Wednesdays 12:30 pm EDT on Crunchyroll
Euphonium’s best drama is when there is no clear right or wrong answers. Season one focused on conflicts within the band such as Kumiko taking Natsuki’s spot as 2nd Euphonium and Reina winning the trumpet solo from Kaori. Season two seems to be turning the focus to larger issues. Whereas before the question was “what are you playing for?” now the question is “is it even worth playing at all?”. This was the initial issue raised by Kumiko’s sister that went on the back burner until her return this season, and we see another angle on it this week with the introduction of Asuka’s mother.
It’s easy to demonize Ms. Tanaka given her unacceptable behavior in her one scene. Obviously there’s no excuse for hitting your almost adult age child (try that in America lady), but that doesn’t address the real issue that Asuka is out of time and needs to be focused on her future. What I find most interesting is we still don’t know why Asuka is so willing to boldly defy her mother when it comes to the band. Not even Kumiko can figure it out as she has sent mixed messages in the past. Based on the clues we got from the faculty room incident, the easy guess is something related to her father. We just had a tragic backstory reason for playing with Taki-sensei last week so I kind of hope it’s not something that similar.
What is also not clear is if Asuka really did leave the band or did she make some other arrangement? Is she still planning on performing but no longer going to be at practice? Her mysterious meeting with Natsuki is our biggest clue. My theory is she has told Natsuki to practice to take her place but they are keeping it from everyone else so they don’t freak out. That would kind of make sense as this would also promote Kumiko to 1st Euphonium and give her the spotlight for the final performance. As for Asuka, maybe her exclusion from the Nationals is poetic justice for her inability to be honest about how she feels? She was the closest thing this show has had to antagonist so maybe that would be fitting. I don’t think Euphonium would take such a negative turn, but it would be interesting. I can’t wait to see what happens next week.