Sunday, 3 April 2016

Hey you! Do you like anime? Do you like orchestral music? Then this one's for you...

Review By Tizzie Kite

2015 saw the launch of Sound Euphonium, a strange anime series centred around this girl.

This is Kumiko Oumae. She's a first year high school student, meaning she's 15 and that pictures like this are just weird.

Kumiko plays the euphonium in her school band. For those not in the know, a euphonium is like a slightly smaller tuba.

 The series begins with a flashback to Kumiko's middle school band contest, where they won the “dud gold”, meaning that, though they won a gold medal, they didn't get through to the national competition. Here, we also meet Reina Kousaka, a trumpet player who appears to be able to cry inhuman amounts of tears.

On her first day of high school, Kumiko meets Hazuki Katou and Sapphire Kawashima, who she joins the school band with.

The general premise of the series is the efforts of the Katauji High School Concert Band under the leadership of their very strict new conductor Taki Sensei. He's a bit of a meanie, basically, and doesn't really take the feelings of his band into consideration, causing a lot of upset on their road to the national competition. But, like most typical “bad guys”, it's revealed towards the end of the series that he has a heart and only makes his students work hard because he wants what is best for them.

Throughout the series we meet lots of different people who are in the band. Many of which fade into the background or, worse still, merge into some giant, hideous monster because you won't remember who is who after they leave the scene. There's the moody girl who spends all day staring out the window (but turns out to be nice), the trumpet player who everyone likes, her little second year groupie with a ribbon in her hair, there's a tuba player who is insanely calm and, to top it all off, the girl who quits because she's got to focus on her exams.

We travel with Kumiko and her gang to festivals and celebrations, learning valuable lessons, such
as the problems with trying to use a tuba mouthpiece to play the trumpet!

We also witness Reina's proclamation of love for Taki Sensei relatively early on in the series. However, by the end, it appears that Kumiko and Reina are in a love-hate sort of relationship, and it's got a little weird...


Obviously, given its subject, the music in the show is amazing. Like, seriously. Even if you don't speak any Japanese, both theme tunes are really catchy. You'll find yourself singing them at random intervals, I promise you that. I change all the words to “da” and it's just as satisfying to belt when I'm in the shower.

All in all, Sound! Euphonium is a fantastic series, providing you can keep up with all the characters!

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