Okay, now that I think I am calm enough, let’s talk a little bit more about the lovely confession scene. That scene though, even merely thinking about it has me all giddy all over again. I am still dumbfounded by how much effort is being poured into all these KumiRei scene. Let’s be honest, not every scene has gotten this privilege. It surely can’t be just me and my yuri vision turning every KumiRei scene into rainbows, right? There just has to be a reason behind this detail and effort the studio is putting into their scenes.
Had the time to have a quick read through other blogs about this show and it seems to me that the consensus still remains that episode 8 scene tramps all. I for one think that this episode’s scene totally killed episode 8! Even if there was the lip move in that episode, when you think about the other elements you realise that it was a bit out of context, too rushed, looking intimate but not giving off the same level of feelings when you think about the scene in detail. There was just something a bit off about it.
But this time around everything seemed to flow so nicely. There was no questioning of what was happening. The intimacy was too overly done, there wasn’t any fan-servicey moments like Reina’s dress that seemed to have its own personality and Reina was all but out to get Kumiko at all costs. Anyway I was simply blown away at the detail out into this whole scene, from following Reina’s hand rise, to her making the swag turn leaving Kumiko looking flabbergasted like she had just been kissed.
I already mentioned it last episode’s post but KumiRei are still on track as far as them getting closer as the story progresses. No longer is Kumiko being surprised by Reina’s forwardness like she froze during last episode’s hug, or taking a step back from having her cheeks grabbed in what looked like a kissing move. This time when Reina got closer, much closer than she has before, seriously, their faces were not even 2 inches apart, their noses even less than an inch! And yet Kumiko didn’t even blink! What she did was placing her own hand over Reina’s and then closed her eyes.
I am truly astounded by how well KumiRei has been developed. Usually anime never manage to fully complete both character development and story. Neither is ever done close to perfection too even when it is picked over the other. But KyoAni have really dedicated themselves to KumiRei. There are no gaps in their development. It’s almost like the band stuff is secondary, which is actually the case when you think about it. In episode 1 Kumiko was not interested in joining the club at first, until she saw Reina asking to join the club. You do remember that 180 she did when shortly after telling Shoo1 that she was not joining the band the next day she went and joined because of Reina!
It was all about Reina and getting close to her/apologising and setting straight that mishap from months prior that Kumiko BTW couldn’t get out her head after all this time. I mean she even almost forgot about that moment where she had a falling out with her supposedly friend from those flashbacks but somehow a crying Reina had more impact on her despite having not been that close to begin with. Look how far they have come, and there is not a gap to be found! They did not just suddenly become close. Reina had no notice of Kumiko in the first episode and Kumiko was all but scared silly of Reina at the same time. The girl could only have illusions of even approaching Reina for crying out loud!
As things stand, if the Venus and Jupiter thing does happen, meaning that KyoAni has decided to do the impossible and give us a solid KumiRei end, Hibike is going into the history books of not only anime in general but the yuri bible! Everyone will remember how KyoAni took the bull by the horns and poked Japan’s sides by breaking the status quo and giving us a yuri series where yuri was nowhere to be expected. KumiRei will climb onto many a list of favourite ships that I don’t even dare think of how many of those lists will have it at No.1. If KyoAni goes through this, this is the anime of the year, and a yuri story of the decade.
So then how to approach this interaction…How about we start from the very beginning? By that I mean
I had a moment where I was left wondering if Kumiko was worried about Reina or that she was just too eager to be with her, especially as it seems like they don’t get time to be together in school to the point of Hazuki and Sapphire noticing a change in Kumiko that must have been loneliness. These two are this close all you all! Of course she was worried about Reina seeing as she asked her not once but twice if she was okay! But judging from that smile that she had on as she sat down next to Reina (the distance from the previous scene that shan’t be named) forgotten one just has to wonder if there wasn’t a bit of happiness in her at being able to be with Reina like this.
