Having won first place in the Kyoto Concert Band Competition, the Kitauji High School Concert Band prepares to go up against the many esteemed bands competing in the Kansai competition.
Rhapsody in Flu
First Love Trumpet
The Last Competition
Speaking generally, be open to the idea of disappointment, Eupho fans: this ain’t season one. Is it worse than season one? Collectively, probably not. Season one was similarly…empty, hiding most of its dullness (especially early on) behind its glorious visuals. But Eupho 1 knew how to sprinkle in those great character moments that kept you delighted to come back for more, where its follow-up season fails to manage that careful balancing act. It bunches its character moments—which is still (mostly) terrific—into only a couple of episodes near the start and near the end of the season, leaving the filler stories in the middle to feel like, well, filler. Which is especially disappointing, given how strong the continuing character stuff really is. That said, if you liked season one, you should ultimately enjoy season two, because it’s (most of) what you loved the first time around, just working under the assumption that you love it enough that it doesn’t need to hide its flaws from you, anymore.
Positive *Let’s first talk about the story. I found the story of this second season better than the one from the first season. The story was more divers. In the first season we almost completely focussed on the preparation for the competition whilst here the story went broader than that. Here the preparation for the competitions was more like a framework where the several stories were hang upon. The first arc about Yoroizuka was already a good opener to than proceed to the main arc about Asuka which was a great written arc and the story about Kumiko’s sister intertwined in between. How we finally got more to know about the mysterious Asuka and how it solved one of the biggest questions in the anime being what happened the year before was very well written. Also the end of the anime was of high quality. It delivered this sour happiness, a mixture between happiness and looking towards the future and the sad feeling of parting ways between characters. So overall I must say that the story of this second season was very, very well written. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page. *Next up the main focus of this anime being music. The music was, as in the first season, absolutely beautiful. And I greatly respect anime’s that use a lot of classical music because it’s so much work to get it done. You have to gather a full orchestra, learn all those pieces with all those people, record those pieces which requires a lot of equipment I can guarantee you that. And what’s maybe the most difficult is that this orchestra also has to play the pieces badly. Because when the band in the anime first learns a new piece it can’t sound perfect, there have to be errors. Imagine how difficult it is to purposely play a piece bad. Than the scenes where the music took the foreground were very strong and beautiful. A few times in the anime we get scenes of a few minutes long where we only see and hear the band perform a piece. The way how that was done together with the astounding animation made those scenes diamonds. However I want to say one thing that bothered me which was why did they skip the final performance. It felt as such a cockblock to skip the performance that this season worked towards. But besides that the music was astounding, this anime made me appreciate harmonic music more since I’m mostly a symphonic guy but now I listen more to concert band music than before. *And the final positive point is, as in the first season, the gorgeous animation. KyoAni at its best. The animation of the instruments during the music scenes, the water animation and the animation at the end of episode 4 where eyegasms and I love KyoAni for this. Negative *My first negative point is one that I also mentioned in my review of the first season. I still have no idea why Midori and Haruki are considered main characters. In this season they are even less present and again they have absolutely no influence on the story. As I said in my review of season 1, they are side characters at best. *Something that I was looking forward towards in this sequel was the potential development in the lesbian relationship between Kumiko and Reina. The first season already hinted at a lesbian relationship between the two of them but never really developed in that direction. So I hoped that this second season would but unfortunately it didn’t. On the contrary, I felt that after this sequel the chance for a lesbian relationship has become smaller which was a shame. In the first season the potential relationship was displayed a very mature way which is quite rare for anime using yuri. But unfortunately it didn’t happen. *And my final negative point is that I was looking forward to seeing Asuka’s father and to see the confrontation between them at the end of that arc. But we never got to see her father which was a bit of a missed chance. Just like in the first season the anime missed a few chances to become really interesting and this was one of them. Conclusion So as a conclusion, in my opinion this second season was better than the first. The wider story, the gorgeous animation and the breathtaking music made H!E 2 a real treat to watch in the past Fall season. I rated the first at 3 stars but Hibike! Euphonium 2 gets a well deserved rating of 4 stars. If you love classical music as much as I do than you will love the H!E series so go give it a watch.
Term (in case you don’t know): KyoAni - Kyoto Animation, the anime studio that made this show. You know guys, it really is amazing to me how often KyoAni can make the most emotional, heart-wrenching shit I have ever seen, and this series is no exception. Sound! Euphonium was such an enjoyable watch all the way through, that it kind of makes me mad that it took me so long to get around to watching it. From the very first moment Hazuki named her tuba “tubacabra” I knew I was going to love this anime, I just did know how much, until now. Like, guys, I don’t think I can really get across how amazing this show really is, now was it the most heart-wrenching anime I’ve ever seen? NO, nor was it the most heart-wrenching KyoAni anime I’ve ever seen. But watching this anime was genuinely one of the most heartwarming/enjoyable things I have done in a long time. Now This show is kind of “misleading” based off the promotional photos, because the show really isn’t about the music of a concert band, because the real focus of the show is friendship rather than music, and the fact that they cut away from the national performance at the end really ingrained what the main focus of this show really is. But, at least to me, this is honestly not a bad thing, because every arc of this show where you learn a little bit more about each of the band members, was absolutely heartwarming for me to watch and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Then on top of this, the little details they add to really emphasize that this story follows Komiko Oumae’s point of view really were touching to see. Like how they comment on the fact that it’s actually not common for people of different sections to know each other, or how they highlight the amount of breath training really goes into being able to make the right sounds in your instrument. All of this together made this anime feel so alive and vivid every moment it was playing, and the fact that I actually cared about the side character’s problems like the oboe player (Mizore Yoroizuka) really just speaks to how well made this anime is. However, obviously this show is not all sunshine and rainbows, there are some negatives and if I really wanted to nitpick about them I could. For Example, I really would have appreciated more music in this show or the way every character just falls to the sidelines anytime Kumiko wants to focus literally anything else was kind of irritating. Or how Kumiko is kind of too perfect as the main character, since not only is she a first year that is already better at her instrument than the third years, but she also just happens to be the perfect person for everyone to talk to, regardless of grade level. But honestly all these nitpicks are just that NIT PICKS and realistically I didn’t really care about the majority of them while watching the show, because this anime flows so well from episode to episode and it was just so enjoyable for me to watch, that really all these nitpicks just kind of faded away while I experienced this story. Which is why I am proud to give this show for (the first time in a long time) 10/10, because honestly there is nothing I would really improve about this show. Even the ending where it ends on a semi-cliffhanger, I am still content with what we got, and where it left off. So honestly, I’m fine with it not getting a third season if that is what it came to. Bottom line, this show was FUCKING FANTASTIC and I will permanently have that concert song (Crescent Moon Dance) stuck in my mind forever
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