Kumiko, a girl with absolutely no ambition, decides to change herself now that she has started her high school life and try to leave her hobby, playing euphonium in orchestra aside but she totally cannot forget it anyway.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Chika Anzai ...
 Reina Kousaka (13 episodes, 2015)
Tomoyo Kurosawa ...
 Kumiko Oumae (13 episodes, 2015)
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Kumiko, a girl with absolutely no ambition, decides to change herself now that she has started her high school life and try to leave her hobby, playing euphonium in orchestra aside but she totally cannot forget it anyway.

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April 2015 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Sound! Euphonium  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Great story & character development, great animation, Lot of fun!
24 March 2016 | by (Birmingham, AL) – See all my reviews

What to say about this series…It was a real treat and easily the best anime of 2015 season for me and a top 5 all time favorite. Can't wait for the second season! Simple story told with great craftsmanship and loving care, slow build and development of both the story and characters, and some jaw dropping beautiful animated scenes. There are some real magical moments here!!!

The story is told thru the narration of Kumiko, the main character and a first year, apathetic high school student. She's passive and disinterested, generally nice but often a bit blunt. She played the euphonium, but her previous band experience in Jr. High left her conflicted; In particular, her encounter with her fellow band-mate Reina's extreme upset over the results of their national's qualification competition. She decides on a new start, new friends, and therefore a new High school where most of her previous classmates aren't attending. She loves music, but she's hiding from her own internal conflicts about band. Her lack of passion/commitment/investment in playing and in life is the beginning place for her growth arc in the story.

The new High School wind band is a mess, has had large conflicts the previous year (between those motivated and not), to the point of members choosing to drop. Kumiko's new band-mates also have motivational & technical issues, and aren't anywhere near competition level. This is one thing I find fulfilling about this series; it takes a large cast of characters and develops many thru the story arc. I got to know them and identify, they felt fleshed out, complex and believable.

Of course, several of her Jr. High band-mates also end up at the same school, including Reina, and Kumiko must face her internal conflict and press thru. A new inspiring music teacher is the catalyst for the bands growth both collectively and individually; he holds them to a higher standard. Disagreements arise as they try to find their way and come together as a whole. They're aiming for Nationals, we're along for the ride, and it is a truly inspiring journey! Thru blood, sweat, and tears, we see these characters struggle and grow.

Depending on the scene and episode, here are my individual category ratings.

Animation 6-10. Consistently good to great, but there are some stunningly beautiful scenes here and there. High attention paid to details. Musical instruments look real, and they even paid attention to the musicians fingering of notes. Kyoto Animation, nuff said.

Story progression, solid 8. Be patient with this one, it does take some time to develop, but all scenes move the story forward.

Pacing 6-10. Overall good, often excellent, and certain episodes flew by, I was so engrossed.

Framing of shots & animation direction 8-10. Hollywood directors & cinematographers could take cues from this. Also, scenes are drawn as if looking thru a camera lens, with direct/reflective lighting, depth of field and moving camera effects giving this a very cinematic feel.

Main character development 6-10. Kumiko's growth as a character is wonderfully handled. I went from mildly interested to emotionally invested.

Supporting character development 5-9. Reina and a score of core characters handled from good to excellent.

Minor character development 2-6. In a band of approx 65 people, many side characters get some screen time. In 13 episodes!

Soundtrack 8-10. The music performances are awesome, appropriate, and set the mood wonderfully. Background music & effects very good, with good OP and ED.They really made this a main focus, and it shows!

Drama 7. This is a slice-of-life anime, so no huge earth shaking conflicts here, but natural feeling conflicts in competitive environment do occur, with allies aligning on both sides of the issue.

Humor 4-7. OK to very good, although there are some really cute and funny moments.

Caveats: 90% of the characters are moe cute girls, often acting in moe cute girlish ways. Kinda like new Disney, with shorter skirts. This is anime, after all. Thankfully, no fan service (cleavage or panty shots).

If you want an action anime, look elsewhere. Slow but even pacing.

Somewhat mature themes (girl-girl infatuation/professions of love) in a few scenes. Handled tastefully,though.

Can at times be overly sweet, overly cute, but never distractingly so for me.

Japanese dialog with English subtitles. If you can't put up with that, look elsewhere.

Overall a 9+ in my book. Special visual/musical beautiful scenes to watch out for are in episodes 1, 5, 8, 11, 12, and 13 finale. Finale is stunning and tense, best anime finale I've seen!


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