Nisekoi 10, Show by Rock and Euphonium 11

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Nisekoi 10 is a more sober affair than most episodes.  Shuu has a crush on Kyoko, the homeroom teacher, but she announces she’s quitting to get married next month.  So the question for Shuu, and Raku, is should he confess before she leaves, knowing it might complicate things, or carry the secret to his grave.  As if he can’t fall in love again.  Strangely, Raku asks Tsugumi her opinion and no one else.  I kept waiting for complications to appear, conversations overheard or meanings misconstrued, but the show was determined to play this out straight.  Shuu is such an annoying character that I didn’t really care too much, and seeing him sad and contemplative didn’t change my opinion.  I much rather liked the Raku/Tsugumi conversations because of her reaction to these personal though theoretical questions.
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Show by Rock 11 gets us to the big showdown, part one.  Most of the episode was spent getting everyone fired up, wondering where Mr. Berry was, Grateful King’s new but as yet unheard song, and meeting all the acts we’ve met before.  Necessary, but I sort of hoped that they would polish off the series this week and spent less time with it.  As for the big attack, there was still mystery about how it would be done.  Sending one monster out so that Darudayu could fight it was a tad predictable, but having that girl from Critacrista inside the monster, scared as hell, was an unexpected thing.  Of course it meant that next week we’ll have a lot of scenes where the good guys can’t figure out how to fight it and get their butts kicked for a while …
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All I get out of Hibike! Euphonium 11 is “what a rotten way to run an audition.”  Okay, not true.  It’s just that we have both Kaori and Reina performing in front of each other, in front of the entire band.  In this situation, the question is no longer “who plays the part better?” but “which girl do you prefer?”  What’s more, the judges are just as exposed as the contestants are.  A couple of them, Yuko and Kumiko, aren’t afraid to be in that position, applauding for their friend, but the rest of them are too afraid to clap for anybody.  What a miserable situation to be in, for everyone except Taki, who doesn’t seem to care.
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But it led to a nice outcome, unexpected until a moment later.  Kaori gets a few golf claps more than Reina and is asked to do the solos, but she refuses, saying Reina should do it.  It was the closure Kaori needed.  She had the solos but could choose whether to accept it or not.  Because Kaori is a decent, reasonable person who wants the best for the band, she hands the parts to Reina.  No one has any right to complain now.
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Elsewhere, we get an odd comparison between Kaori/Yuko and Reina/Kumiko, girls and the girls who worship them.  I don’t know if Yuko’s really figured her feelings out for Kaori, and I’m not sure about Kumiko, but it appears she might actually have feelings for Reina, who has feelings for Taki, in spite of that charged scene between them, the best scene of the episode in spite of all the audition drama.  In fact, I wonder just how much Reina has feelings for Taki or for Kumiko or if she just doesn’t know or care.

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