Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 12

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Shuu Sighting! Shuu Sighting! Kumiko and Shuu can’t sleep the night before the Nationals, and end up having drinks together by the vending machine. As always, they talk about mundane things. Shuu gives Kumiko a belated birthday present: a cute hairpin. Scene.

It’s these two in a nutshell. Here, in the middle of the night, the two are able to at least have a moment. It’s not a bit dramatic moment or anything, just a cordial acknowledgement of their history together, without any kind of indication either one of them know what to do from there. Sometimes I think the show revels in always teasing these two.

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Oh yeah, the Nationals! Kitauji fails to win Gold. They fail to win Silver, too. They end up with Bronze. Bronze, after all that! I guess they aimed too high, huh? Ah well, like the band, I had carried unreasonably high expectations, and while it stings to seem them essentially crash and burn, they didn’t do badly for a group so young, and the second and first years aren’t out of opportunities. Just getting to the Nationals was a goal they successfully achieved, and that’s nothing to sniff at.

When Taki-sensei is awarded on stage, the band doesn’t have a cheer arranged. Enter Reina, who yells out “I LOVE YOU!”, which Taki and everyone else hears, but not necessarily as a confession. Later, when Taki thanks Reina and expresses his worry no one in the band liked him, she piles on the praise, then makes it clear she “really does like him” – to which Taki is flattered, and walks away without a formal response. Hang in there, Reina!

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In better news, Asuka’s father, and judge in the competition, heard her, and through Taki-sensei, compliments her play as “beautiful” and is glad she kept at it. Frankly, I’m not sure why he couldn’t tell his daughter in person, but it seems to be enough for Asuka, who has to embrace Kumiko before completely breaking down with happiness.

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And finally, after a lot of looking around and chasing, Kumiko tracks down Mamiko, who did attend after all, to tell her she loves the Euph and loves concert band because of her, and she loves her. Mamiko yells back that she loves her too, and that’s the ep.

It was a bit odd not to hear any music, but it was always going to be hard to replicate the atmosphere of previous performances without seeming repetitive. Similarly, the Nationals didn’t feel any more “special” than the Regionals this time or last. It ends up being kind of a bronze episode (if a 9 is Silver and a 10 is Gold).

It felt more like an episode full of loose ends being tied up. That made for some enjoyable moments, but they felt isolated and disjointed. Still, the feels were felt on numerous occasions; oddly enough no more so than when Mizore fist-bumped Kumiko and looked so pleased about it.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 12”

  1. Wait, this isn’t the last episode? And here I was ready to deliver my own assessment. Anyway, this was a great climax to the whole series. I guess next week’s ep is more of an epilogue fir this one.

    Shuu Sighting! Shuu Sighting! Kumiko and Shuu can’t sleep the night before the Nationals, and end up having drinks together by the vending machine. As always, they talk about mundane things. Shuu gives Kumiko a belated birthday present: a cute hairpin. Scene.

    It’s these two in a nutshell. Here, in the middle of the night, the two are able to at least have a moment. It’s not a bit dramatic moment or anything, just a cordial acknowledgement of their history together, without any kind of indication either one of them know what to do from there. Sometimes I think the show revels in always teasing these two.

    More specifically, Anime Shuichi’s existence seems to be there purely so that the show can have its kicks teasing novel readers. The poor guy’s appearances pretty much just amounts to acknowledging a non-existent romance XD

    I actually like how they didn’t show the performance. It actually works well to add impact to the reveal that they only won bronze. Like you said, it would be hard to match the previous performances. So, it really makes you wonder just how lackluster it was that they didn’t even win silver.

    And that whole Reina confession was downright hilarious, poor girl XD. Asuka bursting into genuine happiness after hearing her father’s praise is also a great scene.

    One thing I do find odd, though, is that while Mamiko did watch Kumiko’s performance, their parents didn’t. Come on, Mom and Dad, your daughter is playing at the Nationals.

    1. Yeah, add a closing scene or two and this could have definitely been a season-ender, leaving open the possibility of a third season in which Natsuki and Yuuko form the new leadership, they try to win Gold, Reina proposes to Taki-sensei, and Shuu tries to date Kumiko (just kidding with those last two :P)

      That was weird how Kumiko’s parents — not even her mom, who doesn’t seem like an asshole — weren’t there at all. Maybe there’s some truth to what Kumiko said in her conciliatory pot-washing talk with Mamiko: that their parents already gave up on her! If that’s not the case, and they trust Kumiko will turn out just fine, it still doesn’t explain not showing up, even if Kumiko doesn’t mind.

      Then again, maybe I’m looking at this situation through the prism of my own (American) family, in which each child’s big public performance is a usually a must-attend event. I don’t recall seeing any of the band members’ parents at the Nationals (though maybe the ep simply chose not to focus on them).

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