Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 05

Euphonium S2 - stealing a glance

You just have to steal that glance at the audience

winter15-highw Sometimes, as a director, you make the perfect choice for a show.

Time for the Competition

Euphonium S2 - thank you senseis

Saying goodbye

Last week in the comments, I said that I figured that they’d get to the Kansai competition this week. And they did, but this time they didn’t make the whole episode the day of. Instead, they cleaned up the preparations in a way that was very appropriate for this run up. A last day of practice before the big day, some last instructions, and some last reassurances with Kumiko getting a callout saying she’s doing a good job, leading her to remember Taki-sensei’s first vote of confidence in her after her lowest point of the first series, being told that he believes in her being able to play that part for the Kansai competition.

Euphonium S2 - getting pumped up

Salutes are fun

The other final thing before the competition is to say goodbye to Hashimoto and Niiyama. And their main thing to do in their farewell is to buck up the band even more, saying that they’re just as good as the other groups in the competition, and that they should have confidence in that. And Hashimoto takes the opportunity to call out Mizore again, but this time as most improved. And with that done, it’s time for the last trip home before go-time. And perhaps the most pumped up is Hazuki, who is a bit hyper at her least active. She encourages Kumiko to do her best and help get Kitauji to Nationals, so that Hazuki can see what’s so special about it. I like that she and Natsuki are completely invested in supporting the band, particularly Natsuki. She could have taken her failure in the audition as the opportunity to go back to the way she was, disengaged from everything else in the band, but instead she’s doing all that she can to help. The other thing that Hazuki does is help to dispel any power about Nationals, talking about it so plainly. Much like Voldemort, her example encourages Kumiko and Reina to say it out loud, making it less mythical, and more achievable.

Euphonium S2 - of course Hazuki wears Chuck Taylors

Hazuki wears Chuck Taylors, because of course she does.

The Big Day

Euphonium S2 - now getting worried

Nervous the night before

Euphonium S2 - serious Asuka

Asuka gets serious

And then it’s the real thing. There’s always that person who is telling you how other people did, and thankfully Haruka steps up to refocus everyone on their own performance. But I do wonder if the reason that Azusa called Kumiko the night before and said not to talk to her is because she realized that Rikka was just not playing well enough to get gold. We also get a really strong statement from Asuka, perhaps the strongest, most serious she’s been, stating that she wants to continue on to Nationals. From someone who had been fatalistic before the first competition, she seems to fully believe now and her entreaty is something that I don’t think she’d have been able to do before, because she just couldn’t be that person in the club. But I wonder if with the club being more serious and successful, she’s able to feel comfortable letting that serious part of her personality show, rather than having to cloak it behind the jokey act.

Euphonium S2 - Reina pledges her play for Kumiko

Reina pledging her inspiration to Kumiko

Euphonium S2 - I love this visual effect

I love the peripheral blurring

And then, there was the directorial decision that I talked about. Something that you’d have to think is completely a departure from the source novels. A full performance of the Crescent Moon Dance, with no voiceovers, no audio cuts, no anything. Following almost nothing of the performance of Provenance of Wind, we get a beautiful visual montage of the performance, but with no distractions from the music. But that doesn’t mean boring. Throughout the piece, we’re taken through the whole experience of the band getting to this point. Cuts to individuals who struggled with parts at the part they have now conquered. Views of the music that they brought with them, less something they’re reading and more something to inspire them. I never did that to my music, but I also never practiced anywhere near as much as they have. And at a certain point, the music isn’t something you’re actually reading, it’s just there to reassure you.

Euphonium S2 - inspiration

You can’t read it, but it doesn’t matter

Euphonium S2 - Bass Clarinets rule!

If they show Bass Clarinets, you get to see Bass Clarinets in a post I write

And although this performance was almost a shot-by-shot recreation of the first performance in episode 13, it doesn’t feel like a rerun. Yes, there’s certainly some (or a lot of) reuse of the animation of the characters and instruments, but adding more shots, getting rid of the edits on the piece and filling it out (the full piece is 6:49, the episode 13 version is 3:55, so there’s quite a bit more), showing us more of the other instruments, the rest of the band that we didn’t know or care about before, and we still don’t really know, but we get to see how hard they worked. The crispness of the fingering in those difficult parts they sweated over. All of it is conveyed by showing us their performance. And I know I wasn’t the only one who was teary-eyed at the end.

