As I was watching this episode, I just knew a lot of people were gonna lose their minds! After the episode is done, I visit 4chan to confirm and holy molly! This episode already had a thread and a half in the same day it aired, on /u/!! I was right! But why am I talking about ‘other’ people and not including myself? Well, I have been thinking lately thanks to this show and I discovered that all my hate for KyoAni wasn’t actually their fault, especially as far as ‘yuri-bait’ is concerned, as it is called!
I sat and thought of these baits spoken of and I realised that it was all the fault of our own for seeing things where they aren’t. well, most of the time. While I do have a series that I think of when I think KyoAni’s yuri-bait, it is not one of the ones most brought up on the subject. That series is Lucky Star! But calling that a bait isn’t accurate since Lucky Star was subtexty to the max and already way popular on its own anyway. What is it about Lucky Star then you might ask that has me love KyoAni less, well if you remember, there was this episode where Konata and the Hiiragi sisters went to Hirano Aya’s LIVE! Something happened then that was so out of the ordinary that it had me and my friends flipping out! They gave this scene where Kagami did some knighty deed that got her recognised by Konata, I mean really recognised by her! The episode even ended with Konata still out of it and wondering about these feelings she had felt in that moment with Kagami! Sadly that was never, ever brought up ever again in the following episodes until the end of the series, not even in the OVA!
That pissed me off so much! Thinking about it now I am already getting mad some more too!
So in other words, I don’t think of Tamako as bait! In fact if anyone is to blame in that whole deal it is Midori herself, there I said it! Sure all those around knew of her feelings for Tamako! This is is usual, it happens! people can love others it doesn’t mean that they have to be loved back! KyoAni did not turn Midori straight by the end of the series, did they now? No they did not! Midori is still gay. She will find herself a girl that appreciates her. Not that Tamako did not appreciate her, she did but not as Midori wanted her to. But then again she did not know because Midori did not say anything to her, did not confess to her! She kept her feelings to herself in that sense one might think that if she did not confess, then she did not trust Tamako enough and thus might not have deserved her love too. There might also be something else that stopped her which can’t be explained that maybe was telling her that Tamako wasn’t the one for her!
Tamako was her first crush, even if she got to confess and be loved back, first crushes very rarely work out. Tamako might even have faked her feelings just because she did not want to hurt Midori and it might be the case with Dick, who knows, maybe in the future she will see that Dick wasn’t the one for her and that Midori was the one this whole time!
The point is Tamako was anything but yuri-bait! And so with these deep thoughts in my head I turned to this Hibike show and thought about it some more too. Yes, in the novel Kumiko ends up with Dick but as our new friend MarkS00N was so kind as to share, the anime is based off the novel, it doesn’t mean it is the novel! There are already major changes that have happened that if did not happen, this series wouldn’t be even worthy talking about. Here is a summary of what MarkS00N pointed out to me:
In episode 8 Reina was holding her trumpet case in novel when her hand was grabbed by Kumiko, so she was leaving the club there (also she acted annoyed when Kumiko did so, at least in the manga), but in anime she doesn’t bring her trumpet case
This is important! The novel version makes sense because Reina was leaving and it might just have been a coincidence. But the way the anime did it, I don’t think it was a coincidence. Reina must have followed Dick and Kumiko knowing perhaps that there would be trouble. I mean come on, how many times has she played hero to Kumiko already?
Reina and Kumiko already call each other by given names instead of their family name in the novel before the festival and Reina touch Kumiko’s cheek in the novel, not Kumiko’s lip also In the novel Reina and Kumiko don’t bring their instrument, let alone duet on the mountain
That date’s romanticism just got multiplied by over 11!
In episode 7 train scene where Kumiko and Suuichi talk about Asuka, there is no Reina in the novel)…
In other words the anime Reina is that much more interested in Kumiko. These are just from the two mentioned episodes and if you have been following the threads, you know there is more! Putting extra scene is easy but not when it comes to animation! Every frame in animation counts and with the animator telling us to pay close attention to those body language and hidden animation messages, you just gotta know this is serious business! So what it Dick is end game?! We all know Usagi and Earth Dick are gonna marry and rule the future, hell, their kid is already here in this time but that did not stop us from shipping her and Rei and totally enjoying their chemistry together, did it? And those two were no where near Reina and Kumiko are in terms of interactions.
I guess what I am trying to say is that until the thread is cut in half with Reina ACCEPTNG Shoe’s feelings, I am still on board this train so while you are all jumping overboard…
With that said, let’s get it on!
