My Euphonium

Synopsis

The practice continues and an especially difficult part of the piece stumps Kumiko so she practices hard alone to get better. After seeing Kousaka’s performance during the solo auditions, Kumiko wants to improve a lot more and become ‘special’ herself. Kumiko is determined to make that part work and promises Taki that she would.

However with ten days to go until the competition, Taki loses patience and during practice states that he only wants Asuka to play that part.

That hits Kumiko hard but because of how upset she is, she finally understands why Kousaka was so upset at the beginning of this series.

Late at night, Kumiko goes back to school as she dropped her phone in the music room. Because of that she’s able to have a chat with Taki. It seems he hasn’t forgotten that Kumiko said she would be able to play that part by the competition and tells her to keep practicing.

Thoughts

Whilst this episode was solely focused on pretty much just one thing, it has done so excellently as expected.

It’s nice seeing Kumiko’s development through having been in this concert band. At first she wasn’t that bothered or even surprised that their last band didn’t make it. But because of that she couldn’t understand why Kousaka was upset. This of course led to the temporary distance in their relationship at the start of the series.

But now, she’s the one who wants to improve. We go full circle back to the beginning and she finally understands Kousaka’s frustration and also their relationship is, shall we say, much closer too. Also with her willingness to literally shed blood, sweat and tears to practice and become ‘special’ just like Kousaka, it’s a wonder what the right friends around you can do for your motivation.

Taki actually impresses me as a conductor, the ability to single out individual instruments and minute details, surely they’re the mark of a professional. Not that I would know anything of course as a non-musician, but still, I can’t tell a thing. He’s also come a long way from a lackadaisical beginning and then having to deal with that whole playing favourites ordeal. I guess a band that’s willing to try helps motivation. And he’s the type of guy a band aiming for nationals need, harsh but fair. If Kumiko can’t play it then that’s fine, Asuka can pick up the slack. But still motivate her from the side because he probably sees her determination. I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll say it again, what won’t kill you will only make you stronger.

At home, we see another conflict from Kumiko with her sister’s realistic view of quitting music as getting into the right school is more important. Realism isn’t fun I know, as I gave up a lot to study and work for my career. But that doesn’t mean it’s all work, I’ve still managed to keep blogging, sure I have to keep reminding myself of priorities, however I can manage it enough. It also takes the story back to Aoi, who of course quit for a similar reason. Though Kumiko didn’t back down this time, again showing how far she’s developed to be able to make that decision for herself.

As always the realistic approach to how Kumiko deals with her problems amazes me. How she runs and runs until she can’t run anymore. As actually I did the exact same thing during a frustration I had back when I was around her age. I won’t go into detail, but I was pretty annoyed and unhappy and I ran as far as I could and then carried on walking and somehow I ended up going on a 5km run/walk without realising it. Now this is something I can relate to.

Just to point out a small thing, but I love the water drinking animation in this episode and we get a hell of a lot of it too. Not surprising with how hot it is there. And speaking of too hot, it’s boiling here in London…

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