Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 07

Euphonium S2 - Not easy to stand up

You try standing up while playing…

winter15-highw Frequently, people put expectations on other people that are unwanted and unwarranted. How one deals with them is a major issue in life.

Breaking the Routine, Again

Euphonium S2 - what's on your mind

What’s Asuka really thinking?

The longer break between the Regional and National competitions gives the band a chance to do some other things besides the cultural festival. This is a good thing, and while Riko explains that some people had favored continuing to focus on the competition, there’s really only so much you can beat a song into submission. And, if you ask me, there’s a chance that you can overdo a song. You keep working on it, you get too comfortable with it, and you stop concentrating as much. So switching it up, doing something else, that’s a good thing. And also as Taki-sensei says, you should cherish the opportunity to perform, especially in a setting where the whole band can participate, which brings Hazuki, Natsuki, Nozomi, and all the others who are excluded from the competition group back into the mix, and gives them the experience.

Euphonium S2 - the aftermath

Just letting it hang there…

But the dominant storyline this episode is Asuka’s crisis. Her mother has apparently demanded that she quit the Concert Band to focus on studying for college entrance exams (there’s that topic again), and Asuka’s refusal to do that has led to her mother marching into the school and trying to force her to quit. But she’s rebuffed in a confrontation with Taki-sensei, who refuses to accept Asuka’s resignation when it’s not her wish to resign. And while we’ve seen Taki-sensei’s refusal to engage others’ unreasonability cause trouble in the case of Reina’s solo part, here it supports Asuka and emboldens her to clearly state that she does not want to quit. And her mother kind of gives away the farm when she follows up how she raised her by herself with the arrogation of “My daughter’s future is my decision.” You can see she’s taken aback by Taki’s suggestion of supporting Asuka, but hardens her demands, resulting in actually hitting Asuka, in front of other people, something that’s wrong even in Japan where some might feel that Asuka has a responsibility to do what her mother says.

Euphonium S2 - Kumiko and Reina discuss

Kumiko and Reina do what people do: Try to figure things out


Euphonium S2 - walking away

“Won’t make trouble”… Like she’s disappearing

Asuka’s reactions obviously make her mother realize how ashamed she should be, but that doesn’t mean the issue is over. And of course, everyone loves rumors, so the stories dominate all the thoughts of the band members, especially after Asuka stops coming to band practice. Yuuko is once again the voice of the group when she asks outright if Asuka has quit, but Taki reiterates that he won’t accept a resignation from her. But even so, with her not showing up for the next week, it maybe doesn’t matter if she’s officially resigned or not. She can’t even take her music home, and it gives Haruka and Kaori pause to think that Asuka’s not really that different from the rest of everyone.

Euphonium S2 - Yuuko speaks up for everyone

Yuuko gets to be the personification of the band’s feelings again

Euphonium S2 - Haruka steps up

And Haruka steps up, like the president should

And of course she isn’t, she’s a person like all of them, a person trying to grow up into an adult, dealing with the problems that come to them. And the problem that’s come to Haruka is that of a club feeling down because the person who is the face and dominant personality of the group is no longer present. And in response, Haruka steps up, just like she should but was afraid she couldn’t. It’s just the act of asking the rest of the club to stay with her and keep doing their best is what helps everyone calm down and get back into the right frame of mind. And even if Yuuko (as the rest of the group) responds that that’s assuming the wrong thing of the others, it’s still something that needed to be said to shake everyone out of their funk.

Euphonium S2 - buck up, Hazuki

Nervous time!

So then it’s to the exhibition concert. Even with another group there to compare against, there’s not really much time spent on the group from Seira. Instead, they rightly spend more time on Hazuki’s feelings being at her first ‘real’ concert, and Midori’s buck up speech. And that feeling continues to Haruka, reminding Kaori that they’ve reached the Nationals as well. It’s hard work, not a fluke. And even with Asuka returning, the main story about the performance is Haruka, who has accepted a solo part. And here’s where I tell you all about the difficulty of moving around in a performance like that. It’s not easy to stand up while playing. And it’s not easy to even just step back and forth like that. And it’s really not easy to step out there and play a big solo with a big instrument. Big bass instruments just don’t react quickly, and are easy to get really muddy when you try to move quickly on them, and this solo by Haruka is really well done.

Euphonium S2 - Haruka can blow

Putting all her effort in


I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like the seniors should have stopped feeling guilty about the previous year’s events by now, especially Haruka and Kaori. They’ve shaken off the attitude that led to a failed year and a lot of people quitting, and a full half of the band wasn’t even a part of it. I, for one, certainly don’t think that Haruka has any culpability for not being able to force her senpai to take things more seriously, much less anything lasting half of the next school year.

I think we also finally get an explanation for why Asuka had that reaction to the promotion from the first competition at the end of the first season. I think Asuka was expecting that they’d get that far, change the culture of the band a little bit, have fun, and then not get sent to the regional competition. And then she could retire from the band like all the seniors do after the competition, focus on her studying and get her mom off her back. Having passed that point, she wants to keep doing what she likes, but I think the pressure has been mounting on her and now she has to stand up for what she wants. I know that college admission is a huge thing in Japan, and that it’s very competitive, but I don’t believe in 6 months of studying for ANY test, especially for things that you’ll already be learning. Finish the Nationals competition at the end of October, and you’ve got over two full months to focus on studying for the entrance exams. That’s plenty if you ask me.


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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2 Responses to “Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 07”

  1. skylion says:

    This was really well done. I almost felt my jaw drop to the floor, and not from amazement, at least not initially. Nope, it was from disbelief. Did they really just go with a kitchen-sink drama trope, vis a via Aksuka and her mom. Telemundo Kyoto?

    Nah, I don’t really mean that. But man they manage to massage that horribly dog-earned non-story into something fascinating, that had scope and reach beyond just the dramaturgists.

    And then she could retire from the band like all the seniors do after the competition, focus on her studying and get her mom off her back

    Think this might still be viable?

    • Highway says:

      Well, no, it’s not viable because it’s the timing that’s been blown up now. She was planning on being done with the band at the beginning of August. Put mom off until then, band doesn’t get sent to Regionals, retire, be beloved senpai, do studying to make mom happy and get into college. But then they actually got promoted to Regionals. Ok, that’s just another 4 weeks of work, including the summer break trip that she was going to go on anyway. Just delay the studying plan for that amount of time.

      But then that got blown up by going to Nationals. And now it’s 2 MORE months before they’re done, and Mom’s been pushing at her since before the Regional competition. So you get the blowup we had here, with Mom tired of being put off, thinking that her daughter is now going to fail all of her college exams because she isn’t going to get those 3 months of studying that she initially planned on, nor even the 2 months that she’d have accepted. And now she’s willing to make a scene out of it.

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