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Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 13 (END) »« Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 11

Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 12

「さいごのコンクール」 (Sai go no Konkuru)
“The Last Competition”

Why? Why? WHY?

What was this episode? It was a disappointment, that’s what is was. I feel like marching to the author, Takada Ayena, and everyone at KyoAni who worked on it, and asking them what the hell they were thinking? There were several shoddy elements to this week’s episode that prevented me from even enjoying it, but the most critical error is that we never got to see the band’s final performance together. That’s like have a sandwich without any filling. It’s like trying to make a gourmet meal with an empty fridge. It’s a slap in the face and I’m severely let down.

Last week’s impressions may have seemed pretty negative, but in comparison to this penultimate episode it was pretty damn great. Other than a few select scenes, this episode was one missed opportunity after another. It crammed in all the awkward character moments and confessions without a care for how ridiculous it all came across. I suppose I’ll start with the worst part of all: Kitauji’s performance. Because it didn’t fucking exist! We never got to see it. I almost can’t believe it – the most essential part of the series, the moment for several character arcs to come together in one grand finish, an oppertunity for the studio to show off why they’re the best in the business. Nope, nothing. Instead we get cuts to the aftermath and the third years talking about visiting the cafe. Disappointing is too soft a word for how I felt after that mid-way point.

Was this due to time constraints, or was there never intended to be focus on this performance in the first place? If it’s the first then that sucks, but they should have cut the scenes that feel useless in comparison (of which there are many). But if they never intended on showing Kitauji giving it their all then that’s just awful. I’m a major fan of this series – the first season is on my all-time top 10, after all. I’d award any given episode a 4.5 or 5 stars (out of 5). Last week was the first 4 stars. This week would be a solid 3 stars, and even then I’m being very generous. How are we supposed to care about something we never see? If the result wasn’t obvious already, the moment we skipped over the most essential moment of the series, it was set in stone. Kitauji got bronze, and that sucks. Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe they deserved gold or silver. But guess what: WE’LL NEVER FUCKING KNOW BECAUSE WE DIDN’T GET TO SEE THE PERFORMANCE.

Okay, so we skimmed over that scene. But what did we get instead? We got another thrilling conversation between Kumiko and Shuuichi by a vending machine where they talked about very little. It hinted towards the Mamiko situation – which I’ll get to in a moment – and alludes to the undeniable end these characters share together. Because of course they’re meant to be together. Just look at all their impactful interactions, their heartfelt confessions and scenes where they experienced highs and lows together, where they were each other’s rock and they stood by one another’s side through all their trials, and grew to know each other on a level that cements them as soulmates rather than just friends.

Oh, wait. I’m thinking about Kumiko and Reina! My bad, I just never expected the two characters who barely interacted through the course of the series to suddenly get their “romance” shoved in the very end. Is it because they’re childhood friends? Or because they’re a boy and a girl? For most of this second season Shuuichi has barely existed, and now we’re supposed to buy that they’re suddenly destined for each other? Even if we don’t see a confession or realisation next week, the fact that we wasted more time than we needed to on these two is enough to justify further disappointment.

And then there’s Mamiko. Why the hell did Mamiko just walk off from the concert without seeing her sister who she had travelled to watch perform? Seriously, I thought these two were supposed to be getting along now – and when they did encounter one another that was further confirmed – so why did it have to play out like this? The answer is simple: It’s rare in Hibike! Euphonium, but this moment was entirely contrived to get the most “drama” out of the scene as possible. We got to see Kumiko run after her sister and have that emotional confrontation and confession of love. It would have made sense if Mamiko still hadn’t forgiven Kumiko, and if Kumiko didn’t know her sister was coming, and was shocked to see her there and chasing after her because of that. But what we got was just contrived nonsense which rids it of all emotional payoff.

Speaking of confessions, Reina confessed her love to Taki-sensei not once, but twice. The first time was amusing, and not for the best of reasons. But when she actually went out and said it I just sighed and shook my head. Thankfully Taki-sensei turned her down and played it cool, but this whole subplot is still dumb, especially when it’s given so much attention. But that’s not all, there were a few other severe letdowns, like Asuka telling the first and second years to go on a do well without them next time around, and that they have to go and win gold. Too bad we’re never going to see any of that, just like this episode’s performance that actually mattered! And then you also have Hazuka and Midori being as useless as ever. I tend to find them funny, but the fact these two barely have a reason for existing only makes their scenes all the more aggravating. What was the point of them all along? Why are we getting these unfunny gags instead of… I don’t think I need to say it anymore, do I? You get the point.

Honestly, I think the only scenes I liked this week were Mizore’s. The first one that mirrors that scene from the premiere with her looking out the bus window was a nice call-back, especially since she’s back with her friend again. And the fistbump was pretty adorable as well. Asuka hearing the words of from her father was also a highlight. Oh, and Yuuko is also one of the least irritating characters of the series now, so I think she deserves a gold medal for what she’s accomplished this season! Even Kumiko didn’t do much this week, so there’s nothing else for me to latch on to. This episode was plain bad, but compared to the highs of this series, it was insultingly bad.

I’m going to forget it happened and hope the series finale somehow pulls it out of the bag. Talk about stumbling at the final hurdle…

December 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm
132 comments »
  • December 21, 2016 at 3:54 pmCherry

    No! No! Don’t Do This To Me!!

    I am absolutely disappointed in the lack of the performance. But if Takada Ayena was more interested in the character development, KyoAni could have been stronger. Mizore was adorable, no questions asked. “This is my best reed.” Girl brought her A game.
    I’m glad there’s going to be a 13th. If KyoAni had left it at ‘we get to nationals, we play at nationals, the series ends’, I would have been pissed. Hooray for one having Mamiko show up. And Reina’s confession flop made me smile.

    Here’s to 13.

    • December 21, 2016 at 6:45 pmBear

      As I understand it, getting a reed “just so” is a big deal for a reed player. Especially a double reed. Some of them obsess over it.

  • December 21, 2016 at 4:09 pmGeebun

    I’m so disappointed to read this…

    I’ve been waiting for this season to end to either binge watch it or ignore it and have season 1 in my mind as one of my favorite anime of all time and at this point I’m not quite sure what to do. Most of the season looks like it has been great but I’m not sure I want to watch it knowing it ends with a few bad episodes…

    • December 21, 2016 at 4:55 pmSamu

      I would still recommend watching the whole season, it’s worth it. Overall it’s still a great sequel, but nowhere near the highs of the original. Episodes 1, 9, and 10 were highlights for me. The first two arcs were strong most of the way, but not the showstoppers from before. It’s only the latest two episodes that have been disappointments, and the finale may turn out better.

  • December 21, 2016 at 4:16 pmAlex

    I have no idea how people are angry or surprised about the non yuri pairing when Reina literally said she loves a man in the middle of season 1.

    • December 21, 2016 at 4:40 pmJuliana

      Because they built them as a couple, and her love is platonic.
      Just change Kumiko for a boy and there is no doubt that they would be together.

      • December 22, 2016 at 4:06 amPanino Manino

        But why people keep falling for such cheap and obvious tricks to boos sales? You knew, you ALL knew that that tease was not true, that it was just a tease. You were warned, since the very beginning and choose to not listen.
        You all believed in a lie that yourselves helped built knowing what were doing.

        BTW, hear the same music, one more time, again?
        Please, no.
        Was funny seeing them all so confident and great and perfect just to… that. It was funny for me.
        And Reina’s confession, both of them, was anticlimactic and ridiculous. Just as it should be.
        My biggest disappointment was Aoi not going to talk with the band.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:36 pminnerchihiro

        “But why people keep falling for such cheap and obvious tricks to boos sales? You knew, you ALL knew that that tease was not true, that it was just a tease. You were warned, since the very beginning and choose to not listen.”

        I just want to clear something up since I lurk in the Tumblr fandom of this show a lot.
        I’d say that about 95% of the shippers there have never, ever expected a KumiRei outcome, or even hoped for one. What they had pinned their hopes on was an ending that didn’t force less dynamic romances on us. The frustration is not that Kumiko and Reina won’t get together, we have been expecting that since day 1 and while yes, it sucks, we have accepted that. The frustration is that they’re choosing to go with ships that are not at all intriguing by any standard. You can disagree, you can say that you love Shuichi and Kumiko or Reina and Taki, and that’s fine, that’s your opinion. But not everybody feels that way and it isn’t because we are butthurt about KumiRei not happening. We’re allowed to dislike those other ships for reasons that have nothing to do with KumiRei.

    • December 21, 2016 at 4:46 pmDavid

      I have no idea how people are angry or surprised about the non yuri pairing when Reina literally said she loves a man in the middle of season 1.

      It’s not ‘surprise’; don’t be disingenuous. The novel readers who were intent on spoiling as much as possible made sure it could never be a surprise.

      It’s called being stupid. Reina is a teenager; she’s allowed to be a little stupid. We can forgive her for a bit of idiocy when it’s just a passing remark that we can forget ever happened. But to play it serious, and make it a major plot point (with a few plot holes), just drags the entire story down.

      At this point, it’s not even about the yuri pairing. It’s about Reina moving on from being stupid from afar, to committing to that stupid, and then doubling down on it. It’s about Kumiko, the person so well complimented on knowing just what to say to people when they needed it, picking up an idiot ball just for that one particular event to make Reina think her stupidity was OK.

      At least Taki shot her down hard, but even with that, the other girls around her were going giggle-fest, and are certain to help encourage this little soap opera for their personal entertainment. Thank god the club has Michie-sensei as the advisor, as she, at least, will crush that little problem like a bug.

      There were so many other problems in this episode. Mamiko ignoring everything and leaving. Aoi going to the effort of getting a ticket and showing up, but then being forgotten in the aftermath.

      The Shuichi bit I’m actually sort of OK with, but only because of the schadenfreude of all the Shuichi shippers thinking it means he’s now a thing with Kumiko, when it’s as much wishful thinking as they accused the Kumiko/Reina shippers of. (Caveat: It’s still possible that KyoAni may put Kumiko and Shuichi together in the last episode, but at this point that’s purely because of crap writing accepting cliche endings and abandoning the themes the show has stuck to throughout its run, despite what they showed of the characters beforehand.)

      My heart breaks at how much of a paper-thin shadow of a character that Hazuki has become. Sapphire has pretty much always been a one-note character ever since the start, so I’m less bothered by her, and more bothered by the fact that she’s the only real excuse the studio has for even showing Hazuki at all.

      Meh.

      • December 21, 2016 at 4:53 pmSamu

        You pretty much echo all my thoughts, David.

