Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 08

Euphonium S2 - little Kumiko

The amount of Kumiko-ness in this is incredible

winter15-highw A little illness can go a long way.

I’ll Take Potpourri for 1000, Alex…

Euphonium S2 - dekogeki

Midori Forehead Attack!

This episode was advancing a bunch of storylines, without really wrapping anything up. Of course, since it’s episode 8, this is the time to be advancing everything to its respective finish line, ready to cross in the last couple episodes. And if you’re doing it the right way, you can even throw in a little bit of misdirection to give the individual episode its own flavor and interest. That’s what they did here, giving Kumiko a minor illness. I mean, if I get a cold with a cough and sniffles, I’m usually full of sniffles for a week. So to be all better in a couple days is something I’d love to have.

Euphonium S2 - everyone in shock

The band’s shock at the possibility that Asuka won’t play with them.

First up, tho, storywise is Asuka again, or still. Five days without coming to practices, and then she shows up. Since the band is trying to stay in a maintenance mode, this isn’t too terrible, but it’s causing uncertainty and anxiety in the other members, and their sound is suffering. Not a lot, but they’ve lost that spark that separates the mechanically perfect performance from the impressively musical performance. Now, that’s not unexpected, and even Hashimoto-sensei is impressed that they’ve kept the sound as good as they have, but there’s just a little missing, and that’s the kind of thing that would keep them from getting gold at Nationals. So missing Asuka is having that double effect, since her playing is one of the best sounds in the band, and her presence is always inspiring.

Euphonium S2 - Asuka gets Kumiko over

Asuka gets what she wants

But what’s even more interesting to me is her interactions with Kumiko this episode. Kumiko is the only of the other bass section members to not rush to her, or to fawn over Asuka’s return to the band, even though she was very happy to see her return for the Station concert. And Kumiko takes time to ask Asuka specifically if she’s going to quit, which leads to a wonderfully engineered invitation to Asuka’s house. Seriously, this was the perfect way to buffalo someone into doing something you want them to, as Asuka manages to convince Kumiko to come over, ostensibly for math tutoring, by herself (so she can focus better), when Asuka’s mom won’t be home. If this was a different kind of story, that would be the flag for “We’re gonna do it!”, but this isn’t a romance show, or a yuri manga. Anyway, I’m guessing we’re going to get to that visit next episode.

Falling Out

Euphonium S2 - Mamiko feeling cornered

Someone doesn’t have an answer

This episode spent a lot more time on the family issues at Kumiko’s home, with Mamiko’s family meeting where she wants to quit college and become a beautician. A year from graduating from college, and she wants to quit, and says that that year “isn’t soon enough” and that “it has to be now.” That kind of talk makes me wonder what kind of trouble she feels like she’s in. I want to think it’s some kind of boyfriend trouble, but that doesn’t really make sense because she could have just introduced a boyfriend to her parents, no? And why would there be trouble when she has her own apartment anyway? Something’s driving her out of her apartment and back home. It could be just general disaffectation, but that doesn’t seem like it would be necessary to quit now.

Euphonium S2 - Kumiko picks a fight

Kumiko picks a fight in front of her friend

The real part that intersects with Kumiko is that Mamiko claims that she never wanted to quit playing in the band. While Kumiko doesn’t react right away, it’s something that eats at her for the next day. I think that Mamiko quitting band was one of the things that really came between her and Kumiko, and the flashbacks to their interactions show that Kumiko thought the trombone was one of her sister’s best features. The scene where Mamiko is quitting is kind of ambiguous tho. It could play that way if she was being pressured to quit by her parents to get into a good college, but it could also play out that way if, say, Mamiko was starting to have the same feelings toward Kumiko that her middle school senpai did: You think you’re better than me? Are you playing better than I am to mock me?

Euphonium S2 - and doesn't back down

And she’s not backing down

But when Mamiko complains about Kumiko listening to euphonium music with Reina, Kumiko’s emotions finally boil over, with Mamiko’s having things to her convenience finally pushing Kumiko to confrontation. And I’m pretty firmly in Kumiko’s camp: Don’t quit saying that you have to study for college exams and give me a hard time about playing the euphonium and then come back later and say “I didn’t really want to quit”. Don’t gloom around here and tell me I can’t listen to what I want when our parents are paying for your tuition and apartment so you could not be here. I don’t care how much you think the world can’t understand you, that’s all just out and out selfish. And the fact that Kumiko blows up in front of Reina shows a couple things: How frustrated Kumiko is and how close she feels to Reina. Maybe the fact that Reina is there helps forestall a big argument, but I’m still on Kumiko’s side. And seeing Mamiko’s reaction to Shuichi reminding her how much Kumiko looked up to her makes the point that Mamiko wasn’t looking at it from Kumiko’s side at all.

