Check-in Station: Sound! Euphonium ep1 (the band sucks!)
I haven’t touched a KyoAni show in long time. Why? Well besides a rather long break from anime period (to explained at some point in the future), I just stray away from popular things for whatever reason. For me to enjoy something, I have to selfishly, subconsciously believe it’s mine. It’s the reason why when my wife beats a game before me, I stop playing it. When a TV show like Walking Dead gets too popular and the the fanbase gets too smug, I walk away for a time. It’s the reason why Chihayafuru, Girls und Panzer and Hyouka have yet to be touched by me. It all seems too inevitable. I figure, “what’s the point?” But I will stray from my pattern every now and then. Euphonium is that show. It’s just too – well I don’t have words yet. But it already feels like KyoAni at its best. And by that, I mean K-ON!. It feels good, like K-ON!. And like that show, I’m curious and want to see this through.
Our main character, Kumiko, is having a bit of a crisis. It’s a classic crisis if there is any. She’s making the jump from middle school to high school. And her goals are to have more than bigger boobs. She wants to totally move on from her previous school life and reinvent herself. She aims for new friends, new experiences and a more positive outlook overall. But as in many a Eastern show, you can’t escape your fate, destiny or predisposition so easily as walking away. Her former life in the concert band rears its head again, as she sees the Concert Band club make an appearance and perform for the freshmen. And boy oh boy do they suck!
The rest of the episode is fairly simple, as we see Kumiko meet new friends and see a few old acquaintances from her old school appear, too. All these interactions seem interesting and engaging. Even as she engages her mother in the most stereotypical teenage way possible, we still get something out of it. My favorite moment was her seeing one of her old acquaintances from band appear in the high school concert club. That was a glorious shoujo moment, and I loved every bit of it!
Other than that, everything was stellar. KyoAni can animate like no one else. They must have some truly talented slaves working for them (I kid, I kid). It’s just fluid and beautiful, and it shouldn’t come as the least bit of a surprise to anyone who has seen even a few of their shows. But I’m still pleasantly surprised every single time.
Diving into a good KyoAni show is what I would describe as having a relaxing bath in a warm cup of coffee. Think of it like something half hot springs and half hot tub. You just place yourself in something warm, comfortable and encompassing and just go with it. If I fell asleep watching a good KyoAni show, it wouldn’t be because I was bored. I would fall asleep because I was tired and show just relaxed me enough to make me pass out. Along with all the personal nostalgia I get from seeing all these band instruments and seeing new people learn to even use them, I have much that speaks to me about this show. I hope I’m not setting my expectations too high, but I’m greatly looking forward to the next show.