While I’m still left sputtering for words after this ep, I somehow found 2100+ for this review.
Here’s my review.
When I got online Tuesday morning and checked Twitter, I noticed a buzz for this ep. Lots of people were talking about, gushing over screen shots and gifs, fanboying (or fangirling) like mad, and generally spreading the hype. Now as I’d seen a preview pic for this ep I too was pretty amped to watch it. I was planning on getting up to see it; but even though I got up I was roped into doing other things and eventually having to go out for a bit. But once I got back I had to watch this ep, my hype coming to a boiling point. After watching it I finally understand the hype and why there was such a huge buzz. This ep was absolutely amazing!!! Where do I even start?
Kumiko and Hazuki, right. We left off with them talking about Shuichi and if Kumiko likes him or not. Hazuki bringing up this topic was quite the leap of courage for her, her body language is pretty revealing that she’s really going out on a limb here asking Kumiko, but it’s clear that Kumiko has no interest in Shuichi. I kinda wanna feel bad for him, I mean he likes Kumiko, that much is obvious, but she’s not showing any signs of liking him back. I touched on this in my previous review where I mentioned that while they seem to be on a more level ground for everyday interactions, it’s really nothing more then that.
I liked how supportive Midori is of Hazuki in her quest to ask Shuichi to the festival, she’s really rooting for her all the way. We also learn that Riko and Goto are dating, but that might have been obvious from a while back. It was nice to see them play a small part in this ep, showing that the supporting characters also have a personal life as well. We’ll probably not get to see much more of those two being a couple, but it’s nice to know that detail about them as it gives them more depth.
But back to the love triangle at hand here. Shuichi makes his move first, asking Kumiko to the festival one day on the way home. Not too surprisingly Kumiko turns him down, not interested in the slightest in going anywhere with him. Like I said, I kinda feel bad for Shuichi, but at the same time he shouldn’t keep pressing the issue if he’s not getting any result. Gotta know when to move on. Kumiko is left more confused by his offer than anything, leaving Shuichi no other choice but to pack it up and leave the scene quickly. Eh, that was awkward. He does tell her to think about it though, hoping that maybe she’ll reconsider and go with him. Don’t get your hopes up buddy.
Ah the middle bit was yet another awkward moment for Kumiko, Shuichi, Hazuki and even Reina too. Shuichi is still pursuing the idea that maybe Kumiko may want to go to the festival with him, but it’s getting more and more clear that she has no intention of it. When Shuichi misjudges Kumiko’s actions as a sign she wants to talk, things get interesting as Kumiko has backed herself into a corner with no way out. Wait, is she really trapped here? In a last ditch Hail Mary pass, Kumiko decides that the next person to walk out the door of the music room will be the person she’ll go to the festival with. She’s got no control of who it’ll be, if its be a boy or girl, she’s putting it all on the line here just wanting to get out of the situation she’s in. So who walks out? Reina Kousaka. Yes, good things can happen. Hazuki follows a few moments later to finally ask Shuichi, which he would go on to say yes, although that takes place off screen. So now that Kumiko’s officially asked Reina out, she can’t back out of this one. She’s got no choice in the matter so she may as well go through with it. And wow did that set the stage for an amazing back half of the ep.
Everyone is paired off for the festival. Midori is taking her little sister (who is literally a mini version of her), Hazuki is going with Shuichi, Riko and Goto meet up, and Kumiko and Reina are together. While there is time spent with Hazuki and Shuichi, the magic really happens with Kumiko and Reina. From the moment I saw Reina wearing that amazing white dress (which actually looks powder blue to me #TeamBlueDress) I knew I was in for a treat, yet I was prepared for just how amazing it would be.
Reina has Kumiko bring her euphonium along with her, something seemingly both of us weren’t expecting as I racked my brain with reasons why Reina would want her to being such a big and heavy instrument along, especially if they’re walking up mountains. So much for a date at the festival. A point that I love about this part is Kumiko’s dialogue when she first sees Reina, she’s got no problem coming out and expressing just how cute she looks. This continues as both of them don’t really beat around the bush too much but are pretty straight forward in speaking their feelings about each other. Among my favorite lines is when they’re walking up the forest path after switching instruments, Kumiko notices that Reina’s feet are looking a bit raw while carrying the heavy euphonium.
