Hibike Euphonium Final Episode (13): Finally the concert

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Well, this series ends by finally showing off what everyone’s been practicing up to now. I was actually somewhat surprised that the concert ended with our main characters taking the gold, but I guess the idea was to wrap everything up neatly. Band geek moment: I just want to say here that I’m not actually a huge fan of the piece that Kitauji played (Crescent Moon Dance). It’s a bit bombastic for my taste. I actually would have much preferred the piece that was played by the school before Kitauji (which was Scheherazade).

As for judging the series as a whole, I’d say that it was interesting as a former band player to see this representation of what happens. Naturally, my experience was fairly similar (drama always happens), but sometimes different (shouldn’t there have been rehearsals or something?), so it was cool to see what others go through. I’m curious, though, how this show feels from the perspective of someone who has no idea what a concert band does. Anything particularly eye-opening or such? Also, I don’t particularly care for a second season…I think this episode actually works as a decent resolution.

Hibike Euphonium Episode 12: Finding passion

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Most of this week’s episode involves watching Kumiko (and her childhood friend) turning the criticism from Taki into the drive to work on improving. If you’re online a lot, it’s easy to take criticism too personally and become defensive, but it really should be motivating you to get better. But in my opinion, that piece of advice gets thrown around a lot, so I won’t belabor it. I will say this, though. I really like the scene from the screenshot above because you can see Natsuki walking by in the background, then rushing off-screen to join the conversation. That scene was gold.

Next week’s episode puts an end this series with the regional competition. Given that it’s supposed to be the last episode, I’m assuming they lose again? Or maybe the nationals competition is meant to be a second season…or maybe it’s just completely irrelevant. I think it would be interesting if the show devalued the actual competition segment (it would be unlike most other series which drag that part out).

Hibike Euphonium Episode 11: Back to euphonium any time soon?

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Hopefully, it doesn’t come as a surprise that I’m incredibly upset with how Yuuko acted this week (last week too). She gets everyone in the band riled up against Reina, but then tries to appeal to Reina’s compassionate side (as if she somehow deserves some compassion or something). She tries to use this story about how Kaori didn’t try for a solo part in the previous year because she thought the seniors should have it despite being the best…and that doing so somehow makes it okay for her to do the exact same thing to Reina. It’s almost like Yuuko is saying that the old seniority system is justified in some ways.

At the end of the day, Kaori ends up making the decision that better suits the band as a whole, giving up the solo. But it sets this audition up to be pretty much an elaborate trap set by Taki. He offers her the solo at the end despite the fact that only three people voted as a way to test her…I’m not even convinced he would have given it to her if she had taken it (as most high school students probably would). But all that aside, I know I have glossed over some specific aspects of this episode that are floating around online…and I’m pretty sure I have no idea what you’re talking about. Moving on…

Hibike Euphonium Episode 10: Audition drama

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Well this week’s episode certainly was frustrating. Let me start by saying that I somewhat understand what they’re trying to do by contrasting Reina and Kumiko and the reactions they face to results of the auditions. While Kumiko’s senior ends up being very accepting of her result and supportive, Reina meets stiff competition. I would have been okay if they had ended it there, but now we have this awkward situation where a secondary audition is proposed.

Why is this second chance audition a problem? Because Reina suddenly has pretty much everything to lose. The only ending that seems acceptable to me is if she is able to blow her opponent away to the point where everyone recognizes her ability. There was a suggestion somewhere online that I saw about doing something similar to a blind taste test, where both contenders play without revealing their identity. This would probably be an acceptable outcome for me, but I question the likelihood of that happening…it might be the only choice though.

The Rest of the Season

It’s a well-established fact that I tend to watch too many series every season. Here’s my opinion of some of the shows that haven’t been appearing on my blog regularly (side note: I’m going to try to use my Twitter account to talk about these shows more regularly…if you’re interested).

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Hibike Euphonium

This is a show that I’m really upset that I didn’t continue covering. As a former band student (from my high school days), I feel like I could speak a lot to what’s being said in this show, but I had my usual aversion to covering slice of life shows, so I decided against it (also, I jumped on the bandwagon pretty late because I never expected to be watching this show). It’s actually very easy for someone like me to relate to this show, being that I was someone who was similarly participating in the school’s concert band pretty halfheartedly like the main character Kumiko. It’s interesting to see the other side.

I was never very emotionally invested in competitive band because I decided that it wasn’t where I wanted to put my effort, but Kumiko seems to be going in the opposite direction…though to be fair, it’s starting to look like it’s mostly fueled by peer pressure. A specific part of the series that I wanted to talk about that I haven’t seen mentioned much elsewhere is the choosing of instruments. Hazuki’s experience with choosing tuba for as simple a reason as just having the mouthpiece seems somewhat appropriate. I only chose percussion because my school’s band didn’t have enough people in that section and I couldn’t decide. I also want to mention (though it’s not really important) that my school’s band only had auditions to determine placements (and it actually wasn’t biased towards more senior members). Anyone could join the competitive band, but the director did kick some people out for not having proper motivation.

Shokugeki no Soma – Not really all too much to say here. This series has actually been fairly faithful to the manga (though the foodgasm adaptations are arguably a bit overboard).

Ore Monogatari – Surprisingly, this one’s not bad. It’s goofy enough that I’m not bored even if not that much stuff is going on. That being said, I’m pretty sure this can’t last long. Confession happening too early means they either have to fill the space with excess drama or get creative…