Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 02

Euphonium S2 - Why aren't these two the main ship

Are these two the new flagship?

winter15-highw When I have a lot to write about a show, it’s actually hard to come up with this part here at the top. I don’t want to give away the things I’m going to talk about, cause it won’t fit in this little box. So I end up coming up with something like this (you guys have seen the afterwords for manga volumes, right? It’s about the same thing).

Examine Your Feelings

Euphonium S2 - A long conversation and no reused views

Kumiko and Nozomi have this long conversation, and KyoAni didn’t reuse *any* camera position

Kumiko is trying to figure out her own thoughts on the dilemma created by Nozomi-senpai wanting to rejoin the band. She has started out from the idea that someone should be able to do what they want to do, and I think that that’s actually a good starting spot. And I think she’s not really invested in the decision as to whether Nozomi is able to rejoin the band or not, not the way that Natsuki is (for) or other are (against). It really is more that she wants to understand what people are thinking, and why some people are against Nozomi joining. Last episode she sounded out Reina and got her thoughts, but the real hangup is Asuka, and Asuka is being as enigmatic as ever.

There are just no words to say how much I loved Kumiko this episode, and the way that she was portrayed throughout. In the first season, Asuka mentioned how she thought Hazuki was a great beginner at the tuba, getting stuck on all the parts she was supposed to get stuck on. Well, this episode Kumiko was a great beginner at being an adult, trying to understand the way other people think, trying to figure out her own feelings and how to reconcile her thoughts with other people, and getting stuck on the part of why other people think the way they do. And sure, most people don’t even bother to learn how to understand other people’s thinking, but I think what she’s doing is excellent. Talking seriously with Nozomi at the pool, talking with Mizore at the camp, she’s working hard on things in her head, and that’s a great trait to have, I think.

Not Only About Nozomi

Euphonium S2 - Kumiko's focusing on things that won't change

Kumiko’s focusing on parts that just aren’t going to grow that much for her, I’d say

I think the show also has done well with the other things that the characters are growing in. It takes the opportunity of going to the pool, just like the characters take the opportunity of having an actual day off to go to the pool, to get back to Kumiko’s little insecurity about her growing body, but this time she’s buoyed a little by the idea that Reina is growing out of her swimsuit from the year before. For her own part, Reina is still moving slowly towards the others in the group, not just Kumiko, as she agrees to go to the pool with Kumiko, Hazuki, and Midori. This is also a bit of an interesting personal challenge for Reina, who wants to test herself by wearing her revealing swimsuit. I don’t know if it’s any more revealing than what Kumiko, Kaori, or Asuka are wearing (although Kumiko’s hiding her chest under a big bow), and I think part of it is that she wanted to show it to Kumiko. There’s also the frenemy relationship between Natsuki and Yuuko to look at, where they both dig at the other for their ridiculous english t-shirts, but still end up hanging out together.

Euphonium S2 - frenemies

They hate each other enough to hang out and relax together…

Euphonium S2 - another viewpoint

They have a talk, but who knows what Mizore’s real reasons are?

But someone who is more unsure of what to do is Mizore. So insular that I don’t know if even after her conversation with Kumiko we really understand what her worry is about Nozomi. This is another situation where Kumiko is trying to work out how people think, when confronted with Mizore’s vocal dislike of competitions. It seems to have a connection to the promise that Nozomi and Mizore made after Minami’s disappointing bounce out 2 years ago, but it’s hard to quite understand exactly what her dislike stems from. Shots of empty seats after the other first-years quit the band, and now we know it was a situation where nobody even talked to Mizore, I wonder if some of it is about being abandoned by the others, and the people you think are your friends just bailing on you. I can tell you, that’s a really shitty feeling. And maybe that’s why the next shot is of Yuuko, possibly approaching Mizore for the first time, after the others have quit.

Euphonium S2 - Asuka's good point

Asuka gives Nozomi the right advice, but she’s too hot-headed to listen

Euphonium S2 - Niiyama flirts

High school girls will see romance everywhere for their single ikemen teachers

The other thing that causes a big commotion is the reveal of Niiyama-sensei, another helping musician who comes to the camp to work with the woodwinds. But the bigger thing about her is the way that she seems to flirt with Taki-sensei. Given that Taki-sensei’s romantic eligibility is one of the biggest subjects for the teen girls in the band, this is a huge potential development. It’s especially worrisome to Reina, who still has her crush on Taki-sensei (a fact which continually shows itself and sinks all but the most die-hard of Kumiko x Reina ships), but Kumiko is about as reassuring as possible in her sleepy, reflective state. Kumiko just feels like she’s lagging behind Reina physically and mentally, as she doesn’t have that self-assurance that Reina speaks from. But I think Reina recognizes Kumiko’s worry and tries to reassure her with a smile (which seemed more important than the high five).

