“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tuba”
Let the culling (auditions) begin! I recall commenters from a few weeks back were saying that Taki-sensei should do auditions to better separate the good from the bad. As it turns out, that was his plan all along after SunFes, and clearly it’s something that none of them are used to, or thought would happen, but it makes perfect sense. Now we have all the band members fighting for the potential 55 seats. And you’d think that ones like Sapphire wouldn’t have to worry – as she’s the lone contrabass player – but as she points out, if Taki-sensei isn’t impressed enough with their performances, he could very easily rejig the band and eliminate the need for a contrabass player, or any other obscure or unpopular instrument. For the other instruments, there is completion between the players to get the seat they feel they deserve, and we saw many of them doing their own individual practice in this episode. Kumiko also realises that Taki-sensei is aiming for nationals, especially after seeing the two pieces he’s selected for them. I think it’s clear that they’re now aiming for all or nothing, and I hope they get as close to ‘all’ as possible without collapsing from stress and overwork.
Finding Love for the Tuba:
Hazuki is a solid supporting character, but that’s all she’s been up till this point. She’s plain in appearance, but she always delivers some chuckle-worthy one-liners. This time around, however, she took the centre stage as she found herself stuck with her tuba playing – unable to find confidence in herself or her instrument. I felt for her, being so new to all of this, yet forced to compete against the third years in what could be a brutal audition process.
I especially liked the scenes with Gotou and Riko as they tried to put their love for the tuba into words, though both failing to inspire. By the end, though, Gotou manages to summarise it: the tuba is an instrument that sounds and feels better when accompanied with others – it’s a support to the more flashy instruments. But even without those standout solos, seeing our three main characters play together at the end was as heartwarming as the sun bathing the room. You could feel the music coming alive, even if their performance wasn’t anything extraordinary. Hibike! Euphonium does a fantastic job at making all its performances feel very real, as if we, the audience, are standing in that room hearing and feeling and watching those instruments come together as they do – and all credit must go to KyoAni for continually doing a sterling job across the board with this one.
Hazuki & Shuuichi:
Last week I mentioned that Hazuki and Shuuichi had a little moment whilst packing for the festival, and I was so right! It’s pretty much official at this point: Hazuki totally has the hots for Shuuichi. I doubt he feels much the same, however, as he’s likely got feelings for Kumiko in his heart. Still, I don’t see Kumiko and Shuuichi working out, so maybe Hazuki has a shot? It was such a cute little scene, and I can only hope for more in the future. And more Gotou and Riko as well. And Kumiko and Kousaka, and Sapphire and Asuka as well. Now that I think about it, there are many good pairing here – romantic or not – where the two characters involved play off each other very well. More of them, I say.
Overview – What’s Next?:
We’re back to practicing, but this time it’s for the auditions. Like all the others before it, this episode just flew by. It’s official: Hibike! Euphonium has relit the KyoAni fire in my heart. It’s been a while since I’ve anticipated every new episode of an anime, but once Tuesday rolls around every week, all I can think is that it’s time for more Hibike! Euphonium, and I’m all smiles. Until next week!