This right here though you all, this fact right here! No matter how much fun she had with Reina at the mountain top, Reina should have been forced to come back down to earth the next day because she had to face the problem plaguing her life, that problem being that he friend, a boy she has been best friends with since childhood just went and said that he felt something more for her! How would she act around him from now on? What should she say? If she turns him down, what would happen to their friendship (As we heard her say that she was only a bit annoyed before because she thought they wouldn’t be friends any more if he was dating Hazuki)!
These are all real problem, you too dear Reader would be messed up if a friend of the opposite sex since childhood came out all of a sudden and confessed his feelings to you. You too would be lost but it does not mean that it’s because you love them like that too! This is the problem that Kumiko is facing! People this this real world problem and are bashing KyoAni! That is injustice.
Speaking of which actually, it is not like Dick has confessed yet but Kumiko already knows he likes her. I think someone was calling Kumiko clueless for some reason and I wanted to point this out. I don’t know how they wrote her in the novel but Kumiko is a bright girl in the anime! She puts two and two together pretty quickly. She just need a little nudge to let it out, which is what Reina has been doing for her for a while now. That is giving her the courage to do things she couldn’t otherwise.
So, when the next day she was so happy that her bumps from the day before the festival had been overcome just from the simple action of playing a song from their Junior High with Reina and not negatively affected even more by her friends’ un-wanted feelings, well, i am all for this series! And there we go again, Reina coming the rescue like the dashing Prince she is being all this time to Kumiko! If you remember the last time in the practice Kumiko was having trouble! So what did Reina do, maybe it was a combination of fate with her own efforts but what if she had followed Reina out of the classroom to suggest they practice together to help her out? Instead what happened was Kumiko taking them to the festival! Only Reina shifted her plans and got Kumiko to bring her eupho so she could still help her out! More interesting is the fact that she did not mention this this Kumiko and did it so conspicuously that Kumiko did not figure it out until…
Ah but Knight Reina wasn’t done playing hero, nope!
During the auditions for the members that would make the final band to go to the nationals, Kumiko digs her own grave by saying that she is a eupho pro with 7 years to her name! So they give her harder notes to play that she did not practice on thinking she would not be asked about them. She panicks and starts getting depressed, the first time I have seen this look on her face this whole season but then that scene, the best in this episode, flashes in her mind as she is reminded of Reina words ‘I will do my best, so you do your best too’ or as Kamina said it (Believe in me who believes in you!)
Kumiko passed with flying colours!
Like seriously, what is this chemistry these two have?! All decisions about Kumiko’s life so far have been influenced by Reina! I even wanna throw up saying this but if they do go the novel END route, I know it won’t be that self insert Hazuki (You don’t know your feelings but I know your feelings cause I have not just known you for like, half a term) but rather it will be Reina that gets those two to go together but even then I doubt it seeing as she did not push the subject the first time it was brought up to no success.
But speaking of that awesome moment…
“I’m going to do my best in our new relationship so you have to as well. Promise me”.
Kumiko promises her by doing something she wouldn’t normally do, return the favour of squeezing Reina’s cheeks!
Like, are you even kidding me?! First of all, first of all!!! Does Reina have some kind of Kumiko-distress NFC antenna that tell her when Kumiko is in need of some
saving loving!? I swear that girl shows up at the perfect moment to save the Kumiko day and has done it a few times always as I have mentioned! That timing, Jesus Christ! Okay KyoAni, I have to tell you guys that you are doing it wrong! This is where you are supposed to bring Shoeone into the picture by getting him to start maing a name for himself! What an opportunity it would have been for him had he been the one standing in that door!
But nooo, it was Knight Reina, in her white armour! And by the gods, I lost my mind a couple of times when Reina moved so close to Kumiko their feet almost kissed! That distance was killer! I am betting you all thought they were kissing especially with that sound Kumiko made when her cheeks were pressed in! It totally sounded like she was surprised at being kissed! But then they showed us her face with Reina’s hands holding her head so tightly and, wait a damn minute! That is usually the first step in aggressive make-out sessions, am I right? And with these two being into S & M as we heard last episode, OMG, is it still happening?
Sadly no, but my heart totally raced which is a very big plus! Also the fact that Kumiko surprised Reina for a change when she returned the favour (forcing Reina to step back) was a very telling move! And the fact that she is calling Reina by her given name and in such an awesome way >.< I still can’t handle her calling Reina Reina and not Kousaka-san!
Seriously, you all who dropped this, what are you smocking?! Of course there is no guarantee that we will have a KumiRei END but this is really good! Where has the times gone when yuri was all about subtext? Now all everyone thinks of yuri is two girls making out and all that! You see that in porn all the time, and just because two girls make out doesn’t mean it is yuri either! If you have watched Japanese porn, usually there is a segment where two girls start making out but then almost always, unless it’s those W series 100% yuri, the girls are joined by men! Does that then make it yuri just because they kissed and touched etc?