“Straight Trumpet”

「まっすぐトランペット」 (Massugu Toranpetto)

Reina’s Love:

I have a feeling that most people will be talking about one particular scene, when there’s so many more important, character-defining moments that deserve equal attention. I’m going to get what is probably the big issue out of the way: Reina loves Taki-sensei. Honestly, who didn’t see that coming? Due to all those familiar with the source material who couldn’t keep their lips sealed, I’m sure plenty of us have been spoiled so that they could point and laugh at us for believing otherwise. My reaction to all of this simply: so what? Reina likes Taki-sensei, but honestly, nothing is going to come from it. Her feelings may never change, but this isn’t a series that’s going to dip its toe into student-teacher relationships, just as much as it’s not going to completely embrace a same-sex relationship between the two main characters.

One thing that annoys me is that because Reina has now confirmed her obvious liking for Taki-sensei, that everything between her and Kumiko apparently means nothing. Honestly, that’s nonsense. Clearly, Kyoto Animation knew what they were doing here – they knew they were appealing to their target demographic by dangling the yuri-hints in front of us, because that’s what they do. They did it with Chuunibyou, and on they did the same with the opposite gender in Free!. While it annoys me that they’re not sticking with what they were teasing us with, I’m not surprised in the slightest. The fact still remains that Kumiko and Reina have the best chemistry of any two characters in the show, and their scenes are what have people talking about 90% of the time. KyoAni played to the strengths of these two characters, whilst ultimately sticking to the romantic outcomes from the novels. It’s not disappointing for me, because my expectations were aligned with what the series was always intending, but that will never change the fact that, on a personal level, I think Kumiko and Reina would make a more interesting couple than anything else there is to offer.

From this point on I’ll continue to interpret their bond as more than just friendship, even if the series has no intention of taking it in that direction. I’ve seen enough to believe that at the very least, these two girls have an interest in one another that would pin them both as bisexual. That’s my own interpretation. You can say it’s just yuri-baiting on Kyoto Animation’s part, and that I (and many others) have fallen for it, but as someone who isn’t heterosexual, I always seek out relationships in media that go beyond the typical boy-girl romance that we’ve seen done to death. This could have been that opportunity – like with Chuunibyou and Free! – especially since it was the most dedicated to that possibility without treating it like comedy. Maybe some day we’ll get that KyoAni series where two characters of the same gender can be together without it having to define the series as ‘yuri’ or ‘yaoi’ and cause an irrelevant uproar in the anime community. It doesn’t even have to be KyoAni, but it would be nice for them to take that final step. Hibike! Euphonium wasn’t going to be that final step, unfortunately, and that’s all I’ve got to say on the matter at the moment.

Kumiko’s Flashback:

Now, onto the parts of the episode that I considered to be more interesting and important. First off, we finally see the full encounter between Kumiko and an unknown senior in middle school. We’ve got shots of this moment throughout the previous episodes, but seeing it unfold for real this time made me realise why it was being brought up in the first place, and why it’s relevant to this episode in particular. Kumiko is very good at the Euphonium, and this isn’t the first time she’s earned her place in the band at the expense of someone older than her, and clearly she feels guilty. I don’t know what her relationship was with that girl from middle school, but clearly what went down has affected Kumiko. She’s still my favourite character, even as everyone else grows and develops and proves they aren’t just stereotypical side characters – but Kumiko’s feelings and reactions to what happens to her (and how that shapes her actions) always seem very real, more so than most characters do in modern anime. She may be a rather passive, introverted, and snaky protagonist, but that only helps her come across like a real person, as opposed to an lab-invented anime character made purely to satisfy a certain audience with her cute faces and fanservice opportunities.

Natsuki’s Acceptance:

That ties in nicely to the scenes between Kumiko and Natsuki. Last week, I was most affected by Natsuki not getting her seat, but my anger has been quelled after seeing her reaction to it all. The buildup was very effective, showing her sly smiles and being dedicated to talking to Kumiko one-on-one. It could have turned out to be a horrible moment, but it was a wonderful one, with Natsuki proving herself as nuanced, interesting character. Her position of only playing for a year but now practicing to try and rival Kumiko makes her easy to root for, but clearly it wasn’t enough for her to succeed. I’m glad she doesn’t blame Kumiko for being better than her, even if Kumiko lacks the self-confidence to realise how her years of experience have made her a noteworthy euphonium player. By the end when Kumiko is crying for what I’d interpret as relief and happiness, I had a smile on my face. I don’t know if we’ll ever get more seasons after this one (I sure hope so), but if it focuses on next year, then I’d love to see Natsuki get a second shot at earning that spot.

Kaori’s Solo:

However, Kaori doesn’t have that second shot, and that’s what made her scenes arguably the most gripping. Up until this week, she’s been a fairly passable character who I’ve enjoyed seeing on screen, but have never particularly rooted for. Last week, it didn’t even bother me when she she didn’t get the solo part. To me, it seemed she was destined to lose, and that would be that, but now that the spotlight has shone on her after the event, it makes me re-evaluate my opinion on the matter, especially after we learned that Reina and Taki-sensei knew each other prior to the band (which explains her reason for joining the school).

Honestly, I’m totally behind Kaori right now. This episode really brought the side characters to the front line and showed that they should have just as much of a chance at getting recognition. Yuuko has always seemed like the most cartoonish (funnily enough, considering it’s anime) character of the band, but I even appreciated her moments this episode. Clearly, she doesn’t like Reina (and Reina doesn’t like her), and she feels that Kaori has been unfairly robbed of her spot. Now, if I’m to make a prediction, I think Reina will still get that trumpet solo, and this second audition will only make that fact more painful. But I’m ready to see if Kaori will try and beat all the odds, or crumble under the pressure. But KyoAni clearly have affection for Reina’s character, with all the extra attention they’ve given her, so I’m going for the safe bet on this one.

Asuka’s Honesty:

Finally, I want to touch on Asuka. To me, Asuka has never been one of my favourites – not even close to it, honestly. She’s funny, and that’s been it. But the past few weeks have shown a different side to her, as she tries not to get involved in all the drama, whether it be regarding the band or the romance between the bandmates. Kumiko notes how thick Asuka’s mask is, and I honestly feel the same way. The more that goofy mask peels away, and the more we see of this girl’s true personality, the better. She’s shown to be someone who doesn’t want to lead, even if it seems like she’d be good at it. However, when things aren’t adequate, she hasn’t held back either, which may cause bandmates to turn on her. And now that she has confirmed that she honestly doesn’t care who gets the solos, it has me questioning everything about her. Was she lying to Kumiko? Does she want Kaori to get that trumpet solo? She did smile when the second audition was announced, but Asuka’s smiles say almost nothing about her true character. She could very well become one of my favourites if we spend more time on what she really thinks, and not on this class clown act that she’s managed to keep up for so long.

Overview – What’s Next?:

So it turns out there was a lot more to this episode that Reina liking Taki-sensei. I’ve said all I can say on the matter until they explore it in future episodes. But we could only be in for two or three more (I’m not sure if it’s been confirmed yet). Regardless, I’ve got high expectations for what’s to come. After these second auditions, we’ll likely dive into their all important ensemble performance. I have every faith that things will play out at the same quality that they have up until this point. After all, I think it’s safe to say that Hibike! Euphonium is Kyoto Animation’s best anime in years.

Full-length images: 33, 39.


  1. Ah. So Kumiko could nail the parts she didn’t practice a lot before, but Natsuki couldn’t. Good trick, Sensei.

    Natsuki winds up being a total bro. Remember when we first saw her, when she was just looking out the window, upset with the world?? Man that is a great character arc there.

    I find it funny how Asuka only appeared for the second half of the ep and only for one scene. She wasn’t even in the classroom scenes, even though she made it into the auditions! I found myself almost forgetting about her for a moment. I almost wish this show would have more Best Girl, but she’s fine in small doses. :3 She doesn’t quite feel like she’s in the right show.

    Kaori gets another chance! 😀 Good thing too. If people think the auditions weren’t done fairly, the teacher needs to look at it a second time.

    1. It’s like comparing naked, heel-less, makeup-less women when they’re under chronic stress to see who is truly the most genetically sound woman. The true alpha human will always thrive in times of stress. Asuka-senpai is apparently one of those. Gosh, I love her.

      And I’m glad we’ve moved on from Reina x Kumiko teases, whatever SAMU means by that. (I never saw them as teases) We’re at episode 10 now; time to move on.

      On a side note, why do blonde girls in KyoAni’s world always have “pickled” eyebrows? Is it to represent albanism?

      Petit Orenji
      1. I got the opposite feeling, in that I don’t think Asuka does well under stress or pressure at all. That’s why she avoids all the drama and responsibility, instead just focusing on her own music. The stressful and dramatic atmosphere is probably why we don’t see her around much. And it’s not like she’s not phased by all the drama since she’s clearly pissed off that people are not focused on the band. I would like to see more of her background too so we can see more of her real character rather than the facade she puts up.

