Um no shit Sherlock! That is exactly how we feel watching a KyoAni show for the yuri despite our fears of it being just bait, case in point this very series ‘Hibike! Euphonium’! But seriously, who can resist after what has come so far!?! Who?! Not me that’s for sure! And with the latest episode development, as promised here is the update since episode 1 all the way to episode 8! That episode was just glorious!
Sorry for the wait the few that were waiting for an update on this show. Very rarely do I write episode for episode in fact I don’t think I have done it before…have I? Any way most of the time I never come back to said series but this time, this time there was no way I wasn’t getting back to ‘Hibike! Euphonium’ after that last episode (episode 8).
Jeez, talk about taking things to the extreme! Everything about Kumiko and Reina in that episode was out of this world! From the very moment they appear together on screen you were bound to be at the edge of your seat looking at the screen wondering if what you are seeing is actually happening!
Ah but this talking is all about the last episode and this post is supposed to be about all episodes for far since episode 1 that I already wrote about. With that made clear let’s get back on track and follow all Kumiko and Reina’s interactions since episode 2. Really, no other is relevant in this series as far as I am concerned! I loved Asuka like all the others but then she lost me with only one line. I will tell you about it soon. And let’s not even get into Hazuki!!Sapphire is love of course but this is a story about Kumiko and Reina, and it is this fact that despite the evidence from the novels as I am being told, I have faith! Until someone comes and tells me that the novel was also about these two’s relationship with each other, like the anime is so keen on letting us know, what with those promo art taglines and the very progress of the TV series so far, I am inclined to still have the benefit of a doubt.
Sure there was some yurific scenes in the novels, sure the author went full retard by ending it in the safe zone by which I mean that she just gave up and let Kumiko end up with the Guy because she had all these feelings lying dormant inside her and all that crap! But from what I hear, the author had a different vision for her novel but the editors or whatever had to change things but that matters not, what matter is that this is not the novel and that the main focus of the novel is second to Reina and Kumiko’s story. From the very first episode Kumiko’s life course seems to have been impacted by an ice-berg by the name of Reina. She has made a couple of decisions already with Reina as the catalyst and even 8 episodes in, Reina is still impacting Kumiko’s life greatly!
Meanwhile, what has Dick done up to now? Oh I know, just playing the ‘role’ to fill canon fodder! I don’t even care about feelings, everyone is entitled to feelings, Asuka could have feelings for Kumiko, Aoi could have feelings for Kumiko but if Reina has feelings for Kumiko too and Kumiko only seems to have feelings for Reina, then the other girls are on the same level as Dick! Or maybe not, those two seem to manage to get out more feelings from Kumiko than Dick has done in 8 episodes which really makes my mind spin trying to figure out how the heck Kumiko decided to go with that guy in the novel!! Actually I need more info on this, did the Guy confess and Kumiko returned those feelings or did he just confess! We need details here!
There I got again, getting side-tracked! Let’s jump into this before I swivel off course once again…
First up is episode 2 where episode 1’s goal of Kumiko finally talking with Reina for the first time since that moment when Reina burst into tears, gets completed! First of all let’s just discuss this! How can Reina impact Kumiko so much as for Kumiko to still have those detailed memories of that scene?! I mean come on, they are still at formal name basis with each other which means that they weren’t that close to begin with. For Kumiko to be that affected by Reina to the point of thinking of her after all this time, to still think of Reina even in regards to choices she has to make for her life, that deep a connection can’t just be written off as just friends!
Episode one left off with Kumiko steeling her guts to go and talk to Reina who was washing her hands at the tap and this episode 2 picks off right from that moment! What we get first is Kumiko’s simulation of how he wants this confrontation to go! That of course did not happen! Oh how nervous and stiff Kumiko was just walking up to Reina! Seriously, she was even putting her right hand with her right foot as she walked! Who does that?! Oh wait, girls trying to talk to their crush is who! This first attempt to talk to Reina doesn’t work of course, what with how low Kumiko’s voice was! She only looked on as Reina walked away and decided to give up for the day and try again tomorrow. Hazuki puts a stop to that though (she was so good this early on, what happened? Oh wait, Dick happened!) We find out that Kumiko has already tried and failed to talk to Reina and that this wasn’t the first time so Hazuki doesn’t let her get away this time. She pushes Kumiko on, literally, and they catch up with Reina. Kumiko trips on her feet and does a classic girl making a fool of herself in front of her crush when she skids face first behind Reina, who turns around and asks Kumiko if she is okay. Kumiko says she is but once again says nothing more and lets this chance slip once more as Reina walks away.
