With the Sunrise Festival over the next stage on the road to the Nationals begins.
Here’s my review!
The SunFes has ended and while we’re left with the impression that it was a success, I still would’ve liked to actually see them preform as it was a big deal. But pacing aside, the show must go on. The end goal is to play in the Nationals, but to do that Taki-sensei needs to put together the best group possible and the only way he can do that is through auditions. This means that if a first year student is better than a senior student, then he/she will be in while the older student wouldn’t be. To reach the Nationals though they’ll need to pass the prefectural competition, something their school hasn’t ever done before. But this year things are already different and maybe the might stand a fighting chance.
But even with the chance to shine and get to play in Taki’s all star band, Hazuki isn’t too sure she’ll make it. She’s a first year after all and lacks the confidence that say, Kumiko or Midori have. She feels this will be a year where she’ll get her footing and next year will be where she’ll play with a lot more confidence and be able to be good. But Asuka won’t let her stay on that line of thinking. An audition means that she still has a chance, all Hazuki needs to do is play the set pieces well enough to pass and she’ll be in.
The middle section is a bit slower of a part. Hazuki learns to clean and perform maintenance on her tuba after she thinks she’s broken it; Kumiko and Reina are moving along in their relationship, finally starting to seem a bit more comfortable around each other, and lastly Hazuki expresses her feelings regarding the auditions and how she can’t see herself passing. Probably what’s the most interesting here is once again how human Hazuki is. She goes into the concert band with absolutely no talent for playing an instrument before, selects the tuba as her weapon of choice, and wants to get good at it. I like this part about her and she’s probably got the most motivation out of everyone, even if it doesn’t always show. Hazuki reveals she wasn’t ever super good at tennis and ended up losing in the finals, so she wants to master the tuba, not falling short this time. She knows she can do it but she just needs that push to help her along to reach this goal. I really do admire this quality in her and it adds to making her a much more interesting of a character.
The back half is pretty much the bass section trying to get Hazuki motivated to play well for the auditions. They start by questioning Goto and Riko about what they love about the tuba, hoping that their words will inspire Hazuki. While the first few ways don’t really do the trick, Asuka decides it’s time to roll out their secret weapon. Turns out that it’s having Kumiko dress up as Tuba-kun and say some inspirational words to Hazuki. While it seems like a good plan to Asuka, things don’t end up going that well and it’s Midori who enjoys the Tuba-kun costume more than Hazuki. A side note here: it’s worth noting that Hazuki was able to tell it was Kumiko in the costume immediately. What’s funny about this is that normally when someone in anime tries to disguise their appearance, with changing a very subtle thing about them, people can never tell who it is. Hazuki did something that most characters can’t ever seem to do: she recognized Kumiko’s voice. Yes, if more characters in anime actually paid attention to the details like that, things would be a lot different. I mean honestly, how do wearing glasses or putting on a mask around your eyes make you a totally different person? Your voice pretty much always gives you away. Unless you start speaking like Batman…
In the end the only way they were able to help Hazuki is by doing something extremely simple. Play a song with her. If you recall, Hazuki hasn’t actually played a piece of music with anyone else before. She was watching during the first ensemble and was manning the pom-poms during the SunFes, so she’s never played in a group before. And this turns out to be exactly what the doctor ordered. Now with a surge of motivation, Hazuki feels a lot more confident for playing in the auditions.
The final key points are Kumiko also taking her instrument home to practice, something that she feels she should be doing after seeing Hazuki practicing so hard with her tuba; Hazuki and Shuuichi suddenly looking like a sailing ship, and Aoi wishing Kumiko good luck in the coming auditions. Obviously the key, key point of this is Hazuki x Shuuichi. I kinda thought this might happen, maybe subconsciously I saw this coming, but this week it was really noticeable. Honestly I don’t really mind this ship. I mean Kumiko clearly doesn’t show any signs of affection towards Shuuichi, despite his best efforts to get close to her, so maybe he should set his sights on a girl who might actually take interest in him.
As for Aoi and Kumiko, I don’t really like Aoi that much. Yeah I can see that she’s slightly envious of Kumiko as suddenly the band is getting serious as Aoi is closing in on graduation, but even so I’m not sure what her being upset about it all the time is going to change. Her three years in band didn’t work out, okay that’s too bad; but right now things are looking good, maybe the best they’ll ever look, so why not embrace that instead of pouting about past failures? You can’t change the past no matter how hard you try, but the future is yet to be made. There still is time left for her to make those special memories from high school, while still being in the band. I just hope she realizes that sooner than later.
I wonder how much of the auditions we’ll see next week? Given the lack thereof showing the other performances, I’m not expecting to see much of the auditions, but one can always hope. So much like ep 5 of Sidonia, this week was a cool down and regroup ep as the band gets ready for the next competition and soon to be Nationals. Granted they make it there. Kumiko and Reina are moving along in their relationship, something that’s good to see, Asuka is still being the best girl, Hazuki has points about her that I really admire a lot, a new ship was constructed, and the all star team is being made as well. All in all Hibike! Euphonium is still going along as the best anime this season for me as it continues to hit all the right notes. I could gripe about the pacing though, as it’s a bit fast, but with that side nearly everything else is solid. I’m looking forward to the next ep as from here on in the road to the Nationals will start getting really tough. I just hope everyone’s ready for it.
Like always, Euphonium impresses me once again this week. KyoAni is on a roll these days and they’re really climbing back up to that top spot in my rankings of favorite studio. So if Hibike! Euphonium is also one you’re watching this season, what are your thoughts of this week’s ep? Leave a comment below!
Up next we’ll be off to space in Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine, or ripping up memories in Plastic Memories. We’ll see how everything releases and depending on that, I’ll get a review written. Will it be a same day release? Maybe, but no promises.
That’s it for me, thanks for reading this review; enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya next time!
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