      • December 21, 2016 at 6:43 pmAlex

        That’s another thing, actually. Why are Reina’s feelings for Taki universally labelled as categorically stupid? Why is her listening to her heart “doubling down” on that stupid? Age gap? The fact that it’s a teacher/student pairing? Not sure if you’re aware but those types of relationships happen all the time. It’s well, well within the realms of possibility. Is it because of the taboo aspect? Well here’s another kicker – a lesbian high school relationship would probably be seen as equally taboo in Japan. So what gives?

        As for the Shoe thing I think that just require a bit of inference on our part. They’re life long friends and he’s been a rock in her life this entire time. It reminds me a lot of TM/TLS with Mochizou – the orbiting childhood friend who’s smitten with a girl who’s never even considered them in a romantic light, but later realises that she’s probably had feelings for him all along without consciously acknoweledging them. I can probably figure out their relationship without some ham handed flashbacks of them frolicking together as kiddies, honestly. That type of conclusion worked me for me in TLS and it’d work just fine for me here, but that’s just me.

      • December 21, 2016 at 8:50 pmTestro

        Do you really think that Reina, litte miss tokubetsu, “just get good”, “quitters suck”, would really quit on her love for Taki? And do you really think Kumiko, whose primary draw in S1 to Reina was that she’ll never ask her to back down, would say to Reina, “gg Reina, just take a mulligan on this one”?

      • December 22, 2016 at 1:05 amJim

        “At least Taki shot her down hard, but even with that, the other girls around her were going giggle-fest, and are certain to help encourage this little soap opera for their personal entertainment. Thank god the club has Michie-sensei as the advisor, as she, at least, will crush that little problem like a bug.”

        Jesus Christ, dude. Want to try take a more pessimistic view of it? You’re the one being disingenuous if you honestly think that’s even close to a correct summation of the situation and the characters’ feelings. You couldn’t be more of a hysteric yuri shipper if you tried, honestly. All of you points are just laced with it.

      • December 22, 2016 at 2:56 pmDavid

        You couldn’t be more of a hysteric yuri shipper if you tried, honestly. All of you points are just laced with it.

        Ah, personal attacks. The bold and honest way of holding a debate.

        Since it seems a bit difficult for you to grasp, no, the arguments I made do not have any basis or need to be based on any yuri shipping. It’s about how the show’s plot, themes, and characterizations have interacted.

        That’s another thing, actually. Why are Reina’s feelings for Taki universally labelled as categorically stupid? Why is her listening to her heart “doubling down” on that stupid? Age gap? The fact that it’s a teacher/student pairing? Not sure if you’re aware but those types of relationships happen all the time. It’s well, well within the realms of possibility. Is it because of the taboo aspect? Well here’s another kicker – a lesbian high school relationship would probably be seen as equally taboo in Japan. So what gives?

        No, they don’t happen “all the time”. They do happen, but instances are extremely rare, and successful instances are rare even among that group. Now, perhaps you mean stories about such events (which is still extremely rare), but that doesn’t prevent me from criticizing such a pairing as stupid. Some writers can make such a story work; this one doesn’t.

        Why is it stupid? Well, it starts with the age gap. It follows by trying to replace the dead wife of a widower. It’s based on the most superficial understanding of the other person (as in, Reina has known Taki existed for something like 6 or 7 years, and never even knew enough about him to know that he had been married). There is absolutely no basis for a relationship; it is purely formulated on idol-worship, that most shallow of desires. Reina herself has absolutely horrific social skills, and thus one might judge her emotional maturity to be remarkably low even relative to her young age. The taboo aspect is not because of some vague moral objection, but because there’s a reason a person in authority should generally not be allowed to get involved with someone they have authority over, and Reina’s immaturity speaks volumes on that.

        Is that clear enough? And that’s just the basic view. It doesn’t help that plot-wise, the show has not given any reasonably believable foundation for such a relationship to grow on. Frankly, Kumiko is in a better position to pursue a relationship with Taki than Reina is. It’s schlock writing.

        As for the Shoe thing I think that just require a bit of inference on our part. They’re life long friends and he’s been a rock in her life this entire time.

        Assuming “Shoe” is referring to Shuichi: No, he has not been a rock in her life this entire time. He has explicitly not been a part of her life for the entire show. He’s provided a small bit of support as someone to talk to three times, I believe, and all three of those were coincidental events.

        And any supposed Kumiko/Shuichi relationship runs hard aground against one of the fundamentally defining themes of the show: That continual effort and hard work are necessary to reach your dreams and achieve greatness.

        Thematically speaking, Shuichi is playing a role identical to that of the seniors who expected to be chosen for the competition simply due to having been around longer than the freshmen, not due to actual skill or effort. Shuichi the love interest is exactly the same as Kaori the trumpeter, or Mamiko the college student who bowed to societal pressure rather than strike out on her own.

        Combine that with the fact that his early role in the story was that of someone who could hurt and dismiss Kumiko at his own convenience, without consequence (or at least, he felt there shouldn’t be), acknowledgement, or apology. But now that he’s growing up and noticing girls, oh, he’s been around the longest; clearly he ‘deserves’ her. Effort? Interactions? What are those?

        The other examples of casual hurt in the show (Kumiko and Reina, Nozomi and Mizore) required the one at fault to actually apologize and acknowledge what they did wrong before a relationship could be resumed and rebuilt. But Shuichi is apparently too good for that. Even the little flower pin wasn’t from something he remembered (thus indicating he held Kumiko’s words in some importance), but was just the suggestion of the eternal matchmaker, Sapphire. (And you could see Kumiko’s face collapse after he said that.) Kumiko’s birthday was August 21; the national competition was October 31. He was carrying that pin around with him for 2 1/2 months, but “couldn’t find the right time to give it to her”.

        All I see with Shuichi is an unrequited love that he won’t let go of. In a way, it’s a mirror of Taki and his dead wife. He rejects the actual efforts of Hazuki, who I think actually had the most meaningful interaction with him in the entire show (after the festival, while they were moving gear around), so that he can pine away wistfully. Thematically (for this show), he should fail.

        And since it’s a topic, on the yuri side, I do think Kumiko had a crush on Reina. And that ended in the “First Love Trumpet” episode, when it was absolutely clear that it would never be reciprocated. Kumiko at least was mature enough to let go of something hopeless, and move on, which puts her a step above Reina, Shuichi, and even Taki. Kumiko is “cheering Reina on”, just like Hazuki was “cheering Shuichi on”, when things ended for each of them. A polite way of letting go.

      • December 22, 2016 at 3:56 pmSamu

        There’s many reasons why the possibility of Taki and Reina’s relationship is a bad thing. David listed them all (they should be pretty obvious), but even if you choose to ignore the teacher/aspect (which you shouldn’t), then there’s also this simple fact:

        There is absolutely no basis for a relationship; it is purely formulated on idol-worship, that most shallow of desires.

      • December 22, 2016 at 8:27 pmJim

        I just find it fummy that you’d call someone disingeuous then go on to claim that Reina’s friends are egging her on for some extremely cruel form of entertainment. Saying that is quite plainly indicative of someone who either has exactly zero understanding of the characters (which I don’t think is you) or is just purposefully taking things to duplicitous extremes because of irrelevant personal feelings, which I think is what you’re doing, which means you’re probably just a devastated yuri shipper.

      • December 22, 2016 at 9:17 pmDavid

        I just find it fummy that you’d call someone disingeuous then go on to claim that Reina’s friends are egging her on for some extremely cruel form of entertainment.

        I never said it was cruel. I only said it was entertainment. As in, what do you think Sapphire is doing with her attempts to hook Kumiko and Shuichi up? Or her surprised wondering about whether Reina really liked Taki, during the announcements after Reina’s stunt? This is a staple of the high school gossip mill, and should not be difficult to grasp.

        or is just purposefully taking things to duplicitous extremes because of irrelevant personal feelings, which I think is what you’re doing, which means you’re probably just a devastated yuri shipper.

        And you continue to be unable to make a point without false personal attacks as your only supporting argument.

        I don’t mind that Kumiko and Reina didn’t get together. It actually fits with the theme variations of the show (which I won’t bother getting into because I’d be writing a couple more posts as long as my earlier comments). I do mind that the way they did so is by promoting two horribly written and horribly developed relationships that have no basis either plot-wise or thematically. It’s some half-hearted attempt to follow the original novel plots, but without providing the needed foundations to make them work.

  • December 21, 2016 at 4:27 pmqwert

    Skipping their performance was expected but still… what the fuck. They don’t have to show the whole damn thing, skip the op and ed and give us three damn minutes worth.

    • December 21, 2016 at 5:33 pmstarss

      Really?? It was “expected”? How? We had 2 final episodes this season. And with how they were pacing this, an actual on-screen performance would’ve worked!

  • December 21, 2016 at 5:01 pmLolololol

    Butthurt yurifag detected. So much I could taste your tears.

    • December 21, 2016 at 7:20 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      While not as rude, I will agree in that, honestly, I don’t see how the results of character X getting together with character Y, or why, really matter in terms of the overarching plot of the series, but from what I’ve been seeing lately, similar to season one, a number of people seem to act like it does; as if the entire series hinges on whether Kumiko is with Shuichi or Reina when, really, such a thing shouldn’t matter SO much in this case because that’s NOT what the series has been about. At best, such things can be used to manufacture drama like it has done, but in the end, it’s not the most important thing.

      As I did before, I point to Naruto as an example as to what can happen to a good and/or popular series when it completely strays from what was initially important about it to catering to the portions of the fanbase who only cared about pairings. As a result, compared to several years ago, because of Kishimoto and Studio Pierrot catering to pairings rather than maintaining Naruto’s own journey and whatnot, the franchise has all but crashed and burned hard, now barely a shell of its former self, all because of preferential pairings of chunks of the fanbase overtaking the plot, characters, current development, etc..

      • December 21, 2016 at 7:53 pmTitanAnteus

        It’s funny cause it’s not even tagged romance on MAL.

    • December 22, 2016 at 4:04 amSamu

      For the record, I’m deleting any comments that refers to me/fans of the series as faggots or degenerates. That shit won’t fly here.

      Otherwise, disagree away!

      • December 22, 2016 at 12:26 pmTitanAnteus

        Yo Samu. I just want you to know that we still love you. Don’t let all this negativity get to you. It’s differing viewpoints and opinions that make Randomc a great source for anime retrospection.

        Even if I disagree with you, You do you :)

  • December 21, 2016 at 5:04 pmJuliana

    Thanks for your reviews. I never comment, but always read.

    About the moment between Kumiko and Shuuichi, I didn’t think it was romantic. They’re childhood friends, it seemed like that. I know what happens in the novel, I know what the pin means, but I’m waiting to confirm, or not, in the next episode.
    I wasn’t upset by the lack of the performance, I think they safe for the last episode. Well… maybe because I don’t understand music, and can’t see the difference off good or bad.
    I liked the episode, more agree that it could be reduced by half, and make room for the performace.

