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.
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.
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)
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. ^^
This post took too long to write. But, that’s because I want to write something else about this episode but what comes out from my keyboard is something else entirely.
So with a week trying to get my brain to cooperate with no progress. I’ll just take this as a sign and just tab my comments about the romance for the future. Instead, let’s comment on Reina and Kumiko and how their personality clash and complement each other.
Episode 8 is practically a goldmine for this.
So finally we are on one of the most brilliant scenes in this anime. (If also the most contentious ) Kumiko and Reina’s date where they get to know each other and stuff.
You know, I’m actually a bit hesitant in commenting about this episode.
I think the appeal of the festival is the atmosphere – how it is built, the way the two leads bantered, the freaking BGM. Still, I don’t want to skip it since there are a lot of nuance and scenes that I just want to pick apart.
I don’t have much time as well to write this week so for now I would just like to talk about the way they dressed for the event and the Yuki-onna motif that will be attached to Reina.
And I’ll get to the rest later.
I have already tackled half of this episode before here. And even with some warnings from my spoiler happy friends, I still stand by those words as I finished watching the last episode of Hibike Euphonium this season.
Kumiko x Shuuichi really really needs some work before it gets my vote. In any case, this post just serves as a quick recap of what I already tackled last post. Only on Reina’s side, before I go to the part that sent the collective internet into a frenzy.
As I write this, I just watched the last episode of Hibike Euphonium.
Yes. I’m ridiculously late. But, meh, this anime has bad timing to my real life schedule. All I can say is it did engage me from start to finish so I’m still going to do my episode commentaries.
And then, I’ll probably go back and continue my OST Saki series and something Saki related (if nothing else managed to hook me in the meantime).
In any case, if episode 6 is a breather episode; episode 7 is a time of reflection, a time for most of the characters to reaffirm their paths and make the story breath a little, one last time to set up everything before the episode began its crescendo.