Wednesday, December 07, 2016

10 Second Anime - Hibike! Euphonium S2 - Episode 10

After resolving things with her sister, Kumiko tries to convince Asuka to come back to the concert band.

Episode 10 - "After School Obbligato"


Wow, wow! Where did that bored detached Kumiko go?

I like how variable the time is in this show. Sometimes a whole month passes between episodes and then, like this week, we get a sequence of events done in less than a day.

That obbligato term means something "not to be omitted," making a musical passage an integral part of any arrangement. Guess who that is. 

The whole bass section asked how Kumiko's "deito" went with Asuka... I mean, if she was able to work her magic on Asuka's mom the morning after Asuka's farewell elegy.

These little scenes were important to add to Kumiko's resolve in the face of her inevitable conversation with Asuka.

Yuko still has to show her possessiveness of her "Kaori-senpai."

Um, were there some big clues with Haruka's English drills where she wrote over and over the words "involve, statement, observe, personality?" Oh, I really think so.

Haruka told Kaori that she wished Asuka could have stayed "special." Considering what she pulls at the end of the episode, I think she moved squarely back into that column.

Last episode, I talked about Mamiko and Aoi being the ghosts of band quitting past and present. I was rewarded with that insight by Kumiko's cathartic conversation with Mamiko and Aoi showing up to present a Christmas, er ah, band drama miracle.

Man, KyoAni really knows how to show big viscous tears.

Mamiko and Kumiko's relationship was basically that of the Prodigal Son and the Elder Son from Jesus' parable in the New Testament. Sibling relationships really haven't changed in thousands of years, have they?

Their conversation as Kumiko made edible soup while Mamiko cleaned up the burned pot was all full of metaphor. Mamiko finally decided to clean up her mess as an adult and follow her personal goals.

Kumiko's little breakdown on the train showed her mourning what she and her sister had and could have had playing music together.

If Kumiko is crying in public over her sister, whom she's basically had the same regard as Shuuichi all this time, her role as nosy narrator is over now. She's going to be an active participant in the narrative.

I loved how the caper music started playing when Kumiko was in math class and the teacher told the students to solve what he wrote on the board. Yeah. Kumiko was going to solve the concert band's Asuka problem, but in a much quicker way than the Nozomi-Mizore problem.

Asuka really doesn't play fair when it comes to arguments. She poked holes in Kumiko's assertions about the band wanting her back through plausible doubt, but she didn't offer any positive assertions from her side. She'll make a good defense attorney if she goes into law.

Kumiko's winning argument came from thinking of her sister's dutiful deference to their parents and how adult reasoning should only apply to adult circumstances. Asuka's "mature" arguments of letting things go and how she'll soon be forgotten doesn't work when everyone is a bunch of kids.

"You're only a kid like the rest of us!" Yes. This is pretty much the only time in your life you get to be selfish because you haven't figured out what you really want yet. You're a kid. You get to want everything! And then you get disappointed that you don't get some things. That's when you become an adult. And that's how you figure yourself out as a person.

No. No looking at Asuka's emotional loser face.

How special is Asuka? Top 30 in the nation of Japan for preliminary college entrance exams! That's enough to tell Mama Tanaka to stuff it; she's blowing her big horn and getting into college.

I loved how it was Aoi the Ghost of Band Quitting Present that delivered the news that their teacher needed to talk to Asuka about her results. It's a Band Quitting Miracle! Hey, Christmas is in a couple of weeks... I love this connection I made.

Kumiko is the nosy narrator no more. She got her big sister equivalent to finish high school without regrets and play music with her. She can only hope Mamiko will be okay pursuing beauty school.

I wonder if Asuka had really accepted that she was letting the band go but she was hedging her expectations by waiting for her mock exam results. She does play all the angles. But I'm choosing to accept that it was Kumiko's kick in her feels that motivated her to confront her mother with those awesome scores.

Kumiko's two big sisters' dramas have been resolved, so that leaves only her "special" best friend left to make a splash before we get to the finale. Reina had been blowing Kumiko off since the day she saw Taki's photograph with his dead wife from college with Hashimoto and Niiyama. Granted, that's only been two days at the most and it's in the middle of midterms, but that icy glare means something. I'm betting she found out from talkative Hashimoto that Kumiko already knew about Taki's late wife and she's mad Kumiko didn't tell her

There ain't no drama like band drama!

The Fun Stuff.

It's Takuya's, Riko's boyfriend and tuba player, turn for the eye catch.

The day after Asuka's bombshell revelation that she's the daughter of a famous musician, Kumiko had to deal with dashed expectations and bad cooking from her older sister. Really, you have to plan on burning soup.

Kumiko prepared to confront Asuka while Asuka stayed true to her unaffected façade. Which kind of euphonium would win?

Both Kumiko and Asuka's character development focused on their detachment. The best way to pierce that kind of personality armor is to nakedly assert their most personal selfish wishes. It was Asuka's total loss.

Kumiko beat all of Asuka's defense mechanism. Take the victory, but no peaking at Asuka's defeated face! If the consolation prize is staring at Asuka's legs, that's good enough for a first prize in my book.

Asuka's return had some very satisfying buildup. With a happy Riko sharing secret knowledge with Takuya, to Natsuki giving up her seat before Asuka even came back, it was all good. Last episode's farewell was actually Kumiko's call to action.

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