Episode 2 of Hibike! Euphonium has only increased my love for this anime, sending it up to the top of my favorites. If this is a sign of what’s to come, then it’s pretty much guaranteed that it’ll be my top favorite of the spring season.
Here’s my review!
Last week we were introduced to our main characters, had the plot set up, and were given the issues that need resolving. This week we dive deeper into the characters and plot, but what also played a role in this week’s ep were the instruments. Before we get to that, how’s it going with Kumiko and trying to talk with Reina?
Well not so good actually. It’s been 2 weeks since class started and she still hasn’t found the courage to go up and speak with her about what happened in middle school. It’s understandable why she’d feel awkward about it, I mean they didn’t leave on good terms and after so long it’s always hard to go back and talk with that person. But now that the two of them are in the same band together, this issue of the past needs to be put to rest.
Kumiko’s ideal situation she’s worked out in her mind is perfect; she just walks up, says she acknowledges they had some troubles in the past, but it’s now behind them and they’re looking forward to the future. Handshakes and hugs all around too. But as usually is the case, what you plan in your mind doesn’t always work out when you actually try it. Kumiko fails once again in talking to her, letting her nervousness get the better of her. Either way it’s going to have to wait till a later time as today is the day for choosing instruments.
As expected, Sapphire is going to stick with the contrabass as she loves it quite a bit. Hazuki is amped to play the trumpet, even going out to buy the mouthpiece for it (which she’ll later find out isn’t the right one); and finally Kumiko says she’s going to try something new. Turns out she’s been stuck with the euphonium since grade school as no one else wanted to play it. New high school life, might as well try something new.
Before the choosing of instruments begins, there is an introduction of all the group leaders. It’s worth mentioning again that the club president, Haruka Ogasawara, is voiced by one of my personal favorites, Saori Hayami. Also worth a mention is the trumpet section leader Kaori Nakaseko is voiced by Minori Chihara, a voice I was able to pick out instantly. So after running through the different groups in the band we arrive at the bass section with the energetic Asuka Tanaka at the lead. Asuka is also the club vice president too. Much like Kumiko, Asuka also plays the euphonium and is eager to have some more people join her group.
The intros ends and the students disperse, each going to join a group. Hazuki is dead set on playing the trumpet so she’s off to join that group, Sapphire has been paired up with Asuka in the bass section, and Kumiko is on her way to the trombone section but ends up being caught by Asuka. Asuka is looking for someone else to join her in the bass section, saying Kumiko looks like the perfect person to play the euphonium. Kumiko though wanting to play something new, claims she’s never played the euphonium and wants to try out the trombone instead. Asuka is able to bring Hazuki over to the bass section quite easily as she notices she’s bought the wrong mouthpiece for a trumpet. In a very Cinderella like fashion, Hazuki finds her dream instrument to play, that being the massive tuba. Now all that’s left is for Kumiko to slip away and join the trombone group before she’s also roped in by Asuka.
However it’s not going to be that easy, especially after Kumiko runs into Shuichi once again and this time another childhood friend, Aoi Saitou. Aoi provides some interesting info on Kumiko and Shuichi, saying they’re actually neighbors; Aoi also mentions that Kumiko used to play the euphonium since elementary school, and it just so happens that Asuka hears this. So much for playing the trombone.
The back half of the ep is the introduction to the band’s new advisor, Noboru Taki. He’s a goal centered person who wants the students to set a goal for this year, so he gives them a choice. They can either practice hard and aim for the Nationals, or play for fun and enjoy the experience. Right then and there they need to vote before continuing on. Suddenly Kumiko is unsure of what to do. The thought of the Nationals brings back memories of the past, her falling out with Reina, but at the same time Kumiko doesn’t raise her hand for the other option either. Interestingly Aoi does and we later find out why.
While sitting at her favorite after school stop, a bench overlooking the river, Kumiko realizes she’s dragging things out with Reina and because of that she couldn’t decide which option to vote for. Aoi shows up a little while later and the two of the have a chat. Kumiko explains why she feels she didn’t do anything wrong and doesn’t want to apologize, yet still feels unsure inside about it. Aoi explains her reason for choosing to have fun over make the Nationals; her reason being that they’ve tried to do that before and failed. Aoi’s in her third and final year in high school, so she wants to just make some good memories before moving on in her life. Three years pass quickly and after so much disappointment it’s time to try something new this year. In the end the vote swung towards aiming for the Nationals, but even so not many people are that enthusiastic about that goal. Aoi knows that most of the members are hiding their feelings because they don’t want to cause trouble for the band, otherwise there won’t be any harmony and nothing good will come of it. Leaving Kumiko with a few wise words, Aoi heads on her way home, hoping that Kumiko will know what to do from here.
The next day Kumiko tries once again to speak with Reina, and this time something happens! Reina asks if she’s still playing the euphonium, to which Kumiko answers yes. And that’s it. Reina wasn’t all upset and emotional as Kumiko was worried about, nor was it the perfect conversation like she also envisioned as well. But hey, they talked and it wasn’t an argument or anything. Baby steps Kumiko, baby steps. Even though things aren’t exactly cleared up yet, Kumiko feels better about moving forward in the band, and maybe she’ll now be able to talk with Reina once again and settle things out once and for all.
After 2 episodes Hibike! Euphonium is rolling, and I’m loving it. The interactions between the characters is something I’m really enjoying a lot, maybe that’s why it’s giving me a Hyouka vibe. This is looking like one of those anime I’ll really love because the characters are so interesting to watch. Aside from a solid plot (and the execution of that plot) having interesting and well developed characters are what bring any story to life and make it enjoyable to the reader/viewer. So far I’m really liking what’s happening here in Hibike! Euphonium and I’m guessing that going forward we’ll continue to see this level of character interaction continue to happen. All in all Hibike! Euphonium is looking like a very promising anime after it’s first 2 eps, one that will very much do be a strong contender for best of the season.
That’s all I’ve gotta say about this second episode. I’ll open it up to your comments now on what you thought about it. Also, I’ll leave you with the question: who’s your favorite girl so far? I’m currently divided between Asuka and Reina, but at the same time I do like Kumiko as well. I think this might take a few more eps before I can come to a solid answer.
Up next we’re ripping apart some more memories in Plastic Memories ep 3. I’ll cya Saturday (or Sunday) for that one!
Enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya later!
Do you have an anime blog, site, Tumblr or Facebook page? Want to exchange links? Stop by my Link Exchange page and leave a comment, I’ll add you to the growing list!
Got this anime that you think I’ll enjoy? Leave a comment on my Recommendations page and I’ll check it out at some point. I may even review it too!
Want to blog about anime too? I’m always looking for talented writers who want to share their passion about all things anime and manga related. If you want to be a writer on Anime Corps, drop me an e-mail and we can chat. Check the Contact page for my e-mail.
I’m always on Twitter tweeting about all kinds of stuff. If you’ve got a Twitter account, why not follow me?