      2. I honestly think Asuka doesn’t give a damn about who plays the solo, as long as the band makes a decision and sticks with it. The other sempai in the bass section mentioned earlier that nothing pisses her off more than losing practice time; she hasn’t been dramatically affected since her section isn’t bogged down by the rumors, but they have lost some ensemble time. She may have been happy that Kaori is getting a second chance, but she is probably also happy that this issue will be resolved and everyone can finally concentrate on their performance rather than rumors and politicking. While this is probably selfish, it also shows that she’s focused on doing something she can do, and not worrying about something that she can’t control on her own (Anyone who’s ever tried to squash a rumor in high school knows that’s an impossible task). I don’t think being selfish is necessarily a bad thing, since she has shown she can work and get along with people she feels are also focused when needed. I’m not sure if her clown-act is really her or just a mask, but when its time to be serious and do work, she means business and remains focused on the task at hand. She seems much more bothered by the fact that some others have lost their focus due to the rumors, than the rumors themselves.

      3. @ Sky
        Avoiding unnecessary drama from underclassmen is a sign of competence to me. She can spend her time on more worthwhile things… like bettering herself at her instrument and other studies. Not giving a f*kk means that she isn’t bothered by the stress.

        Petit Orenji
    1. Reina has a possibility of losing. I think we’ll get good character dev no matter the outcome of the audition. Either Reina wins and everyone gets a taste of harsh reality, or Kaori wins and Reina gets a taste of harsh reality.

      It’s gonna be good either way. Reina as a character could use some dynamism, and losing this audition would put a crack in her perfection.

    2. The problem is that Taki-sensei said it would be a vote, and 99% of school votes are not given based on the best choice for the position but based on who is more popular. Reina, from what I’ve noticed, has not made lots of friends because she spends most of her time driving herself forward to do better. All her interactions with others, except Kumiko, are short and too the point, compared with say Asuka who manages to get a laugh or a smile out of everyone.
      The big question will be whether or not the band as a whole decides to follow their high school instincts and vote based on friendships, cliques and rumors, or if they are dedicated to their goal of getting gold and vote based on merit.
      On the other hand, in the event of a tie Taki-sensei might suggest splitting the solo parts. If they are playing 2 songs it’s pretty trivial to say that one person has one solo and the other has the other.

      1. I don’t see a vote being a problem especially because the result will be completely transparent, being based on count of hands. And music does not lie. If the students vote on popularity then why is it that Reina getting the solo part should be questionable? Voting based on popularity will discredit their commitment to music. That was a genius move by Taki sensei.

    3. While the anime has hinted to an extent that Reina is a top trumpet player, they didn’t leave as much scenes/dialogue from the novel to really show that there are other people (besides Kumiko) who really understand just how much of an obvious difference in skill there is between Reina and Kaori. For example, in the novel, during the scene where Hazuki and Midori are discussing who should be the one to play the solo, Midori mentions (minor spoilers? not really, but just in case…) that Show Spoiler ▼

    4. I expect we will see reina solo performance will blow everyone away.

      I think that Korai knows that she is no match to Reina.and asked for the rematch in front of everyone to put an end the in fighting

      1. Are you sure it’s not just referring to a trumpet fitted with a straight mute? I question whether we should be applying English slang terminology to the literal English translation of a title that was originally in Japanese.

      2. まっすぐ doesn’t mean “straight” in that sense. It means “straight ahead”, in terms of direction. “They are forging ahead, neither backtracking nor taking detours” is how it should be interpreted.

      3. I just assumed that ‘straight’ in the episode title referred to being ‘straight-forward’ as in honest, or simple. I thought this because it would make sense given the rumours circulating (a case of things not being straight-forward) and also to a lesser extent, Natsuki’s attitude (honesty). Sexuality didn’t even being to come into my interpretation of the episode title

    1. You know the s***poster have crossed the line when even I’m starting to agree with WorldwideDepp.

      You want facts lets give some then:

      – Kumiko and Reina’s relationship is the most important subplot of the anime. It has been practically sine the first episode. This is true whether you see it as romantic or platonic. People are invested in this and for good reason.
      – Reina’s crush on Taki has barely affected anything. The fact that people are treating this as some big revelation is ludicrous. And the staff knows it to, that scene lasted less than a minute and moved on to more important plot points.
      – Shuuchi is practically irrelevant at this point. Notice how this episode has important developments for the band and he has ZERO screentime? Even Goto had a line this episode but we don’t even see Shuuchi’s perspective in this. Is it a surprise that there are people who don’t care about him? The anime staff clearly do not.

      I love the double standard the s***posters are using. Its NOT okay that there would be Yuri developments, but a creepy Teacher-Student implication is okay? Why? Because there is man involved now? Well I’m sure that doesn’t raise any unfortunate implications at all! Stay classy Internet.

      Quite frankly, if there is any development with Reina’s crush I would have to reevaluate my opinion of this show. Such an event would compromise the serious tone the series has set up. It would practically be Usagi Drop levels of fail.

      1. I don’t think Shuuchi’s developement is important right now because Yumiko doesn’t understand yet her feeling for him.

        I also thing the main focus is the development of the band through the eyes of Yumiko, so far she has strengthened her friendship with Reina, overcome their fears for the Audition and succeded and helped Natsuki. I liked that the rest of ther ensemble see her as someone who can talk seamlessly with Asuka.

    2. Samu is the blogger here and he does an amazing job of writing such great posts. If you don’t like writers expressing their opinions on the show, why do you even follow this blog. The only one ranting here is you.

  2. Maybe Reina would embrace Goku’s battle spirit competitive spirit and tell Vegeta about Room of Spirit & Time asks Kaori to practice together, or request her father (or maybe his acquaintance in profe trumpet scene) to train them in this 1 week.

    Then, in the second audition, they both becomes so good that their teachers and their band members have a hard time deciding the winner, as both become too excellent and far exceeded their performance in the first audition.

    Then, when the crowd finally chose Kaori (due to her last chance as she’s in her third year), she’d backs down and gives the solo part to Reina, finally acknowledging her (just as Vegeta acknowledged Goku’s strength in their final fight with Buu)…


    Lone Wanderer
    1. I also had this Draw situation in mind, but then. Perhaps it is like Natsuki. Kaori practiced only this one Song, or can play the High notes better then Reina. Perhaps Reina has more Experience and can go with the Flow better.

      or it is a Simple think. Stage Fright experience.

      1. Straight synonymous heterosexual

        The title of episode 10 – Straight Trumpet or Trumpet Heterosexual

        Does he have something to do with Reina admitting his feelings for Taki-Sensei.

        The word can be informally[23] shortened to “hetero”.[24] The term “straight” originated as a mid-20th century gay slang term for heterosexuals, ultimately coming from the phrase “to go straight” (as in “straight and narrow”), or stop engaging in homosexual sex. One of the first uses of the word in this way was in 1941 by author G. W. Henry.[25] Henry’s book concerned conversations with homosexual males and used this term in connection with the reference to ex-gays. It currently simply is a colloquial term for “heterosexual” having, like many words, changed in primary meaning over time. Some object to usage of the term “straight” because it implies that non-heteros are crooked.[26]

      2. For you to actually enrage WWW who’s like the most levelheaded (and sometimes dense) poster here in RC.

        Stop it Anergrilsox. Stop using a hell lot of pseudonames as well.

  3. I have to admire Natsuki. In a sense, not making the audition was a sense of catharsis for her and she can move on with better purpose. She always has the Amusingly Kumiko once again tortures herself with thinking of the worse case scenario whenever she is confronted with suc things. Se really does that to herself.

    Also, screw Yuko. I’ve always hated the favoritism excuse to complain because it always come as of as hypocritical.”Taki is biased! What, I’m being biased for Kaori? No its not biased when it applies to me!” In effect, her uncalled for comments have annihilated the band morale. She has also insulted the effort Reina has put and she has questioned the integrity of the teacher who is responsible for putting the band into shape. After all the crap she pulled, Reina had every right to rag at her. I hope White-Knighting Kaori was worth it Yuko.

    If I was in charge I would told Yuko to suck it up and get in line. Its too bad Taki is just a Club Adviser and has no authority over the band. So putting a club vote is the only thing he can do, and if you’ve been any high school, you would know a popularity vote is the worst way to gauge quality. I hope Reina can blow everyone out of the water and put this matter to rest.

    Lastly, I have to give props to Haruka in this episode. She actually took the initiative to deal with the band problems. She actually seems like a leader now. I guess her experience with Aoi has caused her to step up.

    1. Yeah, Yuko was already a little annoying with her loud hero worship of Kaori, but tolerable as she herself never had much screen-time before, but this episode pushed it up to full dislike for me.

      Yuko doesn’t even seem to remember at all just what Taki-sensei was like and the way he treated EVERYONE ever since he first appeared. He didn’t single out Reina or even the trumpet section in general to be easy on at all (really, only the Euphs got off easy during practice that one time). If anything, him knowing Reina previously would only probably make him be HARDER on her than others given he already probably knows how good she “normally” is, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he evaluated her audition with a more strict eye than with Kaori. Also Reina, from what we’ve seen, is dead serious on making a full career out of trumpet playing like her father did whereas Kaori seems to only be thinking in terms of high school years (given the talk of this being her “last chance” and all). Such a difference in dedication probably also plays a role in deciding the solos.

      And like you said, it’s also hypocritical since you know Yuko would be throwing a huge fit if it were Kaori in Reina’s position, with people whispering rumors about auditions being rigged and such. She’d be doing everything in her power to defend Kaori and everyone knows it.

      1. Interestingly enough, the first person to stick up for Reina was Natsuki despite earlier implications she was friends with Yuko. Its nice to see the some people can tell when Yuko has crossed the line.

