K-ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” Part 11.

Another group shot of the original girls from the Manga—it looks official to me, so I’m sticking with that! Back row: Mio and Tsumugi, Front row: Ritsu, Azusa and Yui. Why such a basic cover piece? Well, this chapter can only have a picture if someone draws it for me, so no hope there…But, this is a written piece, so enjoy!

Last time on K-ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” the girls discover what their new found fame meant to them and became charitable in many ways. Now the spotlight is on Miho as she and her friends in the Kaganui Family Girls School; Light Music Club performs on stage in…

K-ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” Part 11.

Nao and family looked around the festival grounds of the Kaganui Family Girls School; it was very lively and brought back fond memories to all of them. The stands serving refreshments with vivid colors and cute drawings; the costumes, the cafés, haunted houses—theme after theme it was just wonderful. It was like old times, high school had its ups for Nao, even with the many downs.

Nao’s brothers had graduated just a year ago and most were in college, but Hanako had chosen something different, he wanted to work with his hands and being a salary man was out of the question, working in an office, pushing pencils, he did enough of that in school.

“Where’s Miho-Chan?” Jirou asked looking around, “Was she doing something with her class?”

“No, Miho is in the language lab, she has to do that daily because of her grades in English—however, she will be performing at the stage a little later, she practices a lot at home because by the time she gets to her club, she only has maybe an hour or so. The girls are coming, but, I want to check up on Miho before she goes on. Why don’t we all meet up at the auditorium at three, so we can get seats together and be ready for when Miho goes on. I have to watch the fans that are going to overrun me and when the girls get here, so will they. This might be the one day where I’d like to be left alone so I can see my little girl play,” Nao said.

Nao’s mother and brothers waved as they took off on their own and Nao made her way to the classrooms, she could hear some of the girls and other people who weren’t from the school whisper about who she was, but they didn’t bother her, it was nice, but she wouldn’t mind if someone wanted an autograph or to talk for a short moment.

Nao walked through the halls seeing all the set-ups of a maid café, a vampire café, a yakisoba restaurant—Mugi would love that—and a few haunted houses. There were even the theme rooms…it was interesting that both the in and outside of the school had similar events going on…ohhhh, rice balls!

It was obvious that the students would recognize her, but still, they didn’t stop their culture event to interfere; maybe it was because they knew that she was Miho’s mother and would leave her alone for that reason.

Nao stood outside a classroom that was on a floor with no events going on, she looked inside to see three girls sitting at their desks in their uniforms wearing large blue headsets and speaking into the microphones in front of their mouths. An instructor—a woman of middle age was walking around the room wearing a lighter version of the headset than the girls. As the teacher made her rounds to each girl she looked up and saw Nao at the door through the glass, she looked out and crossed her arms in an ‘X’ telling Nao not to enter and raised three fingers telling Nao that it would only be three more minutes and they would be finished. Nao nodded and continued to look through the door at Miho, she looked so pretty with her bright smile—she always tried so hard, but her English was worse than Ritsu’s and Yui’s combined, so it was bad for her—failing English meant failing the grade, Nao was successfully able to help Miho improve her math skills to a low ‘B’ instead of a low ‘C’ and the rest of Miho’s grades were average…it was just English, she was just too far behind the others, two years out of school was too long. Miho was fifteen now, but she had the intelligence of a thirteen year old or even a twelve year old, it was horrible…but she did improve greatly.

The girls finally removed their headsets and the other two girls made their way to the door after bowing to the teacher, they opened it and smiled at Nao who smiled back showing her braces, and Miho faced her mother who had entered the room.

“Okuda-San, it’s good that you were able to come today; I’m sure you are excited to see your daughter on stage,” the teacher said.

“I can’t wait, I brought a large cheering section with me—Miho, I’d like you to wait outside in the hallway for me for a few minutes, ok,” Nao said.

“Yes mother,” Miho replied and quickly left the room and stood in the hall quietly as Nao closed the door to the classroom.

“She is very obedient, I’m really impressed that a rock star has raised her child so strictly,” The teacher said.

“Actually, I didn’t, it’s just the way she is; it took months for her to stop calling me Ma’am—literally, months, it was like having another me around. I only punished her once for lying and other than that, I try to get her to be naughty sometimes just for fun; but, it doesn’t happen. What I think it is–she is so happy to have someone love her and take care of her that she behaves too much because she may think that if she’s not a good girl that I would put her back on the street—which is to be understood because she had spent two years out there. The only problem with that is, I had adopted her fully and I’M the one who can’t live without HER. The only thing I am strict about is her health and safety, that is so important to me,” Nao replied.