    • December 21, 2016 at 5:28 pmSamu

      Thank for reading, feel free to comment away! The more the merrier.

      Time will tell with what the final episode has in store. It appears like it’s going to be mainly anime-original as well… so it’s all in KyoAni’s hands now.

      • December 21, 2016 at 5:34 pmstarss

        By God. If it turns out the reason KyoAni skipped a performance, the FINAL performance for all these students being in the same place together, was so they could air an anime-original episode….

      • December 21, 2016 at 8:57 pmmegalith

        Time will tell with what the final episode has in store. It appears like it’s going to be mainly anime-original as well… so it’s all in KyoAni’s hands now.

        It’s not entirely going to be that. There were some things cut off. They mainly stuck with the themes that ties with the music.

        The whole season is about reason for playing the music. As of this moment, everyone’s reason has been revealed.
        Reina played for Taki’s recognition.
        Mizore continued to play to be connected with Nozomi
        Asuka played for both of those reasons.

        So on and so on. The band aims to get better and win gold however, personally sometimes getting better is not the whole reason to push through.

        Contrast that to the likes of Aoi and Mamiko who never found a good enough reason for sticking around. Mamiko could make all the excuses she likes but in the end it just means that she didn’t value that choice too much.

  • December 21, 2016 at 5:09 pmJosh

    I was disappointed in this episode. I know it was a long shot but I would have liked a fairy tale ending where they win gold. Atsuka gets to actually see/talk to her dad. Taki gets to fulfill his wifes dream…..

    But alas this was not that episode. Still love this series to death though. Hopefully last episode has some nice surprises.

  • December 21, 2016 at 5:28 pmstarss

    Figures. The one performance that they don’t get a high award for, is the one performance we DON’T SEE. I suppose they wanted to spare use the humiliation? Honestly I wonder just how they sounded. Perhaps they just sounded the same they always do, and the other two schools were just that great.

    Okay I’m glad Reina’s fixation finally has closure. But man what it ever so awkward to watch KyoAni emphasize her whole ordeal like that. I mean she knows she doesn’t have a chance.

    … and so. The final piece begins.

  • December 21, 2016 at 5:59 pmCipriana

    Honestly, I’m not surprised they skipped the final performance. I was wondering what they were going to do, since they already animated a full eight minute performance of Crescent Moon Dance in episode five. Even then, there were complaints of reused footage from the finale of episode thirteen of the first season. In any case, I still enjoyed this episode (though I do admit to being disappointed).

    • December 21, 2016 at 6:43 pmReason

      Exactly, they already did them playing this whole piece once and I was actually dreading a bit that they’d spend half the episode on basically the exact same thing. The rest of Samu‘s complaints I can either agree with or at least see his point more or less, but on this one I’m glad they spent more time on character scenes instead of the repeat performance. If they hadn’t shown them playing in the regionals, then it would have been a must, but since they had already shown it… I’m not saying I’d have hated it if they had shown the performance – because they do quality animation – but it makes little sense to me to blow up over not seeing it and how that supposedly killed the episode.

    • December 22, 2016 at 12:52 amBakapooru

      Agreed. It would have been a waste of time to show another whole performance. If the music change, I would like to see it, but it didn’t change. If you want to see the full performance, I suggest rewatching episode five.

    • December 22, 2016 at 4:10 amSamu

      Them repeating the same performance again is a valid point, but when Yuri!!! on Ice is able to show characters giving the same routines nearly half a dozen times without it feeling stale, I’d expect more to be shown. No effort to capture their final competitive performance together is worse than something that comes off as repetitive.

      • December 22, 2016 at 4:15 pml3reezer

        Except why would this show or the original source material even be comparing itself to Yuri on Ice? There’s an art to omission, and Eupho has never been a show wherein the actual music and performances is at the forefront of attention. It’s always been on the back-burner to the characters’ personal life drama and motivations. One of your arguments is that it was “an opportunity for the studio to show off why they’re the best in the business,” but as another reply states already, KyoAni already did that with the half-episode-long depiction in Episode 5. (That scene is honestly one of the best scenes of the year. Roughly ten minutes of nonstop, wonderfully directed animation. Honestly, how could you even say KyoAni hasn’t shown us that they’re among the best in the business with this show after that???) Maybe it would’ve been better to show that scene in this episode, but it still isn’t remotely a travesty that they didn’t. The omission this time around coincides quite perfectly with the fact that they didn’t place gold, or even silver, but bronze. Showing their actual performance would’ve been pretty meaningless with that result, because then, how would we have reacted to their lost after seeing the performance? “Oh wow, that was beautiful. Wait, what?! They lost?!” The show’s never shown us a gauging of how they compare to their competition (other than bluntly saying “Oh, those are the guys who always place first” or something), so if it showed us their performance, it probably would’ve had to show at least one other school’s performance as well to justify why they lost. And that in turn would’ve put the show’s direction pretty off-kilter, because as aforementioned, the show’s never actually been about the music/competition as it has the characters-which is also why it makes less sense to compare it to Yuri on Ice so readily.
        (For the record, I-and a lot of others online it seems, am of the opinion that those repetitive skate performances did become incredibly stale; the show literally wasted one-fourth of its run-time on a handful of characters that it introduced out of the blue and that effectively took valuable screen-time away from the more deserving main cast of Victor and the two Yuris. But that’s irrelevant to the point here.)

      • December 22, 2016 at 4:25 pmSamu

        I understand your points, but I still disagree.

        In the novels Taki-sensei says this was the best they had ever performed, so I feel even worse for novel readers who were anticipating this coming to life and capturing the original words.

        As for them getting bronze after showing their performance, I think that would have been way more impactful. If you showed the characters doing their absolute best out there and still being beaten due to the competition, it’d be much easier to accept that they weren’t ready or had done all they could – that they hadn’t let themselves down because they’d improved so much. But we were robbed of any of those conclusions because we never got to make them ourselves.

        Earlier in the season Taki-sensei asked what their goal was, and they said it was to perform at nationals. That was the collective goal of the entire cast. Sure, we’ve balanced several character arcs this season, but last season did that (and better), but always managed to bring it back to the performances where every character was able to put in their effort and prove themselves. To not show the “goal” for the characters is pretty insulting in my eyes.

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:03 pmDevil’s advocate

    Wow.. This was posted fast. In all seriousness, with regards to this episode and the previous one, whose fault is it? On KyoAni for possibly cutting out parts, or the author because this was in the source material? Well, to make it better, why don’t you watch the KonoSuba OVA?

    • December 21, 2016 at 8:14 pmkay

      If I had to point fingers at someone, I would definitely say KyoAni (or at least all those involved with the script/story composition). In regards to Kumiko and Shuuichi, the original novels had a lot more interactions between the two that made their relationship develop in a very natural, steady, and believable manner. The anime chose to cut out a lot of their scenes from the very beginning with season one and included almost nothing from the novels covered this season which leads to anime only viewers to witness a very jarring and sudden result.

      In all honesty, I believe they completely disregarded Shuuichi’s existence and ignored any original growing ties between Kumiko and Shuuichi because they wanted to push for more fanservice with Kumiko and Reina that would market better to those more likely to buy the DVDs/Blu-rays. Even the original author mentioned after the first season that while she intended to show Kumiko and Reina sharing a strong bond, she was surprised at how extreme and close KyoAni chose to depict it compared to what she originally wrote. (*Disclaimer* By no means am I not receptive and accepting towards LGBT relationships. I’m just personally not a fan of when any official form of media borrows someone else’s story and changes things to the extent that characterization/plot changes greatly from the original source)

      • December 21, 2016 at 8:34 pmSyaoran Li

        That’s my point exactly, KyoAni choose not to be fateful about the original material with Kumiko and Tsukamoto, so their relationship looks horrible in the anime, instead creating a strong bond between her and Reina, a beautiful friendship with a few innuendos here and there for fan-service sake. Like I said below, I’m done with KyoAni.

      • December 21, 2016 at 9:06 pmmegalith

        The only problem is them cutting off some of the backstory for the relationships/romance. Then again romance is not the focus for this season. The focus is personal reasons for playing the music.

        Not for gold.
        Not for winning the competition.
        Not for just simply getting better.

        I think it was made clear when Kumiko said that she never really knew people could have such reasons to play when she found out about Mizore’s circumstance.

        That’s my point exactly, KyoAni choose not to be fateful about the original material with Kumiko and Tsukamoto, so their relationship looks horrible in the anime, instead creating a strong bond between her and Reina, a beautiful friendship with a few innuendos here and there for fan-service sake. Like I said below, I’m done with KyoAni.

        I think they did a far better job for cramming 2 volume of novels in 1 cour. Honestly, I think they didn’t waste any time. Also most “fan-service” you say exists in the novels. So they were actually faithful about it.

  • December 21, 2016 at 8:20 pmSyaoran Li

    For once in my life, I don’t give a fucking damn about an episode of HIbike! Euphonium.

    I can understand they’ve to honor and respect the original material and the author’s wishes, yet again KyoAni insists on telling stories about impossible love and “childhood friends” love. Do you remember how awful was Tamako Love Story because they want us to believe Tamako released her feelings for his childhood friend when he’s about to go away to college. Fuck that shit, we didn’t get a glimpse of those feelings in the anime series, so don’t try to feed their love story in that movie just because.

    The same thing can be said here about Reina’s love for Taki. Sure, I agree that this relationships exists in our society and some people do accept them, yet the time KyoAni spent with it, specially creating a distance between two friends (Kumiko and Reina) just because Kumiko didn’t told her about Taki-sensei’s wife; yet they only invested like 3 minutes of this season to show us how Tsukamoko cared about Kumiko. Cut the crap about him being Kumiko’s rock of support, when did that happen in the last two seasons? The time he had the conversation with Mamiko? The haunted house fiasco? Their conversation in the first episode of season one. If you want to make it feel real, at least put more effort into it damn it.

    This shit reminds me of the Harry Potter movie-verse situation with Harry and Hermione. The first four movies tried to make us believe Harry and Hermione would end up together (I didn’t give a flying fuck about that by the way), but J. K. Rolliwg had other plans and so when the time to be fateful to the original material came, the love between Harry and Giny felt flat. So the same could be said here with Hibike!’s weak attempt to make us believe these two relationships, especially the Kumiko/Tsukamoko one, they didn’t spend enough time on them.

    So, as you can see I’m mad about things I knew a long time ago would end like this, because I’d faith in Kyoto Animation, but no more. I’m done with them.

  • December 21, 2016 at 8:45 pmmegalith

    Would you see the performance again for the 3rd time?

    They’re going to play the same piece. I still think the final episode will have a better send off for the seniors.

