Hibike Euphonium 10.1 – Natsuki-senpai and Kumiko-kouhai

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.

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Hibike Euphonium 9.4 – On Not Knowing Ones Feelings

An analysis of this episode would not be complete without mentioning the most controversial part of it, I suppose.

That’s right.

The infamous assertion by Hazuki that “Kumiko doesn’t know her own feelings.”  

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Hibike Euphonium 9.3 – Kumiko on Hazuki and Midori

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.

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Hibike Euphonium 9.2 – The Bass Section after the Agata Festival

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)

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Hibike Euphonium 8.5 – The Framing of the Agata Festival

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. ^^

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Hibike Euphonium Episode 8.4 – Getting to Know Each Other

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, onward…

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Hibike Euphonium 8.3 – The Most Romantic Supposedly Friendly Date Ever Part I (Clothes)

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.

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Hibike Euphonium Episode 8.2 – Reina (The silent fourth point to the visible triangle)

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.

So yeah.

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.

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Hibike Euphonium Episode 7 – The Band’s Tattered Past

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.

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Hibike Euphonium 8.1 – Or How Hard is Shuichi in the Friendzone?

This is really a beautiful episode. Probably the best one from all that I’ve watched this season.  In a sense, its also a perspective shaking one as Kumiko finally interacted with Reina Kousaka.

And it was glorious. So glorious that I can’t concentrate on any other thing. So I might as well gush about it for catharsis.

And while it is billed as HazukixShuichixKumiko, it  won’t be what I will be talking about. Truthfully, if there is a triangle  in this episode its more likely to be on the ReinaxKumikoxShuichi angle.

Not that its much of a triangle. <snort> This one is looking so lopsided until further notice.

The first half basically destroyed my belief in KumikoxShuichi. (Not that I’m much of a believer in that)  Poor Shuichi but he is really out of his league. Not to mention that Kumiko appears to not consider him a competitor.

He’s so deep into the friendzone that the episode hammered it not once,twice but THRICE.

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