Sound! Euphonium – Episode 5

We had another top tier episode this week, as the show’s focus honed in on what felt like one full 24-hour day in the life of Kumiko (I know there was a timeskip after the first half, but still). The show moved from midday gags to sweltering afternoon heat to melancholy goodbyes and all the way back to morning, capturing arrestingly lived-in moments all the while. I really can’t say enough good things about this show’s control of tone – we’ll have to see how that works through what I assume will be a more dramatic second half, but so far, the show is making all the right moves.

Here’s my oversized ANN review. Notes below!

Sound! Euphonium

Starting off with the health exam, and of course the characters wear actual tracksuits, as opposed to the anime underwear health exams of most shows

Hazuki doing some great expression work with the lung capacity gag

Boob gag, eh. Not really funny, since it’s so tired, but it’s not overdone, either

It fits for Kumiko, though. She can be pretty shallow and insecure

And of course Kumiko’s intimidated by Asuka’s boobs

They’re going to put on a marching performance at the school festival

Kumiko explaining how SunFes works

Some nice character animation here

Asuka has such great, distinctive body language

Kumiko and Kousaka exchanging an awkward look

Aoi gives Kumiko sunblock, almost as a peace offering

Great natural flow to these conversations, as always

And now, great pacing to explaining how the marching practice works, with visual cues

Really great bits of animation for Hazuki here. More body language

And now Natsuki’s explaining how Asuka is the drum major – the face of the band, who marches in front

“I guess you don’t necessarily like the things you’re good at”

“People are simple. We work hard if we know there will be returns, and we try to work even harder if working hard makes us better.”

Aoi has cram school, so she leaves before the end

Nice soothing music throughout this section. Good harmonicas. Fits the slow sunset

There is such a vivid, tangible sense of place in so many of this show’s scenes. From the sweltering heat of early practice, to the nostalgic once-more rehearsals of the later routines, to the winking night-time train stations. The characters are framed in the distance, and we feel their existence in a bigger world, one you can easily relate to

Great animation of Kumiko’s yawn, great attention to detail with her shoes

And more great shot transitions conveying her little walk with Kousaka

And it keeps using the shots of feet as punctuation to small moments

Holy crap this scene. The faded backgrounds still have great detail, but the obscurity both helps make the scene feel more relatable and iconic and also keeps your focus squarely on the characters, who themselves are clearly not paying attention to their surroundings. Beautiful stuff

Kumiko also just rambling again is great

And now the alarm and sleepy, almost predawn outdoor shots evoke the feeling of an early morning prep

More great humor from the shot transitions, as Kumiko clicks her tongue at her old male friend

It’s SunFes time!

“We might be completely dwarfed. There might be nothing left of us.” Natsuki’s pretty great

Kousaka declined the superior school’s (Rikka) invitation to go to Kumiko’s school. And she was quizzing Kumiko on what she thought of Taki-sensei earlier

Kumiko declines meeting her old middle school friends. She likes Kitauji, and likes the people she’s met there. She’s happy with what she’s doing

all the minor characters getting a moment or two

Kousaka clears the air with her horn

And Taki finally gets his great speech in

One thought on “Sound! Euphonium – Episode 5

  1. Would you say the beginning of the episode is another example of the “not fanservice” that you discussed in the piece about Nisemonogatari?
    The humor was intended to show Kumiko’s insecurity and a sort of “cup size hierarchy” in who looks up to whom.
    Titillation for heterosexual males is just a bonus (well, tell that to the male viewers who got a kick out of that sequence without really understanding/caring about the subtext).

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