With the auditions getting closer, the pressure might be getting too much for some.
Here’s my review.
So much drama in this week’s Euphonium ep, wow! The band and the auditions are pushed to the side as there are more important things to deal with, namely Aoi’s decision to quit the band to focus on her studies and the fallout is causes. While it wasn’t a total surprise this would be happening, to Kumiko and the rest of the band it’s quite the shock. Before we get to that though there’s something else that happens that’s worth talking about for a bit, that being Kumiko and Shuichi.
This is a relationship that’s somewhat complicated as it’s hard to tell what exactly each person is thinking or feeling during their interactions. Kumiko has for the longest time been putting up a very ‘not interested’ vibe and has come across as slightly annoyed with Shuichi’s presence, yet now that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m wondering where Kumiko and Shuichi are actually going, especially after this ep, but even though they still don’t come across as a couple (well in my eyes at least) they’re now seemingly on more level ground in their interactions than before. I’m pretty sure that Kumiko still doesn’t view Shuichi as a potential love interest though regardless of now their getting along now. Keep in mind they are childhood friends so they’re somewhat close in those terms; but as for anything more then that, well I think the next ep will be diving into that subject a bit more. I’ll stop back in on this topic at the end of the review.
So Aoi-chan quits the band the following day after Kumiko overhears Kaori and Haruka talking about it. Honestly I was expecting a total blow out to happen as Kumiko’s narration made it seem a lot more intense than it actually turned out to be. I’m saying this because Taki-sensei, who is normally quite calm, has the ability to completely and totally verbally annihilate anyone while keeping a cheerful smile on his face. I was expecting this to get heated and maybe Aoi-chan leaving in a angry mood, but it wasn’t the most extreme confrontation ever. The real emotion happens in the hallways with Haruka coming to a breaking point.
Haruka is upset about Aoi leaving, upset that Asuka didn’t take the role of president, and most importantly she’s upset with herself. She’s failed to lead the band in the correct course, the events of last year when the clash between the seniors and juniors happened is still fresh on the minds of everyone and this situation has now brought everything crashing down on Haruka. Regardless of her position in the band and being the older student, Haruka is reduced to tears in front of Kumiko and the only person who could save the day is best girl Asuka. The way Asuka does things is very different from Kumiko’s round about way of trying to deescalate the crying Haruka; Asuka gets straight to the point: if Haruka didn’t want to be president then she should’ve said so. I can see where Asuka is coming from as it’s a logical thing to consider actually. Haruka wanted Asuka to be the president but she refused, that right there isn’t an indicator that Haruka has to be the president, she had as much of a choice as Asuka did; instead of declining the role and letting, say Kaori, take it, she decided to accept the position regardless of how unfit she is for it. I can also understand why Haruka would do that though as she wants to do the best thing for the band that’s in dire need of direction.
The rest of the middle part is good as it’s the other euphonium member Natsuki Nakagawa who gives us the much needed back story on what exactly happened last year. We also get a nice scene where Kaori visits Haruka at home after she skipped a band practice. Kaori explains to Haruka why Asuka wasn’t the right person to be the president and why she was the best choice instead. While Asuka seems like she has the ability to lead, Haruka took into consideration the shape of the band after the conflict and decided to take charge. That took courage that Asuka didn’t have. Asuka played it safe and backed out knowing her limit; so while Kaori words it in such a way the Haruka thinks she’s being offended, Kaori makes it up to her saying she’s got much more courage to dive head first into that situation and bring them to where they are now. Taki-sensei also played a role in it, but Haruka saved the band from certain doom.
The closing bit is a classic out of the pot and into the frying pan moment. Haruka returns the next day to the band, ready to work again, but Hazuki drops a total bomb on Kumiko when she comes out and asks her if she’s going out with Shuichi. Totally unexpected but Hazuki needs to know. After seeing them on the train acting friendly, much like Kumiko and Shuichi were previous in this ep, Hazuki comes to the conclusion they must be dating. Once again I’m failing to see Kumiko looking at Shuichi as a potential love interest, the two just don’t seem right for that aside from being childhood friends that are now talking again. So just after dealing with the Aoi incident, Kumiko is thrown into frying pan as she’s gotta do battle with Hazuki for her stand on whether or not she has romantic feelings for Shuichi.
The drama ain’t over yet!
There was probably the least amount of music in this ep since the anime first started. But that worked as they needed some time to clear out the drama and get things squared away. Next week should be interesting though as we haven’t had any love related conflicts in this anime; actually we haven’t really had any issues with relationships that much, so I guess this is a welcome aspect. I trust KyoAni with what they’re doing here so I’m not overly worried this will get out of hand. What I’m actually wondering at this point is if we’ll be having a second cour at a later date. There is so much more depth to this anime as the week’s go by and at this moment I haven’t heard if it’s gonna be a 12 or 13 ep anime. Personally I feel this should be a 24 ep anime and not broken up into two parts but just start it now and run it through the summer. But regardless of how long Euphonium will be, I’m really pleased with the amount of depth each week and how well they’re handling the drama and inner conflicts of the band. Great stuff to see from this amazing studio.
One final point I’d like to bring out is regarding the color of this ep. What I mean is take a quick glance at all the screen shots I got once more, notice how the color is mainly gray and really dreary looking? I really like this point as it helps set the tone and mood for the ep. It’s not a happy and upbeat ep, so while having amazing animation like in ep 5 would still be welcomed, I love this so much better as it fits with the drama. By the end of the ep when the issues are resolved, the colors are back to being bright and happy once again, signaling that a happier mood has returned. These little details that KyoAni does is what I love about them so much as they really bring the anime to life in a much more realistic way and get you emotionally invested in the situation. Things like that are what I enjoy about their anime and Hibike! Euphonium is another prime example of KyoAni showing off just how solid they really are. Excellent work.
So with this episode out of the way it’s time for an age old battle of relationships to begin, one that has the potential to break up this tight group of friends too. I wonder how they’ll approach this emotionally charged situation?
Lots to talk about in this week’s ep, so it was slightly longer of a review. As always I’m really loving Hibike! Euphonium so much, nothing toppling it from my top spot this season. If Hibike! Euphonium is also one you’re watching this season, what are your thoughts of this latest ep? Let me know in the comments below!
Up next it’s Plastic Memories and Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine. Like always I’m not sure which one I’ll have out first, but if the pattern is correct then it’ll be Plastic Memories with Sidonia following on Sunday or Monday.
Alright then, that’s it for me thanks for reading, enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya next time!
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