Sound! Euphonium

Sound! Euphonium

Sound! Euphonium anime series cover art
Sound! Euphonium

Overview

Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium / 響け!ユーフォニアム) is a drama series centered around a high school band. No, not a high school rock band like Fuuka, a high school band, band. The kind with the instruments that go toot!

And before you ask, a Euphonium is an instrument. It’s basically a tiny version of the tuba.

So one thing to mention before getting into the anime itself is that this series is animated by Kyoto Animation, which means you can already assume it’s going to be good. I don’t think I’ve seen anything by KyoAni I haven’t liked, and Violet Evergarden by them is one of my favorites.

If you enjoyed other KyoAni series, there’s a very high chance you’ll also enjoy Sound! Euphonium.

Kumiko Oumae from the anime series Sound! Euphonium
Kumiko Oumae

Now, if you’ve read my review of Your Lie in April, another music-focused anime, you’ll know that one of my complaints was about the amount of music play time in the series. I felt that there was too much considering the fact it generally all sounded the same. And although this is contradictory, I felt the opposite about Sound! Euphonium.

Perhaps the second season will have more, but for an anime about a school band there was a surprising lack of music being played. We’d get little snippets of them practicing here and there, but not much more than that. Even the competition at the end of the season was largely skipped over (though I hear it was expanded upon in the recap movie).

And this next part isn’t really a complaint, but there was a lot of yuri bait with no actual yuri. You can’t just play with my emotions like that, Sound! Euphonium. But aside from that stuff, it’s the characters that make the series what it is.

Main Characters

There are four main first year students in the band who we know of. These are Kumiko, Reina, Sapphire, and Hazuki. Of the four, only Kumiko and Reina have played instruments before high school. They both played band together at the same middle school.

Kumiko Oumae is the protagonist of the series and player of the titular Euphonium. But, she wasn’t originally planning to join the band in high school. She only joined because her new friends, Sapphire and Hazuki asked her to join with them. She then saw this chance to pick up a new instrument, but was stuck with the Euphonium again in the end.

Reina Kousaka is Kumiko’s main love interest (I hope, but I don’t think she actually is). She takes playing in the band very seriously and is the reason Kumiko originally quit band after their middle school lost in a competition. Reina plays the trumpet and is known for her no-nonsense attitude.

Reina Kousaka from the anime series Sound! Euphonium
Reina Kousaka

Sapphire “Midori” Kawashima is a contrabass (bass) player. She’s the only member of the band I can think of who plays a stringed instrument, but there have to be others. There’s no way the only one is a first year who has never played before. Sapphire prefers to go by the name Midori (Green) because she thinks her given name is too haughty.

Hazuki Katou is the final member of the first year quartet. She plays the tuba, which she affectionately refers to as Tubacabura. Despite being a bit tomboyish, Hazuki is actually the least gay of all the girls, being the only one to ask a boy out.

Supporting Characters

Natsuki Nakagawa is my favorite character of the series. Her hair is always up in a ponytail, what more could you ask for? But actually, she’s a second year student who also plays the Euphonium. She doesn’t take band all that seriously, but she enjoys it so she shows up.

Asuka Tanaka is a third year student who I believe is the fan favorite. She’s the third and final Euphonium player. Asuka also serves as the vice president of the band. Though there are many, including the current president, who believe Asuka would have made a good president, she doesn’t like to be the one in charge.

Takuya Gotou is another third year student. He plays the tuba, which he likes despite only having bad things to say about it, such as the fact that it’s heavy. He’s also voiced by Kenjirou Tsuda, who I’ve mentioned in a lot of recent series reviews because he’s suddenly been in every anime for the past year. I was surprised to hear his voice in this series though.

The final student I want to mention is Haruka Ogasawara, a third year who serves as the acting president and director of the school band. She might not be the most outgoing person around, but she was elected because she has that little something that makes her a good leader. The only person who doesn’t realize this is herself.

And, of course, I have to include Noboru Taki, the teacher in charge of the band. I like Taki. He doesn’t mess around and he says what he thinks even when it’s mean enough to make high school girls cry. I think some of the most entertaining scenes of the first season came from Taki being ruthless in his feedback towards the students.

Conclusion

Overall, Sound! Euphonium was a 7/10 for me. Originally I had it at an 8, but I think a 7 is a more appropriate rating after having thought about the season for a while. It was a good anime, but this season was really just the introduction. I’m expecting season 2 to be even better, but who knows when I’ll actually get around to watching that.

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