|Manga Debut||Volume 1, Chapter 0|
|Anime Debut||Season 1, Episode 1: Disband the Club!|
|Videogames||K-ON!! Ho-Kago Live!|
|Stages||K-ON!! Let's Go! Live|
|Korean||So Ra Park|
|Chinese||Qian Xin You|
|Also Known As||Mio-chan|
|Birthday||January 15, 1992|
Senior High School
Fender Japan '62 Reissue Jazz Bass in 3-Tone Sunburst (Left-Handed); named "Elizabass"
Manga only: Fender Precision Bass in 3-Tone Sunburst (Left-Handed)
Mio Akiyama (
Character[edit | edit source]
Mio is very reserved and bashful by nature. She is private and soft-spoken, even amongst close friends, and seems to enjoy time alone, which she often dedicates to songwriting. She has been socially anxious and self-conscious since she was small, hence falling prey to a young Ritsu's teasing, and typically retreated into the sanctuary of her books. She struggles to interact with strangers, has few friends outside the Light Music Club (despite her popularity), and is strikingly sensitive to attention from others. She also embarrasses very easily and does not easily live down mortifying moments. Her bandmates' antics and jokes are hence often at her expense. Mio specifically chose the bass guitar as her instrument because it is not as conspicuous as the guitar.
Mio is warm-hearted and in touch with her emotions, possessing a very sensitive side that reveals itself more than she would like. Her kindness is possibly best demonstrated in her sister-like treatment of Azusa. She even has a heart to heart with the band's new recruit, who she hardly knew at the time, hoping to make her feel welcomed. Mio is very aware and expressive of her feelings, though not always intentionally, be it her appreciation of her friends or her passion for the bass guitar. She is also the first to shed tears following their final school festival concert. She also seems to have a knack for offering her friends comforting words when they are distressed, particularly when it comes to Ritsu. Mio's softer side comes out in her, at times peculiar, writing and lyrics, which often feature cutesy and overly girlish themes and lines. Her weakness is the macabre and horrific, and she can be incapacitated with fear by stories involving the supernatural, horror, and gore. She also has trypophobia, an irrational fear of collections of small holes.
Mio is diligent, responsible, and sober, especially when contrasted with her happy-go-lucky bandmates. She is academically inclined, always ranking within the top 10 students of her grade, and a keen reader and writer. She is a very dedicated musician and is technically advanced at the bass guitar. She is very driven when it comes to the Light Music Club and, in her own words, is committed to the club as if it were her boyfriend. She even takes over lead vocals from Yui when she needs to, despite strongly preferring to solely play bass. Her bandmates often turn to her when faced with academic troubles or when curious about musical technique.
Throughout high school, Mio gradually comes to grips with her anxieties and insecurities. She establishes herself as the voice of reason amongst her bandmates when their carefree ways get the better of them and becomes the most vocal about the band's direction and motivation. She comes into her own as a musician and composer, stepping up as the band's main songwriter and embracing the dual roles of bass and vocals despite her fear of standing in the spotlight. She also becomes more comfortable on stage and more open to the attention that may come with it. Understanding Azusa's reservations about the Light Music Club, Mio was the first to open up to her, convinces her to remain in the club, and stands up for Azusa's ambitions to her fellow bandmates. Mio even finds herself acting like an older sister figure to Azusa.
During her final year of high school, Mio begins to loosen up more, concentrate on the present, and give in to the hijinks of her friends, which she previously viewed as immature. She comes to appreciate the affection of others, such as that of her fan club, although it still leaves her flustered. Mio starts to consider coming of age and the ephemerality of her high school years more than any of her bandmates. She embraces events such as the summer rock music festival to an extent that even surprises Ritsu and voices an almost childish wish to keep playing with the band forever. She even chooses to take a large step outside of her comfort zone in performing a lead role in the school play, albeit with initial difficulties. After contemplating hard about what she values and wants, with university entrance exams approaching fast, Mio resolves that her friendships with Ritsu, Yui, and Tsumugi are too dear to risk. She boldly turns down a distinguished recommendation for a university to apply to the same women's university as her bandmates, in hopes of spending her university years alongside those that matter most to her.
Musicianship[edit | edit source]
Bass Guitar[edit | edit source]
Mio is a bassist above all, cherishing her instrument’s low-end tone, her role as the band’s harmonic and rhythmic support, and her smaller share of the spotlight. Mio is a very proficient musician and composer, evidently skilled at both fingerstyle and pick-use. She is no stranger to playing at high and variable speeds or active movement along the fretboard and is consistent at keeping time, even making up for the energetic Ritsu’s rhythmic inconsistencies. She sparingly incorporates slapping, popping, chords, pull-offs, tapping, and harmonics, but proves to be skilled at each of these techniques. Mio is also a left-handed player.
Although Mio’s bass playing versatile and variable, even within a single song, certain stylistic choices are consistent across many of the songs she plays. Mio appears to favor active walking basslines, particularly during songs that require more of her vocals, creating a reliable rhythmic foundation for her bandmates and supporting Ritsu’s enthusiastic drumming, by giving her more freedom to focus on drum fills. The chemistry between Mio’s bass and Ritsu’s drums is prevalent and very strong. An example of their interdependence and synchronization can be seen in "Utauyo!! MIRACLE", where Mio plays muted notes on the same off-beats that Ritsu strikes a closed hi-hat.
