With exams done, the band gets down to some serious practice for the auditions.
Kumiko overhears that Aoi may be quitting. And just like that, after Taki picks out some poor performance from Aoi, she tells him that she quits right in the middle of practice and leaves.
She’s more concerned about her entrance exams for college and also since everyone is serious about the nationals, she doesn’t have the time to be as serious. Kumiko and Ogasawara, the club president, try to convince her otherwise, but they can’t do anything. Ogasawara then blames herself and starts doubting her ability as the president of the club thinking that Aoi won’t have quit if Asuka, who didn’t want to be president, was in charge.
With the resignation of Aoi, it distracts Kumiko’s and her band practice performance suffers enough for Taki to notice and point it out.
Natsuki tells Kumiko and gang the story of last year where the third years were serious about the nationals but she and some others ignored them. Kaori and Aoi didn’t ignore them and tried to bring both sides together, but that wasn’t enough and the third years all quit.
Eventually, Ogasawara cheers up and is back to leading the band during practice.
Quite the damp atmosphere in this episode, a little too dark and depressing for my taste. Although at least no one’s died… then again this isn’t that type of show, although sometimes with a certain person’s departure it can feel like a death to some.
With Aoi’s departure, a chain of depressing events occur and a lot of emotions fly around. And to top it off, the dreary mood was emphasised by a consistent rainfall that always makes people unhappy.
And when people gets into a mood of blaming oneself, it drags the entirety of the group atmosphere down. Which I suppose is a good time to learn exactly what happened in the previous year as that’s obviously going to be a depressing thing and would fit with the tone.
Although, I think Asuka has a point about Haruka, she didn’t have to do something she didn’t want to. She wasn’t technically forced into it, although I see where she’s coming from that it seemed like no choice if it means the band falling apart. I guess the state she was in was not the right time to be saying things like that, and Kumiko’s attempt at cheering her up was ill-advised. When someone’s like that, you just need to give them some alone time. If you say they’re good, they’ll disagree, if you say they’re bad, they’ll agree and sink deeper into negative emotions, so just leave it be.
Still though, to announce her resignation right in the middle of practice, when actually after a good Sunfest emotions must be running high, it’s quite a downer. Sure Taki sorta forced her into that position, but maybe she didn’t have to say it there and then. What I wonder is if Taki knew of her intentions to begin with, if he did, that was a bad move, if he didn’t, then I can’t really blame him. He still needs to get this group ready to perform and he can’t have people dragging everyone down now after all the work he’s put in. It’s just unfortunate that things are this way.
Whilst not the mood I wanted from an episode right before my exams as I’m watching this late, it did give some really solid character development. A lot of people came out stronger and with renewed determination than before with prime example being Haruka. And the rain finally let up which was nice to see. You know what they say, what won’t kill you will only make you stronger.