Sound! Euphonium: Not just the typical “cute girls doing cute things”. Sound! Euphonium shows what musical animes should be all about.
In A Nutshell
The story follows euphonist Kumiko Oumae after she begins high school hoping for a new fresh start. Despite having sworn off music due to an incident that took place during middle school, she ends up joining the concert band group after she’s encouraged to do so by her new friends.
Meet the Characters
Kumiko is the main character of the series. Kumiko is a polite, ordinary girl who tends to go with the flow and let things around her influence her. Because of this, she hardly ever speaks her mind so as not to bother others. During the course of the series, she learns to care for herself, realizes what she really wants and finds courage to pursue her goals.
Sapphire, who prefers to go by the name Midori, is a friend of Kumiko and Hazuki. Within the band, she plays the contrabass. She likes playing her instrument so much that she doesn’t mind hurting her fingers and has named it ‘George’. Midori has the looks of a cutesy girl, which is accompanied by her childish, positive and naïve personality. She also has a tendency to put her friends before her.
Hazuki is a friend of Sapphire and Kumiko and, unlike them, she is new at playing music. In the band, she chooses to play the tuba, which she likes very much despite complaining about how heavy it is. Hazuki is a very energetic and friendly girl and has no problem with standing out. Because she’s a beginner, she often becomes impatient with practice as she wants to see quick results.
Reina used to go to middle school with Kumiko, where they played in the same band. Reina and Kumiko have some history due to the ways they saw music. Reina plays the trumpet and is one of the most talented and dedicated of the band. Not afraid to speak her mind and no caring about other people’s opinion, Reina is very quiet and individualistic.
A Brief History of Sound! Euphonium: the When, Where and How
Due to its success, an animated film consisting of a recap of the first season premiered in theaters in April 2016. A second season was also green-lit to air in October 2016.
Why It’s Awesome
With the rise of idol anime, there are many series that focus around high school musical clubs, but very few treat music as seriously as Sound! Euphonium. Anyone who has ever played any instrument will easily relate to this series, be it for the pre-concert nervousness or the finger soreness when playing string instruments. And if you have never played in a band, you will have fun learning about this wonderful world and the importance of (literally and figuratively) staying in tune with your teammates and sharing a common goal.
If you’re not a fan of music in general, fear not. Even if it might seem contradictory to what I just said, there are many other things to look forward to in Sound! Euphonium. The reason why this story has become so popular is because it treats its characters (it’s almost an all-female cast) as complex human beings with different goals and ways of viewing music. It’s not so much about the cliché friendship tropes, but about what you think of yourself, what you’re looking for in a hobby, or how you choose to behave when there’s conflict. The differences among the characters make for some interesting drama that never feels forced. The story also takes the competitiveness elements to contrast “harsh reality” and “what is fair”, and still do some interesting things with it. Oh, and there’s also some romance on top of it all (including shoujo-ai!).
Can’t really talk about a Kyoto Animation series without talking about the beautiful animation. No surprises here: everything KyoAni animators touch turns into a guaranteed soul-healing visual experience. The scenery is breathtaking and every character (literally) glows in every action and with every word. The soundtrack in a musical anime is obviously one of the most important aspects, and Sound! Euphonium is no exception.