Team sports where I categorize concert band is a bit contradictory. They need to promote the dual values of cooperation and competition to be successful. Cooperation because concert band cannot be played with only one instrument. Competition to avoid breeding complacency (which we saw settling in the early episodes) and to reach new heights.
The thing is cooperation and competition aren’t always aligned. And nowhere is it perhaps more diametrically opposed as when a team is conducting an audition.
While they could be happily go hand in hand. If for example – those who are senior;Those who have put forth greater time and effort into the band are the ones who would be rewarded. But, that won’t happen everytime.
As Kumiko’s monologue put it:
Given that it’s an audition….
It is not unusual for a senior to be rejected in favor of a junior.
But, whether that means everyone accepts the results without another complaint is another question.
And really, how everyone handles that particular scenario forms the foundation of this episode.
There is really a lot of things to talk about here. Let’s start with the most positive one – namely Natsuki and Kumiko.
Since the main manga is on a hiatus until December, I’m having a bit of a Saki withdrawal. I wish Ritz stopped at Chapter 159, then I can pretend that I barely care for the match.
Stopping at Chapter 160 is just cruel. Having a long break when my interest is newly rekindled… Beyond more exposition on the Miyanaga family, we get more possible future plot threads such as the World Cup. (Just don’t think about how long THAT will take).
So to alleviate my Saki pangs, we are going to talk about the Toshi’s pick for the World Tournament.
While I was making the blog post about episode 10 (in particular about salty senpai’s comment that Kumiko is the reason that she didn’t make it in the band)… when I noticed that the numbers aren’t adding up.
KITAUJI CONCERT BAND IS ACTUALLY INCOMPLETE!
An analysis of this episode would not be complete without mentioning the most controversial part of it, I suppose.
The infamous assertion by Hazuki that “Kumiko doesn’t know her own feelings.”
For this post, I want to talk about the first year trio of Kumiko, Hazuki and Midori’s friendship. To be honest, even if it only amounts to just background detail on most episode, I really like the trio’s camaraderie.
And I really like how its demonstrated in this episode, with all its up and down.
Every three years or so, we receive some morsel of information regarding the biggest plot of the series and the driving motivation of its titular character.
And every single time, it leaves me wanting for more as it become increasingly clear that whatever happened in the past is more complicated than, “Teru is definitely still angry at me” – Saki’s stated reason [circa chapter 4].
*MANGA SPOILERS BELOW THIS*
Btw, did you guys know that every volume of Shokugeki no Soma has at least three recipes included? Also, did you know that people have managed to follow and replicate said recipes?
In this series of posts, I’m going to talk about some of the recipes included and their in-story implications. I would also like to put the links of people who actually replicated this recipe so you can check it out. ^^
*Slight Manga spoilers below*
Transforming Furikake Gohan
After the dreamy episode 8, we are now back into the impending reality with a vengeance, as the looming audition is introduced.
Everyone in the band is in serious mode – trying to squeeze every bit of practice that they can, in order to make the cut and not drag their bandmates down. (It really hearkens my heart how far Kitauji band has come from the lazy and disorganized mess that they are in episode 3)
The “Fifth Match” is ongoing in the manga. I’ve already made some match-up breakdown here.
If there is one good thing about being this deep in the tournament, its the fact that I can try to guess who is going to win without feeling like I’m throwing my bets blindly. While having unknown teams is fun and all, there is something to be said about knowing all of the teams deeply and watching them clash.
It is a feeling that all sports fans know so well.
And of course, as any sports fan, there are the “bets” to add spice to the matches is a must. That said:
TO ANY ANIME ONLY WATCHERS PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS POST UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SPOILED ROTTEN.
Since Season 2 is upon us, I’ve gotten fired up in finishing this thing.
Mostly, I got stuck in the wonderful episode that is episode 8 wherein Kumiko and Reina’s interaction finally took center stage. Even at this moment, with some time and distance as well as watching the whole series again, I can’t still pin their relationship exactly.
Just take this date, for example, I can’t in good conscience say that its just a normal “friendly outing” even if I know perfectly well that Kumiko and Reina have no amorous intention (that they know of anyway ^^).
There is just a certain gravity, a natural chemistry in Kumiko and Reina’s interaction that pings my senses. Combined with the framing and the atmosphere it tantalizes and leaves you as breathless as the protagonist had been.
KyoAni really did a good job in the direction of this episode. Its through their framing that the chemistry within Reina-Kumiko bloomed. So much so that it would not be a hyperbole to say that it is the direction and the technical side that really carried this episode.
Thus on this blog post, I’m mostly going to talk about episode 8’s direction and how they subtly influence the mood of the show. As well as tackle the two confessions we saw back to back. ^^