「めざめるオーボエ」 (Mezameru Oboe)
“Awakening Oboe”

Gah, so good.

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but having three shows air so close to one another on a busy day of the week is proving tricky. But damn, I’ve got three excellent shows, and watching them back-to-back only re-affirms that anime isn’t dead quite yet. This season has plenty of anime that tickle my genre tastes, so I’m a content viewer right now, as Hibike! Euphonium is proving just as good – if not better – than its predecessor. Looking back, the initial episodes of the first season were impressive, but not enough to cement just how well-made this show is from tip to toe. Episode 5 was the first one to grab my attention, and then episode 8 happened, and everything that followed was a whole other level. While we haven’t had that ‘episode 8’ equivalent for this second season, we’re off to a stronger start this time around. Next week looks to finish the adaptation of the second novel, so if there’s going to be a climactic episode that’s sure to be it.

As for this episode, it effectively carried on the second-year drama, used Kumiko as a passenger to the plot unfolding around her, as she and we reacted to the band coming together to find an emotional resolution. The balance of the many side characters this season has been excellent, and shows that Kumiko and Reina aren’t the sole carriers of this story. Asuka, Nozomi, Mizore, and Yuuko have gotten major focus in this arc, and we’ve gotten to see multiple sides to them, showing that like real people, they differ depending on who they’re interacting with. In this case, the misconceptions and lack of communication are what caused this mess, which is all too common in these sorts of dramas, but the explanations for these miscommunications make sense and they didn’t stretch it out further than it had to be.

Kumiko tried her best to keep this from crashing down after learning more than she was comfortable knowing, but I liked that she didn’t have a say in how this played out. This isn’t her story to resolve, so having her witness this resolution is all she needs to do. The moment between Mizore and Nozomi was tense in a strange way; Mizore is nauseous at the sight of her friend from middle school who didn’t think to tell her she had quit the band, and essentially left her behind, while Nozomi doesn’t see what the problem is, as she didn’t think anything of it. Really, all these two needed to do was get together and explain their perspectives so they could resolve this issue. But that’s the problem: Nozomi didn’t see it as one. She removed herself, saw that the girl who she brought into the band was doing fine without her, and didn’t want to disappoint her by bringing her into the drama. But Mizore’s reaction is understandable, feeling left out and questioning why she was even there at all if the reason she joined was gone. Their coming together was lovely, and I’m happy this all got resolved.

In saying that, I think Yuuko is the one who comes out of this looking best. After her emotional outbursts regarding Kaori’s solo last year, she’s swallowed some of her pride and instead puts her focus on being a supportive friend. I can see why some find her annoying, but there’s no questioning that if she was your friend, you can bet she’d be a damn good friend who’d stick up for you no matter what, even when you may be in the wrong, and doesn’t hold back her on her passion. I’ve always had a soft spot for her, but after the past two episodes she’s shot near the top of the pack for me.

To top it all off, this episode was gorgeous. It’s a given with Kyoani, but there really isn’t anything that keeps up with the character art and top-class production values that Hibike! Euphonium offers. The premiere of Yuri!!! on Ice may have been a grand showing of potential, but the consistency seen here is a rare thing, and testament to the care, detail, and effective forward planning put into this project. Every one involved in this production – from the episode directors to the key animators to the inbetweeners – should be proud of the work they’re doing.


  1. Best thing about Yuuko’s character is that the show can make her become great and likable character without changing her character at all. Instead, they showed us how someone like Yuuko can do good thing in the different circumstance.

    Here, we see Yuuko as an admirable person who can do everything to support her friend while in S1 most people hate her for how far she went to support Kaori. (Well, that partly because she was set as antagonist in that arc)

    So, yeah, very good character development for Yuuko.

    1. Yup. She may have reflected on how she reacted back then and (partially) accepted what’s happened, but she feels like the same character just from a different perspective. That’s why I never hated her like many others did last year. I could see she was driven and her passion came from a loving place.

  2. how do ya do it kyo ani? how do you keep your production values this consistent from ep to ep when most studios struggle to do this? i mean i know how they do it but still…they make it look like this is the norm when we all know the sad truth that it’s not

  3. Indeed, Yuko was the character of this episode for me, not Mizore nor Nozomi. I didn’t expect this out of her, and I’m gladly surprised.
    Still, it’ll be a real shame if Nozomi doesn’t join back in. I love her performance, and she does deserve to be in THIS band. But with only 10 days left till the competition, what can you do?

      1. Six out of seven made the cut. Does one less actually make a difference? Remember how everyone thought none of the Euphoniums or Tubas are gonna get cut because of their small numbers? I think it’ll take more than one person getting ill for that to happen.

        Though I think the biggest hurdle for her to join is the audition. Not saying it’s impossible by the way.

      2. @yoloalchemist
        Sadly kinda doubtful. Like you said, 10 more days. In a section with lots of players too. But Taki-sensei just got two new helpers, so I wouldn’t dare say the word impossible. Especially if she actually rejoins the club.

  4. Yuko and Mizore are two sides to the same coin when it comes to friends. Mizore has trouble because she’s an introvert and Yuko has somewhat of an abrasive personality. Both have trouble making friends. I’ve got to believe that Yuko was really hurt when she realized that Mizore didn’t think of her as a friend, but I think Mizore had probably not recognized when people made friendly overtures before (Nozomi is so extroverted that she just wouldn’t take no for an answer :D). I can see where Nozomi probably would be happy for Mizore to have another friend, but I could see where Yuko is going to be very jealous.

  5. Hibike is truly improving with each episode. I said it already, but I really like how the drama here isn’t too ‘overdramatic’. Sure it’s another case of miscommunications and all, maybe not the most original plot in the history of anime, but it was done in a really smooth way. And I also enjoyed Kumiko’s role in this whole arc, she wasn’t suddenly made to play the main part, so fortunately it wasn’t the case of almighty MC who helps everyone. I was a bit worried of how things would go since Nozomi with her arc appeared, but it went much better than I thought it could be.

  6. I’d be lying if I said I kept it completely dry this episode.
    Although mostly because Mizore’s standpoint hit a little too close for comfort. Especially the part about Yuuko just feeling sorry for her.

    Ultimately it takes a KyoAni anime about (mostly) girls playing instruments to see the other side. Damn you KyoAni.


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