“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tuba”

「きらきらチューバ」 (Kirakira Chuuba)

Taki-Sensei’s Auditions:

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!


      1. After Kawashima Ruby was introduced, I was expecting Kawashima Emerald next. Instead, Diamond-Platinum showed up.

        NO MORE Pokemon Delta Emerald Confirmed!
        Pokemon Gen IV sequel Confirmed!

        Red HeartGold ZX
    1. MMm, can anyone tell me what Part or Piece they playing? I get memory Vibes from my Old C64 Times. i remember some Chiptune Intro, with near the same tune…

  1. I agree this was a good episode. It just flew by before I knew it.

    I do like the idea of the auditions. Normally they’d just slim the band down for competitions to the 3rd years and a number of second years. But this time Taki isn’t going to let them off that easy. And good for him, this makes everyone better. It gives talented first years like Reina and Kumiko a spot where they might not normally get one, and forces the third and second years to actually practice.

    Also appreciated the focus on Hazuki who hadn’t gotten that much focus. You learn about her tennis failings which shows why she wanted to try something new. Near the end when they played as a group was perfect because it is very accurate. A tuba or even a euphonium player might not see the importance of their position just from the sheet music. But once the group is together, then it makes sense and you see how you are a crucial piece to the puzzle. And hey if they want to push Hazuki and Shuuichi I’m for it. Gives Hazuki more character growth. Obviously he may not have many feelings about Hazuki right now, but character growth and change can happen.

    A good and fun episode as a whole and I can’t wait for the try outs.

  2. Looks like Aoi-chan has no interest in succeed the Audition

    Let’s see, what they plan to give her on her Way now. Perhaps my Speculation was right, and this hole Music for her is more forced upon her from their Parents, or she need someone like they pull her up in the Light side, like they done with the Twinkle star.

      1. Yes, i hope they find a good Solution for her. it is the classic “should i desire my selfish things over my Parents wishes?” situation. Perhaps they find a compromise, in help her with the School Studies, and she can open more her heart to Music. But then self-doubts will trouble her. is she really doing the right thing? Path, could be a good way here

        Btw, in a Pause Eye caching screen earlier she was the 2nd Bass Saxophone together with the Club President, in this Episode Pause Eye catcher the Club President was alone.. a Spoiler?

  3. I thought the ship was Kumiko/Kosaka. Red string of fate and all that 😀

    And playing bass or percussion is sooo much better when in ensemble. Listen to the the bass part in the Rhydeen march from the last ep. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

  4. “Meddling, Cute Demon”. Yeah that seems fitting.

    lol I remember freaking out over breaking something when it turned out that’s just how it’s suppose to disassemble. When you look after something, you feel so much stronger an attachment to it even moreso than when you use it. :3 I love how she’s cuddling Tubacabra and saying she’s in love all over again!

    “I am Tubacabra. You were born to blow me!” HAHAHAHAHHAHAA!!!! OH MY GOD!! MY SIDES!!!

    … this is a show that WAS NOT MEANT FOR SUBS. The pace goes by incredibly fast, there are new moments where you MUST keep looking at the screen every second and miss the incredibly important lines that you won’t be able to understand from the audio! It’s a struggle.

    “Huh. This is a thing.” … wow, subs….

  5. A very entertaining episode. I had a couple of laughs. It felt more of a breather episode and a setup for things to come. Still very curious about Natsuki and Aoi. Though Aoi story seems more dire. Natsuki on the other hand is surprisingly looking a little more motivated than usual.

    Finally, Kumiko feels more comfortable talking to Reina. Can’t wait for next ep.

      1. looks like Natsuki is like she need/prefers competition or she get bored very fast. She had given in to be behind the Vice-President. But do not want to lose to “Newbies” 🙂

        Looks like this Audition has his right effect, teacher-sensei. Not resting on his laurels and getting rusty

  6. Got to love the return of hardass Taki-sensei, after he was oddly absent last episode when he was replaced by normal sensei. In this case, his setting of auditions has once again made the club hate him but at the same time motivating them to excel. There is certain to be much drama once the qualifications are announced so I wonder how that will turn out.

    In addition I do like the insight on the role of a bass instrument. Hazuki has always played the audience surrogate, so its nice to see her take a more central role and have those facts come for the audience. Goto is right, bass is often the most under appreciated part of music and comes alive when played with other instruments. Kumiko’s solution of showing that to Hazuki with a simple children’s song was just clever.

