The end is looming closer each week.

Here’s my review.

With 3 eps remaining (assuming it goes to 13 like S1 did) the Nationals are almost here and the ongoing drama of Asuka and the band is once again putting a strain on everyone. Is she really going to quit? After last week’s reveal it seems quite contrary for her to just give up at a time like this, but so far she’s not budging in her stance of letting Natsuki be the one to perform on stage. Can Kumiko change her mind and get her to play in the competition group? Let’s take a look.

While Asuka was once again the focus of attention in this week’s ep, Kumiko’s sister Mamiko played a central part as well as she gave Kumiko the words of encouragement she needed. Looking back a few eps, there was some friction in the Oumae household regarding Mamiko dropping out of college to pursue something else instead of what her parents wanted, and because of that she’s now moving out of the apartment to follow this dream on her own. But she’s not gone just yet so she’s still there to give Kumiko some helpful words and help her not make the same mistakes she did when in high school. Mamiko also mentions that she’ll be at the Nationals to cheer Kumiko on, something she wasn’t expecting to have happen given how things were a few eps back. It’s nice to see the two sister’s finally on good terms once again.

A part that hit pretty hard was when Kumiko was on the train going to school and thinking back to her conversation with Mamiko and about how she wasn’t sad that she was leaving. The more Kumiko thought about it the more she realized just how much she really will miss her sister. What started out as just some flashbacks to the good and bad times ended with tears rolling down Kumiko’s cheeks. It’s a short but really emotional part that I just wanted to take a moment to mention.

The back half of this ep brings Asuka into the spotlight once again as Kumiko know she has to do something to help her. Asuka is channeling a similar vibe that Mamiko was, trying to act like giving up band, the one thing she really loves, is nothing and she can move on from that without batting an eyelash. Kumiko knows Asuka wants to play in the Nationals more than anyone because it’s the first time she can play in front of her father, but with the current situation with her mother that dream of hers is dead in the water right now. Even though Asuka lets Kaori and Haruka know this is what she wants to do, it’s clear she’s just saying it without real meaning and Kumiko knows it.

Just going back to the first half for a second as it has more of bearing on this part. Regardless of that moving speech Haruka gave about how Asuka isn’t special and everyone just made her seem special, Haruka is having trouble accepting this herself. They played well at the station concert and she hoped that would be enough to get Asuka to figure things out on her own but it wasn’t. Haruka isn’t angry with Asuka, rather she’s disappointed. Disappointed that she isn’t truly special like everyone says she is. Now it’s really on Kumiko to make Asuka see the light and come back to the band.

The remainder of the ep is mostly the conversation Kumiko has with Asuka about this whole situation. Kumiko enters with confidence, knowing what she wants to say but Asuka is a tricky one and isn’t going to make things easy for her. Asuka isn’t one to pull any punches and she wasn’t entirely wrong with what she said. I like how she can so brutally honest at times, even though it’s probably too much for the situation, but this time it worked in Kumiko’s favor. Kumiko looked down and out at this point but recollecting herself she’s able to say all the right words and convey to Asuka that she can’t just give up on her dreams she easily. It’s like what Mamiko said to Kumiko earlier, finish high school with no regrets and right now Asuka isn’t doing that at all. And just as a side point, a line I really like from Kumiko is:

“Please don’t give up, not until you’ve done everything you can!”

While she ended up in tears for the second time in this ep, Kumiko was able to drive the point home and get Asuka’s gears turning. As the ep wraps up we learn that Asuka scored really well on her college entrance test and used that as a counter to her mother to keep playing in the band. Even though Natsuki won’t get a chance to play on stage for this grand event, she’s got 2 more years to try while Asuka is on her last year. So while this story has a happy ending, the next hurdle is already presented itself in the form of Reina.

Yes it’s still not smooth sailing here as Reina saw that picture of Taki-sensei and his late wife on his desk. Kumiko never told her about that and because of that Reina has been giving her the silent treatment. Asuka was a tough nut to crack, but Reina is a whole other story entirely. How will Kumiko get out of this tight spot she’s put herself into now? With possibly 3 eps left it’ll be interesting to see where their relationship goes from here.

And the next piece begins.

Another solid ep here and a good conclusion to the Asuka arc. I’m looking forward to seeing how Kumiko will deal with Reina and her revelation she had last ep, but that’ll have to wait for next week.

So that’s it for this ep, be sure to let me know what you thought about this ep in the comments below or send me a tweet too.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!


Bonus Pic!

Pixiv Link
Pixiv Link

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