        It just makes her like her more. Technically its not her problem anymore since she didn’t make the auditions but she is still trying to help make the band succeed for the Nationals. It just highlights who has the priority on the group rather than the individual, something Yuko seems to have missed.

      2. Yeah.

        Given the whole set-up of “Yuko forming more bias in favor of Kaori” stuff (wouldn’t that in itself defeat the whole purpose of Kaori truly EARNING the right to play the solo role; skill rather than blatant favoritism?), the only thing I can see happening is that, while they’ll think Kaori played well, Reina will play in a way that just blows them all away, like
        Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso style play that takes the listeners into another world, only with the trumpet rather than the piano.

    2. Actually, from what I remember (sorry if I’m wrong), in the novel, there was no voting system mentioned in the 2nd audition; the rest of the club were just expected to be there to listen and from that, accept the person who showed they had the most skill for the solo role. I believe the voting system is an aspect added to the anime script.

  4. KyoAni’s Yuri-baiting was powerful stuff here; while the two main characters clearly connect on a deeper level, their relationship has had (and I’m certain will have) nothing to do with sexualization on any level, meaning they can keep that proximity to the depths of each other’s souls without it needing to be surrounded by, or surrounding, a relationship involving any sexual activity. I wouldn’t need or want them to kiss or go any further than that since that would make the build-up of their relationship centred around that, which is not what the series, from my perspective, is exploring.

    Also nice that I couldn’t come down on either Kaori’s or Reina’s side as tensions regarding the rumours reached boiling point. Good to see students just being students rather than good-girl/bad-girl archetypes.

  5. @Samu

    Asukas smile, could also meaning that she is happy, that this Rumor that are about to break up the Band, is getting take care of. Something like a Trumpet Duel out!!. To clear it once and for all, so that after this the band could focus back to Music.

    Looks like for me, Asuka is “married” with Music. All around her is based on Music. Perhaps She had only the Instrument as a World where she escape reality as long she hear Music. So her “thick” Mask is there to not get Music stolen from her. So i think Asuka, has a Secret “dark” Past where Music is perhaps the only Memory she has of her Parents or is the escape of harsh reality in her Past

    Uff.. More i can not predict or read from her small action. But her Aura smells trouble

  6. Natsuki-senpai is such a good sport!

    Music is nice. You can’t lie. You can only admit when something sounds good.

    Cliche or not, one may talk the talk but can he or she walk the walk? I may not be a musician and have never played an instrument before, but Matsumoto-sensei (and Taki-sensei’s dad) made a good point. While there was backlash from the upperclassmen against Reina becoming the soloist, they have no idea on how Reina and Kaori compare to each other in musical ability. Thus, one solution is to simply hear the two play. Next week’s audition will prove once and for all who is worthy of the soloist part!

  7. When we got to the this scene where Reina said she loves Taki-sesnsei, I just couldn’t help but laugh – with both my middle fingers raised in the air as I was imagining a ship sink as in burned.

    I now know what Suzaku felt in these scene: https://youtu.be/V-ZvUDhiUtQ

    Alas, the dream has come to an end.

  8. まっすぐ (真っ直ぐ) means straight (as in walk straight ahead) or straightforward (as in being frank)

    I doubt KyoAni is so hip to have meant the word to be interpreted as straight in sexuality.

    1. I might even agree with you, if the confession had not occurred, or was used in another episode
      Putting such title, in episode where Reina admits he loves Taki-Sensei.
      KyoAni pode estar tentando esclarecer os fatos e jogando uma indireta em alguns fans que estão tentando distorcer o sentido do anime
      KyoAni may be trying to clarify the facts and playing an indirect in some fans who are trying to distort the meaning of anime and the characters.

      And showing respect for the work of Ayano Takeda, which several fans are trying to distort the historiography and the characters.

      Much lack of respect would be if the KyoAni change the sexual orientation and canon pairing created by Ayano Takeda in appeals to a group of fans.
      As I read the book 1 and 2 of LN, and has many yuri baits, vol.2 has far more heavy scenes episode 8.
      I wanted to congratulate KyoAni not destroy the history of Ayano Takeda and follow his story, so honoring and giving value to the work of the creator.

      You see moderate this forum, being impartial, tendencio, and to campaign for change KyoAni the work of Ayano Takeda on behalf of your personal taste.
      It is regrettable as they leave a guy like posting in this forum.

      If this guy Samu has so much creativity because it does not create a story such as Ayano Takeda, and for KyoAni, wanted to see if he’d like to KyoAni change his story.
      Before criticizing the KyoAni for not following your tastes, remember that woman Ayano Takeda, the largest victim of yuri fans, who on behalf of their personal desires want to destroy your history
      Before criticizing the KyoAni for not following your tastes, remember that woman Ayano Takeda, the largest victim of yuri fans, who on behalf of their personal desires want to destroy your history

      Ayano Takeda
      1. Please stop posting. Its obvious you are just using different names to push your agenda. Its bad enough your posts are blatantly copy-paste and the grammar is terrible but you are now actively insulting other people for their opinions.

      2. *sigh*
        You should really pay attention to cultural context, especially with regard to a slang term like “straight.” For example, the word “fag” in England is a slang term for a cigarette, while in the US, it has an entirely different (and offensive) meaning. If I were to watch a British show and heard someone say that word, I would not be immediately outraged and assume they meant the American meaning, because that would just be me projecting my own cultural context into a foreign show, rather than viewing the word from the cultural context from which it came. My example comes from 2 countries ostensibly using the same language; things get even trickier once you add in translations from one language to another, particularly those that aren’t even remotely similar. (As a side note: this is not to say that we cannot criticize something that is culturally ingrained which rubs us the wrong way, but to keep in mind that context is important.)

        The vast majority of anime are produced, written, and tailored for a Japanese audience; most don’t give a damn about the foreign market, since nearly all of their revenue comes from the domestic audience. The Japanese audience likely won’t make the leap from
        “まっすぐ” -(translation)-> “straight” (as noted above, in the sense of straightforward) -(slang)-> “heterosexual”.
        I wouldn’t put much stock into wordplay based on English translations unless explicitly stated, like in the case of Hyouka’s “ice cream”/”I scream.” These kinds of translations are far more likely to be coincidental, like Bakemonogatari conveniently translating into Ghostory, than intentional.

        And honestly, Shuuichi has had about as much impact on the plot so far as that lesbian classmate obsessed with Orihime early on in Bleach. Were her feelings serious? I didn’t really care, since she’s not really involved in the plot and I didn’t see much chemistry compared to her with Ichigo and some others. Kumiko has shown much better chemistry with Reina than with him, and, as I stated before, regardless whether their relationship is romantic or not, that pair was and is much more interesting than a currently meh KumikoxShuuichi pairing. Even if that pairing gets more development in later novels as some jackass(es) who like to spoil things without tags have said, until that development actually happens, I (and many others) will not find that pairing compelling at all. At this point, no matter how much you and your clones push this ship, I would treat this potential pairing as something unnecessarily tacked on to the story for the sake of adding a romantic subplot, like you seem to find the “yuri-baiting.” If you respect the work of the author so much, let things develop naturally, then once that happens, you can celebrate your beloved canon pairing. If their relationship hasn’t been developed to this point in the novels, then the author probably had a reason to put it off, like say, the more interesting band dynamics and character development arcs for others which the anime has been exploring well recently.

      3. While we all have different opinions on how to interpret characters’ relationships in the story, please realize at the very least that in Japanese, while まっすぐ does translate as straight, both have absolutely no reference to sexual orientation. Neither in general, are used in language context for sexual orientation and other words are more commonly used. If you’re not natively fluent, that’s perfectly fine but please don’t use your lack of knowing as a chance to jump down others’ throats.

  9. I’ve never been in a wind ensemble band or an orchestra, so I wouldn’t know. But is someone of Reina’s personality suited in such place where teamwork is much required perhaps even more so than in a sport team?
    In sport, you can have a few lapses in teamwork and may still win, particularly if you have a star player. I doubt this is true for wind ensemble band competition.

      1. Oh, I don’t mean that she can’t play in a band at all; she is clearly competent and logical. And able to play in a band.

        However, I think episode 10 also demonstrated that she is not a leader type (exploding at other people doubting you). I am not saying she is wrong, though. I only have an impression that someone like her, who is much driven, highly skilled and wants to be really special – seems more suited to more solo-ish career.

      2. @Ingram: But since people like Yuuko are spreading false rumors, Reina has a valid reason to yell out at some of the people who think the audition was fixed. Especially when Reina worked hard to get the soloist part, when there are bias rumors going around its like they’re were insulting her efforts. I think Reina is a team player, we’ve seen how she follows her senpai’s orders, helps around with cleaning, and as Depp said, in episode 10 she helped calm everyone down. Though you do make a good point, and with Reina wanting to be special, does she want a soloist career and what does music mean to her?

    1. From what actual band performers have told me, drama between trumpet players is common since they are one of the most standout parts of the ensemble band. So whatever your opinion on the characters are the drama is at least grounded on realism which is why I enjoy watching this.

      In hindsight, being a member of the Bass section doesn’t seem so bad now.

      1. To a certain degree there’s drama, but it’s usually pretty obvious who’s the better player. If a trumpet player can’t accept the result of an audition, it’s usually because their ego is blocking their ears.

