One of Kyoto Animation’s most defining shows reignites the spark in the community with a second season.
When Kyoto Animation releases a show you know the visuals will blow your mind, the story will engage you and leave a lasting impression. Kyoto Animation keeps itself steady at the top of the industry with shows such as Hyouka, Clannad and Tamako Market.
Aim for the nationals
Those familiar with the first season will bath themselves in a Jacuzzi of pure nostalgia as they see Reina and Kumiko reappear to continue their quest to become number one at the nationals. This is a pretty common theme in anime where a high school club aims to become the number one at a national standoff. So we can throw the perks for original story straight out of the window. It’s all about the execution.
The main focus of Hibike Euphonium still remains on Kumiko who wants to keep the club together, but also fights a battle at home with her sister being out and about. The latter also one of the weaker elements of the show, since it does not add real value to the story. It feels more an enforced plot, since the Hibike Euphonium shines best during the club scenes.
The haunted club
A true club in an anime series isn’t without its drama. The same goes for the music club in Hibike Euphonium which unravels more of the back stories of its main attendants. Again Kumiko and Reina are the main stars of this story. This is when Hibike Euphonium truly shines.
Reina may have a more low key attitude, her presence is most notable through Kumiko who seems to be the polar opposite. This brings an interesting dynamic where Kumiko acts like the loudspeaker for Reina’s bottled up emotions, bringing both girls closer together.
Look and Feel
Hibike Euphonium has an outstanding amount of detail, especially during the musical scenes. A lot of shows tend to rush this or turn into a still frame with background music. And for good reason, drawing and animating moving musical instruments is very complex and painstakingly hard work to keep the animation smooth and crisp.
KyoAni also plays around a lot with blur effects to create a 3D aesthetic. It gives the show a very human touch, literally blurring the lines between real life acting and animation. The additional effect of blurring makes scenes more lively since the moving elements fake depth of field in a 2D environment.
Hibike Euphonium is one of the most visually stunning anime of 2016. The eye for detail is remarkable and the screenplay is engaging. Nonetheless did Hibike Euphonium have some its weaker scenes that felt forced and the real moments it shined were during the interactions of Kumiko and Reina. I rate Hibike Euphonium an 8 ouf 10.