“I see, but regardless, she is a pleasure; look out into the hallway, Miho is just standing there waiting for you to instruct her again; I think its being in school and in her uniform that makes her act the way she does. But, she has great friends and she is well liked by others including the instructors and it has nothing to do with her famous mother; so feel well assured that Miho is in very good hands here,” The teacher said.

“I sent her out for a reason though…how is she doing, has Miho improved any?” Nao asked.

“Sure…but I can’t say…” The teacher said.

“I don’t understand, why can’t you say?” Nao asked.

“Maybe Miho wants to tell you herself; I think its time for the two of you to go, she needs to get to her club room and have a little practice before going on stage,” The teacher said.

“I guess so, I have to meet some friends and get together with my mother and brothers and get seats…OK, I’ll let Miho tell me; look, thanks for trying, I realize that she is a few years behind and that there isn’t anything that can really be done about it, I guess I made the mistake of not putting her in Junior High—she was at High School age so I figured that is where she should be…but, we’ll deal with it,” Nao bowed and the teacher followed; she said, “I think everything will be ok, you have a wonderful daughter.”

Nao smiled as she left, she took hold of Miho and joined her as far as she could before parting with her so she could go to her club room. Nao left the classrooms area and went towards the auditorium where she would meet her family and the tea time girls.


“Why aren’t we being hounded by star-crazed fans?” Ritsu asked.

Probably because we are with Nao-Chan and for some reason they are keeping their distance…maybe because of Miho?” Mio said.

“No, I think they are afraid of Yui’s Yaeba—that things freaky!” Ritsu said.

“Ritchan, don’t say such things, my Yaeba is cool and you know you want one too!” Yui said with a whiny voice.

“Would you two stop, we are here to see Miho—the fans can rush us after her show. Look, there are people from other schools wearing our concert shirts, they know who we are, but I think because we are here they are giving us time…” Nao was interrupted by a few girls screaming, “It’s Hokago Tea Time!!!!!!!!”

“I guess I was wrong…” Nao said.

The girls stopped to talk and sign autographs and take some photos; Ui had come along without her baby and was recognized as being one of the now defunct ‘Wakaba Girls,’ so she and Nao posed for a photo together with one of the fan girls…this girl wore the Kaganui uniform like Miho’s. They all gave thanks and after meeting up with Nao’s mother and brothers they found good seats and spoke among each other as a rustle of equipment being set up behind the curtain of the stage could be heard. The girls were probably getting ready.

After a short while, the lights dimmed as the auditorium filled and an announcement came over the PA system. “We will now have a concert performed by the Light Music Club.”
The curtain opened and five girls in matching school uniforms stood before the crowd on stage. Nao had become very excited and clapped her hands; however, Tsumugi and Sumire had tried to calm her.

In the front was Miho holding her aged Takamine Jasmine acoustic guitar, she had a microphone before her and looked out to the crowd. Next to Miho on the right was a girl taller than Mio with lightened hair and beautiful eyes that were somewhat obstructed by her silver glasses, she was holding a Shamisen which Mio played still, regardless of the bass being her number one instrument; this girl was Konata, Miho’s closest friend. To the left was an even taller Caucasian girl with long red hair and freckles on her cheeks, she had big green eyes and held a beautiful violin carefully—as though she were holding a baby; her name was Erin, the transfer student from the States. To the side of Erin was a Japanese girl with shorter hair than Nao who had a stand that held multiple wind instruments, she was pretty, but small and shy; her name was Nanako. In the rear was the drummer, the senior girl who was the president of the Light Music Club, but like Ritsu she stayed in the shadows while the guitarist was at the front, her name was Misaki.

The audience gave the opening applause and Miho—looking nervous stepped up to her microphone and said, “Hello, we are Vintage 5, please listen to our songs.”

The band began playing with Nanako on a flute that seemed to be magical and Misaki lightly playing her drums with a pair of brushes as Erin slowly brought in her violin and Miho started in on her guitar—it was Konata who was the most magical, she was playing her Shamisen in almost an eerie way and then as the tempo began to rise and Misaki changed from her brushes to regular drum sticks and Miho began to sing, Konata began to play the three stings of her instrument in a lighting quick motion. She was amazing and almost took over the show…but, that wasn’t the case, there was a great balance and Miho could sing beautifully. Vintage 5 was performing Japanese folk songs with a little extra flair to them, and Nao began to cheer but was kept calm by Sumire. After each song, Nao couldn’t help but to stand up and cheer for Miho, she was so impressed by all of them, but it was Miho in which she came to see.

