Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 07

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As BSG’s President Roslin said, “Alright…Next Crisis!” Kumiko may be dealing with a widening rift between her and her sister, but that takes a backseat to a more pressing issue that affects the entire band. It’s also the reason we’ve gotten so many close-ups of Asuka’s sadface: her mom is making her resign.

Taki-sensei refuses, but after her mom slaps her (an incident Kumiko happens to witness), the mother and daughter go home, and Asuka returns to school bright and cheery like nothing happened, she just plain stops showing up to band practice.

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The sudden loss of Asuka, and all the swirling rumors about it, instantly, negatively affects the band’s performance in practice on the eve of a very public performance at a big train station. Taki is not pleased with this, and basically peaces out and leaves President Haruka to deal with it (which is the right move to make, rather than continue trying to focus a clearly rattled band).

Haruka steps up to the plate (well, the lectern), and performs admirably, telling the band, essentially, that all this time they’ve built up Asuka as someone “special” and irreplaceable; but that’s not really the case. And now it’s up to them to support her for once, by bearing down and putting on a show they, and she, can be proud of, in hopes she comes back. That’s all they can do.

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The day of the station gig, sure enough, Asuka is there with a bright smile, ready to see what the band can do in her absence. Haruka wrests control of a massive, unwieldy baritone sax and belts out a badass solo. Taki suggested the solo to “shake things up”, and it worked: the performance boosts the president’s and band’s confidence as the Nationals draw nearer.

Asuka’s future with the band is still unclear, but the band will survive. As for Mamiko, there’s something very foreboding about the episode ending with her putting on her shoes and walking out the door of her family’s home.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Hey, I'm Zane. I am a graphic designer and painter who also enjoys cooking, cleaning, and vegging out on my couch. I tend to veer towards anime that is some combination of comedy, romance, drama, and school settings.

4 thoughts on “Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 07”

  1. I get the sense that both Yuuko and Natsuki are being prepared to lead the band (if Asuka taking Natsuki aside is any indication), and Nozomi would be the “third ranger” that helps troubleshoot matters Yuuko and Natsuki alone cannot resolve easily – and one that both Yuuko and Natsuki deeply respect. It’ll be interesting to see how Hibike Euphonium handles the issue of leadership transition, though I do wonder whether Yuuko’s likely succession of Kaori’s position will go unchallenged. So far, there seems to be the implication that Yuuko does have the crucial support and social relations with the leading Second years, and enough respect from the First Years to take over Haruka’s position and be even more effective than Kaori from the get go.

    Haruka’s speech after Taki-Sensei suspended practice for the day, on the other hand, was Haruka finest moment as a Club Leader yet, and possibly the most blatant display of leadership we’ve yet seen out of her. And I suspect that Yuuko’s response to Kaori is a prelude to what we should expect from Yuuko’s leadership style, once the Third Years leave the club.

    1. Great thoughts on the changing leadership; hopefully a repeat of last year’s unpleasantness can be avoided. It sucks that this wrench gets thrown in just when they’re trying to prepare for the Nationals.

      Haruka was an inspiration this week. There’s something about Hayami Saori’s gentle-but-firm tone that fits Haruka’s character perfectly, revealing both her weariness at the top and feeling Asuka was the better choice for president, and the realization that she has to step up, both by rallying the troops and switching to Baritone (a literal big gesture of taking charge).

  2. Man, the music for the station concert scene was downright beautiful. And, hey, I didn’t know Sapphire knows how to play bass guitar XD.

    Asuka’s situation is a sad reminder of reality for teenagers. While high school is often said to be the best time of young people’s lives, it’s also ultimately just a phase that you have to move on from, and that club activities, no matter how much you enjoy them, are eventually of lesser importance when it comes to other pressing matters like getting to college.

    1. My first impression of Asuka’s mom was of a selfish shrew, but after that slap, and her mother’s rapid change of mood to something less malevolent and more apologetic…it was just a really well-done, balanced scene, though it’s also rough and tense. Asuka’s mom is neither the good or the bad guy, she’s just…Asuka’s mom.

      And, it seems, Asuka is the entirety of her family. She decided long ago that she’d raise Asuka so that she wouldn’t repeat her mistakes in life, and that’s well within a parent’s purview. At the same time, I agreed with Reina that Asuka should have SOME say in what she does with her life, though of course it’s tricky because she’s not quite an adult yet, but close enough that she’s willing to concede to her mother’s wishes.

      It isn’t explicit, but Asuka’s perfection in concert band may well have come at a cost of other, ultimately more important aspects of her life, such as college prep. It was also interesting that her mom considered Asuka’s choice of playing the Euph to be “mocking” her in some fashion. Did she or her husband, Asuka’s dad, also play it?

      I was also surprised to see Sapphire go electric, and I also enjoyed her motivational “Sapphire Choppu!” That calmed a nervous Hazuki prior to the performance. These two haven’t had a lot to do this season, but they’ve shined when I’ve seen them.

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