Hibike! Euphonium – 09

Hibike! Chop

Unlimited Chop Works!

…the easy days of the festival are over, and now it’s the tense times of auditions. Is everyone on the edge of their seats? The audition and the music. That is the focus of their daily lives. At least, perhaps at most, according to Kumiko. Everyone is more than a little on edge, to say the very least. In other words, a perfect stage for drama; and few things get left behind. They go along for the ride, as well…


But, someone is not all that eager on those sorts of issues bumming a ride on the audition train. I found it very much in Asuka’s temperament to get bossy, and to divide herself away from her fellows. You can love it or leave it, but she has a point. It’s more than that though, as an equal argument can be made for letting these issues air out. It’s not productive for practice time, of course, but steam leaks when it must…

More than Love or Death

Hibike! 9-7

Look into the eyes of George-kun, you are getting bassy

This one issue, isn’t the easiest of knots to untangle. I’ve loved how genuine they’ve played the characters throughout the series, and these scenes continued in the vein. I guess starting it all was the “terrible woman”herself, Hazuki. I can easily say her thoughts outrace her a bit, as she isn’t that terrible. But she knew how to play the situation, that is for sure. It does make me wonder that if she thought it through that much, then why did she need Midori to get her going. But I guess we all need someone to give us a push no matter how much we think it through. But, she took the gamble, and found out about more than just her own nerve. Like so many, except for the Kumiko x Reina shippers, she’s down with the Kumko x Suuchi match. Funny how Hazuki worked with Kumiko’s shyness. That would be a bit of her undoing, such as it is.

Exit, stage left…

Hibike! 9-10

And for all the ships, Kumiko does grow a bit, realizing something deep about herself after her time spent with Reina. There are probably as many folks that would ignore what you’re going through, as there that would be there to help. Something the helpers will be pushy, insisting that you’re one way when you are trying to be another. It’s an interesting facet that Midori brings up. Even more interesting that Kumiko feels that they should let Hazuki be the way she wants to be.

But even feeling a bit confident in how to hand Hazuki, she loses that when facing Suuchi himself. Again for all last episodes shipping, even Reina sees the “obvious”. For all her barbs, she’s comfortable with him, and there is a thin line between her feigned contempt and something else. She’s looking for him, not seeing him when she expects to. Plus, they are just complicating issues by having her “consulting her cactus” juxtaposed with her big sister scorn. No kind of love is easier. Wonder how long that good girl skin will last…

But all of this is starting to take a back seat to the auditions. Well most of it. Kaori looks like she is still trying to exorcise last year’s demons and take on this year’s challenge. This is the first of two duels going on in the band. Now it’s not a duel in the antagonistic term, but the drama. It’s not too hard to believe that this pressure, to escape her mistakes from the previous year affected her audition performance. Reina is much more focused by contrast, able to secure the trumpet solo. But also, less burdened, if at all. The next duel is between Kumiko and Natsuki. This is the one that finally…if you can believe it, rocks Kumiko to her core, and perhaps shakes her away from the scene we’ve been seeing in flashbacks. I will hazard a guess and say that she probably didn’t take her performance in middle school all that seriously, and won a spot in that competition over someone else. I’ll stick to that til proven wrong….which I probably will be soon.

A few more things…

Show ▼

Final Thoughts

Hibike! 9-19

We all know that small packages can hold more tsun than one would think…

Well, I won’t go into a blow by blow of who made it and who didn’t. I’m not the sort to go into account like that. But, with hard individual efforts, there are hard choices to make when paring down from 64 (or so) to 55. There were let downs, as there had to be, and I thought KyoAni did a great job transitioning from moment to moment without making it big drama or over selling the issue. They let the writing and direction speak for itself. I especially thought the interplay from Kumiko to Natusuki, and from Reina to Kaori spoke the best. A mixture of fear, relief, regret, and shock were at a great mix. And of course, I loved that Hazuki was happy that Suuchi made it, moreso that she realized she didn’t until afterwards. She’s still a bit stuck on him…

So, how much aftermath are we going to sort out as a result in episodes to come? I won’t hazard any guesses, only knowing that they will sort it out, and that the same level of craft this studio is know for will come out to the fore, once again. There are still more issues to face, and the race has only just begun.

Hibike! 9-20


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
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

16 Responses to “Hibike! Euphonium – 09”

  1. Neomo says:

    It’s become a Catch-22 for the chosen ones, I think.

    Sure they were picked, but they’ll still feel crappy about those who weren’t. And it could be the possible upcoming envy and jealousy that might cause even more drama, which would make the show even more fascinating to watch.

    • skylion says:

      Welcome to Metanorn, Neomo, thanks for commenting.

      Yep, it’s the nature of the beast. As for drama, I’m hoping they keep in it on the same key.

  2. Highway says:

    I think that you’re mistaken about the flashback. I think what it was was that Kumiko was better than her senpai. And showed it. And that made the senpai mad, who thought Kumiko was doing it to show her up or mock her. So having been smacked down like that in the past, and seeing another senpai that has come to try very hard, especially when it was obvious she didn’t try at all before, Kumiko starts to fear that she’s doing the same thing again, challenging someone she shouldn’t be challenging, and starts fearing another chewing out. Reina is the one who sets her straight, as far as her own effort goes. And honestly, I would hope (and think it might go this way) that Natsuki is actually glad for the push that she’s gotten from Kumiko, even if she didn’t make it. She was trying hard, harder than she’s probably ever tried for anything. And she didn’t embarrass herself, we hope. It has really felt like there’s quite a lot of respect there from Natsuki to Kumiko.

