In the summer of 2015, anime fans waited in anticipation for the latest release by Kyoto Animation. Sound! Euphonium seemed to be the standard for the studio- moe girls doing moe things- but this time in the context of a high school concert band. The heart-warming story, flawless animation, and the characterisation made for a wonderful show. It appears that they realised they’d made something amazing, because season 2 is coming and we can’t wait. These days it’s rare for a show to get more than one season, due to the fast-paced nature of today’s anime industry. Sound! Euphonium has a lot of potential, especially because of that great romantic plotline that had us begging for more. Just what made season one so special, and what can we expect from season 2?
The basis of the plot is this: Kumiko has sworn off music, determined to get a fresh start at her new high school after having given up on her talent as a euphonium player. To her discomfort, she is surrounded by friends with a passion for music, all hoping to be a part of the high school concert band. Even though she specifically chose this school because of its poor music program, she finds herself joining the band as its new conductor tries to breathe life into it once again. Her time in the band becomes more difficult as she encounters her ex-best-friend Reina, and the two of them struggle to be around each other after their rocky past.
For starters, we have to appreciate the fact that KyoAni decided to animate a story that portrays musicians in a realistic way. The hard work and drama that goes into a production is intense, as well as learning to balance it with school work and a social life. The girls in the band are shown in a way that just makes us want them to succeed more than anything- in particular our protagonist, Kumiko. After their success at the end of season 1, we can only hope that it’s onwards and upwards from here.
Speaking of realistic, the romantic plotline is pretty interesting. Kumiko has a single male friend who clearly has a bit of a crush on her. She rebukes him constantly, leading us to believe ‘awww she’ll like him eventually’ because that’s what usually happens. To counteract this bland plotline, we have a much more believable romance with her old best friend, Reina. The two of them share some really special moments throughout the series, trumping anything she shares with her male ‘love interest’. Even if the two of them only remain ‘best friends’, it’s a bond we’d all love to see more of. Their interaction is just adorable.
As a plus to all this, the opening theme song is stellar. Performed by a real concert band, it’s exciting and beautifully animated. For season 2, the same group will be performing the opening, so we can expect good things. Not only that, but the cast members themselves are performing the ending theme, just like they did for season 1. There’s something we can find really special about cast members for any show featuring in the soundtrack.
So from season 2, we have raised our expectations. Sound! Euphonium is one of those rare shows to be awarded a second season. If the studios have faith in it, then so can we. This anime, based off a novel and animated by one of the most prestigious studios, could turn out to be a winner once again. It’s coming to screens in October, and a lot of people will tune in to see if season 2 can live up to season 1. It wasn’t perfect and, you know, it was still a moe-fest to rival any other… but based off the success of the first season, we can trust KyoAni to deliver something worth watching.