The end is finally here, and as expected Euphonium goes out with nothing less than perfection.
Here’s my final review.
From the very first ep I had this feeling that Hibike! Euphonium might be one of those anime I’m always longing for. One that sweeps me off my feet and takes me away to another world as I watch it, the type of anime that holds me captive each week and has me craving for more the second it’s over. Euphonium was one of those anime. It excelled in not just basic story telling, but it was brought to life by dynamic real characters, a beautiful soundtrack, gorgeous animation and that unexplainable feeling you get when you know you’re watching something special. Euphonium pushed all the right buttons and then some, and the result is my Anime of the Season and contender for Anime of the Year. So with one last ep left, how would this all end?
Right out of the gate I loved how they opened this ep. Dropping the OP and just getting right into it is what they should always do for the last ep as there isn’t time to waste. Especially in this case as the highlight was the performance the band was to give as they strive for the Nationals. As expected the atmosphere is very serious and everyone is focused on the goal they need to reach. Starting out her day at 5AM sharp, Kumiko is wide awake and ready to roll, so ready she even forgets her train pass. Silly girl. Everyone else is up and en-route to school, their minds set on what lies ahead of them.
The majority of the first half is just them getting ready at school before they actually leave for the concert hall. Interesting to note that the girls are all dressed in their brown uniforms, which I’m guess are the formal ones. All those who aren’t going to be performing though are acting as support for the band, even giving each member a personalized good luck charm. While they may have fought and argued earlier on, each one of them knows the importance of this performance and seeing them all working together with a goal in mind was very nice.
Much like ep 5, Taki is late to the briefing but unlike ep 5 he’s very dressed up this time, rocking a tux. Stylish! I really liked how much more mature Haruka has become as well as she’s acting like the club president now. Her pep talk was short and to the point, but it was what the band needed to get motivated. So with all that out of the way, it’s time to roll out! As expected the turn out at the concert hall is big and there are lots of schools there, including Rikka, the huge favorites. We also get to see Kumiko’s old middle school friend once again, still looking cute as ever. Side note here: if you like girls wearing their hair in a ponytail, then this ep is for you. Not only was Kumiko sporting one, but Reina and Asuka were as well. While I’m not dead set on a certain hair style I like on a girl, I will say the Reina with her hair in a ponytail is always a glorious sight, as ep 8 showed us.
With the band all ready to go, Taki gives a pep talk of his own, raising the already heightened spirits of the band and getting them in the zone to play. Another side note: Shuichi and Kumiko had another moment here, one that still doesn’t prove they’re an actual ship, but I felt it was more of a band member to band member thing by giving the other some encouragement. In my mind it’s always going to be Kumiko x Reina, the only true ship.
The back half of the ep is the actual performance and once they all got up on stage and were about to perform, KimiUso feels came flooding back. Not in a sad way, but just the feeling you get when the climax of the anime has arrived and all those lingering doubts of things that might go bad, that was swirling through my mind as they began. Okay an interesting point that merits some discussion is what Asuka says to Kumiko.
Asuka: “It’s a little sad, isn’t it? We had so much fun, now it’s about to end. I wish summer would go on forever”
Kumiko: “What are you talking about?” It isn’t over yet. We’re going to the Nationals.”
Asuka: “Right. Come to think of it, that was our goal.”
Asuka says this with such a distant look in her eyes, like she’s seeing something no one else can. Why? Why is that? These are the types of questions I have when I think about Asuka because there is this undeniable layer of mystery to her. Why does she say things like that? Why does she remain neutral during decision making time? I can’t accept the reasons some have come up with as it’s too simple and lacking any real thought. Calling her selfish is too much of a cop out and totally avoids actually putting some thought into an answer. Out of all the characters that are in the main circle, Asuka is the only one that remains truly unknown to us. She’s masking her personality, avoids trapping herself in her own words, and says things that make calling her “selfish” seem very out of place. Who really is Asuka and what makes her tick? I’d love to see more of her character as she’s very underdeveloped and it bothers me a lot. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this, so I’d love to hear what you have to say regarding this mysterious girl Asuka Tanaka.
As for the actual performance part, I honestly can’t put it into words. If I could I’d insert a video of it as it’s something that speaks for itself. But if I had to I’d say it was perfect. Everyone played their parts to the best of their ability, Reina nailed the solo part, and they never missed a note. Excellent work.
When all is said and done though, we end right back where everything began and that was a key point I really liked. It brought everything full circle and it gave me a rush of feels too. Kumiko and Reina sitting side by side, eagerly awaiting the results to be given. It’s an tense moment as I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a moral victory in which they lose yet win in a sense of everyone coming together, but no it thankfully wasn’t. They finally got their gold, a real gold too. Tears were shed not only by them but probably myself too (although I hope my brother didn’t see me as that’d be embarrassing) but that overwhelming sense of accomplishment was a moment of feels. After all the adversity they’ve had to overcome, they finally get their reward. It was a truly special moment and one that really made this final ep so amazing. But this is only a stepping stone as the Nationals await.
I kinda did this out of order as I wrote my final thoughts already in my spring wrap up post, so instead of rephrasing that here, I’ll try to keep it new.
Wow, Hibike! Euphonium sure ended in an emotional and spectacular fashion with them winning. I really was happy for them, sharing in their tears of joy as I only wanted the best for this group of students. But like I said, this is only a stepping stone for them as the end goal of the Nationals are still ahead of them. So now the huge question is: will there be a follow up? I honestly can’t see them leaving it at this, everyone would rage so hard. How I see it this can go 1 of 3 ways; first they make an OVA with them later on down the road at the Nationals, second they make a second season with them working towards the Nationals, or third they make a movie of them going to the Nationals. While option 3 seems most likely, I honestly just want another season as that way it’s guaranteed that there will be time to cover all the smaller details, including Asuka. But whatever they do I’m keeping an ear out for it, and yes I will come back to review either an OVA, movie or second season. That you can count on.
Looking back at Hibike! Euphonium I can’t help but smile. This is an anime that will indeed stick with me for a long time as it really lived up to and exceeded all my expectations. The only thing I can think of that’s a down side is the lack of development to Asuka, but honestly in the grand scheme of things it can be overlooked as there are so many pros to take away from this anime. So to finally bring this all to a close, 13 weeks later, what should I rate this anime? The answer should be obvious as it truly excelled in all regards and then some. Along with my highest recommendations, those gold stars and smiley faces, I’m giving my Anime of the Season, Hibike! Euphonium a perfect 10/10.
Let their piece continue!
That’s going to bring my series of reviews to a close along with the spring anime season for me. Thank you so very much for taking time out of your day to read through my somewhat lengthy reviews for this anime, but I hope you enjoyed every single one of them. As always I’d love to hear your final impressions on this one, so by all means please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Up next it’s on to the summer anime season as I’ll be reviewing the hotly anticipated original series from Lay-duce, Classroom☆Crisis. I hope you can join me for that as I pray it’ll break the mold of terrible original series. One can only hope.
Thank you once again for reading, here’s your final bonus pic, and I’ll cya next season!
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