Miho had introduced all the girls, and that helped get her nervousness under control. The band only had a half hour to perform so sadly, Miho had to introduce the last song.

“I would like to perform a great and classic folk song that the girls and I of Vintage 5 have agreed to dedicate to my mother Nao Okuda—you may know her from ‘Hokago Tea Time’…I tried really hard mother and I hope this song shows the fruits of my labor. We of Vintage 5 are going to perform ‘The Boxer’ from folk singers Simon and Garfunkel from the States. I changed some of the lyrics to make it a bit more feminine, but we promise to play as close as we can to the original, Erin-Senpai will be joining me…I also promise that it wont come off as butchered—please listen…

The girls carefully began the song with the same kind of tune as the original and even though they had added a few instruments, the song sounded amazing. Miho then began the lyrics.

I am just a poor girl
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a woman hears what she wants to hear
And disregards the rest

It was in English, the song Miho was singing was in perfect English, some of the words weren’t perfect, but just the first part had enough difficult phrases that Miho would be able to pass her English class! Nao began to break down and cry; she couldn’t believe this…

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a girl
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Lie la lie..lie la lie lie lie la lie, lie la lie…

Her voice was so beautiful, Yui had taught her to sing and it wasn’t just a cutesy song about rice or curry, it was a great folk song—could Miho sing Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ now? Along with her? Nao thought as her body filled with chills over her daughters voice…singing in English and playing her guitar with great skill—the other girls too, Erin was great as the back up vocals…

Asking only worker’s wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the poor in the lonely tent city,
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Lie la lie …

Good, she left out the ‘whore’ part, that probably was only proper for maybe Misaki to say…but the tent city…it was still a part of her life, did she change some of the lyrics to reflect her life…? Nao began to cry harder and this time her mother comforted her, not even the tea time girls could comfort Nao over this.

Then I’m laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the Tokyo City winters aren’t bleeding me
Bleeding me, going home

…but they did bleed her didn’t they, she was out in the cold all alone for two years and only had the partial comfort of an old woman who would take her in out of the cold…a dirty plastic raincoat and muddy rubber boots, long ratty hair and cracked dirty fingernails…Miho had survived and this was her song…everyone had a song that they related to and this was hers…

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

Lie la lie …

The sheer power of those lines from a fifteen year old girl was the release of two years of pain; and the band played on giving a proper send off to a wonderful song. Miho, Misaki, Konata, Erin and Nanako—Vintage 5 showed respect towards this piece of art called ‘The Boxer,’ Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would be proud…or mad that their song was covered by high school girls who weren’t even born when it was written, but, no, Nao knew deep down that they would be, even with the minor changes. This was Miho’s song and Nao cried in her mother’s arms as her daughter looked at her from the stage crying out…

Lie la lie..lie la lie lie lie la lie, lie la lie…


The girls were all gathered around Miho with Nao’s brothers and mother—no one could pry Nao from her daughter as she embraced her tightly to almost an embarrassing level.

“My little girl learned English, I’m so proud!” Nao said.

“Come on Nao-Chan, give Miporin some room to breathe,” Ritsu said.

“I wanted to surprise you mother, did I do well?” Miho asked.

“Yes my little princess, you did very well!” Nao said finally letting go of Miho.

“I have an announcement…and I think this is the best time and place for it,” Sumire said suddenly.

Everyone paid attention and Sumire said, “I was told this morning that ‘Hokago Tea Time’ is going to perform…at the Budokan.”

The Budokan, the original goal of the Light Music Club in their first year of high school—a place where martial arts tournaments were held, but it was also used as one of the grandest stages for musical performances.

“How? How did you get us the Budokan?” Ritsu asked in shock.

“You have all proven to be…uh…Budokan material, so to say. You will be performing with Hikaru Utada, she is actually opening for you all—the show is headlined by ‘Hokago Tea Time’, you made it to the big time as most would say. Just don’t think of this as peaking, you have a long way to go afterwards—maybe a world tour, just something to think about,” Sumire replied.

“We did it Mio-Chan, we are playing the Budokan!” Yui cried as she took hold of Mio’s hands and bounced around.

The end of this day would be more than just a celebration for Miho, but for the band as well; soon, they would fulfill their dream of playing the Budokan, it would be a concert that no one would ever forget.

Next time on “K-ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” preparations for the Budokan performance are underway and the girls are joined by old friends as the story nears its end; be here next Thursday.

pixel K ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” Part 11.

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