Sound! Euphonium Movie 3: Our Promise - A Brand New Day

Alt title: Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale

Movie (1 ep x 100 min)
3.869 out of 5 from 605 votes
Rank #1,644
Sound! Euphonium Movie 3: Our Promise - A Brand New Day

Follow Kumiko as she takes on the role of mentor towards the incoming class of new members of the Kitauji High School concert band club as the group aims to take the gold at the National Championship competition.

Source: Eleven Arts

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Instead of a music anime, Sound Euphonium Movie 3: Our Promise is a school drama with music as a backdrop. What makes a good music anime? I believe it is 1) a well-executed combination of music and animation 2) to develop characters or plot. For instance, musical struggles might probe the characters - “why music?” - on an individual (Your lie in April) or a societal (Carole and Tuesday) level. These moments allow the audience to see personal motivations, desires and even morals of the characters.  Particularly in the Sound! Euphonium series, adolescent struggles were represented, culminated, or even resolved in musical performances. During these performances, we can both see and hear the struggles of the characters. Notably in season one, the trumpet solo for Reina and Kaori, the difficult euphonium passage for Kumiko, even lame Shuichi’s struggles in the trombone section were all musical parts that appeared repeatedly, not only as passing moments but emphasis for drama between the characters. At the final competition, all of these musical themes reach their pinnacle, strung together in both the music and the visuals. This is where the movie Our Promise fails as a music anime. It doesn’t establish any musical moments. The only emotional musical parts were in the beginning of the movie Kumiko playing Asuka’s theme from season two, and Nozomi and Mizore’s solo during the performance. But those both relied on previously established drama. What is the point of this new drama among the freshmen? It is not directly connected to the music - the music is just an accessory. We see no reason to root for the characters during their performance. The performance was merely a nice animation of a band whose members I didn’t feel invested in. (“Nice”... except for the shots with the CG modelled charas… gross.) There was some success during the Sunrise Festival to connect Mirei’s eventual cooperation in the band to her enjoyment of the performance. But that was only something we could see from the visuals, not the music. This movie might have worked a lot better as a series with the additional time to develop the musical themes. But the side story movie Liz and the Blue Bird connects music and drama much better. Nozomi and Mizore’s solo piece plays throughout the Liz and Blue Bird storybook sequences and resolves drama in the final rehearsal of the movie. At 10 minutes shorter than Our Promise, this movie manages to 1) establish a musical theme and 2) use it to emotionally invest us more in the characters. In Our Promise, time is wasted with drama that is never brought to fruition, musically or otherwise. Like… Shuichi and Kumiko? Just get that limp and boring relationship outta there. Neither character learns anything by the end. Looking into the (hopefully upcoming) season 3, I somewhat worry about my current dislike of the freshman, but I do love the series and I hope that parts of this movie will pay off. If the show returns back to all of its strengths for Kumiko’s final year, I’ll be rating that out of buckets of tears.


My interest in the two Hibike! Euphonium recap movies led up to this first H!E movie which pushed ahead the premise behind the two H!E seasons.  Kitauji High Wind Ensemble has redeemed themselves in working their way into the Nationals.  Alas! only bronze for all that effort. Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Our Promise - A Brand New Day brings on the new school year, and a mess of new freshmen ready to join the band.  The old third-years are nothing more than memories and cameo appearances.  Apparently, success at Nationals is a drawing card, and new blood is ready to prove their merits.  But the making of grand music gives way to stronger themes, the  senpai-kohai relationship.  New faces bring on special issues for the person picked to be mentor for the first years.  Did I mention that this girl is Kumiko?  Think she believes she is up for that job? Old issues persist.  Will selections for soloists be based on skill or seniority?  If skill, will a first-year be resented for displacing a third-year?  Dedicated musicians resent the popularity of slackers.  And Kumiko has to handle all this fuss. Also, it appears that Kumiko has hesitantly accepted Shuichi's love confession.  Kumiko is put off by first-year girls hanging around Shuichi, but also Kumiko rejects Shuichi's first attempt to kiss her.  Emotional drama abounds.  Sullen first-year Motomu (don't call him by his last name Tsukinaga ... issues) is mellowed out by Sapphire (please, call her Midori ... issues).  Two girls with the same last name get on each other's nerves constantly (Mirei: tall, stoic, dedicated to improvement; Satsuki: short, bubbly, slacker supreme) ... issues. The great thing about H!E Movie 3 is the return of all those personalities that need to develop in their teen years.  It's nice to see the old faces.  But, this means a big drop in the music category.  Pity.  The piece for the Prefectures is the inspiration of another Hibike! Euphonium movie, Liz and the Blue Bird.  An extremely technical piece, and the matter of its performance it piecemeal.  Even the animation for the performance section does not have that same sense of precision.  And the results of the prefectures make one think of the concept of pre-conceptions of the judges that Forest of Piano suggested.  Plus, the closing theme did not end with Dream Solister, just a snappy melody which demonstrates that new directions deserve new tunes. So, in summary, personality studies over musical proficiency.  It makes one consider how Kyoto Animation would craft a 12-14 episode season around all this mini-dramatics.  A recap series would be ironic, wouldn't it?

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