- it's weird that everyone is speaking in standard Japanese: Uji City is a smallish city on the outskirts of Kyoto, and almost everyone in the novel speaks in the local dialect (a Kansai variant). Kumiko is meant to be unusual in speaking standard Japanese because she basically grew up in Tokyo. This is probably one of the reasons she's stunned when Hazuki just decides to call her "Kumiko" the very day they meet. In big cities like Tokyo, people tend to use surnames when addressing the people around them, even students in the same school year. In more rural areas, people are a bit more relaxed, though you'd generally still use surnames for students in different years (with "senpai" attached for upperclassmen) and classmates that you're not so familiar with.
- the consensus culture, tatemae vs. honne (public face vs. private feelings) etc are some of the things that Reina, Kumiko and Aoi are uncomfortable with. Kumiko, in particular, has always had difficulty with it because she tends to speak her mind (even though she tries to check herself); this goes against tatemae, and it seems like Kumiko wants to fix this tendency of hers...at least, she did at the start of the series.
- Kumiko wanted 'a fresh start'. What does she mean by that? I'm also getting the sense that she wants to be more 'mature'.
Some quick thoughts on Sound! Euphonium (SPOILERS)
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