Sound! Euphonium 2 – Episode 11

Well, this episode kinda sucked. My review focuses on KyoAni “doing the best with the material they were given,” but apparently that’s not actually true – this whole sequence took up just a few pages in the book, and the studio crew apparently decided to turn it into a full episode of nonsense. Reina’s crush has always been a pretty silly conflict, and giving it a full episode right near the end of the season certainly didn’t help. Ah well.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

Sound! Euphonium

Some pretty compelling shots here

Kumiko thinks Reina is avoiding her

These establishing shots setting up Asuka in the corridor. This show is so good

“Starting tomorrow, you won’t see me like this.” Oh Asuka

Midori is basically making this into a first-season shenanigans episode

Reina brushes Kumiko off

She’s been holding a grudge. Reina invites her to that same mountain from the first season, but the tone’s entirely different

And Reina lets out her anger in a huge scream

“You knew about Taki-sensei’s wife, didn’t you?”

This dramatic conflict just doesn’t work. Not only do we not care about Reina’s feelings for Taki, but we can’t even care about them for her sake, because they’re so very childish and unbelievable. She’s like, sixteen years old. A childhood crush on an adult like this is unworthy of this show – unworthy of this execution. Reina’s other, very human feelings deserve a better narrative than this

It is true that she’s very childish, but this just breaks the audience’s suspension of disbelief

“Why didn’t you tell me?” “I didn’t want to hurt you.” “I know, but… I would have wanted you to.” The conflict between these two, on the other hand, is terrific. Based in both of their personalities, sensitive and intimate

Also really great animation of Reina struggling against her tears

And the great soft focus, as always

“I’m rooting for you.” Oh, c’mon, Kumiko

Aw jeez, sad tiny Reina

Taki encouraged her ambition early on, unsurprisingly

This series of flashbacks is actually quite smart. From her perspective, it’s like he’s always encouraging her and pushing her forward – but from his perspective, their meetings are always incidental moments when he’s occupied with other big shifts in his life

Basically the one thing holding this conflict back is the unbelievable nature of Reina’s own feelings, which it is trying to sell, but not necessarily effectively

And I like this episode’s general structure, too. Giving us an impression of Reina’s thought process throughout

And now we reach a new scene echoing the previous one with the keys

Taki’s life was entirely unlike Reina – upbeat, active, laughing all the time

Reina at least understands why he became a teacher

“I wish I could grow up faster, and catch up to Taki-sensei”

2 thoughts on “Sound! Euphonium 2 – Episode 11

  1. What really concerns me is how much this episode disrupts the flow. After a beautiful first episode that pulled us back into the story, KyoAni really struggled to find a flow pretty much until the Asuka arc. I’m not saying there weren’t good episodes. Most have been spectacular. Five, with its nearly 10 minute performance, was jaw dropping. Eight gave us the most genuine look into Reina’s character growth (far better than this episode). But they just didn’t mesh well as a whole. Now we’re nearly to the end and it feels like it’s all fallen apart. Perhaps I’m being over dramatic. This wouldn’t be the first time KyoAni pulled their own feet out of the fire.

    Total side note: has anyone figure out who’s footprints are in the snow at the beginning of the first episode?

  2. Ah well…”pretty good for a filler episode”. They obviously needed to spend this episode on some kind of a side story, setting up for the final performance arc over the last episodes. And returning to Kumiko’s BFF makes sense in this regard. The only real redeeming feature of this story is that at least they dropped clues in prior episodes that not telling would be a source of friction between Kumiko and Reina. Viewed through another lens, this story arc is really about Kumiko/Reina and the Taki-sensei angle is just a plot device.

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