First off I am still not used to these two calling each other so informally! There is just something so fabulously exotic the way Reina says ‘Kumiko’ and even more so in Kumiko’s case when she says ‘Reina’. I don’t know, I am just never prepared for it and I don’t think it is just me. I can hear it the the seiyuus’ voices too. There is this feeling of delicacy and intimacy to the way the two call each other’s’ names. I just… I don’t know.
Now then onto the big stuff. I will just ask for a moment to sit down and have a think of how this scene, this question, highlights just how deeply Reina thinks of Kumiko. We are no stranger to Reina’s personality, hell like I said others see her as a bitch and this is all because of her quite personality of not wanting to be like everyone else, of relying only on herself and is willing to blur out her surroundings if it means her success. This girl that seemed so sure of herself since episode one, nay, since Junior High when she believed in her own skill so mightily that she had thought she was ready for the nationals. This girl that has been the guiding light to Kumiko as she let Kumiko a little bit out of her shell. This girl that inspired Kumiko to change.
This girl just went and left what is the most important decision she has made in her life in the course of this series up to Kumiko to decide when she asks this question. You could even see Kumiko wondering at the same thing. She understood the importance of the moment. Reina was living this important moment to Kumiko to decide the fate of! This trust dear Readers…I mean this is Reina, a girl that turned down schools just to improve her chances of making it (because she believes Mattaku is the best, and he is) and yet here she is, letting this important decision be decided by Kumiko for her! Now, I know Reina is a very good girl, she isn’t as cold as some think but I don’t believe for one second that she would have entertained the thought of losing to Kaori just because, also going so far as to play badly on purpose. Hell, I don’t think she would have chanced Mattaku hating her for betraying her talents like that when he is probably the only other person who knows how passionate Reina is at music other than Kumiko. And if she really thinks of him as someone important then all the more reason why she would not have chanced it because she has to know that Mattaku would know she was holding back.
I have been waiting for a moment like this to happen where the roles get reverse and for once it is Kumiko who affects Reina’s life so just like Reina has done for Kumiko since episode 1, from unintentionally getting Kumiko to change her mind on joining the band again to voluntarily giving Kumiko the chance she had been looking for to finally talk with Reina when she called her out all the way to the back of the building where there would be no witnesses just to apologise for her behaviour the day before when she shouted at her and Shoo1 to not badmouth Mattaku-sensei. This has finally happened and keeping things balanced, it was Reina’s doing as she is the one that literally placed her fate in Kumiko’s hands by asking the question.
This scene wasn’t about Reina being scared or indecisive and beading comfort and support from Kumiko. No, this was Reina letting Kumiko into her life by letting her be a part of this first important life decision that Reina has had to make this series. From what we have seen so far, music means more to Reina than any other girl! It’s her passion, almost her reason of existence. For her to even leave this decision that might have set her off course to her big dream if Kumiko had said that it would have been better if Reina lost, really means a lot. I hope I am managing to drive the point across.
And while we are on the subject, let’s take a look at Kumiko’s side of the story. This is the Kumiko that didn’t see the drama from Shoo1 having feelings for her worth the trouble! This is a Kumiko that is still closed off to the world! This is a Kumiko that any other time she would have chosen the safer path. That Kumiko just went and said, fuck the world, when she told Reina to not lose! And she said it almost as passionately as she had said it to Ribbon-chan! This fire within Kumiko, we certainly didn’t think she had it, hell, even back in junior high she seemed like a walking potato who gave no fucks about anything and yet not only did she basically just pick Reina over the world but she also established the new status of their relationship…
The face that Reina makes in reaction to Kumiko’s words here is out of this world. Looking at the face Kumiko was making having seen this face from Reina tell me all I need to know! She was celebrating inside for having chosen to step up and show a backbone for once because that look was worthy the implications, whatever they may be!
I’m sorry, did I accidentally ’50 Shades of Gay’? I was sure I had done everything possible to avoid having anything to do with that movie! I shouldn’t have watched that CinemaSins’ ‘Everything Wrong With 50 Shades of Grey’ video yesterday! But even from what I remember from that video, the girl wasn’t very taken in with all the S & M and yet here we have Kumiko all but offering herself up to Madame Reina Grey on a silver platter! Forget Grey, Reina is more like Dr. Lecter and yet Kumiko is finding the prospect of being eaten alive all ‘kinds of hot’! How in the name that is Holy are we supposed to not ship this?! I thought KyoAni was supposed to be pure? This series is breaking all kinds of grounds!
