HaruChika 07

And suddenly, the band has 23 members! The band picture in the OP has changed as well to reflect the growth. This week’s episode deals with shut-in’s and overcoming depression.

What kind of radio advice program would so openly mess with a fourteen year-old girl calling in about wanting to die? I was pretty frustrated at the initial misplaced comedy, but it gave a glimmer of hope with the one old guy’s drunken ramblings about seeing the sunlight in a different way to stay positive. Just that initial dismissive attitude was tough to take. Will this hikikomori be making an appearance at our cast’s school? Watch out, Haruta has a bit of a problem with bluntly handling people’s most sensitive emotions.

Back at the school however, it’s a new semester, and there are plenty of new first years to torment indoctrinate help along through the transition. Not that all of them need any help – we’re looking at you Akari Gotou. Their school seems to be in good enough standing musically to have a joint rehearsal with a much better neighboring school. The rehearsal of the march from Holst’s First Suite in Eb was sounding fantastic (First suit is way better than the second). But it wouldn’t be much of a lesson on music life if they weren’t still getting chewed out by their conductor. It happens at all levels!

Music, or clubs, can’t be the only concern of a high school student though! It’s time to study. I like how Chika so proudly changed her expectations. You gotta play to your strengths, right? And here it seems we have our connection to the girl from the opening. We’re led to believe it has been a while, but that can be ambiguous on a radio program. Apparently the program itself started two years ago, so that could be our time-frame. The fact that the caller that evening was Haruta discussing his unrequited love for his teacher and poking fun at Chika was perfect. Gut her like a fish? Hell hath no fury like a Haru scorned, apparently.

Chika just has the worst luck with letting information slip – first when getting back at Haruta for what he said on the radio letting him know she wasn’t studying all that hard, and second with the student council president and her sighting of the ‘helmet wearing weirdo’. She exudes confidence, and the energetic Akari is the perfect supporting character for her. They’re set up to be a great pair of troublemakers.

Haruchika - 07 - 41 - Midcard
Mid-card! Full size here.

The amount of money being offered by the president is quite substantial (approx. $1750 USD), and it finally seems like the mystery of this episode is getting underway. You could buy a few student level instruments for that much. Now why does the student council have a blacklist of weirdos!? I would totally have been on that list, I hope. And leave it to Haru to speak everyone else’s mind with no care. The explanation for the geology club declining their budget is interesting. Formed as a group of students who hate the school enough that they won’t even take their money – all former shut-ins. Looks like we have our hikikomori. She’s even seeing the sun in a new light, glinting off of rare minerals! If I were a shut-in (shut up I’m so not), I’m not sure how receptive I would be to a crazy girl coming to help me through the power of geology – though some things certainly help her case.

Thanks to Kusakabe-sensei once again, Haru and Chika get to meet with the troubled student, but it seems she’s just covering for the real subjects of this episode. The topaz the geological club found is linked to the physical location of the radio program and its host, Kaiyu Hiyama. The topaz is returned to Kaiyu and the seven sages, as thanks from the “foolish junior-high student that got so angry at their foolish answer and lost the desire to die”. I’m glad she got mad just like I did, but Aso Misato really focused that energy towards good things!

The final consultation of the sages was so melancholic and sincere. Looks like the band will be getting the percussionist we had been teased with last week. And sorry, Chika, you’re always the butt of everybody’s jokes. You’ve been improving at the flute, probably! Not sure if they really had to run out late at night to confront Kaiyu though. At least their band is really coming together now!

General thoughts:

This show seems to be moving along well. It’s only been 7 episodes and we’ve pretty much blown through the band’s growth to competitive size! Fortunately the overall arc is a little overshadowed by the individual character stories of the week. I say fortunately, because the plot of “band needs to make it to nationals” isn’t the most original or exciting concept on its own. Keep it up, HaruChika, and you could out-cute the giant that is Hibike! Euphonium. You won’t be able to out-drama it though, so don’t try too hard. Your main characters’ dilemmas just aren’t dramatic enough.

Chika-full-01
Full size here.

Next time: “First Love Sommelier”

“Go for it! Average scores in all subjects!” – This show has a lot of amazing facial reaction still shots. Just can’t resist, but I had to cut a lot!

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