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Homoerotic Subtext / Sound! Euphonium

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Kumiko Oumae and Reina Kousaka

The primary source of this trope. Whether this is ship teasing or ship baiting is up to the readers and viewers (and shippers).

  • To begin with, in the ED, Kumiko and Reina are literally tied together by a Red String of Fate.
  • For one, Kumiko's behavior around Reina carry many symptoms of the typical high school crush, including awkwardness, basing decisions on what she would think, grinning at as little as being spoken to, etc.
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  • When Kumiko sees Reina smile for the first time, she looks at her as though she's an angel.
  • All of Episode 8:
    • Kumiko and Reina spend the evening together on the day of the festival. They also start going by First-Name Basis. To put things in perspective, Reina arrives dressed in a billowing white strap gown and wearing sandals with heels, obviously to impress her "date", and their banter through-out is heavily subtext laden. And then when they arrive at the top of the mountain overlook, we get a sexually-charged (without the actual sex!) sequence where Reina slowly runs her finger down from Kumiko's forehead to her lips... All this is topped off by an instrumental duet of this song, which is even titled The Place We Found Love (愛を見つけた場所). The duet itself could be seen as highly symbolic, particularly when you consider what usually happens at the end of a hot date in a secluded area...
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    • Kumiko compares the sight of Reina in her white dress to a Yuki-onna leading her away; as she follows her, absorbed in the sight of her back, she thinks that this must be how it feels to lose your life to the creature, "drawn to a beautiful thing, despite your fears." This gets a callback later; as Kumiko is staring captivated at her at a climactic moment, she thinks that she wouldn't mind losing her life right then.
    • When Kumiko notes the sight of the festival from the mountain, Reina asks if she's that worried about Shuichi. Kumiko denies it, adding that it wasn't "like that". Reina smiles to herself upon hearing that last part. Along with being the one to bring him up in the first place, it really seems like she was jealous of that possibility.
    • Earlier in the episode, Kumiko declined to practise with Shuichi by the river because she didn't want to lug her euphonium out there. It really highlights how out of her way she went for Reina.
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    • From the book:
      There was Reina, wearing a youthfully feminine white dress. If Kumiko had been a boy, it was the kind of dress that would be at the top of the list of things she'd like her girlfriend to wear.
    • Director Naoko Yamada has confirmed that the mountain scene was designed with romantic subtext. It wasn't intended as actually romantic, but it has an air of adolescent love to it.
  • The scene in episode 9 where Kumiko and Reina smoosh each other's faces with their hands is shot to be suggestive of a kiss scene, what with the focus on their feet like a Kissing Discretion Shot (standing right in front of each other, one party leaning toward the other and pushing them back slightly) and the offscreen sounds of skin contact and surprised muffled noises.
  • While episode 10 is infamous for the Taki-sensei confession, it is sweet to see Kumiko and Reina hug and chat so supportively. Kumiko even calls Reina cute, to which she blushes and curls up on the bench.
  • Episode 11 takes it even higher: after Kumiko declares that she's supporting her, Reina steps almost close enough for their noses to touch and puts her hand on Kumiko's cheek and asks her if she'd ever leave her. Kumiko says she won't and that Reina could kill her if she ever abandoned her. Reina says she would and Kumiko agrees, putting a hand over Reina's on her cheek, and repeats Reina's line from episode 8 - "it's a confession of love, after all." Reina looks surprised and then very happy, and after a moment we see her striding away in determination, Kumiko watching her in surprise and awe.
  • A lot of small bits in the final episode of season 1:
    • First we have Kumiko and Reina playfully rubbing elbows while riding the train, then later we have Hazuki giving Kumiko and Reina matching buttons in different colours note , and a little later Reina asking Kumiko to help her put her hair in a ponytail, which Kumiko does carefully and with a blush, making the whole process rather intimate.
    • Special mention should also go to Reina and Kumiko holding hands with fingers intertwined at the end. For one, Intertwined Fingers is a big trope in the Yuri Genre and given that it is the last shot of the anime, Kyoani was obviously invoking the intimacy of the trope.
    • The other big thing is that the end scene is drastically different in the books from the anime, as the one Kumiko holds hands with in the books is Shuichi, her canon love interest, but instead in the anime it is Reina she holds hands with. This is another instance of Reina replacing Shuichi in a scene that was Shuichi/Kumiko Ship Tease in the books.
  • Some of the official artwork for the series is very subtext-y.
  • The season 2 OP has a brief shot near the end showing them standing close together at a lookout at sunset.
  • Season 2 episode 1 renews this pairing right off the bat with some rather intimate displays of affection between the two:
    • A sleepy Kumiko leans her head on Reina's shoulder while on the train. The latter, after a brief moment of hesitation, leans back into Kumiko donning a rather bashful expression.
    • After Kumiko expresses her disinterest in attending the fireworks festival, Reina proposes they go together. Immediately after asking, Reina looks away and Kumiko takes this as an opportunity to tease her for being shy. The exchange ends in a playful chop from Reina.
    • The last 17 minutes of this 47 minute long episode are spent focusing on Reina and Kumiko at the festival. Some of the series' most notable subtextual moments thus far occur, including:
      • When Kumiko and Reina first meet up, Kumiko looks Reina up and down before saying that she's "super pretty". Reina looks away and replies with a simple "Yeah?". Kumiko then mentions that she feels a little intimidated walking next to Reina, who responds by taking Kumiko by the hand and leading her towards the festival grounds.
      • After Reina separates from Kumiko to go buy shaved ice, Kumiko runs into Shuuichi. There's a brief flashback to when he asked her to the Agata Festival in the previous season. Immediately following this, Reina returns, smiling smugly at Shuuichi. He is surprised and made visibly uncomfortable. After Shuuichi walks away, we get this exchange between Reina and Kumiko:
        Reina: I think spineless guys aren't any good.
        Kumiko: Hmm? Yeah, I guess.
        Reina (quietly to herself, in a tone of surprise): So indifferent.
      • The last five minutes of the episode has Reina and Kumiko crouching down next to each other waiting for the fireworks to start. As the first few begin to go off, the two lean forward and interlace their hands together. After a short internal monologue observing how ephemeral and brief everything is, Kumiko turns to face Reina, wishing that this moment could last forever. The latter looks away from the fireworks and asks her if something's wrong. At that moment, the wind picks and tousles Reina's hair. Cut to a close up of a wide-eyed Kumiko. Kumiko then turns back to the fireworks, and Reina squeezes her hand. Cut to another visibly flustered Kumiko. A moment passes, and Kumiko squeezes back.
  • In episode 2, when Reina mentions that her swimsuit is getting tight, Kumiko's gaze wanders downward, while Reina gets flustered and looks away. After a pause of consideration, Kumiko's eyes light up (at the realization that she still has a chance of physically maturing in high school).
  • Episode 5, Reina resolves to play for Kumiko. As Kumiko listens to her solo, she slightly blushes and her eyes light up as she remembers the fireworks and moments from their hike up the mountain, the day of the Agata Festival. Along with Reina's solo resonating in the back, as she recalls those intimate memories, it's quite a touching scene.
  • Episode 9 has a scene where Reina takes Kumiko's hand and gets up in her face.