  10. The thoughts I had in my head after the episode ended were of course about Kaori vs Reina. Having seen those situations, been in them, I knew that all it would mean is a popularity and Taki-Sensei probably knows it, but what else can he do? The competition’s coming up and they don’t have time to muck about.

    Even if Kaori was better than Reina it wouldn’t be by much, and honestly Taki-Sensei (who’s in it to win it regarding the competitions) I’m sure would feel better picking Reina, a known quantity, someone he knows for sure will be able to nail the solos, vs a girl, while very good, he doesn’t know and is a lesser known quantity.

    Well now I suppose I must address “the scene”. Honestly in this episode that scene almost felt tacked on for the sole purpose of making clear that Reina liked Taki-Sensei and was not (as many hoped) yuri for Kumiko. Now before people get their pitchforks and torches and start writing a reply before reading the rest, I should point out that I was in the camp that anticipated that the girls weren’t Yuri for each other.

    I do not support the pairing but I can see and understand the reasons people would, outside of “just because it’s Yuri”, and let’s be honest a lot of people who want KumikoxReina want it not because of the great chemistry between the characters, but because it’s Yuri and only for that reason. That reason is why, as Samu pointed out, there are few anime that have Yuri relationships as anything more than fanservice or pandering to Yuri lovers.

    Some people might call Samu buthurt and I admit I was also tempted to at first; however taking some time to think about it, I think Samu is just frustrated and understandably so. This is someone who dutifully read the comments, many of which were basically one camp mocking the “Yuri camp” that they were wrong about Kumiko and Reina’s relationship and rubbing that in their faces. Not only that but this is probably someone who has been waiting and hoping for an anime that would take a Yuri relationship seriously and treat it with respect rather than simple pandering and fanservice to “that” audience and probably feels a little betrayed and hurt inside by those scenes seemingly being nothing more than “Yuri-bait”.

    Regarding the infamous scenes in episode 8, I don’t think it should be passed off as meaningless Yuri-bait. I think it was an important character defining moment and to simply discard it as meaningless just because the two girls didn’t come out Yuri for each other. Yes it is true that KyoAni put their own little ‘creative licence’ on the scene and played it up more than in the source material, but even as it is, and knowing how it turns out, I still think it is a lovely scene and these two girls went from mere acquaintances to really good friends, and perhaps soon they will become intimate friends if they aren’t already. Being able to confide in each other, being totally at ease with each other, closer than kin and as Samu said: “more than friends”. I wouldn’t call it them being bi-sexual, honestly I think being able to be friends with someone and be that close to someone as friends rather than Yuri, is a beautiful thing in its own right, I and think that is something that’s even rarer in anime than respectfully done Yuri, and that is what I’m rooting for.

    Now I suppose I should weight in on the “pairings” eh? Well even though I do not support KumikoxReina (or Yuri in general) and would rather they just be dear friends, honestly I’d rather have Kumiko and Renia together than Kumiko and Shuuichi. Why? Because it would be more interesting.

    Honestly, the girls not only have good chemistry, they actually have chemistry. By comparison Kumiko and Shuuichi barely interact on screen, and even when they do she just sort of shrugs him off. Might just be her personality and because he’s someone she knows very well, but he just seems to sort of… bounce off of her sometimes. I’ll reserve final judgement for when I see the two of them actually get together, but KxR have chemistry because the two actually mix, whereas Kumiko and Shuuichi just sort of bounce off each other.

    I’m honestly not sure what will happen next week with the popularity vote but I don’t think it will be quite as cut and dry as people think, even though it very well might be. It’s possible that most of the first years might be fairly indifferent to who gets the spot, at least that’s what it might have been if not for the fact that they might hold animosity against her if they think Taki-Sensei favored her even a little bit, but they might also be willing to give her a chance, and if she’s better, then they might see no issue with it.

    The second and third years though, who probably are the majority, will likely support Kaori, well Asuka will probably not even vote and the president I think would vote for Reina if she thought she was better. Hard to say though.

    Another thought, a popularity vote makes the students hypocrites. They will use favoritism to affect their vote, just like some of them were accusing Taki-Sensei. Or some will claim that they will be voting for who they think is the best but really they’ll be choosing their favorite (I’m looking at you Yuuko). Then again, still others won’t be able to tell the difference between them, about who is the better player and in the end have to choose their favorite, because they have no other way of coming to a decision.

    Well that’s just my two cents. Hope I didn’t offend anyone too much but then again, it is the internet.

  11. One thing I would like to have Taki-sensei do is put the Kaori and Reina behind a curtain so no one can see which one is playing (and maybe he’s going to do that). If Reina wins then that would rub their noses in it.

    Oh, and just because Reina has a crush on Taki-sensei doesn’t mean that Kumiko isn’t developing a crush on Reina.

    1. That’s the best thing that he could, let them do the solo parts behind the curtain. As it stands, Kaori is easily the favorite to win the auditions. And Reina is already painted black by rumors.

  12. It’s quite unfair to expect Reina to defend a privilege she’s earned already, but I respect Kaori for having the guts to step up and take another shot. The first audition, in private, was difficult at best; auditioning in front of the entire band will be positively nerve-wracking.

    As has been noted before, in this world there may indeed be pastimes and professions that allow for a lack of proficiency. Music isn’t one of them. Either you meet minimum standards or you don’t, and either way, it’s obvious to everyone listening whether you do or not. One way or another, it’ll be obvious to everyone after this audition, and no amount of petty cliquishness can obscure that. I think Yuuko realizes her plan to take out Reina has backfired, and that explains her tearful expression at the end. No matter how the band votes, no matter who they believes deserves the solo slot, everyone will know which is the better musician. No matter how the band votes, they will have to live with that choice–Yuuko most of all.

    As for the relationship between Kumiko and Reina–two peas in a pod, sisters by other mothers. Kumiko, by virtue of her natural ability and experience, and Reina, by virtue of her dedication and effort (if nothing else) have demonstrated that not only are they both good at playing music, they are very good at playing music. Both know that the nail that stands up gets hammered down–but they stand up anyway. Reluctantly, perhaps, in Kumiko’s case, but they do stand up. As for any yuri-esque attraction between them or the lack thereof–who cares? Isn’t the quality of their relationship more interesting than its nature? (But that finger-down-the-nose-and-lips gesture was pretty intense, wasn’t it?)

    Sum-Dul Gai
    1. I agree with your opinion on Kumiko and Reina’s relationship. Without labeling it as Yuri or not, it’s just interesting and fun to watch. And yes that infamous gesture could be considered intense, but Reina strikes me as an odd girl and she seems rather oddly carefree in sharp contrast to anything involving music, so maybe she was just being playful. I wonder if it’s just that we’re so used to girls in anime being so reserved or alternatively groping anything in sight. I think Reina might have just been teasing or trying to emphasize her point. Similar to cheek poking but more intimate and attention grabbing. That’s one possibility I think.

    2. It has a problem is that Kumiko does not use his real personality in front of Reina and does not act like herself.
      Her in front of Reina and her friends act with other attitudes and other personality.
      The problem Kumiko only showed his personality and acted as herself in front of two people, his sister and childhood friend.

      this will be clarified in episode 12 or 13 when she had said that to a person she really could only do so and be like herself with that person.

      You guys remember the bear that appears on Kumiko bed in the phone side, he was given the childhood friend, and Kumiko gave infacia friend’s name for the bear

      Roberto 666
    3. I beg to differ, there are no absolute standards in music. The fact that a music score says something does not mean that performing it to the dot is the best and only way to perform music. Indeed, most if not all famous musicians do not follow the original score, altering the tempo from time to time, repeating bits here and there, adding intonations etc. That is why you can’t determine directly from listening whether one is better than another (holistically; not as a matter of technique and following the score).

  13. I’m really in the “I-don’t-care” camp because, in this case, pairings are NOT the purpose of the series.

    If people are watching this, and other series’ that aren’t romance-focused, solely to see a certain pairing(s) happen, then they really have no right to try to criticize anything about it because they’re watching and paying attention to it for the entirely wrong reason. So if people are complaining about KumikoxReina (not) happening, then I’ll just tell them to drop the series now and quit bothering with it, and let the rest of us enjoy it for the actual story and general character development it is meant to be about.

    1. No use series Mc female, yuri fans always suffers attacks at the slightest physical contact or display of affection.
      It occurs in all the anime.
      I have to avoid watching because it always has the same development and stories.
      The lack of men, unreal and desproporcionair things, sudden personality changes.
      Only I watched this because he had read the novels.
      No use asking.
      The entire show has mc femina is the same, the yuri fans create pairs even before the series started and know the contents.
      They get to plan months in antecendecia.
      Just seeing beautiful women in the illustration ready starts peers and creations fanwank and Fanfictions.

      The next series that Yuri fans were chosen Charlotte PA Works.

      Powder is difficult to watch anime with femina protagonists in most missing men, mc has not interrese in men, and is always interresada in women.
      Always the same story desensvolvimento always the same high school girls out of nowhere due to a yuri scene become lesbian.

      of 10 series with mc feminas, 9 missing men, 9 mc has no interest in man in 9 to mc is interested in another woman in the 10 yuri fans as creating pairs between mc and another woman.

      Always the same, every anime same story.