And those lines and the feelings behind them! Reina was not messing around. She was obviously fragile in this moment which really makes me think and think of what she actually meant with this line! ‘Will you stay with me’? Why? What is the reason for asking this question? The competition and its outcome wouldn’t have impacted her and Kumiko’s relationship. Kumiko hasn’t shown a single sign of being displeased with Reina, except during the earlier moments in this very conversation and that is a ‘could have been’ but they resolved it because Reina decided to win! So why? Is she afraid of losing their new friendship? Even so there are other ways to phrase the question and it usually shows up when things are already falling apart not now where KumiRei is! The only other reason is that she is talking about the future, their future and maybe Reina actually played more confidently because she knew Kumiko, the only one that mattered to her was on her side! Like did you see that smile after playing when she saw Kumiko clapping for her just herself out of the whole band?!
Speaking of which, do you all realise how brave of Kumiko it was for her to stand up in that situation and clap! Hell, she was even crying afterwards when Reina got the solo part! No way, I simply refuse to believe that this level of intimacy is simply going to be left to the wolves just because the novel says so! This is simply too much effort developing characters and a story to simply be wasted just because…This anime is really something. I am thinking of the nature vs nurture now in regards to this KumiRei and Shoo situation. One is nature having already been set in words, like an arranged marriage. Meanwhile, on the other hand we have KumiRei who have grown to love one another despite Kumiko being fated to be married off into a loveless marriage! Do I even need to ask what the best option is? I think not!
And once again we are shown just how much influence Reina has had on Kumiko’s life! This is like the third time Kumiko has said or done the exact same thing to Reina that Rein previously did to her. First there was the very beginning when Kumiko decided she would not join the band but when she saw Reina had signed up and also from her permanent memories of a crying Reina, Kumiko joined the band even having told other people close to her that she wouldn’t. Then there was the ‘That is something that you’d say’ line from their first real interaction. Kumiko fired it back right the next day! Then there was the mountain hike where Reina dirty-played with Kumiko who gave just as much back. Then the cheek grabbing that was returned right away and with the same intensity. Then here earlier Kumiko giving the speech that was 100% words that Reina had said about herself up on the mountain under the watchful gazes of Venus and Jupiter! And then finally here with the talks of killing, she all but played the deadly Reina game here!
Do you all don’t see how much control, how much effect Reina has had on Kumiko’s life? No amount of bull childhood memories will bring Shoo1 anywhere remotely Kumiko-worthy! I find this funny just thinking about it but Kumiko is stupidly and blindly in love with Reina! What she doesn’t know though is that she means almost as much to Reina! Reina has practically bared herself to Kumiko! Not only did she spill what had to be her darkest secret to her but as I said in this scene, she literally let Kumiko into her life by giving her that power of deciding her fate this day whether she should play fair and continue onto her road of that special life that she thinks can only get through her trumpet, or lose herself by lying and letting Kaori-senpai win! It didn’t come off to me like Reina was really lost at what to do but rather that it was a way for her and Kumiko to get closer and she took it by giving that much power to Kumiko over her!
And then there is that moment after Kumiko says the line. Reina seems shocked by her words. Then she gives the best smile ever before doing the badass turn! No matter how badass it was I don’t think that was the cause of that reaction we saw from Kumiko! Something had to have happened! Was it the smile? We didn’t have full view of Reina’s face I can’t be sure that it was as Angelic to demand such a reaction! But then what? Did Reina say something in that moment that we did not hear? Again we did not have a view of her mouth so I can’t tell! This fact of their mouths being hidden from us brings me to the last option! Some seem to think that Reina kissed Kumiko in that moment. But even as close as they were, I really doubt that was enough shift in angles to get their mouths to connect! So what the hell?!! Was it something completely different? OMG…
Was it Kumiko realising that she was in love with Reina in that moment?!!!