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EP. REVIEW: Sound! Euphonium 2


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Parsifal24





PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:52 pm Reply with quote
I thought it was not as good as episode one it is nice to see Reina be a little more emotive and awkward than in the first season the parts of her eyes blanking out like a dead fish and barely being able to eat stood out for me.

Last edited by Parsifal24 on Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:44 pm Reply with quote
When I see Kumiko and Reina, I think of Gon and Killua. I think the two are probably the most baited same sex relationships in the decade (anime-wise, specifically), but I never think that them not-dating strips them away of their actual relationship. Even I can believe that Reina is in love with Taki-sensei, she said so from the get go, it's not as if Taki-sensei shows up in the last episode and gets her, she has a platonic love for him that, depending on how they take this adaptation, might end up nowhere, just like Kumiko and Reina's relationship. I could literally not believe if Kumiko ends up with that other guy that his only line in the premiere was "I didn't think you'd come, uh...sorry". The same goes for all other characters, I think their relationship is great as is, dating or not dating is a difference more related to pandering by this point than particular representation; unlike, say, Korra's, in which the clarification by Konietzkok made a huge deal of difference at that moment.

Related to the new conflict, it's not really new, it was already mentioned many times in the first season and Asuka's problem with everyone has been crystal clear since the early episodes, which is why I think she's the most interesting character. The problem is that this girl Nozomi is relatively new and we kinda could not have predicted that the problem would rise in such a specific way, but it does act as foil for Asuka's conflict to explode in a more clear way and also to expand Kumiko's development and arise a small (that might grow bigger) between Kumiko and Reina and possibly Asuka.

Mizore is probably the one I like the least from this conflict, her dialogue feels so out there and edgy compared to Nozomi; pure body language could show how she feels better than that scene with Kumiko.

EDIT: By pandering I don't try to mean that same sex relationships are pandering, but given the fame of the show for the yuri, doing it now I feel like (narratively) wouldn't be as important, I do think it would be really interesting on an industry level, but I don't see it happening.


Last edited by Valhern on Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 8190
Location: IL
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:50 pm Reply with quote
I can only think that the author of this review is confused. Natsuki, Yuuko, Mizore, and Nozomi are all second-year students. Why does the reviewer keep referring to the conflict as if they're third-year students? Asuka, Kaori, and Haruka are the only third-year students that have had much of any role in the second season, and it's certainly not right to pin the drama on them.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:32 pm Reply with quote
I hate to rain on the yuri parade but, based on what's been said in some interviews, Kumiko & Reina are not going to get gay, but are instead blessed with an "eternal bond" that only Japanese teenage girls know; which in practice means they're gonna tease the audience until it's deemed time for Reina to get hot for teacher & Kumiko to hook up with that guy she occasionally spoke to in S1 that Hazuki (?) decided she's going to set her up with after he rejected her (the author said as much in a round table discussion I recall reading).

Hopefully over the next three months I'll be proved wrong. But I don't expect to be.
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jojothepunisher



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 799
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:33 pm Reply with quote
The highlight of this episode was actually when Yoroizuka poked Kumiko's heel. I have never seen an anime in my life where something like that ever happened.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:07 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Even this relationship is conveyed with a sensitivity and depth that vastly outstrips most outright representation (compare how much these two have impacted each other to the non-relationships of Yurikuma Arashi, for example)


As someone who watches a lot of shows with GLBT appeal, I consider Sound! Euphonium one of the worst offenders when it comes to representing queer relationships. Cheek poking and hand holding does not constitute a lesbian relationship any more than staring at a guy through a volleyball net constitutes a gay relationship.

I get that the show is beautifully animated and written, and appreciate that the directors actually know how to frame a shot, but come on, Nick, Strawberry Panic had more believable queer relationships... and that show had a multi-episode "I fell off my horse and now I can't remember my girlfriend" storyline.

Other than that, I'm enjoying the show, although I've noticed that that guy who really likes thighs still works at Kyoto Animation. Rolling Eyes
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TheRahi00



Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:42 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
Quote:
Even this relationship is conveyed with a sensitivity and depth that vastly outstrips most outright representation (compare how much these two have impacted each other to the non-relationships of Yurikuma Arashi, for example)


As someone who watches a lot of shows with GLBT appeal, I consider Sound! Euphonium one of the worst offenders when it comes to representing queer relationships. Cheek poking and hand holding does not constitute a lesbian relationship any more than staring at a guy through a volleyball net constitutes a gay relationship.


To be fair, Kyoto Animation never stated that they are gay and said many times that they are just friends. So it can't be the worst offender of something its not. Of course the studio is obviously trying to satisfy the people who do ship them together, by giving them moment together but I don't think its meant as "look they act like a gay couple". If they actually made them gay, they would have handled it differently.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:58 pm Reply with quote
not really, they are throwing us a nice bone; you can't say the framing and direction that is used when they are together is incidental... it's actually more overt than the one used for the girls that kissed in chu2.
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TheRahi00



Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:09 pm Reply with quote
Sure I never said that they are not doing that on purpose. As I said they are obviously trying to satisfy the fans. Even in this episode the ending proved this. But I still wouldn't say that should be taken as "representing queer relationships" because the intention behind this is still the fact that they are very good friends and not actually gay.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:27 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
Quote:
Even this relationship is conveyed with a sensitivity and depth that vastly outstrips most outright representation (compare how much these two have impacted each other to the non-relationships of Yurikuma Arashi, for example)


As someone who watches a lot of shows with GLBT appeal, I consider Sound! Euphonium one of the worst offenders when it comes to representing queer relationships. Cheek poking and hand holding does not constitute a lesbian relationship any more than staring at a guy through a volleyball net constitutes a gay relationship.


