It’s a Nao-chan episode!
If you’re still watching this, I applaud you for having gotten this far. You must be really persistent. I bet you can also guess what I’m going to complain about first, because you probably had the same reaction as I did – they skipped the fucking competition! Are they for real?! I mean, I’m not asking for Hibike! Euphonium and for them to go out of their way to hand-draw every instrument and compose an original orchestral piece for them to play. But actually hearing them play would have been nice. It would have been really nice. In the end, aren’t they supposed to be a brass band? Haruta and Chika belong to a band – why did they even bother going to such lengths to incorporate this setting if all they’re going to do with it is to use it as a thinly veiled backdrop for dodgy puzzles about dead people leaving cryptic and obscure messages to their next of kin? I don’t understand all this, I really don’t. We see the band preparing for the contest, and we have an entire episode with them going all the way at the hall – as I said last week, I thought it was the start of a small arc or something. They even solved a small mystery at the hall last episode. I thought it was then going to be the actual contest this week (and remember, they even went out of their way to explain how there are no dud golds, and to hint at the whole backstory for Kusakabe-sensei through how all the reporters crowded around him in anticipation of his arrival). All that set-up, gone to complete waste. I seriously thought I’d skipped an episode by accident and was wondering where I’d messed up.
Well, we got a Nao-chan episode in return. I get to call her Nao-chan now, since that’s the level of friendship Chika has now upgraded herself to. She gets cuter every episode (although the twins are still perfection).
I’m actually liking the little quips and banter that goes on between them, it’s one of the more endearing parts of the show – from Chika muttering ‘she called me friend!’ to Nao-chan going ‘Homura-san! Bread!’ when she lost the bet with that lady whose name escapes me. I don’t really have much to say on her short exposition into her background, not least of all because the show decided to prioritize her, a temporary side character, and her struggles over Kusakabe-sensei – all they did was drop that line about him abandoning his post as the Berlin Symphony Orchestra conductor and move on with the rest of the episode. I want to know about that instead! Kusakabe-sensei is an important character, I want to know more about him and not side characters who stick around for one episode and leave immediately.
The puzzle with the Braille dots ended up being solved in a fairly similar way to the Narushima episode, except this time it was shorter and I didn’t even bother questioning how Haruta arrived at his conclusion about her having lost her eyesight. Everyone knows everything about everything else, to the extent that the plot demands. That’s basically Haruchika in a nutshell. Haruta should really become a detective when he grows older, crime rates in Japan would plummet after the indomitable Haruta arrives on the scene. Also, why the fuck would that lady’s grandfather bother making some Braille dots a different colour if he knew that she was practically blind? Why would you do that?! And all to just say that the key was lost? It’s a really roundabout way of achieving… well, absolutely nothing. And even if something was achieved, it’d mean nothing at all because that lady isn’t sticking around.
It’s the final episode next week. At long last. The preview hints at Haruta confessing, so maybe something will finally happen. Given how professional Kusakabe-sensei has been this entire time, a rejection looks likely – but who knows. I don’t care, so long as it keeps me mildly entertained. More twins would be nice.