    • December 21, 2016 at 9:08 pmSaburau

      Yeah, and it’s not like they had better performance in the nationals than they did in the 2nd(regional) competition.

  • December 21, 2016 at 9:21 pmmegalith

    Reading through different sites, it seems people just completely missed the theme of the anime which by the way is the MAIN PLOT POINT. Funnny though because in a way it reflects on Kumiko’s thoughts about Mizore’s issue with Nozomi and Reina chasing after Taki.

    To sum this all up, reasons we cannot comprehend and deem stupid just because.

  • December 21, 2016 at 9:27 pmWraith

    disappointing the performance was not shown at all and the whole part with Shuichi at the beginning felt like it had little meaning to some. Guessing this relationship stuff was better handled in the novels

  • December 21, 2016 at 10:51 pmHenrietta

    Just here to tell you all that I enjoyed all your suffering.

    Fucking delusional shippers all of you.

    Especially you SAMU, you got what you deserved. How about being non partisan the next show you’re blogging?

    • December 22, 2016 at 12:27 aminnerchihiro

      “Non-partisan”??? It’s a freaking anime, not political news coverage. In case you forgot what reviewers do, they’re supposed to express THEIR OPINIONS. Go read a summary if you’re too much of a baby to handle anyone else’s viewpoint.

    • December 22, 2016 at 3:53 amSamu

      Yeah, being non-partisan is not how this works. You do realise we’re here to give our impressions, not a totally objective synopsis of the episodes we’re watching? If acknowledging the poorer scenes we got this week compared to what we could have got makes me a delusional shipper, then so be it.

  • December 21, 2016 at 11:11 pmAlec

    Uhhm, we’ve heard the performance twice already. There’s no need for a 3rd one, not one when the show is nearing its end. No, I’m not in anyway defending it. It’s just what I expected

  • December 22, 2016 at 12:18 amNyast

    It was a bit disappointing that they skipped the performance, but we had one not too long ago, and it was a long one at that (7′ IIRC). I’m not sure what the point of playing another one again so soon would be ? Improvements in their music would have been too subtle for amateurs like us to notice and it would have inflated their budget. Would have people really been happy if they had copy/pasted their 7′ scene from a few episodes ago ? So to be honest I understand the skip.

  • December 22, 2016 at 12:36 amBakapooru

    Episode went by too fast.

  • December 22, 2016 at 1:37 amonion warrior

    Am i the only one whos teary and all heart-warmed watching this episode?

    It was just freshly released and now this place is bombarded with “disappointing” comments.

    Man, my heart really goes well with this episode, same goes to everybody else whos finally got their prayers answered:

    - the waiting is finally over and as expected, they won bronze
    - Asuka finally got her worth praised by her father
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    - Reina finally confessed in style
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    - Haruka and Matsumoto-sensei hugged (well i was humored watching that)
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    - the trios senpais finally seen together going for a cafe hop
    - Taki-sensei finally “student-zone” Reina and everyone finally knows Reina’s biggest crush
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    - Shuuichi finally got longer screen time XD and him interacting with Kumiko
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2034.jpg

    - and last but not least, Mamiko and Kumiko finally solve their tensions…
    http://randomc.net/image/Hibike!%20Euphonium/Hibike!%20Euphonium%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    I am well-entertained and happy for them, and i dont understand why people is just so angry. They of course gonna skip the performance, even i feel like skipping it (especially the OP and ED)! And shit, the tension of waiting for the result was killing me, great job KyoAni hahhaa!

    Anyways, cant wait for the final episode. I hope they will shower us with one OVA perhaps, like a lazy episode of showing the characters’ daily life after the competition maybe? Fufufu…

    • December 22, 2016 at 10:26 pmChromeNova

      You’re definitely not the only one. While the lack of a performance made be gasp in disbelief, I still got really emotional over a lot of resolved developments, like Azusa finally getting recognition from her father, Kumiko and her sister finally getting along and expressing love, etc. It was still a great episode despite the performance cut.

      • December 23, 2016 at 2:04 amonion warrior

        Coming from KyoAni and how they have always been handling endings, i am not really all that surprised by this. Even since K-ON, some of the performances especially from Mio was sometimes cut-off which i’d really rather see. Maybe im already used to it, like you cant REALLY expect endings to be handled delicately, its one-cour obviously even though its season two; or im just the type who prefer to see the characters’ idle moments rather than actions.

        But whatever it is, i am wholly entertained with this episode. Enough said. :)

    • December 23, 2016 at 9:54 amtheirs

      I enjoyed it too. A few of those scenes actually put a tear in my.

      As for the negativity this episode gets, I think Samu’s post actually expresses this well. Analysing it a little actually made me understand a little as to “why”. Most of the other comments here actually relate in some way to his. I think it all starts from the overly high expectations of their performance in the nationals being shown.

      I watched this yesterday, and was actually surprised by this review. Didn’t seem to match my lingering impression of the episode. Some of the comments too. Especially after reading 100+ of them.

  • December 22, 2016 at 1:39 aminnerchihiro

    Samu, your review was very nearly the only good part of watching this episode. Thank you for keeping it real.

    This was a difficult one. Worse for me than skipping over the performance (which if I had to put money on it, I’d say we’ll be getting some flashbacks in the next episode) was skipping the reaction upon realizing they had lost. Honestly, what’s the point of them getting bronze if we don’t see the shock and awe of that moment? The whole loss felt so hollow. What is even the takeaway?

    The Shuichi scene had me laughing because while it’s clear Shuichi likes Kumiko (he even made a noise when they accidentally brushed hands lol) it’s clearer that Kumiko just does not give a flying fuck.

    • December 22, 2016 at 1:46 aminnerchihiro

      Welp, the rest of my comment somehow got deleted, but essentially I second the rest of your review Samu. Reina’s confessions were excruciatingly lame (particularly the second one where she hung her head as he left and sighed like she was in a Charlie Brown cartoon) and the Mamiko drama was completely unnecessary. Aside from Asuka, this episode didn’t even feel like it was part of Hibike! Euphonium, it was so out of left field. For the first time I have literally zero clue what is going to happen next week. The only thing I know is that they will shove Shuichi and Kumiko down our throats.

      • December 22, 2016 at 3:38 pmmegalith

        Mamiko drama was completely unnecessary.

        How? Their drama was left unresolved due to Kumiko not being the one to break the barrier?

        Did people just seriously forget about last week’s episode? I’m seriously disappointed that I cannot understand how people miss the mark by a long shot. This isn’t even that complicated.

        First with wanting too much about the character relationship/romance with one another and completely missing the drama that revolves around the music. Second with questioning Mamiko and Kumiko’s relationship saying how it was unreasonable.

        Asuka perfectly described Kumiko.

        Season 1, she blurts out words that she honestly thinks which ends up causing pain and awkwardness. Season 2, she doesn’t that often anymore but at the same time she still keeps that facade of being indifferent about something.

        In a sense, Mamiko for some reason didn’t want to act that close to Kumiko anymore. Probably because she was the one who shoved her away and hurt her. She maintains distance. But the last part was Kumiko reaching out to her which finally breaks the wall between them. Kumiko didn’t just cry in the train for no reason. Or are we going to really ignore all of those nuances.

        To cut this short, she is not being honest with herself. To a degree, shut herself out. I guess a lot of people also missed this.

      • December 22, 2016 at 3:59 pmSamu

        I think innerchihiro was referencing how contrived the Kumiko/Mamiko scene was with her running after her for that final moment. At least that’s how I felt about it. There was no need for those extremes, though I understand why KyoAni did it. But it just came off as a cheap attempt at drama when there wasn’t much need for it.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:05 pminnerchihiro

        Yeah, to elaborate on my feelings regarding the Mamiko drama, I mirror Samu in that 1) it made no sense that Mamiko just left the auditorium without a word since she was the one to extend the olive branch a few episodes ago. 2) Since Kumiko and Mamiko are on good terms now (Kumiko even said as much to Shuichi in this very episode!) it didn’t make sense for Kumiko to be so desperate to find Mamiko. Sure, I can understand that she hadn’t yet expressed how much Mamiko’s influence meant to her, but the desperation she showed in running after Mamiko that way would only make sense if she was afraid of losing Mamiko forever. Again, it doesn’t make sense given the fact that Mamiko has been supportive of Kumiko recently.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love the relationship between these two characters, but the way this scene was written felt forced just for the sake of drama.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:29 pmmegalith

        I think innerchihiro was referencing how contrived the Kumiko/Mamiko scene was with her running after her for that final moment. At least that’s how I felt about it. There was no need for those extremes, though I understand why KyoAni did it.

        We are already knee deep in this that we should by now what we have signed up for.

        To be honest, Mizore and Nozomi’s arc isn’t up to my liking. However, to say that it wasn’t actually necessary means that the whole drama in this is just pointless. Therefore the story is pointless because it’s a drama to which we are complaining about being too “dramatic”. However to look it at that perspective means you’re trying to direct the show in your mind according to your taste. Leading to completely missing the message.

        I’m not saying people are wrong to say their opinion about the show. However to do so in a manner that actually doesn’t take into account the nuances screams of nitpicking. It’s as if people just completely focused on what they did not get and say how a particular scene was meaningless out of disappointment. Like I said, a great example of this is how people were so hung-up about the romance subplot that the message the show is trying to deliver gets ignored.

        Season 1 IMO was far better since it focused more on the theme of being a team and how it had the benefit of focusing only one novel.
        Season 2 was more about personal drama of each of some of the members while still connecting to Kumiko in a way.

        In no way I’m saying this series is perfect, but IMO some of the things they grill this show for are just plain wrong.

      • December 22, 2016 at 6:02 pminnerchihiro

        megalith, as I mentioned before part of my comment was deleted so I shortened my response the second time around. I can see your confusion so I just want to set the record straight: going all out on the drama is fine by me. Tears, speeches, random screaming from mountain tops, all good here! I just felt that parts of this scene were repetitive and ignored the fact that some of this drama had already been resolved. Hope that clears things up!

      • December 22, 2016 at 10:46 pmmegalith

        I just felt that parts of this scene were repetitive and ignored the fact that some of this drama had already been resolved.

        I honestly do not get what you really mean when you found that scene repetitive at all. Kumiko had never opened up to her sister ever since she was pushed away.

        Her telling her sister her true feelings while seemingly throwing away all resentment meant they have gone back to how they once were. Why Mamiko never approached her sister? Maybe because the relationship is still fragmented.

      • December 23, 2016 at 1:27 aminnerchihiro

        Not much more I can say here. I’m glad you enjoyed the scene though :)

    • December 22, 2016 at 4:14 amSamu

      Thanks! I’m glad my impressions mirrored yours. And by the looks of it, plenty of others as well.

