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"Leading Role!"
Leading Role!
主役!
Shuyaku!
Season 2
Episode 18
Japanese air date August 3, 2010
Previous No Club Room!
Next Romeo and Juliet!


K-ON!! Season 2 episode #18

Summary

Mio Akiyama and Ritsu Tainaka are nominated for their class' play Romeo and Juliet.

Plot

Mio Ritsu lead roles

With Sawako designing costumes, the two lead actresses fear for their lives

For the school festival, Class 3-2 are organising a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and have just voted in Mio to play Romeo. Naturally, she is absolutely mortified having to take on the lead role, a male role at that, and tries to object, but without any other volunteers, she can't escape it. Mio tries to volunteer Ritsu for the role, who she thinks would suit it better. Ritsu deflects by mercilessly teasing Mio about having the lead role, and how she'll put scary makeup on Mio and film her entire performance. Ritsu then gets a massive shock when Nodoka informs her that she'll be playing Juliet, to which she too instantly objects, but is also unable to get anyone else to take the role. The class agrees that it's only natural for Ritsu to be Juliet if Mio is Romeo. As for other roles, Tsumugi is in charge of editing the script, and also takes directorial duties, Sawako Yamanaka aptly volunteers to do the costumes, and Yui will be playing part of the set as Tree G.
Mugi the stage director

"Cut!"

In the clubroom, Mio and Ritsu are still shaken by their new roles, and Azusa can't help but laugh at their predicament. Mio can't seem to calm down, and gets even more anxious when Azusa tries to cheer her up by saying that she's looking forward to it. Mio desperately attempts to deny ever having the role, wanting to change schools, and then 'realizing' she was dreaming all along and that she doesn't have the role. And all this time, Yui's been getting into her role, practicing by standing perfectly still, as any good tree would.

Ritsu does not like Shakespeare

Ritsu can't stand how cheesy the play is.

Class 3-2 jump straight into the production, with lines being rehearsed, sets being built, and costumes being measured. Ritsu and Mio bring up Mio's stage fright to Nodoka, who actually manages to convince her to stick to the role for just a while, seeing as the class did vote her in for the role and are all excited to see her performance as Romeo. Though Ritsu suspects she was voted in just to be teased. Later, Ritsu and Mio try to rehearse their lines, but Ritsu can't get into the role, and Mio is too nervous to recite her lines, even in front of her classmates. When they try to redo the scene, Ritsu snaps, irritated with how cheesy the script is.

Mio needs to act boyish

At tea time, back at the clubroom, the two girls are exhausted. Yui suggests that Ritsu try to act more feminine, and Mio try to be more masculine, at least until the production is over. Ritsu can't handle all the changes -- speaking like a lady, holding a tea cup properly, and worst of all, tucking in her shirt. Likewise, Mio feels just as uncomfortable dressed in an unkempt manner. Mio thinks that it's best to just let the class know they can't take the role, but Ritsu, now extremely fed up with her classmates for teasing the two of them like this, drags Mio home to try another round of practice.

Ritsu's impersonation

Ritsu, pretending to be Mio, does a flawless impression of Juliet.

At her house, Ritsu tells her brother Satoshi Tainaka to keep away from her room since they're going to be rehearsing. He can't quite stay away, not after finding out that her sister is playing Juliet. Ritsu and Mio get straight to rehearsal, but both think that other just isn't getting the delivery of the lines right. They do, however, manage to memorise all of their lines. They make a breakthrough when they start to impersonate each other. As convoluted as it sounds, Ritsu starts to play Juliet as she would believe Mio would, and Mio does the same, mimicking how she thinks Ritsu would play Romeo. Back at school, Ritsu pulls off her new rendition of Juliet, but Mio is still riddled with nerves and can't act with the same strength or confidence as she had the night before. Mugi has an idea to end Mio's stage fright - a special training session at cafe.

Mio's first order

Mio fumbles her first order.

The entire Light Music Club also comes along to the cafe, which is owned by a friend of Mugi's family. As it's a very high class establishment, their uniform for the day is a maid's outfit. Also most of the expensive teas that Mugi brings for afternoon tea are actually gifts from this very cafe. Mio is still anxious about having to serve complete strangers, but since all of her friends have come here for her training specifically, she tries to do her best. While serving, Mio fuddles her words, creates awkward silences, and frets out when she can't find a pen with which to write orders. Even after her first order, she feels burned out.

Mio perfect smile

The pressure forced Mio into a perfect smile.

The other girls notice that even though Mio completely buckles when the spotlight is on her, she manages to play bass and even sing for the band's performances. They think that perhaps it's because there's no escape and she has no choice but to take the spotlight. To test this theory, they all take a break, leaving Mio as the sole waitress. It worked just as expected - the pressure flipped Mio into an automatic state of suffering, with a perfect smile and a shimmering confience.

This confidence seems to last all the way to the next schoolday, though Mio insists that now she's able to be waitress, and still has no chance of acting. Mio and Ritsu double their rehearsal hours to make sure they get it perfect for the school festival. Meanwhile, Azusa grows concerned that, with everyone rehearsing for the play, their live peformance will be jeopordised.


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