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With Reina’s drama over, Kumiko focuses back on herself. Despite her experience, she is finding the high level parts of the piece difficult to master. After being taken out from a particularly tough section, she finds the strength to play in Reina’s indomitable drive. Jel swears it’s a metaphor for lesbianism.
After all the drama with Reina, we finally get back to this anime about kids in a band being about, y’know, performing in the band. I’m glad they haven’t forgotten that Kumiko has her own desires to get better. Reina’s drive to be the best was great inspiration, but we need to see Kumiko apply that to her own skill. Seeing Kumiko fired up about anything is a major development. As the gals said this episode, Kumiko’s initial impression makes you believe she had nothing but indifference to the band and almost everything else around her. As corny as it would be, having a traditional story about the main character pushing their limits in order to attain their goals can be executed well. As long as Kumiko continues to bring that fire as she works toward her goals, I’m sure she’ll succeed.
KyoAni has certainly devoted some time these past few episodes to ensure that, if anything, Euphonium is the prettiest and most fluidly animated show to come our way in a long time. True to form, hair bobs with movement, and we even get a realistic running sequence with changing reference points as Kumiko runs into and along with the frame. It’s a bit of a pity that this is all you can really get away with when it comes to a show about playing an instrument. I wish we had another marching scene, let the animators have a field day with it. Still, I appreciate that it seems KyoAni is starting to put their all into this series when the first couple episodes had some noticeably shaky spots.
Interestingly, KyoAni is also breaking the mold, capping Euphonium at 14 episodes instead of the traditional 12-13. I have to wonder how much they’ll be able to accomplish in this time. Both the success of the band and the building relationship between Reina and Kumiko are still up in the air. Will the importance of the band’s progression overshadow any actual meaningful romantic moments? As much as I’m indifferent to that side of the story, it’s still been well written and put into such prominence that leaving it out now would just seem strange. With all the drama that went on, I’m not convinced that our group will make it past the first round, but considering where they started, they certainly have grown.