Hibike! Euphonium – 10


The opening moments of this episode both sets the stage for this week and sheds some (GoHands like) light about those moments that Kumiko keeps flashing back to. In speaking about the last part, I was convinced that those moments had mostly to do with her lack of disappointment over winning dud (the moment that opens the whole show) gold; her reserved nature, despite the habit of speaking her mind (good call Hazuki). In the long run, I may not be wrong about that, but for this episode, those moments will stand as a prologue for the things to come.

…another question…

Hibike 10-2

Sensei did nothing wrong

In a great sweep of substance with style, the writing and direction moves from a minor B plot to impending A plot. With Natuski we have one shoe dangling as she invites Kumiko for a talk after school. With Kumiko thinking that every one is on edge, and indeed dwelling on her past thoughts this gives us a small rise in tension, which she nicely punctuates with that aforementioned habit of hers.

But before moving to see when and if the shoe drops, they get us right into the opening footfalls of the path the rest of the episode seems to barrel towards. We’ve seen the Tsun crushed last episode that her precious sempai, Kaori, did not make solo trumpet. I kid you not, I think some of the direction broke the drama rules here. If you fire a Tsun in the third act, you must show it loaded the first act. Nope. One act…loaded, aimed, and fired. But despite breaking Chekhov’s Gun, it works out so richly in the stories favor; the dramatic equivalent of a angry punk monkey in the wooden frigates powder armory.

Moments of pure awesome

It was the smallest of scenes, but they take up a great deal of the emotional landscape. The exchange between Natsuki and Kumiko was simple, elegant, and spoke volumes. I will talk about it latter, the level of talent and skill between members, but it has to be mentioned here. Both these two share a good deal of talent, but that is only part of the story.

The application of skill is something that Kumiko had right when it was needed, in contrast to her sempai. I have to admit, Natsuki has a bit more grace that I would have expected a 16 year old to possess, but her feelings are expressed quite well. She gives support freely to her fellow band mate, and indeed, to her friend. Still makes her take a strawberry shake with a “never you mind”, so there is that…(props to KyoAni for getting that detail on the drinking of a shake)

Hibike 10-6

Local Ribbon ruins everything!

So that gives us a great foundation for what I think might be played out in later episodes. But before that, the Tsun has to go off. At this point there are rumors spreading around about Reina and her connection to Taki-sensei. Yuuko does have wind of this and spreads it to Kaori, who despite not winning the solo, still practices it. It’s a moot point that she might have asked for a second chance, seeing how the episode did play out. But she was prepared for that. Is it that she just refuses to give up on herself? I think that might be the most plausible element. But again, does that matter when some self-entitled brat feels cheated on behalf of another?

I’m just thankful this isn’t a shounen program…

Holy Crap! When the Tsun goes of, it goes off! I get that there is much more to Yuuko’s character than the outward need to be that loud, as her scenes with Kaori seem to imply, there is a past there, something the Tsun feels very strongly about. My guess is that there is a feeling to give support to her sempai for support given. But that hardly excuses airing laundry, dirty or otherwise, and in this case it was very much otherwise. But do you honestly expect Taiga to not knock a fool down when the moment is hot? Still, no fools here but herself. Reina, is of course, pissed down to her last measure. But credit to her for talking smack behind Ribbon-head’s back, she will say it to her face as well.

Pictured: Eupho-sempai not giving a damn

So yes, there is a level of acquaintance between Taki-sensei and Reina. But it goes a bit deeper than that, as she reveals a full on crush with her teacher; going so far as to follow him to this specific school, despite an invitation to one more suited to her talents. But I don’t think it goes any deeper than a school-girl crush. This isn’t that type of show, as I think they would have had elements to that effect earlier in the program. Also, speaking of what type of show this isn’t. It looks like the good ship Kumiko x Reina has been scuttled before it even so much as left dock. But in going back to the acquaintance, it’s the proverbial storm in a teacup, and not much of a storm at that.

