To be honest I wasn’t expecting Hibike Euphonium to end as smoothly or rather I expected a little bit of conflict throughout the entire episode as the characters progressed to the preliminary competition. The story is taken straightforwardly to the competition and the band ends up taking GOLD. Now for a slice of life anime among hundreds in the genre, you’d think the episode attempts to do something a little different in order to stand out but going along with what I said last week with the realistic atmosphere and patient pace of the series, it makes sense that the series would finish without a hitch.
In retrospect, I was rather surprised that the story never delved into Midori or Hazuki’s back stories with their instruments. I would have preferred mini back story spotlights of some other band members as well or even one on Taki-sensei. To be honest, the series gives up a lot of actual character development to showcase the band as a whole and emphasize the difficulties of coordinating so many people to be a team. Reina was an especially interesting character and her general personality was presented in accordance to the main band events but as to why she and Kumiko are even friends in the first place, it just sort of happened and not all of their friend moments make sense. I will however say that they make good friends because both have a tendency to hide their more brash and blunt sides for the sake of social conduct. Midori and Hazuki can read this from Kumiko especially. I’m also quite curious about Asuka’s perspective on all the events that have happened up till now. Just before Kitauji begins to play, she expresses some nostalgia and even resignation that this summer is about to end. Kumiko on the other hand asserts that she and the band are determined to get to finals.
The series does wrap up brilliantly with another shot of Kumiko next to a teary-eyed Reina in the award portion of the competition. It was a real treat to FINALLY here the entire orchestra play their set pieces. Kumiko’s narration over the music is probably my favourite moment in the entire series. She reveals that her hesitance to aiming for Nationals in middle school and that unvoiced wish never came to light. In many ways throughout the small slice of life moments of the story, Kumiko has kept most of her true intentions to herself. Now she’s finally gone full out.
“Wishes don’t come true unless you wish aloud.” – Kumiko
Hibike portrays a rather realistic student and band life along with all its club drama, teamwork, hardships and triumphs. It’s quite fair. You work hard and you reap what you sow. Naturally not everything not everything happens as smoothly as it usually does in anime but I actually found the series quite enjoyable to watch throughout the season and I felt that everything wrapped up a quite meaningful note for the characters. Because of the nature of the plot progression however, the series is not for everyone. It’s definitely a laid back spring series which is why I think it came out at the perfect time of the year but unless you’re a very perceptive anime fan and willing to take time to notice every little detail in every episode, you might find yourself dropping the series. Hibike Euphonium has its own kind of endearing charm. If you’re a contemplative sort of anime viewer who doesn’t mind the relaxed pacing and happens to be take an interest in orchestra, by all means, give this series a try. The ending really gave me a lot of food for thought.
Thank you to all of you who tuned in weekly or bi-weekly for my Hibike Euphonium recaps and reviews. I hope you enjoyed them and I will talk to you all soon in the next anime!
What are you pondering today?