Euphonium S2 - mutual reassurance

Two girls reassuring each other


This really felt like one of those episodes that got more interesting the more you watch it. But at the same time, it felt great watching it the first time, because I just loved Kumiko’s trying to understand herself this episode. We’ll see next time what Asuka’s thinking really is… or will we? I don’t know if Asuka has told us her true thoughts at any point in this whole series. But as Riko and Natsuki said in the first series, Asuka treats Kumiko differently. And I’m hoping that Kumiko isn’t going to really advocate for Nozomi, but instead just try to get Asuka to help her understand Asuka’s viewpoint. But even when directly asked, I don’t know if Asuka will answer truthfully. We saw that flashback to the solo part shmozzle, where Asuka didn’t care, because to her it was a stupid complaint. She knew that Reina was better, so she didn’t care that she wasn’t a senior. But it’s also not all about better. There’s more to supporting the group, and I can imagine that she might feel that, no matter what Nozomi says, someone who couldn’t even handle a year of slackers isn’t going to be able handling sitting on the bench.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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6 Responses to “Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    So, Mizore can speak up when it’s important to her; what that piece is that Kumiko was listening to probably isn’t that important right now. But she soon retreats right back into her quiet zone.

    But do you wonder if Nozomi not listening to Asuka that one time is enough to sour that relationship?

    You also show the restraint I never would have shown for this episode…

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know if you could call Nozomi and Asuka’s interactions as any kind of “relationship” more than “a senpai and kouhai in the same club”. Asuka gave her advice, very sound advice, but Nozomi wouldn’t heed it. Asuka really doesn’t care. That part of what she said I believe. She doesn’t care who’s in the band or who’s not in the band. She cares that the people in the band don’t waste her time. And she was probably just as frustrated last year, *and* the year before, but followed her own advice: get to the next year, and try to change it then.

      Here’s another thing: I think it’s possible (probable?) that Asuka isn’t necessarily angry or disappointed in Nozomi, but *is* holding her past impetuousness against her, because if she was so impatient that she couldn’t wait until the next year, what happens when something doesn’t go her way this time? Does she ragequit again? And take people with her again? We know that the band has changed, but has Nozomi? Or is it just “Hey, times are good, noone’s complaining”.

    • HannoX says:

      I said pretty much the same thing commenting on the first episode, but I’ll say it again. If Nozomi quit last year when things weren’t going the way she wanted, would she do it again? That’s drama the band doesn’t need going forward into the next couple of competitions.

      I don’t think Asuka has a problem per se with Nozomi not listening to her. Her problem is that Nozomi couldn’t stick it out through a rough patch that by its nature was going to end. I don’t think Asuka gives a damn if someone listens to her advice or not. She may give it, but it’s up to the other person to accept or reject it. And when you make a choice, you must live with the consequences good or bad. Nozomi made her choice and now she must live with it.

      • Highway says:

        And when you make a choice, you must live with the consequences good or bad. Nozomi made her choice and now she must live with it.

        I dunno if this is something that is necessarily the way things should be, because sometimes “the consequences” are someone being needlessly or arbitrarily petty or vindictive. And I think that’s part of what Kumiko’s trying to figure out, if Asuka is coming from a reasoned position, or she’s just being arbitrary and capricious. Yes, Reina covered for her in agreeing with the outcome and suggesting a reason, but that was Reina’s opinion as to what the reason was. I think Kumiko needs to find out for herself, and that’s part of why I think she was so great this episode.

        • HannoX says:

          But in this case I don’t think Asuka is being petty or unreasonable, although I did think that at first until I considered the situation. Nozomi has in the past bailed when things didn’t go the way she wanted or got tough, so can she be relied upon now when the band is already under considerable pressure due to the upcoming competitions? Can the band risk that?

          Yes, Asuka is being strict in her attitude, but I don’t think it’s without good cause, although I think such strictness is also part of her personality. There are people like that. But I do get your point that Kumiko is trying to understand why Asuka has the attitude she does against Nozomi rejoining. And that does make for a good beat for this part of the season.

        • HannoX says:


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