Hibike 10-11

Ok, he might have done a bit of wrong

But it’s a bit of a given. Taki-sensei is no nonsense, music first, and plainly spoken. He’s a quiet man to begin with, and that doesn’t do any good for the concert band. Silence speaks it’s own volumes, his lets the rumors simmer up. Like most lies they run around the world twice before the truth can lace it’s shoes. The situation isn’t lost on him, as even he gets a bit to hot, scolding his students for a pretty petty reason. So, something must be done. I like how it’s Matsumoto-sensei that has his back like a good co-advisor. She also reminds Kumiko of a key fact. That without fun, the whole business is sour. She is able to get him to realize him of that as well. That music first, or what sounds great may work on a higher level, but for students?

Some random subtexts

Hibike 10-9

Undeniable Foxy Objects Orchestra

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One other great bit of writing and direction was location. They put blankets up to keep the sound in, replicating the conditions necessary to play in a bigger concert hall. But on another level, the blankets were going up (and down) right after the Tsun-bomb went off. I said it was almost like (well I said it in a way that makes sense on an old age of sail naval vessel) the powder went of on the ship instead of in the cannons. The potential for damage was high. All in an effort to make the students express themselves…musically. The fallout was that the powder burns going fast and deep. That needed to be curtailed and quick for the sake of morale.

Now on one level I think Taki-sensei did what needed to be done, and did it in a very germane manner. No private auditions, out in the open, show of hands wins. But the setting is hardly germane. Kaori is more popular than Reina, and that is what is going to come down to, baring another factor. That’s the in story reason. But out of story, the other level, it’s a bad precedent. It run’s the risk of rewarding snarky behavior, and that doesn’t sit very well. But as Kumiko says, that is on to the next piece. If I am going to hazard a guess, I think it might be time for Reina to change a bit…

You guys can cast your votes now…


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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25 Responses to “Hibike! Euphonium – 10”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    for the sake of time ill repost here what i said elsewhere as i think it goes in line with what your post was getting at about rewarding snarky behavior:

    “It’s also important to mention that taki is starting to realize that he understands music very well but he also has to take the bands feelings into consideration as much as i think they actually bullied him into caving. It sort of creates a divided feeling for the viewer: should they be happy that people’s voices can be heard if they feel as if they were treated unfairly; that they make a difference or should they feel like Reina was treated unfairly because she already won; Why does she have to give someone a second chance to usurp her when she already reached am opportunity she had been seeking”

    • skylion says:

      Well, the old rules apply. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the nail that sticks up is hammered down, and the customer is always right (work in service, you’ll find they are usually really wrong).

      At the end of the whole thing, I cannot help but feel like dozens of anime characters feel, “It can’t be helped”.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know if I’d characterize it as ‘bullying’. I have a bit of a hard time characterizing butting heads like this, especially when one party is merely acting childish, as bullying. I think there needs to be an intent to inflict cruelty required for something to be bullying (which is also why I disagree with those who say that Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso was bullying. Physical abuse is a different standard, and a different argument). So instead you have a tantrum. And as I said below, there’s no way to reason Yuuko (as the ringleader and main antagonist here, I’ll focus on her) out of a position she didn’t reason herself into.

      I don’t know if I feel as bad for Reina in this case, because of how her personality has been presented. I don’t think she exactly minds having to defend herself. I think she feels like it’s part of showing that she’s special to put herself out there and take on all comers. I do wonder if she misplaced a little bit of anger, tho, in that maybe she thought that Kaori had something to do with the whispering campaign against her, so she was more brazen in declaring that she was better than Kaori. But she truly feels that way, and I don’t think at all that she’ll shrink from the challenge.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        I think bullying is a hard topic in itself to nail down. While i was intentionally using the word loosely, i personally still think you can unknowingly bully someone without the intent. It’s not bullying in the classic sense of the word, but it does inflict some sort of discord in the way bullying would. But that’s neither here nor there, overall it was a brave move for taki’s to agree to reauditions even though he could have easily said “tough luck”. He has a passion for music and wants to bring out the best in his students to; but he’s starting to realize that they are still teenagers and that his no nonsense my way or the highway teaching style may not always bring out that harmony in music he is seeking from them

  2. Highway says:

    And here we have a situation where an immature girl can’t get over herself and her hero-worship enough to believe that other people are acting in an up and up manner as befits adults. Yuuko really bratted it up here, and I feel a little bad for Kaori that she’s caught in the middle. Sure, she wants to be the soloist, but she also doesn’t want to be the one who screws up the mood.