      • December 22, 2016 at 7:56 amReason

        Samu, you may want to reconsider either your choice of avatar or this habit of appealing to “plenty of others” you’ve developed as of late. Crowd support doesn’t make anyone’s opinion more right or wrong. You’re perfectly entitled to have negative feelings about this ep, whether or not everyone agrees with you. Those who enjoyed the ep are just as entitled to their feelings, though.

      • December 22, 2016 at 8:51 amSamu

        Except I’ve never dismissed the opinions of those who differ from mine? I just replied to this particular comment that shared my opinion.

        Though it is telling that some of those who disagree with me are quick to calls me a yurifag or using words like “degenerates”, which I simply won’t stand for.

      • December 22, 2016 at 10:59 amReason

        Samu, I didn’t say you were dismissing people’s opinions, just that pointing out that many/most people agree isn’t a very useful argument. I brought it up because I’ve seen you use a variation of this phrase several times recently, so it seems like a pattern you may want to take a look at. Or not, totally up to you.

        As for these other things: I don’t support namecalling and labeling people, but in my understanding “yurifag” is just 4chan-type crude slang for “yuri fan” and isn’t usually intended to imply anything beyond that – unlike “faggot” or “degenerate”. The latter two are definitely unacceptable, no question about that.

        If it helps: nothing I personally have (ever) said here has had anything to do with your (or anyone else’s) orientation, that’s not something I even remember about people on the internet (unless it has direct relevance to something, which I don’t think is the case with what kind of anime pairings someone likes).

      • December 22, 2016 at 11:11 amReason

        s/ isn’t usually intended to imply anything beyond that / isn’t usually intended to imply anything beyond that (even in combination with “butthurt”) /

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:22 pminnerchihiro

        “just that pointing out that many/most people agree isn’t a very useful argument”

        Considering he was responding to me, and I completely agree with his take on this ep, I don’t think Samu was even trying to make an argument. You’re correct in that whether something is “right or wrong” isn’t determined by popularity, but that’s not what he was saying in the slightest.

  • December 22, 2016 at 3:01 amTakala

    Samu your posts never fail to make me laugh, keep up the good work

  • December 22, 2016 at 6:48 amVaans

    I am not disappointed at all.

    And to those who are disappointed about not seeing the performance, they’re playing the exact same pieces from the last competition. It’d be a waste of time to repeat it.

    The highlights for me are Reina’s double confessions, Asuka’s dad giving an indirect message, the retiring of the President and Vice President, and Kumiko and her sister’s relation.

    Reina deserve a pat on the shoulder for not only confessing once, but twice. And on a public concert hall of that. She got guts. Hang in there, Reina.

    Also, who will be the next President and Vice-President now? Which will probably be answered on the last episode.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:21 amVey

    As far as the missing performance, I was not surprised, though I was disappointed in how it was handled. Ever since episode 5, I was worried that KyoAni had this planned. Give us the fully animated performance tied to a victory episode and shorten or skip it with the episode where they are ultimately defeated. But I felt how they executed it was still a mess.

    Honestly, though, the missing performance was far from my biggest issue with this episode. Last week’s episode broke the Kumiko / Reina relationship. I’m simply talking about their friendship here. Given how little Reina appeared in this season, KyoAni worked really hard to continue evolving the friendship in small scenes in every episode, and some were fantastic. For example, Reina encouraging Kumiko before she goes over to Asuka’s house or Reina taking care of Kumiko when she’s sick. When we finally get an episode (11) to focus on Reina we could have had the fight that resulted in a stronger friendship, but instead, the friendship is broken in a way that this current episode makes a clear point is not worth fixing. We see virtually no interaction between these two “best friends” leading up to the biggest concert of the season, or following it, save Reina’s confession scene, which simply reinforces episode 11. After pictures, when in any other episode you’d expect Reina to drag Kumiko off to talk about the loss, or Kumiko to be at least LOOKING for Reina, there is nothing. Reina is instead hanging out with her section, people she has openly despised the entire show.

    And so, as Euphonium is about to finish, the friendship that took center stage for the entire first seasons and has matured thru delicate sideline scenes in the second appears to have been broken, with only 1 episode left to fix it…

    • December 22, 2016 at 6:06 pminnerchihiro

      Totally agree. I’ve always said that their relationship, however you want to define it, is the heart of the show and it’s very sad to see it take such a turn. I had been hoping to a better resolution to last episode, but after this it seems clear that we won’t be getting that.

  • December 22, 2016 at 9:50 amAki-Chan

    I….I partially get the disappointment a lot of people are feeling with the episode, and on the other hand, I don’t because overall I feel very positive about it. This is gonna be stupidly rambly anyway, so I’ll separate it into bullet-points/categories. Here goes nothing-

    -Lack of performance scene: This one is actually the point I understand the most, because I myself would have liked to have seen at least part of it. On the other hand, given it’s the same piece that we’ve had full scenes of before, it’s not that large a loss. And as for the aftermath scenes we get afterwards? I personally thought those were great anyway. They give little details of the characters personalities and some of their relationships. Stuff that’s already established, sure, but I like how it’s emphasised in little moments like this.

    -Shipping wars: Actually, most of the furore, asides from the performance scene, is about shipping wars, as far as I can see. Before I say anything more, I’ll just point out that don’t actually have a preference for one over the other. As to what I actually think. In itself, I don’t think the Kumiko/Shuuichi scene was too bad. It was very interlude-ish (if that makes sense), but it was a nice little scene. And apparently the hairpin he gave her has some significance, specifically relating to the flower that the clip is portraying. And given there’s a context with them being childhood friends and all, it’s not completely weird that something COULD start between them. But of course, the key word there is COULD, not to mention, if it’s meant to be the inevitable outcome, then it perhaps would have been useful to show more scenes with them, to make the context clearer as opposed to zoning in too much on Kumiko/Reina scenes. So it is more than a bit silly that he’s barely been around this season. Speaking of Kumiko/Reina, an earlier commenter pointed out that in this episode, where’d you’d expect them to have a lot of interactions, they had virtually none, perhaps asides from the part when Reina ‘saved the day’ with her first confession and Kumiko had to remind her to sit down afterwards, which could point to the fact that their friendship did not resolve itself as smoothly as the last episode suggested it had. Their friendship is still the strong, impressive thing we’ve seen all this time, but something has definitely cracked.

    -Reina’s confessions: I think this could have fit better in my shipping wars bullet point, but A: that was getting two long, and B: It’s kinda separate anyway. This one is genuinely one I don’t understand the annoyance about, and which I find myself feeling annoyed about the annoyance. YES, it’s entirely one-sided, and YES it’s ‘just’ a teenage crush, not to mention the inappropriateness of teacher/student relationships generally speaking. BUT, even with all this, they’re still Reina’s feelings and are of course real and tangible. Even if they will most likely end up fading, she needs to process them and deal with them, doesn’t she? As opposed to shutting them down and pretending they don’t exist? She started that process in a way by visiting his wife’s grave at the end of the last episode, and I think her two blurted-out confessions will also go some way to that too. And even if they were rather dramatic confessions, and a little silly too, to be honest it was a good way of going about it without it being sticky (not to mention what a lifesaver it was for everyone else the first time). Not to mention I think Taki handled it perfectly. I have no doubt that he meant what he said when he told her it meant a lot to him in the teacherly sense, and this is exactly how he will take it and remember it. But I don’t think he is dense, he probably understands what other meaning Reina would have had-but treated it appropriately. He didn’t acknowledge this alternate meaning and make things even more sticky and awkward, but he was able to thank her for the compliment and be polite. It’s the right balance between taking her seriously and making sure she doesn’t get any further ideas (because of course her remaining feelings will not fade INSTANTLY), and appropriate for her age and all. Taki is a good teacher, seriously.

    Aaand…yeah. The other details, such as the message from Asuka’s dad and the sisterly bonding scene, were also things I enjoyed, but there isn’t that much to rant about where those are concerned, so yeah. While I partially understand some of the disappointment, I have to say that the…harshness of some of the commenters, and even this review, honestly did take me aback. I LOVED this episode. And since I rambled on for ages defending stuff here, I’ll just end this by saying that still, I respect everyone’s opinions and it was interesting reading through and seeing various reasons for people’s thoughts on the episode here. So here’s to hoping that the final episode will be one that ALL of us will enjoy in one way or another!!!!

  • December 22, 2016 at 12:12 pmClaraLuna

    This post pretty much shows how annoying and self-entitled yuri shippers can be.

    • December 22, 2016 at 1:20 pmSamu

      Except I’m not a yuri shipper, bud.

  • December 22, 2016 at 12:44 pmAlice

    Yuribait is profitable, yuri isn’t so much. I already knew where the series was headed thanks to the source material, but Kyo-Ani definitely knew what they were doing because they hammed it up as much as possible without being unfaithful. The ending is equally bland on both sides of the spectrum. I can’t fault Kyo-Ani, I guess, but they had the potential to do more considering the source material was overwhelmingly forgettable.

    • December 22, 2016 at 1:22 pmSamu

      Let’s see what the ending brings next week. I too was spoiled for the source material (which I’m sure everyone has been at this point, because certain novel readers couldn’t help themselves), but with next week being partially (or mostly) anime-original by the sounds of it, who knows what we’re in for…

    • December 22, 2016 at 2:59 pmTraitor_AH

      Is this really true though? People keep saying it, but as an yuri fan, all the bait without delivering has made me buy less, not more. But let’s put me aside, as I’m not Japanese so what I buy/watch does not matter. You say yuri is not profitable. Any proof of this? Japan has never made any actual yuri shows, at least not as far as I remember. So how do they know they don’t sell if they haven’t tried yet? I’m Hikari of Braves Witches and I say you don’t know until you try! I know Japan has this image of being traditionally homophobic, but these shows are targeted towards people that already break some Japanese traditions and taboos anyway. They’re otaku, some of them are supposedly NEETs that will never have children. Not working and not continuing your glorious family line? Woah, what the hell is wrong with you? What’s to say Yuri/Yaoi is where they’ll draw the line and be like, no, I’m a proper Japanese person now? And really, there’s an even bigger problem here, as many straight shows with elements of romance end not delivering much either, but that’s another topic and my message is long enough already.

      • December 25, 2016 at 12:58 pmScruffy

        Japan hasn’t made yuri shows? Two of my favorate anime are Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto which were both unashamidly yuri and yes both sold very poorly. Intererstingly enough we have Citrus and NeTsuzou tRap comming up soon which are both yuri.

