Score: B-

This episode…just someone give me a break here. It sounds silly to say with how much I’ve written down, but this was a difficult episode to get through. There’s just a lot on my mind and not sure I’ve put it together in a sensible way. Regardless of all that, the final episode is just around the corner. Just one more episode and that will be the end of this series. Will I make it through another episode like this? I certainly hope so. This series has made itself quite a challenge to experience right at the very end. If anyone wants to consider this a chaotic rant then I won’t blame them.

It was your choice!

At least we got one single audition to hear this season! I would have loved more since it would have allowed a bit more room to gauge things. But at least they didn’t cheat us out of every single possibility. And in some ways, I respect them at least sticking to their guns with hiding the people performing. Didn’t give the audience any special treatment there. To be honest I’ve never had the greatest ear for the details in music so I couldn’t tell you who was actually better XD. Just that both were capable enough to take the spot. Which of course still left me wanting to just go with Kumiko.

As expected, Reina makes a spectacle of herself! Doesn’t vote with everyone else like she was supposed to. Instead, she waits for it to freaking be tied and then steps up to give her vote. Thus, she effectively gets to decide the soli despite it being a popular vote! Not sure if she’s a masochist or what. She knew which way she’d be voting once the performances ended. So instead of just voting in a group and getting out of it that way she waits to the end and injures herself more by being the one to break the stalemate.

I just don’t even know

Might as well tackle it here. I don’t love this one. Props to the writer for taking advantage of expectations to throw the audience off kilter. Kumiko wins the first, loses the second, and so naturally she should win the third. But she doesn’t. Though I think it already gave that away when my expectation of Kanade punching her way back onto the roster so she could play with Kumiko was also dashed. I just don’t know and honestly, I don’t really care if Kumiko is publicly pushing for this decision to stand. It’s such a waste. The main character who wants this is the one that falls short to stick to her ideals while the person who wouldn’t have cared either way gets the soli? If they win with this roster what does that even matter?

I’m back and forth. Part of me wants to give the show credit for doing something a bit out of the ordinary. And I think there’s credit to be given for getting people to care about the story. But it also feels like the whole franchise is stumbling right at the very end. The apology from Reina didn’t satisfy me, the results of the auditions haven’t satisfied me, and now we’ve got the final performance coming up where I’m not even sure what I want to see happen. I guess it’ll be nice if they win. But I don’t know if I actually care if they do. At least with this they’ve opened up the possibility that they fail and these seasons all led to failure. My gut feeling is that they’ll at least have Kitauji win. But maybe not.

How dare the show do this to her!

What I truly can’t believe is that Kanade was left out again. On some level I suppose it shouldn’t surprise. There’s a desire to play it safe since the last group did get through the hurdle. And it’s not like the show bothered to focus on Kanade much in terms of how she felt about being left out. It mostly focused on her supporting Kumiko about the solo situation. But I really feel bad for her. She’s lost out on getting to play alongside Kumiko in her final performance and that will probably eat at her no matter what results Kitauji actually get in the final episode. It creates a situation where even victory won’t be all that satisfying.

I do think it’s a really questionable move though in terms of the bigger picture. They are going to lose both Mayu and Kumiko next year. Kande is going to be expected to carry a euphonium section despite only getting through one audition from this current year. That’s a lot to put on her shoulders. Though it’s a pretty obvious thing to say that Kitauji is going to be monumentally weaker next year. They might not even keep the goal of going to the nationals because that’d be a stretch to expect. Just sucks that Kanade has that regret to swallow and that if Kitauji wins next episode that she won’t be able to fully enjoy it. The biggest win of her high school career will be when she didn’t even participate.

She did this to herself

If nothing else I’m constantly impressed at how Kumiko makes everything harder on herself. If she wanted to win then she didn’t have to say a thing. There’s zero chance anyone outside of that one friend Mayu has would vote for her over Kumiko. The audition wouldn’t even be necessary and it’d simply be a popularity contest. This isn’t like Reina’s audition where she was clearly superior. Mayu and Kumiko are both good enough to do it. And if the difference in ability is minimal then they’ll go with the person they like more. That’s a valid tie-breaker. And Kumiko’s approach smothers dissent. Who can complain about Mayu having the soli when they voted for her? Even if they didn’t know it was her, they’d have to accept that they chose the person they thought was best.

Kumiko apparently got her career stuff figured out. Considering how the teachers weren’t remotely surprised it clearly wasn’t anything too extreme. She’s probably going to either become a teacher or even more specifically a music teacher. That seems a given with Taki’s name being mentioned and the talk going on about how Kumiko will start thinking that kids are amazing. Something that would only come up if she’s taking up a career that interacts with children.

This has been a journey

At this point Mayu has talked about throwing auditions and what Kumiko wants so many times that I’m actually sick of it! I can’t blame anyone who actually hates Mayu because she really does get annoying after a while. I get her character arc, her personality, and mostly her motivations. But if we didn’t have this same conversation a hundred times, we could fit in some damn performances this season!

It’s nice that this conversation changed things up a bit. A bit of a shame that it really was mostly things we already could have grasped. Mayu had bad experiences thanks to a friend dropping out because of her always clearing auditions. Honestly Mayu transferred to the worst place for herself. She wants to give her all when playing, doesn’t want to see people suffer because she outclasses them, but also doesn’t care about championships. And here she is in a school where she’s right up there with being the best euphonium player in a school that’s all about meritocracy and wants to win. And they even introduced 3 auditions instead of just one! Pretty much everything she doesn’t want!

The most he’s gotten to say in a few episodes

Just one more episode and that’ll be it. Probably not a good thing that my greatest feeling going into a final episode is relief that it’ll be over! Finales should make you feel a bit sad that it’s about to end or nostalgic about the journey. But I’m just kind of frustrated with these past few episodes and kind of want it to finish up already! We’re probably going to finally get a darn full performance and I’m only partly looking forward to it!

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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