Hibike! Euphonium S2 – 03

Are you weighted down by the secrets you know? It can be especially tough when the only way to help your friend is to hurt another.

“Troubled Nocturnes”

Kumiko knows all the secrets – and that kinda sucks for her. Even with the question of why the first years quit pretty much explained, there is still the big mystery of Nozomi and Mizore. Asuka seems pretty certain that it’s a bad idea to bring back Nozomi, and band politics and the fate of the competition even come in to play! What could possibly have happened between them that it’s gotten so bad? I have a few theories, and none of which are very kind to Mizore.

We kind of know that the Minami middle school competition didn’t just turn out badly by chance, they must have messed it up somehow. If it turns out that it was Nozomi who botched a solo, then we’ve got a pretty bad case of Mizore holding a grudge, despite her hatred for competitions. If Mizore screwed up, or wasn’t emotive enough as suggested in this episode, it doesn’t really seem like Nozomi is holding that against her. In fact, Nozomi doesn’t even know that she’s on her friend’s bad side! Both of these are reasons that Mizore hates that certain piece of music (Prince Igor), and neither paint her in a very good light. Perhaps there is a deeper cause to all of this, but that has yet to be seen. Will Kumiko bring it up and force the hands of the parties involved? Oh, I sure hope so.

The romance train is chugging along still. Reina works up the courage, thanks to a super-cute gesture, to ask if Taki-sensei is dating his attractive music lady-friend. He is not, much to her relief. But this leads to another great secret for Kumiko to happen upon – Taki-sensei’s past! I’d be surprised if Reina didn’t already know, but it’s a tough subject to brooch anyway. And while we’re on the topic of romance, Reina keeps nudging Kumiko for a little bit of a sign as to her interests. The poor Shuuichi (picture for reference) is in for quite the high school romantic disappointment, as Kumiko seems hardly interested. We all know who the crowd is rooting for though.

So the animation, writing, acting, and sound continues to be near perfection for this show, I almost feel like I need to take points off for it being too good. Well, that has been a complaint of mine, but not about the production! That solo by Asuka at the end was recital-hall worthy. But otherwise, the pacing is right where it should be, and there are so many feel-good moments and perfect beats that it’s hard not to smile through the whole episode. When Kumiko was told that she would be playing the difficult passage in the competition, my heart nearly exploded. Taki-sensei, and music teachers everywhere, you’re the real heroes this world needs.

Episode Score
9.2/10 (Great)

Summary: Kumiko is handed almost every secret this band has to offer. Can a scene be both super tense and super cute?

Music leads to some unforgettable moments, and feelings.

Extra thoughts:
– Well, she might be a robot.
– For all those wishing for a true bath scene, this show is pure!
Perfect hiding spot.
– Listen to Reina’s advice. Get good.
– Playing the euphonium can be attractive, if otherwise impractical.
– Some serious drugs went in to the ED for this series.
– I (or someone) should do a super-cut of just Kumiko reaction noises.



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