All of this trouble just to talk to a girl you are not even close with! Seriously even fate gave up and decided to help out and it did, if all those following coincidences are anything to go by. But before first of said coincidences, there is this awesome moment, first of the many to follow, during the music room as the girls were being drafted into band camps. While Kumiko is busy trying to weasel her way out of joining the Bass section, a trumpet cuts through the air and the way Kumiko reacted to hearing it I tell ya!!! The only equally as shocking a scene I can think of that warrantees that reaction is of someone who just got stabbed from behind! But wait, as if that wasn’t enough of a reaction on its own, the animators went a mile farther! After hearing the sound that resonated with her whole being, which puts even more weight on Kumiko’s feelings towards Reina because if she reacted that much to hearing Reina play means that there was a deep memory of Reina’s way of playing within her which means she was paying a great deal of attention to Reina during their junior High days despite not being that close.
Actually it makes sense. Perhaps Kumiko had wanted to be closer to Reina way back then! Maybe that is why she was so keen on making things right about that night! All evidence points to her not having done anything wrong but she still feel she had done Reina some wrong, why? Because Reina had meant something to her even back then and maybe Kumiko herself didn’t or even to this day doesn’t know it! Everything was already set in motion way back then!
Anyway, as Reina turns to look where the sound came from, for some reason this motion is animated twice, from different angles! I don’t think it was a mistake, mistakes like these can’t happen in animation where every frame is precious, and also this is KyoAni we are talking about! We can all bitch about Kyoto Animation but that is in all other areas other than animation! Anyway I just thought it was strange, this double animation so I am taking it as the animators telling me that this is an important scene when Kumiko confirms that it was indeed Reina! Other members were looking as well but none of them had Kumiko’s reaction.
The first fate interference was after the club activities as the girls reset the room back to its original state and put the furniture back to the classrooms! Kumiko and co are returning to the room while Reina is exiting carrying a desk. Kumiko is distracted and she is the one walking at the front! She bumps into Reina in the door way and of course loses herself being caught off guard by the sudden appearance of Reina. Reina has to ask her to move before she does and yet again, even with fate giving out a helping hand, Kumiko doesn’t do something productive with the chance.
As if we haven’t had enough of crying Reina, Kumiko once again dreams of (thinks deeply of) Reina and that moment at the last junior High competition when the teacher asks all of the members to decide on what they want out of the music club this year. Do they want to have a goal and aim for the nationals or to be a laid back club just leisurely learning music through easy lessons? This should be, is an important decision for Kumiko but for some reason, she is left in the dark as to what she should do. She gets a flashback to Reina’s tears which clouds her judgement, for some reason, like why do you need Reina to make this decision and many more to come in your life? It makes no sense! If Reina thinks of Kumiko the way Kumiko thinks she thinks of her then either decision would be fine. If she voted for going to nationals Reina would think that despite last time maybe Kumiko has grown up and this time is serious about going to the nations. If she raised her hand for casual clubbing then Reina would know that Kumiko wasn’t that interested in going to the nationals and would understand her decision then that better.
Instead Kumiko did not raise her hand to either decision! On the way home she makes Sapphire and Hazuki believe that she did not raise her hand because it was unfair of the teacher to ask them such a hard decision. But Sapphire says that she thought Kumiko was indecisive because of her situations with Reina and we later find out that it was actually the real reason. On that bench beside the road on her way home where Kumiko likes to think and have time to herself, she is berating herself for letting this cloud that is Reina float over her life for this long! She gets another flashback to crying Reina and I’m like, this girls has Reina on the brains! Seriously! Thinking of her this much, she must have dreams of her too. I don’t know if it has been scientifically proven but I am 100% sure that deep thoughts play a part in dreams! Judging with how much Kumiko thinks of Reina to the point of retaining such vivid memories of that night, she must have dreamed of Reina more times than we can count.
Going back to the episode, Kumiko finally gets up the courage to walk up to Reina at the tap once again but of course she doesn’t say much this time around too. Just like the times before, Reina speaks first as she asks rhetorically if Reina is playing the Euphonium this time around too. Kumiko just says ‘yes’ and after saying a ‘I see’ Reina leaves and that is that, their first exchange according to Kumiko. So little yet to Kumiko, as we find out later through her thoughts, meant a lot to her and made her happy, just that exchange! She turns to look in Reina’s direction where she was sitting as she thinks this! Too bad Reina did not meet her gaze and make her embarrassed at being caught looking but this was enough in just one episode.
