“First Love Trumpet”
Wednesdays 12:30 pm EDT on Crunchyroll
Despite all the anger and tension this episode, it’s clear that Kumiko and Reina have a really strong relationship. We shared Reina’s pain because we know they are very close and Kumiko was starting to hide her feelings again. Sure they both did some dumb and petty things but as Kumiko yelled at Asuka last week, they’re still just kids. I’m willing to cut them some slack. The important thing is they were able to talk their way through it and do the right thing in the end.
By “right thing” of course I mean Reina adjusting her intentions toward Taki-sensei. A few weeks ago I went on a rant about how Shuuchi should take a hint and back off if he truly cares about Kumiko. That is basically what Reina does in this episode. Granted visiting Taki’s wife’s grave seemed a bit over the top, but Reina does not do things half way. The important thing is her attitude changed once she had all the facts, and she seemed to be at peace with it. We can also be at peace, knowing the show has slammed the door on any potential for a relationship between a teenage girl with a man twice her age. Good riddance.
That all said, I’m going to take a step down from the high road for a moment and address some of the hilarious overreactions to this episode that I’ve been seeing. Many fans saw this as the death blow to any hope that Kumiko and Reina will end up together, with the novel truthers gloating and the shippers gnashing their teeth. I’m sure it’s my own fault for listening to dumb things kids say on the internet, but this has made me irrationally angry and I want to vent. If this isn’t you’re kind of thing I’ll catch you next week, otherwise please join me as I roll around in the mud of Euphonium fandom for a bit:
Dumb Complaint #1: Apparently the voice actresses claimed in an interview that something big would happen in this episode. Combining that with episode title, some people believed we would finally get confirmation of Kumiko and Reina’s romantic relationship. Instead we got a series of medium sized events, none of which involved the girls making out or confessing their love to each other… which, need I remind everyone, they already did.. ANYWAY, everyone should realize this by now but just in case it’s not clear: we will not see any acknowledgement of that kind of relationship in this series. That is not a fight that KyoAni seems ready to take on. The best we could hope for is avoiding Shuuchi and Taki, then leaving things open ended for the future. With Taki out of the way we are one step closer to that. So quit your whining, we are still on pace for the best realistically possible outcome. Also, if you think you can bank on things said in a promotional interview, go watch Girlish Number.
Dumb Complaint #2: The biggest sticking point for disgruntled fans seems to be when Kumiko tells Reina that she’s supporting her dumb crush. For some reason (probably lack of life experience) some people took this as a concession or an admission that she wasn’t interested, basically a big anchor to keep this ship from sailing. I’m going to once again go back to my point about wanting the person you care about to be happy. Applying that rule again, what else did you expect her to say? It’s true that the best option would be telling her “yo, he’s too old for you”, but it’s very plausible that Kumiko would have thought being with Taki is what would make Reina happiest. I would expect her to say the same thing just as her friend, regardless of whether she had stronger feelings than that or not. It was a sweet, if awkwardly timed, gesture that didn’t change anything about their relationship. If you’re not buying that, the episode ended with Reina giving up on Taki and therefore this entire complaint irrelevant. So once again, stop whining.
Alright, I feel much better now that I got that off my chest! I am ready to tackle the crazy amount of year end anime blogging we have planned in the next two weeks! Is this how Reina felt? Anyway, I’m not sure if next week is the final episode or if there will be more, but I’m sure we’ll be hitting The Nationals either way. I’m really looking forward to it.