K-ON! or Keion, a Japanese Anime that features a band of 5 girls from an all girls school—The Light Music Club! The Light Music Club plays mostly Bubblegum Pop reminiscent of the fictional band “The Archies” from Archie comics and the Filmation cartoon and quite possibly, they could even be compared to “The Monkees.”
Consisting of Yui, Tsumugi, Azusa, Ritsu and Mio, the band”After school Tea Time” or “Ho-kago Tea Time” endures adventures and misadventures as they go through high school and graduate. In the span of about 40 episodes and one movie, the girl’s build a strong and everlasting friendship while doing the things that Japanese teen girls do—even if sometimes it’s a little fantastical.
Adding to my growing Figma, action figure collection are both Mio Akiyama and Ritsu Tainaka. Mio is the rarest of the 5 band mates or she is the most popular and that is what makes her hard to find. Ritsu is oddly easier to obtain even though she comes with the greatest accessory—I can collect for a hundred years and I’ll never figure out why certain things are “bigger” than others.
Ritsu was an easy find and came from ebay in the States for an average price. Mio had to come from Japan and was actually a bit more than Ritsu—who knew?
Mio Akiyama comes boxed with all her accessories presented in the window and the images are pretty cool on the box itself; such as the music notes printed on the window, what a great presentation!
The back of the box has the usual images and different poses that the Figma can take…but, don’t spend too much time looking; there are BETTER poses that are below!
Ritsu Tainaka comes in a much larger box which houses—holy crap! A drum kit! Look at it! On top of that huge accessory, she has a ton of other pieces which in the end gives her the most value of any of the Figmas—at least in my collection.
The back of the box has the poses and other info in Japanese, I’m sure it says something good, but I’m more interested in what’s inside.
Out of the package, Mio looks just great! The awesome Figma stand holds her well with a peg through her back. Mio comes with her Bass Guitar “Elizabeth” and it is beautifully detailed, however there are no strings, which is probably best at such a small scale, however the string winding pegs are detailed in silver, there are the many pieces of hardware on the body and the necks frets are well detailed also. The biggest pain is attaching the shoulder strap, I kept my patience, but man, it wasn’t fun! However, the end result that includes swapping out her open hands for “playing” hands and having her grip the Bass makes for a cool set up. At her feet is her Gig Bag which actually holds her Bass by pressing it into the side, there is also another shoulder strap that attaches to the case so she can sling it over her shoulder.
Other pieces included with Mio are her indoor slippers which swap with her dress shoes, two other facial expressions, her adjustable stand with an extension (needed because of her long hair), a “tree” of eight extra hands and an instruction sheet.
Mio is an exceptional figure, really cool!
Ritsu is a bit of work to remove from the box, she comes with a large drum kit that includes a stool, bass with foot pedal, snare with the detail of the springs on the bottom, a pair of tom-toms, a pair of crash cymbals and a Hi-hat which is detailed down to the foot pedal. Assembly of the drum kit is pretty easy, but being gentle is a must! It is actually pretty fragile with hollow parts. The attachments for the bass are simply slid into place while the pedal for the bass is actually a bit difficult to install, however, by being careful it’ll go into its slot and set into place. The Hi-hat just stands there, however the two cymbals are loose in the mount for realism, the pedal is static though. The pair of crash cymbals are also loose in their mounts, once again for realism.
The pair of drum sticks that Ritsu holds in special hands with a tight grip are a separate set of pieces that need to be slid into the hands. The fit is tight, but by being careful, she can hold them pretty well.
Although Ritsu comes with such an awesome set of accessories, there is more! Ritsu has her indoor slippers which can be swapped for her shoes, she has a pair of alternate facial expressions, a second bangs piece which has a post for changing the two sets of lumps and of course her stand and “tree” of extra hands. There is also an instruction page for assembling just about everything.
As the founding members of Ho-kago Tea Time, Mio and Ritsu jam alone until Keyboarder Mugi is conned into joining them followed by Lead Guitarist Yui and finally Guitarist Azusa.
Ritsu is very boy-ish and usually talks like a guy, not by having a low voice though, she uses the word style of a Japanese male…that and she has her legs open more often then not with her skirt on—sure for playing the drums that is necessary, but all the time!
Mio is very shy although she has gained a fan club at the school. She is also one of the major writers of the songs the band plays with Yui, later, becoming a writer herself.
Ritsu and Mio are probably my favorite characters in the Anime and Manga; it’s tough to choose because I really fell in love with all of the characters because they are all interesting in their own way.
I…don’t know how to describe this anymore. The camera began to tell its own story. The original idea was having Ritsu follow in the steps of her favorite drummer Keith Moon of “The Who” where she flips her kit over. On the side, Mio is about to use her ax in a way other than playing music. This has ended up coming out as Mio going nuts!
Mio has gone so far out of control that she even whacked Ritsu on the head—look at the size of that thing swelling up there!
In the end, these old friends make up and all is well!
A tribute to After School Tea Time—one of the DVD covers had an image of Yui holding a tea cup with the girls appearing to be in it in the background with Mio messing up the shot; in the Anime it was one of their year book photos. So, I decided to do my own and have the girls in a tea cup and sugar bowl. Ritsu really handled reclining in the tea cup quite well. Mio looked nice in the sugar bowl though. Playing her bass for Ritsu as her childhood friend loafs away.
Don’t know what Mio has planned as she heads over to Ritsu, but if her rage earlier was any indication, then who knows…at least she put her bass away!
There are still five more Figma’s in the set to collect, all are probably only going to be available in Japan, so if I continue or not, only time will tell. On top of the other three band members are Ui, Yui’s sister and Nodoka, Yui’s old friend—all are just beautiful Figmas and are worth having. Ui and Nodoka are very costly though, they are pretty rare. The three remaining band mates would be worth getting because the entire group will be formed and can perform behind glass for me; of course, they won’t move (except in my imagination) and I’ll have to play the CD soundtrack in order to get the music…Yeah, I know, too much imagination…
A really nice pair of figures, as always, Figma doesn’t fail to impress and please, always recommended.
GRADE: A+ for both. (Maybe another plus for Ritsu for the drum set)!
CLICK ALL PHOTOS TO OPEN THE PHOTO VIEWER!
…oh, and one for the road…
“MIO-CHAN!!!! PLEASE STOP!!!”