|Japanese air date||May 25, 2010|
K-ON!! Season 2 episode #8
Sakuragaoka High School's students have to turn in their plans for a future career. Ritsu Tainaka and especially Yui Hirasawa have no idea what they want to do with their futures, so they think about their options.
In a flashback to Yui's time in kindergarten, the young girl is watching a turtle while singing the children's song Usagi to Kame. Her friend Nodoka calls out to her to come rejoin the main group before it leaves the playground without her.
Back in the present, Yui is seen thinking hard about something at her desk with a sheet of paper. Nodoka shows up and scolds her since the paper, which turns out to be Yui's career plan, is not filled out yet. Yui, daunted by the difficult task, tries to defend herself by saying she doesn't have any idea how to tell what's best for her future. Nodoka warns her once more that she might actually end up as a NEET at this rate.
Though initially shocked by the realistic prospect of becoming a NEET, Yui quickly gives up and accepts the role. After Nodoka insists that she can't do that, Yui finds out that Nodoka intends to attend a national university. Yui tries to emulate this choice, but is stopped once more.
At the same moment, the rest of the Light Music Club's seniors, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi show up to see what's wrong. Yui asks Mio about what she wrote down on her career plan, to which Mio replies that she plans to ask the school for a recommendation, a privilege that is only granted to the school's best students. If granted, Mio will have the opportunity to skip the entrance exams for certain universities. After hearing about it, Yui tries to write down the same, only to be stopped once again since she doesn't even know what a recommendation is.
Yui then asks Tsumugi about her choice, which is J. Women's University, a respectable university. This quickly becomes Yui's next "choice" until Nodoka stops her once more. Yui then asks Tsumugi if it's difficult to get into her chosen university, to which Tsumugi responds by giving her a book of sample admission exams. Much to Yui's and Ritsu's shock, the book contains English, leading them to declare that they won't need English for their future, praising the Japanese language. As they take pride in their patriotism, Mio interrupts their fun by reminding them that they need to know some English to graduate high school.
To calm the two down, Tsumugi tells them that one can make up for a lack of English skill by passing other exams like classic literature. Yui quickly passes the difficult material on to Ritsu, who happily lies that she never studied something like it in school, which Mio corrects for her. Tsumugi reminds her of the song Japanese students learn to remember their language's auxiliary verbs and Yui, who remembers it, sings it flawlessly despite having no idea what the song means.
Afterwards, Yui asks Ritsu about her choice, which is "undecided". Yui, thrilled by the idea, writes down the same before declaring alongside Ritsu that a piece of paper can't decide their future. At the same moment, their class teacher Sawako Yamanaka summons the two to the faculty office over the intercom immediately. Nervous, the two head towards the office while Nodoka and Mio lament over the troubles their friends have given them in the past. Tsumugi, excited by the prospect of learning about the history of her friends, asks them to continue the conversation inside of the Light Music Club's clubroom.
Arriving in the clubroom, the girls are greeted by Azusa, who was busy feeding the club's turtle Ton. She presumes that the announcement earlier was meant for Yui and Ritsu and asks about the meaning behind it. Tsumugi explains the situation and, after serving tea like usual, Mio and Tsumugi ask Nodoka about the past she shared with Yui.
Nodoka tells them that it was back in kindergarten when she first met Yui. That day, Yui invited Nodoka to draw an apple with her. Impressed by how tasty Nodoka's drawing looked, Yui tried to eat the red crayon. In stopping her, Nodoka cemented her new friendship with Yui. The two proceeded to share a class together every year since then.
Azusa asks Nodoka if Yui gave her a lot of trouble in the past, to which Nodoka recalls many blunders Yui made, usually during group activities, like forgetting the octopus for the takoyaki her group was preparing. After telling the others about it, Nodoka mentions that Yui has gotten better at certain things since she became a member of the Light Music Club, thanking the club members for that progress in the same sentence.
Meanwhile, Yui and Ritsu are being scolded by Sawako inside of the faculty office. Ritsu asks her teacher about her reasoning for becoming a teacher, and Sawako is eventually worn down into talking by the persistence of her students. She tells them that the boy she liked back then was about to become a teacher, so she chose to follow his career path, even after being rejected by the boy. Ritsu cheers her up by saying that all that matters is the present. Yui, however, depresses Sawako's brightening mood again by noting that Sawako has no boyfriend in the present either.
After Yui and Ritsu arrive at the clubroom, Ritsu delivers an unusually deep speech on the nature of her current situation that surprises everyone. Since her career plan was rejected, Yui starts thinking about what she might like to become in the future again. Nodoka reminds her about her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher, which leads Ritsu to start telling a story of Mio's past. At first, Mio tries to stop her, but she is completely outnumbered, so Ritsu continues unabated.
The story starts with Mio and Ritsu's first meetings during elementary school. Ritsu, interested in Mio since she was a lot shyer than in the present, started to pick on her whenever she saw her opportunity. Mio, getting agitated by the memory of Ritsu's old antics, draws the kanji for "eye" (目) on Ritsu's forehead as punishment while Ritsu continues the story.
In fourth grade, Mio's composition for a class assignment won a prefectural award. This, unfortunately, meant she had to read her composition to the entire school. This fact greatly depressed Mio due to her shyness. As Mio was walking home, Ritsu appeared, trying to cheer Mio up by admiring her success. Mio instead snapped at Ritsu, saying she should have won if she thinks her achievement was so impressive. Now interested in Mio's case, Ritsu dragged Mio to Ritsu's home to help her practice speaking. Watching Mio struggle to remain calm, Ritsu mimicked a pineapple to get Mio to relax, a tactic that miraculously works. Mio's reading passed without problems and since then, the two became mutual friends.
Thinking back, Mio realizes that there were very few benefits she gained from the her friendship with Ritsu aside from that particular instance, bringing Ritsu to the verge of tears. After being scolded by Yui, Mio calms down a bit and says that she still appreciates the fact that Ritsu introduced her to music, gaining adoration from the others.
Irritated, Mio reminds the others that they shouldn't be talking about the past but rather about Ritsu's and Yui's future. The others agree and propose many different kinds of professions, but nobody can imagine Yui working in any of the proposed jobs due to various reasons. Nodoka then reminds her that it could be anything she can think of, giving Yui a great idea. Together with Ritsu, she rushes towards the faculty office to show it to Sawako, who rejects it right away.
Back at the clubroom, the rejected idea is revealed to be becoming a musician, which causes Nodoka to break down laughing despite how serious Yui and Ritsu were.
In the evening at the Hirasawa household, Yui asks her younger sister, Ui, about her future plans. Ui, too embarrassed to tell her that she wants to go wherever Yui goes to to watch over her, lies that she did not think about it. She is shocked to hear that Yui is as clueless as Ui supposedly is.
The next day at school, Yui asks the other students of her class about their choices. After consulting some of them, she is even more confused than before and tries a desperate attempt to get Sawako's approval by writing down that she will "do the best she can". Unsurprisingly, this plan is rejected as well.