Awakening Oboe

Synopsis

Performance order announced for the upcoming competition and Kitauji will be 16th to perform out of 23 bands. Although everyone is relieved they’re not first, there is still some discontent because they’re right after one of the front runners.

Niiyama picks up on Yoroizuka’s stiff playing style as well and tells her that she should try to have more fun and emotion.

Kumiko starts early practice as normal and comes across Nozomi who heard Yoroizuka’s oboe and wants to say hi. Kumiko is lost in thought and is too late to stop Nozomi when she goes to visit Yoroizuka. The two of them meet which results in Yoroizuka running away.

Kumiko helps search for her and eventually finds her hiding behind the teacher’s desk in an empty classroom. Kumiko takes this chance to ask her about the situation. Yoroizuka explains that it’s nothing to do with Nozomi, but rather that she’ll have to face reality. She explains that that Nozomi is a close friend and the one who befriended her even though she’s a shy person and eventually they both joined the concert band together. But Nozomi had many friends and Yoroizuka was just one of them, hence when Nozomi left the club Yoroizuka wasn’t even aware.

The reason she runs now is because she doesn’t want to be told that she meant that little to Nozomi. So they’ve had no contact after Nozomi left the band. Yoroizuka stuck with the band because her oboe is the only thing that connects her with Nozomi.

Yuko enters and has a go at her for not recognising her as a friend even though she was always there. And as Nozomi listens outside the room she finally enters as well and explains the reason why she didn’t tell Yoroizuka why she quit. This was because Yoroizuka was working so hard that she didn’t want to interrupt her and ask her to quit as well. Finally knowing the reasons behind each other’s actions, they both make up.

Thoughts

It was an interesting set up that got the drama train started. Almost seemed artificial but executed in a  way that makes me think otherwise. The last few episodes have all been building up to this point where Nozomi and Yoroizuka would eventually meet and settle their differences and hear each other’s side of the story. But in my view the spacing out of Kumiko to allow Nozomi to ‘get away’, on paper seemed like a set up, but actually when animated felt very normal to how she is and how the scene was playing out naturally.

Then it was an easy build up of tension and unease to the actual confrontation that we knew was coming. There was the Kumiko ‘oh crap what have I done face’, and then shifted to Nozomi’s expression as if expecting something to happen.

I guess this puts my rant from earlier episodes to rest regarding whether or not it’s best for Nozomi to know. In the end knowing is better because it gave them a chance to work things out and clear misunderstandings. Luckily for them it was a misunderstanding and nothing more. I wonder if  Asuka knew the whole story because from what she told Kumiko it sounded much worse than a simple misunderstanding between two people who still considered each other good friends.

It was a clearly understood issue though, being the loner and unsociable type of person that Nozomi is, I’d say I fall into that category as well. It means that we value any single relationship much more than people who perhaps are very sociable and get along with everyone. Avoiding the issue is also normal, if you avoid the problem long enough it’ll surely go away right? Okay not quite, but it’s understandable that Yoroizuka’s stance would be like that.

Yuko continued her strong showing from the previous episode and showed off more character in her little ‘fight’ with Yoroizuka. Made me think that before she was purely putting on the villain act to protect Yoroizuka and actually deep down she’s a really nice person. Yoroizuka was a tad harsh, nobody helps and stands by someone purely because of pity, she needs to improve her social skills a lot if she can’t recognise a friend next to her. But I guess that was why everything started.

I actually had a big rant paragraph written up on how I can’t believe someone would hate someone so much that they can’t bring themselves to see them. But I wrote this as I watched the episode and so after realising what the actual issue was I deleted it. My key summary point from my rant though, was that I wouldn’t have believed it if you said there wasn’t something else going on underneath.

After hearing Asuka speak on the subject matter again I feel like I may have found my favourite character. She’s always in a happy and cheery mood but there’s definitely more than meets the eye. I do feel that she is very cynical and looks at people in a calculating way. She’s also straight talking through that cheery exterior and probably don’t care what others think. Why would I like a character like her? Well I guess, I see myself in her.