I'm a bit confused on what would constitute a lesbian or a gay relationship, I legitimate am not sure. I know that, culturally, they're not the same as a traditional, heterosexual relationships, but on a general level, I wouldn't say that all Reina and Kumiko have done is poking cheeks and hand holding, I think that, romatanically or not, they've developed a more intimate and profound relationships between two persons, it's almost impossible to compare the relationship between these two and, say, Asuka and Midori, which have shared a little of skinship but by no means I believe that they would make a literal couple.

I do get that, in the cultural setting of Japan, Kumiko and Reina are something entirely different from what a LGBT couple would be treated as, which is particularly different from most of the occident world. But let's take these two outside of that for a while, and let's say they're in a completely fictional setting, if you told me "these girls get together at the end" it would be completely believable for me, narratively speaking. Compared that to, I don't know, Reina dating Asuna, it would be so out of the left field that I'd be like "why they even like each other?"

I repeat that, while believable, I don't mean that is necessary for it to be real and I doubt it will be; and if it is, it's a very fantasy-esque and a little washed out, even of what a LGBT relationship would probably be like in Japan yet I dond't think it's particularly offensive, if a little inaccurate.
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goatnuke



Joined: 23 Sep 2016
Posts: 60
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:35 pm Reply with quote
Maybe it's just me but I really never felt this show was trying to show a homosexual relationship between the characters. They are close friends but both (especially Reina, as emphasized in today's episode) show heterosexual tendencies. I think it's a bit unfair to project upon the show a requirement to build a romantic relationship between its leads when I don't think that's the intent at all. (And yes, I understand that the fanservice has implications of that but, well, that's just about any anime with yuri subtext except here it's pretty well defined that the main girls have separate heterosexual desires).

Basically, I think the fanbase may be wanting/projecting something that doesn't really exist.
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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:01 pm Reply with quote
From what I've heard, the show is following the source material pretty closely, right to how "friendly" Kumiko and Reina act... so I don't know if we should fault KyoAni for that. And yeah, as someone else said, there's clearly more to their relationship than just holding hands (the way Kumiko looks at Reina at times really makes me wonder if there's really nothing romantic about this at all).

On the episodes themselves, as always the direction and framing are top-notch, and the animation gorgeous and consistent (as we'd expect from Kyoto Animation and Yamada). I agree that the current story arc is a bit weak (for the reasons Nick has already stated), but it's still engaging and the core cast is as strong as ever, so my investment hasn't declined one bit.
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Gamerunglued



Joined: 12 Oct 2016
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:15 pm Reply with quote
It's canon in the novels that the two don't have a lesbian relationship I think, and it seems like Kyoani is following the novels closely. The reason for them being so close physically is really just a way to show how the emotional distance between the two closed in the first season, with the "touching" getting more intimate as the two became less distant. The "fanservice" in the two episodes that aired is also pretty light in my opinion.

For the episodes themselves, I must disagree with the thought that the conflict is new, and that the characters were introduced too suddenly. The conflict is talked about at length in the first season but not fully expanded upon because more novels were coming. It would have made no sense for the new characters to be introduced earlier because it wasn't logical for a girl who quit the band because they weren't serious and passionate to be in the show when they were only just becoming serious. She comes back when she realizes that they are getting serious after winning the Kansai competition. Honestly, I thought episode 1 was a bit better, but episode 2 still had some incredible directing and character moments (especially the two conversations Kumiko had at the end). I'm totally sold on the drama already, and this season looks to be even better than the amazing first season IMO.
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StevefromManagement



Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
I hate to rain on the yuri parade but, based on what's been said in some interviews, Kumiko & Reina are not going to get gay, but are instead blessed with an "eternal bond" that only Japanese teenage girls know; which in practice means they're gonna tease the audience until it's deemed time for Reina to get hot for teacher & Kumiko to hook up with that guy she occasionally spoke to in S1 that Hazuki (?) decided she's going to set her up with after he rejected her (the author said as much in a round table discussion I recall reading).

Hopefully over the next three months I'll be proved wrong. But I don't expect to be.


lol, the roundtable interview you're talking about had the author say Kumiko and Reina's relationship is the "most important" one in the series and "on a higher level" than Kumiko and Shuuichi's". Other interviews had the directors literally arguing over whether it was yuri or not. Also, if people want to say KyoAni baits yuri but doesn't believe in real-life lesbians, tell me how Midori from Tamako Market fits that mold
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2976
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:46 pm Reply with quote
So the big drama with the second year things really was just some of them left? The way they made such a big deal out of it I thought someone killed themselves or something like that, but a few people left is all it take to emotional scare the entire band? Yeah, I find it really overdone.

As for the Yuri bait, gender flip either of them and there wouldn't be any question of whether or not there was love between them. If one of my friend did some of the stuff Reina did to Kumiko in S1 and they didn't want to fudge me, regardless of gender, I would be really weirded out.
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