Time to make it or break it!
Here’s my review.
I honestly don’t think another ep of any anime this season could top the likes of last week. I rewatched it a couple times after writing and posting that review, and it still gave me that same feeling I had when I first watched it. It’s extremely rare for that to happen, that I’ll get the exact same feeling a second time, but that ep did it for me. Now I wasn’t expecting the yuri to carry over into this ep too much as the auditions were going to be front and center, but there was a moment between Kumiko and Reina that once again is teasing at them kissing.
The majority of this ep is just jumping around from character to character checking in on them and showing how they’re acting under the pressure of the coming auditions. It’s stressful on everyone and as Taki put it, if a first year can preform better than a third year, then the first year will make the band. In all honesty it’s fair and I get his reasoning he’s using here, seeing that it’s how good the person can play, not where they fall in the social standings of the school. His way to approach the auditions makes people angry at him, but at the end of the day what matters most is the music. Feelings will get hurt along the way, so it’s best to leave them at the door before entering.
A part I liked that really brought back why I like Asuka so much is how she doesn’t care about everyone’s personal issues regarding dating and such. She’s there to play music and nothing else. She leaves any of her emotional issues at the door and walks into band practice with her mind set on playing the euphonium as best as she possibly can. Her attitude is exactly what I love about her and why I was drawn to her so much from the beginning. Honestly I wish more characters could learn from her to not let that sort of thing dominate your life. But at the same time could this mean she’s got something deep within her that’s slowly chewing her out? Well another cour to dive deeper into her character might solve that issue. Still not sure if we’ll get one or not though. Keep those fingers crossed!
For once Midori is showing signs of not being up to speed. Normally she’s regarded as a princess, coming from a prestigious school and having so much grace and elegance, but this time around she’s not herself. She’s feeling this way because she kinda forced Hazuki into confessing to Shuichi and seeing how well it didn’t go, she feels slightly responsible for it. While they’re able to cheer her up there is another issue that’s causing some friction in this group of friends, that being the still pressing Kumiko and Shuichi.
Now while I wasn’t expecting the yuri to continue at full force, what I really didn’t like was how we jumped back to the whole Hazuki thinking that Kumiko likes Shuichi thing. After last week it’s pretty clear Kumiko has her eyes set on someone else, that being Reina, and not on Shuichi. Plus it should be clear to nearly everyone at this point that Kumiko doesn’t like Shuichi outside of being someone from her past. She shows no signs of any romantic feelings towards him and honestly if they continue to press this it’s gonna ruin things I think as they just don’t work together.
The middle part of this ep is Kumiko struggling with the words Hazuki said about her and Shuichi. I can’t see any relationship happening there and seemingly Kumiko can’t either, but I’ve got a feeling that somewhere deep inside her, her true feelings for him are waiting to emerge at some point. As much as I wish for Kumiko x Reina to be an official thing by the end, I’ve gotta face reality here and I just don’t think this anime will end in a full yuri way. I’d love it if it did, but I get the feeling Kumiko x Shuichi might forcefully happen. We do get a very interesting piece of info courtesy of Kumiko’s older sister though regarding Taki-sensei. Turns out he’s actually a pretty big deal and is quite well known. A flash back to ep 5 where Kumiko’s friend mentions that Reina declined acceptance to other schools just so she could go to that one. Hmm, maybe this was her reason for doing so?
The back half is filled with tension as it’s time for the auditions to finally happen. A notable moment is what happens when Reina and Kaori cross paths, both top level trumpet players. We’ve heard Reina play before so we know she’s extremely good, possibly too good though as we see just how nervous Kaori is after Reina wishes her good luck in the auditions. We also get a small moment with Natsuki as we see just how hard she’s been practicing for the auditions. She’s finally taking things seriously and wants to give it her all in the audition, and seeing this really hits home with Kumiko as she realizes that just because she’s been playing longer than Natsuki has, it doesn’t mean she’s got the same conviction that she has. Natsuki really wants to make the cut and she’s totally changed her outlook on the band to do that, so she’s making Kumiko ask just how bad does she want to be on the team.
To psyche her up even more, Reina offers her hands as she firmly grabs Kumiko’s cheeks later on while the two are alone in the storage room. Reina wants Kumiko to do well, I mean she can’t leave her lover behind now can she? While I liked this moment between them, both getting up close and personal with each other, I still was hoping for a kiss at some point. It’s so obvious that they like each other more than just friends and they finally need to show that affection. Last week would’ve been perfect but this week could’ve worked too.
So the auditions arrive and the tension reaches a boiling point. I’m on the edge of my seat now watching this not sure just how it’s all going to go down. While we don’t see everyone’s audition, what we do see is who made it and who didn’t. Notable people who made the cut: Kumiko, Reina, Midori, Asuka, Kaori, Shuichi, Goto, and Rika. While it’s not mentioned if Haruka made the cut or not I’m assuming she did. Notable people who didn’t make the cut: Natsuki and Hazuki. While I was expecting Hazuki to fail (sorry if that sounds bad) I wasn’t expecting Natsuki to fail. I really thought this was her moment to shine, but I guess she’ll have to wait for another chance. And of course to end the ep, Reina is assigned the solo parts and not Kaori. Ooh the drama this will cause later on, especially with that ribbon wearing bitch. Man I hate her so much. Right then, with the team chosen it’s time to make the push to the Nationals, come hell or high water.
So was this the perfect follow up to last week? No, not really. I know I said I wasn’t expecting there to be much more yuri action between Kumiko and Reina, but I still would’ve liked there to be at least some. I wasn’t fond of Hazuki continuing to push the Shuichi issue on Kumiko, that’s a ship that really shouldn’t sail because it just does not work. I also felt that it could’ve been neat to see if Kumiko had failed the audition and was forced to cheer from the sidelines. But the chances that the MC will lose are pretty slim, but for a change of pace it would’ve been nice to see.
As for Reina getting the solo parts and not Kaori, this will be interesting to see how that progresses as Kaori was the favorite going into that audition. While she’ll play it cool, it’s clear Kaori is furious about this choice. Does this mean Reina is better than her? At this point yeah it pretty much does. What the challenge will be now is for Kaori to accept this and not make a big deal out of it. Nothing will come from her getting mad and angry at the fact Reina can play better than her; it’s a common fact of life that other people will be better at things than you are. No point getting salty about it. The band has been though a lot already, but now with only 55 people left, the competition will be a lot more aggressive as this is where people’s emotions will get the better of them. I just hope this won’t come back to haunt them later on.
Pretty good ep this week, not perfect but it was good overall. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it though, so share them in the comments section if you’ve got any.
Up next it’s Plastic Memories and Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine. I look forward to watching and reviewing that and I hope you’ll be able to join me for that this coming weekend.
That’s all for me so it’s time I head out. Enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya next time!
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