With Asuka not showing up, Taki makes the decision to bring Natsuki into practice to replace her. However Natsuki isn’t that confident and also knows that she has next year to play so wants to bring Asuka back. The sentiment is echoed from the rest of the group as well.
When Reina and Kumiko return the key of the music room to Taki, Reina notices a picture of Taki’s and his late wife.
As agreed, Kumiko visits Asuka’s house. Asuka gives us some backstory and it turns out that her now divorced father used to be a famous euphonium player. And Asuka is now sadly shackled by her mum. She started playing euphonium because a notebook and the instrument came through by post one day and she found that she was surprisingly good. Her mum was against it and agreed that if Asuka’s grades started to slip, she’d quit. It also turns out that her father will be at nationals and she really wants to impress him.
Kumiko talks as straight forward as she can to how she really likes Asuka’s music and they go for a walk by the river with Asuka playing Kumiko a piece written by her dad.
I’m not sure what to think of this episode, nothing was resolved, but on the other hand the visuals were great as always and it was still another well executed episode in terms of story and character.
Reina finally, probably, came to the realization of Taki’s late wife. Although there is every chance she’ll be in denial and think that’s just some highschool girl that Taki was friends with and has not seen since, even though the other two in the picture have made appearances. Though thinking about it, it’s probably unusual to have a picture of you with friends at your workplace. Family is more likely and makes sense. Still, Reina has to go through the denial phase at some stage even if she does figure it out. This then brings on the question of the Reina x Kumiko not-romance and if we might be able to cross out the not part when Reina decides to accept everything that I assume will eventually be told to her.
Who knows, I only mention it now as it looks like we could be going somewhere with this. But I could’ve just wrote something that might never happen as Reina might decide to be happy with her ‘kataomoi’.
But of course this episode was focused on Asuka and what we saw was further development of her character and showing a bit of her true nature and just how stubborn she is to stick with her friendly exterior. The most memorable of that being when Kaori came to meet with Asuka whilst her and Kumiko was leaving, anyone could tell that Asuka was, for once, visibly irritated, but she held those feelings in and continued as normal.
And then we hear her backstory with her father and mother’s divorce which explains a lot. Being raised by a hateful mother towards your passion and knowing a father who was never there, I don’t think anyone can say that wasn’t a lot to go through. Sadly whilst I understand her, that’s not something I can empathize with. It does explain her current actions and how she’s able to continue with such a contrasting exterior at school.
All of the conversations were as always excellently animated conveying feelings through body language, lighting and atmosphere rather than purely words. It’s hard to appreciate these moments that capture your attention if you haven’t watched enough anime, but I think if you’re reading this, you likely watch a lot and you’ll know what I mean.
As I said though, nothing is resolved this episode and it’s not like now that we know Asuka’s feelings there’s an obvious ‘fix’. So I guess there’s probably more drama ahead.