      It’s really hard to find good series with femina mc you do not have that shit yuri and these fanatics bugging the anime.

    1. Episode 8 scene was somewhat trimmed by kyoani with scenarios.
      But the rest of yuri bait, are also present in LN, What kyoani did was change the order of events and small issues.
      But after episode 8, it is faithfully following the novel and the order of events.
      The anime is about music, Reina only chose this school because she loves Taki-Sensei from his childhood.
      It is a real love her by the teacher a passion of more than four years.

  14. The OST that played when Kaori was standing up to ask for another audition…that gave me goosebumps.

    I’m not sure whom I would root for, since both Reina and Kaori have prowess and have trained strenuously for the soloist part. On one hand, Reina maintaining her claim would really help ground out Yuuko’s unfair actions towards Reina and it would dispel the rumors. But on the other hand, Kaori making a comeback would make a great emotional development for Kaori as she starts to trust herself more (based on what Asuka said), and Reina would experience failure again but she herself also grows and become more determined in the future. (Both sound rather tempting but as long as Yuuko realizes that her inconsiderate actions towards Reina and Kaori, then that I’m content)

  15. It really pisses me off how the show has now suddenly come up with this stupid premise that the band members are unable to perceive who among them are the best musicians and the whole thing has to come down to stilly drama based on spreading gossip and talking behind people’s backs. This is such bullshit.

    If they really can’t tell, they have no business playing music and would be out of the band by now. If they can tell, they wouldn’t go along with some loser trying to destabilize the trust among them with wild accusations. Even if they can only tell that both Kaori and Reina are very good and they’re unable to tell who’s the best, it’s total bullshit that they would suddenly start distrusting the teacher again at this point, after he’s done a huge job at improving both the quality and the morale of the band.

    If they have a problem with Reina getting the solo over a well-liked senior for whom this is the last chance, they should play the compassion card instead of accusing the teacher of wrongdoing just because he knows Reina from before. I’m pretty sure the teacher and even Reina would eventually be amenable to picking Kaori if she’s not too far behind, if the band is willing to risk the competition outcome in favor of this charity move.

    It’s a really stupid and even misogynistic move to make by the creators. Girls absolutely can recognize a person’s skill even if socially they like someone else more.

    1. The first scene in the show is drama. When has this show NEVER BEEN about drama?? You do know that drama can be found in high school band clubs as well as anywhere else?

      1. You guys don’t get it. I’d be fine with the drama if it didn’t include the stupid premise of everyone going along with the Kaori-lover just because. Even if they don’t like Reina, it’s completely bullshit that they would start accusing the teacher now. There’s plenty of ways to create drama from this situation if they need to, it doesn’t have to include people dropping their IQ for it. Even the fact that no one except Kaori asks to audition again shows that they actually do know what’s what and do accept the teacher’s judgement as accurate, so why wouldn’t they trust it with Reina as well?

      2. The way people behaved was like we’re suddenly back in the beginning where they hadn’t accepted the teacher yet. At this point there would have to be at least someone publicly standing up and defending the teacher from these kinds of accusations made by someone who everyone knows is gay for Kaori. Now it’s like even if Reina proves better in the new round, it’s still like the teacher didn’t actually decide because of that but because of some favoritism.

      3. @VanDamn
        It is widely believed that Michael Jordan (considered one of, if not the best basketball player ever) made sure that another player whom he had a personal grudge with, wasn’t on the Olympic Dream Team by basically saying it’s either me or him. If top professional athletes playing for the Olympics allow personal feelings to affect their judgement, then I don’t see why people in a high school band would remain objective in weighing the respective talents of Reina and Kaori either.

        That sensei has been a fair and impartial judge was under the assumption that everyone started with a blank slate; if the assumption is wrong, then the conclusion is irrelevant. Unless someone else is also hiding a prior relationship, the only candidate for favoritism is Reina, and she’s also the only one in a solo position. It only takes a small seed of doubt and someone willing to openly express a thought for negative rumors to spread, especially if they still carried a grudge from his earlier actions. Also, seniority in Japan and Asia is more of a big deal than in most Western countries, so assuming the two are relatively close in skill, people would normally expect the senior member to get the coveted spot. We shall see in the tryout if the gap between the two is substantial like it seemed to be for Kumiko and Natsuki, or if he is absolutely devoted to merit, without regards to any other factors.

      4. @SK
        Of course individual people are partial, but what I’m talking about is almost the entire band suddenly turning against the teacher without anyone actively supporting him. That makes no sense as shit like that could only happen at this late point if people suspected him of being unfair from before and we’ve seen no foreshadowing of that. Moreover, the person accusing him is well known to be completely biased as far as Kaori goes. And the point about seniority is moot in this case because people, including the seniors, accepted that they wouldn’t be selected based on seniority. The band had every chance to protest the tryouts even taking place.

        If you think this shit happening is a great move by the writers, fine. For me, it’s a very unnatural thing to happen at this point in the show, after all the previous development we’ve seen. And it lowers the character of Kaori, who is now basically using her supporter’s slander to try and get the solo.

      5. As a whole, the band favors Kaori, the club madonna, more than Reina, who seems pretty standoffish to everyone besides Kumiko. I doubt Yuuko is the only one in the club who worships Kaori, though she might be the most extreme. Kaori herself told Yuuko to stop spreading the rumor, and if even she can’t curb her supporters in the club, then I doubt anyone else could. It wouldn’t shock me if most of the 2nd/3rd years just assumed Kaori would get the solo from the start by virtue of being the best returning trumpet player and a senior, so the decision likely came as a surprise to many. And I don’t think most of the band has turned on Taki-sensei; in the scene when they raise their hands, it’s not like the majority felt it was enough of an issue to question the validity of the tryouts. His earlier actions, while ultimately improving the club, hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the band. Outside of Reina, I don’t know if anyone actually likes him(no, not in that sense); they might have accepted him and his methods since they’ve clearly worked, but that doesn’t mean they like him as a person, so they might not care enough to stand up for him.

        Just because seniority isn’t the major factor for choosing, doesn’t mean it isn’t a factor. If Reina is clearly better than Kaori, then yes, seniority is moot. However, if they are close enough, I think a lot of people in that situation would go with the senior member, especially if it’s their last shot. The only sign we have so far that Reina is better than Kaori is Taki-sensei choosing her for the solo. To this point, no one had reason to suspect he would play favorites, since no one had any reason to believe he had any favorites. However, with his prior relationship to her being revealed, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for others to suspect that he might favor her. Reina choosing to come to a school not known for its band despite her obvious talent, could be construed as him promising her the solo beforehand to convince her to go there. The hardest people to convince, despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, are those looking for a conspiracy. Any hint of a reason is enough for them, especially if they already don’t like the people who supposedly rigged things.

      6. @SK
        Dude, no offense but just because you can make some kind of excuses for it if you try doesn’t mean it’s actually great writing that makes a lot of sense. Like, if I wanted to, I could find excuses for it as well, we fans are very good at this kind of thing. The fact is though, there would have been plenty of other ways to create drama around this that didn’t involve someone assassinating the teacher’s character (even if Reina wins again, there’s no rolling back that shit) and everyone else not doing anything about it.

        Hell, they could have made this at least a bit more realistic by showing at least some people conversing about how they hated the shitty drama created by the fangirl without any real proof. It actually doesn’t matter if people expected Kaori to get the solo on seniority if she and Reina were about the same. The point is that the fact that the teacher knew Reina from before doesn’t automatically mean he shafted Kaori for no valid reason. I’ve seen that you like to talk about cultural sensibilities so are you going to tell me that it’s common in Japan to jump in the bandwagon of suspecting a senior figure based on a dreamt up interpretation by someone who clearly has their own agenda?

        And about Kaori, she totally could have stopped this entire thing. If she is as good as she’s supposed to be, then she would know by now (even if no one else did) if Reina was better than her or not. If she thought she was better than Reina, she should have confronted the teacher herself instead of this passive aggressive shit of not getting her hands dirty but looking to benefit nonetheless. And if she didn’t think so, her not really shutting down the fangirl and showing explicit support to Reina as an example for others to follow does nothing for her character.

    2. It really pisses me off how the show has now suddenly come up with this stupid premise that the band members are unable to perceive who among them are the best musicians and the whole thing has to come down to stilly drama based on spreading gossip and talking behind people’s backs. This is such bullshit.

      Bullshit? Have you ever been or seen many groups/organizations? You know anything can get political with just the right amount of emotions. It’s silly, I’d agree with that. But just by daily routines you should have seen how silly people can actually get IRL. It’s not bad writing just because you don’t like how things are rolling. This type of things are not far-fetched. The pacing has been solid and IMO this wasn’t uncalled for like you say it is.

      For whatever reason the doubt/distrust came from, is a whole different thing. Reina isn’t actually an approachable person so I could see this being one of the catalysts to someone doing this kind of thing.

    3. Dear Internet Policeman @megalith, sir! I’m sorry I forgot to calibrate my bullshit meter in accordance with the standards set by the Internet Police. I’m also sorry that you have to work at an organization where people don’t use their heads and are more than willing to get behind any bullshit claim by someone with an agenda. Given your circumstances, I suppose it’s a good thing you don’t have a problem with such things.

  16. Love how Reina yelled at them and said tactlessly that Kaori must surpass her level if she wants the solo parts. Though that sounded so conceited for her other classmates and probably would have earned her more biased votes towards Kaori.