  • December 22, 2016 at 2:38 pmsonicsenryaku

    Im going to throw my two cents into this conversation…and this is by no means meant to offend anyone. first ima start of by saying that this ep was a bit of a hit or miss (my opinion of it will mostly depend on how the finale is handled). Secondly, are people really that upset that kumiko and reina’s relationship wasnt romantic??? Wnat to know one of things i appreciated the most about yuri on ice? it was how it handled yuri an viktor’s romance without calling too much attention to the fact that they were both males. This is the problem with a lot of viewers who want to see same sex relationships in media handled more tastefully: you stop looking at the relationship itself and start putting emphasis on the sexuality of the couple in question; some people are quick to pull the same sex relationship card. Then at a certain point, that’s all they seem to care about. Im seeing comments like “oh, and if kumiko or reina was a boy, they would have definitely got together”. Why is that even a comment that is being brought up in the first place? Does every relationship always have to be romantic? why just because Reina and Kumiko arent one step away from having a steamy kiss or something, people now have to bring their gender into question?? Kumiko and reina not being an item has nothing to do with same sex relationships, or any fear regarding portraying one. If you thought that’s where the series was going (and i dont blame so people with how overt some of the romantic imagery got) then it sucks that you where misled or that you may have read too much into the romantic imagery.

    Firstly, I think we live in a world in which their are certain instances where a male and a female can be just close friends. If that’s the case, The same can be applied to a female and a female. Now look; when i tend to see two people really close people with great chemistry, i tend to ship them as well; however, i also understand that it is okay for those two people to be just really close friends and their bond stay just as meaningful. What im seeing with people’s reactions (and seemingly from the blogger as well) are people being upset about Kumiko and Reina not being a romantic item, as if that takes away from their love for each other; As if there is a law stating that they should be romantically involved or else. Ive seen from some people (not particularly you samu) find the fact that kumiko and reina not hooking up as some sort of inherent flaw in the series: it’s like “oh, if they dont get together, that means that the writing was bad and that kumiko and reina are poorly constructed characters” and it’s that view that i find to be very misguided.

    Getting upset over the fact that reina and kumiko’s relationship is not romantic completely misses the whole point of the author’s intent, which is the idea that being in a romantic relationship with someone doesnt necessarily make them your soulmate. There are different forms of love and all of them have their own significance. Kumiko finding that she has romantic feelings for shuuichi (if that’s the direction the series goes) does not take away from the fact that reina and kumiko share a bound matched by no one else in her life and yea that includes shuuichi. Similarly, kumiko and shuuichi have a chemistry that is unique to them that is different from what they have with others (hence the budding romance). So yea, to all the people who are complaining about this, id advise to relax, take a chill pill and just ask yourself: why would kumiko and reina not being romantically involved take away from the fact that they have the strongest chemistry out of any other relationship in this series. Sometimes your bestie ends up having more importance than any other bond in your life. Yo develop a fellowship with that bestie and it is this idea that the author of hibike attempts to elucidate with this narrative.

    I think my main gripe with the character dynamics throughout the series is that, regardless of whether the show wanted to highlight the importance of kumiko and reina’s relationship, the story also intended to express how important kumiko and shuuichi perceive each other and production staff kind of dropped the ball on that. Even if they didnt, i think it is important that a narrative such as this makes its viewers understand why there is an attraction between kumiko and shuuichi. In all honesty, i think the series failed on conveying this even if i could see the breadcrumbs of an interesting relationship building in season 1 (regardless, i dont think that’s an excuse to be upset that kumiko and reina arent hooking up because again, it misses the point). Who knows, perhaps kyo ani has some plan to release a movie focusing on their relationship like they did with tamako love story but that’s such a lazy way to go about.

  • December 22, 2016 at 2:42 pmMony

    JFC, why can’t people understand that it’s got nothing to do with wanting the “yuri” to be canon.
    It is about how the relationship between these two characters, who just happen to be both of the same gender, have been building up since like episode 5 of the first season and then suddenly it takes a drastic swift like this and you bet it is damn disappointing. It is bad writing and got nothing to do with ship wars or anything!
    Kumiko and Reina have always been the main focus, their bond has been developing so much in this series (talking anime only btw, I don’t give a shit what happens in the novels, KyoAni chose to go another route, so!) and then you suddenly want me to accept this kind of bullshit?
    Hell no.

    Glad a certain other Wednesday anime saved the day.

    • December 22, 2016 at 3:50 pmsonicsenryaku

      “and then you suddenly want me to accept this kind of bullshit?”

      what bullshit? Reina and Kumiko still love each other…that hasnt changed since ep 5 of season 1 so what bullshit has occurred which has all of a sudden changed that? Where in the narrative has kumiko and reina been depicted to love each other any less now? I think this is what i struggle to understand from the people who say that “it’s not about wanting the ‘yuri ship’ to be canon.” you’re right, it shouldnt be about the yuri ship being canon or not; reina and kumiko are still soulmates; that hasnt changed so what’s the issue? What exactly are you criticizing the writing for being bad for??

  • December 22, 2016 at 4:00 pmLoco

    So, you’re very “open-minded” about same-sex relationships between high-school students, but a high-school student confessing her love to a teacher is a moral hazard? WTF hypocrisy, why is it OK for Reina to do one but not the other?

    • December 22, 2016 at 4:18 pmSamu

      Are you seriously implying there isn’t a difference between the two relationships? Really?

      Taki is 34 years old, Reina is 15. He is an adult in a position of power with authority over her. By any measure, compared to him, she is a child. He’s over double her age, and Reina clearly hasn’t reached an adult level of maturity yet. There’s also the fact that, as David points out above, her love for him is pure idol-worship. She thinks she knows him, but she clearly doesn’t. And then there’s also the element of his dead wife. If she really cared for him she would stand off and understand it’s never going to happen, but as I said, she’s not that mature.

      It’s fine that she has a crush on her teacher, but it shouldn’t be taken seriously, which I’m thankful Taki-sensei doesn’t. But it’s gotten enough attention that it’s irritating to watch unfold without getting dismissed by the rest of the cast, since Reina isn’t growing from it.

      And then you have Kumiko and Reina. People are going to assume I’m a yuri shipper when I’m not, I just think this adaptation has focused in on them to the degree that no other relationships compares. I knew it wasn’t going to be romantic a long time ago, but I stand by that their bond is strong and they’re essentially soulmates.

      So why are you acting as if their potential relationship is something just as bad or morally hazardous as a student-teacher one between a man in his 30s and a 15 year old girl? If it’s because they’re of the same gender then I’m not getting into that debate. If it has anything to do with it being “unnatural” then you’re factually incorrect. There is a difference between two high schoolers the same age being together and a higher schooler being with a teacher twice their age. It’s really that simple.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:16 pmLoco

        Hey dude, better not imply I’m a bigot, it’s you who is thinking bias. I said nothing that same-sex is a moral hazard. Homophobia isn’t the only bigotry, ageism isn’t any nobler so don’t pretend. WTF does it matter that Taki is an adult and can have authority? He is not making Reina to do anything so this does not matter at all, she is the active side. WTF does it matter that he has dead wife, you think that widower should not have new love? It is good for him if Reina gets him out of living for dead person. She didn’t know Kumiko also so if she spends more time with Taki she can know him better no problem. It is not requirement for love to know every detail before relationship start, only stalkers do that. It is important that she is making the decision to love Taki just as in your dream she is making the decision to love Kumiko. If she is mature enough to do one, she is mature enough to do other. I can also say that she is too young to know what her sexuality is to pick Kumiko so are we getting into that? Don’t restrict love arbitrarily because you’re partisan. Why do we have to take Kumiko love seriously but not Taki love? That is bias. I think because you have vested interest you want same-sex over student-teacher. What does it mean you are not yuri shipper when you ship yuri couple? Let’s be honest dude.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:19 pmSamu

        Reina is a child. Taki is an adult.

        Relationships between someone in a position of authority (like teacher and student) and a minor is not something to celebrate or equate to anything else. If Reina were older, no longer his student, and mature enough to make decisions, then I wouldn’t be so against it. But that isn’t what we’re getting here, is it?

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:26 pmLoco

        What is your point? She is also a child when she loves Kumiko but that is sacred for you. If you can feel romantic love, you are not child any more. So if she can, she isn’t and if she can’t, Kumiko is no more than a stupid crush also. This works both ways, be honest duse.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:36 pmSamu

        But surely you understand that the age difference is more than enough to raise concerns? Kumiko and Reina are the same age. People the same age fall in love and date each other from young ages. That doesn’t justify a 15 years old potentially being with a 34 year old. They are completely different things.

        And that’s all I’m saying on the matter.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:41 pmLoco

        It’s impossible to talk if you can edit your comment after I post mine. I can see that it’s OK for you to be ageist and call people homophobe when you get challenged. Have it your way dude, but you can’t change the FACT that Reina loves Taki and Kumiko is just a good friend so tough to be you.

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:46 pmLoco

        You keep saying that it’s different and yes it is different because Reina -> Taki is true love and Reina -> Kumiko is good deep friendship. True love does not need justification or approval by you. You can keep your bias.

      • December 22, 2016 at 7:48 pminnerchihiro

        “If you can feel romantic love, you are not child any more.”

        Wait, what?? Reina started feeling romantic love for Taki when she was a small child, are you saying that as an elementary school student she and Taki could have started dating? No society that I am aware of recognizes adulthood by whether or not you “feel romantic love.”

      • December 22, 2016 at 9:03 pmLoco

        Are you crazy dude or you also like to put words in my mouth? I really appreciate if people stop deliberately twisting what I say. In the beginning she just admired him and it wasn’t romantic, that is obvious. When she grew older it became romantic and she became not a child even if some here like to call her a child except if she loved Kumiko then she’d be mature enough of course. It is really easy logic, try to follow it if you can. I don’t give rats ass what society thinks because society also thought for long time that God hates gay love and other crap like that. You have to consider individual circumstances if it is possible. In real life it is very difficult but here we can do it and not dismiss it on only bias.

      • December 22, 2016 at 11:35 pmjcoe

        Well, Loco does have a point.

        As much as a lot of fans want Kumiko and Reina to be romantically involved, I don’t think the events that have occurred leading up to these episodes are negated by the fact that Reina loves Taki-sensei. And I feel like people are forgetting that it’s Reina who’s in love, and not Taki. She’s 15, yes, and the age gap may divide some people, but she is 15 after all – a teenage girl. She’s allowed to like who she wants and make irrational decisions. But she still has a bit of growing up to do. It’s not as if KyoAni or the author is vocally advocating age gaps in relationships.

        I just hope people don’t get too stirred up by this aspect of the show. Yes, this is a plot point to the series, but as a whole, the show is more than which character is going to end up with which other character.

        But what I hope from the series is for the show to end on a more ambiguous note romantically so that both ends series watchers aren’t too riled up about seeing whatever outcome they see is the worst.

