entirely new ones that reveal the dysfunction hiding just beneath the surface of Houkago Tea Time. The second storyline takes place in the future, a few years after graduation, with the band members having gone their separate ways and trying to make it in the world. A prime example of Dark Fic and the concept of Mono no aware, or the transience of things, filtered through the characters of K-ON!
Known for having a lasting effect on most people who read it.
Tropes in the trilogy include:
- Adult Child: Despite being in her 20s, Yui's personality is still of her high school self (which was still childish for her age even back then.)
- Always Someone Better: Yui is this to everyone else. It's one of the story's central themes.
- Art Style Dissonance: The art style of the doujin stays pretty close to the manga/anime, making the events even more disturbing by contrast.
- As the Good Book Says...: Requiem 5 A Dream opens as such:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have come not to bring peace, but a sword. Gospel of Matthew 10:34
- The Band Minus the Face: Briefly considered when Ui replaces Yui (as in the TV series), but Azusa, fan of Yui that she is, says it wouldn't be the same.
- Bland-Name Product: Niya Niya Douga, AK47 (AKB48), among others.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Yui is described as this, with the revelation being cemented in That Is It. It has the side effect of turning her into The Rainman as well.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Mio, already a Hysterical Woman in canon, reacts as such to a scare website. Her isolation makes her reaction that much worse.
- Break the Cutie: Azusa, though Mio gets hit with it pretty hard as well.
- Broken Bird: Mio.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Yui is presented as one even moreso than the original series.
- Casting Couch: It's shown that this is how Azusa's rival in AK47 became the unofficial leader of the group.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Yui's personality remains more or less unchanged, but when she hits it big and discovers the "drugs" part of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll", the old her can't quite return.
- Creator Breakdown: Takotsuboya used this doujin series to convey the depressing ordeal as a failed mangaka. He spent a better part of his life trying to get a manga publication in a major publisher but never did.
- Darker and Edgier/Dark Fic: Though, again, mono no aware might be a better descriptor of it.
- Despair Event Horizon: Mio teeters on it for the entire series, but being called "Oba-san" in a last ditch video posted on Nico pushed her over the edge.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Mio (desperate version), Ui (creepy version) and Azusa with Ui (roped into it.)
- Die Smiling
- Driven by Envy: Mio's portrayal is often compared to Salieri in Amadeus, with Yui taking the Mozart role.
- Extreme Doormat: Ui, to everybody, but to her sister the most.
- Fictional Document: Brief glimpses of 2ch-like boards can be seen discussing the story's events, and the closing moments have a Wikipedia article on Yui written in an in-universe style.
- Filk Song: Besides the one mentioned below, the work inspired a few of its own, the two best being "Kimi ga Kureta Yume" ("The Dream You Gave Me") and "Day alternates with night" by Raccoon Factory.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mio, until it becomes her primary character flaw.
- Happily Married: Mugi and her foreign husband. Ui and her husband, on the other hand? Not so much.
- The Hero Dies
- Hero Worshipper: Azusa's primary characterization, towards Yui. She attempts to meet her on the stage professionally, and never stops admiring her or talking about her for the duration of the trilogy.
- Hollywood Pudgy: In Requiem 5 A Dream, Mio gets fatter and fatter, thanks to doing nothing but recording music and eating junk food.
- A House Divided: AK47 becomes this when Azusa declares that she hates playing music with them. The fact that she clobbers the lead singer on-stage in a live performance does not help matters.
- How We Got Here: The future storyline opens on HTT's reactions to Yui's death, which the last two volumes expand on.
- Idol Singer: Azusa tries to become this with AK47 and then solo, but neither meets with that much success.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: At the training camp, Yui and Ritsu somehow get the idea to run around naked. Then they get Mugi into it, and things become paraphilic...
- Innocently Insensitive: Yui in her interviews when she makes it big, causing controversy in the music world.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: The story reveals at the end that the K-ON! yonkoma and anime were written by Yui as a rose tinted narrative of her high school days.
- Loony Fan: Though she's her sister, the doujin trilogy turns Ui into one of these.
- Meaningful Nickname: When she hits it big, Yui is nicknamed "The Japanese Jimi Hendrix", who was mostly known for two things; being the poster boy for "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll" and not being a Cool Old Guy.
- Perspective Flip: Yui was the viewpoint character of the original series. For the trilogy, Azusa is the one whose story carries through to the end.
- Petite Pride: Azusa attempts to do this with "Tsuru Tsuru Time", a Filk Song/blatant ripoff of "Fuwa Fuwa Time" made to be about flat chests.
- Porn with Plot: Being an 18+ doujinshi, the porn is definitely there, but it's what's around the sex scenes that's more disturbing than the sex itself.
- Potty Failure: Azusa when she finds out Yui has died without her ever reuniting; Yui when she dies. Both are from That Is It.
- Put on a Bus: In the future storyline, Mugi is married to a wealthy British man, has a son, and, except for contacting Ritsu in Manbiki and a brief cameo in That Is It, vanishes from the story. Her fate is the kindest of the HTT members, but she has the lowest chance of ever meeting them again.
- Rape as Drama: Yui in Manbiki, Azusa in That Is It
- Reality Ensues: The scene where Yui purchases Gitah marks the first major turning point for the doujin trilogy, where she can't get away with the price haggling that happened the first time around.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: Mio gets the sex, Yui gets the drugs and Azusa tries her hardest for the rock and roll.
- Shout-Out: A reference to Strike Witches shows up, along with Black Rock Shooter, Vocaloid, The Exorcist (as the aforementionned scare website --- which would peg that down as the "Scary Maze Game") and a few others. The name for the second of the trilogy is a pun on the movie Requiem for a Dream. The last of the trilogy is based on This Is It, and parodies that on its cover.
- Sibling Incest: Ui, well exaggerated.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Already established in canon, but it's still surprising how similar Yui and Ui look, especially at the end of That Is It when Ui visits Azusa sporting the same hairstyle as Yui.
- Took a Level In Jerkass: Mio is seething with jealousy and contempt for Yui, Mugi treats her servants horribly, Sawako shows complete favoritism towards Yui, Azusa is much more antisocial than she is in canon, and even Yui is shown to have bullied and abused Ui when they were kids, leading to Ui being a psychological basket case.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Ui likes Yui stomping on her as punishment.
- Tragic Dream: This can apply to both Mio and Azusa for their musical goals, though Azusa gets much, much closer, in that she's actually able to release some music.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mio and her lover, a 42-year old music company executive. This trope, like everything else, is Played for Drama.
- The Unfavorite: Another element of Ui's presented in a strange, twisted new light.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Sawa-sensei, of all people. When she notices that Yui's natural musical genius is far above the others, she tells Yui to write down musician as a career aspiration and Ritsu not to, and sets up Yui with her contacts in the industry, setting their futures in motion.
- We Were Your Team: This becomes pronounced in the future storyline. With Yui gone, the chance of Houkago Tea Time having anything other than brief chance meetings slips to zero. Mio and Ritsu are reunited, at least, but everyone else has split.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Ritsu does this to Mio when Mio attempts to cut Gitah's strings out of jealousy.
- World Half Full: Yes, the world presented in this story is cruel, but Azusa is able to find something resembling happiness at the end, even if it's not perfect.
- The same could be said for Ritsu. Sure, thanking Yui for making her realize that she was untalented isn't exactly a good thing, but she reunites with Mio and she seems to be content with her job.
- Writer on Board: Takotsuboya seems to have something for people who never achieve their dreams as part of his Signature Style, the same thing having happened to himself as a manga artist. Not that he can't tell a compelling story, but there's a definite undercurrent to it.