    I liked the way they showed Reina here, both mad at the whole thing in the first place, and then sure of herself. She certainly has the attitude of someone who wants to be a musician. And then I’m sure she’s kinda pissed that she has to defend her first-chair status, but that’s what happens (this is something that the bands I had experience in did: you could challenge the chair above you to move up in ‘importance’). I also don’t know what Taki-sensei could have done, contrary to Kumiko’s opinion. Yuuko was gonna keep spreading rumors, and the rest were going to keep believing them and giving them life. There was literally only one thing that Taki-sensei could have done to shut her up, and that was just give Kaori the solo part, which would have been wrong all around. There was no address he could have given, because he’d already done so, and the rumors had just kept going.

    But props to KyoAni for another great episode. Last week’s was all unsettled one way (individual nervousness), and this one was unsettled (a group waiting for a collapse), but in a completely different way. Great work by them getting that across.

    • skylion says:

      I don’t know if she would actually spread more rumors, as she doesn’t look completely thoughtless. But what she has spread is done, and the resentment at the issue had run it’s course. That’ll do Ribbon.

      Reina is good and pissed, but I love how she just channels that. “I’ll just double down and be greater” is the sum total of what she has going on now. Good for her.

      I seriously cannot think of a single misstep in this show…

      • Highway says:

        Well, I mean that she would continue to talk about it, as she did after she confronted Taki-sensei when they put the blankets out. That was as thorough a rebuttal as could be given, yet that didn’t satisfy Yuuko or the others. How can you prove there was no bias? It didn’t even satisfy Yuuko when Kaori pleaded for her to stop. There was no way to reason her out of a position because she didn’t reason herself into it. It was entirely hero-worship and deference to seniority, plus a little (lot) bit of not liking Reina.

        • skylion says:

          There was that one moment, when Taki-sensei was entering the music room to make the new announcement. He spotted Yuuko sitting along, looking quite sad. You think she may have reasoned herself back? She didn’t look like she was crying tears of joy when Kaori accepted a second audition…

  3. Neomo says:

    Taki-sensei faced a Catch-22. He was damned if he chose Reina, and he was damned if he chose Kaori.

    I never actually liked the little Chihuahua in the first place; she was just clinging onto her precious senpai like some silly little schoolgirl who was still in middle school.

    But I absolutely loved Natsuki’s portrayal as a senpai to Kumiko. I was concerned last week that she was going to take it bad, but her ‘oh well’ attitude was great and it leaves room for the next time, when she can play properly with her kouhai Kumiko.

    • skylion says:

      Part of me wants Taki-sesnsei to stand by his original decisions. If they fail to get anywhere, it’s on their heads. That’s mostly because I don’t want that “whine as much as you can, get what you want” precedent spread. Along with that, part of me also thinks that Kaori is being opportunistic for the wrong reasons. She wants to be able to shape everyone’s ideals, not just succeed as a instrumentalist.

      That’s the part of me that wants Reina to win if only to knock the bad attitudes down a peg….”see you whined and it got you nowhere”

    • Highway says:

      Natsuki was totally great about dealing with Kumiko, even to the point of honestly getting her to tip her feelings that she was worried about it. I really didn’t think that Natsuki was going to give Kumiko any grief about it, because as she said, even she was interested in band now, and is definitely feeling better about it, and about her part in it.

  4. JPNIgor says:

    Reina venting her frustration was so damn cute hahaha I seriously did not expect that -> https://33.media.tumblr.com/2569ea78e692a279e6e9db7b91e0cbee/tumblr_npovgx3L891s3dw0xo1_540.gif

    Yeah, sensei probably messed up there. If the audition was public but the choice was still up to him or the co-advisor, it would’ve been better. Music isn’t something you can really evaluate precisely, and it only gets worse when stuff like popularity interferes. I mean, Kaori isn’t called the “madonna” of the club for naught and when you put her up against the first year girl with not many friends and with a cocky attitude (she is cocky, right? with good reason, though) and the result is clear as day.