Mio quite notably utilizes the full length of her fretboard in each song. She very frequently uses slides and regularly switches between octaves, especially when playing 5th arpeggios. This constant movement between high and low notes gives songs dynamism, both rhythmically and harmonically, even when the keyboard and guitars are simply upholding a chord progression such as in "No Thank You!”. She adds further rhythmic flavor with her occasional quick bursts of 16th notes, as she does throughout "U&I".
Mio has a habit of playing dom7 arpeggios during chord changes and chromatic scales at the end of chord progressions. She also tends to alternate between using add9, sus4, 5th and dom7 arpeggios across recurring chord progressions. This use of tonally ambiguous sounds can convey the bittersweetness and mixed emotions apparent in songs such as "Fude Pen Boru Pen".
Mio appears to truly be in her element most when the vocal responsibilities lie with Yui and “Elizabeth” is given her undivided attention. Mio’s bass playing is more rhythmically and melodically progressive, and technically demanding during songs that demand less of her voice such as "Go! Go! Maniac!".
Vocals[edit | edit source]
Despite her initial reluctance to stand in the spotlight, Mio’s bright and earnest singing certainly does justice to her meticulous songwriting. Mio is a soprano and her vocal range and power are demonstrated in songs such as ‘Don’t Say “Lazy”’. Mio’s warmer and rounder vocals also nicely complement Yui’s voice, which is generally higher and lighter. The interplay and chemistry between the two singers are very prevalent in songs such as “Fuwa Fuwa Time”.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Mio stands at 5'3" (160cm), being the tallest in the group and has straight, long, black hair and gray-blue eyes. As shown in episode 4 of season 1, she is also quite a bit more busty than the others (except Tsumugi Kotobuki), much to the dismay of Yui Hirasawa, Ritsu Tainaka, and later Azusa Nakano as well.
Attires[edit | edit source]
Pants over skirts. In the summertime, Mio likes to wear sleeveless clothes, such as tank tops.
Sakuragaoka High School uniform[edit | edit source]
|Like all Sakuragaoka High School students, Mio wears a school uniform. The Sakuragaoka uniform consists of a navy blue blazer, a solid white buttoned shirt (under the blazer), a colored ribbon (different colors for different student years, Mio's year is light blue), a light steel blue skirt, stockings or socks (Mio's are black), and maroon shoes. The summer uniform replaces the blazer with a beige waistcoat. Additionally, the subject physical education requires a tracksuit (sport jacket with long pants, colored again depending on the year group) with white striped brims, a white shirt with colored endings (again colored regarding the year group) for the summer semester and white sports shoes.|
"Don't say 'lazy'" Attire[edit | edit source]
|Mio's "Don't say 'lazy'" consists of a wide black dress with ruchings on the inside. She wears turquoise tights; her right arm is covered with an arm glove in the same color and black stripes on it. She also wears a pair of black high heeled shoes and a tiny black tophat with a red stripe. Additionally, she carries a short brown cane.|
"Listen!!" Attire[edit | edit source]
|In "Listen!!", Mio wears a long violet shirt with a yellow and a red triangle and the writing "rhythm" on it. The shirt does not cover her left shoulder and is covered by a black belt over her hip. She wears a black shirt under her violet one. She also wears red tights and brown boots. Her left hand is covered with a black glove. She is wearing a red ribbon on the right side on her head.|
"NO, Thank You!" Attire[edit | edit source]
|In "NO, Thank You!, Mio's attire is similar to any school uniform dress code, except that she is wearing a violet hoodie over it, alongside a large red disorderly tie. Her attire is similar to the Sakuragaoka High School uniform - navy blue blazer and a white buttoned shirt (under the blazer). The only parts different are the mentioned tie, dark blue socks, a plaid dark blue skirt and her pink shoes.|
|Mio's second attire in "NO, Thank You!". She wears a plain white shirt that goes down over her hips and a violet hoodie over it. She also wears pink tights, rosy gloves and a dark grey belt.|
"Singing" Attire[edit | edit source]
|Mio's "Singing" attire. Like the rest of the band, she wears a light blue one-piece dress over a white shirt. The skirt goes down to her knees. The dress has four white dots over the chest, a white bow and a white collar. Mio additionally wears black shoes with white shoelaces over long white socks, which have red and blue stripes on them. Her hair is tied to two braids that are decorated with white bows at the tips.|
|Mio's second attire in "Singing". She wears a pale pink one-piece dress with a bow attached to it under a green winter jacket with a fur collar. She also wears brown shoes with white straps.|
Etymology[edit | edit source]
- The name Mio means "water route, shipping channel" (澪).
- Mio's surname Akiyama means "autumn" (秋) (aki) and "mountain, hill" (山) (yama).
Other Content[edit | edit source]
Character Image Songs
|K-ON! Character Image Song Series Vol. 2: Mio Akiyama||K-ON!! Character Image Songs: Mio Akiyama|