That concludes the second episode. Tom sum up the story so far, episode one Kumiko found out that she and Reina were in the same High School and that not only that but that they were back in the same club too. Episode two was about her trying to talk to Reina and clear the dirty water that she thinks her insensitive words left between them, despite not being that close. Had Reina caught Kumiko’s attention way back then? May be…
Episode three kicks things off with a strong start. The members are once again moving furniture around but this time they are preparing the clubroom for band practice. Kumiko picks up a table to take out of the room and as she does this, Reina passes by her and asks her to take the desk for her! I paused at this! Kumiko had already picked up the table which means she was going to move it! Why then did Reina have to ask her to move it?! OMG, she was just initiating an exchange between them!! Could it be that she just wanted to talk with Kumiko?! And Kumiko’s reply as if she was in the middle of doing what was being asked of her! Then that smile as she watches Reina leave the room!
It’s like Reina knows what Kumiko doesn’t even know she wants and gives it to this clueless girl who drinks it all up like it was honey or something because hello, it was what she wants but doesn’t know it! She wants to talk to Reina but doesn’t, Reina then chooses to speak to her first thus granting Kumiko’s wish for her! That smile people, that is the first time you have seen that smile on Kumiko’s face, be honest!
Amidst all the brass band drama, the only other Kumirei moment (Kumiko/Reina shall hence forth be known as Kumirei) happened almost towards the end. As a result of the band drama, there was no practice as other went off to practice on their own. While the three stooges wallow in their self-pity, Kumiko once again is forced to change underwear when a certain sound travels the air from a distance. That sound is of course Reina playing her instrument from said distance. While the other two are wondering who it might be, Kumiko doesn’t even waste a second answering that it was Reina! Seriously, how closely was Kumiko watching/listening to Reina during their Junior High band days? At that distance there is no way she could have known it was Reina playing! This is some soulmate level of connection we have going on here!
And that face she makes as they listen to Reina play a song that Kumiko of course knew, titled with a name that many of us in the community will notice as it is kind of relevant ‘Shin Sekai Yori’! What’s with these reactions that Reina seems to be able to get out of Kumiko? Seriously! This is no ‘friendship’ I know of! I have seen all kinds of friendships, most of which not only blurred the line into lovers but crossed it and they were not this level! And this is only episode three!! Don’t even think of releasing those seat-belts because we are jumping straight into the fourth episode! This development in Reina and Kumiko’s relationship is proving to be irresistible!
Episode 4! You know, this show is like some kind of progressive game! It feels like each episode the level of difficulty increases, in the case that you are trying real hard to not bit the apple dangling from Eve KyoAni’s fingers to jump the yuri ship! Every episode’s bait gets that much more difficult to resist meanwhile Reina is just making Kumiko’s wishes come true as she makes talking to her easier for Kumiko with every episode! Actually I am not sure yet who is looking to get close to whom more! Taking all episodes so far into consideration, it’s not just Kumiko that is seeking to get close to Reina but Reina too is also looking to get closer to Kumiko!
Though the previous episodes to this I have thought of it as her knowing what Kumiko wants and making it easier for Kumiko to talk to her, this fourth episode starts showing signs of a different story! The first sign comes in the scene that many shipper despise and dread, that scene when Reina crashes Kumiko and Dick’s party on her way home. They were talking about the music teacher and how strict he is when Reina decides to drop in because she feels the need to defend him. That’s not what I saw!
What I saw was a Reina that is so concerned with Kumiko that she would see the need to listen on in her conversation with Dick so attentively she could hear them all the way from the main road! Seriously, it wasn’t like they were shooting or anything! She must have been really listening in on their conversation to even understand what they were talking about. First of all, that was a downhill direction she was heading in, right? Who walks with a bike going downhill?! Seriously! Which means that she saw Reina talking to some guy, stopped her bike, hopped off and started listening in on their conversation!!
Then when she comes down to them and tells them she will never forgive them if she catches them bad-mouthing the teacher again, despite Dick answering a startled ‘yes’, and also deep inside having known that Kumiko got that message loud and clear, she saw the need to lean so she could look right into Kumiko’s eyes and demand a reply from her too. Like, Reina pls, did you just want to hear Kumiko’s voice and look into her eyes? I’m onto you!
Then the next day when Kumiko’s mother came to visit the school for reasons unknown to me (because I did not pay attention) Kumiko is thinking about nothing else but Reina, again! She is depressed because she thinks that she made Reina angry once again! Even as she knows it was Dick’s fault her heart can’t help but drown in sadness at letting Reina down! Seriously, what is this!?!
