Sound! Euphonium – Episode 8

So yeah, that was an all-time great. One of the best episodes I’ve ever seen this studio produce. God damn.

I wrote essentially a double-length review for this one, and I still barely even got to cover the tremendous acuity of shot framing and animation that elevated what was already a fundamentally well-written and wonderfully composed episode. This was basically the first episode where Kousaka got to come into her own as a character, and she made the most of it, dazzling Kumiko and basically everyone else through her proud, captivating personality. From the quieter moments with Hazuki and Midori, or Goto and Riko, up to that tremendous finale sequence, everything here was poignant and beautiful. KyoAni are playing in the stars again.

Here’s my full review. Notes below!

Sound! Euphonium

“I said. Are you going out with Tsukamoto?” Opening right where we left off

Love the small cut to first Hazuki steepling her fingers, and then pulling back and crossing her feet. The sign of “lying” as she dithers, but also a natural expression of discomfort and defensiveness

Also like that it’s clear she’s been talking to Midori about this, but that we don’t have any context for those conversations, because our focus remains close to Kumiko. Nice touches that build the world

Midori being a busybody is great, as are Hazuki’s expressions. Her faraway look as she imagines herself at the festival with Shuichi, which only lasts for a moment

“Why are you so aggressive about this?” “Well, because all music begins with love. Love and death are timeless themes of music.”

Agata Festival, June 5th – introduced naturally through the conversation, now Kumiko explains

Everyone needs to go to the festival with someone! MATCHMAKING TIME

And we end the scene with Kousaka staring at Kumiko, putting our focus exactly where it’s supposed to be

And now we know every single character highlighted in the OP. Ensemble storytelling!

We finally get confirmation Riko and Goto are dating! CUTE

Kumiko’s response to being asked about the festival is to think up reasons not to go. Very Kumiko

Title: “Festival Triangle”

Asuka is really good at performing her enthusiasm, but now we can’t really trust it. It’s a great dynamic – nothing has changed overtly, but everything has changed in our perception. This is actually key to how friendships develop

Shuichi is staring at Kumiko, then looks over, and catches Kousaka watching her as well

Really great lack of music in this after-school scene. Keeps it intimate and grounded

Holy crap, this attempt to ask her on a date is SO GOOD. Her mind is completely elsewhere, and he’s trying his absolute hardest. “Want to go with me?” “Huh? Why?”

Kumiko just finds this whole situation to be a huge emotional hassle. Wonderful. It’s great sitting in on the person who isn’t actually invested in any of the love drama

Kumiko’s “huh” is also great. Her voice actress does such a wonderful job

“You gave me a signal. You looked at me, and then went out by yourself.” I always wondered how these would ever work, and yep, they don’t

So Kumiko desperately grabs an arm and says, “I was planning to go with this kid”… and it’s Kousaka

“So, where and when do we meet? We’re going to the festival, right?” BLESS YOU KOUSAKA

“How do I look?” “Cute.” Wonderful moment for these two

Midori has an adorable little sister jeez

This scene between Hazuki, Midori, and Midori’s sister feels really grounded and real. Tons of wonderful little moments

Holy crap, Kumiko and Kousaka. “Nothing, I was just stunned by how cute you look.” She looks down, embarrassed, and we focus on her feet. Kousaka looks embarrassed too for a moment, and then regains control

Kumiko accidentally asks Kousaka out, and Kousaka has this whole demanding schedule planned. It’s perfect

“This must be how it feels to lose your life, drawn to a beautiful thing despite your fears.” ALRIGHT IF THIS ISN’T ROMANTIC I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS

Kousaka is really trying to open up to Kumiko here. It’s pretty endearing

“Every day is the same. Sometimes I just want to throw everything away, board a train, and travel.” Reflections on that “make the most of your time” refrain, but with a very different takeaway – escape these small-time priorities. But you’d be alone, and community is the other theme

“This is sort of a compromise.” “It’s a pretty big compromise.” “I don’t have a choice. We have school tomorrow.” SO GOOD

“Switch.” “No, it’s okay.” “No, when I don’t do this kind of thing right, it bothers me.” Kousaka’s a stickler, as you’d expect. Proud

Holy shit this is so far beyond flirting

“Don’t your feet hurt?” “They do. But I don’t dislike pain.” “That’s kind of hot.” “Freak.”

And the music is so light, and the conversation is so easy, as they each start out uncomfortable but get more comfortable with each other. This is an incredible first date

Hazuki just blurts out she likes him! NO MESSING AROUND!

That shot of Hazuki from behind is friggin’ tragic

So now Hazuki says she’ll help Shuichi hook up with Kumiko. Hazuki is strong!

Kousaka: “To be honest, I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to hang out with you.” “Huh?” “You know how you have a terrible personality?” “Is that supposed to be an insult.” “It’s a compliment.”

So much great character animation throughout this episode

Kousaka finally calls her out on her disbelief about them getting to Nationals

“It’s a confession of love.” WHHHJJJJ

Holy shit, Kousaka diagnosing Kumiko’s layers. “It makes me want to peel that good-girl skin off you.” HOLY SHIT

Kousaka also just fuckin’ with her, though. It’s a weird dynamic

“It’s not that I wanted to see it. I wanted to do something others wouldn’t.” Kousaka is driven

REALLY great Kousaka expression, when she hears Kumiko doesn’t have anything to do with Shuichi

Kousaka intentionally distances herself from normal people

“Reina” and she touches her forehead gaaaah

The animation, the wind blowing, Reina’s finger down Kumiko’s face

“I want to become special. That is why I play the trumpet.”

9 thoughts on “Sound! Euphonium – Episode 8

  1. The only KyoAni shows I’d ever watched before this were Haruhi and Kyoukai no Kanata both of which underwhelmed me to say the least, so Sound! Eupho has been consistently surprising me with its quality of storytelling as well as character animation (that body language! That hair! Those faces!), especially in this episode.


    • If you enjoy KyoAni’s ridiculous visual attention to detail, strong characterization, and smooth dialogue the way they do it with Eupho, checking out Hyouka would also be worth your time.

      This episode was crazy good.

    • The guy before me already mentioned Hyouka; the attention to detail and the rapport among the characters is just so careful and great.

      The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is another great example of attention to every detail and every facial expression. The final scene is simply perfect.

      I know lots of people disliked it, but I think Amagi Brilliant Park was a good, and proof of KyoAni focus on the present and episodes that can stand alone as fun small stories, even if the premise is somewhat over the top… If Moffle, Tiramie and Macaron can’t make you crack a smile, then you have no sense of humour.

      • I actually also enjoyed Amagi! I didn’t think it was great, but I thought it had a number of individually great episodes, and that it was a solid demonstration of KyoAni’s top-tier understanding of comedic timing.

  2. If anyone’s interested, the song Kumiko and Reina played is a love song called “The Place We Found Love” (愛を見つけた場所). It’s originally a vocal song:

  3. I have to give huge props to Haruka Fujita, the storyboard artist and director for this episode. She did an amazing job with this one. Easily her best work as storyboarder and director yet.

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