    Given the situation, it’s all up to Kaori now if, after their faced off, she realized how good Reina really is, leaps and bounds better than she could ever be, then she still win via biased votes from her classmates, I hope Kaori herself admits defeat and gives the solo parts towards Reina just like how good of a sport Natsuki was. Its meaningless if you achieved your dream of playing solo parts when your band didn’t make it to the nationals.

    Or as somebody have said, split it between the two of them. As to where it stands right now, Reina has a very low chance of earning the votes of her peers given her outburst.

    Taki-sensei should know that this will end up as a popularity votes instead of an unbiased vote based on purely skill. That or he has absolute confidence on Reina’s skill and the face off is only a means to validate his judgment. In any case, can’t wait for next week.

  17. Many Yuri google wearing people got salty…
    People assume things too soon and are tooooo quick to jump on a ship.
    It was obvious how it is since the first time Reina defendet Sensei against Kumiko and Shuuichi.
    Now that Reinas feelings are clear, there are only Kumikos feelings for Show Spoiler ▼

    that will be revealed soon so that people can finaly move on from this absurd shipping nonsense in a show that has clearly a different focus.

    1. Stating something is obvious after Reina just told the girls not to say bad things of a teacher, who she could just feel respect to as a talented band director, while implying that others are too fast to assume things and jump on ships, is what the dictionary calls “hypocrisy”.

  18. I didn’t want to get into the Reina/Taki-sensei thing, but the more I think about it, the more it feels like another checkbox in Reina’s efforts to be ‘special’ — claiming to be in love with a musical virtuoso, son of a famous conductor, while also ensuring that it stays unrequited by never telling him. It feels like she pulled a page from Nadeko’s book. But perhaps it’s more nuanced than that.

    Falling in love with another girl, while unusual, isn’t exactly unique, particularly in the high school years where such feelings are dismissed as infatuations. Of course, the same could be said about “falling in love with a teacher”. So that in itself doesn’t seem sufficient.

    The way she told Kumiko was also odd; very matter-of-factly. It both fits with her personality, and highlights that she can so casually tell Kumiko something you would normally consider one of your innermost secrets, as if it were merely common knowledge. It’s a ‘declarative’ claim, rather than an emotive expression. She can claim that she’s in love with him, but it just feels artificial. He is not part of her ‘world’, nor does she seem to have any interest in making that change.

    At best, he’s merely filling the role of “romantic attachment” within Reina’s heart, so that she can easily rebuff any potential ‘real’ relationships that would interfere with her ability to continue to pursue her ‘special’ excellence. He’s unknowingly filling the roll of the ‘beard’ for Reina. That really seems to fit with what’s going on.

    Reina and Kumiko share a special bond; a closeness that is rarely realized in anime. Reina is completely and absolutely open about herself with Kumiko (interestingly, completely the opposite of Akane). Kumiko’s “bad personality” allows her to be honest with Reina in ways most people won’t.

    Overall, this isn’t romantic yuri, nor simple friendship. Perhaps the “red string of fate” is sufficient allegory. To me, Reina and Kumiko are simply two people who will be together for the rest of their lives.

    Reina’s declaration regarding Taki is a red herring. They will never have a relationship, for a wide variety of reasons.

    The only uncertainty I have is whether Reina told that to Kumiko to throw up a deliberate barrier to the two of them getting closer together. It’s easy enough to imagine, though it will have the unfortunate side-effect of forcing Kumiko to look elsewhere (eg: Shuichi, where everyone else is pushing her) if she ever might have felt any romantic attachment.

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. You seem to be misunderstanding. I am not referring to anything any -viewers- are pushing; I’m referring specifically to Hazuki’s comments in the show, along with other general pressures in the narrative.

        Regardless of any supposed canonicity, that’s most definitely “pushing”.

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

      3. I was being considerate with the first reply, and addressed only the implications that you didn’t seem to be able to properly understand my statement. But a second, far longer reply, that is nothing but novel spoilers, and fails even harder at reading comprehension, is completely unappreciated and at this point ignorable.

        Please go away, and/or learn how to use spoiler tags.

  19. This was a pretty intense episode. I too wasn’t exactly happy with Yuuko’s actions. When she confronted Taki-sensei in front of the whole band about the suspected fixed audition results, to me it felt like she intentionally put a bullseye on Taki-sensei and so all the angry looks will be on him and Reina. I also really can’t picture it as anything else but fangirling over Kaori and simply because Yuuko doesn’t like Reina. Sure Kaori practices hard, but Yuuko makes it look like Reina just slacks off and doesn’t acknowledge that Reina too practices as hard as anyone else. Unfortunately though, whether Reina got her solo part due to skill or not won’t matter anymore since what was already implanted, thanks to Yuuko, in the band members’ minds is Reina and Taki-sensei were acquainted. The second audition will really be intense since it will be a direct showdown of trumpet skills. Bear had a brilliant idea about having both Reina and Kaori play behind a curtain and letting the band vote based on sound alone, and I hope that is what Taki-sensei is going to do. I think both Kaori and Reina are deserving of the solo part, but if Yuuko ended voting Reina as the better player, I think it would at least make her realize she was simply fangirling and not really supporting Kaori as a friend.

    On another note, the episode was also a pretty big eye-opener on Asuka-senpai. I can’t deny fanboying towards Asuka because hey what’s not to like about her. She’s gorgeous, friendly, and funny. She’s almost perfect. That was true for the first few episodes, but the recent ones made me realize she was too perfect, and it never occurred that it might have all been a facade. I’m with Kumiko on her comment on Asuka’s mask is just too thick. Now it’s hard to tell when is Asuka is being honest or faking. The only I think that Asuka isn’t faking is her Euphonium skills and love for playing in the band. We’ll just have to wait for an Asuka centric story arc to see the real her, that’s to say IF it will happen. It may reaffirm or not if all that fanboying towards Asuka was just because of the cute face and outward personality alone.

    1. I agree completely. But what gets me most of all is how all of a sudden the creators seem to have forgotten that we’re not at the beginning of the series anymore and the band members wouldn’t just go along with these kinds jerk moves now that they’ve come to know Taki-sensei. This situation where the majority just randomly goes “well, the Kaori fangirl said it so that must be the reason” shouldn’t be happening at this point, or at least there would be those who’d stand up for the teacher, including publicly.

      1. I agree completely. But what gets me most of all is how all of a sudden the creators seem to have forgotten that we’re not at the beginning of the series anymore and the band members wouldn’t just go along with these kinds jerk moves now that they’ve come to know Taki-sensei.

        If you’re saying that nobody stood up to Taki and defended him, you’re focusing too much on one perspective.

        I think it’s clear that a couple of students(not everybody) raised their hands when asked if they were unsatisfied with the auditions. Natsuki for example stood up to stop Yuuko from lashing out. You’re nitpicking out of your own preferences.

        Looking few episodes back you’d see that the band are not closely to Taki-sensei. There is a gap made by respect/fear that most never cross and stops them from being familiar with him. It’s like an employer and employee relationship. Employer and employee can interact and cooperate but never be familiar with each other. They don’t become friends outside of work and they keep that status quo to be comfortable with each other.

      2. I forgot one thing, to be clear.

        Those who didn’t raise their hands doesn’t equate to them defending Taki’s decision.
        In fact it goes the same for Natsuki.

        But what is clear is that they didn’t want a part of that trouble.

      3. I’m very sorry I commited the crime of nitpicking out of my own preferences. I should have known this behavior was unprecedented in the anime fandom. I can only say I’m glad there still remain upstanding individuals such as yourself who would never do such a thing.

      4. The crime is that you were not looking at the whole picture and simply preaching that it’s poorly written just “because”.

        Well whatever. At least you’re not one of those sour people who can’t let go and keep screaming yuri bait. I’ll just give you that.

  20. Reina can never realize a relationship with Taki-sensei, neither as a student, nor after she graduates (because the same thing will follow her into her professional career). She wants to be recognized as ‘special’ and talented, and even a hint of such a relationship would completely destroy the image she’s worked so hard to cultivate (since even merely knowing who she was caused quite a storm here in these auditions), and undermine the value of what she’s trying to achieve.

    She also states flat out that she would never tell him. It’s an unrequited love that she baldly confesses to. It has all the earmarks of a fake love. In fact… exactly like Asuka.

    Asuka, when they were discussing relationships, claimed that she only loved her euphonium, while she also got incredibly frustrated with having to put up with the relationship doldrums of Hazuki and Midori. She doesn’t like it when other people keep her from being able to practice. Even her room was incredibly spartan, with almost nothing but a table and a stereo to listen to. Anything else would be indicative of emotional ties and distractions. Similarly, when asked about her feelings about the matter in this episode, she states quite clearly that she “doesn’t care” — and I think she means that quite literally.

    Her euphonium sounds like something that fills exactly the same role for her as Taki-sensei does for Reina. They are two people who are obsessed over excellence, and can’t let emotions get in the way.

    On the other hand, while a studious character with the same issues would tend towards emotionlessness, as Midori said, music starts with love; emotions are fundamentally required to produce good music. Thus, you can’t just shut them entirely away. Instead, you need to find another way to deal with them — channel them in a way that lets you experience them without them controlling you.