Euphonium S2 - [HorribleSubs] Hibike! Euphonium S2 - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.46_[2016.11.06_22.39.12]

Everyone waiting for the result

Euphonium S2 - detail in the background

It’s not just Kumiko’s reaction

Euphonium S2 - Riko glomping Midori best reax

Midori gets glomped by Riko

All that’s left after that is the results, and I don’t think anyone was surprised at those, although these girls don’t know that they’re only in episode 5. This time we actually get to hear the announcements of the results, with all the cheers and happiness. I found it interesting the difference in reactions from the three schools, with Osaka Toushou seemingly sure they would make it, Myoujou happier and more outgoing, and Kitauji responding with pandemonium as soon as they heard their number. And with that, the story continues.

Euphonium S2 - You will always get to see Michie-sensei happy

Michie-sensei has great reactions


I did have a slight complaint… about the subtitles. I wish they were a bit more artful about them, especially in dramatic moments. When it’s the big reveal, let it happen, then put the text up. In this episode, as soon as the guy started speaking the line about the third group to advance, it splashed the whole sentence up there, and to me it kinda stole the moment, deflating it just a little bit. It’s certainly not something unique to this show, because subtitles frequently ruin the big reveal, putting the killer’s name up right away, or giving away the big confession. Sometimes they do it right, but this time I didn’t think it was particularly good. And that’s my complaint. Everything else about this episode was perfect, even the way they wove Hazuki back in.


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 – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    This was a great episode, if only to show us the results of a great amount of very hard work, but also to improve a great deal upon what the narrative has already put out there. For me, it’s right down to what you say, Asuka and Hazuki getting more time to be “themselves” – quotation marks are optional.

    I love how Hazuki is able to realize that “this is where it begins not ends”, so to speak. She’s not going to fool around like the previous years did. She might not make a slot in this year’s competition, but…there is next year to make for a stronger showing than she has, and they play her off as excited about it, maybe even lending a bit of “she’ll fall back into old habits” perhaps.

    But Asuki is the queen. Yeah, she does a great bit of speechifying…but it’s plain that this is all her in there, she wants this. Now that they’ve committed and won, she really wants it. It’s a fine addition to her heartfelt playing when last time the focus was on her so much…

    Hazuki wears Chuck Taylors, because of course she does

    Something I did in high school…

    If they show Bass Clarinets, you get to see Bass Clarinets in a post I write

    Something you did in high school. But I was in the science club and the academic team; a proper nerd, me…

    • Highway says:

      I wore Chuck Taylors in high school and college too. Didn’t everyone (who didn’t wear Doc Martens)?

      And don’t try to out-nerd me. I was on the Getaway Special Space Shuttle small payloads team. It kinda got shut down after Challenger blew up, tho. That was in addition to being an engineering nerd and a band nerd.

      I still love that Hazuki has this passion for doing things “the right way”. She’s never been shown to be the kind of person who takes a personal shortcut, never skives off. I really wish I could be more like her.

      • skylion says:

        I wasn’t trying to out-nerd, just spend my cred, that’s all! I forgot to mention the newspaper class/club; my two years on it saw a new teacher that did a club level outing to make a colour bi-monthly paper in addition to the 6 page monthly. The science club didn’t do as good as yours, we just helped out with the local three counties’ science fairs with those high schools in addition to our own projects…

        Hazuki is a gift that keeps the club going I think.

  2. HannoX says:

    Wow, just wow. What a perfect episode. I loved Asuka’s speech, but my favorite part was the performance where they showed each of the band members (I assume we saw them all). I was especially impressed by showing the movements of their fingers. I was never in band and am not an animator, but I’m assuming they got the finger movements right or mostly so. Just imagine how much time and how much of the show’s budget went into showing that! And people think good fight scenes can use up a huge chunk of a show’s budget.

    • Highway says:

      Well, not to ruin the magic, but a lot of the shots of the performance, like I said, were reused from the performance in the first series. A lot of the fingering shots were new to this, and the performance did sound crisper, as though they improved and got rid of some of the muddiness in those sections (just like it should be!).

      One thing that I don’t know if I’m sold on is Reina’s solo in this performance, tho. It’s certainly more out there, but I felt that it was maybe a little over the edge into ‘blaring’ a little too much, especially with the attack on the first note.

      • HannoX says:

        Reusing some of the shots is fine. After all, they had to be animated at some point. It’s still impressive that at some point they were willing to spend the time and spend the budget to animate those shots.

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