It’s Shinji’s turn to live his passion in Chapter 28 of Hashikko Ensemble.
Now that M-Con is over and the rest of summer break is left, Shinji decides to do what he’s been wanting to this whole time: visit a castle! After all, his original plan in high school was to make a Mountain Castle Club, before he got roped into singing. He wanted to bring the other members along, but only Akira and Hasegawa ended up joining him. Also, it’s technically a valley castle and not a mountain one, but that’s better for amateurs like the latter two anyway, according to Shinji.
As the three take a break, Akira expresses his desire to sing more, while Shinji admits that even he got into it more than expected. Hasegawa surprises the both of them when she suddenly starts conducting, and the two guys start singing. She reveals that she’s been practicing in secret while watching Mimi-sensei, and the two immediately realize that she’s actually better at it than their club adviser.
The singing draws the attention of an old man walking around, who explains that he’s a member of the Suns—the chorus they had visited when they were trying to figure out Orihara’s “hearing issues.” The old man, whose name is Yoshinaga, is himself a castle enthusiast, which thrills Shinji. During their conversation, he mentions having a vacation home in a nice outdoor area they could use for a training camp. After some calls, most of the club is into the idea, including Jin, who responds to Akira last. However, just as Akira is leaving his place, he sees Jin exiting Himari’s apartment while greeting Akira with a smile!
Oh Castle, My Castle
I had been wondering if Shinji’s love of castles would forever remain on the back burner in Hashikko Ensemble, so I’m happy that he finally gets to enjoy his true passion. Unfortunately, we don’t actually get to see the castle they visited, which is a reminder that this is indeed a manga primarily about music. I hope he eventually gets a true mountain castle.
I wonder if we’ll end up seeing more of Yoshinaga, if only because this would give a real mentor to Shinji—someone who can foster his love of castles and his burgeoning interest in singing. It could be something unique to Shinji among all the characters, and it might be the key to leveling him up really quickly for the next time the Chorus Appreciation Society performs.
Jin x Himari…?
In all likelihood, Jin stepping out of Himari’s family apartment (along with Himari’s angry grunt at being discovered) is going to just be some innocent misunderstanding on Akira’s part. Still, if i were to entertain the notion that something happened between the two during summer vacation, I have to admit that I think they’d be a cute couple. There’s something about the contrast between Jin’s overwhelming cheer and Himari’s curmudgeonly attitude that would appeal to me if they were an item, and one can only imagine how awkward everything about their relationship would be.
But putting that aside, the real purpose of that last-second shock is to highlight that Akira has romance on the brain to a certain extent. He’s been thinking about Shion a whole lot, even feeling continued jealousy toward Shunsuke after finding out that Shion’s been visiting Shunsuke’s home to practice piano now that her hand has healed. Now that Hasegawa is aware of the truth, her teasing is getting stronger, though it’s interesting that Hasegawa isn’t being protective of Shion. Instead, she seems to be encouraging it.
The innocence of the romances in Hashikko Ensemble is such a contrast to Spotted Flower, I must say.
I figured at least a few of the characters not directly involved in the music would eventually join the club in a more involved capacity, but certainly didn’t expect Hasegawa to start working towards a role as conductor. I have to wonder how the others might eventually reach this point, and if this is the real reason behind Jin being at Himari’s home.
Then there’s Kurotaki Mai, the girl with the deep voice. I still think she’ll come in for a more prominent role eventually.
As Hasegawa conducts, Akira and Shinji sing “Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o” by Kyu Sakamoto—the same featured song as the last handful of chapters.
Given that M-Con is in the past now, I can only assume they’ll be practicing some new songs to add to their repertoire. I wonder where they’ll go next. I personally don’t have any must-see songs, but something far off from “Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o” could be a nice change of pace.