    And if Reina ends up winning anyway, I call it bullshit. Only the popular wins in public auditions.

    • Highway says:

      We’ll see. They’ve kind of set up a trap as far as the challenge goes. Unfamiliar location, in front of everyone, unfamiliar sound. Lots of pressures, and it might break someone, and I’m going to say it’s likely to be Kaori more than Reina. So I think there will be one of them that messes up and makes the choice obvious.

    • CarVac says:

      I predict that Kaori will put forth a powerful, emotionally charged performance that will turn the tables, to bring her school band career to a happy end. Reina will be frustrated but accept it, since the music itself cannot lie.

      Also, Kaori is sitting in the first chair in the OP so…

      • skylion says:

        …are we trusting OPs now?

      • JPNIgor says:

        But my point was that music is subjective. Of course it can lie, particularly if all eyes and ears are biased towards one person. As Highway said above, a clear and undoubted winner could only come if one of the two messes up big.

        And yeah, don’t trust OPs.

        • skylion says:

          I agree, I don’t see music as inherently truthful. It’s a human tool, as is all art. We can used it to convey “a truth” in as much as we can “lie our stinking guts out” with it. Art is manipulation.

          Oh, and I hope it doesn’t come down to something so easy and simple as one messing up. They’ve been on point with the story so far not to make it that clear cut. Which isn’t to say that one of them messing up cannot be in the cards. That’s within the realm of possibility.

          But I state my real bias above. I don’t want insensate whining rewarded.

          • Highway says:

            You might hope it doesn’t come down to one messing up, but this is a hugely different world than what we saw in KimiUso. The question in a band like this isn’t “if” someone will mess up, but “How many times” did they mess up, or “How badly” did they mess up. It would actually be pretty unrealistic if both of them played the part flawlessly.

            • skylion says:

              If it comes down to mutual messing up, that would be at least partially fine. I just don’t want the story to present itself as “one played very very well, and the other played an A sharp minor when, duh obvioulsly, everyone knows it was supposed to be B blah blah blah” and then the soundtrack punctuates that, and it’s on to Yuuko serving schadenfreude pie with an abject Reina figure on top of it.

      • Highway says:

        I would say that even if Reina plays the solo, putting her as literal first chair would be quite a significant change that I don’t think even Taki-sensei would do. They’ve avoided talking about chairs with respect to the different sections, and even when they announced who passed the auditions, they announced it consistently by year, not by chair. There’s a different social pressure there, and it’s not one they would futz with.

  5. Namaewoinai says:

    Uh, I Guess there is nothing so complicated in this episode…

    BUT WAIT, Seems like Ms. Trumpet (Reina) has became a serious issue here, like her father and Mr. Taki’s Relatives are known each other since then and there goes another trumpet user (Yuuko Yoshikawa) i think that she can’t bear her jealousy cuz of Kousaka…(sigh)

    and, so They going to had another audition eh…looks like Ms. Tuba (Hazuki Katou) and the other who fail the first one will had a chance there…right?

    • Highway says:

      The offer is open for Hazuki and Natsuki and the others who didn’t get accepted to push for a new audition as well, but that’s not going to happen, I’d have to say. For the most part, they all realize that they’re not meeting the standard. It’s not a case where there were just too many people (if we go back to trusting the OP, there are 53 people on stage, below the limit of 55). It’s a case where the beginners just aren’t good enough, and like Natsuki admitted in her talk with Kumiko, she was caught out and exposed by the parts she didn’t practice.

      • skylion says:

        But I think it’s charming that they are still with the band. Or is that a requirement?

        • Highway says:

          I doubt it’s a requirement, but they are club members, and they probably want to participate. So unless they are disruptive, there’s no real reason for them not to participate. I would imagine when they do their stage rehearsals, at least some (most) of the times they would have the ‘extras’ in the audience, listening and providing feedback. And there is also a practical reason that I mentioned a week or so ago: If someone were to get sick, you’d want a fill in if it was possible. And while someone like Natsuki or Hazuki would possibly be an iffy fill-in musically, if they haven’t been practicing and engaged with the group, it’s no chance at all.

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