Kumiko: “Don’t your feet hurt?”
Reina: “They hurt. But I don’t hate pain.”
Kumiko: “What? That’s kind of hot.”
Ahh~! I died so much watching this ep, more so rewatching it for this review. Between that, the moment where Reina ties her hair into a ponytail, and the scene on top of the mountain, my heart couldn’t take it anymore. KyoAni can continually make some of the cutest girls out there, I swear. Their last anime, Amagi Brilliant Park, was filled with cute girls and now in Hibike! Euphonium there are even more cute girls! Getting a bit side tracked here, but yeah the dialogue between Reina and Kumiko is so direct and to the point and I loved that. They aren’t afraid to say what they’re thinking and this is made evident by Reina confessing her love to Kumiko. Wow!
Picture/gif break now and I’ll cya on the other side.
Of course the icing on the cake is when the two girl reach the summit of the mountain. It’s a spectacular sight, the city at night glowing with all it’s lights. This moment is full of life thanks to the glorious animation and the perfect OST; it really reminded me of that scene in ep 5 where Kumiko and Reina are walking home. That’s the type of absolutely perfect moment this scene was. And yes I will admit it that I was hoping for a kiss here. The yuri tones were overflowing as the body language and dialogue by Reina all pointed towards her leaning over and softly kissing Kumiko. I mean that point where Reina traces her finger down Kumiko’s nose and touches her upper lip… like wow I can’t even put into words how I felt at that exact moment. We end the ep with Kumiko and Reina playing a song from back in their middle school days, one of Reina’s favorites, and it’s another beautiful moment between these two girls. Honestly Reina completely won my heart over, like I love Asuka as she’s consistently been awesome each week, but much like ep 10 of Saekano where Michiru arrived and stole the show, Reina has got me spellbound by her haunting beauty and her passion to strive to be special.
Another pic/gif break. Cya on the other side for the closing part.
So the ep ends here but there is something else I need to mention before I end this review, that being Hazuki and Shuichi. Yes I still gotta talk about them after this huge 4 paragraph focus on the two girls in love. So Hazuki and Shuichi meet up and do their thing, going around and looking at stuff before taking a rest on a bench to eat some food. Hazuki musters up all her courage to tell Shuichi that she likes him, but much to her dismay he turns her down. While he doesn’t give a reason it’s clear that he’s still hoping to get with Kumiko and Hazuki is now going to help get them together. One thing that we don’t see is how much Hazuki is hurting inside. She’s completely crushed by Shuichi’s answer but we don’t see that till later where she breaks down crying; man the was a shot of feels to the chest. So we’ll have to see where this love triangle goes next as the tension just got higher.
Did I overdo it? Probably by hey it was a masterpiece of an ep so I felt that I should go all out for this review, be it 2100+ words. At least you got a truck load of gifs to look at, so don’t complain too much. Looking back at it all, even though I don’t rate individual eps due to reasons I don’t want to explain, I have to give this one a perfect 10/10 as it was absolutely flawless. Everything came together in the back half and just took off completely. The animation, music, Kumiko and Reina, it was so perfect and this ep alone could be the best ep of the whole spring anime season. And no, I’m not even joking when I say that.
At this point I can only wonder what’s in store for everyone now that they’ve all spoken their feelings. How will Kumiko and Reina continue? Will Shuichi keep trying to win over Kumiko? What about Hazuki, what’s she going to do now? All these questions but the answers will have to wait as next week the auditions are up first. So when the dust settles, if it does, who will be left standing to continue?
Okay for real sorry for making this a long read. If you actually read it all the way through then I commend you for that. If not, well… whatever. So like always, share your thoughts below if you feel like it.
Up next is Plastic Memories and Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine. Please join me for that.
I’d like to take a moment to thank a few people for the gifs too, those being @Bubbelregn, @Sherry_DC, and @Raven0us12. Thanks guys! Also the source for the Midori and her sister gif can be found here.
Thanks for reading, sorry once again if it was too long, enjoy the bonus pics and I’ll cya later!
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