I have two reasons to like Hibike! Euphonium: It’s got Hibike and it’s got Euphonium. My interest is already piqued.
The Euphonium isn’t the most ubiquitous instrument. If you stopped someone on the street and asked them to come up with an instrument they’d probably say “piano” or “guitar”, and if you pressed them to come up with a wind ensemble instrument you’d get a “flute” or “clarinet” or “uhhh”. Just having “Euphonium” in the title is a sign that this anime might actually explore the intricacies of what it’s like to play in an ensemble with some accuracy because they’re appealing to people that know what a Euphonium is.
That Kyoto Animation is the studio behind it also gives me confidence. I just finished K-on! and had a blast of a time with its characters. What I’ve noticed in my few touches with Kyo Ani is that their background art and animation come together to create anime that feels incredibly lively despite not being filled with spectacle at every corner. Their style really highlights that the common place can be gorgeous, which is perfect for slice of life. Besides K-on!, I’ve seen Lucky Star and Haruhi, the latter of which I haven’t finished because I messed up the watch order (don’t make me go back cries). The common thread through these shows is their focus on the characters and their chemistry, which I am excited to see in a “band” show because it’ll take me back to my high-school days.
In highschool, I was a clarinet-playing “band-nerd”. With Marching band in the first semester, concert band in the second, and pre-band in the summer, it was a nearly year-round affair. I’ve never been that outgoing and prefer to stick to a close circle of friends, but band opened me up to 250 other people who all committed their time and shared my goals. I hardly got to know everyone there well, but the bonds I did form were unbreakable.
Above: My Band’s Sophomore Year Performance
So, more than properly drawn instruments and music notation (which I honestly sort of expect), I hope Hibike! Euphonium can deliver on exploring the bonds you form through playing music in a large group. Whereas in K-on! practice is an occasional affair, being in band is a much more structured and practice-focused activity. It’s not always the most “fun” time, but I’ve still never quite got chills like I did back when I finished coordinated performances in front of hundreds or thousands of people on the stage or the football field. Not to mention the amount of time it takes up – do you know how much anime I could have watched if I wasn’t in band? I hope the anime captures some element of the worthwhile and shared sacrifice that is band.
Did you think I forgot about the whole “Hibike” part though? The translation on MAL is “sound”; this is a music show after all. I can only hope it delivers performances as inspired as in K-on!. It would be cool if they actually got a wind ensemble or marching band to play together for the music scenes, and recording original sounds for “squeaks” and improperly played notes would be going the extra mile, but maybe that’s asking too much.
I hoped you enjoyed my mildly-educated guessing about Hibike! Euphonium and my theories as to why I will enjoy it! Was I right about the show? What’s an anime you haven’t seen that you think you will like? Let me know in the comments!