Continuing its dominance of the fall season, Hibike! Euphonium delivers a spectacular ep brimming with so much emotion.
Here’s my review.
Training camp is over and it’s back to school and the final push towards their recital. It’s time to really make each practice session count and not let anything else get in the way. But much is still in the way, specifically for Nozomi and Mizore. Just briefly looking back to last week, Asuka revealed that Mizore can’t stand Nozomi and become a complete wreck at the very sight of her. Because of that Asuka won’t allow Nozomi back into the band as right now Mizore and her performance on the oboe can’t be ruined this close to the deadline. Upon learning this new information, Kumiko was left stuck between a rock and a hard place, does she tell Nozomi about this or not?
We learn this week that Kumiko spent too long trying to decide and because of that events started to unfold around her. Nozomi caught wind of Mizore and how her playing is lacking which strikes her as strange because the Mizore she knows from the past plays with much more emotion and feeling. I love the moment when Kumiko suddenly realizes that if Nozomi and Mizore meet, something bad will happen. That look of shock and horror as she takes off running to stop Nozomi before she causes something terrible to happen. Kumiko once more can’t decide how to approach this problem and now Nozomi and Mizore meet face to face. It’s not a complete meltdown but it’s still bad enough as Mizore flees quickly, Yuko rages, Nozomi looks on slightly confused at everything, and Asuka looks extremely displeased. It was nice to see Yuko finally not acting like a bitch for once and asking, well more like begging, Kumiko to find Mizore fast.
The back half of the ep reveals the whole truth to us now about Nozomi and Mizore. Upon finding her, Kumiko is able to get Mizore to open up about what exactly is troubling her regarding Nozomi. As we’ve gathered already the two used to be friends back in the day but at some point that wasn’t the case anymore. Back in the day the two were very close friends, especially for Mizore as she was a quiet and lonely girl, so having Nozomi in her life made every day special. But then Mizore realized she was just one of Nozomi’s many friends and that she apparently must not have been that important to her because when Nozomi quit the band, she didn’t say another to Mizore. So of course this begs the question: Why is she still playing in the band? Her oboe. It’s the last remaining thing that connects her to Nozomi, her precious friend.
Yuko joins the fray moments later and reminds her that she’s still there for her, even if Nozomi isn’t. But to Mizore, Yuko is just someone who’s friends with her out of pity. It’s one of the many misunderstandings that Mizore has about those around her. Further, Mizore felt that she shouldn’t be happy about the band’s accomplishments because of what happened with Nozomi and everyone quitting. Yuko has to remind her that she should feel happy about all this. It’s a noteworthy accomplishment, making it this far and having a shot at the Nationals, Mizore should be happy about that.
Finally Nozomi appears on the scene, Mizore’s oboe in hand, to finally clear up any last misunderstandings. As things would turn out, Nozomi didn’t tell Mizore she was quitting because she valued how hard she was practicing all the time. Mizore went all in when she joined the band so even if Nozomi was quitting because of the falling out with the third years, she couldn’t ask Mizore to give up band as well. That’s why she didn’t tell her. So now after everything is cleared up, Mizore is back to playing like she did before. Full of life and emotion. Sure it might have been tough getting all that off her chest and having to bring up problems from the past, but how much better she feels now that it’s all dealt with. With her oboe playing sounding better than ever, her troubles finally behind her, and Nozomi her precious friend once again, it’s time to move on and prepare for the competition.
And the next piece begins.
One thing that really stands out for me in this ep was how excellent the voice acting was. For Mizore (Tanezaki Atsumi) and Yuko (Yamaoka Yuri) along with Nozomi (Touyama Nao) too, each brought so much emotion to the characters and really sounded great. It’s always a treat to see (maybe “hear” works better) something like this as it’s not just watching these characters interact, but you can get a sense of much more depth to them when the seiyuu brings that sort of performance to the table. And like the excellent voice acting of this ep, KyoAni brought it to life with amazing visuals and lighting that made each scene that much better. It’s the fine details that make me love KyoAni so much and once again they were on display for this ep.
So that’s it for this review. Let me know what your thoughts about this ep are in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter if you prefer. Just really quickly for next week, I’m going to be out-of-town on Friday and Saturday so the ep 5 review will most likely be out on Sunday. If I can’t get it out then I’ll have it out on the 11th as I have that day off work. I hope it doesn’t come to that though so I’ll try for Sunday. I’ll mention this again on the Anime Corps Twitter account as well as my personal account as well.
Alright then, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!
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