Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 13 (Fin)

WE’RE SO SCREWED

As expected, the final Hibike! Euphonium 2 of the season is an epilogue; it even has ‘epilogue’ in the episode title. The third years are given a proper sendoff with lovely musical performances accompanied by montages of both this season and the last.

Yoko and Natsuki take up the mantle of new president and vice president, and the former can hear the loss of the third years.

Really nice lighting effects in this scene
Really nice lighting effects in this scene

So can Taki-sensei, who acknowledges that every year school bands essentially take a big step back due to the outgoing talent. That experience must be replaced with the remaining members plus the rawer talent of incoming first years.

The same band that made it to the Nationals no longer exists. The one that intends to make it back will be an entirely new one: new leadership, new composition, new style.

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Since Kumiko and Reina are first-years, they have not one but two more years to achieve their goal of National Gold. And they seem as optimistic and determined as ever to get there, despite their bronze finish this year and the loss of so much talent.

Their problems going forward are the same problems all school bands face, and secondary problems — such as Yoko and Natsuki clashing — are sure to crop up.

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The key (no pun intended), I suppose, is to avoid really big dustups such as the ones that took place before Kumiko and Reina arrived at Kitauji; the kind of conflicts that actually hindered the band’s performance, and the wounds of which have now all but faded.

And so we get a nice, long, heartfelt goodbye as all the seniors play for their juniors, then vice versa. There’s a commencement ceremony, where the goodbye hugs and wishes continue. And throughout this epilogue, Kumiko is sad and upset, all because Asuka is leaving.

Ah, so THAT'S where the show's title comes from. HUH!
Ah, so THAT’S where the show’s title comes from. HUH!

She runs all over the school grounds, increasingly desperate to find her. As usual, Asuka is trying to avoid “these kind of things”, but Kumiko won’t let her escape her, or her true feelings. Kumiko thinks she might have hated Asuka at first – but now all she feels is love. Romantic love? Perhaps it hews close to that, just as you could read her feelings towards Reina on top of that mountain last season.

But whatever specific kind of love it is, she’s got it, when she didn’t have it before. Asuka is someone she let into her life and personality, while continuing to hold back from Shuu (poor Shuu). Asuka is someone leaving, whom she doesn’t want to go. She has eyes for no third-year but Asuka.

And now she’s the chief euph, and her bandmates even remark how she sounds like Asuka. Like Mamiko, Asuka has helped shape and progress Kumiko’s musical development and identity. I’m unsure if there will be a Euph 3, but there’s plenty of great material to continue with.

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Rinne no Lagrange – 02

With his comrade Array defeated by the Vox, Izo heads down to earth to take it on. Madoka meets Tadokoro, the fleet captain who runs Pharos along with Lan’s superior, Moid, and a strange girl named Muginami. Madoka is issued a uniform and put her back in the cockpit to battle Izo. When she’s told she holds the fate of the world in her hands, she initially wavers, rendering the Vox ovid inert. After a motivational phone call from her cousin Yoko, who has always been against her piloting Vox, Madoka regains her confidence and the Vox powers up. Izo’s comrade Kirius has joins the fray, while Lan heads to her own Vox.

Not a bad follow-up to the first episode, reiterating how Madoka has been plopped down in the middle of an interdimensional war, a lot of pressure is immediately placed upon her slight shoulders, and she trades her sweats for a tight-fitting uniform like Lan’s. Basically, if she fails, everyone dies, so she’d better not fail. Think Evangelion without all the psychological baggage. Our heroine has never had a problem expressing herself or excelling at any number of athletic disciplines. Since her ovid Vox Aura responds according to the strength of her conviction, it’s important she see this as the life-or-death situation that it is, and not a lark or dawdle. Also, watching her wander the military complex for a decent cell signal was pretty funny.

Meanwhile, Lan, it would seem, seems offput by Madoka’s impression it was ‘easy’ to pilot the Vox. As watching the opening credits, she’s pilot too, but is clear she has some kind of underlying issues that require resolution. As for the third pilot, well, all we know is her name is Muginami, she has big boobs, and her voice is kinda stupid-sounding. She says barely anything and does nothing this week. Madoka, meanwhile, isn’t actually locked in combat all that long. The balance of her two-on-one battle will play out next week, in which she’ll be joined by either Lan, Mugi, or both.


Rating: 3.5