Sound! Euphonium

Alt title: Hibike! Euphonium

TV (13 eps)
4.184 out of 5 from 5,597 votes
Rank #760

Spring in the first year of high school. Kumiko, a member of the brass band in junior high school, visits the high school brass band club with classmates Hazuki and Sapphire. There, she comes across Reina, her former classmate from junior high. Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko can’t make up her mind. She recollects her experience with Reina at a competition in junior high school.

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Welcome to High School image

Episode 1

Welcome to High School

Nice to Meet You, Euphonium image

Episode 2

Nice to Meet You, Euphonium

The First Ensemble image

Episode 3

The First Ensemble

Singing Solfège image

Episode 4

Singing Solfège

Festival Time image

Episode 5

Festival Time

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tuba image

Episode 6

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tuba

Crybaby Saxaphone image

Episode 7

Crybaby Saxaphone

Festival Triangle image

Episode 8

Festival Triangle

Please, Audition image

Episode 9

Please, Audition

Straight Trumpet image

Episode 10

Straight Trumpet

Welcome Back, Audition image

Episode 11

Welcome Back, Audition

My Euphonium image

Episode 12

My Euphonium

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Reviews

gh02t
5.5

Tl;dr - blah blah blah, I just kept waiting for something interesting to happen. Then it was over. That's what she said, I know. Seems like there have been a lot of shows about high school musicians recently. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso was pretty great; it's part of the reason for this sudden explosion of a genre that was pretty limited before. Hibike Euphonium takes a little bit different approach and focuses on a high school band and their preparations for a competition. It has great production values and looks gorgeous... my only criticism on this part is that sometimes the music is too good. The real life band that plays the music either sounds like a full-blown professional band or a professional band that is purposefully playing badly, depending on what's appropriate for the scene. To continue the comparison, Shigatsu wa showcased some really impressively diverse piano and violin playing that sounded believable (to me at least), whereas Hibike Euphonium is pushing my suspension of disbelief a bit. It's not a huge issue, but hey I get to hold you prisoner to my words here. In any case the art is gorgeous. Unfortunately the plot doesn't keep up with the technical production quality of the show. All the characters and events are just so wishy-washy and dull. Really they're mostly acting pretty much like real life high school students, which is the problem. Like most real people, the plot always seems hesitant to commit to any particular direction and instead mostly comes across as a mush of undeveloped plotlines. So yeah, basically nothing happens. It's not bad by any means, but there isn't really anything worth watching. Nothing happens, nothing happens, The End. Maybe if you were in high school band you might get a nostalgia trip out of it, but the music isn't interesting enough for a music lover (which I am) and the plot is pretty dull. Slice of life is fine and all, but show me a slice of the life of someone interesting. As it stands, Hibike Euphonium gives me the same sort of feeling as Farming Simulator 2015, so I don't really feel like recommending it.

