sound! euphonium 1

“You even wore a ponytail. You’re trying too hard on your first episode.”


Kyoto confidently drops another big budget anime with Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium), and they once again let all the other studios out there know that they are on top of the food chain. I can see why they are doing this show. It is basically K-On! meets sports anime. In H2, Hiro didn’t want to join a baseball team after being told he had a serious injury at the end of middle school. He goes to a high school with a non-existent baseball program so he never has to deal with baseball again, except he isn’t injured at all, and he desperately wants to play baseball again… so he joins the ragtag bunch, recruits some players with raw potential, and brings in a new coach. They then turn the baseball team around. Or, as a more immediate example, how Kageyama and Hinata join Karasuno and turn their volleyball team around. Or Kuroko. Or Sagara. List goes on and on. The basis of any sports anime is how the new incoming freshmen, each with something to prove, turn the ailing team around. That’s a winning play that works time and time again, much like the pick and roll.

I’ve always been amazed that more people don’t co-opt this plot structure for other genres. I guess Sidonia and Cross Ange are kinda doing it for mecha, but the sports story structure is not central to either of those shows. Phallic symbols and melonpan are. But Sound! Euphonium is trying it for moe girl music genre… which would be the second attempt at applying the sports story structure to an anime featuring music. Yep, sorry Kumiko, Nodame and Chiaki beat you to the punch years ago. Though that eventually turned into josei romance…

(Low calorie slice of life moe meets music meets sports anime? I could watch that.)


Ah, yes, budget. Kyoto doesn’t half ass anything. They are putting in effort in animating a show that probably doesn’t require this much animation talent. I’d be interested in finding out if they actually got a whole band to record the music scenes. While JC Staff skimped on the animation for Nodame, they did not skimp on the music production.

(I was going to call Shuichi “Nochance,” but seeing how Mochisou got a movie where he got to confess to Tamako, I can’t make that joke. He’s “Slightchance.”)


Whelp, we have our new teacher who will help turn everyone already introduced too. Smart phones in anime! Woohoo!

(Fashion Czar gives him the “Best Character of Spring 2015 Thus Far” award.)


I haven’t decided if I want to give my award “Best Character of Spring 2015 Thus Far” to Asuka or to Hestia’s outfit from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. Season is young. Winner might change hands several times.

(Kyoto loves to draw glasses.)


Ponytail Kumiko looks a lot like Ui.


Kyoto managed to perfectly capture the essence of a conversation between a parent and a teenager. It’s freaking boring. Sigh. Maybe the mom should have a hidden past, like she was on tour with B.B. King or something.


Wait, what? An anime teacher who tells girls that their skirts are too short? And she’s not overly sexualized in either being too bountiful or being too DFC? Or she’s not always complaining about not having a husband despite the fact she’s almost 25? What is this?! One thing about Kyoto, their teachers more or less made sense. Even Sawako-sensei was a believable in that she liked to loaf around, eat cakii, and rock out to death metal. Miho-sensei, despite being a former swimsuit model, actually never wore a swimsuit during the entirety of Free!.


“I chose this school because it was the only one with the sailor-style uniforms I’d always liked.”

Solid reasoning. I can’t fault that logic.


“If the three of us join, we’ll be their saviors!”

I like both Sapphire-san and Hazuki. Sapphire is what you name your daughter if you want her stripping at a seedy strip joint in Roppongi Hills. I also like how Sapphire refers to herself by her own given nickname, “Midori,” and how she reminds me of the friend from Tamako Market with a dash of the girl with poor directions from The Rolling Girls. Hazuki has a great, “You’re going to be my friend, whether or not you like it!” attitude.


Typical anime protagonist seat. I don’t even remember what Modern Law of Anime I originally assigned it to, but protagonist must sit on the seat next to the left-side window. Love interest or friend will be in close proximity. If it is an antagonistic love relationship and one person is already in this prime seat, the other will be across the room.


I guess there’s only a few ways you can arrange four girls with instruments? Anyway, I’ll still consider it a homage to Don’t Say Lazy.


Three MVPs…

1. Kumiko’s ponytail.

2. Kyoto Animation.

3. Tuba-kun.

8 Responses to “sound! euphonium 1”

  1. Wow. You’ve really drank the kool aid this time.

  2. Kumiko, y u no ponytail anymore?!

  3. Kyoto is like the HBO of anime. They both spend and do what it takes to make their shows the best they can. Difference being HBO likes grittiness while Kyoto likes moe.

    AKA Drugs vs Hugs

  4. >Or she’s not always complaining about not having a husband despite the fact she’s almost 25?
    That’s because she IS married. Watch closely, she has a ring on her finger. That kind of detail is as expected for Kyoani.
    At this point it is refreshing to have a married female teacher in anime for once. For some reason most anime prefer lonely single women as teachers instead.

  5. A critical heroine who flops between listless and lively isn’t bad. In ponytail mode (best mode) she reminds me of Persona 3’s female main character. She’s voiced by Sylphy, though I wouldn’t have guessed it.
    The male teacher seems cool, from his brief scene, he seems to combine Houtarou’s looks with Itsuki’s personality (and desire to infodump).
    It felt a little odd for a show about a wind ensemble to use generic J-Pop for both the OP and the ED, rather than one being an orchestral piece.

  6. Hell yeah! I’m on Jason.

    Still can’t shake the feeling KyoAni wasted four years in Tamako Market, FREE! (2), Kyokai no Kanata, Chuunibyou (2) and NO Full Metal Panic! in the middle. Still I was pleased the way this first episode was handled, especially with KyoAni’s reputation.

    Let’s hope for the best.

  7. KyoAni’s back?? Hopefully?
    Been pretty choked about their efforts since Tamako Market. And Hyouka was a gosh-darn masterpiece.

  8. What really helps this show shine through, and something that Kyoto does so well compared to most other studios is creating fun characters to watch. Kumiko is a great sassy lead character, and the oxymoronic borderline “I don’t give a s—” and “I really want to do this” attitude is great. Even their use of almost Western style gags such as the quick eye-winking gag to her friend to cover up her Euph secret was brilliant. Kyoto’s magic in anime is just amazing, to the point where they’re able to make a show like Free (season 2) not unbearable for a male audience. And let’s not even start on Amagi Brilliant Park.

Leave a Reply