But a relationship requires more than one person and she is not alone in her ill-feelings of the situations. As she gets her instrument to go home, Reina appears and almost causes Kumiko to have a heart attack when she calls out her name suddenly! She says she has something to talk to Kumiko about and asks her to follow her! The two go all the way to the back of the school where it is so gloomy you know students rarely go there! Poor Kumiko started having delusions of Reina killing her where no one would see them. It was funny! But seriously…
Why did Reina see the need to go all the way there, to seek all that secrecy just so she could apologise for her behaviour yesterdays?! All she said was that she was sorry for before! Unless someone was there they wouldn’t know what she was talking about! There was no need for all this secrecy! And so I thought, what if this was just another of those ‘pushes’ those ‘nudges’ that Reina is giving Kumiko to make it easier for her to talk to her!?! I mean with them being all the way there, Kumiko had to say something, she could get anything off her chest and she did but of course what she said wasn’t what she should have and needed to say. Instead she, okay get this…
Instead of Kumiko finally letting all this heavy cloud off her heart by apologising or talking about that time she thinks she wronged Reina during their Junior High, she instead talks about how she knew Reina was the one playing that song from before. She praises how good Reina sounded and how she motivated her to try harder and thanks Reina! I was like, you are talking about that after this chance you have been given?! Like, WTF!
Okay, so maybe this won her a lot of points compared to what the alternative conversation would have gotten her. Reina looked really happy when Kumiko thanked her and praised her so I guess this was the better option and makes this even gayer than it would otherwise have been! Add in the way Kumiko evacuated the scene and that was a cake stealer! Even as she thought that Reina would think her a weirdo for the way she acted, Kumiko still felt really great for having the chance to make things right again, well, as right as they had been before the day before and also the fact that she got to talk to Reina again of course.
Seriously, is Reina doing it on purpose? Does she know Kumiko so well that she is basically guiding Kumiko’s life for her? She is just making all the right decision for Kumiko, every time Kumiko is in a happy mood it’s because of Reina! These two, I tell you all!
And that was all we got in this fourth episode. Let’s get moving…
Just as I have said, with each episode things kick into high gear and that remains true for this fifth episode. Our first Kumirei moment comes when the brass band members are trying on their uniforms for the festival they are preparing for. As Kumiko is distracted with her DFC, a ruckus to the side catches her attention, next to the source stands Reina and as expected Kumiko’s gaze is too weak to resist the pull that is Reina’s magnetic field. I have to say that I love that scene’s animation as you just know that you are seeing through Kumiko’s eyes and it is Kumiko that is turning to watch Reina!
At this stage already sharing the same wavelength, Reina starts as she feels Kumiko’s gaze on her. She locks eyes with Kumiko who looks away timidly shortly after having been caught staring! Since Kumiko is envious of endowed girls, I am guessing this makes her attraction to Reina all that much deeper then? I mean Reina is not very bad in that department and seeing as the episode so far has made a great deal of showing us just how insecure Kumiko is about her chest, it is safe to say when Kumiko looked to Reina she had to have ‘looked’!
Then there is the fact that Reina also gave the same reaction Kumiko had by looking away timidly. Why? It wasn’t like she was as flat as Kumiko! The only explanation is that she was looking somewhere inappropriate and caught herself staring hence embarrassedly looking away. I mean if she wasn’t doing something bad, from the Reina we have seen so far she would only have just turned her head to the side wondering about Kumiko’s strange reaction but instead she gave that same reaction! Conclusion? She was looking somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be and by that I mean that maybe she was into some DFCs…
Hey, what can I say? I was told to pay attention to body language and small actions as they are important in this series and so I am!
Next came the moment that turned even the hard pressed of heads! You know what moment I am talking about! That’s right, the train and there after moment! While on her way home on the train, Kumiko thinks she is all by herself so she lets loose and sit so casually with disregard but when she turns her head to the car over, there sits none other than Reina, quietly watching Kumiko and when she gets caught she turns away! On the way home after they hop off Reina says that she is only taking the train because her mother wanted her to since it’s too late to ride home. But wait, Kumiko says that they finished late the day before too meaning that Reina took the train that day too if she is to be believed but why did Kumiko not see her then?
I call bull on that excuse!
Not sure when, maybe it had gone on longer that we were even shown but it is not just Kumiko that is taken with Reina but that feeling is reciprocated! Once more Reina seems like is stalking Kumiko and I am just waiting for Kumiko to ask her if she is stalking her herself LOL. On the way home Kumiko tries to start a conversation but Reina is not interested, maybe it’s because she is expecting something different from Kumiko (as per episode 8)! So while others might see something different from the fact that Reina brought up the teacher and seemed more fired-up about that than anything Kumiko had mentioned, all I see is Reina trying to bring out the real Kumiko! She brought up a subject that she knew will force Kumiko to drop this facade and reveal her real self which she eventually did and as a reward, we got to see the real Reina for the first time!