    I’m honestly worried about the sudden springing of a romantic subplot though. I suppose its expected on a high school setting, but one the things I liked about this series was how it was avoiding those kind of cliched developments. Hopefully it won’t take over the far more interesting National Competitions plot.

  7. Yay, auditions. I approve.

    Still, it sucks when the priority system changes mid-course in an organization. “Oh, you think you’ve earned seniority? Uh, no.”

    Tuba only doesn’t stand out if you’re not paying attention. If there’s no bass, the whole sound is ruined. Try playing some thumpy music without bass. Same deal. (And it’s always easy to find us sousaphone players on the field!)

    Finally, they have some *really* anal requirements for their competition. We always competed in classes based on band size. So a small band with only 30-40 people in it (yeah, that’s considered small where I went to HS) would be in the smallest class, and a big band with 120+ people in it would be in the biggest, depending on how they do the classifications.

    Directors were also free to choose the music, but that was a minefield. If the piece was too easy, you couldn’t get enough points to win. If it’s too hard, you could score points, but if your performance was bad, it was REALLY bad points-wise, on top of sounding awful. It’s tough!

    You need to pick a piece that you know the band can perform and still have a chance to win.

    Good luck with that, Taki. If you pick too hard of a piece, the band will fail spectacularly. :\ (Seen it happen, seen the director get fired afterwards, and it was an ugly scene.)

    Really digging this show. Hits a lot of band nerd nerves.

  8. Honestly being ‘quiet and mysterious’ can only push you so far. I find myself dreading an episode wasted on Aoi or the other euph girl, since everyone else is infinitely more interesting.

  9. “I’m Tubacabra… You’re born to blow me…”

    I was like WHAT???

    Than again, with all the blowing, practicing and tube like objects around…. It’s bound to surface soon

    Makise Kuristina
    1. I detected a few innuendos throughout the episodes. Particularly when Hazuki pulled out one of the Tuba’s slides.

      Push it in! It came out! It’s so stiff!

      It was subtle but definitely intentional, huehue.

  10. I totally ship Hazuki & Shuuichi.
    Glad to see that the story didn’t give the “osananajimi/childhood friends meant to be together” ideals. I didn’t see many anime step out from this ideals like what this show did (i don’t remember watch any, or maybe i forgot)
    Another great episode, really can’t wait for the audition. ganbare Hazuki!!

  11. I thought it was weird that Kumiko wasn’t playing as well as Asuka given how long she’s been playing the Eupho. But it seems like Kumiko wasn’t giving it her all when she was playing after Asuka senpai? At the end of the episode, when she was practicing by the riverbank, she sounded really really good. Looks like Kousaka & Hazuki did good to give her that push!


    Also, Kousaka x Kumiko ftw! I don’t mind Hazuki & Shuuichi together as well ^^

  12. Question: Will the Teacher cast more then 55 peoples into the Final band? You know, you still need some backup Music if someone get sick or something, and with Backup Players… well some kind of AKB48.. you know

    1. A band as big as this normally can adjust to play without 1 or 2 sick members.
      If someone who is expected to play a solo, now that’s harder to fill, but in that situation reserves won’t help anyway.

      1. Even if you aren’t a soloist the second (or even third) player in the section is expected to know the section leader’s parts juts in case they player gets sick, for example.

      2. Yeah, your right. But for my AKB48 Example, if the Center gets sick, it is a big trouble. Because “Center” is a Big Status inside the friendly competition. You should let a 2nd on train as backup Center, just for case and to not let the Upper one get bored and slaking

      3. @Leire @JohnnyDepp

        Playing solos in the realm of music is not easily replaceable. A solo in music, especially for trumpet, is unlike the centre position of a dance group where the centre only does things slightly differently.

        Trumpet solos usually have high notes and other intricacies that make it difficult to perform. It’s especially hard for 2nd and 3rd trumpets to simply hop into it on the day of the concert, since their registers are 1 or more octaves lower.

        Bands in particular have a very modularized pecking order. Lead and 1st trumpets can descend to fit 2nd and third trumpet sheet music, but moving up the ladder is more difficult at a skills perspective. I’m not saying the 2nd and 3rd musicians are bad musicians; But consider vocals in music – Very few people can sing high notes, because their voice is simply not suited for it.

      4. Well, then the Band must adept to the new Solo Player. Perhaps they switch the music fitting for the replacement leader. So this problem with high pitch or high voice is not really a thing. it is in how fast the entire group can adept to the new piece of music or dancing, extra made for the person in “center”

        Or, they drop the pieces where the Center is necessary and go with an all group performance piece and apologize to the fans

        and i am WorldwideDepp 🙂

        Well, seems like the Band have some Plan B in the store that fits the replacement peoples more

  13. I really like how the characters in this anime feels so real especially Kumiko. Her nuances and quirks are really charming and pleasant to watch. Really refreshing.