    I think both Reina and Asuka are well aware that a relationship will severely undermine their ability to focus on their musical talents. At the same time, such feelings aren’t so easy to shove aside, once planted. Asuka has focused on something artificial (despite trying to make it seem cute). Reina has focused on something unachievable. Both are then free to allow that part of them to exist without interfering with their real goals.

    Conclusions: Reina x Kumiko ship is not sunk because of the superficial reasons people claim (Reina’s red herring statement). However Reina x Kumiko ship is still not happening due to intrinsic character behavior (a barrier that is believable and well-grounded).

      1. Sexuality is complicated because there’s a fine line there. Heterosexuals who want to see intimacy and close friendship between people really can’t because designers aren’t trying to have people think there’s more to the relationship, and Non-heterosexuals are so underepresented in media that any intimacy between two people of the same gender get very easily misconstrued.

        So in the end, showing intimacy between two characters of the same gender doesn’t produce a controlled reaction.

        I think it’s sad because male friendships really suffer from this. As an example. Ryner Lute and Sion Astal are amazing friends with a great dynamic that I’d like to see more of, but non-heterosexuals will most likely see that relationship as a hint that the two characters are homosexual. In fact, that actually happened, and the author did something stupid to make sure it isn’t seen that way. It’s really the same with female relationships. As an example, Zettai Karen Children’s female characters are all very intimate and so are Mondaiji’s female characters.

        I don’t mind homosexual relationships. I just feel like all of this beating around the bush isn’t making anyone happy.

  21. I believe Kaori knows she is going to lose(again). She just wants to say “I tried as hard as I possibly could, I did the best I possibly could, so there’s no regret, no remorse”

  22. Jeebus! The number of spoilers being posted here and there is so overwhelming, Samu. Put a lid on it.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. We all need sleep, so I couldn’t moderate it overnight. I have been doing my best to delete the spam or insert spoiler tags, but this one particular commenter is very persistent in trying to ruin this for everyone.

  23. Don’t mind me, just thumbing down all the morons who talk about “yuribaiting” like that’s an actual thing and not just people wanting to be constantly offended by everything.

    1. I agree Banana.
      All I have seen in the comments since the mountain walk episode. Kumiko x Reina this and that. WTF?

      It’s funny just to watch the commenters argue about relationships but, there you got Light Novel readers spoiling stuff.

      Barely no discussion of what happened in this episode. We got to see audition similarities of Kumiko and Middle School Senior fight and now Reina and Yuko bitching for Kaori fight. Oh and Yuko firing off at Taki for knowing Reina. Reina’s unrequited love WAHAHAHAHA…

      I say Reina will be beaten out by the vote for Round 2 auditions. LOL. I think it might happen. lolol

      1. It…doesn’t really seem like you’re agreeing with me? I was complaining about the people who are acting offended and claiming that Kyoani is “baiting” them, and not just, y’know, shipteasing. Like they’ve done with many other pairings in this show, and yet no one’s offended by those or calling them “baiting”.

        Basically people need to stop taking everything as a personal offense.

  24. Just speculating and maybe a long shot, but having a second audition may also mean a second chance for Natsuki-senpai? Would be a nice twist if she takes up the second chance too!

  25. Looks like the bunny girl finally broke down an did it. Was waiting for when the tension between her and Reina finally erupts. Couldn’t have happened at a better time too. Just close enough to ruin their dreams, but not to close that it makes the nationals an impossibility.

    I don’t think Kaori will crumble under pressure, but I do think Haruka will need to find some potatoes. Kaori seems to know what she’s up against, really noticeable in the previous episode. Still glad she’s willing to give it another shot though, it gives a good example to the second years. Can’t wait to see how she reacts tomorrow, no matter what the results are.

    Regarding Asuka, I don’t think she cares who gets the solo part, but I do believe she’s happy that Kaori is willing to take another shot at it. Asuka, Kaori and Haruka are definitly close. Those two are also the most likely reason she became vice president as I don’t think the others have any leverage on her. As for the reason for the smile, it could be because she’s her friend, or it could be because her friend is willing to put more effort. Remember the scene at the shrine?

    Asuka’s other side has made me join her fan club. It could be dark (depending on perspective), but definitely mysterious.

  26. I think Asuka actually really sensitive to other’s emotion, so she don’t like to deal with those problem.
    She understand Kaori’s feeling, but if it go other way, what about Reina’s feeling?
    As a band, best trumpet player should play solo. This way no emotional baggage.
    So she does not want to care who get it.

    And that is why she she act so piss last episode.
    Askua was worry about Sapphire,
    She ask Kumiko,then cause turn out to be Hazuki’s problem.
    so no big deal in the end.
    By act angry, this force Kumiko and Hazuki to talk with Sapphire.

  27. I’m at least glad that Kumiko x Reina fans are able to admit defeat, instead of making weird theories. Kyoani led us on, but if our ship sunk on, then let it be, won’t look for other hints just to make it sail again.

  28. My prediction is that, as with all high school votes, it will be a vote of popularity – which Kaori wins easily. However, I believe Reina will play better, and Kaori will know it. Kaori will feel bad after hearing both auditions and winning the audition, knowing it was inferior, and it will drive her to give the solo parts to Reina.

  29. Finally saw this ep: man, it made me nuts.

    Kumiko is amazing for dealing with all of these people and not going nuts.

    Asuka is scary as hell. She’s cute, and sometimes funny, but scary as hell.

    Frankly, seniors will usually get the benefit of the doubt in any audition. That’s just a given. If it’s close, the more senior player will win.

    That Kaori DIDN’T win is clear evidence that she’s nowhere near Reina’s level.

    I lost a lot of respect for Kaori– it’s totally sleazy to take advantage of the backstabbing done by others to get a second audition. She let that manipulative little second year do all the dirty work, and played the part of a freakin’ martyr.

    So if KAORI thought the audition was rigged, then SHE should have taken the lead. If she DIDN’T think it was rigged, she should have SHOUTED those little twerps down and been mature about it, like a 3rd year is supposed to be.

    Instead, she took the wishy-washy passive manipulative path of, “Oh, look at me, I’m so pitiful,” and got the second years to do all her dirty work.

    I hope Reina kicks her butt in the audition again, and shows all of the angry villagers the clear difference in their ability.

    (And I’m not even going to touch on how cowardly a second audition looks in general to most musicians, when the first one really was perfectly fair. That’s just covered in weaksauce.)

    Taki once again makes me wonder if he really knows what the hell he’s doing as a director. I guess it’s good writing to create a character with so many flaws, but he’s kind of a mess.

    He’s really good at conducting, and it’s clear he knows his music, but he’s really BAD at the human resources/management stuff.

    1. Are you perhaps, an individual with autism just like reina?

      Rewatch the episode once more and tell me again about kaori playing the victim or whatever your imaginative mind make up.

    2. It’s seem you’ve forget that after the audition, both kaori and ribbon accept the result and already moved on. Everything change just AFTER the rumour about taki-sensei and reina are acquaintance and maybe play favorite spread, then admitted by taki-sensei, not BEFORE.

      And even after that kaori didn’t do shit but practice by herself. She even stop ribbon from going batshit. Only make a move when taki-sensei HIMSELF offer a retry.

      Seriously man you are pathetic for hating on this based girl like kaori.

  30. I admit to initially thinking that Asuka was one of the best girls. But the more focus there was on Natsuki, I found her to be the most interesting, and this episode just sealed my opinion for me. Natsuki-sempai is the best girl.

    Also, why does Reina liking Taki-sensei have to mean the moments in episode 8 were invalid? Surely the two could coexist- they’re very different feelings, after all. And in the case of Taki-sensei, that’s all it should be. Feelings. Dipping into a teacher/student romance will potentially get too murky. And while I’m not averse to Reina and Kumiko getting involved romantically, I don’t think that quite meshes. I see their relationship as an emotionally intense friendship that may LOOK sexualised to outsiders (i.e us as viewers) but isn’t actually so. To that end, I don’t actually see the so-called yuri-baiting as well…yuri-baiting. I also don’t see Shuichi getting together with Kumiko as a viable option (and no, I don’t care if that’s what actually happens in the novels). It’s probably better over all if nobody (apart from Goto and Riko, obviously) ends up in a romantic relationship by the end of this series.

    1. I feel sorry for you, you do not know the story of Shouchi and Kumiko, and is judging a series of 3-minute bait fanservice yuri, to feed the delirium of yuri fans.
      If you did not see the famous yuri bait, you are blind, or will the flow of yuri fans and their distortion.
      Everybody warned that LN was chaeia baits.
      As always the yuri fans always fall on the same bait.
      sorry for you that Shouuchi and Kumiko are the official romantic couple and canon of the series.
      You can change your delusions and editing material, plus the original couple will always canon

      1. You rendered your argument invalid from the moment you started it. It seems like you didn’t even READ what I said before you typed that.I said that TO ME, the scenes that everyone is labelling as being yuri-baiting aren’t actual yuri. Hovering close to the line, sure. But not yuri. As it happens, I generally don’t even watch yuri, so your assumption that I am a yuri fangirl falls apart even further.
        I also said that I DON’T CARE what actually happens in the novels. Let it happen, I’m fine with that. When the anime adapts it (if they adapt it) I won’t be outraged or in denial. I won’t necessarily agree with it- as I said, I think it would be preferable to have neither of the ships result in actual romantic relationships.
        All of these things are MY OPINIONS, and I’m stating them. That’s all. I am not forcing them on anyone, just posting them. If you disagree and have an actual coherent argument offering a different opinion, then debating that is fine by me, and I am sure others on this comment thread don’t mind discussing their interpretations of what happened. lots of things have occurred in this show, and since lots of people are watching it, obviously opinions and reactions will differ. But going around attempting to shut down any difference in opinion is not on- especially as you insist on spamming the comments using alternate aliases to do so, just regurgitating the same thing over and over again. And at least make an effort to use proper grammar, please!

