Thursday, November 10, 2016

10 Second Anime - Hibike! Euphonium S2 - Episode 6

The band members have fun at the school cultural festival, but a typhoon shows there are still more emotional storms brewing in the background.

Episode 6 - "Rainy Conductor"


In other shows, the cultural festival is a huge set piece for high school age characters. Not here. It's all about the band. The class room exhibits are just second thoughts to them.

The band put on a performance, though, with Asuka conducting. Midori played electric bass! Nozomi is back playing flute too. Are other quitters from last year going to be coming back to join the support crew?

Kumiko really is a perceptive nosy narrator. She noticed Asuka's little hitch over the date of their Nationals performance. It's like Asuka stumbled over the word "we" as if she wouldn't be there or might not be there.

I wonder how this show would look if it was from Midori's perspective? She's the actual leader of Kumiko's little group of friends. Without her, Kumiko and Hazuki wouldn't have joined the band. Of course, the only real drama in her life is making sure people call her "Midori" instead of her actual name "Sapphire." Probably, the show would look like a whole half hour of the end credits...

Oh, Reina. Lying so boldly to get those fan girls off her man, Taki-sensei. Reina's love problems are related to Taki's dead wife. The writing here, bringing back Hashimoto's confession of Taki's mourning and how any girl might not have a chance at romance with him, was crisp and efficient to get us to Kumiko accidentally running into Taki at a flower shop.

Kumiko was out walking in a typhoon because she was mad at her sister for wanting to quit college after she had made a big stink about putting music aside to concentrate on realistic life goals. The title of the episode, "Rainy Conductor," on the surface refers to Taki, as he needs flowers for his wife's grave when he visits. Midori explained later that those Italian Whites mean "I'll always be thinking of you." Nice picture there of his group of friends from Kitauji High School when his own father was the band adviser, but Taki wasn't in the band. Hashimoto and Niiyama were there too!

His wife's goal of taking Kitauji to the Nationals to win gold has become his goal. I don't think he'll be open to romance again until this happens. Reina will just have to wait.

I saw two other levels to the episode's title. Asuka was shown conducting the band for their cultural festival performance, and she definitely had a little storm raining inside of her. One thing this show likes to do is relate character stories to each other with visual elements or episode plot devices. Taki is a conductor in the rain, Asuka was a conductor feeling depressed and the third character involved was Mamiko, who came home in the rain.

I think the scene at the end of the episode is going to be an audition for Asuka and she may be leaving school early, either to go to music college or some other program, so she will miss the Nationals concert. Pure speculation at this point, but since her character story is linked to Mamiko wanting to quit school, there's some kind of thread there.

For Mamiko, I have a feeling she wants to quit college to teach music. I base this on her vehemence toward Kumiko for continuing the euphonium in high school when Mamiko did the "sensible" thing and concentrated on test scores. I base the music teaching on a quick scene in the opening credits showing her teaching Kumiko and Shuuichi how to read music. I also think that's why Shuuichi is coming back into the story to annoy Kumiko with their childhood friendship where they don't want to admit they're interested in each other. I see these strands of backstories getting laid out and I'm ready to see how they're going to get woven next.

The Fun Stuff.

It's Natsuki's turn for the eye catch.

It's the cultural festival, so we need to see the classes and clubs do their thing. Kumiko's class had a very unsuccessful maid café. Their only customer, that we saw, was Reina making her rounds.

The second years' maid café was way better with much cuter uniforms! Mizore is adorable! And Natsuki hurt my heart in that get-up. The Natsuki x Yuko pairing continues to pay out dividends. Yuko will defeat that Leaning Tower of crepes!

Kaori-senpai literally bumped into Kumiko and pointed her in the direction of her class' display. Just guess who's in her class...

Asuka! Asuka! Asuka! This was the first time since the first season we got to see this extremely silly side of hers. Haruka scolding her was the icing on this sweet Asuka fortune telling cake. Kumiko was not impressed.

Reina as a scary vengeful ghost? Only if you're messing with Taki-sensei! Kumiko still does the "geh" reflex at the mention of Shuuichi. She needs to get over that.

A few of the typhoon scenes with a frog clearly loving the rain and Kumiko clearly not digging what the storm blew into her home. Kumiko doesn't have many moments with Taki, but she's definitely softened as she's gotten to know him.

Next time, Asuka meets with a very pretty lady. Who is it? What is she doing there? Will we see more of her? I suppose we'll see what the aftermath of the typhoon will bring.

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