What she did nearly sent me into a spasm!
I say the real Reina because I am not sure if it is the real Reina or this being a new Reina that is only appearing because of Kumiko! Either way Reina does the thing with her forehead that once again of course sent butterflies down Kumiko’s jimmies! The way these two are affecting each other, seriously! Kumiko was happy for having gotten such a smile, a rare one for sure from Reina while Reina on the other hand was happy to have finally gotten to see the real Kumiko! That’s how the two go their separate ways.
My God though, that was so unexpected from Reina! If Kumiko’s heart didn’t flutter at that action of Reina seductively (That was one of the most seductive moves I have ever seen hands down) I don’t even…Nay, it did flutter! And that Reina, why did she do it in the first place?
Any way…Back to the day of the festival, as the schools stand there waiting for the festival to begin, a girl from another school spots Kumiko and calls out to her. It seems she was in the same Junior High as Kumiko and were in the same club too so Kumiko goes over to talk to her. In a span of less than a minute we find out that this school is better than Kumiko and Reina’s and that it recruited Reina but that she turned it down, which shocked Kumiko and I too because if she was so serious about going to the nationals then joining a school with much better chances of making it would be the best option, right? Well apparently not as she chose to go to this one! There is two reasons, one is that it was because of the music teacher and the most probable, second is that after the recent findings that it maybe, just maybe was because of Kumiko!
Anyway this friend of Kumiko, if we can call her that, is one lively girl. She seems the kind that will drag you into anything and when she finds out that another school that had more of these friends from the previous school had arrived, she wanted to take Kumiko with her but Kumiko surprised me by not letting herself be strung along. She pauses then looks to her school and the band in their uniforms all looking nervous and then the moment we have been waiting for, that lovely Kumirei moment comes when as Kumiko looks to the members, her eyes all but sparkle when they land on a certain dark haired girl! The animators give us a close up of her sparkly eyes just to drive the point home! She already has found her place that she belongs (with Reina?) and so she turns down her ‘friend’ because the reason she came to this school was so she could have a fresh start, in a place where she did not know a lot of people but dear Kumiko, this school has Aoi and Dick, your childhood friends and even Reina is here, the girl that maybe you were running from too? So um, that fresh start…But then she says that she already has the fresh start she was looking for, that she just realised it (meaning the way she was looking at Reina that Reina was her fresh start?)
Anyway, the gay dissecting continues on in the next episode…
The next episode’s Kumirei moments open with a bang because hello, we are on level 6!!! Not only does Kumiko strike the conversation first this time (even though it was because she came to ask for help from Reina about Hazuki getting a case for her instrument to take it home and Reina was the advisor or something) but she returns the favour from that Reina seduction! There is this thing she does with her eyes as she leaves after thanking Reina that does things to Reina leaving her blushing and eyes sparkling! She had to whip out her trumpet to blow off some steam, if you know what I mean!
Seriously forget episode 8, the flirting these two do with each other had already happened! I gif’ed it for you in slow speed just so you can see it…
Unfortunately, as the level of difficulty increases, so does the level get shorter and that means that this was the only Kumirei moment we got this episode!
Looks like I was kind of right likening this show to games because sometimes when a level gets too hard you just want to take a day off and this seventh episode was kind of a let-down in more ways than one! For started this episode saw Hazuki getting scratched off my favourite girl list for asking Kumiko if she was Dick’s girlfriend! Like bruh, you don’t even have enough credits to your name to demand such things from Kumiko!
Secondary, very little Kumirei and all we got was my observation of Reina being s Kumiko stalker being proven right once more. What happened? Well on the train, Dick is just weaselling his way into Kumiko’s life more and more by being this great information source which makes him more of a rumourmonger than anything and they are talking about Aoi and Asuka-senpai, with of course Kumiko showing as much interest in him and his talks as she did episode one, when they finally realise that they are not alone!
Off to the side, on Kumiko’s side (this is important), Reina is lurking, with one eye on these two! She is looking as happy seeing them together as we all shippers do seeing these two! In other words, not impressed in the very least. This is the second time she has crushed this party un-invited and for some reason she was closer to Kumiko than she was that first time the two met on the train! Speaking of which, it was day time this time around so what was the reason for taking the train this time Reina?
