Hibike! Euphonium S2 – 08

The same problems arise in every generation, so never assume that you’re the first of your kind. Someone else has been through it all before.

“Rhapsody in Flu”

The sister drama gets really good here. We haven’t seen too much of Mamiko throughout this series, as she has been coming and going to university and generally pretty distant. But a look in to the past, and in to Kumiko’s inspiration for pursuing music, really fills out the sisters’ bonds. Mamiko was an idol to her little sister, and in some ways she let her down. They never really got to play together and then Mamiko quit to further her education in another field. It’s an interesting can of worms, and one that is quite common in the arts. I’ll clarify right here though, follow your passion until you are no longer passionate about it – don’t let someone else decide for you.

The direction of this emotional arc is outstanding so far. The sister problems connect so directly in to what Kumiko is experiencing with Asuka. She’s going to quit music, something she loves and is very good at, because her mother is telling her to. Maybe it would be a different story if she played a more practical instrument (daaaamn, euphonium burn). Just kidding. The two parallel stories, offset by time, link so well in Kumiko’s experience that you can tell she wants to save both of them somehow. People’s life decisions are a tough subject though, and truthfully not everyone in high school band can be a professional musician. Some definitely should be though.

It’s hard to say if there was an actual trigger for Mamiko deciding to leave university and pursue being a beautician. It might not matter so much as the actual timing of it, instead focusing on the parallels in Kumiko’s life and the burdens of being the older sister. Seeing your younger sibling do something that you really wanted to is obviously frustrating. But the parents are clearly being a little unreasonable here. ‘Heavily suggesting’ might as well be forcing when it comes from a position of total power. I can say for sure though that if I were paying my kid’s tuition they better damn well be doing what they enjoy and are good at – any other scenario is the waste of time, like forcing them down a certain path they’re bound to fail on. But we can thank Shuichi here for talking some sense in to Mamiko and helping her reconnect with her sister. He’s got some pretty mad skillz in the perception department – and his timing was quite impressive. Too bad Kumiko is already spoken for.

So with the issue of Asuka’s absence yet to be resolved, we could be seeing Natsuki joining the competition band. Now that could be cause for some interesting musical drama! The nationals are coming up quickly and that’s a lot of pressure to put on a small section, and an individual. I’ve been interested to see more of her character since the summer camp, and this could be an interesting main event leading to the finale. No matter what happens though, we can be pretty sure it’s going to look and sound beautiful.

Episode Score
9.2/10 (So Emotional)

Summary: Sibling love is tough, especially when the younger one gets to do everything the older never could. Mamiko learns this isn’t her sister’s fault though, and reconnects in an impressively tsun way.


Extra thoughts:
– Title so puny.
– Dang she is so repulsed by him!
– I’m inviting you over to my place as punishment.
– You play music, you don’t just do it. Sorry Nike.
– Little Kumiko is the cutest ever. Love music.
– Why is Reina in your room? Because she loves you, obviously.
– I wish I recovered from colds that quickly.

Love music, as much as little Kumiko does.

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