      • December 23, 2016 at 1:10 aminnerchihiro

        Loco:

        There’s a big difference between ageism and an adult dating a child. I would know, my parents are 14 years apart. They started dating when my mom was 30 and my dad was 44. In that scenario, a 30 year old woman is more than fully developed and is past the point in her life when her entire worldview is easily swayed or manipulated by an older boyfriend. Reina on the other hand is a 15 year old and is still very much in the throws of puberty and adolescence. A relationship with a 34 year old who has authority over her given his advanced age would be incredibly risky. Even if Taki loved Reina and wanted nothing but to treat her well, he would inadvertently cause her to become dependent on him at an early age. Reina would never have the opportunity to be the authority figure in her own life, she would go from her parents straight to Taki. There’s a reason many first world countries have shunned the idea of child brides in modern times, and the wellbeing of the child is always the primary reason for doing so. If Reina was an adult and still wanted to pursue this relationship, that would be different, but she is not, regardless of whether or not she feels romantic love since that has diddly squat to do with adulthood. By comparison, Kumiko or anyone Reina’s age could never have that kind of sway in her life.

        Honestly, and not to get too personal here, having seen ACTUAL ageism directed at my parents, the fact that you are using that word to describe a teacher dating a high school student makes me very angry. It is not the same thing, please have some respect for people who actually deal with this issue and stop conflating it with this plot line.

      • December 23, 2016 at 9:29 amReason

        I haven’t seen any adults dating children in this anime. I have seen people claiming that a high-schooler falling in love with an adult is an existential threat to world peace, or some such. It’s entirely possible for Reina to continue to feel the same way about the teacher for a few more years and only then start dating him, which would moot almost every contrary argument presented here.

        I also find it unfortunate that a number of people have latched onto imperfect phrasing and terminology choices of a poster who clearly isn’t a native speaker as an easy way to “win”. I think Loco‘s overall point is quite valid: it’s somewhat disingenuous to cheerlead a type of behavior that used to be taboo until quite recently, while at the same time summarily rejecting another type of behavior just because it’s largely considered taboo right now in Western societies. I’m not generally a supporter of underage/adult relationships, but it seems to me that the real problem for at least some of the posters is not even that student/teacher is taboo but that it gets in the way of what they’d prefer to see instead – the taboo aspect is simply an easier target.

    • December 22, 2016 at 4:40 pmmarsh381

      Maaaaaan, this comment section took a toxic turn. Though I do find it amusing that people find it a moral hazard for same-sex relationships…..opinions are opinions but at least mine aren’t based off of bigotry. Because hey, every time there’s a taboo relationship lets automatically compare it to homosexuality because apparently that’s still a taboo thing~! (like how religious people will compare incest to homosexuality on the same field of unholiness).
      And no, wanting two couples of the same gender to end up together doesn’t make you a yuri or yaoi shipper. It only comes to that if that’s all you do, and you do it with a bunch of characters with no chemistry. But pairing up same-gendered characters that show to have actual chemistry is just normal shipping.

      And Samu, don’t bother trying to defend yourself against these types of post. It really doesn’t end well. Hell, just look at that show that came out a few seasons ago that was essentially the poor-man’s version of Euphonium….something about mysteries or whatever? I called out the community for being vastly homophobic for their reaction of having a male main character be bisexual and thinking the show would go straight to buttsex, and some people had genuine issues with me saying that (yay for having top comment!!). Not with saying that the community was homophobic, but they had a problem with the fact that I found their homophobia a problem. These are the type of people you just don’t respond to.
      (and no this isn’t some tumblr-SJW talking…with how much that term is thrown around these days, its just common sense)

      • December 22, 2016 at 5:22 pmLoco

        Nice work dude, saying that I’m bigot because someone put words in my mouth to protect their ageist bias. You aren’t a SJW, that’s very clear when you attack innocent people based on misinformation.

    • December 22, 2016 at 7:13 pmAlice

      You sound very young from your comments about “ageism” in regards to teacher-student relationships. Do not compare a consensual relationship between two people of the same gender and age (AKA totally normal, gay or not) to something like a teacher-student relationship (AKA almost always illegal and morally abhorrent on a multitude of levels). It has very little to do with the age gap and very much to do with the power dynamics of the relationship.

      Teachers take on a roll psychologically similar to a parent. It’s exploitative, it doesn’t matter whether the child is the aggressor or the adult. Many kids go through a stage where they will focus their affections on teachers or another unattainable adult in their lives. It’s part of growing up and coming of age. The fact is that it is easy to confuse benign feelings of admiration and attraction with love at what is the beginning of sexual awakening in your life. Teachers receive training in how to deal with kids who fixate them and most somewhat attractive teachers has faced it. These poignant feelings fade with time and experience and kids naturally fall out of this romanticism.

      • December 22, 2016 at 8:45 pmLoco

        Why ageists always have to belittle people who oppose? I can’t win against this demagogue logic because if I say I’m not “very young” then the next thing I’d hear it that I must be a perv out to get young people. This is not productive.

        Did you know that gay relationships are still illegal and thought morally abhorrent in many places in the world? You and I will say that’s backward and it is. I will go one further and say that you are also backward with your ageism without consideration of circumstances. The reason it is frowned upon is because no one want old pervs chasing schoolgirls and this would give them excuse. But if the adult is not chasing or pressuring at all and the young person falls in love with them you can’t indiscriminately call that automatic wrong and exploitation. That dude David who is now world authority because he agreed with blogger Samu said that these relationships rarely work out. Very surprising indeed if they’re surrounded by ageists like you who put a lot of pressure telling that it’s bad and even criminal. It’s not like the chances of two 15-year old high-school student lesbian relationship working out long term is any better. It’s also most likely failure because of social pressure in a country like Japan. That does not mean it’s intrinsically wrong or that it’s unimaginable to work out.

        I like both Reina and Kumiko and I don’t have a problem if Reina loves Kumiko but she loves sensei instead. It is fact in the anime. It is not my fault and I don’t accept when people call it stupid and me immature because I like this idea. You think it is terrible because of your bias. I think everything works better if you give others leeway as much as you want them to give leeway to you.

  • December 22, 2016 at 4:40 pmflap

    Wow, uh, I liked this episode. I don’t see the point of some orchestra playing music for several minutes to have any value, it’s not like our actual fictional high school students would be the ones playing. If I want to listen to a random concert performance I can just hop over to YouTube.

    I guess watching several minutes of characters huffing and puffing into instruments while winking at each other between breaths is worth something, but I’m glad time wasn’t wasted on that.

    but this whole subplot is still dumb, especially when it’s given so much attention

    What’s dumb about it? She’s a woman (almost, can’t remember her age), is she not allowed to be in love? Card Captor Sakura shows how such a relationship can follow through (Sakura’s parents), I don’t see why a subplot here is so strange.

    Also, I’m sorry to say that I missed several of your recent blog posts so I’m probably not sensing the atmosphere that’s built up, but I ended up with a really different impression of this episode.

    • December 22, 2016 at 6:50 pmonion warrior

      “…What’s dumb about it? She’s a woman (almost, can’t remember her age), is she not allowed to be in love? Card Captor Sakura shows how such a relationship can follow through (Sakura’s parents), I don’t see why a subplot here is so strange.”

      Oh! I was thinking the same thing too! They worked right? Sakura’s parents… :D

      And tbh i think Reina’s love for Taki is very sweet and cute, despite their age gap. But to criticize TakiXReina relationship(or direction of ship) is very un-cool. So what if shes in love with him? Let her be. She’ll be graduating from highschool and soon be in college or university and be joining the working environment. This is her first love and first memory of love. She has deep feelings for him, in love with him but im sure she didnt say she wants to be in a relationship with him. Thats why i dont get it when some people here are so bitter and calling Reina stupid for this (she is entitled for her admiration and feelings for him anyway.) Soon she’ll be over it and find someone else. Shes just 15, and duh of course she wont be marrying him (obviously). If it happens, well i think im okay with that too.

      So why dont we, as matured audience (which i believe we all are), be in support of Reina’s burning feeling instead? Thats what we call ‘youth’, right?

    • December 25, 2016 at 5:33 pmEl Huesudo II

      The age gap between Fujitaka and Nadeshiko in CCS is at the most 5 years if you make the calculations, as Fujitaka was a new employee at the high school when they started dating; the age gap between Reina and Taki is 18 years – eighteen fucking years.

      • December 27, 2016 at 9:46 pmflap

        18 years – eighteen fucking years

        Wow, you must be young. When you’re 18 years old, 18 years is your entire life. 18 years before that, you were an infant.

        When you’re 30 years old, you’re the same person you were at 18 years old, you’ve just spent time at college/work/prison since then, and possibly wiser for it. At 30, being 18 years old is like yesterday, compared to being 18 years old and looking back at being a baby, which was a lifetime ago.

        Childhood is a temporary phase, and nothing more. Everyone graduates from it. Once you get past a certain age, age only matters if you think it does.

        This discussion of ageism isn’t relevant anyway. She’s in love and it’s something she has to deal with, and she’s entitled to be in love, even if unrequited. The entire season was about what drives each character and what performing music means to them. None of them have really been fun-happy stories. Reina will grow up eventually, and what happens from there is up to her.

  • December 22, 2016 at 4:47 pmLeBlah

    I guess my only issue with all of this negativity is that everyone’s position seems to be

    “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE YURI PAIRING BUT THE YURI PAIRING IS THE ONLY THING I WILL ACCEPT”

    Reina and Kumiko are super tight. Best friends. Very affectionate, etc. They can be all of that and still be friends. Friendships can be just as powerful as romantic relationships.

    That being said, there was definitely a lot of subtext between them but that is almost entirely KyoAni’s fault. Blame them for adding more subtext than there ever was in the source material and perpetuating the unfortunate trend of yuribaiting and using genuine, wonderful relationships between women as bait they’ll never capitalize on to attract specific demographics. It’s very exploitative.

    • December 22, 2016 at 7:43 pmsonicsenryaku

      thaaaaaaaank you; that’s what ive been saying. Some of the comments are literally people just saying that they’re not implying what they are clearly implying. I even go on to mention that if people feel that the kumikoxshuuichi pairing feels weak, they have every right to because the show didnt do such a good job fleshing that out. i can understand why kumiko and shuuichi would have good chemistry but the show has gone out of its way to neglect building it up and as a result it kind of feels a bit underdeveloped. That however should not take away from Reina and Kumiko being soulmates. That’s the part where i dont really understand where all the contention is coming from if supposedly the problem isnt the fact that they arent romantically involved.

  • December 22, 2016 at 7:27 pmWard

    Age gap is not an issue in man Asian cultures. It’s perfectly acceptable. What will be looked down upon is the tracher-student relationship which will not be an issue after Reina graduates. So don’t project your Western values to these clearly Japanese characters.

