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Ho-kago Tea Time

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For other articles with the name "Ho-kago Tea Time", see Ho-kago Tea Time (disambiguation).
Ho-kago Tea Time
Ho-Kago Tea Time group picture
First Appearance
Manga Debut Volume 2, Chapter 9
Anime Debut Season 1, Episode 11: Crisis!
Other Appearances
Movies K-ON! Movie
Profile
Members Yui Hirasawa
Mio Akiyama
Ritsu Tainaka
Tsumugi Kotobuki
Azusa Nakano (formerly)
Style Pop Rock

Ho-kago Tea Time (放課後(ほうかご)ティータイム(てぃいたいむ)), often abbreviated as HTT, is the main band of the series K-ON!. The name translates into English as After-School Tea Time.

History

The five Sakuragaoka High School students Yui Hirasawa, Mio Akiyama, Ritsu Tainaka, Tsumugi Kotobuki and Azusa Nakano had already been members of their school's Light Music Club for a reasonably long time when the first questions about forming an independent band appeared. The idea was to gather together to play music while out of school. The only real problem was to find a name for the band. After endless and fruitless discussion, the club's adviser Sawako Yamanaka, irritated, gave the band its current name, Ho-kago Tea Time, which is an allusion to the main activities in the Light Music Club - gathering together to drink tea after school has ended. The members, although disappointed about not being able to decide the name by their own, accepted it willingly.[1]

For the next several concerts, rather than performing as the Light Music Club, they referred to themselves as Ho-kago Tea Time. Together, they experienced many events like visiting the "Natsu Rock Fest", performing alongside the band Death Devil or even in London at a "Japanese Culture Festival". As the third year of the four seniors came to an end however, the band had to split. While Azusa stayed behind to form her own band, Wakaba Girls, out of the new cast of the Light Music Club, the four seniors Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi started to attend the J. Women's university where they continued Ho-kago Tea Time without Azusa. Eventually, the band joined the university's Light Music Club where they started a friendly rivalry with the band Onna Gumi.

Musical Profile

Line-Up

  • Yui Hirasawa - Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
  • Mio Akiyama - Bass, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
  • Ritsu Tainaka - Drums, Backing Vocals
  • Tsumugi Kotobuki - Keyboard, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (one song)
  • Azusa Nakano - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar (filled in for Yui, one show), Lead Vocals (alongside Yui, one show)
  • Sawako Yamanaka - Rhythm Guitar (guest, one show)

Aside from the task of playing an instrument, Mio and Tsumugi both have organizational roles in the band as well. Mio is the band's lyric writer and Tsumugi is the musical composer.

After the oldest four members of the band graduated, HTT returned to the four member line-up it originally had during the first year at the Light Music Club.

Style

Ho-kago Tea Time's sound is a blend of Rock & Roll, Power Pop, Pop Punk, Hard Rock, and similar, with more subtle elements of Jazz and other genres as well. The band's heavier Rock-type sound somewhat contrasts with their lyrics, which are mostly focused on sweets, tea, or similarly lighthearted themes. Notes in the manga's official translation refer to the band as Pop Punk, which is an accurate, though simplistic description, given the variety of influences that come from the band's members. Due to each member playing their own style from their own influences rather than the band having the same style for all instruments, the band is hard to categorize into a single genre. This also means each instrument is always musically distinct and are usually all playing something unique. The short riffs that play over every season 2 episode title are excellent examples of Ho-kago Tea Time's musical style and instrumental diversity.

The skill of the band is still an area for improvement, but each member realized that it is not musical talent that matters but their close friendship inside of the band. Azusa noticed that even though they some of them aren't very talented, they sound amazing when they play together.[2] Ritsu once taught Yui that, even if everybody is different from the other, as long as they play together, they become one.[3]

Songs

Trivia

  • The vast majority of the time the band's two guitars play in separate audio channels; Yui's guitar is always on the left channel and Azusa's is always on the right.
    • Before Azusa joined the band the rule was reversed, with Yui's guitar on the right channel and no guitar on the left.
    • Occasional exceptions are certain main riffs or solos where whichever guitar is playing the riff/solo plays in both channels while the other guitar continues to only play on its side. However, this only occurs with studio versions of songs; all live versions strictly adhere to this rule.
    • The rule also applies to Yui and Azusa's duet group YuiAzu and their version of Fude Pen ~Ballpoint Pen~, however their guitars are only panned roughly halfway to each side in this song. This is likely because fully panning them would sound odd when they're the only two instruments.
    • The live version of Fude Pen ~Ballpoint Pen~ played in Light Music! correctly has the main riffs and solo on the right channel, as Azusa played those parts in Yui's place along with her own parts, while Sawako played the rest of Yui's parts.
  • The short riffs that play with each episode title in season 2 are made to sound as if HTT is playing them. They use HTT's musical style as well as the same instruments, and even follow the Yui/Azusa guitar channel split rule mentioned above.
    • The intro riffs are split into sets of four, where four sequential episodes will use the same riff, adding one instrument with each time. The first episode in a set features both Yui and Azusa's guitars, the second adds Tsumugi's keyboard, the third adds Mio's bass, and the fourth adds Ritsu's drums.
    • The final set, episodes 25, 26, and 27, skip the guitar-only version, due to only being three episodes.
  • While the band name translates as After-School Tea Time, when planning a trip abroad the group decided that no matter where they go, they will always be known as Ho-kago Tea Time.
    • This subject is rather confusing in the official English dub, which always used the After-School Tea Time translation.

References

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