Yui from K-On! is the newest addition to my on-going ‘potential dyspraxic character’ project. It’s been a while since I’ve done a potential dyspraxic analysis, although not from a lack of content, just Yui zoomed straight to the top of the list. For starters, Yui is a character I consider to be a strong contender for the potential dyspraxic title. Then there’s the point that I finished ‘K-On!’ fairly recently so felt I should get my thoughts out while it’s still in my head! Plus I wanted to do something light because these recent months have been tough, both personally and globally. Got to be honest though, you can’t get much more light-hearted than K-On!!
Originally, this post was going to be fairly short, however as I looked into Yui as a character more and more talking points seemed to sprout up! I’ve gone ahead and added her profile to the Potential Dyspraxic Character page and simply listed everything out if you rather a quick reference version. Link is at the bottom of this page.
Potential Dyspraxic Characters
For those unfamiliar with my blog, just a quick sum up what this is all about. This kind of post is for me to show how I perceive certain characters and the possibility that they could be dyspraxic. We have unique ways of connecting with fictional characters and sometimes we can relate to them in unusual ways. Seeing as dyspraxia is a combination of certain human traits, it means there’s a possible that characters may end up with a ‘dyspraxic combination’ purely by accident. In no way is this trying to discredit the original creation, but to see them in an alternative light. Take this, and any of my analyses, with a pinch of salt.
DISCLAIMER: With these character profiles I may bring up key-points and moments from their franchise, so potential minor spoilers ahead! Also as I’ve only seen the anime this analysis will leave out anything exclusive to the manga.
Yui and K-ON!
‘K-On!‘ is a popular slice-of-life manga revolving around the lives of the Light Music Club’s members, that got an anime adaptation. The anime has spanned several seasons, specials, spin-offs, a movie, and a library of music to date. For what this post is worth, if you want something light-hearted to get absorbed into then I highly recommend K-On! to you.
Could Yui Hirasawa be Dyspraxic?
Yui Hirasawa is the protagonist of ‘K-On!’; she is a member of the Light Music Club and the band Ho-kago Tea Time (After-School Tea Time). She is the lead guitarist and lead vocalist for the band. On the outside, Yui is your classic ditsy anime character; she’s easily distracted, sometimes forgetful, and gets into little accidents frequently. With other dyspraxic-type traits revealing themselves, it got the gears in my head turning and it simply clicked together for me that Yui could well have dyspraxia.
Co-Ordination and Clumsiness
Yui is really clumsy and has the habit of falling over, dropping things, tripping up, and bumping into people and objects. Over the course of the series, Yui shows she has balance issues. especially when she’s carrying something, like a tray of mugs or something bulky like a speaker. She’s a messy eater too as seen on a few occasions. On top of this, Yui sometimes has other slight issues with gross motor co-ordination.
On the flip-side, when it comes to fine motor skills Yui doesn’t have any real issues with it. After all, she has a certain talent for playing guitar.
Thought and Memory
Given that Yui’s short-term memory is awful and couple it with the fact she gets distracted ever so easily and you have a perfect recipe for disaster! When she learns something new, it often pushes something she memorised previously out of her head.
Yui’s time-keeping is pretty bad, although a few times she misread her alarm clock and arrived at school incredibly early. The first occurrence happens in the first episode where she even got distracted along the way…twice! The people around her have picked up on her unorthodox time-keeping skills and easily distracted nature, so it is fair to conclude this is a common occurrence for Yui.
Yui is quite forgetful too; whether it’s forgetting to do her homework or leaving her guitar at home on the day of a concert, she certainly doesn’t discriminate against what to forget! She struggles to remember music terminology and plays using intuition and her self-taught approach. Similarly, many people with dyspraxia find their own ways to learn and achieve when conventional ways are too difficult. At some point in the series she lost a mitten too, because of course she did!
Yui struggles with multi-tasking and this is something that others are well aware of. At first, she found it impossible to sing and play her guitar simultaneously. Although, after some 1-2-1 tutoring she was finally able to crack it, but still has difficulty to do both sometimes.