HA! Got ya Reina!
The episode ends with me hating Hazuki as I said which means I wasn’t that much enthused going into the next episode…That was a God-send!
Leaving Hazuki’s bull to the wolves, the bass members are discussing the coming festival (the normal festival – food stands, fire-works and all that) and who they are going with. Pny-senpai asks who Kumiko is going with to which she says that she doesn’t like crowds basically saying she isn’t going. Makes you wonder, was someone listening in on this conversation? I mean okay Kumiko put things in motion but the result could only have happened if a certain someone knew this side of Kumiko’s so..
Anyway during the whole band practice, it seems Kumiko is finally hitting bumps and our first Kumirei moment hits as Asuka is helping her out a little bit! First we see Dick who has all his attention on Kumiko. Of course he can only be thinking of asking her to go to the festival. Feeling someone watching him, he turns and there is Reina, indeed watching him watch Kumiko! This can be interpreted in two ways so I will leave it for now. While on the subject, there is another moment with Dick I wish to talk about. On the way home they two stop on the riverside, which would be so romantic except it is not because one of these two doesn’t have a single thought of them as an option of being an item one bit.
Dick first asks Kumiko to practice together in the same place the next time but Kumiko shoots his attempts down by saying her instrument is too heavy to curry around (remember this). He is disappointed but not demotivated! He switches into second gear as she invites Kumiko to go to the festival with him! His eyes are shining, his cheeks red, he looks deep into Kumiko’s eyes trying to convey all his feelings and what he means but I guess their wave-lengths don’t match because Kumiko doesn’t receive not even one of these signals! She just blandly asks him ‘Why?’!
That is how little Dick means to Kumiko! Any other girl would have picked up on this but not Kumiko! I actually even felt a bit for the guy, well, tried to because I don’t care enough to feel anything for him, for crying out loud, is he even a main cast or just a ‘childhood friend’? Either way he managed to put a sour taste in my Kumirei dish that’s for sure! The way Kumiko was forced to think of the stupid triangle and all that crap I mean.
But of course he wasn’t done, that bastard! After practice, Kumiko was still thinking of the situation so when he caught her looking at him, she decided to bail out of the room but of course that idiot thought it was a sign for him to follow her out! He still wants an answer out of her and Kumiko is feeling cornered! Think is that if it wasn’t for Hazuki, I think Kumiko would have agreed, only because he was her friend and she did not want to hurt him and he would have confessed at the festival and gotten dumped but Kumiko was forced to decide between hurting her friend and hurting Hazuki.
As if the gods themselves were watching a saviour comes in the form of…Reina of course! Seriously that girls is either turning into a Reina-block or fate itself is on Kumirei’s side! Any way when the door opens Kumiko takes the chance to get out of the date by saying that she had plans to go with this student 9whoever just walked out of the classroom) as she grabs their hand! That could have been anyone, like say those two bass members that are the couple of the show (officially of course) in other words there was so many chances for Dick to call on her bulshit.
But it wasn’t anybody else, it was Reina! I am just sitting here trying to figure out the chances of that happening and I can’t even comprehend them! Either fate wants these two together or it was Reina’s doing once again coming to Kumiko’s rescue! Either prospect is equally delicious! The awkwardness of the situation left me in a grand mood when Kumiko and Reina were left there with Kumiko holding Reina’s hand not letting go when Dick left with Hazuki.
The light side (there is always two sides and we are the dark side because it rules!) would of course be quick to point out that the animation of Kumiko’s closeup face and her squeezing Reina’s hand as Dick and Hazuki left was a sign that she had feelings for Dick, I for one just see it as a reason for Reina asking that question later on in the episode.
Anyway as Kumiko is about to leave and trying to put on her outdoor shoes at the entrance, Reina shows up and asks her when and where they would be meeting! They are going to the festival after all.
But before we get to the greatest moment in anime this year, let me just think about this! Why did Kumiko still go with Reina to the festival? She had already told her other classmates that she was not going so they wouldn’t be expecting her. Secondary why not tell Reina that she was only using her as an excuse, especially since they weren’t actually going to the festival? I mean Reina would have understood, she had no reason to accept especially seeing as they weren’t going to go to the actual festival and thus wouldn’t be required to prove to Dick that they indeed went together So…
But enough about beating around the bush! Here comes the moment that sent all into a frenzy! /a/ and /u/ signed a peace treaty, the anime became relevant passed the point of it being a KyoAni show by a significant amount! I am speaking of values above 50% here after this episode eight aired! And anyone can delude themselves into thinking it was anything else but these following scenes but they are all wrong and will have no choice but to cave down to reality!