    Sapphire is a kawaii as ever while Hazuki has her on love/sub-plot. She’s really giving her all in playing Tuba.

    Reina has some serious competition in the trumpets. Really like how she still remembered her conversation with Kumiko back then. It means that she’s paying attention. It means that she cares. Both her and Kumiko are just shy or flustered about it. Fun fact, Reina (spelt as ‘reyna’) translates to ‘queen’ in a South East Asian language.

    I just hope the writers doesn’t use what seems to be a brimming love triangle between Kumiko, Shuuichi and Hazuki just to build up tension before or during the competition proper. Make it a bit hassle free like the SunFes. They’re going to be really anxious playing against favorites already.

    Really, well done with this show KyoAni.

      1. Queen in Portuguese is rainha, so you’re partially right. Though I’d call that more of a ‘useless fact’, since Kousaka’s name is written in kanji and not kana, so I’d rather stick to the ‘japanese meaning’ rather than latinize her name.
        My Japanese is specially shitty since I’ve been studying it for only 7 months right now, but Kousaka is written as ‘steep slope’ and Reina as ‘gracefully/resplendently endure’, that’s what my dictionary says, at least, someone with a better knowledge of the language could shine a bit more light into this.

      2. What i wanted to say is, if it is spelled as “Reina” and mean to be Queen, then perhaps it came from ancient time with the Silk road time or Trade route with Europe (Spain mostly at that Time)

        Of course it is totally other thing, if is writing in kanji or such.

      3. But of course you are right. That particular South East Asian country that I’m referring to was colonized by the Spaniards for 3 centuries. So even with one letter difference, they have the same meaning genius.

  14. As a minor aside, the flute girl that was in tears from the dressing-down a few episodes ago is definitely still with the band. Saw her at 2:09 (third from the right). (She might have been at SunFes, but I forgot to check for her then.)

  15. I love the bit with the Ruby/Sapphire/Platinum (Pokemon reference :P) Tuba-Kawashimas from Seijo. Mainly because the idea of a poorly motivated freshman bando waiting for his/her upperclassmen to graduate so that THEY can be Top Dog, instead only to be outdone by a wunderkind underclassmen who comes in the following year is TOTALLY a legit, RL “thing” that happens all the time in band XD.

    And that’s what makes this show so awesome…that level of detail that’s so subtle and niche that it enters meta territory.

  16. Please dear Anime Studio, keep giving these Seiju’s a chance to gain a Name. Sure they already have one… Well what i want to say, without meaning thoughts. “they was Young and needed the money!”. They just gave their Voice to some 2D Sketches.

    She is still good, if not one of the best Sejus in this Show for me. You know how i am talking

  17. I’m starting to want to track down a translation of the novel this anime is adapted from…
    To that end, does anyone know if the novel is translated into English?

  18. Doing the maths, at least nine students are going to get cut and maybe more if they aren’t up to standard. I predict a certain flute player is one of those nine, but I think I may be proven wrong. Can’t wait for the next episode.

    Those insert screens. Kinda surprising that Haruka is the only baritone sax player. The other saxophones have a lot of players. Wonder why nobody wants that particular sax. So far the other instruments with only one player are contra bass, oboe and perhaps piccolo. The percussion part also seem to have one player per instrument. It’s probably safe to bet that most of them are going pass.

    1. To put it simply, all those instruments you mentioned have a extraordinary sound that dominates most other instruments.

      Piccolos have a relatively high register compared with all other instruments, and too many of them would produce a dominating screech that would drown out the rest of the band.

      Oboes have a relatively bright and high sound.

      Both of the above are usually small in numbers. Baritone saxes, as opposed to the high screech that Oboes and Piccolos make, give off a deep and strong sound. For similar reasons, you can’t have more than 1 or 2 or else they would drown out the rest of the band.

      For those reasons, band members can’t simply pick what they want and play it. If there were 5 baritone saxes in a 40 piece band, the sound won’t be good.

  19. While of course I enjoyed every part of this episode, my favorite moment was Kousaka’s getting flustered. XD I always love it when cold/stoic characters showing an unusual expression 🙂 Also, shows that she is no less concerned with their relationship than Kumiko. Yuri Googles full-power :)p

  20. Ep 07:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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