sound! euphonium 13

“Are we back to where we used to be?”


I’ve watched every single one of Kyoto Animation’s anime series, from Air to Munto to Amagi Brilliant Park, and I was thinking where Sound! Euphonium fit in the hierarchy. I enjoyed the show, thought it was wonderfully done, but it didn’t feel extraordinary– that feeling I got watching Haruhi back in 2006 or watching Tomoya collapse when Ushio passes or the principal fighting the deer. So I can’t rank the show with Haruhi, Clannad, or Nichijou, but it’s still a wonderful show fueled by Kyoto’s animation prowess and also Kyoto’s ability to make the ordinary colors of life seem golden. This ultimate episode features a very simple story of the Kitauji band getting ready for their competition, yet it manages to properly convey everyone’s nervousness as well as their determination. It does it well enough that the viewer starts to get nervous and anxious with the characters. Many anime may feature a good buy and a bad guy facing off while staring directly into each other’s eyes, “SLAINE TROYARD!”, to generate tension, but Kyoto doesn’t need that. They let the story generate the tension for itself.

(Man… Tatsuya Ishihara… 48 years old and has Clannad, Haruhi, Nichijou, and now this show under his belt.)


Then the music plays, and you forget about it. The payoff is here. There’s the payoff for the viewer, as we finally get to see the band in action. There’s payoff for the story, as we know the fate of the band. There’s payoff for the characters, as each of them overcame their own obstacles to get here. And Kyoto does not let anyone down. There is some serious production value in the finale, with their wonderful camera usage, excellent animation, and, of course, great sound. It feels like I’m watching a feature film if I’m comparing this episode to Yamada-kun, Blood Blockade Battlefront, or DanMachi. There’s no skimping. An episode like this one is like when Gilgamesh pulls out his treasures for the world to see.


I do wish we got to see a bit more of Taki-sensei’s story. We got shown a glimpse of a picture, and not much else. He is a top tier anime teacher, and if K-On! traded Sawako-sensei for Taki-sensei straight up, it would be a steal. Taki-sensei is the only person who can instill some discipline in the light music club and end the tea time. I also like how over the course of the series, the students first fawned over his looks, then turned on him when he clamped down, then they respected him and followed him. I feel like if the anime were told through his viewpoint, it would still be an interesting show– a different show– but still interesting nonetheless. It would probably feel more like a sports anime than it is already.


Just a cute moment in an episode filled with cute moments. Kumiko x Reina will hopefully be a ripe field for doujinshi artists to plow. Their almost yuri kiss a few episodes ago is just yet another sign Kyoto is no longer the Kyoto that gave us plentiful Chidori, Tess, Mikuru, and Kyou fanservice. Come on, Kyoto, you are getting trounced by the Blood Blockade Battlefront juggernaut. Fight back with Kumiko x Reina.

(Though in the previous episode, Reina went speechless and stunned when she found out Kumiko was alone with Taki-sensei for a bit. Mmm… ok… I’ll settle for Kumiko x Reina x Taki-sensei doujinshi.)

Okay, twist my arm, let me webm it from episode 11…

“Will you stay with me?”


“You won’t abandon me?”

“If I do, you can kill me.”

“I’ll actually kill you.”

“I know you would. I’m prepared for that. This is a confession of love, after all.”


Daijoubu! I’ll capture that Clow Card!”


“Help me tie my hair.”

As a ponytail enthusiast, I approve. Good job, Kyoto.


Small cute moments.


And props to the character designer who had to design a few dozen characters, some of whom only show up for seconds during the whole series. “Yeah, I spent four days on the damn third flute who only gets five seconds of screentime in the final episode.”


The large cast does make it difficult to fit everyone in for the finale, and I might have liked some more Midori Sapphire Verde screentime. They touch the big notes, at least, with showing how everyone has moved on front past conflicts and are united in playing this competition, like with Nakagawa being so encouraging and Shuichi being less awkward around Kumiko.


Oh yeah, on top of the animation and character design, Kyoto also composed a full score for this episode. Crescent Moon Dance doesn’t exist, and Namie Horikawa also does not exist. They are both made up, and Kyoto had to score it. It is just as well, since they made the fictional composer from Kyoto (how convenient!) and put a trumpet solo at the end of the piece (how convenient!). I wonder where Kitauji was intended to be… I’m guessing it’s a fictional high school somewhere in Japan, and Kyoto got permission to place it near Kyoto if the source material didn’t specify the location. I’m surprised Free! wasn’t set in Kyoto now.

(The wind orchestra version of Dream Solister at the very end is a nice touch too.)


I don’t think there’s enough material for another season yet, but I would still love to see a continuation, whether it’s a second cours or a movie. I’m interested to see where the characters end up and how many more wonderful ponytails we will see.


Three MVPs…

1. Kyoto Animation.

2. Kumiko x Reina.

3. Tuba-kun.

10 Responses to “sound! euphonium 13”

  1. >I don’t think there’s enough material for another season yet,
    Good news, the anime only covered the first volume. They have several books left to go. One girl who showed up in the audience in this episode is a major character in book 2.

  2. >Good news, the anime only covered the first volume. They have several books left to go. One girl who showed up in the audience in this episode is a major character in book 2

    …are you serious? So in the same season we had SNAFU with 1 book/2 episodes, and this with 1 book/1 cour? Damn.

  3. Fantastic, really enjoyed this.

  4. Kita Uji is north Uji, practically within walking distance of Kyoto Animation’s studio.

  5. I feel like Asuka alone probably has enough background and story to make a few eps worth of material, hell, that girl almost scared me with how bipolar she acted at times. Combine this with just whatever they have to get through to work towards nationals, etc. I’m just reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaally hoping for a second season sooner than later, as this was probably my third favorite Kyoto work of all time.

  6. Pony, Pony, Pony, PoooonnNYYY!!!

  7. Kyoto continues to reign supreme when it comes to production values and small details. Great show overall.

  8. Hey, are you not blogging anymore?
    Been waiting for your thin slicing

  9. PRISON SCHOOL probably has him so locked up that he can’t even work a keyboard…. =P

  10. Jason, you still alive? :<

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