Multiple plot threads convene for a satisfying emotional conclusion to Asuka’s issues. Really good stuff this week!
– Starting out the episode with the solo. Looks like the whole thing with Asuka really got to Kumiko. For her playing to have that kind of effect on her is something else.
– When the group convenes, it’s good that Kumiko didn’t lie about it. That would’ve caused a whole other mess of trouble. It’s good seeing Kaori and Haruka finally want to get more directly involved. Kaori has been meddling indirectly, but hopefully she jumps into the fray and gets a little more direct. Haruka too. The station stuff they mentioned was interesting.
– Reina missing in action? Is the Taki stuff from the previous episode going to come around now?
– This scene between Mamiko and Kumiko is so good. Finally a more lengthy conversation between the two of them, and one that doesn’t involve the shouting Kumiko did when she called Mamiko out while she was ill. I wonder how Mamiko is going to reconcile with her parents? The cooking is obviously the first step, but to what extent?
– Her motivations, observations, and feelings towards Kumiko are all pretty well-elaborated here. The whole visual metaphor with washing the pot plays well into the conversation without feeling too forced, and helps elaborate a sense of depth to the feelings at the same time keeping the conversation interesting. The body language really coveys the rest of the picture.
– I wonder if Kumiko is actually sad about Mamiko leaving? Her expression and tone of voice didn’t match the word spoken. Sibling stuff can be hard for people to understand if you’ve never had one, but this whole conversation feels really genuine. I totally get this scene, how it’s all playing out, and the emotions between the two of them.
– It’s good that Mamiko is going to see the Nationals performance. Kind of a nice resolution to the whole music/selfishness beef between the two.
– Ahhh all the memories and her feelings are finally hitting her. The sound of her muffling her crying on the train and her trying to hide it is just so sad ;_;
I’m the older sibling in my family, so I can’t entirely relate to Kumiko in this scene, but the place that she’s coming from is just a really personal place. That sense of detachment from someone you love when they move away, or leave your life by some distance is all too familiar. She loves her sister a lot, and it’s heartbreaking for her to see her go. Great VA-work in this scene to really help it hit home. I like how she checks her eyes with the mirror before going on with her day.
– Oh, this is happening sooner than I thought. The parallels between Mamiko and Asuka are too obvious for Kumiko to ignore. I hope she figures out a way to change this situation. Going to her class to get to her directly is a nice change of pace for Kumiko, considering the more roundabout and non-confrontational methods she’s done before. It’s cool to see her start to be more assertive with her own feelings towards others. Also the height difference between the two was something I didn’t notice much before.
– Listening to Asuka bob and weave between being genuine, putting up a facade, removing herself from the situation, blaming others, and acting slightly haughty is almost dizzying. Maybe it’s a sign she’s finally cracking?
– Asuka’s even firing shots at Kumiko about the Mizore thing too. It was something we all thought about, how she was basically an observer. To see Asuka call that out how it happened rather than how others interpreted it is something else, and it’s refreshing that someone didn’t fluff up her involvement like others did. Also is kind of nice for someone to be so aware of it all. I thought maybe they kind of just decided that everyone thought Kumiko was the hero, and maybe that was a flaw of the writing, but to know that someone saw through that, and calls her out on it no less, really grounds the way things actually happened in a way I did not expect. Everyone propped her up as a hero, but to what ends? To give her confidence to get Asuka back? To give someone credit for fixing the Mizore situation? Did they know they were lying or did they just not know how those situations resolved themselves? Asuka’s point of view calls all these things into question now (says a lot about group dynamics), and is very cool.
– But jeez, Asuka is cold as ice here. Wow. She talked big about Kumiko’s personality last episode, but to see her shoot through it as a defense mechanism of her own is another thing. Kumiko is shook.
– Hoooooly cow. I don’t think much needs to be said about Kumiko’s emotional explosion. All it took was her honesty to get her feelings through to Asuka. Exasperated by the situation with her sister no doubt, it was great to finally see her meddle directly instead of just being an observer, or a nebulous third-party. When she calls Asuka out for acting like an adult, and then goes on with the high-school student thing was great. Then calling her out for backing down on her motivations? Really good.
– Asuka finally cracked a little, and though we weren’t treated to her crying face like Kumiko, the voice, the legs (window to the soul they say) and the “family curse” said it all. The cuts getting shorter in succession as she “throws” each metaphorical punch really give momentum and a sense of poignancy to the delivery of Kumiko’s dialogue as it reaches its conclusion. I like while Asuka is holding Kumiko’s head down, the angle of the shot is just enough to see Asuka blinking. Instead of it just being a still shot, that movement helps it make like time is moving, but the moment is lasting forever as they’re in that position for a little bit. For once, Asuka appeared genuinely touched that someone else cares about her that much. Phenomenal VA performances. What a scene.
– I guess Reina’s stuff is up next? I wonder if it’s her family stuff, Taki stuff, or a mixture of both? I know the issue of Reina’s dad and Taki was brought up last season with the solo auditions, so maybe more of that relationship will get explored.
– Shuuichi cameo for the week. He still can’t get her to talk to him. I’m sliiiiightly wondering if they’ll get to Kumiko’s avoidance of him. Like, is it because she knows he’s got a crush on her and she isn’t interested, or what?
– Yes, yes. Fill me with the lifeblood of the 2D instruments.
– Yeeeeeesssssssss! Asuka is back. The emotions on her and Kumiko’s faces say it all. What a heck of an ending to this whole situation. The bond they’ve made is so good, and it feels earned after all of this. I’m glad they both were able to open up to each other.
– That Reina cold gaze at the end sure was intriguing. I wonder what it means (besides the fact that it’s her default demeanor)? Maybe Kumiko’s new confidence will lead her to resolve whatever Reina has going on, hands-on.
Quite an enjoyable episode, and a satisfying end to something that’s been alluded to since the first season. The character growth shown by Kumiko since the start of the series has been really enjoyable to watch. The growing pains of adolescence are different for everyone, and while her’s weren’t terribly dire, she seemed to be moving towards a more dull existence without band. The relationships she has with all the club members and the experiences those people involved her in have really helped her grow as an individual, and it’s been satisfying to watch her grow as a person, but also the people around her. Bands are a fun community to be a part of, like a family. That’s something this show gets.