The Last Competition

Synopsis

After the last rehearsal the day before the competition, Kumiko meets Shuichi in the middle of the night when both can’t sleep and have a chat to calm some nerves.

The day of the competition arrives and after another motivational speech from Haruka and Asuka, they head out for their best performance.

Afterwards during the reward ceremony, the conductors are given awards first to which the schools usually shout something to their teachers. But Kitauji prepared nothing, so Reina takes this chance to shout out her feelings for Taki. Luckily no one thought it was her actual feelings as they thought it was a cover for the fact that they had nothing prepared.

Unfortunately, their result was only bronze.

But that doesn’t matter. Asuka got a message from her father to say well done, Reina confessed her feelings again to no avail, the third years say their farewells and pass on their ambitions for gold to the second years and Kumiko and Mamiko reconvene their feelings once more.

Thoughts

I never expected gold, sure the anime was focused on music to a certain extent but that focus was taken care of on their road to nationals in the regional competition. Though I was expecting silver, after all that practice and build up, I felt it was a tad harsh to only give bronze, especially after comments from Asuka’s father. Though I guess this is bronze at the highest level which is still good. It’s like getting a third class degree from Cambridge, probably better than a first from most of the lower end universities.

I liked how the beginning and the end of the episode tied to Kumiko and Mamiko and what is probably the end of their conflict. Although if I’m honest I thought they ended that a while ago, but this feels more like a cherry on top than unneeded additions at least.

What I didn’t understand was the Kumiko and Shuichi scene. It’s a weird place to bring him back into the picture. It’s hardly a romantic interest plot anymore which is why I’m questioning it. I get that it’s build up, but anyone would’ve done. I doubt they’re trying to bring out any romance in the final episode from him.

I think many will disagree, but I’m not bothered they didn’t play through another musical sequence again. Two reasons for that, one because they only managed bronze so if they did an amazing performance it would’ve been an extremely anticlimactic end. Two because we’ve already had an amazing performance and I think that’s enough to know what they’re capable of. If they were to win gold, I’d then switch this ‘no scene’ with that performance scene and skip the regional competition’s one.

Whilst I never liked Reina’s feelings for Taki, I felt that this was a better end to her feelings than last episode. It’s mainly because Taki gave her feelings an ‘end’ having accepted it. Of course nothing changed, but I felt it was more earnest and it’s always better that she knows her words reached him rather than saying nothing. Everyone knows the saying, better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Though I’m sure someone will debate the validity of that statement but let’s not dwell on that.

This wraps up the season’s goal to reach nationals, sadly not gold, but the dream continues. Loose ends were tied up so I’m not sure what the next episode will do, regardless I’m of course very interested in seeing how they’ll finish the season.

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