First things first, Reina asked Kumiko to bring her instrument with her (a freaking euphonium!) and not only that but agreed to take it knowing where they were heading on their date! This a girl that thought taking the instrument home was a chore and turned down Dick’s invitation but apparently agreed to bring it with her on her date with Reina into the hills where she is sure to climb a great deal of stairs! And she agreed!! Actually not just her! If Reina planned this thing from the get go and knew that they would have to take turning lifting Kumiko’s instrument then why the hell did she come wearing heels!?! What is with these two? Are they so desperate to impress one another or something?
Any way when Kumiko finally arrives at their planned meeting place, she is of course late (real hard carrying that thing no doubt about it) and of course Reina being Reina doesn’t cut her any slack as she tells her that she is late. But all fire-backs Kumiko might have had died in her throat anyway when she looked up and saw Reina in all her glory! They way her eyes travelled up Reina’s body made even my feel lewd as I watched through her eyes! My God if she had x-ray vision she would so be abusing her powers in that moment!
Kumiko stares longer than necessary so Reina asks her what’s up to which she answers without even a measure of embarrassment that she was just so surprised at how cute Reina looked in that dress! This was just the beginning of what has to be the weirdest and longest flirting I have ever seen! Seriously these two spent the conversation during their trek up the steps to their destination flirting with each other and not in an innocent way! Like when the time came to switch instruments with Kumiko carrying Reina’s trumpet while Reina took Kumiko’s eupho and Kumiko said how wrong it looked to see Reina in that brightly coloured one-piece carrying her eupho, speaking of which, was there really a need for Reina to tie her hair back into a ponytail? And if she had the shushu all this time, meaning that she knew they would be switching instruments, who not have her hair tied back from the very beginning? Why now? Did she just want to seductively tie it back and have Kumiko watch her do it? Okay fine, that is another seduction point for you Reina!
Continuing on, as they make their way up the steps, Kumiko is walking behind Reina and she see how her shoes are digging into her Achilles! She asks Reina is her feet hurt (which of course they do as they are all red at that area) and Reina does not deny it! She says they hurt but she also says that she doesn’t hate pain! (Masochist!) Even more surprising was Kumiko’s reaction to this when she says that was kind of hot! Reina calls Kumiko ‘freak’ to which Kumiko breaks out into a smile!
Like damn! What is this even!? Are we seriously talking about pain being a form of pleasure here?! Did Kumiko just get off on Reina calling her freak!? I-I don’t even…Ah but wait, remember this is level 8 were on so of course this won’t do! We need more and dear Readers did we get more!! Still walking up the road to mystery land, Reina once again saves Kumiko, this time from her having to face the real problem that started this whole mess, by bringing up that fateful scene from their Junior High schools days that plagued Kumiko’s dreams and thoughts since then!
She calls Kumiko insensitive and gives that time as an example and says that she knows Kumiko puts on a face self while the real Kumiko lays hidden inside which leads to the double whammy of lines that start with Reina saying that this fakiness of Kumiko’s makes her want to rip off that façade of hers and reveal the real Kumiko. Kumiko asks her what she means by that as she hides her chest because yeah, there was definitely double meaning in that one! I tell you this was like a pilgrimage of flirtation or something! While Kumiko thinks that Reina is just insulting her, Rein just tells her that it is a confession of love! Kumiko doesn’t believe her but Reina says that she was drawn to Kumiko because of this ‘real’ Kumiko hidden inside this fake Kumiko.
Oh yeah, during that convo as she mentioned that past, Reina did this thing with her ponytail that just screamed seduction! Like, words weren’t enough, body language also has to be applied! I swear…
When the two finally reach their destination, of course Kumiko was going to be blown away by what she sees! This was a date, planned by Reina so the place had to be some awesomely romantic view and man was it romantic! So romantic even the sky was in support of this romanticism as it was clear of starts but two close ones! Reina and Kumiko were also the only two people in the mountains because as Reina said, no one would be crazy enough to climb the mountains during a festival (you sly little, you knew this! You knew no one else would come where you were that you would be alone in the mountains you and Kumiko, just the two of you!)
As they marvel at the blanket of lights that is the city below, or in Kumiko’s case marvelling at the beauty that is Reina being halo’ed by said lights, Reina spills some of her secrets to Kumiko! She tells her of how she wants to ‘go against the norm’ do things different from other people! She says she thought Kumiko would understand her! And Kumiko does say that she understands Reina, that she understands her feelin- and then it happens!
Finger touches forehead!
