In Show by Rock 7 the bad guys set up a rumor that a popular place for spontaneous live shows is this one park, and then they pluck members away. Our visual kei idiots Shingan Crimsonz immediately go there to perform, while Plasmagica hears about the disturbances and goes to investigate. It’s a park where youkai live, so we get some sort-of amusing scenes where the girls are greeted by cute youkai, while the boys, all dark and crimson in their souls, afraid of nothing, see everything as a threat.
But the episode does a surprising thing. Naturally a dark monster show up, but it’s not Plasmagica who defeats it, it’s Shingan Crimsonz. Okay, they didn’t know it was a dark monster, they thought it was another youkai messing with them, and if they had known, they might have lost their nerve. However you look at it, however, it’s the boys who stand up to it, get battered a bit, get a rousing speech by Rom, regroup, and finish off the beastie. While I get tired of the pretentious speeches the boys put out there, fair play to them for showing some mettle when it looks bleak.
The world of Hibike! Euphonium looks even bleaker in episode seven, grayer with more rain, with an unhappy decision made by Aoi, who abruptly quits the band in the middle of rehearsal. I’m not sure Taki’s calling people out in that manner is the best way to inspire high schoolers to begin with, and there are those university exams to study for. But it’s a mature decision for her to make. Her heart never seemed to be in this more focused band she’s in this year, and so while some of her bandmates feel bad for her, their reaction is more regret than anger. But there’s the other question: is she just the type to quit when things get too hard? She didn’t quit last year, but she did nothing to help either side, either. We might not find out.
The other big to-do stems from this, as Haruka is dismayed by Aoi’s quitting, and memories of last year, when many students quit because no one seemed to give a shit. Now Aoi has quit, and she questions her own ability to lead the band, when the lively Asuka was the popular choice. However, in the best scene of the episode, the two work it out a little. We are reminded that Asuka chose not to be president, perhaps seeing her own limitations in the fraught situation last year. Also, Haruka agreed to take on the position. Two choices made by people who, like Aoi maybe, know their limitations, though at this time Haruka doesn’t seem to know her strengths either. So an episode where people make tough decisions about their immediate and long-term futures, so why it’s called “Crybaby Saxophone” is beyond me.