DerekL
9

I added Euph to my queue because it looked interesting and like it might be a slice-of-life or CGDCT, both genres I enjoy.  By the end of the first episode, it was clear that it neither and it was so much more - and I was hooked. (Warning, light spoilers ahead.) Sound! Euphonhium opens on Kumiko's first day at Kitauji High School, a school she's chosen because she likes the uniforms and few of her middle school friends are going there.  Kumiko wants a fresh start, and most importantly doesn't want to be dragged back into being in the band club.   But by the end of the first day, she has two new best friends - and they've dragged her off to the Concert Band Club.She's a serious musician even if she wants to avoid the band and isn't happy when she discovers that the club is a disorganized mess, more of a social club and hangout than anything else.   But a new adviser has been assigned to the club, and when he asks the club if they want to play for fun or to be serious and go for the Nationals, the club surprisingly votes (narrowly) to go for the Nationals... Though the quest to come together as a band and improve their skills, individually and as a group, provides the background that drives the action, there's much more to the story.   Finding and making friends.  Dealing with people who don't want to be friends or whose goals aren't the same as yours.  Handling criticism, both well intended and brutal.   The first  tentative steps into love and romance.   Making choices and dealing with the consequences.  Choosing one's own path rather than being pushed around by happenstance and circumstance... There's a lot packed into these thirteen episodes and you really have to watch carefully or you'll miss half the show.   It's not fast paced like an action anime, but is very subtle in many places.  Much is revealed through the cinematography and animation, shown rather than told.   There's deliberate call backs to earlier scenes sprinkled throughout the show, and the growth and change in the characters can be seen by differences in the way they carry themselves, or how they smile (or don't).And it's the characters that are the real joy of the show - there's no walking tropes, no one trick ponies.  They're not all complex, but virtually all of the main and supporting characters have their strengths and weaknesses and shades of gray.  Euph is as much driven by their natural interaction as any demands of the plot.   In the end, I was rooting for them because they seemed so much like real people, people I've to know and care about, than just pixels going through the motions on my screen.Story 8/10It's pulled down a bit from what I made it sound like above mostly because there are some bits that aren't followed up on, and sometimes the quest for the Nationals yanks the focus away from the more interesting characters and their actions and interactions.   It's really a minor flaw in the grand scheme, but it's there and it stands out starkly in comparison.Animation 9/10Though is suffers slightly from moeblob and it bobbles a little when the band marches, overall the animation is simply stunning.   The lush backgrounds (almost PA Works like in scope and quality), the loving attention given to the instruments being played, the details in many scenes...  All of these contribute, but they pale beside the attention paid to the posture, expression, and gestures of the characters.  Some of the best I've ever seen.Sound 8/10 The VA's do an outstanding job of conveying their characters and wide range of emotions and intentions.   It's the musical performance that pulls the score down a bit...  when they're supposed to be playing badly (a new musician, or someone distracted from their playing) it just sounds... off.   As another reviewer said, more like good musicians making deliberate mistakes than anything else.   To be fair however, Euph comes right on the heels of the outstanding musical performances of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) so it's a bit hard to evaluate it on it's own. Characters 9/10The real joy and heart of the show.   Pulled down a from a perfect 10 because even though they're well written, there are a few 'stock' characters in important roles.   I think they could have done a little better to flesh them out.Overall 9/10Yes, I am a fanboy, and I'm trying not to allow that to alter my perceptions (too much).   It's not a classic for the ages, however Euph is a dang good show for those willing to put the effort into it.  If you do (to paraphrase Alton Brown), your effort will be rewarded with a show you'll remember for a long time.

BigDumbOhFace
9

I found out about this anime after looking at the upcoming Spring 2015 lineup.  I'm not sure what compelled me to watch this but I sure did.  It was probably because it looked pretty nice and the story got me. Story There's like a whole bunch going on here with the plot.  Kumiko Oumae has just entered high school and reluctantly joins the school's Concert Band.  She has been playing euphonium for the past 7 years of her life.  This included time at her middle school's band but didn't really take it seriously as others especially this one girl, Kousaka Reina, who is actually in the same school and joins the band as her.  In a larger view there is a lot of internal turmoil within the band from the previous year.  They all try to fix all of this and make their choice to make nationals come true. It was a lot more serious than I thought it would be.  I was joking that this whole plot is basically that "Band Geeks" episode of Spongebob.  It at times got pretty heavy.  Also didn't expect that there would end up being some light yuri all up in this.  That got pretty hot and heavy too.  They also hinted a straight romance but it really didn't manifest into anything.  The reason why it's an 8 for me is that the ending was pretty bland.  Nothing special really happened instead of basic ending.  Not much of a climactic ending but it just finished.  There wasn't really much punch to it. Animation It's weird to think that an anime about music would have one of the best animation I've ever seen from a weekly anime.  I mean that attention to detail all around was just amazing.  Everything was given such time and effort from small things like the instruments and water to larger scenery shots and pans.  The scene that solidified me thinking this is one of the most beautifully animated shows was this one scene towards the end which had Kumiko running.  It was so dynamic and so fluid.  I'm wondering how big was the budget on this show.  It's sad that I can only give it a 10 because it's worth way more than that. Sound Although the animation was pretty much my most favorite part of this show, the sounds didn't lack behind as well.  First, the instruments sounded pretty clean.  The music was also pretty nice to listen to.  It's something really different to me.  I first started with K-On! and then Your Lie in April.  It's nice to get a wide variety.  One of the things I loved the most was Taki's voice.  It was like Morgan Freeman.  However, his dialogue was mostly insults.  So imagine getting your feelings torn to shreds with the soft beautiful voice of Morgan Freeman. Characters It's easily the second best thing about this anime.  Although there was a whole lot of characters, the show did a good job in only establishing a few characters worth your acknowledgement.  What I loved was the chemistry the main rotation had.  They all played off each other pretty well.  I also loved, as I previously mentioned, how passive aggressive Taki was.  He said, "Please don't waste my time," with pretty much the sweetest smile and softest voice possible.  However, they did focus primarily on Kumiko's development.  They just revealed others' background a bit which I cannot count as development. Overall It surprised me with how good it is.  I seriously didn't expect it to be that beautiful which really took me by surprise.  If you're into some drama here you go.  It's also got you covered for some light yet heavy (sorry if it doesn't make sense) yuri.

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