    • December 23, 2016 at 3:37 amAlice

      Modern psychology suggests that relationships with teachers in the formative years is almost always toxic to long term mental wellness as well as setting a poor model for future relationships. You’re right, teacher-student relationships are more common in Japan. However, I’d like to point out that you’re talking about a society that fetishises youth and innocence to the extreme. Japanese society has an incredible tolerance for the sexual exploitation of young girls and it is the bread and butter of their sex industry. It is easy to find all levels of satisfaction in Japan from cafes where you talk to school girls, “walking dates”, cuddle cafes, etc. Also, students are incredibly pressured to live up to their family’s expectations including being successful in school and, as an extension, please their teachers which makes the whole business even more complex psychologically.

      There are cultures in which cannibalism, rape, and domestic violence are common too. The “acceptability” of an action within a society is not necessarily a marker of being morally correct.

      • December 23, 2016 at 8:33 amReason

        Alice, thanks for this showcase example of how one can start with “almost always” (i.e. there are exceptions and the case in question could be one) and then use a combination of fallacies to imply that this actually means there can be no exceptions. A touch of fallacy never hurts when trying to establish one’s personal opinions as universal moral standards for any and all situations.

      • December 25, 2016 at 11:38 amIbri

        Reason you are a great example fo why I sometimes regret that the concept of fallacies is so wide spread, because quite a few, like you, seem to think just invoking them is an I win button.

      • December 25, 2016 at 2:04 pmReason

        Ibri, I’m sorry to hear that you’re inconvenienced by people knowing about fallacies. I can see why – using fallacies to lend support to someone else’s fallacies would work much better if people were less informed. As for the “win” button, in my experience it seems to be useful only if the other person has actually resorted to fallacies. I hope you don’t mind if I press it to win against you, too?

      • December 26, 2016 at 1:56 amAlice

        @Reason OK, Highschool debate club.

      • December 26, 2016 at 3:32 pmReason

        That’s amazing, Alice! How did you guess my club? It’s not quite as intense as being in a brass band, but still a lot of fun. Like, for our next meeting, we’re supposed to collect examples of ad hominems we encounter online. Thanks for helping out!

    • December 27, 2016 at 6:24 amHanabira.Kage

      Umm…as an Asian, I would just like to say that while a minor age gap isn’t too much of an issue, a huge age gap will definitely raise some eyebrows over here. Though any negativity that arises tends to be targeted at the male.

  • December 22, 2016 at 10:40 pmChromeNova

    While I admit it was jarring to see the performance cut in such an abrupt way by immediately fast forwarding, I think the rest of the episode was quite enjoyable. After all, the characters themselves and their relationships with one another is just as important, if not more important, then the actual nationals itself. When you look at the positives of this episode, I think they resolved a lot of things for each character, and I consider that a success.

    Kumiko finally made up with her sister and both of them have a new, reinvigorated insight about life and their own individual passions. Asuka received the recognition from her father, Mizore overcame her own struggle and performed well, Shuiichi shows that he’s quite perceptive of Kumiko and does care for her, and I think little by little, we can see that Kumiko is getting a better impression of him.

    As for the most divisive of developments, I was glad to see Reina confess to him. Yes, maybe the relationship would never have worked out due to age/social position gap. Yes, maybe Reina lacks the maturity to call it quits. However, isn’t not having any regrets and being true to yourself one of the main messages of this show? We literally even heard it from Kumiko’s amazing rant towards Asuka, “stop acting like an adult, we ARE kids”. There’s nothing wrong with Reina being true to herself and letting out the emotions she kept bottled down. It may be inappropriate for them to pursue a relationship, but Reina acted like Reina usually does, which is being honest, and that makes her a great foil to Kumiko.

  • December 22, 2016 at 11:35 pmDoctor Salt

    Love me some salt.

    Please give me more salt.

  • December 23, 2016 at 3:49 amJimJimex

    If you were in ANY concert band, choir, or music competition settings, then the lack of the actual footage for the competition performance makes PERFECT sense.

    At the final, final performance on stage, your mind just go blank and go full-auto.

    I was in the school choir team. I can tell you all about the memories during practices, but if you ask me about the day of the actual competition, I hardly even remember it.

    Maybe that’s why this episode is so relatable for me?

  • December 23, 2016 at 4:01 amJimJimex

    And for Mamiko walking away after seeing the performance. Look, their relationship is filled with tension to begin with. Remember the intense yelling at the house? That resentment was not built up from one or two days of conflict, but from a LONG time of tension.

    Remember how shocked Kumiko was when her sister said she’ll go to the Nationals concert? Any normal siblings would take it for granted: of course it’d be normal to go to your sibling’s concert. But no, it’s a BIG deal for them.

    • December 23, 2016 at 5:39 amonion warrior

      Ikr.

      I commented few episodes back saying i relate to Kumiko very much in terms of having such relationship with my sister (and of course, im an Asian myself). It was very hard to get over that stage where you literally growing up admiring and also kept on being compared to your elder sister; but as you gotten older and realizing the person whom you’ve been looking up to became “ordinary and flawed” and not how you expected them to be, the relationship will become very awkward. Like how Mamiko and Kumiko used to be very closed and Kumiko watching her sister slowly becoming someone whos giving up on a lot of things. To be in that state was very awkward because a part of you are just wanted to tell how disappointed you are but still wanted to avoid any form of conflicts by keeping your mouth shuts.

      I was actually touched and glad that Kumiko decided to change that situation after going through a lot of development (instead of being in status quo). Asians seldom express their love to their siblings especially, and i admit i did feel a little cringy seeing that side of Kumiko XD but i gotta admit, she did learnt something after all the episodes gone by (learning about Asuka’s father, Taki’s loss, her father and sister’s relationship and of course hers) and decided not to let them be another form of regrets she has to bear as she grows up and ended as a “sad” adult (like Taki)…

      • December 23, 2016 at 8:28 amJimJimex

        Seeing the “ordinary and flawed” side of a person you trust will make you more capable of understanding them. Kumiko was accusing of Mamiko for not staying true to herself when it counted, then whine about it much later in life. But I am SO glad Kumiko has grown so much now she understand how much pain Mamiko had to go through.

        Come to think of it, I am very thankful that my sister and I are very close. We are in our early 30′s and after going all over the place for college, we now live within the same block of a city, within 200 yards. I have her car and house keys and vice versa.

        Treasure your siblings. Within our lives, our friends come and go. We meet our parents a quarter into their lives; our sons and daughters come into our lives almost half-way in. Of all people, our siblings will be walking alongside us the longest during the short time we have on this planet.

    • December 23, 2016 at 9:57 amonion warrior

      Ahahaha…well im glad i’ve managed to get through that stage of my life as well. And yes both my sister and i are now getting closer again after we both being away from each other for almost 8 years due to further studies. Though we didnt actually say “Daisuki” to each other, but im sure we both appreciate each other’s company ;)

      “…At the final, final performance on stage, your mind just go blank and go full-auto…”

      Oh yes! I know that feeling! I was very active in choir myself too during school days and also joined our school’s music band as well! And honestly if you look at it now, after season 1 and 12 episodes of season 2, it dont really matter now if we see the performance or not. It was one kind of a journey with Kumiko in Hibike.

      Now thats said and done, i hope the final episode will wrap up everything accordingly and maybe kind enough to give us an OVA as well right :D

  • December 23, 2016 at 9:33 amtheirs

    I actually enjoyed this episode. Probably cause I got over the disappointment from the lack of performance pretty quickly. Reina’s confession actually helped that, especially when hardly anyone thinks she’s being serious. That was quite amusing. Of course the real shock was that they got bronze. Looking at their faces, I expected it to be silver. Didn’t expect them to get bronze, even though it was quite logical considering where they were last year. Unless bronze actually meant third place and not third tier, that is. If that’s the case, not sure why they’d feel so gloomy.

    The most enjoyable scene for me was the one with Mamiko. A real contrast to Samu’s perspective apparently XD. I know what it’s like to find out someone was actually there after I got home, so Mamiko’s actions didn’t seem strange. When she actually found her and screamed her heart out, that actually put a tear in my eye. When Mamiko replied, it actually felt a lot better than that similar scene with Shuuichi last season.

    One final thought, no way we’ll get a Kumiko x Shuuichi next episode. Can’t really see how they’ll make it satisfactory. Sure he has the hots for her. But I don’t think Kumiko’s quite ready to go there this season. Of course I don’t mind getting surprised in a good way.

    • December 23, 2016 at 10:25 amonion warrior

      Your comments really made me feeling all nostalgia again :)))

      Yea, as someone who has been on stage for quite sometimes, i can understand Kumiko’s feeling to see figures in the crowd especially your loved ones. Mamiko was probably feeling awkward after what happen between them recently. She did leave the house without saying a word. And the reason why Mamiko left the hall just like that is because Kumiko did tell her not to come (so perhaps Mamiko was trying to be considerate of the sensitivity in their current relationship).

      I’ve read most of the spoilers out there so i kinda expected most of the things here. But i think i somehow missed Kumiko’s reconciliation part with her sister so it really took me by surprised when Kumiko, a character who has always been in the passive side suddenly shout and ran in the middle of the band’s gathering. And man, i love that part very much.

    • December 27, 2016 at 3:35 amSaburau

      I guess most people didn’t catch the “Italian White” Kumiko placed in front of the score.
      That pretty much said she was going to play with him.
      And since Shuuichi always sit right behind her, he might very well have seen that.

  • December 24, 2016 at 4:30 amMario

    “Oh, wait. I’m thinking about Kumiko and Reina! My bad, I just never expected the two characters who barely interacted through the course of the series to suddenly get their “romance” shoved in the very end. Is it because they’re childhood friends? Or because they’re a boy and a girl? For most of this second season Shuuichi has barely existed, and now we’re supposed to buy that they’re suddenly destined for each other?”

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • December 26, 2016 at 7:07 amSyaoran Li

      That’s shitty wriitting by KyoAni and surely they’ll do what they please.

  • December 25, 2016 at 3:33 pmJon Oscar

    What a fucking mutiny in this comment section… tanoshimasete kure, minna *writes with Satomi’s voice*

  • December 25, 2016 at 6:05 pmPeanutbutter

    Look forward to Kyoani’s next movie: Hibike Euphonium: The Nationals. One hour long film, 30 minutes of pure ensemble performance.

  • January 1, 2017 at 5:29 pmDexterino

    Got damnit. They bronzed it. Oh well they should be happy at making it to Nationals. They should have played Caravan I think they would have won Pure Gold with that song. XD. Season 3? Or is it going to end. Another Kyoani show gone.

  • March 2, 2017 at 2:35 pmfcuked

    Wanted a sex scene so bad, but didn’t happen.