Euphonium S2 - Reina lets the conversation happen

Reina lets the conversation happen

Euphonium S2 - the start of reconciliation

And maybe the first step toward reconciliation?


I really love the way that Asuka engineers a chance to get Kumiko all to herself. The amount of calculation in that was incredible. And I start to wonder if anyone in the band has ever gone to Asuka’s house. One would think that perhaps Haruka or Kaori have, but my gut feeling is that Asuka has never felt the desire to let her guard down that much. Even with going to festivals with them, I think that Asuka feels more of a connection to Kumiko, although it’s certainly no revelation for me to say so. Everyone has thought from the beginning that Asuka treats Kumiko differently. So I’m really interested in seeing what the result of her visit is going to be.


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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9 Responses to “Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 08”

  1. skylion says:

    So yeah, this is really Kumiko’s story. I rather like that they’re doing it in a very subtle manner. There’s a lot of both Mamiko and Asuka in her. But I think that this is going to be grooving on This is My Music. In doing that they’ve got to build up and take down both her influences. One is handling it with all the grace that Asuka can muster. If it’s a deconstruction, it’s happening so swiftly, yet so professionally, you can barely detect it going down.

    ..and then Mamiko is a wrecking ball..

    • Highway says:

      The storytelling manner is very similar to my favorite show from the summer season as well, ReLife, where the main character isn’t the one having all the story happen to them, but they are an active participant in other people’s stories. And I like that any lessons to be learned aren’t laid bare like a morality play or Just So story, but just in the way of “learning how to be a person.”

      I certainly want to find more out about Mamiko’s situation, like what has pushed her into feeling like she needs to quit right away. Is there really something happening? Or is it more that she is just recalling how things used to be and doesn’t like where things are for her now?

      • HannoX says:

        Mamiko’s situation could be that she’s finally fed up with her parents running her life and wants to make her own decisions and do what she wants, not what they want her to do.

        • Highway says:

          That could be the situation, but I would think that runs counter to what she seemed to want the change to be. Unless there was a lot of communication and interference, it would seem that Mamiko was the one putting herself in a situation to have her parents be checking up on her by coming home instead of staying at her apartment. It’s hard to think of a more free situation than the one she was in, and it sure doesn’t seem like her father’s edict about leaving the house and supporting herself is what she really wanted.

      • skylion says:

        As far as Mamiko? What if they never explain it in full? There are some things you just don’t get to find out about people and you have to move on…I mean, they shouldn’t leave it as something sinister, but they could make it where that was the thing it was, it was smoothed over, you never get all the details.

        • Highway says:

          It’s possible we never get the details. But I think they’ve made it such a large part of Kumiko’s life at this point that they’ll explain a little bit more, especially given the way the show is about making sure we know why other things have happened.

  2. HannoX says:

    Okay, Spammy is back. I’ve made two comments here and neither one shows up.

  3. theirs says:

    I’ll agree that there’s a high chance that nobody in the band has ever been to Asuka’s house. We know that at least Haruka tried real hard to contact her and got no reply. If your worried about someone and got no reply, the next step is obviously to visit them at their house. Haruka might have some doubts on doing it, but I’m sure Kaori will at least push her to do it.

    Last season when Haruka was at her lowest, Kaori came to visit her. I’d think she’ll do the same for Asuka.

    • Highway says:

      It’s very hard to break out of the pattern of communication that you have with another person. Like Haruka texting and emailing Asuka, but not trying to actually call her. I think there might be a huge mental roadblock to actually going and visiting Asuka, especially given that her issues are between Asuka and her mother.

      Also remember that Asuka is still coming to school, she’s just not coming to band practice. And Haruka is in the same class as Asuka. One would think that they could talk there, but we’ve seen Asuka unwilling to talk about pretty much anything she doesn’t want to talk about, deflecting everything away. So I think that Haruka and Kaori both realize that Asuka does not want to talk about it, and trying to force her to do so is not going to help anyone. They’re trying to be there if she needs to talk, but Asuka doesn’t want to do that.

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