      2. Also, me having an opinion that happens to differ to what actually happen is not the same as attempting to change the original material. Nor am I deluded. I know full well my opinions are opinions, as I keep saying.
        To anyone else reading: Sorry for the long rant. And some of the excessive use of capitals. I have no idea how to use italics in the comment threads.

  31. I guess this will be my last time saying something about this series until it ends. Sadly enough, KyoAni once again only plays with the subtext with Reina and Kumiko. Sure, if they’re only good friends that’s fine for me, but please don’t use something as dirty as bating when your intentions are not clear for that matter. Enjoy the music theme of the series and that’s it.

    Sadly I’ve lost my faith in Kyoto Animation from now on, not becasue of this, but they fail me yet again and have been doing so since no more FMP material has come from them.

    Syaoran Li
    1. I wouldn’t keep my fingers crossed for any show that’s latest season came out 4 years ago, let alone 10(!) for FMP. If you can’t appreciate anything they’ve done since then, that’s a shame.

    2. I do not understand why people are blaming the KyoAni.
      KyoaAni only adptou the work of novelist Ayano Takeda.
      Several pesoas who read the Light Novel, tired of warning that girls liked men who Shuuichi and Kumiko were romantic couple and the official canon of the series, and Reina loved Taki-Sensei, it was a heterosexual series, and It contained several yuris bait.
      Voces fans of yuri, were the only ones who formentaram this relationship and that changed the sexual orientation of personangens written by Ayano Takeda, and made a storm.
      As they do in all series with female protagonists.

      The entire series that has female protagonist is completely unreal, missing men, girls do not like men, and are always interresadas in women, boring content and dull, always the same

    3. If you wanna blame anyone, blame the source material itself. The source material itself is yuri-baiting in volume 1 up until volume 3 just to show how close of a friend Kumiko and Reina are.

    1. I do not understand why so many critical to the kyoani.
      If kyoani were really cover the genre yuri / shoujo-ai, she would not have picked a Light Novel heterosexual, only to change the sexual orientation of the protagonist and the relationships created by the novelist.
      She simply would have chosen adapt one Romance/Light Novel/Yuri/Shoujo.
      PA Work greatest example, it will cover the genre shounen-ai, so she chose based shounen-ai romance, Haruchika.

      No one will reclaram that has relationships between persons of the same sex, simply because several people have read the novels, people do not like when someone changes the novelist’s job to please a group of people.

      It’s simple if you want adptar any genre, choose novels and Light Novel covering the genre, do not keep changing the novelist’s work.
      Why disrespect to the fans of the series, who have read the novels.
      It is disrespectful to novelist who had his modified work, with the fans who have read the novel.

      1. just something you’re uncomfortable with the guy up there, just because his ship was sunk.
        I see nothing more than he said, everything he said is true.
        If you are bothered because the hat is served on you.
        Very yummy create and change history and characters.
        More when their lies and delusions are contradicted you do not like.
        At least he tells the truth, and exposes evidence.
        Unlike many comments here that are based on the abstract, distortions and illusions, seem to be watching another anime.
        many seem to be watching another anime.
        I’m sure, that many users did short course with the fans of Slaine, because from what I see the level of distortion and delusion are too similar.
        Voces has ceteza who are not watching another anime.

        Rober del Rio
      2. Stop pretending to be a different person. It’s pathetically obvious that you are the same person as Suzaku.

        You are disrespectful to people who wanted to find out what happened from the story itself. You spoiled the story for a lot of people just so you could win a petty argument. That’s disrespectful and pathetic.

  32. if kumiko and Reina does happen I will lose all respect I had for them because they would be doing it just to be people pleasers and nothing more. besides both kumiko and reina like boys in the novel and I highly doubt the author gave kyoani the a ok to change two of her main character’s sexuality.


    Okay, so Taki and Reina daddy’s knew each other huh. Taki’s grown ass is oblivious to Reina’s puppy dog love. LOL. Why do I always keep seeing this relationship in Anime does it happen in Japan’s Society? Taki will tell her thanks but no thanks. LOL. Jailbait and Yuribait this episode explained all the ruckus in the RC episode 08-09 comments.

    Natsuki got all that strawberry shake in her face. Damn Kumiko is so funny.

    I wouldn’t mind pissing off Asuka all day.

    Again back the main story can’t wait for the showdown between Reina and Kaori and see who takes the solo. Will Natsuki and Katou try again to get there spots? or is it over?

  34. I think it makes sense to consider Kumiko’s sexual orientation as a flavor of asexuality: she appears to be pretty free of sexual attraction for anyone but people with the strongest emotional connections with her (the asexual community would say she probably identifies as a demisexual biromantic, if I’m getting my terminology at all correct).

  35. Here’s a comment from a fan yuri, and the fan pairing Reina and Kumiko about vol.1, 2 and 3 of LN.

    ”Takeda’s first novel was a love story; this is not a love story. This is the tale of Kumiko rediscovering her passion for music and why she played. There’s definitely some scenes that one could see her growing closer with Reina in a romantic sense, but it’s never explicitly said.”

    The fault is not of Kyoani, but the novelist who created the bait.

  36. On the testing:

    To make this a series test, and not just a popularity vote, we need a number of conditions:

    1) Every student has to fill out one of those judging scorecards, marking every successfully difficult completion and poor performance, all the ‘required’ and ‘optional’ elements, etc. Reina and Kaori are both playing the same piece, but there’s ‘completing’ the piece, and there’s ‘excelling’. For Taki to make this a group audition, every single person voting needs to be working at that same critical judging level as he was using in his own auditions, and as the real judges will do for the band as a whole.

    2) Timing. The band has limited time for their performances, and the solo piece has to adhere to those limits. Whatever the piece is, Kaori and Reina have to complete it as close to the exact timing as possible, without being overly rushed or slacking, speeding up near the end to meet the deadline, etc.

    3) Performance. While there’s certainly a solid argument for a blind test, hiding each of them behind a curtain to play so that the rest of the students have to judge solely on what they can hear, rather than due to favoritism, the performance of a solo player in a competition is itself important. They need to show that they’re capable of being in the spotlight, and making the entire band look better from their very presence, confidence, and presentation. You can’t do that from hiding.

    My guess is that it’s going to be a mixed bag of these different factors, and that neither of them is going to do a clean sweep. The judging aspect would also make it so that it’s not just a simple show of hands to indicate who people prefer, but going over each point on the judging card step-by-step to collect a total overall evaluation, to show why one was chosen over the other.

  37. Confirmed Reina x Taki-Sensei.
    Neither the two original episodes strayed from the original material.
    Take damn fans of yuri.
    I hope you do not force their delusions and hallucinations in other animes from now on

    1. How cool.
      Do you believe in their own hallucinations and delusions.
      Soon after that he made the same statement in Cross Ange, when Ange kissed Hilda.
      What happened was not a confession.
      Because Ange ended Tusk, was not you who said it was a love confession, which were already a couple.

      Confession hauahuauhauhahuauhhuauhauhahuauh, you ta joke once yuri bait with bad translation, to force the Blu-ray purchase.
      You know tomorrow is day 17, day of the release of Blu-ray sales.
      Most bait is always plays before the sale of blu-ray.

      Darling will watch Free Eternal Summer, the same scene was used between the boys there.
      Now I wonder what happened.
      Ambiguous scenes, bad translated yuri bait to sell blu-ray.

      Only yuri fans believe them.

  38. You make use of drugs or narcotics.
    You’re watching a completely different anime.
    Do not force your interpretation and your personal taste created through the delirium and hallucinations in other User.
    Too bad you do not apredeu with free eternal summer, Tamako, Hyouka, Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai, beyond the boundary.

    They all had their biggest bait before the release of sales of anime.
    And the sale is feeble and less than Amagi Brilliant Park.

    Where have all preferred a second season of Amagi Brilliant Park, than watching a show full of yuri bait.

    So remembering that Kyoani never changed the sexual orientation of the characters, not the gender of loving interrese of its protagonist.

    That would nullify the series, and she became part of the canon and official work.

    Just see the anime God Eater, which will be displayed in July is not considered canon and official by the changes in its content.

  39. The thing with yuri is that it’s nice in small doses.
    You like cute shows like Yuru Yuri? You go to dynasty-scans or look at girls_only tag on sadpanda? Fair enough, everyone does that.

    But once you start to obsess over yuri exclusively, look for yuri pairings outside of all-girls shows, ship female characters with canon male love interests, read garbage like Citrus and get upset whenever a male character shows up in your supposedly yuri series, that’s probably indicative of some deep psychological issues related to self-hatred and gender identity disorder.

    It’s funny how these obnoxious “yuri fans” call everyone who doesn’t share their fetish fags when most of them are probably trannies in denial.


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