    We’ll see how losing the solo part affects Kaori, and how it affects the dynamic in the band. Yuuko seems to be the kind of person who will pull that ‘senpai’ card on Reina, even if Kaori herself won’t. But Kaori will probably be feeling bad because she couldn’t do what she told Haruka her goal was: Play well enough to keep trouble from happening. But now it’s up to Haruka to help out her friend and return the favor from earlier.

    • skylion says:

      That first bit sounds what I was going on about.

      As for Kaori, I guess it depends on how much real pull she has on the rest, if she even wants that. She won’t stand for disruptions, that’s for sure. But surely you can get potatoes in summer…

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      it all goes back to kumiko’s desire for normalcy and it has been hinted for a while. She likes to do what she can to just get by, perhaps because she doesnt feel like trying and when she does, something unpleasant comes from it. She someone who actually has a talent (not overly talented though who know taki sure liked her playing (kudos to kyo ani for making it actually look like she was breathing as she was playing); perhaps it was the euphonium part that had him taping his finger back when he was listening to the middle school nationals in the first ep like he did now in the audition (or it could just be a tick when he likes what he hears). Either way, kumiko is gonna have to learn that sometimes pursuing your passion means that you’re gonna have to knock down the competition. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just life

      • Highway says:

        I interpreted him tapping his finger along with Kumiko’s playing in the audition as his anticipation of how the part went, and that it was good that her playing matched how he thought the timing would be.

        We’ll see how Kumiko and Natsuki’s relationship goes after that. I do hope that it doesn’t turn bitter, and I don’t think it will. I do think Natsuki will be disappointed, but not to the point of taking it out on Kumiko. At least that’s what I hope.

        Kumiko is a lot like most high school band players. I think that she and Natsuki really aren’t that far off as far as talent, or even drive. I think it’s hard to really blame Natsuki, given that she’s only been playing for a year or two, and that the example they had the previous year was of the slacker 3rd years winning out over the striving 1st years.

        • skylion says:

          Natsuki has come to admire her junior, so I don’t see it as totally characteristic for her to put the hate out, or even hold a grudge. If anything, she’ll be a bit distant for a while, to take it all in, then be as supportive as possible. Having said that, I don’t think all of her story is over quite yet…

          • Highway says:

            Another thing I think about Natsuki is that Kumiko gives her someone she can actually relate to. Asuka is a great character for us, and a great mascot for the band, but she’s the kind of person that’s really really hard to deal with on a personal level if you weren’t in on that ground floor like Haruka and Kaori seem to be. And for her part, Asuka pretty much gave up on Natsuki. It seemed like when she realized that she wasn’t the kouhai she wanted, Natsuki became a non-entity to Asuka.

            As I say, Asuka’s a great character for our entertainment, but as someone to look up to and emulate? Not so much.

            • skylion says:

              Asuka almost feels like she could be in another show, one were they mention, in passing, that they were the best in their high school concert band, and now they, I dunno, fly around in mecha in support of the stupid male lead…

  3. Namaewoinai says:

    Well, I guess the rest are failed the test huh, Like yeah Ms. Tuba (Hazuki Katou), Poor Tuba I think her lungs are not strong enough to carry on with that thing…and as for that Ponytailed Euphonium User (Natsuki Nakagawa) Meh, I Think she used to it…

    and…as for Ms. Trumpet (Reina), I Was Thinking,

    What the Heck is with her?

    Oh Well, I think her “pride” has getting too much ever since EP1…Just Saying

    • skylion says:

      I feel that Reina carries a very prideful streak, and it is something that she works hard to match herself up to. She’s earning it, that is for sure. I don’t see here attitude as arrogant or, shall we say, cocky.

      As for Natuski, you might be right in some respects, about her being used to it. But as I say above, her story might not be over yet.

      I love Hazuki to pieces, but she is what she is. She’s like me when I tried to play trumpet. Actually, she’s much much better.

      • Highway says:

        I think they’ve made a good choice in how they show Hazuki’s efforts. It gives the impression that she’s made quite a lot of progress, without singling her out either as a prodigy or as a slacker. She’s already been described as the perfect beginner, getting stuck at every point you’re supposed to get stuck at, and then getting past it. I think that’s just continued. We haven’t seen her get called out at ensemble practice, which means she’s not harming the group.

        • skylion says:

          …see, folks, this is the insight that an actual former concert band performer can give you…I’m such a melon.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    If anyone thought Kumiko was NOT going to make it through I just have to laugh! She is the main character thus giving her thick plot armor, but would her failing make the story more interesting? Yeah sure if KyoAni wanted to go the forced drama route which is always a terrible way to create random drama…

    I already know who Kumiko ends up with in the end thanks to some random blogger on another site spoiling info from the novels! I didn’t even know those were out there, but honestly Euphonium isn’t a series id watch for romance! I’m not saying EWWWWW to any of it I just know KyoAni’s track record when it comes to actual romance and yes I know they are heavily hinting at Kumiko and Reina as a new OTP buuutttt I honestly can’t see that going far.

    Next stop! DRAMA TRAIN INC! OH MY GOD YOU ARE BETTER THAN ME? BOOOO HOOOOO! Yeah that sucks for the characters that want to be with their friends especially the senior class, but from my experience even though I was never in any band classes or held any instrument I can use art/drawing as an example because I know in the real world there are people who are WAAAAYYYY better than me and sometimes it makes you really depressed or kills your motivation! But I guess we all just gotta accept things and push on.

    • skylion says:

      …I think the drama has been on an even pace, they’ve not overblown it at all. Lots of stories, and anime is no exception, can play these scenes large…and KyAni has done that in the past. But they’ve really changed gears here.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Where is your SB69? >_>

Leave a Reply