If you want inspirational speeches, you’ve come to the right place. This is grand finale quality stuff only five episodes in to the season – I can only imagine where it goes from here.
The build up to the competition proper was almost too much – yet at the same time extremely accurate. Every single member striving for the nationals had something to contribute to the emotional state of the band, from leaders to followers. It’s pretty much exactly what happens in any competitive field, whether it be music or sports or math (sure), and this episode captured it very well. Not just the inspirational moments either, but the tense fear of not performing well enough really hit hard. The montage that captured many of the characters in stressed-out poses couldn’t have been more accurate unless they all looked like a mess instead of beautiful artistic representations of stress.
A lot of character development paid off on this one day as well. The support crew really showed their dedication to playing with the band in the future. Yuuko continued to be the ultimate motivator of friends who seem to have given up. And then there’s the pairings. Sure, there are some definite yuri overtones, but these were displays of pure friendship either way. First we have Nozomi and Mizore, in which the latter professed that she would play the solo for her friend in the cutest gesture possible. Stealing the cue, Reina tells Kumiko that she will play the solo for her, despite Kumiko’s inference that it was about some kind of love. Better still is that during theses solos the reactions from those being played to were just unbearably moving. And to top it all off, flashbacks to the most intimate moments of this series so far hit every emotional cue the moment needed. It’s really hard, judging by these scenes, to peg Kumiko as anything less than in love with Reina, but love does come in many forms.
And oh, the performance. Seven-plus minutes of straight up wind band music porn. I can’t think of any other way to describe it. Of course they were almost unrealistically good, but by this point it is finally starting to make a little more sense. They are really moving up the ladder of competitive sound – only that they haven’t exactly shown improvement but instead were just amazing professionals the whole time. Either way, the animation and direction of this concert was exactly what I, and hopefully many others, have been waiting for throughout this entire series. Every time they would go to play something it would cut away (damn you budgetary concerns), and we would never get the full picture of what they were accomplishing. Well this settles that with style. The animation was superb and most notably the realism with which each instrument is performed wowed me yet again. It must have taken considerable research and time to sync the music to the animation so well.
This episode was just a masterpiece of a finale from beginning to end. Except you’re telling me there’s still more, reader that I’ve made up for this scenario!? But this hit everything that I could ever want achieved in this kind of show! How can the nationals be even more than what we just witnessed? I will likely be on the floor crying when they play at nationals.
Summary: A rare perfect, and well deserved. The emotions were high, and the payoff was grand. Basically band music porn – safe for work.
– I’m definitely a biased music geek.
– Did that news broadcast recording have an orchestra playing? This is band world.
– It’s all about superstition, for baseball and music competitions.
– This anime brought to you by…
– So many cute couples happening right now.
-Literally every shot was worth a screenshot. Hard decisions.
– And she still has no emotion! So proud of her.
– OK maybe there was no consequence to this episode. Of course they were going to make the nationals. Seven more episodes dictates so.