Reina moves closer to Kumiko and touches the tip of her index finger to Kumiko’s forehead! Kumiko is rendered speechless! She looks up at Reina standing there before her in all her majestic beauty! Reina emphasises her first name indicating that she wanted Kumiko to stop calling her by her surname and instead call her ‘Reina’. The pepper sauce to that steak is that the next word that leaves Kumiko’s mouth is ‘Reina’! Like you can’t even believe the nerdgasm I was going through the first time I watched this scene, you can’t!
And all through this fate is still giving a helping hand! Now it’s not just Reina seducing Kumiko but fate is also helping out by sending some strong winds to blow Reina’s dress this way and that way, right in front of a seated Kumiko! All through this intensity Reina is spilling some real awesome words on Kumiko like wanting to be special, she says it with the same look, the same gestures that Dick had as he tried to ask Kumiko to the festival except this time Reina had Kumiko’s full attention and Kumiko was being affected, seen by the way her eyes were beginning to sparkle as she looked into Reina’s eyes!
After she says that, talks of being special and different from the others (Dick?) Reina does the thing! She slides that finger down Kumiko’s face from her forehead, between her eyes, down her nose tip then her lips and the camera even follows her hand all the way to its normal position and for some reason this decision made all the difference in the world! We zoom in to one of Reina’s eyes as she says that she plays the trumpet to be that someone special (remember, not long before Kumiko was having difficulty getting past a certain part. Kumiko is not that bad at playing the eopho which means something else was hindering her! What if this was also some kind of plan to get Kumiko motivated enough to not only get past the slump but to also want to be better, to be as good as Reina thinks she is! I swear it seems to me by every passing episode that Reina is more interested in Kumiko than Kumiko is her! And I did not think that even possible before episode 4!
There is something I forgot to mention. As they started to climb up the hill, Kumiko had this inner monologue, still struck with Reina’s appearance in that dress, where she says that seeing Reina made her think of the Snow Princess! She thought that what she was feeling was akin to losing your life being drawn to a beautiful thing despite your fears! The only way I interpreted this is that Kumiko felt attracted to Reina the fear being that she shouldn’t have those feeling towards the person in question. This is said in haste at the sudden appearance of this Reina that she hadn’t seen before so it could be excused as being a shock of the moment.
But then back to the scene up the hill after Reina gives her piece, Kumiko says that she is getting pulled in, referring to the moth to the flame analogy from earlier! In other words if Reina was out to get Kumiko, she succeeded! Ah but Reina wasn’t done, neither was fate for when Reina moves to the bench to sit, as she does her dress does Marylyn Monroe thingy with Kumiko being in that position she was in!!! Jesus! As for Reina’s part, she gives this laugh that she has only given to Kumiko and it sounds so precious and rich that Kumiko had to know how special already she herself was for having to witness this side of Reina!
Then there was the shoes!
Forget the obvious sight of the two pairs being close together and garnering their own close-up! What got my attention came later as Reina and Kumiko played that song that Reina likes from their junior high days titled ‘The place where I found love’ whose lyrics are (thanks to a kind Anon on /u/)
Hey, who do you want to see?
Hey, who do you love?
I’m always hoping that it will be me.
Hey, because I can’t see your mind,
yes, it always makes me worry.
Belief is the only thing that can let us carry on to tomorrow.
I wonder how many people in this town
are looking up at the starry night sky while thinking of someone dear to them?
Even if I managed to gather up all the beautiful things in this world,
it would never be as precious as your smile.
Hey, now I no longer have any doubts about
a future with you.
You were by my side, and that meant more to me than any words you could have said.
Even if I were born again to find love,
I would send you flowers of a gentle color.
Even if I managed to gather up all the kind things in this world,
it could never compare to this place where you embraced me.
Your smile is all I need to carry on living.
Nothing can compare to this place where you embraced me.
The place where I found love.
Take that goodness in then think back to the fact that Reina and Kumiko played this looking into each other’s eyes and Mein Gott! Now take that goodness and add in the spice that this was used as the ED for this episode and God is Heaven and all is right with the world indeed!
But I was trying to make a point here! Back to the shoes, while this might not seem important to anyone, to me it spoke volumes! We get this shot of just Reina and Kumiko’s feet and off to Kumiko’s side, lies the two pairs of shoes next to each other! Reina’s shoes were besides Kumiko and not her side! Reina’s shoes were the closest to Kumiko and not Kumiko’s! The shoes were off together on one side while the girls were off to the other together as they played a love song all the while making eye contact!
How am I supposed to feel?
I don’t know and too tired to find out.