A line extracted from her Wiki Bio:
“She cannot do more than one thing at a time, but to make up for that she can be highly focused on a particular subject and once started, can advance quite substantially.”
When it comes to her academic abilities, Yui struggles tremendously with it. In one exam, she was the only one in her class to fail and had to retake it. With effort and support from her friends and sister she passed it second time around. However, not only did she pass it, but she absolutely aced it! While this alone isn’t exactly a dyspraxic trait, it embodies the spirit of dyspraxia quite nicely; especially when the other factors of Yui are taken into account.
Despite being viewed as stupid and an air-head, Yui is really observant and alert. A few times, she realises an issue before anybody else has.
We get a little bit of extra character building in K-On!’s spin-off series, ‘Ura-On!’. In one episode, we see that Yui gets lost easily and judging by her personality it wouldn’t be surprising if this is actually the case. I am unsure if ‘Ura-On!’ is canon or not, but it does seem faithful to the characters, so I’m going to count it.
Perception of Senses
Yui has an aversion to both hot and cold temperatures and can’t deal with them very well. She’s also sensitive to air-conditioning units.
Quote from Yui: “I’m scared of hot and cold. In winter, I hide under the heating table and in summer, I lie in bed and do nothing.”
As mentioned previously, her spatial awareness is something she struggles with as she does bump into people and objects pretty often.
Something to note: Yui has the rare gift of having ‘perfect pitch’. Wikipedia states it as: “Absolute pitch (AP), often called perfect pitch, is a rare ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone”. Wikipedia then goes on to state: “There is evidence of a higher rate of absolute pitch in the autistic population.”
Dyspraxia and autism have overlaps, so there could be more to Yui than at first glance. In short, this helps solidifies an autistic side which by proxy, helps to cement a dyspraxic side.
For the Wikipedia page on ‘Absolute pitch’ click here
Emotion and Behaviour
Yui has difficulty controlling her emotions and can get overwhelmed easily. Even with positive news she can struggle processing it and have a mental overload. She can get overwhelmed if she has too much information to process, which can lead to an emotional breakdown. The Light Music Club members understand she has this difficulty and do their best for her. Mainly by explaining things to her in a way she’ll understand and also help calm her down when she has a meltdown.
Yui dozes off often as she does get tired fairly quickly. Although, there are times where she’ll go to bed late due to getting absorbed into practising guitar or revising. Additionally, she can have a short attention span and she gets distracted easily.
Yui has some social awkwardness to her and I think she struggles at picking up on non-verbal cues, like on some occasions taking jokes literally and sarcasm can fly over her head. Also, Yui sometimes hugs a little too hard because she lets her emotions get the better of her, but there is a possibility that there’s a co-ordination difficulty at work too.
Speech and Language
Sometimes Yui gets stuck for words and stutters, which is a link back into her getting overwhelmed. She has shown that sometimes she can get words mixed up too. These issues don’t crop up too often though.
Yui has a strong connection to dyspraxia and in my opinion scores incredibly favourable overall. In fact, she tops the list! Yui’s prominent clumsiness, getting easily overwhelmed, and a pure heart make her a character that those with dyspraxia can probably relate to quite easily. While she can lose interest easily and gets distracted even easier, with the right help or push she can, and does, succeed. While it would seem no one has brought up a possibility of Yui having dyspraxia online, at least as far as I can tell, some people have raised the idea that she could be on the autism spectrum and/or have ADHD. With certain overlaps it isn’t a stretch to believe that she could be dyspraxic too.
Yui is an embodiment of Dyspraxic Fantastic at its core and holds a certain spirit of dyspraxia. What sets her apart from other characters on my list is a certain depth and richness to her character.
And to wrap this post up, a nice sentimental quote from Yui:
“To the me back then, you don’t need to worry. You’ll soon find something you can do, something you can set your heart on.”
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