Hibike! Euphonium S2 – 02

Cute bathing suits are overshadowed by complex drama and real emotion. Plus it’s everyone’s favorite nerd getaway – band camp!

“Hesitation Flute”

I was pretty certain that I would be rather critical of such an overtly fan-service heavy tactic as bathing suits so early in this show’s run, but now I am conflicted. Yes, they clearly had some pretty suspect camera angles and focused on certain areas quite heavily, but I was too interested in the interactions of the characters and the explanation of the drama to care. Pretty much everything fit together in an odd fan-service counter balance, as long as you don’t turn the audio or subtitles off. Then it would be rather suspect.

It’s only natural for high school girls being self-conscious about their bodies to come up as a character point, and there’s really no better way to get there than getting them nearly naked. Other than that, the focus was on the issue with Nozomi and the other upperclassmen. We finally got to hear why she, and others, quit the club! And it was exactly as I expected – the upper years weren’t taking things seriously, plus they wouldn’t give up their spots to new arrivals that were better than them. It seemed to be held mostly to the third years that are now gone, but it still reflects really badly on the current seniors to not let them back in. Seriously, they were from the best middle school and you’re punishing them for wanting to do better!? If I were Kumiko I would have brought the whole establishment down after hearing that. Asuka is going to have some serious explaining to do, and she hasn’t been helping herself much in that department as of yet.

My high school only really had band camps in the sense that you would go on a trip somewhere and maybe do a master class or two (then lots of sightseeing). A real competition-preparation band camp would have been fantastic, and only further solidified the bond between band members. Can you be nostalgic for things that never quite happened? That seems to be exactly what this series is selling, and it is fantastic. The random encounters that help you know a little bit more about someone, and that continuous push and pull of drama between certain parties just drove high school band life, and Kumiko is where everyone would want to be – she has the best seat in the house.

There seems to be some advancement to the romance subplot going on here. No, I’m not talking about Kumi-Rei, although yes they also had a but of a late-night encounter themselves. This concerns the new woodwind instructor, Satomi Niiyama – a real apparent threat to Reina’s undying love for Taki-sensei. The reactions to her sudden appearance were exactly what you would expect from a high school group, and probably from me too. You go get-em, Taki-sensei. You’re more popular than you know. Now will Kumiko help Reina on her quest, or is she too friend-love-struck to let her be taken away? Despite all of this interesting romance drama, please don’t date your teachers.

Episode Score
9.2/10 (Great)

Summary: A visually stunning *cough* look in to the drama that’s driving these characters, and Kumiko has found herself right in the middle of all of it.

hibike-eupho-s2-02-side-eye
This is just so great out of context.

Extra thoughts:
– Those are some well-animated… uh, arms and legs. Lots of detail.
– They’re all so self-conscious, despite all being models of perfection.
– It reminds me of the show’s music. How do you get second with perfect?
– Kumiko still has the best reaction sounds! A+ to Kurosawa, Tomoyo.
– So this one time at ba- … I can’t. This show is too pure.
– Where did the guys go? Hey there’s one!
– Don’t let others tell you what not to listen to!

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