I recently marathoned through KyoAni’s outstanding high school drama, Hibike! Euphonium. One of my favorite reasons to watch was the character Asuka Tanaka. When I took to Twitter to talk about my experiences with the series, I discovered, to my great surprise, that she is far from universally beloved among the fans. Some even refer to her as an out-and-out bad person. This is a claim that I simply can’t get on board with. However, at the same time, Asuka’s behavior is so inconsistent that it’s difficult for me to put forth a competing characterization. Though I feel we won’t truly grasp what makes her tick until season two airs in 2016, I believe that the thing that makes Asuka so fascinating is, in fact, this very inconsistency.
Warning, this piece hits a few spoiler notes.