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Hibike! Euphonium season 2

October 7, 2016

Could throw a plethora of superlatives around to describe “Hibike! Euphonium”, one of the better anime shows these past years that excelled in almost every aspect. Studio Kyoto Animation delivered a terrific show based on the “響け! ユーフォニアム” novels written by Ayano Takeda and like many fans, was looking forward to this second season.

The only real disappointment I fear this anime may bring, is that it does not live up to my personal high expectations of it. Even though I have made wishful references to the relationship between Kumiko Reina, am well prepared for the likely outcome that there will be no real yuri story behind their bond, but that they are simply two people irresistibly drawn to each other without any actual romance, of course with some clever baiting mixed in by the studio to reel in more viewers.

That aside, this second season’s double length opening episode spends plenty of time to illustrate the bond between Kumiko and Reina, and does so in a splendid way, which would make any viewer wish that more anime would ascend to this level. Whether they use casual conversations, powerful imagery of small gestures, the show offers many clues that these two girls find themselves drawn to each other and have a growing closeness.

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The opening episode suggests the second season too will see some excellent character driven stories and development, not only for the show’s main characters but for supporting cast characters like Asuka, Natsuki or Mizore too. In fact, am quite curious to see how the show will develop Asuka as she seems a much more interesting and complex character than Hazuki or Midori.

Am most keen on the show delving deeper into Kumiko and Reina’s respective characters, their unique relationship as well as their interactions with the people around them. While Reina’s character has seemingly evolved the most, the hints and various things shown about Kumiko make her an interesting lead character too. The opening episode of this first season repeatedly shows how disinterested and detached Kumiko can be at home when interacting with her family or with Suuichi. Will her motivation to participate in the band and her bond with Reina allow her to grow and become more passionate?

Created by studio Kyoto Animation, we can of course expect truly gorgeous animation. The superb, dynamic lighting, lots of attention to detail, luscious backgrounds and evocative or subtle facial expressions and key frames that convey plenty of emotion or storytelling through small yet essential details all contribute to make this show a real visual treat.

Those of you who have not yet watched “Hibike! Euphonium”, I recommend you give this terrific anime a try, you definitely won’t regret it! Watching the first season before tackling this sequel is required though.
You can watch the first and second season of “Hibike! Euphonium” on Crunchyroll.

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